Flies Collecting On A Wound

My friend and former colleague, Conor Friedersdorf, takes me to task for my demonization and dismissal of anti-war protesters a decade ago. He is right to, and I certainly don’t take it personally. I would have been disappointed if he had left me out – because it would not be consonant with Conor’s integrity as … Continue reading Flies Collecting On A Wound

Dissent Of The Day: My “Scorn Of Feminism”

A reader writes: I see you’re jumping into commentary against feminism again. First, let me just note that I snorted in amusement when you wrote: “Or is it simply that WAM believes that women cannot possibly handle the rough-and-tumble of uninhibited online speech?” You must admit that that is a funny thing for you to … Continue reading Dissent Of The Day: My “Scorn Of Feminism”

Reading Your Way Through Life: Even More Reader Reax

by Matthew Sitman Readers continue to respond to our thread on the books, poems, and stories that have meant the most to them. One reader sent in the above video of Mary Oliver reading her poem “Wild Geese.” Another wryly appreciates this poem: This makes me chuckle even when I’m in that emotional black hole … Continue reading Reading Your Way Through Life: Even More Reader Reax

Where No One Can Hear You Sneeze

Space is a bad place to be sick: As far as space dangers go, illness doesn’t get much attention, which is kinda strange given that one of the most distinct effects of microgravity on the human body are tanking immune systems. A 2012 piece in Time reports, “the immune system can go on the fritz in space: wounds heal … Continue reading Where No One Can Hear You Sneeze

How Far Will Reality Shows Go?

Focusing on the Discovery Channel’s new series Naked and Afraid – which chronicles the experience of “one man and one woman [who] are stranded nude in hostile wilderness without food or water for 21 days” – Joan Marcus examines how she is both drawn in and repulsed by the genre: Over the years I’ve watched everything from the 2004 … Continue reading How Far Will Reality Shows Go?

The Caged Bird Sings, Ctd

A reader writes: The video and story of Mohamed Assaf reminded of something I’ve been meaning to send you. It’s a music video by activist Israeli-Palestinian hip-hop group DAM, for a song called”If I Could Go Back in Time.” DAM is Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri, who are from the wrong side of the wall in Lod, … Continue reading The Caged Bird Sings, Ctd

The Weekly Wrap

Friday on the Dish, Andrew plumbed his motivations for supporting the Iraq War, admired Obama on Israel while remaining skeptical that he could make a difference, and prayed for David Kuo and his family. Turning his eye abroad, he wondered if Boris Johnson could reshape British politics, expected big green things from Francis, and endorsed outing a bishop whose hypocrisy couldn’t be ignored. … Continue reading The Weekly Wrap

The Weekly Wrap


by Gwynn Guilford

Today on the Dish, Chait guessed at Romney's veep pick, Barro explained Romney's rock-and-a-hard-place positioning on social welfare and private equity, and Matthew Continetti lamented Romney's inability to define his candidacy. After Team Obama worked the tax-avoidance angle effectively in ads yesterday, both campaigns got dirty again today. Larison emphasized that Romney's still under neocon sway, Weigel saw the upside of politi-bickering and Romney was – wait for it – disingenuous on his ad campaign. 

A reader called for more constructive optimism on coal usage, a timeline traced our path to collective forgetting and Barney discussed his favorite GOP colleague. And while Marc Lynch marveled at Islam's generational divide, the US government screwed sick Afghans.

In Olympic coverage, Travis Waldron hailed the amazing performance of US women in the London Games, Persian history contributed to Iran's Olympic wrestling and weightlifting conquest, and a former Olympican explained track and field's great equalizer. A reader reminisced about Abdul Baser Wasiqi's moving run, and while Ian Johnson explored the Olympics "arms race," Liel Leibovitz examined the funding shortage behind Israel's Olympics flameout. The Dish met Zoich, the blue, furry, crowned amphibian of the people – at least until it became a marketing trojan horse – a Google Olympics tribute doodle elicited calls of racism and Big Tobacco got crafty about Olympics marketing.

Austin Frakt thought hospitals wouldn't reform, robots grew creepier and Sady Doyle hoped for an end to the MPDG. Men talked nipples while dolphins gripped genitally. Birthday FOTD here (it's Andrew's!), sarcasm didn't translate well and Landon Palmer rued Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, readers got worked up about the use of "literally," Robin Hanson wanted to bring fun back and Hathos alert here. And VFYW here, MHB here and that friend who takes games waaay too seriously here.

(Photo: Renaud Lavillenie of France competes during the Men's Pole Vault Final on August 10. By Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The rest of the week after the jump: