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Spring 2011

Issue 4

The annotated table of contents below offers a sneak peek at what's in Issue 4.


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Essays

Problems with Authority

By

In his essay, “What is a Classic?” T.S. Eliot answers his own question. A classic, he says, is an ideal literary work, mature in literary […]


The Human and the Octopus

By

It is a beautiful Sunday evening in May—clear, still, warm—and I am throwing up my own shit. That this is biologically possible, let alone how […]


Let Me Ride

By

What rap needs more than a glossary is a case for its intellectual importance as something neither alien nor off-limits to unhip white people, something whose rewards can be approached and discussed on whatever terms, and in whatever language, best suit us.


Salvation for Civilians

By

This is the new porn debate, circa 2011—one that’s only nominally about keeping sex sacrosanct. When intellectuals and moralists decry its perversity or its vulgarity, they’re actually decrying the greater societal reality that porn is everywhere.


Steroids, Baseball, America

By

Whether steroids are considered an unforgivable sin or a culturally sanctioned misdemeanor akin to speeding, those inclined to question their significance will find themselves led reliably to a higher question: What is the significance of sports, today, in America?


 

Symposium

Soccer and Schizophrenia

By

For the last year and a half, I’ve been living in a flat in central London with no internet or TV, which means I’ve been […]


Healthy Rivalry

By

We not only want to defeat our opponents, we also depend on them and their skill, courage and hostility in order to prove and hone our own skills...


Hail Mary Time?

By

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of American sports from a European perspective is that for all their consumerist glitz, the leagues themselves are exemplary not of capitalism but its seeming opposite: socialism.


March Madness

By

What is it about March? The giddiness of spring when nature breaks forth in all its fecundity. Festivals like St. Patrick’s Day, Carnival, Mardi Gras. […]


The Sweatiest of the Liberal Arts

By

Imagine a very different world from the one in which we live. A world in which the high school curriculum at most public schools includes required classes every day in the following subjects: painting, sculpture, music, poetry, dance, team sports ...


 

Reviews

Chicago Heights

By

Like many denizens of Winesburg, Ohio, the fictional town in which the American writer Sherwood Anderson set his eponymous 1919 masterwork, Alice Hindman feels she […]


Sarah Palin’s Alaska

By

In the first episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the former governor goes salmon fishing in Big River Lake. The lake, shot from the heights of […]


Chris Ware’s ANL #20

By

Chris Ware makes comics. He’s been doing this since he was an undergrad at the University of Texas in the late Eighties and then a […]


Chicago’s Political Theater

By

The issues that surfaced obsessively throughout the campaign season—the nature of American identity, democracy, freedom; the specter of persistent economic decline; the corrosive resentment of nebulous elites—were also strikingly present in several productions on Chicago stages during the summer and fall.