News 10.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 10.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 10.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 10.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

On Instagram, I follow 700 people, mostly women. One hundred of those women follow Glennon Doyle, whose memoir “Untamed” has been on the Times best-seller list for 51 weeks.

Fans of Ms. Doyle’s gospel, an accessible combination of self-care, activism and tongue-in-cheek Christianity (“Jesus loves me, this I know, for he gave me Lexapro”), can worship at any time of day or night at the electric church of her Instagram feed. By replacing the rigid dogma of religion with the confessional lingua franca of social media, Ms. Doyle has become a charismatic preacher for women — like me — who aren’t even religious.

Twenty-two percent of millennials are not affiliated with a specific religion. We are known as religious “nones.” The Pew Research Center found that the number of nones in the population as a whole increased nine percentage points from 2009 to 2019. The main reasons that nones are unaffiliated are that they question religious teachings, or they don’t like the church’s stance on social issues.

But are we truly nonreligious, or are our belief systems too bespoke to appear on a list of major religions in a Pew phone survey?

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 10.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Three blocks to the north, he could see a line of four armored police personnel carriers: safety, it seemed to him. Rittenhouse huffed along for a block and a half until he encountered a group of racial-justice protesters streaming south, drawn by his gunshots. At first, the throng didn’t pay much attention to the kid weaving through them: With his baby face and his backward American-flag baseball cap, he looked even younger than he was. But soon shouts relayed news of the shooting through the crowd. The barrel of the Smith & Wesson AR-15-style assault rifle he gripped was still hot.

“Get that dude!”

“What’d he do?”

“He shot someone!”

“Get his ass!”

By the time Rittenhouse was within a block of reaching the police, roughly a dozen men were chasing him. One threw a right haymaker, knocking off the teenager’s baseball cap, before peeling away, perhaps intimidated by the rifle. Rittenhouse was a few steps ahead of the pack when he tripped. He slammed down on the asphalt and rolled onto his back, whipping his weapon toward his pursuers.

A tall Black man tried unsuccessfully to drop-kick him, then dashed onward. Rittenhouse seems to have fired twice as the man hurdled over him—and somehow missed, despite their proximity.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

In 1992, a Jersey City graffiti artist named Brian Donnelly adopted KAWS as his nom de spray can, only because, he has said, he liked how the four letters looked together. Nigh on thirty years later, as a phenomenally successful painter and sculptor with lines of toys and other merchandise, he remains pragmatic. “KAWS: WHAT PARTY,” at the Brooklyn Museum, is the latest in a globe-trotting series of institutional exhibitions of neon-bright acrylics, antic statuary, and gift-shop-ready tchotchkes that are either based on familiar cartoons and puppets—the Michelin Man, “Peanuts,” “The Smurfs,” “Sesame Street,” and, especially, “The Simpsons”—or run changes on such characters of his own devising as Companion, a lonesome sad sack sporting Mickey Mouse-style shorts and gloves.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 10.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When is a sweater more than a sweater? When is a sweater even a sweater? The difference between a pullover and a few skeins of yarn isn’t much more than two needles and a dry-cleaning tag but for that cymbal crash of desire. The Row makes sweaters, thousand-dollar sweaters, that grip the mallet.

There’s something about The Row. It beggars explanation. It has long since transcended its beginnings as a celebrity-fashion-label lark founded by the entrepreneurial fraternal-twin former child stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Now 34, they were, 20 years ago, the most hyperbranded tweens on the planet. Then they gave up acting to dress the women they hoped to grow up to become. The Row is fashion for those for whom money is no object but who don’t need to look obviously rich, not in the way a Versace blouse looks rich — which is to say, aggressively, literally. It purses its lips at logos and that’s-from-last-season trend obsolescence. Nor does The Row flaunt sex or youth or the body. It speaks in the hushed tones of perfect propriety, of connoisseurship. It is crafted just so, cut just so. It is not original and doesn’t pretend to originality. It is chic in the excellent, unfaultably appropriate way that reminds you that true chic may be the apotheosis of boring.

In this, it’s a lot like its once screamingly famous mass-marketed owners, who have retreated into a kind of genteel moguldum in their 30s. As such, it has found its people: not the women (mostly women, though it does sell menswear) who want to make it but those who have already made it. The Row knows what its customer thinks she needs. “They’re thinking about the client because they’ve been the client,” says Rachel Tashjian, a GQ writer whose email newsletter about her obsessions, Opulent Tips, frequently covers The Row.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

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To read the diary of Gustave de Beaumont, the traveling companion of Alexis de Tocqueville, is to understand just how primitive the American wilderness once seemed to visiting Frenchmen. In a single month, December 1831, Tocqueville and Beaumont were on a steamship that crashed; rode a stagecoach that broke an axle; and took shelter in a cabin—one of them bedridden from an unidentified illness—while the nearest doctor was a two-day hike away. Yet they kept meeting people whose resourcefulness they admired, and they kept collecting the observations that eventually led Tocqueville to write Democracy in America—the classic account of the ordering principles, behaviors, and institutions that made democracy function within this sprawling country.

Tocqueville’s interest in American institutions reflected more than mere curiosity: In his native France, a revolution launched with similarly high ideals about equality and democracy had ended badly. His parents had nearly been guillotined during the wave of violence that followed the momentous events of 1789. By contrast, American democracy worked—and he wanted to understand why.

Famously, he found many of the answers in state, local, and even neighborhood institutions. He wrote approvingly of American federalism, which “permits the Union to enjoy the power of a great republic and the security of a small one.” He liked the traditions of local democracy too, the “township institutions” that “give the people the taste for freedom and the art of being free.” Despite the vast empty spaces of their country, Americans met one another, made decisions together, carried out projects together. Americans were good at democracy because they practiced democracy. They formed what he called “associations,” the myriad organizations that we now call “civil society,” and they did so everywhere:

Not only do [Americans] have commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but they also have a thousand other kinds: religious, moral, grave, futile, very general and very particular, immense and very small; Americans use associations to give fêtes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools … Everywhere that, at the head of a new undertaking, you see the government in France and a great lord in England, count on it that you will perceive an association in the United States.

Tocqueville reckoned that the true success of democracy in America rested not on the grand ideals expressed on public monuments or even in the language of the Constitution, but in these habits and practices. In France, philosophes in grand salons discussed abstract principles of democracy, yet ordinary Frenchmen had no special links to one another. By contrast, Americans worked together: “As soon as several of the inhabitants of the United States have conceived a sentiment or an idea that they want to produce in the world, they seek each other out; and when they have found each other, they unite.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.