“The Pleasures of Eating.” Emergence Magazine published a beautifully illustrated version of Wendell Berry’s classic essay with a preface by Alice Waters. Even if you know this essay well, it’s worth taking a look at the illustrations and reading her introduction:
Wendell shows us how we are all victims of fast food culture, made passive and dependent by the multinational industrial food conglomerates. We have all been indoctrinated by the values of this fast food culture, told that cooking is drudgery; that food should look and taste the same all year round, wherever we are in the world, no matter what the season; that time is money, and speed should be cherished above all else; that our choices, food-related or otherwise, have no consequences.
“For The Hog Killing, 1979 Photographs by Tanya Amyx Berry.” Ben Aguilar talks with Tanya Berry at Square Books about their new book, For The Hog Killing, 1979.
“This Essay is Just Harry Potter for People Who Think Comparing Things to Harry Potter is Stupid.” Rosa Lyster writes about the superficial patterns of thought encouraged by our digital media ecosystem: “The dream of the internet was that each of us would be able to access the knowledge of all of human history, and the nightmare that resulted is that we are now expected to know so many more things than before, such that the only way to really get a grasp on any of it is to superficially connect them to other things you also barely understand.”
“How a 20th Century Theologian Became a Quiet Prophet for Our Distracted Age.” Robert Dean Lurie commends Romano Guardini’s reflections on the technological changes he experienced.
“A Lone Postman Delivers the Mail to the Far Reaches of the Big Bend.” Sterry Butcher rides along with Gilbert Lujan on his remote mail route. Lujan delivers more than mail and is a key figure in this set of isolated communities.
“The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana.” Andrew Bacevich writes a blistering take-down of the last 70 years of US foreign policy in the Middle East.
“All Activities Monitored.” Jon Askonas reviews Arthur Holland Michel’s Eyes in the Sky and details one of the many sad legacies of our recent wars in the Middle East: the growth of mass surveillance.
Michel’s story thus displays the ethical problem of technological development in high relief. A small group of engineers came together to build a powerful weapon to meet the needs of war. In so doing, they have shifted, for everyone, the balance of power between citizen and state, between individual and corporation, and have eroded to the point of extinction what little remained of the natural rights of privacy, all around the world.
“Dear Senator Warren: Don’t Penalize Moms Who Choose to Stay Home with Their Kids.” Serena Sigillito urges Senator Warren to align her campaign proposals with her earlier book, The Two-Income Trap: “As you explain very clearly, government-funded universal daycare won’t help middle-class American families in the long run. Instead, it will ensnare more and more families in the ‘two-income trap’ that you spend an entire book warning so eloquently against.”
“Our Schools Can’t Solve the Problems of Our Rigid Workweek.” Gracy Olmstead addresses similar issues in the New York Times, arguing that “while parents do need better options for the care of their children, longer school days may not be the answer.”
“Chronicles of a Strategic Idealist.” D.L. Mayfield reads Samantha Power’s The Education of an Idealist and finds not so much an education as a diminishment—an idealist fighting for the vulnerable who made her peace with power and empire.
“Dean Foods, One of Nation’s Largest Dairy Processors, Files for Bankruptcy.” Rick Barrett reports on the continuing economic and cultural challenges that dairy farmers face.
“How the World’s Most Widely Used Insecticide Led to a Fishery Collapse.” Doug Main summarizes a recent study in Japan that shows the drastic harm neonicotinoids cause to aquatic life.