The Weekend Wrap

Nov 19 2012 @ 9:00am

This weekend on the Dish, we only took a glancing look at politics: Paul Waldman defined the GOP's scandal envy, Andrew Polsky explained why Obama was the third consecutive president to win a second term, Douthat envisioned the future of the Republican platform, Tony Dokoupil explored the connection between marijuana legalization and regulation, and Israel's Interior Minister expressed an astonishing goal for what will happen in Gaza.

In literary and cultural coverage, we remembered the poet Jack Gilbert with an introduction to his life and work, and a brilliant poem of his, here and another poem of his here. Colin Burrow dissected the best and worst of fictional names, Sam Kashner recounted the sad tale of Truman Capote's last attempted novel, Chloe Schama pondered the autobiographical elements of Alice Munro's new short stories, Michael Thomsen asked why great writers struggle with depicting sex in their fiction, Jim O'Grady told his story in 91 words or less, Carl Zimmer appreciated all those minute descriptions of whales in Moby-Dick, Aaron Brady remembered John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, Torie Bosch profiled Patrick Tresset and his robot artists, and Rita Tyrne Bull divulged the perils of learning American English. 

In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, the Public Religion Research Institute broke down the religious beliefs of  Romney's and Obama's supporters, Stephen T. Asma defended favoritism, Malcolm Harris considered today's tamer versions of anarchism, Oliver Burkeman extolled the power of negative thinking, Ahmed Rashid appreciated Leonard Cohen's spiritual side, Christian Wiman meditated on hope, and Wesley Hill thought about Rowan Williams' Lent-infused theology.

We also covered the latest in what we eat and drink. Taffy Brodesser-Akner detailed the Jewish love-affair with margarine, E.J. Schultz took stock of Americans' on-the-go eating habits, scientists worked hard at building a better beer head, and Tim Heffernan found out why Brits drink harder than Americans.

In assorted coverage, it proved to be getting worse in Uganda, Lizzie Plaugic railed against the term "friend zone," Scott Adams asked when terrorists will get drones, Daniel Burke described how the military defends its adultery ban, and Mike Deri Smith contrasted to the the giants of the journalistic past and their work in warzones. MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

- M.S.