Holiday Weekend Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 9 2012 @ 9:00am


Over Columbus Day weekend on the Dish, Andrew continued to track the fallout from Obama's debate debacle. He asked if Obama threw away the election, dismissed Axelrod's lame excuses for his candidate, wondered if the President wants out, pointed to Obama's uphill climb in the remaining debates, riffed on a maddening email from the Obama campaign, analyzed the magnitude of Romney's bounce, and updated us on the latest iteration of the Etch-a-Sketch candidate. He also explored Romney's pivot to a foreign policy offensive, considered Biden's veep debate prospects, deemed the latest New Yorker cover an instant classic, highlighted the latest in the ad wars, and reminded us how ugly and ignorant the fear-mongering religious right remains. Andrew brought historical perspective to current events, too – he covered a debate over the worst president of all time, noted the latest in how campaigns understand voting behavior, and spotted Jonathan Haidt's arguments about the culture war's shifting battles. 

It wasn't all politics at the Dish, though. In literary coverage, Maria Konnikova lamented the lack of standardized English spelling, Antoine Wilson praised the eponymous narrator of Ellison's Invisible Man, Maria Popova featured T.S. Eliot's thoughts on the mystical quality of creativity, Gina Barreca located literature's odd place in the history of shoplifting, William Sieghart conducted a "poetry pharmacy," and Sadie Stein responded to a Paris Review correspondent's plea for a reading list for depressives. David MacLean traced his promiscuous path to becoming a writer, Mark Forsyth examined political language, Matthew Walther celebrated the reissue of two Kingsley Amis novels, William Todd Schultz underscored the difficulties of separating fact from fiction in the life of Truman Capote, Brian Leiter showed the connections between biography and philosophy in the life of Nietzsche, Blythe Roberson found that comedians have an affinity for the work of David Foster Wallace, and Jenny Diski suggested that celebrity gossip has democratized tragedy. Read Saturday's poem here, Sunday's here, and Monday's here.

We also provided our usual eclectic round-up of religious news. Eric Miller delineated the paradoxes of hope in America, Ben Woodward offered a brilliant quote from H.P. Lovecraft, Matthew Bowman pondered the ramifications of Mormonism going global, Stephen Akey connected Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale to the Bard's longing for forgiveness, Margarita Korol reflected on the meaning of suffering, Peter Beinart addressed whether Israel can be both democratic and Jewish, and Nina Paley created an animated history of the Holy Land.

In assorted coverage, Jessica Pierce tackled how we deal with the death of our pets, a helpful Youtube video explained the highdea, Christopher Bonanos revealed how Polaroid democratized the nudie pic, Maria Konnikova mused on Indian Summers, Emily Raboteau visited Ghana's oldest and most notorious slave trade castle, Matthew Schmitz hated the new Mumford and Sons album, and Jeff Marlow supported changing Columbus Day to Exploration Day. James McGirk emphasized the sense of entitlement elite boarding schools generate, Matt Soniak investigated the popular legends surrounding the purchase of Manhattan from Native Americans, Nancy Scola argued that new technology makes the expense of prison phone calls even more absurd, and Daniel Grossman profiled "The Rock Whisperer."

We asked Reihan Salam anything here and Christopher Ryan here. You can submit questions to Bill McKibben here. MHBs here, here, and here. FOTDs here, here, and here. VFYWs here, here, and here, and the latest window contest here.

– M.S.

(Photo: Obama as he imploded, by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.)