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New York Shitty

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 10 2012 @ 11:01am

After two full weeks of moving to and living in New York City, I just got back to DC for ten days (doctor’s appointments, etc.). All I can say is: what a relief.

Moving is never easy; moving to New York City even harder. Moving to New York while blogging an election was probably too large a leap for an excitable chap like myself. Visiting NYC has always been a thrill. But living there? After the initial wonderland feel, you get to adjust to a whole new rhythm. Just in some basic respects – like getting online or using your phone – it’s like going back in time a little. Time Warner cable … well, I probably don’t need to tell New Yorkers what it’s like there. We bought the most expensive cable package to expedite my work at home – and it just decides to crawl like dial-up every few minutes. My mifi cannot get a signal that’s stable. My iPhone is suddenly iffy – calls are dropped and online access is far slower than in DC. And if you keep your wifi open, it gets grabbed by squeegee hotspots that are hard to get rid of. Not a good time to lose Google maps either.

Then the following: we went to a store and found a couch; they delivered the wrong one. We went to Best Buy to get a new TV; they delivered the wrong one. When they did deliver the right one, the cable-box was dead. We could not get any DVR either. I had to go into the Beast offices to live-blog Obama’s implosion. Scalding hot water comes out of the cold faucet – randomly. And the space we live in is one fifth the size of our place in DC. Just to walk a few blocks requires barging your way through a melee of noise and rudeness and madness. And a glance at your bank account shows a giant sucking sound as the city effectively robs you of all your pennies at every juncture. When you’re there for a few days or a week, it can be bracing. But living with this as a daily fact of life? How does anyone manage it?

I’m told I should give it a few months.  Since our lease is for twelve, I don’t have much choice. Adjustment to NYC is a process. A really long, exasperating, draining process. Do you just have to harden yourself to live as if this is normal? Or will it get better? Please tell me it gets better.

Update: You can read through the long thread that resulted from this post here.

The Best Of The Dish Today

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 4 2014 @ 9:15pm

My husband has forbidden me from writing any more posts titled New York Shitty. He’s as tired of all that whining as many of you are. But the NYT has come to my rescue. The Times recently asked readers for a reverse bucket list of all the things they’ve experienced in the Big Apple that they never want to experience again. It turns out I’m not alone:

“Disinfecting a phone that’s fallen into a sewer grate puddle,” Francesca Fiore wrote on Twitter. A reader named Ronnie K suggested in a comment on our City Room blog, “Finding a few black specks on your pillow case and a couple of bites on your arms.” Jennifer Fragale offered on Twitter: “Having to move furniture down from a 4th Fl walk up, around the block, and up a 5th Fl walk up.”

Navigating the streets of the city, by whatever mode of transportation, was a particularly rich source of discomfort.

Do you drive? Try “Being stuck in August rush hour traffic behind a garbage truck leaking hot garbage juice, a.k.a. ‘Satan’s Sangria,’ ” Jerome Goubeaux suggested in the comments. You could take a cab instead, or try to. Howard Freeman’s lament almost demands the mournful strum of an acoustic guitar: “Hailing a cab in the rain at 4:30pm, with a broken $5 umbrella.”

Satan’s Sangria. Genius.

Today, there were more questions than answers. Did Israel share what it found by bugging John Kerry’s phone with Russia? (And why on earth was Kerry talking on a non-encrypted phone anyway?) Is a Third Intifada brewing on the West Bank? How much should we spend on the health and longevity of our pets? Did Edward Snowden tip off al Qaeda about US encryption? Was Montaigne an atheist? 

You want an answer? Try the Mental Health Break. That‘s the answer.

The most popular post of the day was “Why Sam Harris Won’t Criticize Israel“. On a program note, Sam and I are going to have a conversation about this subject this week. We’ll post an audio and a transcript soon thereafter. So stay tuned. The second most popular post was “We Tortured. It Was Wrong. Never Mind.”

Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 23 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. One quickly jumped aboard:

I just thought you should know that it was precisely because of John Oliver’s scathing reader-owlindictment of the native advertising model, and in particular the insane comments by NYT’s Meredith Levien, that by 8:35 pm last night, I cancelled my Times subscription and went looking for an NA-free source of content. Sadly, most search engine results are links to articles about how media outlets are starting NA groups or campaigns. But it took me all of 30 seconds to find your site, which I subscribed to immediately. Thank you for your principled services and your voice in the public discourse, both on TV and in the ether.

If you long-time subscribers want to help spread the word, gift subscriptions are available here. From a Dishhead last week:

I am sitting at the airport in Orlando with my daughter, who is entering 11th grade, on the way to visit my mother in Alexandria, Va.  I am reading the Dish on my phone and she is reading your coverage of Gaza over my shoulder.  I love her, but enough is enough. I just bought her her own subscription.

See you in the morning.

(Photo of Dish subscriber’s Gmail pic used with permission)

Eating Man’s Best Friend

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 29 2014 @ 11:43am

John D. Sutter doesn’t understand why we don’t eat dogs:

The United States euthanizes 1.2 million dogs per year, according to the ASPCA. Would 6741960599_a1e9c58d64_zeating them be so different? It actually could be seen as helpful.

“[U]nlike all farmed meat, which requires the creation and maintenance of animals, dogs are practically begging to be eaten,” Jonathan Safran Foer, a vegetarian and novelist, writes in the book “Eating Animals.” Euthanizing pets, he says, “amounts to millions of pounds of meat now being thrown away every year. The simple disposal of these euthanized dogs is an enormous ecological and economic problem. It would be demented to yank pets from homes. But eating those strays, those runaways, those not-quite-cute-enough-to-take and not-quite-well-behaved-enough-to-keep dogs would be killing a flock of birds with one stone and eating it, too.”

 objects to this line of reasoning:

[T]he reason we shouldn’t eat dogs is related to the same reason it is more heinous and hateful to burn a synagogue than a community center, or that it is more of a violation to burn down a man’s home than the two rental properties he owns of an equivalent dollar value. The spaces, objects, and even animals we sanctify with our respect, friendship, and time really do enter into different moral categories. It is not inherently evil to smash a picture, but it is a gesture of hatred to tear a beloved family photo.

