Weekend reads: Be bold
A roundup of provocative new work from Lean Out writers and thinkers
The sun is shining in Toronto, the air is crisp, the leaves are jewel-toned — and I plan to spend the rest of the day drinking coffee, eating eggs, taking a stroll, and reading the new Richard Reeves book Of Boys and Men.
This post will be on the shorter side, as I have found the Public Order Emergency Commission has taken up much of my workweek. I’d love to be able to just read the media coverage of it, but, unsurprisingly, I’m finding I’m learning a whole lot more listening to the actual hearings. Terrifically time-consuming, yes, but instructive.
So today, I offer you a roundup of bold new work from Lean Out guests, who continue to widen the Overton window in all kinds of interesting ways.
The contradictions that gave rise to wokeness, in other words, won’t be resolved unless we work for a decent and more materially equal society — a process that will require political confrontation and compromise between the three major classes: the asset-rich few, the managers who service their affairs, and the asset-less many.
We lived through the End of History, watching the Cold War dissolve in real time into one great spiritual global and eternal McDonald’s. Blue Jeans and Democracy Forever. No more wars (pfft!), just an endless pick ’n’ mix of identities, products, and self-chosen values. Little did we suspect that 20 years later, Sandra from h.r. would be firing us for failing to adhere to the latest update to the cultural software, or that the compassion that was supposed to be at the heart of ’90s “political correctness” would be weaponized as part of a regime loyalty test. Postmodernism bites, I guess.
Elsewhere on the web, Lean Out podcast guest Meghan Daum has a striking (and very funny!) essay out on the recent Hobart meltdown, titled “Who Killed Creative Writing?” I thought about this one for days after I read it — especially this part:
It’s not that the literary world arbitrarily decided to cede all its power to white Brooklyn ladies. It’s that white Brooklyn ladies are the only ones who can afford to be in the literary world.
Meanwhile, British feminist Louise Perry, author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution and Lean Out podcast guest, has an essay over at The New Statesmen about climate activism stunts.
Canadian lawyer and columnist Jamil Jivani — who has appeared twice on the Lean Out podcast — has a thought-provoking piece on the Ontario school board elections.
Add to all of that: There’s a new special issue out of the Monash Bioethics Review that highlights the work of Lean Out podcast guest Shamik Dasgupta. Here’s the abstract from the introduction:
The global response to the recent coronavirus pandemic has revealed an ethical crisis in public health. This article analyses key pandemic public health policies in light of widely accepted ethical principles: the need for evidence, the least restrictive/harmful alternative, proportionality, equity, reciprocity, due legal process, and transparency. Many policies would be considered unacceptable according to pre-pandemic norms of public health ethics. There are thus significant opportunities to develop more ethical responses to future pandemics. This paper serves as the introduction to this Special Issue of Monash Bioethics Review and provides background for the other articles in this collection.
Stay tuned to the Lean Out podcast in coming weeks, as we continue our coverage of the school closures issue. Coming up, we have interviews with Anya Kamenetz, author of The Stolen Year, and Jennifer Sey, author of Levi’s Unbuttoned.
And, in case you missed it yesterday, here’s my latest piece of media criticism.
Enjoy your autumn Sunday!
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