The Weekend Wrap

This weekend on the Dish, Andrew continued to think through Buzzfeed’s “sponsored content” model for online ads, pointed to an incisive comment on the issue from Kevin Drum, briefly riffed on the Atlantic’s new guidelines for native ads, offered a theological critique of Zero Dark Thirty, and noted what’s different this time about who will be selecting the next Pope (and if you’d like to be Pope, here’s some helpful tips). We also provided some helpful background to this year’s Oscars here, here, and here.

There was a lot of sex and drugs on the Dish this weekend, too. Connor Habib wondered what drives gay porn starts to take their own lives, Jon Millward combed the archives of the Internet Adult Film Database, Melissa Gira Grant revealed America’s pioneer prostitutes, and Margaret Hartmann looked at a rash of sexting cases among FBI employees. Ned Beauman surveyed the online recreational drug marketplace, Robert Morrison credited Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater for making drug culture highbrow, and Miles Klee considered accidental and involuntary highs.

We also offered our usual eclectic mix of religious, books, and cultural coverage as well. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Will McDavid mused on the relationship between love and justice in the work of Andre Dubus, Bill Vallicella unpacked Simone Weil’s understanding of God, Richard Holloway grappled with political theorist John Gray’s vision of life without redemption, and Irene Klotz reported on what the Higgs boson particle might teach us about the lifespan of the universe. Kevin Hartnett asked which religions are the most chaste, Giles Fraser contemplated the right way to pray, and Adam Kirsch reviewed the place of anti-Judaism in western thought and culture.

In literary coverage, Jeannette Winterson praised Virginia Woolfe’s Orlando, Michael W. Clune explored the artist’s impulse to overcome time’s defeat of novelty, Alexander Nazaryan pushed back against literary sprawl, and Juliet Escoria realized she’d never be a novelist. Andrew Gallix pondered the purpose of intentionally difficult books, Michael Bourne uncovered the core of Truman Capote, Adam Kirsch tackled contemporary essayists, and Sean Wilentz deconstructed Oliver Stone’s revisionist take on American history. Read Saturday’s poem here and Sunday’s here.

The Economist investigated social networking data getting factored into credit scores here. Your weekend dose of really gay here and the latest viral dance meme here. MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

– M.S.