Tag Archives: benjamin schwarz

A Touch of Vertigo in the Penny Press!

There’s a momentarily disturbing flash of vertigo that accompanies reading a critical pronouncement from somebody you trust. It’s your own fault, which doesn’t make things any easier: after all, you had to give that trust in the first place. That’s a slow process; you start out warily, distrusting not only random chance (almost anybody can […]

The Camelot harem in the Penny Press!

Of course I was never really going to stay away forever from my once-beloved Atlantic. It’s true that I cancelled my subscription over a certain brain-dead phrase being allowed to stand in the place of critical thought, but that hardly blinds me to the wealth of work and thought that still goes into every issue. […]

WTF in the Penny Press!

By this point, I’ve pretty much accepted that my once-beloved Penny Press has turned into a crown of thorns, a punishment to be inflicted over bowls of guksu jangguk where once it was a soothing boon after a long week of yelling at my basset hound. So I can read with equanimity the “Soapbox” feature […]

The Folds of Irony in the Penny Press!

Juicy or jaunty, irony abounds in the latest harvest of the Penny Press!

Shame and Acclaim in the Penny Press!

Naturally, I was as outraged as anybody else by the long litany of greed and corruption detailed in Taylor Branch’s Atlantic cover story “The Shame of College Sports,” but I was equally irritated by the never-pretty sight of a heavyweight professional historian getting carried away with himself in the bright spotlight of one of the […]

Agreeing to Disagree in the Penny Press!

The linear procession that is my weekly plow through the latest furrow of the Penny Press couldn’t have started off worse this time around – not even with a ‘short’ story by Alice Munro: The New Yorker featured a long piece by Jonathan Franzen that was just about as appalling an exercise in narcissism as […]

Calculating Column-Length in the Penny Press!

The November Atlantic has one of those big special features that always sound more interesting than they end up being. In this case it’s “Brave Thinkers,” and the whole it can be painlessly skipped, or skimmed. Ditto the now-obligatory piece on the so-called Tea Party, a phase of national mania that should no more be […]


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