Societies like Korea, where dogs have been eaten and kept as pets, even come up with different categories of dogs to separate the ones that are sanctified by human friendship, and those that are not and therefore can be eaten. As Americans, with our own history and sense of ethics, we would probably never develop this distinction, and that’s okay. We’re fine with diversity when it comes to other cultural manifestations, like manners, another dimension of human behavior with moral implications. It is a human wrong to be inhospitable, but hospitality may have completely different expressions and taboos from one culture to the next. So, too, with our taboos on eating and animals.

The Dish has covered this subject repeatedly over the years. Update from a reader:

Before moving to eating dogs, why can’t we at least start with eating the pigeons? City pigeons are extremely well fed, many are gourmet fed and plump as hell. They should taste great. And it’s gotta taste like chicken, right?

Maybe from a pigeon farm. But you really want to taste a pigeon that feeds on New York Shitty trash?

(Photo by Nina Matthews)

The Best Of The Dish Today

Andrew Sullivan —  May 28 2014 @ 9:15pm

photo (3)

If you hoped the HBO Chad Griffin documentary might not be as egregiously wrong and slanted as Jo Becker’s breathless hagiography, it looks like you’ll be disappointed. See the above screen shot of the final moments, just emailed to me. As a factual matter, so far as I know, no lawsuits have been filed in those states based on the Perry decision, while 24 have been filed based on the Windsor/DOMA decision. So both Becker and HBO made a bet on the wrong case – but keep pretending they didn’t. HBO won’t send me a screener – although they did get their PR flak to call me up to see if I was going to be mean about it. I’ll wait and see the thing before passing judgment, but that screenshot made my stomach lurch. And I had to splutter when I saw this correction from the Huffington Post in a review of the trailer:

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that the Supreme Court ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The Supreme Court itself ruled that the private parties that appealed the case to the justices did not have standing to do so after the state of California had bowed out.

Somehow, I think Chad Griffin will find a way to get the world to forget that.

By the way, the “Do I Sound Gay?” kickstarter project has two more days to go and hasn’t reached its target, if you want to help out. Read about it here in our thread on the topic.

The most popular post of the day was my New York Shitty Update. Readers are going to let me have it soon enough, but I hope it’s somewhat clear I have my tongue in my cheek a bit on this. I’m not denying New York’s stunning cultural, business, media and financial depth. I’m just pointing out the vast gap between the city’s self-image and what most sane people would think of living here. My piece on Europe’s red-blue divide was runner-up again.

Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. And today we posted for the first time in a while a poll to “Ask Andrew Anything” – submit your questions and vote on them here. 20 27 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here for a little as $1.99 month. It’s how we keep this show on the road.

See you in the morning.

Protest in Gaza against power cuts

Some arguments: that Thomas Aquinas was smarter than the New Atheists; that friendship with dogs is all about our shared “spiritedness“; that Rudyard Kipling was more readable than Virginia Woolf; that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is worth a libertarian critique.

Some beauty: a poem called “X”; an animation triumph; the elders of burlesque.

Leon Wieseltier was meretriciously nasty again; and Richard Rodriguez gave a simple definition of Christian faith in his spiritual memoir, “Darling”:

My brother is no less a good man for not believing in God; and I am no better a man because I believe. It is simply that religion gives me a sense – no, not a sense, a reason – why everyone matters.

Three words: Japanese cunnilingual octopodes (NSFW).

The most popular post of the weekend was “New York, I Love You, But …” followed by New York Shitty.

See you in the morning. And if you want to make the new House ads go away, just [tinypass_offer text=”subscribe”] and the clean, simple Dish you’re used to will be yours for ever. [tinypass_offer text=”Subscribe now!”] and help me stop blegging.

(Photo: A Palestinian boy holds a candle during a protest against power cuts on November 3, 2013 in Gaza City. Gaza’s lone power plant shut its generators on Friday due to a fuel shortage, a move that will likely increase already long blackout hours in the impoverished coastal territory. By Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.)

The Weekly Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 22 2013 @ 10:30pm


(New York, New York, 5.19 pm)

Friday on the Dish, Andrew read trouble for the GOP in the sequester tea leaves, probed the cracks in the wall of lies surrounding torture, and respected Will Saletan’s ability to admit when he was wrong. He recapped his passionate debate with Ben Smith of BuzzFeed, clarified the distinction between journalism and ad copy, and rounded up tweets from the audience. Finally, he weighed reader responses to his views on NYC.

In the political realm, Lyle Denniston weighed the risks of the Olson-Boies brief and Joel Kotkin and Harry Siegel worried over delaying entitlement reform. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy suggested reforms to Obamacare, Jane Mayer uncovered the next McCarthy, and we debated the competitiveness of the 2012 Republican field. We found an unlikely ally for climate change policy, Jeremy Paxman blasted the BBC’s handling of the Jimmy Savile investigation, and Jacob Sullum reviewed pot shop protocol in Colorado. Charles Murray questioned the benefits of government-run preschool, Seth Goldman recognized northern qualities in the South’s success, and La Repubblica reported early rumblings about a gay faction at the Vatican.

In assorted coverage, Alex Knapp turned away from thermometers to strengthen the argument for climate change while predators reduced carbon emissions, and Estonia’s roads went electric. Jay Pinho dissected the new Dish “Read Ons”, Videogamer narrated the PS4 launch, and terror cells tweeted. John Maier served up a cold pint of beard, Chinese shoppers browsed vacant lots, and we considered whether Netflix’s House of Cards would fall.

