Micah Meadowcroft

Seeing and Understanding

Review: 'Chronicles of a Liquid Society' by Umberto Eco

It is, at this point, a tired trope: the relative, usually an uncle, of at least embarrassing if not quite unsettling political opinions, a specimen of another time and place with thoughts on everything he's eager to share but you'd rather he didn't, at least while we're eating, please. I have one, and you probably do, too—not so bad as the guides springing up online assume, telling you how to handle him as holiday feasts approach, but a character who keeps family meals interesting.

5 Things the Eisenhower Memorial Tapestry Actually Looks Like

Yesterday saw the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Park for Lost Tourists. As has been reported, the Eisenhower memorial project has been a mess from the beginning, and now in the usual silly ceremony of shiny shovels shoved into dirt the mess is moving from the noumenal to the phenomenal—it’s not just a bad idea anymore, folks. Frank Gehry’s steel “tapestry” will, eventually, hang from massive concrete pillars clad in limestone condoms and depict the “Cliffs of Pointe du Hoc,” which is the arty way of saying Normandy, emphasis on the rocks. While we agree that if you squint you can tell these are cliffs, we aren’t sure we’d say that’s the obvious interpretation, and we certainly wouldn’t say the tapestry is a monument to Gen. Eisenhower’s leadership at D-Day without being told. So, here are five other things the big net actually looks like:

The Rise of Erdogan’s ‘Hostage Diplomacy’

Panel: Turkish president using foreign detainees as 'bargaining chips'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoganRecep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, has begun an age of "hostage diplomacy" in the year following last July's failed coup attempt, as he attempts to use foreign nationals as "bargaining chips" in international affairs, according to a panel hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

A Whole Tapestry of Mess

Feature: Time is running out to save the Eisenhower Memorial

There is a part of me that would like to be able to laugh about the—legally speaking probably imminent but temporally speaking still a ways off—proposed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. It is, after all, to be built between the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education building and the John F. Kennedy-venerating Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, in earshot of the carousel on the National Mall that plays ice cream truck music forever. Designed by Frank Gehry with an estimated cost of some $150 million, it is supposed to include 8 enormous columns, 10 feet in diameter and 80 feet tall, standing about huge and erect, clad in limestone, like some sort of over-enthusiastic temple complex for Osiris or—as others have described them more delicately—missile silos, or smokestacks, or bad jokes about Ike's interstate highway system.

A Hunt for Patriots

Revisiting 'The Hunt for Red October' and 'Patriot Games' by Tom Clancy

For all of Tom Clancy's obvious labor to ground his Jack Ryan novels in fact, there is something perfectly ideal about them. The Hunt for Red October (1984) and Patriot Games (1987) are products of "Morning in America." So, for a first-time reader born on the cusp of 1995 and who became politically aware on September 11, 2001, these novels are pictures of a society that seems to have looked at America with complete confidence—works of such patriotism that intellectuals today would greet them as farce (as intellectuals did when they were first published). They are also terrific thrillers.

After Conservatism, Sadists and Lost Boys

Review: 'Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right,' by Angela Nagle

pepeIn Kill All Normies Angela Nagle has done us all a service at what one must imagine is great psychological cost, surveying the dampest and most deranged corners of the internet. It seems self abuse surpassed in scale only by the onanism of her subjects.

The Apotheosis of Democracy

Review: 'Religion In Early America' at the National Museum of American History

The religious life of ancient Rome grew and changed in texture and detail as immigrants flowed into the city and her legions returned from the frontiers. Each arrival brought with them new cults and mysteries and myriad sacred objects to fill her temples. But Rome was magnanimous; she could contain multitudes and contradiction so long as the rites of public life were fulfilled. Beneath the cult of her glory all other cults could contest for the souls of her people.

U.S. Support of Syrian Kurds Has Not Hurt U.S.-Turkish Relations

Turkey, U.S. have continued to cooperate despite Turkish opposition to arming Syrian Kurds

Syrian Democratic Forces made up of an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, drive on the outskirts of an eastern entrance to the Al-Meshleb neighborhood of RaqqThe U.S. arming of the Kurdish YPG fighters for the push to take Raqqa, Syria, has not damaged relations between Turkey and the United States, said experts at a Wednesday panel at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.