The problem of overstimulation

Mara Jebsen on the virtues of boredom @ 3Quarks Daily. It is Thursday and I am in the café in which the ceiling fan and rock’n’roll seem to make a gentle pact to keep rhythm. To the left of me lies one Brooklyn neighborhood, and to the right, another. Above these ceiling fans are two… Read more »

Salvaging the inner life

Sven Birkerts on the virtues of idleness @ Lapham’s Quarterly. Idleness—that beautiful, historically encumbered word. Beautiful because childhood is its first sanctuary and still somehow inheres in its three easy syllables—and who among us doesn’t sway toward the thought of it, often, conjuring what life might be like if it were still a play of… Read more »

The world no longer believes in suffering

Atif Rafay, a convicted murderer, reflects on freedom and punishment @ The Walrus. Once upon a time I saw a documentary featuring black and white footage of Glenn Gould, shot soon after his first recording of The Goldberg Variations, in which he had taken such extraordinary liberties — excessive liberties, some thought — with Bach…. Read more »

All that I cannot understand

Gary Presley considers the symbols and mysteries of nature @ Fringe. I live in a place where the wind blows, not constantly but nearly so. Only on the hottest, most oppressively humid days does it stall. Only on a hard winter morning, all things ice solid beneath the weight of a sagging Arctic high-pressure system… Read more »

Why is there still a drive to prove women’s inferiority?

Sally Feldman considers the continuing marginality of women @ New Humanist. Last summer the Fawcett Society attempted to create a precedent: they challenged the legality of a government budget. In response to the coalition’s proposal for deficit reduction, which foresaw 500,000 public sector job cuts, the feminist pressure group put in an application for a… Read more »