Elsewhere, Eric Hoover reworked college rankings while we penned the perfect personal statement. Christopher Banfrey scraped together the history of the scrapbook, Thomas Hackett found an Oscar nominee patronizing, and Scott Adams warned us about passionate borrowers while Jesse Walker celebrated the diversity of survivalists. We mashed up movie madness in the MHB, got mocked by Irish dancers in the FOTD, and witnessed both serene and terrifying effects of Winter Storm Q in Kansas in the VFYWs.


The rest of the week after the jump:

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew questioned whether a focus on continued growth can truly make us happy, reminded the Breitbart crew that reality always wins, wondered if Republicans will be able to move past neoconservatism, and cheered Zack Kopplin for standing up to Christianists in the South. In lighter fare, he recounted his run-ins with New York Shitty barbers, groaned at the places people miss connections, challenged readers to identify the sponsored Buzzfeed article, and empathized with Lena Dunham over the bizarreness of sex.

In political news, we tempered enthusiasm about the intellectual changes on the Right and started speculating about the 2014 midterm elections. Florida governor Rick Scott bucked the trend on Medicaid expansion while we pondered the Swiss healthcare model. Jon Huntsman earned an Yglesias for his evolution on marriage, Spencer Woodman worried that a minimum wage hike won’t solve problems with wage theft, Goldblog noted Ben Shapiro’s fascism, and George Galloway showed his lack of respect for free speech.

In assorted coverage, Chinese officials engaged in paranoid displays of affection but were not the first ones to censor American films, and Ben Schiller dispatched Twitter to the sites of natural disasters. We peered into the future of Heads-Up Displays and Amazon was unfazed by all types of beachside husbands. Banksy resisted fitting in to the capitalist machine, employees of marijuana dispensaries organized, and rappers promoted justice over criminality.

Elsewhere, Richard Cottrell dug up reasons archives are often ignored, Rachel Yoder witnessed the decline of Amish romance novels, one of W.H. Auden’s former students remembered but still couldn’t understand Milton’s poetry, and we reviewed the motive behind Beyoncé’s biopic. Dr. Mark Taubert contemplated blogging as palliative care, Derek Beres got fed up with perpetual spiritual healing, while Stanley Cavell reached clarity through doubt. We gazed out onto a fog-shrouded California hillside in today’s VFYW, stop-motion shredded through the MHB, and shared in a West Ham haircut in the FOTD.


(Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew cautiously ushered in a new season of sanity on the right, explained the Dish Model to Planet Money and the NYT, and contemplated the rigors of an overly-public life in the context of the British royal family. In our continuing “Sully and Hitch After Dark” series, the conversation turned to fundamentalists and the compulsory nature of religion.

Meanwhile, Matt Duss relayed the latest McCarthyite attacks on Hagel, and Rich Lowry issued a mea culpa while others remained silent, and Dan Friedman revealed that he had accidentally started the “Friends of Hamas” rumor mill to begin with. Frum shot down a claim about the rarity of gun accidents, Jack Shafer called for a smarter debate over infrastructure spending, Dolan gave a deposition, and George Packer pinned the blame for Walmart’s recent struggles on the payroll tax. We dug into the GOP’s attempts to saddle Obama with the sequester, projected the winners and losers when Americans start to feel its effects, weighed the influence of region on economic development, and put Rubio’s appeal to Hispanics in context. Looking abroad, we wondered if the Saudis would be next to go nuclear, dove into the details on China’s recent cyberattacks, and witnessed how sectarian violence in Pakistan led to some heartbreaking protests.

In assorted coverage, Alain de Botton explored the overlap between revolting and erotic, Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellarman decided to brazenly split their infinitives, readers debated the eating of horse meat, and we walked the line between ethics and insult on journalist gifts. Linda Besner delivered a verdict on the chicken-egg debate, Carl Zimmer found hope for sufferers of brain disease, and Ackerman cast light on the next generation of camouflage. Will Hermes interviewed a “Prince” of the indie music scene, Tom Jokinen revealed the top pick in the corpse draft, Daniel Burke profiled the antichrist throughout history, SNL previewed Djesus Uncrossed, and the Daily Mail claimed that beards lengthen lifespans.

In entertainment coverage, Movie theaters rolled out upscale offerings to compete with the couch, Ken Auletta heralded the demise of TV antennas, pay-per-view knocked boxing out of the mainstream, and a reader marveled at her 4 year-old daughter’s ability to understand COPS. Pizza stole the scene in the MHB, Arkansas froze over in our VFYW, and a panda panted for our FOTD.

Obama Urges Congress To Act To Avoid Impending Automatic Budget Cuts

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew urged conservatives to be responsible stewards for a society disrupted by the march of capitalism. While he applauded Jane Mayer for distinguishing between targeted killings and torture, he went after Obama for eroding that distinction through his inaction over war crimes under Bush. Andrew also agreed with Tomasky that the Republicans are setting themselves up for a “meep-meep” moment on the sequester before checking in on the marriage equality debate in Illinois.

In other political coverage, Simpson-Bowles showed signs of a resurgence, McCain’s douchiness held up Hagel, Frum suggested a surgeon general’s report on gun safety, and a reader reported on federal obstruction of environmental guidelines for pot. Travis Waldron poked holes in Marsha Blackburn’s argument on the minimum wage as Friedersdorf detailed the sexist history behind the policy. The Feds shouldered the load on the healthcare exchanges while Yglesias and Frakt pondered costs and benefits and smokers paid extra. On the papal beat, John Allen Jr. struggled to handicap the coming conclave while Buzzfeed listicle’d Benedict’s glam.

