Picks of the Week

Obama’s career up to now, lucky as it was, had been wanting in singular achievements for which he alone was responsible. His experience seems not to have taught him the law of natural selection in politics by which majorities are put together out of remainders. Any act that achieves something concrete will leave small multitudes of the disappointed keening but unheard. There are hurt feelings in politics, which only time can cure if anything can. This is a truth now staring at Barack Obama, on several different fronts, but he does not accept it easily. His way of thinking is close to the spirit of that Enlightenment reasonableness which supposes a right course of action can never be described so as to be understood and not assented to.

– David Bromwich

The picks of the week from around the web.

Backlash week here at the Bunker.

  • London Review of Books: “Obama’s Delusion”. David Bromwich presents a thoroughly pessimistic assessment of the Obama adminstration’s performance so far. An interesting analysis of how centrist politics function in the warped context current political discourse, which points out a number of depressing compromises Obama has had to make to keep it together.
  • Wall Street Journal: “Media Moguls and Creative Destruction”. Former WSJ publisher and Dow-Jones VP L. Gordon Crovitz on how digital is changing the game for media. Nothing terribly new, but interesting to see a major media player describe how everything he knew to be true maybe isn’t anymore.
  • The Daily Telegraph: “It couldn’t get worse for Damien Hirst”, Mark Hudson reviews the reviews of the current Hirst paintings show at the Wallace Collection and cautiously predicts a change in the public attitude to celebrity art. Some of the points may be overstated slightly, but it’s nevertheless an well-conceived critique.
  • The Groovy Age of Horror: Interview with Benjamin Marra. Following up on aspects of the New Action Panel at SPX, Marra elaborates upon his notion of comics as low art in an essentialist mission statement that should ruffle some feathers. There’s hell of a lot to disagree with in what he says, but it’s an interesting development in the ongoing art-comics backlash.
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