Berfrois

Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic, but you also write that we “may be making a mistake when we blame them for being greedy. Many of them may not be able to help it. The very rich desperately need the help of the better-adjusted majority.” What can we, the 99%, do to help?

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Get Over It, Women Haters

Get Over It, Women Haters

It’s My Pussy. It’s My Body., Favianna Rodriguez From BitchMedia: Tina Vasquez: As a Latina who grew up in an incredibly strict and repressive household, I still struggle with being “out” about various aspects of my identity, even at the age of 27. Because of this baggage I carry—and...

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“Sundays / of rain.”

“Sundays / of rain.”

Vitruvius presenting De Architectura to Augustus. From Vitruvius on Archtitecture by Thomas Gordon Smith, 1864 From Evening Will Come: Julie Carr: And how about happiness? Lisa Robertson: Well, I’m not sure that pleasure and happiness are always necessarily aligned, but at an earlier period of my life I might...

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“Even in a fairly mainstream European publication, offshore from America, it’s able to thrive”

“Even in a fairly mainstream European publication, offshore from America, it’s able to thrive”

I don’t know about the time of Marx’s original publications, but I’d like to believe that in the 1890s perhaps, 1920s, when there was a strong labor movement going on in the country, a lot of civil unrest, my sense of things is that it was possible to describe...

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A Wall Street President

A Wall Street President

Cornel West From CounterPunch: Parmbir Gill: Cornel, you campaigned for Obama in 2008 but unlike many other critical supporters of the President, your critique of his policies eventually eclipsed your support as his first term unfolded. And as a result you’ve found yourself in confrontation with former comrades –...

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“LOT is a throwing together of ideas”

“LOT is a throwing together of ideas”

From 3:AM: 3:AM: What made you become a philosopher? You’ve been one for a long time. Has it been what you expected and has the profession changed a lot since you started? Jerry Fodor: It was because my parents wanted me to be a lawyer. I actually did take...

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Rumpus the Interviewer

Rumpus the Interviewer

From The Rumpus: The Rumpus: I’ve read that, when you got to the Review, you wanted the poetry section to be for non-expert poetry readers. But the interviews are with writers who mean something to other American writers. Is there a disparity there? Lorin Stein: We don’t choose our interview subjects...

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“Darwin chose agnostic for tactical reasons”

“Darwin chose agnostic for tactical reasons”

He said the common man was not ready for atheism. There’s a lovely story the comedian Julia Sweeney tells about her own journey from devout Catholicism to atheism. After she’d finally decided she was an atheist, something appeared about it in the newspaper. Her mother phoned her in hysterics...

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When Dittmer Met Séra

When Dittmer Met Séra

Ing Phouséra, or Séra, as he is known in artistic circles, is a French-Cambodian comics artist who evacuated Phnom Penh with his French mother in 1975. While the subject of his works range far and into other media, he came to my attention for his graphic novels about the...

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“My autonym is Bond, Jim Bond” by Evan Johnston

“My autonym is Bond, Jim Bond” by Evan Johnston

People have internalized facts about James Bond to begin with in a way that they don't about say, Nancy Drew, Batman or Odysseus. There are people who can tell you his preferred shoe or tuxedo, and the culture at large knows his preferred method for preparing a martini. And...

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“Democratic theory can be thought of as an attempt to answer the challenge of Thomas Hobbes”

“Democratic theory can be thought of as an attempt to answer the challenge of Thomas Hobbes”

Josiah Ober Josiah Ober is a classicist and political theorist at Stanford University, and his work on ancient Greek democracy is widely read in both disciplines. The Art of Theory recently spoke with him about Athens, democracy, and fly-fishing. The Art of Theory What prompted your interest in classics?...

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“And no wireless”

“And no wireless”

Julie Otsuka From The Days of Yore: Days of Yore: Where did you live during your early New York years? Julie Otsuka: I have always lived in this neighborhood . I’ve always had my own place, I don’t think I could do roommates. I moved to New York...

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Planted

Planted

Plant ethics shares with veganism a strong commitment to justice, which is to say, to the reduction of violence humans perpetrate against other living beings. It is by no means a threat to or an invalidation of veganism. Rather, plant ethics is an open invitation to fine-tune our dietary...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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