In assorted coverage, Harry Enten debunked the myth of the liberal youth, Ponnuru went tote-to-tote with San Francisco on the plastic bag ban, and gerrymandering may not have mattered in the last election. Benjamin Lessing struggled with the paradoxes of punishing prison gangs, Jamaal Glenn felt constrained by mailing addresses, and Bill Cunningham engaged in covert activism against homophobia. StatsBee mapped out the best places for New Yorkers to get their caffeine fix, Michael Dempster partnered up for the health benefits, and Katherine Bouton navigated hearing loss in the workplace. Mark Linsenmayer waxed philosophical about Groundhog Day, movie theaters rolled out upscale offerings to compete with the couch, and Margaret Heidenry speculated about a resurgence of “spec” scripts.

Elsewhere, Nathan Rabin tried to reclaim country from rednecks, Natalie Shapero revealed how turn-of-the century fictional lie detectors foretold a rethinking of criminality, and Montaigne distinguished “blameless” sneezes from other bodily emissions. On the science side of things, Daniel Engber wondered at the preservation techniques behind Body Worlds, and Dr. Bong Wei endorsed the Armageddon defense against meteors. We set a new standard of adorable in the MHB, traveled from China to Indiana before landing in Cairo for the VFYW contest, got a dose of metal and glass in today’s VFYW, and gazed at a creepy doll in the FOTD.

Over President’s Day weekend, Andrew ruminated on women’s role in the Church, pondered Benedict’s radical resignation, gave the reasons why Hagel matters, commented on Gallup’s news that TGBQLXs number 3.5 percent of the population, riffed on Orwell, spotted a Platonic Kaus-file, noticed Ponnuru channeling the Dish, kept asking where Barack Obama has gone on torture, and lamented the death of a mighty beard.

We also provided our usual eclectic mix of religious, cultural, and books coverage. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, La Stampa found another possible clue to the Pope’s abdication, reports indicated Benedict will receive immunity by staying in the Vatican, Cardinal Mahoney lauded his own humility, Gregory Burke thought the Vatican needed its own Roger Ailes, and The Economist broke down the languages used by Catholics around the world. Peter Leithart decided to laugh through Lent while Melissa Steffen detailed what Twitter indicated we’re giving for the liturgical season. Joshua Knobe asked Ara Norenzayan if atheists should come out of the closet, Ian McEwan admitted he’s doubted the God of fiction, and Matthew Linder leveled a Christian critique of the modern cult of romance. Raymond Tallis explored the philosophy of psychedelics, Isaiah Berlin considered Machiavelli and the modern mind, and Alva Noë emphasized nature’s unknown unknowns.

In literary coverage, Avi Steinberg continued the conversation about advice to young writers, Alan Jacobs provided further reflections on editing the greats, and Hillary Kelly wasn’t satisified with book recommendations from Amazon, GoodReads, and Bookish. Alastair Fowler reviewed why Thomas Wyatt mattered for English literary history, Elizabeth Powers turned her attention to Oscar Wilde’s wife, Kate Bolick praised Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sexually empowered poetry, Carolyn Kormann celebrated the erotic poetry of John Donne, and Benjamin Nugent explored recent fiction’s Theory-laden language of love. Michael David Lukas welcomed the return of the polyphonic novel, Susan Orlean shared her favorite aspect of writing, Ed Smith took issue with Orwell on language and sincerity, and Seamus Heaney stayed true to his roots. Read Saturday’s poem here, Sunday’s here, and Monday’s here.

In assorted news and views, Chloe Angyal found that a dwindling number of women keep their maiden names, Rob Horning feared that Internet dating sites trivialize love, John Del Signore examined the geography of sex in New York City, and Rex Teixeira tackled prescriptions to increase America’s fertility rate. Mark Boal consulted John Brennan while writing Zero Dark Thirty, Forrest Wickman laid out the etymology of “motherfucker,” Roger Ebert revealed his Oscar predictions, and Hunter Oatman-Stanford unraveled the mystery of Bill Cosby’s sweaters. A professional soccer player came out of the closet, Adrien Chen appraised the state of online friend-finding, and Andy Cush noted a new project that catalogues our gadget habits. David Banks and Nathan Jurgenson analyzed the rise of “dashcams” in Russia, our defenses against meteors proved almost non-existent, and Scott Shackford rejected the argument for government intervention against violent video games. Scientists missed the 300-pound gorilla, Colors Magazine highlighted a fascinating story and slideshow about hair shaving in India, Steven Leckart reported on cold temperatures impact on weight-loss, and Kevin Lincoln profiled Ken Jennings of “Jeopardy” fame. Jen Rubin doubled-down against Hagel, Chris Dixon met the Big Iron Man, The Economist looked at investors trying to cash in on pot, and Vaughan Bell analyzed a recent study examining the chemicals in synthetic drugs.

Poseur alert here, MHBs here, here, and here, FOTDs here, here, and here, VFYWs here, here, and here, and the latest window contest here.

– D.A. and M.S.

The Daily Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 21 2013 @ 10:30pm

Today on the Dish, Andrew questioned whether a focus on continued growth can truly make us happy, reminded the Breitbart crew that reality always wins, wondered if Republicans will be able to move past neoconservatism, and cheered Zack Kopplin for standing up to Christianists in the South. In lighter fare, he recounted his run-ins with New York Shitty barbers, groaned at the places people miss connections, challenged readers to identify the sponsored Buzzfeed article, and empathized with Lena Dunham over the bizarreness of sex.

In political news, we tempered enthusiasm about the intellectual changes on the Right and started speculating about the 2014 midterm elections. Florida governor Rick Scott bucked the trend on Medicaid expansion while we pondered the Swiss healthcare model. Jon Huntsman earned an Yglesias for his evolution on marriage, Spencer Woodman worried that a minimum wage hike won’t solve problems with wage theft, Goldblog noted Ben Shapiro’s fascism, and George Galloway showed his lack of respect for free speech.

