Wednesday, November 16

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We have a rich literature. But sometimes it’s a literature too ready to be neutralized, to be incorporated into the ambient noise. This is why we need the writer in opposition, the novelist who writes against power, who writes against the corporation or the state or the whole apparatus of assimilation. We’re all one beat away from becoming elevator music.
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I’ve read stories from people who say they always knew they were attracted to the same sex, or that they figured it out at a young age. I’m not one of them.
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Chantix is a pill that decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes. It also causes hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and waking nightmares:

A week into my Chantix usage, I started to feel as if the city landscape had imperceptibly shifted around me. Mundane details began to strike me as having deep, hidden significance. The neon arch above McDonald’s: The lights blinked on and off in some sort of pattern, and I needed to crack the code.

Tuesday, November 15

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How American higher education became a summer camp doubling as a debt factory.

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On the death of a high school basketball star in New York City.

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How the contradiction-rich “country the size of Connecticut” that birthed Al-Jazeera has played an integral and surprising role in the revolutions of the Arab Spring.

Monday, November 14

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A profile of a breakout male porn star:

The porn machine churns out performers to satisfy every fantasy, be it MILF, dwarf, fat, granny, or gang bang. But if you’re interested in watching a young, heterosexual, nonrepulsive man engage in sex, James Deen is basically it.

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On the post-shooting life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Sunday, November 13

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The absurd scale of McDonald’s’ economics suggests a company more like a commodity trader than a chain of restaurants.

At this volume, and with the impermanence of the sandwich, it only makes sense for McDonald’s to treat the sandwich as a sort of arbitrage strategy: at both ends of the product pipeline, you have a good being traded at such large volume that we might as well forget that one end of the pipeline is hogs and corn and the other end is a sandwich. McDonald’s likely doesn’t think in these terms, and neither should you.