Monday, May 14, 2007

Things I've read

A few articles I've found interesting lately:

There and Back Again
, by Nick Paumgarten, looks at the phenomenon of the commute in the US. Paumgarten rides along with one woman who travels six and a half hours a day to and from work. He makes the very good point that, for many people, the extra two hours of leisure time granted by the introduction "of the eight-hour workday are now passed in solitude. You have cup holders for company." What's the point of having that extra time if you spend it in your car, on your own?

Handguns in Roxbury, Tanks in Baghdad
, by Wick Sloane, made me cry the first time I read it. Sloane, a writing teacher at a community college in the States, describes what happened after one of his students was shot and killed. Although I think he stumbles a little towards the end when he tries to connect the murder to the financial inequities that exist in the education system, it's an important point to make, and still a moving story.

Philip Weiss examines a new kind of radicalism at Columbia University, in
One, Two, Three, Four, Can a Columbia Movement Rise Once More?
Apparently Students for a Democratic Society, one of the most important and prominent student political organisations of the 1960s, has reformed. As Weiss points out though, the Israel/Palestine issue makes everything just a bit more complicated this time around.

And finally, on a slightly more bizarre note,
Girth and Nudity, a Pictorial Mission
: Leonard Nimoy (of Star Trek fame) is taking photographs of obese women.

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