In an article on The Atlantic, Hank Shaw, the Hunter Angler Gardner Cook, talks about his recent experience of eating bear. First Shaw points out that "bear hunting has been part of American life since we arrived in the 17th century." Recipes for bear were included in the 1957 Gourmet Cookbook, and bear appeared on many state dinner menus. Then he goes on to describe the bear meat: "it looks like lamb" and tastes "rich, earthy, and savory." While I found the account to be fascinating, I'm not sure if I could stomach bear. How about you?
Declaring "The End of Men" on your magazine cover, as the Atlantic does this month, is an attention-grabber, no doubt. Stephen Colbert tackled the topic on last night's episode of The Colbert Report, where he spoke with author Hanna Rosin. But is her bold statement true?
The very lengthy article is definitely worth reading. Rosin notes that women are earning more college degrees than men — at a rate of three to two — and more couples at fertility clinics are selecting female babies. To take a look at the evidence for and against Rosin's argument, read more
Today over on the Atlantic's food blog, there's an interesting article about giving anchovies a second chance. In it, Ari Weinzweig points out that "so many people's first experience with these little fish was by being offered outstandingly bad versions of them that they form their entire opinion from that understandably negative impression." I agree with his point of view and feel that certain polarizing ingredients should be given a second chance. For example, my father hates asparagus, but I'm certain it's because when he was younger he was served a gross preparation of asparagus. I've been begging him to give it another try, but he won't budge. How about you?
Although many of you believe produce should only be consumed if it's in season, would you feel the same way about meat? In their regular food column for The Atlantic, sustainable agriculture pioneers Bill and Nicolette Niman claim that meat should be treated with the same seasonal sensitivity. The couple makes this argument:
If we are seeking something better from our food and our food system, we must begin regarding meat and other foods derived from animals as among foods that have a season. Environmentally sustainable, humane animal farming is based on grass. All animals — cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys — benefit from being on pasture. Like other vegetation, grass has a season of plenty, a time of growth, reproduction, and then retreat.
While I think there's a great deal of validity to the Nimans' perspective, I also think it would be a drastic and impractical measure given the economic environment we face today. How do you feel about it?
Since 1997, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for a baby's first six months of life and in 2004, the Department of Health and Human Services launched their famous National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign. With these two influential organizations strongly advocating "breast is best," new moms have been inundated with statistics and information encouraging them to nurse.
This month's Atlantic Monthly presents the opposing view, with Hannah Rosin's Case Against Breast-Feeding. In her article, Rosin claims that statistics showing the benefits of breast milk have been greatly exaggerated and that societal pressure to breastfeed is preventing women from advancing to powerful positions in the business world. She suggests that the act itself leads to gender role assignments that also make co-parenting unattainable. It said:
Even in the best of marriages, the domestic burden shifts, in incremental, mostly unacknowledged ways, onto the woman. Breast-feeding plays a central role in the shift. In my set, no husband tells his wife that it is her womanly duty to stay home and nurse the child. Instead, both parents together weigh the evidence and then make a rational, informed decision that she should do so. Then other, logical decisions follow: she alone fed the child, so she naturally knows better how to comfort the child, so she is the better judge to pick a school for the child and the better nurse when the child is sick, and so on.
Do you believe that societal pressure to breastfeed has played such a central role in defining parental roles and career advancement?
John McCain's turn as cover model for this month's issue of the Atlantic has raised hackles, eyebrows, and now the necessity for apology from the editor of the magazine, which ran the pic. The editor says he's sending an apology to the Senator after outtake pictures by the photographer Jill Greenberg wound up on her personal website, edited for horrific effect. As of this writing, Greenberg was still featuring the doctored photos on her blog, including one backlit image showing a sinister McCain with the words, "I'll have my girl kill Roe v. Wade" printed atop.
The Atlantic editor's apology for the subsequent fallout says:
When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don't vet them for their politics—instead, we assess their professional track records. We had never worked with Jill Greenberg before (and, obviously, we will not work with her again). Based on the portraits she had done of politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her work for publications like Time, Wired, and Portfolio, we expected her, like the other photographers we work with, to behave professionally. Jill Greenberg has obviously not done that. She has, in fact, disgraced herself, and we are appalled by the manipulated images she has created for her Web site of John McCain.
The Atlantic might go further than the strongly worded indictment of the photographer, and sue. Is that the appropriate response?
Or pretty darn close anyway. If you only buy one magazine this month, I've got the answer to, "Hey Citizen! Which one?!"
One of these mags features the following:
- An article on the schism over homosexuality in the Anglican church, known as "the greatest crisis the modern Protestant community has faced," featuring Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Christian bishop including the trial he faced coming to terms with his sexuality, getting married and then finding himself. It ends, "It's when I let God love me that I remember who I am," and includes all the major players in the controversy.
- A whole picture article with charts about who the major players are reading to follow the election, showcasing "smartest reads on the web," and how one liberal media member prefers to read right-leaning news.
- A piece entitled "You Can't Save the Planet" which has an amazing chart to help nail down fact from fiction in claims about CFL light bulbs and solar power.
- And a stark trip inside the Landsthul Germany hospital where every wounded US soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is brought for treatment.
Curious? To see which one, read more
So Citizen and I just got our copy of The Atlantic delivered to Sugar HQ. But before we could crack it open, Pop stole it from our confused hands. I can see why they were so desperate to get at it. What in the world is Britney Spears doing on the cover of The Atlantic?!
The cover is to allegedly support a piece on paparazzi agency X17, but with the accompanying cover stories being "The Case For Polarization," and "Calcutta Rising," and "A Uranium Smuggler's Story" one has to wonder if including the former Mouseketeer's image in lieu of their usual map-collage-of-countries-in-strife pic, they might be branching out, ahem, content-wise? Or maybe it's just a very skillful parody? One wonders.
Now of course the question begs to be asked: Is Andrew Sullivan behind this somehow?
What do you think? Hottest selling issue of The Atlantic ever, or biggest sellout of the century?
The biggest challenge facing the next president is not leaving Iraq, but keeping America in one piece on the way out. A recent issue of The Atlantic explains that Iraq is the most partisan US war in history. Unlike Vietnam, which divided Americans within the parties, the differences between Republicans and Democrats reached as high as 60 percentage points.
The article warns that a party-line retreat will tear the country apart. Many Republicans think Democrats are intentionally undermining the war effort to improve their political prospects. This understanding could lead to the narrative of betrayal — the "we never really lost" or "some of us defeated the rest" narrative.
So how do we protect the soul of the country? To find out, read more