- From the Editors: Ingenious Fakes We are continually devising or consuming narratives that, as bodies, serve as vindicating stand ins for our world's spinning. And so long as we are doing this, we will also continue to conflate criminals with saints, saints with criminals, and make celebrities of them all. And it will always be our luck to touch their bodies. They are, after all, our very own creations.
- The Predators' Boneyard: A Conversation with James Kenneth Galbraith I think it's fair to say that so far, what we're looking at here is a failure of the rule of law. We have lots of reasons to believe that a serious investigation, criminal and civil, would lead to a very large-scale prosecutorial response. That'd be the case in the largely now-defunct industry of mortgage originators; it would be the case with respect to some of the ratings activity; it would be the case with respect to the accounting behavior of some of the largest investment banks. Fraud begets fraud.
- When you're in Trouble, Go into your Dance:
History, Culture, and Sylvia Plath by Dan Monaco
- Poetry by Jessica Murray, Aleksay Porvin, and Anis Shivani
- Entries by Olga Nikolova But what is "wealth" now except the extra that money provides as part of the irresistible appeal of purchasing power, the so-called free time? And time which is free is like the white space on a page: a framing framed itself by the power of the text. Think of it as empty only insofar as it is not occupied. And you guessed it. I may be speaking of leisure as a kind of fantasy, only "a fantasy," a word with a tenuous connection to reality, but one which adds flavor to living.
- The Straddler on Stage: Too Far Gone out in the Middle of Nowhere by Todd Pate Summary, photos, and video from our first theatrical production.
- The Hunter's Song: Fiction by Travis Mills A baboon, wild-eyed and soaked through its gray coat, slipped in. It passed a gaze over the crowd, drawing gasps from the men and screams from the women, before it scampered under a table in the corner. In the darkness, I could only see the shine of the lamps flickering in its eyes and dancing off its shaking fur.
- The Straddler Review:
Roman Polanski and the Existence of God
in collaboration with Gustavo Llarull A narrative that reduces Samantha Geimer to a thirteen-year-old "vixen" involves a failure to imagine that thirteen-year-old properly—and therefore a failure to empathize with her. Consciously or not, the data-gathering mechanisms and inferential processes of the Polanski advocates pick out data selectively in order to reach the desired conclusion and the desired narrative: Polanski had a tough, tragic life; he's a victim; he couldn't do otherwise; his actions were necessary, not contingent.
Following de Beauvoir's thinking, it is my contention that, with "Lady Lazarus," Plath founds, not without a soupçon of desperation—desperation akin to the desperation Macdonald identifies which underlay the Avantgarde movement—something that is hers and hers alone, but that can also be used as a useful point of departure for others similarly disposed to view the postwar (now postindustrial) cultural landscape with skepticism, not to say cynicism and desperation.