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Summer 2017

Issue 14

The annotated table of contents below offers a sneak peek at what's in Issue 14.


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Letter

Letter on Satire

By

What to do on Saturday night is a philosophical problem. Notwithstanding the scheduling idiosyncrasies created by our “flexible” economy, it remains the time of week we are least able to avoid asking ourselves: What do we want?


 

Essays

It’s a Circle

By

The “grandstanding” is over, the “platform” is in splinters, the “bandwagon” has left town. The “tentpole” issues? Forget them. The inclusive “tent”? Without a pole, forget that too. No rings remain into which to throw your hat: the circus is shutting down.


Climbing Kanchenjunga

By

Kanchenjunga is the third-tallest mountain in the world.


Final Fantasy

By

Like every virtual world, there is something seductive about the online realm of the new reactionary politics. Wading in, one finds oneself quickly immersed, and soon unmoored.


 

Symposium

Saint Bart

By

For over a decade, starting as early as I can remember and going on into the middle of adolescence, The Simpsons was the most important manifestation of culture in my life.


Comedy Studies

By

The following are actual titles of papers published in peer-reviewed academic journals.


Things Don’t Make Sense

By and

I think for me, the comedic impulse comes from the same place as the philosophical one.


Shock and Ow

By

The first time I noticed the blood on the inside of my bra, I figured it was barbecue sauce. (You know the old adage “Is it blood or is it barbecue sauce?”)


Insert Punchline

By

Comedy is for making people laugh. Had the editors not demanded an additional 1,494 words, I would happily have left my contribution to this symposium at that.


Punching Down

By

I recently found myself at an academic conference that featured a presentation by graduate students on “combating racism with humor.”


The Audacity of Jokes

By

I never considered Trevor Noah until I found myself on the set of The Daily Show last August.


Rallying Sigh

By

In October of 2010 I attended a mass demonstration on the National Mall, which also happened to be a live taping of The Daily Show.


Letter on Satire

By

What to do on Saturday night is a philosophical problem. Notwithstanding the scheduling idiosyncrasies created by our “flexible” economy, it remains the time of week we are least able to avoid asking ourselves: What do we want?


 

Dialogue

Things Don’t Make Sense

By and

I think for me, the comedic impulse comes from the same place as the philosophical one.


 

Slush Pile

Endgame

By

Finally, in Samuel Beckett, we have our poet-laureate of climate change.


 

Reviews

Debths

By

When she was a teenager in the early Fifties, Susan Howe often asked her father, a legal historian, to check out books for her from Harvard’s Widener Library.


The Archers

By

Six years ago, on a blustery night in January, Nigel Pargetter ignored his wife’s protests and climbed out onto the roof of his stately home in the English countryside.


The Google Bus

By

At 7:30 on weekday mornings, I join the ranks of commuters who line the southeast corner of Alamo Square where, starting at 6 a.m., distinct queues assemble on the sidewalk, ebb and distribute into buses of various corporate denominations, and assemble again.