The Baffler's new issue!

March, 4 2013
Our Spring issue-on sex, tech, and politics-is almost here! 
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For a taste of what's coming, you can read Anne Elizabeth Moore's "Marketpiece Theater" at online now. Anne exposes the neoliberal agenda at the heart of Nicholas Kristof's new television miniseries, Half the Sky, and its social gaming extension, released today. She identifies Half the Sky as the heir to Milton Friedman's Free to Choose, the 10-episode "documentary" miniseries also broadcast on PBS, in 1980. In both cases, Anne points out, PBS received funding from the charitable arms of multinational corporations that stand to gain from the neoliberal agenda; both cases, then, confuse freedom with the ability to participate in the marketplace.    


Marketpiece Theater
Nicholas Kristof and Milton Friedman rescue the world
Anne Elizabeth Moore 

In one way or another, last year's frenzied election spectacle offered an array of occasions for our coverage-battered electorate to return to one basic question: "Where on Earth did they get that idea?" It didn't matter, really, if what occasioned the weary refrain was news of yet another drone attack, bizarre conjecture on the biological function of women's bodies after sexual assault, or the working thesis that fully 47 percent of the voting public was made up of zombified robots hooked on the federal dole. Amid the genuine divisions wracking our republic, our bafflement over how the political class believes we-and the world-work was truly nonpartisan.


As it was designed to be. For the consensus ideology guiding issues of policy and piety was designed for popularization, and then mass-disseminated through the mass-est media of all: TV. The girders of our modern political, economic, and cultural structure can be seen clearly in a nicely bookended pair of television franchises-oddly enough, for the Romney-fied Right, both broadcast on PBS.


The first is Free to Choose (1980), starring the Nobel Prize-winning, kindly seeming yet fire-breathing economist Milton Friedman. The second, flashier offering is Half the Sky (2012), starring Nicholas Kristof-the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist-in an instructive series about women's central role in the great market order. The Friedman series presented neoliberal thought as nonpartisan-even apolitical-common sense, and thus the only reasonable path to global salvation. Kristof merely glosses the utopian vision Friedman put into action: the great man's views are self-evident, it seems, a fait accompli only in need of a bit of pizzazz. 


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No. 22 Modem and Taboo


In our spring revelry, Thomas Frank takes us on a tour of the businessman's republic, while David Graeber leads us into the hearts and minds of the revolutionary opposition. Chris Bray tracks down General David Petraeus and his wandering PhD. Evgeny Morozov takes apart the influential "crazy talk" of Silicon Valley publisher Tim O'Reilly. And Anne Elizabeth Moore explores the hidden assumptions behind Nicholas Kristof's bid to rescue the women of the world, who have nothing to lose but their market potential.


Baffler 22 contains our usual dazzling array of poetry, fiction, and satiric illustration. All this, plus Heather Havrilesky on Fifty Shades of Grey, Hussein Ibish on the Marquis de Sade, Christian Lorentzen on the British pop-star-cum-pedophiliac Jimmy Savile, and Jorian Polis Schutz surveys the state of Yoga in America. Subscribe now, and learn why Slavoj Zizek thinks hard-core pornography is the most censored of all film genres. Go ahead, look into the camera. You know you want to.   Table of Contents


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