The Wide, Wide World Category

Perspectives on the political scene, public discourse, and matters of policy that are making the world around us.

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Destiny’s Julia Child

Editor’s Note: this essay was scheduled prior to the announcement of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision. We have decided to publish it as scheduled, following the belief, expressed here, that love and pleasure are not the opposite of politics, rage, or grief, but rather are politically essential expressions of our humanness.   This is a difficult…

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Making Sense of the Whiteness Project

The most noticeable thing about the recently launched Whiteness Project is that public responses to it have been so varied. The website gives an initial description of “a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.” The project’s director and producer, Whitney Dow, orients the project around ideas that fall within…

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Ebola, Zombies, and Our Viral Past

The horror stories about Ebola seem to be proliferating as quickly as the disease itself. International newspapers and even governmental edicts speak of zombies. Here in the US, Twitter is ablaze with conspiracies tying Ebola to infiltrating immigrants. On the airwaves, Laura Ingram and Rush Limbaugh accuse President Obama of deliberately sacrificing US interests to…

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Trolling Gender Trouble

Over the past two years, gaming culture’s gender problem has been dragged out into the light. Women like Zoe Quinn (a game developer) and Anita Sarkeesian (a feminist pop culture critic) have been the targets of violent sexualized harassment, rape, and death threats. Both women were driven from their homes after their tormentors posted their…