Reading List: Rule by Fear, Silicon Valley Spies, Problematic Literary Faves

Darlings, we may be in the end times, considering that sunflower farms are closing due to marauding clans of selfie-seekers. And just so you know, we done got fire tornados now, so that’s a real and actual thing I am afraid of, in addition to the "booming business of luxury chicken diapers" (ht Andrew.)

And thank you to those who pointed out the broken links from yesterday. I’m hoping I’ve fixed this CMS issue, but if not, please shoot me another note.

So let’s read!

Martha Nussbaum, The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis - In my daily perusal of the JSTOR Blog - which, if you don’t read, is a wonderful bridge between academia and the everyday - I came upon this piece on Nussbaum’s examination of the evolution of fear, and the role our emotions played in the 2016 election, and continue to play in our current political reality. And Nussbaum hits it on the head when she writes, “the nature of fear is that it’s very volatile and it’s very easily hijacked by rhetoric,” correctly points out George W. Bush’s insistence on not demonizing an entire religion in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 as an example of how a rational, “responsible” leader behaves in situations like that. In contrast to, you know… now.

Zach Dorfman, How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies (POLITICO) - per usual with this humble Reading List, I’ve yet to read this one, but my goodness, the idea of a cold war Soviet spy network in my own back yard is tantalizing.

Caitlin Flanagan, How Lolita Seduces Us All (The Atlantic) - this is an excellent look at Nabokov’s infamous novel through the lens of #metoo and a new book on the story of a kidnapped girl that may have influenced the creation of Humbert Humbert’s hubris.

That’s it, my lovelies. Have a great weekend, and be kind to each other, why don’t you?