In assorted coverage, Chinese officials engaged in paranoid displays of affection but were not the first ones to censor American films, and Ben Schiller dispatched Twitter to the sites of natural disasters. We peered into the future of Heads-Up Displays and Amazon was unfazed by all types of beachside husbands. Banksy resisted fitting in to the capitalist machine, employees of marijuana dispensaries organized, and rappers promoted justice over criminality.

Elsewhere, Richard Cottrell dug up reasons archives are often ignored, Rachel Yoder witnessed the decline of Amish romance novels, one of W.H. Auden’s former students remembered but still couldn’t understand Milton’s poetry, and we reviewed the motive behind Beyoncé’s biopic. Dr. Mark Taubert contemplated blogging as palliative care, Derek Beres got fed up with perpetual spiritual healing, while Stanley Cavell reached clarity through doubt. We gazed out onto a fog-shrouded California hillside in today’s VFYW, stop-motion shredded through the MHB, and shared in a West Ham haircut in the FOTD.

– D.A.

Thread Archive

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 3 2013 @ 2:38pm
last updated 5/6/2014

Listed in reverse-chronological order with the ostsost recent threads at the top:

Most Recent:

Do I Sound Gay? May 2014
Andrew and readers share their opinions of the sound of gay voices.

The War Over The Core Apr – May 2014
Reader and the blogosphere debate on the pros/cons of the Common Core education standards.

The View From Your Obamacare Apr – May 2014
Readers share their personal experiences with the new law.

The $84,000 Cure Apr 2014
Discussion regarding the Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi and the larger issue of how much pharmaceutical companies charge for their drugs.

Why Aren’t Gay Men On The Pill? Apr 2014
Andrew, readers and journalist Dave Cullen debate the use of–and stigma of using—PrEP (Truvada), a drug which can can help prevent the spread of HIV among gay men.

Hyperactive Prescribing? Apr 2014
Reader discussion regarding the prescribing, harms and benefits of Attention Deficit Disorder medication.

A Nation Defined By White Supremacy? Mar – Apr 2014
Andrew, Chait, TNC and readers debate the legacy of American racism.

The Down’s Spectrum Mar 2014
Personal stories shared by readers regarding children on the Down’s spectrum.

What’s A Bisexual Anyway? Jun 2013 – Mar 2014
Andrew and readers discuss the nature of bisexuality.

The Archive:

A Good Death Jan 2014
A debate that attempts to outline what it means to die well, comprised of many personal stories shared by Dish readers.

Ditch The Rock Jan 2014
Reader share their thoughts and experiences regarding the the pros and cons of engagement rings, as well as alternatives.

Always Tell Kids The Truth? Dec 2013
Readers weigh in on the pros and cons of parents deceiving their children (ie Santa Claus).

The Misery Of Miscarriage Nov – Dec 2013
Readers share their personal stories of dealing the tragedy of having a miscarriage.

The Reality Of Serious Weight Loss Dec 2013
Reader discussion of the various, often surprising consequences of significant weight loss.

The Rape Double Standard Nov 2013
Thread discussing how our culture perceives the rape of men by women.

The Abatement Of Cruelty Nov – Dec 2013
Spurred on by a post from Andrew, an extensive discussion regarding the evils visited upon animals by factory farming.

The View From Your Shutdown Oct 2013
Readers chime in with how the GOP led government shutdown is affected their lives and livelihoods.

Saints On Display Aug – Sep 2013
Readers’ memories of the many places around the world where you can see the relics of dead religious figures.

It’s So Personal May 2009 – Aug 2013
Posts, penned by readers, related to late-term abortion – most of them in the wake of the assassination of the abortion doctor George Tiller.

When Childhood Classics Aren’t Innocent Aug 2013
Readers share examples of popular culture that now seem racist or insensitive in hindsight.

Why Do Chinese Tourists Have Such A Bad Rep? Aug 2013
Discussion of the origins of stereotypes regarding Chinese tourists.

The Last Lesson We Learn From Our Pets Jul -Aug 2013
Extensive reader discussion in regards to how to handle the death of a pet, concluding with Andrew’s personal experience letting go of his beagle Dusty.

The South vs Social Mobility? Jul 2013
Andrew and readers thinking through the relationship between geography, politics, race, and social mobility.

Suicide Leaves Behind Nothing Jul 2013
Our posts discussing why people take their own lives, and what that act means for those left behind.

Why Should Women Shave? Jun – Jul 2013
Our posts investigating the desire or social expectation for women to shave.

Do Mascots Need Modernizing? May – Jun 2013
Posts discussing the implications of sports team mascots that are based on cultural stereotypes, particularly those related to Native Americans.

Being Master Of Your Own Domain Apr – Jun 2013
A thread pertaining to the potential pitfalls of masturbation as well as the ubiquitousness of internet pornography.

“Enhanced Advertorial Techniques” Jan – May 2013
Our posts covering the rise of “sponsored content” at sites like the Atlantic and Buzzfeed. The coverage began in response to a Scientology advertorial featured by the Atlantic in January 2013, then a month later the focus shifted to Buzzfeed and other examples across the web.

An Islamist Beheading In Britain May 2013
Posts covering and responding to the terrorist attack on a British soldier in Woolwich, England.

Should We Kill Cursive? Apr – May 2013
Posts exploring the possible end of the practice and teaching of cursive handwriting.

Sully And Hitch After Dark Feb – Apr 2013
This thread compiles the transcribed outtakes of a late-night discussion between Andrew and Christopher Hitchens on a range of topics from religion to free will to the war in Iraq.

Race And IQ. Again. May 2013
Posts in which Andrew responds to the firing of the Jason Richwine, as well as the overall controversy of social science research into race and IQ.

