I know we link to The New York Times a little too often around here, but today it’s completely justified. I wrote this essay for the Riff section of the Sunday magazine, and somehow they published it and paid me for it and everything. Mad, unrestrained props to Riff editor and Combat! reader Willy for making virtually every step of this process happen. Regulars will recognize the theme from previous posts, which makes it all the sweeter. I’ve been kicking around this idea for months, and finally I feel like I’ve articulated it properly. Today is Friday, and you won’t hear me say it often, but I am proud. Won’t you drift through a miasma of serotonin with me?
Well hello there. As you may have noticed, Combat! blog got a salubrious redesign last night. In addition to its striking good looks, our new layout is more responsive to smartphones, iPads, and pools of still water under a blood moon. Our links got a little harder to see and a little more fun to hover over. We’ve added some useful new features, including the navigation menu in the upper right-hand corner. Don’t forget to click the Twitter icon on the left sidebar, too, so you can follow me. Oh, and no big deal, but I figured out how to integrate Grantland-style footnotes. What’s the occasion for all this self-care? Tantalism after the jump.
Because not enough forces in my life push me toward failure, I recently downloaded the new version of Words With Friends, which includes a Word of the Day feature. Yesterday’s word was ugh. Before we embrace despair, let’s remember that two- and three-letter words play well in a
Scrabble- scrambled letter-type game. If the word of the day were “caprophagy,” it would not quite constitute a feature. Besides, short words lead more interesting lives. When I sedulously compared the Words With Friends definition of ugh to the one in my Oxford American Dictionary, I learned it was not the word I thought it was.
The Bard University economist Pavlina Tcherneva has calculated the distribution of income growth during periods of economic expansion, and her results suggest that recovery from the financial collapse of 2008 has been limited to the top 10%. It appears that more than all of the income growth since 2009 has benefited the richest tenth; during our glorious recovery, inflation-adjusted incomes have fallen for 90% of Americans. And don’t even get me started on 2001-2007, the period of wild growth in the finance and real estate sectors that set the stage for 2008’s crash. We saw six years of growth whose gains went to the richest Americans, followed by a jobless recovery that enriched them further at everyone else’s expense.
According to a website called The LAD Bible, someone parked his Bugatti Veyron on the streets of Seattle, where someone else—presumably a rival Veyron owner—spray-painted a penis on the hood. The LAD Bible says that’s bad. Its 200-word article does not say who owns the car, the date this may have happened, whether the police are involved or how LAD Bible came to know about it, but it does describe the act of vandalizing a sports car as “unthinkable.” Today is Friday, and you don’t need a government to run your propaganda state. Won’t you relentlessly enforce the values of the ruling class with me?