Two recent events—the spectacle of Garry Trudeau, the Doonesbury creator, attacking a group of murdered cartoonists for offending his sensibilities, and the protest organized by a group of bien-pensant writers against the PEN American Center for planning to honor those cartoonists tonight in New York—has brought the Charlie Hebdo controversy back to public consciousness. So has the failed attack Sunday in Texas on a group of anti-Islam militants staging a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest, though, unlike Charlie Hebdo, the organization that sponsored the Texas event is run by an actual anti-Muslim extremist who, I'm proud to say, is a personal nemesis of mine.
Much has already been written about both the Trudeau and PEN controversies. I particularly recommend David Frum on Trudeau, and Katha Pollitt and Matt Welch on PEN, as well as this fine op-ed by Andrew Solomon and Suzanne Nossel, the president and executive director, respectively, of the PEN American Center. These represent only a handful of the many dozens of writers who have risen in defense of free speech, and of Charlie Hebdo’s right to lampoon religion.
What is the Islamic State?
Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.
Work is normally discussed in financial terms: Does a job provide enough money to make ends meet? To plan for a secure retirement? What happens to those who face prolonged periods without a paycheck?
But work—and unemployment—is also an emotional experience, shaping how people think of themselves and how they relate to those closest to them. This terrain is the focus of sociologist Allison Pugh's new book, The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity.
I recently spoke with Pugh about what this means for American workers, society, and public policy. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.
Rebecca J. Rosen: A central premise of your research is that work is about more than money—it's also about identity and relationships, particularly within a family. How does work shape us beyond our bank accounts?
The man from Hope is back. Nope, not that one—the one whose wife is leading the Democratic field. The one who succeeded him as governor of Arkansas: Republican Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee is announcing Tuesday that he's a candidate for president with a kickoff in the hometown he shares with Bill Clinton. After a strong run in 2008 and a decision to take the 2012 cycle off, Huckabee is testing whether he still has the same pull he once did.
He's the third Republican candidate to announce this week alone, and the fourth in 10 days. On Monday, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and tech executive Carly Fiorina both announced campaigns, and last week Senator Bernie Sanders announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination.
The Met Gala—full name: the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala—is sometimes called “the fashion Oscars” or the “Oscars of the East Coast.” But it is, in its spirit, less like an awards show than an elaborate costume party—“Final Fantasy cosplay,” @papapishi put it, “for rich people.” Each Gala, which doubles as a fundraiser for the museum—the money the event raises traditionally provides the entire annual budget of the museum’s Costume Institute—has a theme associated with the Met exhibit that opens the same night. (In 2008, it was "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy"; in 2013, it was "Punk: Chaos to Couture.") That theme doubles as a kind of sartorial framework for the 700 or so celebrities and other Important and/or Rich People who attend it: They’re meant to pay tribute to the theme through their clothing. You could equate the whole thing, perhaps, to the challenges on Project Runway, or to the secret ingredients on Iron Chef.
Last year, as part vanity project, part science experiment, I decided to adopt a new skin-care routine, something that an aging celebrity might use on a daily basis. My goal was to determine whether, in fact, a high-tech routine can make a difference. Are beauty products worth it?
A dermatologist friend introduced me to Marie, who ran a “skin science” clinic next to his office in Calgary, Canada. This was not a medical office, but a clinic that provided cosmetic services and products aimed at helping people enhance the look and condition of their skin. “I am, really, a skin coach,” Marie told me as she showed me around the office. She had a degree in microbiology, was infectiously good-natured, and had absolutely flawless skin.
Sullivan: Now we’re getting somewhere. And I’m not just referring to all of the potential wars that so many of our Game of Thrones characters are trying to either stave off or set aflame. We’ll get to those in a moment. No, I’m talking about the long-simmering question that should be on every fan’s mind, the one that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to answer before George R. R. Martin would hand over his series so they could bring it to television
On Tuesday, ISIS took to its radio station to boast that the men who attacked the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, on Sunday night were "two soldiers of the caliphate." The claim, which has not yet been verified by any American officials, is the first attack on American soil for which the terror group has taken responsibility, but ISIS vowed it would not be the last:
We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things.
How Credible Is the ISIS Link?
As federal investigators seek to determine if either of the men involved in the shooting had links to terrorists, Garland Mayor Douglas Athas told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday morning that there was "no evidence" of an Islamic State connection.
From the poodle cut to the mohawk, a century of follicle fashion
A short documentary about three Muslim women: a YouTube star, a fashion blogger, and a bikini model