Yes, Of Course It Was Jihad Apr – May 2013
Thread in which Andrew examines the motives of the Boston Marathon bombers, including extensive debate with other bloggers as well as readers.

The Iraq Invasion: Ten Years Later Mar – Apr 2013
Our posts marking the ten year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

Pay College Athletes? Jul 2011 – Apr 2013
Our ongoing discussion on how (or if) college athletes should be compensated for their play.

Why Take His Name? Mar 2013
Reader discussion about the practice of women (or couples) changing their names when they get married.

Crowdsourcing On Steroids Mar 2013
Posts following the Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie.

How Racism Was Made Mar 2013
Posts exploring the origins of racism, including thoughts from Andrew, the blogosphere, and multiple readers.

The Meaning Of Girls Apr 2012 – Feb 2013
This thread explores the cultural influence and meaning of Lena Dunham’s show Girls.

The Dish On Comments Apr 2007 – Feb 2013
This thread compiles the various discussions of commenting policy the Dish has had over the years.

Dish Independence Jan 2013
Posts following the Dish’s declaration of independence, beginning with Andrew’s original announcement and followed by discussion with readers, coverage of the blogosphere’s response, and further explanations from Andrew.

Dish Independence II Feb – May 2013
Posts following the launch of the new independent Dish, including updates on the progress of our business model, feedback from readers, and continuing coverage of other independent ventures across the media.

Females At The Front Jan 2013
In this ongoing thread stretching back several years, the Dish looks at the role of women in combat.

The Meaning Of Zero Dark Thirty’s Torture Dec 2012 – Jan 2013
Following the debate regarding the inclusion of torture in the plot of the film Zero Dark Thirty, including Andrew’s in-depth concerns, his review of the film, and discussion regarding the accuracy of the film as well as the level of CIA involvement in its making.

Towards Tablets And Paying For Content Oct – Dec 2012
Starting with Andrew’s reaction to the end of Newsweek’s print edition, this thread follows the shifting media landscape towards digital-only and/or tablets, as well as the continuing rise of paywalls, meters, and discussion of whether or not readers will pay for content.

“I Love My Son. But He Terrifies Me.” Dec 2012
Our posts discussing the mental health implications of the Newtown school shooting, including Andrew recalling his experiences growing up around mental illness, as well as many heartfelt responses from readers.

When Heroism Beckons Dec 2012
Begins with discussion of what do to if you ever fall down onto subway tracks and then continues with readers sharing their thoughts and experiences on both committing and benefiting from acts of sudden heroism.

Letters From Millennial Voters Nov/Dec 2012
In one of the most popular threads of the year, millennial Dish readers write in to explain the origins of their political beliefs.

Is Big Football The Next Tobacco? Mar – Dec 2012
Coverage and discussion regarding the dangers of playing professional football.

The Roid Age Nov/Dec 2012
Andrew and readers discuss steroids and the modern male body.

What Is Petraeus’ Legacy / The Medals They Carried Nov 2012
Coverage of the legacy of General David Petraeus following his resignation as well as what became the most popular segment of the discussion: the over-medaling of US servicemembers.

Will The Right’s Fever Break? Nov 2012
Looks at whether or not the results of the 2012 election will finally restore reason to the Republican party.

Religion, Race And Double Standards Oct 2012
Andrew examines of the Mormon church’s racist history and how it relates to Mitt Romney’s shape-shifting character, including a lot of back and forth with readers.

New York Shitty Oct/Nov 2012
Andrew and readers discuss New York City after his very difficult experience moving there.

Romney Unplugged Sep 2012
Coverage of the fallout over the secretly-taped video of Mitt Romney making disparaging remarks about “47% of Americans” at a private fundraiser.

Women Aren’t Victims Of The Hookup Culture Sept 2012
Follows the role of women in hookup culture, which began with an Ask Anything video in which we spoke with Hanna Rosin.

Champion Or Cheater … Or Both? Aug/Sep 2012
Debates the legacy of cyclist Lance Armstrong in light of his decision to stop fighting the charges that he cheated throughout his career.

Your Little Purring Murderer Aug/Sep 2012
Addresses the violent instincts of domesticated cats.

Nanny State Watch – Bloomberg’s Paternalism May – Aug 2012
On New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to ban certain sizes of soda and other beverages due to health concerns. The debate then segues to Bloomberg’s efforts to curtail the use of baby formula by new mothers.

Where’s The Line Between A Religion And A Cult? Jun/Jul 2012
Explores the differences between religions and cults, with a specific focus on the Mormon Church.

Must The National Anthem Be Triumphant? Oct/Nov 2011
Our thread about American national anthems, including recommended renditions from Andrew and readers.

New York Not So Shitty, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 12 2012 @ 1:45pm


Carl Swanson asked me about my move to the city:

[CS:] I loved the guy who wrote in to your blog saying that you have to change your expectations when you live here—its not a customer-service experience like most suburbanized cities are. There’s something nearly theological about that idea—God’s will is the inchoate Manhattan you must just let happen.

[AS:] Manhattan has nothing to do with God. It is, in some ways, a spectacular rejection of Christian values—specifically in its worship of money, fame, and success—but mainly money. I really don’t want to submit to that. But what I am learning to submit to is letting the city teach me how to live in it, rather than trying to wrestle New York City into my rural-suburban mind-set.

The entire "New York Shitty/Not So Shitty" thread is here.

(Photo: Parts of the spire for the Freedom Tower make their way on a barge from Port Newark to lower Manhattan, where they will be unloaded and installed on top of the Freedom Tower starting on December 11, 2012. The barge is carrying nine pieces of steel that will eventually top off One World Trade Center at a symbolic 1,776 feet, becoming the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. By Chris Pedota-Pool/Getty Images)

The Weekly Wrap

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 19 2012 @ 10:30pm


Friday on the Dish, Andrew hailed Romney's up-trending favorability as the legacy of the first debate and reviled GOP cynicism in accusing Obama of creating partisan gridlock. He then shot down voting against Obama because of his cannabis policy and lambasted Buzz Bissinger for likening Romney to Clinton.

