Subject: Marriages Under the Microscope
Re: "Keeping Tabs: Return to Tabloidland"
Date: Thu Aug 9 2:53 p.m. PT
Has anyone ever done a study of how many marriages that gossip columnists claim are on the rocks break up within a year compared to how many celebrity marriages generally break up within a year? We've all heard of tabloid rumors that later panned out, but no one talks about the ones that didn't. Is it luck (pick a celebrity marriage, and it's likely to be in trouble) or skill? Or by hounding a couple in the tabloids, can you induce a breakup?
Subject: What Became of the Woodstock Generation
Re: "Chatterbox: Radical Chic Resurgent"
Date: Thu Aug 23 12:53 p.m. PT
The hopeful days of the ['60s] Revolution, very, very quickly descended into selfish hedonism and totally moral relativity. … Now we have miserable kids who were raised by permanent adolescents who were more concerned about being their children's "friends" rather than authority figures. The kids know nothing about doing right by their fellow man—intimacy with other people, feeling connected to the magical world around them—because they've been told by their parents and their culture that they are the center of the universe. What a promising time that brief little time of the late '60s was. How sad it descended into what it did.
Re: "Foreigners: Saving Russia's Armpit"
From: Thomas D.
Date: Mon Aug 20 8:15 p.m. PT
Anne Applebaum writes:
Vorkuta, like the Soviet Union, ought never to have been built in the first place. It required slave labor to construct and an enormous propaganda machine to maintain. From a purely economic and practical point of view, it ought to be dismantled. But it will take more than 10 years—more than a generation—to accustom its inhabitants to something else.
Substitute the words "Social Security" for "Vorkuta", and you'll have a succinct argument as to why Social Security as we know it ought to be ended, but probably never will.
Subject: Room for Improvement?
Re: "Today's Papers: Pentagon Budget Still Flush"
Date: Wed Aug 22 8:09 a.m. PT
I believe Slate should establish a "Fray for All," or perhaps two. These Frays would not be tied to any article in Slate. … They would be available for free expression of any sentiment and would contain a warning that they might contain language or opinions that some readers might find offensive. One "Fray for All" might be issue-oriented, another might be for the chat room greeting and small talk crowd. The current Frays would stay attached to the articles and posts would have to be at least tangentially related to the content of the article.
[Find this post here. It'spart of a long and fascinating thread about the Fray.]
It is clear which is the key post of the week: Paul Bennett's stunningly smart "let's send our rebate checks in to the Fray management." What a pleasing sentence, what a persuasive argument.
Stars went to Fray stalwart Wakefield—no longer will he be able to describe himself as the token checkmark man—and to Claude Scales (we're hoping for another haiku; his earlier work is a personal favorite). They should both read Yukon's thoughts on his new star here.
We found a magnificently mysterious post from Tom R. this week, which read in full: "The Brits always preferred their casualties to wear Canadian uniforms, and she wasn't the one who was driving the tractor during haying in the fog." We defy anyone to work out what he was talking about without checking out the thread—which started with LT's post above (as if that will help).
The "KFDR radio" feature keeps getting better—a live, realtime discussion in the "Kausfiles" Fray, which this week clocked up more than 160 entries. Try it any Sunday evening.
The ghost of a-z (who as of last week was leaving the Fray for good but apparently has changed his or her mind) came up with a nice contest here. We're worried it will be lost in the "Keeping Tabs" Fray, so do go and look at it.
Another great moment from A.G. Android, now known as InstaPundit: "I don't see how 'Today's Papers' missed this [New York Times headline]: 'Turkey Sex Boycott May End.' Does Peter Singer know about this?"