" The venerable Privy Council sits behind the usual barricades of modern life on prime London real estate at No. 9 Downing Street. The court’s power has faded from its colonial heights, when one of its decisions banned suttee, the Hindu practice of burning the widow with her husband’s body atop his funeral pyre. Now it sits as the court of last resort only to the splinters of an empire undone: British Gibraltar and a lingering handful of island territories in far-off seas.
On a day in the hot London summer of 2006, the smallest of all those colonial shavings, Pitcairn Island, took center stage for the first and surely the last time with a child-rape case that seemed to hover somewhere between Paradise Lostand Lord of the Flies. But it also carried with it—or the case never would have reached this archaic pinnacle—a subplot of a powerful government stumbling out of centuries of neglect. This was Britain’s attempt to clean up a mess it had allowed, through inattention, to spin out of control.”
" The digital economy has taught us a lot about one extreme of pricing: zero. The price-point of zero is a place where weird things happen. We now know what it is to have our attention productized in three-way attention markets. We understand what it means to devalue to a zero price, things which required nonzero effort to produce. Perhaps most importantly, we know what it is like to constantly be inundated by advertising, the sine qua non of zero-point economics. The zero-point economy has of course always existed, but it has only recently gained a great deal of economic mass."
" In sharp contrast to the Times and others was an old India hand —Mark Tully, who worked for BBC. He was your typical Englishman and was mocked for having gone native. And yet, his stories and reporting had verve and depth, that only comes from knowing the beat. He found tales nobody else did — and if you can find his book No Full Stops in India and read it, then you will know what I mean. He knows modern Indian history better than anyone. William Dalrymple (of The Independent) was another fun foreign correspondent to read and he too had gone native. It was quite a delight to catch up with their work."
" Sanders told me the story of his remarkable rise to power earlier this year, but his tone was more wistful than triumphant. For so long, his life had been an uplifting tale of slow but seemingly inexorable progress—not just for himself, but for African Americans throughout the South. In recent years, however, the trajectory of Sanders’s story has been abruptly—and just as inexorably—reversed. In 2010, Republicans took over the Alabama Senate and Sanders lost his chairmanship; in the four years since, he’s watched as the new GOP majority has systematically dismantled much of his life’s work."
How people can support this dinosaur of a party escapes me.
"The crisis began a week ago in Ferguson, a remote Missouri village that has been a hotbed of sectarian tension. State security forces shot and killed an unarmed man, which regional analysts say has angered the local population by surfacing deep-seated sectarian grievances. Regime security forces cracked down brutally on largely peaceful protests, worsening the crisis."
Excerpt: “He shot a guy here, he says. Allen E. Smith and I are sitting in his black Chevy Avalanche with tinted windows, staring out at a small deli in northwest Fort Lauderdale. It was 1976, Smith tells me.”
Excerpt: “There’s this great Andy Warhol quote you’ve probably seen before: “I think everybody should like everybody.” You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica.”
Excerpt: “The United States of America is not for black people. We know this, and then we put it out of our minds, and then something happens to remind us. Saturday, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo.”