Unnecessary Necessities

During the pandemic, you may have been watching Schitt’s Creek. Its characters inspired this month’s pandemic puzzle, which is about how to figure out the ideal balance between feeling like you need a lot to be happy, and feeling like you need very little.

Sorry, Critics: Parasite is a Good Movie

For me—as for the good people at the Oscars—Parasite was far and away the best film of 2019. Critics, however, are eagerly denouncing it as a failure, a capitulation, a “conservative” film, indeed a movie full of “contempt” for the working class. What is going on?

Repugnant Markets

There are many things that just shouldn’t be for sale at any price—human beings chief among them. You can’t legitimately sell what you don’t own in the first place. But there are many things that we do own the buying and selling of which are considered in some way abhorrent or repugnant and are therefore banned.

Philosophy of Trash

How much of today’s treasure is destined to be tomorrow’s trash? Are growing piles of trash the price we pay for progress? Or do our trashy habits amount to ecological terrorism? These are the questions we're thinking about in this week's show.

To Retract or Not to Retract

Third World Quarterly, a journal that boasts Noam Chomsky on its editorial board, recently published, then withdrew, “The Case for Colonialism,” by Bruce Gilley when death threats were made against the journal's editors. But was the journal right to retract the piece?