It’s been quite a while since I did any fiction writing, and I got struck with the urge this past week. I may have said it before, but writing editorials every day is a lot harder than adding the same volume to a novel on a daily basis. In fact, when I participate in National Novel Writing Month, the daily quota is 1666 words. The average length of a post on this blog is a bit over 1000 words.
Making up for the slim pickings the last few weeks, here’s a fresh batch of good stuff! Food * [Getting weird in the kitchen with the 'Bob's Burgers' cookbook](http://www.dailydot.com/entertainment/bobs-burgers-cookbook-recipe-review/) -- I admit, I'm tempted to get it myself. Many of these sound delicious. Social Justice * [KING: Racism has found its way into the Cincinnati Zoo saga](http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-racism-found-cincinnati-zoo-saga-article-1.2655860?a) -- Apparently, people are digging into the family history of the child's parents, because that's a totally normal thing to do, right?
I am reluctant to call this a review. Let us instead call it a list of impressions, and some comparisons. If you’ve never heard of Fun Home, it currently exists in two forms: a 2006 graphic novel, and its more recent adaptation as a Broadway musical. It is the memoir of Alison Bechdel of Bechdel test fame. Both versions are about Ms. Bechdel coming to terms with her own sexuality while at the same time realizing her father was gay (or at least bisexual; this is somewhat ambiguous).
There’s a peculiar trend surrounding this Presidential election season, and one that has plagued Hillary Clinton for much of her career. Why do we have such a hard time acknowledging women as human beings? A passage in a recent New York Magazine article really brought it home for me: In a recent column, [David Brooks posited](http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/opinion/why-is-clinton-disliked.html) that Clinton is disliked because she is a workaholic who “presents herself as a résumé and policy brief” and about whose interior life and extracurricular hobbies we know next to nothing.
Right-wing populists seem to be cropping up everywhere these days. What gives? It’s not just Donald Trump in the US, either, though he’s the most salient, evocative example. Conservative anti-government movements have been rising in Europe, as well. It’s becoming less and less common for political parties to engage faithfully with one another–to recognize that, while they may disagree on particular issues, they all ultimately want what’s best for the country and its people.
Whether they mean to or not, all artistic works communicate political ideas. This makes what those ideas should consist of an urgent and pertinent question. But first, what does it mean for all art to be political? Start with the definitions: politics describes the power struggle between different members of the polity, which is a group of people bound together by some kind of identity, be it religious, cultural, partisan, or otherwise.
Memorial Day is as good an opportunity as any to talk about America’s wars–specifically, the soldiers who died in them. All told, while many Americans have died in wars, we’ve gotten off lucky compared to many other countries, and particularly countries in Europe, given the massive bloodlettings that occurred in the twentieth century. Our deadliest war is still the Civil War, when it was American against American. So, in what wars did American soldiers die, and why were those wars fought?
It’s weird when something you write almost as a joke ends up getting a lot of unexpected attention. It didn’t go viral or anything, but my rather cheeky piece about Stellaris has racked up more views in the space of a couple weeks than anything else on the site. I didn’t expect that at all. I figured it would be like my handful of other video game related posts: it might get a view once every few weeks, but otherwise go unnoticed.
I may be driving 1400 miles this weekend, but that don’t stop the links from coming. Social Justice * [Featured Voices: Accidentally Out](https://neutrois.me/2016/05/26/fv-accidentally-out/) -- Accidentally outed at work, M finds some pleasant (and not so pleasant) surprises. * [Ice cream parlor responds perfectly to anti-Muslim bigotry](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ice-cream-parlor-says-no-to-racism_us_57471937e4b03ede441408ce) -- Well done. Stores don't need business from bigots. Film * [Netflix to spend $6 billion on content this year. Six.
Economists tend to present themselves as impartial arbiters of truth, as people who are reporting only how the market works, rather than making judgments as to why it works, or how it should work. This view is, at best, self-delusion. At worst, it’s a lie that kills people. What prompted this post was giving a thorough read to Brad DeLong’s _The Public Square and Economists. _It’s an excellent paper that offers a solid overview of what economists, at their best, have to tell us: