One more in German for now, Christina Striewski’s remarkable essay for Perlentaucher in which she argues — and here, I’ll translate a bit — that Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is “not some family drama, cosmologically overblown with a dash of harmless esotericism, but rather, in form and content, a hyper-reactionary manifesto. Its Christian fundamentalist message cries out to be heard. So why won’t anyone hear it?”
“Do you mean that Congress can pass a budget that requires borrowing, and then argue later about whether to approve that borrowing?”
A primer on the US debt ceiling in the NYT.
“It is alarming that Breivik fed on ideas that are now fairly mainstream in Europe…. He doesn’t want to turn Norway into a Christian theocracy. Nor does he long for the heroes of fascism. On the contrary, he simply hopes to roll back the changes that have taken place in Europe in recent decades to return to some imagined idyll of what secular, democratic, mono-ethnic Europe was like in the postwar era. Worryingly, that is an aspiration many Europeans share.”
Yascha Mounk, n+1. Read on. The questions he raises about how the left will respond are crucial.
“Because politics is the modern politician’s only resource, and winning elections the only criterion of success, our political class is an elite without any self-confidence, either in their own unaided capacities or in a politics that does not depend on the media, and especially the popular press — even though circulation has been steadily falling across the board. They have, furthermore, constantly exaggerated the influence of the press because they have hardly any other explanation for the way politics proceeds, and their advisers assure them there is no other explanation. I would be surprised if the current scandal changes much.”
Ross McKibbin, blogging for the LRB.
“He belongs to the last generation of European artists for whom engagement with the German language and culture was as self-evident and essential as it seems an optional extra for artists today.”
Derek Scally in the Irish Times on “Beckett’s Berlin.”