In polls, the Nates mulled Gallup's accuracy as Ezra Klein talked with the polling firm's Frank Newport. Silver then rounded up signs of a possible Obama rebound and Blumenthal checked in on the Senate races. 

More generally, TNC compared Obama to Joe Louis, Ann Friedman supported "binders full of women" and John Sides found that Obama had more ads on the air than Romney. Tagg's surname "built that," Chait thought Obama would have the upper hand in fiscal cliff fisticuffs and Chris Geidner mapped out marriage equality. Washington's legalization initiative enjoyed a sizable lead, the West's approach to Iran mirrored Iraq and Reihan revealed the best policy idea no one is talking about. Bob Wright then reflected on a study suggesting racism is learned, biracial people ascended and Corey Fields examined black Republicans. In the ad war, the Obama campaign channeled Reagan and reinforced its new auto-industry line of attack.

In assorted commentary, Andrew called our approach to climate change "silence = death," Colbert philosophized on grief and readers responded to the Newsweek news. Americans tended to overestimate their work hours, Patrick Ryan recalled how a seizure wiped his memory and McDonald's rolled out the BigSpicyPaneer. And while social media censorship disturbed Mathew Ingram, Matt Tullis profiled a horseshoe-pitching virtuoso and Jon Stewart's "Night of Too Many Stars" benefited people with autism. Face of the Day from Beirut here, VFYW here and MHB here.

The rest of the wrap after the jump:


Doolin, Ireland, 9 am

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew hailed the Newsweek Global decision, calling print magazines "horses and carriages" in the automobile era. Readers then wanted Andrew to shave his beard if Obama wins the third debate – and 98% gave Obama the win in Long Island last Tuesday. 

In electoral mapping, Wisconsin looked to be in play and Sabato's Crystal Ball outlined how Obama and Romney could tie. Meanwhile, in binder news, the meme hit the Amazon reviews section, and after Chait urged Dems to drop "binder" meme-ing, readers reminded us that the overarching issue is still important.

Elsewhere in politics today, DOMA took another hit from an appeals court in a decision that "heightened scrutiny." Romney then contradicted himself on government-led job creation, Larison expected Romney to flub Monday's debate and the Tax Policy Center found Romney's math still didn't add up. Obama's deportations included few "gangbangers," Brian Beutler examined how Romney could undermine Romneycare, and as Jonathan Cohn compared red and blue state realities, Kate Sheppard believed that the Great Recession benefited climates skeptics. Matt Groff then analyzed the cost of the War on Drugs and legalization advocates discussed the twilight of prohibition, though legalization lost steam in Colorado. Plus, Jimmy Kimmel conducted a debate-awareness experiment that was both unsettling and hilarious.

In global issues, Anne Applebaum pushed back on the notion that US diplomats must not face risk, Anthony Tao defended China against Romney and Obama, Beinart reflected on the most unfair criticism of his book and bloggers remembered Cambodia's King Sihanouk.

In assorted commentary, a California supermax prison outdid Iran's solitary confinement conditions in its austerity, D.T. Max mused on DFW's description of the Internet and online voting seemed unlikely. Andrew Sprung hated indictments of entire generations, Ozimek worried about a 15-hour work-week and Joseph A. Konstan and John Riedl revealed how Netflix and Amazon formulate suggestions. Readers added more to the New York Shitty conversation, Mary Bidinger explained why it's hard to write what you know and Richey Piiparinen and Anne Trubek aimed to broaden the stories of struggling American cities. MHB here and VFYW here.


Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew absorbed context on past elections, and while the bloggers reacted some more, readers weighed in. Candy Crowley said Romney "picked the wrong word" on the Rose Garden terror speech, a reader nailed Andrew's impression of Obama and Nate Cohn expected only a small bump. Plus, Beyonce said to "better put three rings on it."

Romney misled on Obama's pension plan, CBS News unraveled the energy debate and, despite the binders, Romney didn't promote women. George Will then gave it to Obama, Beinart worried that the race was Romney's to lose, and while XKCD illustrated the problem with predicting election winners, Chris Hayes lamented the debate discussion on climate change. The economy then picked up, David Roberts dug into coal policy and Team Romney tried to make hay of the debate. People with various disabilities left regular journalists in the dust and Arrested Development met Election 2012. 

Andrew then noted that Jeffrey Goldberg got smeared, Evan Osnos exposed China's corruption and Ed Kilgore examined GOP talking points on Benghazi. Beinart addressed Obama's mideast policy and seniors languished in prison.

In assorted commentary, Guinness went gay, authentic Thai food flummoxed and Pinterest seemed like a therapeutic tool. Moran Meis then remembered a Marxist, Tom Stafford diagnosed inbox obsessions and Michael Moynihan made the case against Holocaust denial laws. FOTD here, MHB here, VFYW here and Andrew thanked the team. Plus, don't forget to ask Mark Bowden anything!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew called it game-set-match for Obama and expressed his "bloody elation" to Chris Matthews. As bloggers aired their takes and the Tweetosphere weighed in, Romney lied egregiously on Obama's regulations record. And after Romney discussed binders full of women, lo, a meme was born - and based on a lie.

In debate previews, Allahpundit put odds against Obama, Tomasky recommended the element of surprise and Waldman advised connecting with voters. Galupo wondered whether Obama could take down Romney's hazy tax math, readers proposed debate questions and as Mark Salter said Romney didn't need to bring it, the Denver debate turned out not to have sealed the Romney deal in Ohio. Plus, Romney debated himself – and Tweet of the Day here.

