* “Sex and the Industrial Revolution,” though this has already made the blog rounds.
* “Beyond the Simply Salacious: Five Stories on Adultery,” though is it gauche to link to links posts? Tony Tanner’s Adultery in the Novel: Contract and Transgression also covered related grounds many years ago. It is striking how few modern works of criticism could be of interest to the general reading population.
* “Is the IKEA ethos comfy or creepy?” Both, though I have a special hatred of IKEA, plus an amusing-in-retrospect story that takes place in one. It relates to this: “Alan Penn [. . . ] conducted a study of the IKEA labyrinth and deemed it sadomasochistic.”
* “The birth of Pulp Fiction,” which is interesting for many reasons, one obvious one being between paperbacks and ebooks. I do think ebooks are vehicles for “for social and cultural enlightenment” and that they will further “de-provincialize the American public.” One can already see this in 50 Shades of Grey, for example, despite the bad prose. The intellectual elite is already mostly de-provincialized but political correctness and some related movements have re-provincialized large precincts of it.
* “On Triangl, maker of the ‘world’s [allegedly] hottest bikini’?” This is actually about making it in the apparel business and fulfilling customers desires.
* “Actually, Our Military Keeps Winning,” an essay contrary to current dominant narratives. If you aren’t reading James Fallows you should be! On New Year’s Eve we saw American Sniper, which was incredibly intense and whether it can be read as a pro- or anti-war movie probably depends on the viewer’s outside knowledge.
* People now move to the Southeast from California and the Northeast, not surprisingly since the Southeast is where the cheap housing is. While Californians and New Yorkers endlessly debate supposed income inequality they perpetuate it by forbidding new housing supply. I want to move to Austin or perhaps Denver. My parents left California for Seattle when I was a kid due to housing costs and crap schools, and now Seattle and environs are following California’s lead by pricing people out of the market. See Matt Yglesias.