Opinion

What I’m Celebrating Instead of America’s Birthday This Fourth of July

Introducing Goldberg Wonderland Day, the holiday for those who want more than just one-dimensional nationalism.

[new_image position="standard" id="null"]Illustration by Jean Wei[/new_image]

On the Fourth of July, most Americans (and Danes for some reason) will break out Old Glory, stock up on hot dogs and other mystery meat products, and head out to fireworks-watching picnics (or in my Brooklyn neighborhood, rooftop parties) to celebrate. But while the bulk of the country is out listening to patriotic music and reveling in wholesome nationalism, I’ll be sitting about 2,000 miles away, at a decidedly un-American bar in Reykjavik, Iceland, with nary a USA!USA!USA!-chanting expatriate within earshot. And that’s exactly the way I like it, because I am incredibly dubious of this nationalistic holiday.

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In Defense of the Three-Day Work Week

Has “the job” as we now know it become obsolete?

Unemployment metrics have become the best proof that our economic recovery is incomplete. Free market advocates are using high unemployment figures to show that Keynesian-style government spending doesn’t really move the needle. Leftists use the same figures to argue that corporate capitalism has reached its endpoint: Investors make money in the stock market while real people earn less income, if they can find jobs at all. But what if joblessness were less of a bug than a feature of the new digital economy?

Don’t get me wrong. I feel the pain of those whose livelihoods have been replaced by computers and robots. In fact, we may be reaching a stage of technological efficiency once imagined only by science fiction writers and early cyberneticists: an era when robots can till the fields, build our houses, and even revive the sick. It’s an era that was supposed to be accompanied by more leisure time. If robots are doing all the work, shouldn’t we get to lie back and enjoy some iced tea?

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Features

Can a One Minute Video Change How We See For-Profit Prisons?

Get educated on how corporate-controlled prisons are changing our criminal justice system.

Image via imgur

Imagine a world where human beings are re-labeled as “inventory” and corporations make huge profits from crime, Draconian sentences, and sub-standard living conditions.

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Making Sense of the “No Regrets” Obsession

In its hostility with all forms of remorse, doth our culture protest too much?

The other day someone asked about the scar above one of my incisors, which appears when I smile. I did crew for a minute in high school, just long enough for my boat to drift into another boat, or vice versa—I never found out. There was shouting, and a huge oar ripping toward me. It slammed into my face and I started slipping into the water. Someone grabbed me, and then I was in a motorboat, and then bleeding all over someone’s mom’s backseat on the way to the hospital. Broken nose and gum surgery, mainly. I’m fine now.

After I relayed this story, the guy said, “Bet you regret the day you signed up for crew.” It was a throwaway remark, but I thought about it anyway. Did I regret it? Do I regret anything? I grew up, got married, had kids. Once, I found a hundred-dollar bill under a plum tree. I wouldn’t miss this scar but it seems dangerous to go around regretting things. Yank the wrong thread from your past and maybe the whole tapestry comes apart.

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Men: Get Your Shit Together.

We need to change the definition of masculinity so that it has nothing to do with harming anyone, least of all women.

Attention men: Women don’t owe us shit. Not attention, not praise, not a smile, and certainly not sex. In fact, as women are the life-givers of the species, it would seem that it’s us men who are forever indebted. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we need, as men, to be discussing our complicity in the sexist, patriarchal mode of our present society, and not for the sake of winning an argument on the internet or the favor of potential sex partners. We need to do this because the current definition of what it means to be a man simply is not working.

In high school, I had a football coach who would tell us that what makes a man isn’t his ZIP code or his car or how many women he’d slept with, but how he loves his fellow woman and man and how many people he helps. At 15 and 16 years old, my teammates and I thought that his “building men for others” mantra of love and respect was corny as hell. Yet, having come up in the Age Of Schwarzenegger, being twice that age now, I’m still trying to understand the real meaning of masculinity.

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