In the latest polling, Andrew looked on in still more horror at Obama's post-Denver plummet as he shuddered at Obama's loss of the female vote. Romney pulled ahead in Florida, Silver argued the second is as important as the first debate and Nate Cohn discouraged against reading too much into Obama's Ohio lead. Paul Ryan envisioned himself as the economic Cheney, Romney's jobs plan disintegrated upon inspection and Hillary took the fall for Benghazi. As Bruce Bartlett eviscerated Romney's economic plan, the possibility that the Fed could cut off quantitative easing under Romney seemed likely. In ad coverage, Bill Clinton explained taxes and Jane Lynch led gay celebs in equality-promotion. Brad Plumer contextualized the shutdown of a stimulus-fundee, taxes subsidized the NFL ,and Michael Klarman reviewed the history of litigating gay life. And for a little levity, Romney's tax plan was revealed by Dems.

In assorted commentary, Andrew reflected on the strain of lying and his process of coming out as HIV-positive, Christopher Ryan discussed the first swingers, and Brendan O'Kane defended Mo Yan. Ned Hepburn hailed Seinfeld's low-budget show, Woodie Guthrie tinkered with his Dustbowl persona and readers offered more advice on New York Shitty. Felix Salmon pondered pumpkin flavor, advice columnists gave back, and as Craig Mod described his life with Fitbit, more people worked from home. FOTD here, VFYW here, MHB here, VFYW contest here and don't forget to ask Mark Bowden anything!


By Munir uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images

Monday on the Dish, Andrew plotted Obama's course for communicating change, called out Romney's reliance on corporate welfare and urged Obama to stop running away from his job creation record. 

In debate previews, moderator Candy Crowley ignored the campaigns, Scott Conroy framed what's a stake tomorrow for Romney and Scott Lemieux wondered about blank-spots in debate topics. Meanwhile, in polls, Andrew hailed stabilization in the race, Nate Cohn interpreted Romney's bounce, Drum noted the timing of Romney's surge, and as Silver tallied low odds for a Republican Senate, Frank Newport imagined a world without horserace polls.

Paul Ryan visited an empty soup kitchen, Seth Masket calculated the odds of a divided government and an electoral-college tie proved complicated. Reihan then addressed which tax deductions to scrap, Chait thought the Ryan plan could pass and Steve Benen summarized Obama's deficit reduction. Michael Phillips-Anderson considered the role of humor in campaigns, Jon Stewart ran an uncannily resonant FDR clip and Harvey Cormier reflected on Obama and American pragmatism. Morgan Freeman then narrated an Obama ad, Dr. Keith Ablow asked for Biden's alcohol level, and Eugene Jarecki linked the war on drugs and America's incarceration system. And as Beinart expected a military drawdown, soldiers committed suicide in record numbers. Plus, presidential emergency messages left Ambinder with mixed feelings. 

In global coverage, Andrew argued against war with Syria, Tim Judah pushed back on criticisms of the EU's Nobel victory and Dan Ephron explained Israel's veer right.

And in assorted commentary, Andrew called Camille Paglia a "brilliantly insightful gay man resplendent in a female body," more readers weighed in on New York Shitty and Vikas Mehrota broke down the "cobra effect." Consumerism and conformity intruded on daily life, the social web darkened and heartbeat rates correlated closely with lifespans. FOTD here, MHB here and VFYW here.


Saturday and Sunday on the Dish, politics receded as matters of faith and love dominated our coverage. Andrew's summary of Obama's post-debate slide and updated thoughts on the election were the main commentary we provided on the horse race.

We ranged widely over the topics of religion and philosophy. On the themes of faith and doubt, Elizabeth Drescher complicated how we understand the rise of the nones, Lee McCracken sighed at the way fundamentalists read the Bible, Tim Muldoon described why learning doesn't threaten his faith, Kenneth Shepherd traced the evolution of atheism's meaning, Eliza Gray examined the strange alliance between Scientology and the Nation of Islam, Noah Millman contemplated prayer's relationship to boredom, and Sunday's brilliant poem from Henri Cole captured the struggle to believe. In philosophy coverage, Liel Liebovitz held that Judith Butler as an apt recipient of the Adorno Prize, Brian Leiter and Michael Weisberg proposed a way of thinking about our knowledge of the world, Paula Marantz Cohen lamented how little college students ponder death, and Chris Higgins riffed on another tranformative lecture from Alan Watts.

We also thought about love and sex this weekend. Chloe Angyal celebrated the intimacy of reading in bed with your significant other, Alex Heigl explained why Objectivism isn't for lovers, Christopher Ryan answered your questions about gangbang porn, Christopher Ferguson feared banning ex-gay therapy in CA might backfire, Tracy Clark-Flory reflected on the joys of traditional courtship, and Saturday's poem was a meditation on eros from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In literary and cultural coverage, Goodreads charted the reading habits of Obama and Romney supporters, Peter Orner provided counterintuitive advice for writers, Joshua Rothman claimed Wuthering Heights is unadaptable for the big screen, Philip Maugham pondered the dying art of the handwritten note, and A Different L.A. showcased those who love and repair typewriters. William Kremer taught us about elevator etiquette, Jake Hanrahan interviewed an elite art smuggler, Keith Axline deconstructed Instagram's impact, Jacob Mikanowski gave us a tour of portraiture's history, Lynne Murphy offered a word of caution about importing your swear words, Roger Ebert mused on the ease with which we adopt our parents' religion, Peter Beinart responded to questions about the Jewish generational divide, and Willa Paskin expressed displeasure at the Romney campaign's adoption of the Friday Night Lights slogan.

Poseur alert here and Hathos alert here. MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here and the latest window contest here.

– G.G.