The Third Shift


  1. A short note on why Newsweek going digital-only was expected, yet still bad for our media landscape in general.

    The badness has nothing to do with financial viability. It’s clear that the Web has made receiving summaries of the news that was a week later an absurd luxury and Newsweek’s subscription and circulation numbers have reflected that — no matter how many stupid cover stunts Tina Brown came up with.

    But the decision is bad for the overall media marketplace because all this talk of going digital presumes that we are all wired to the web in the same way. Yes, access to the mobile web is expanding through the availability of lower-cost smartphones, pre-paid data plans, etc. — but there’s still a digital divide to observe if one is lower middle-class or poor. If journalistic work is going to be hidden behind a monthly pay wall instead of available at the news stand for a few bucks, who gets access to journalism and who becomes the target market for said journalism?

    What I’m trying to imply here is that the rushing of traditional print publications into reduced print schedules or the abandoning of print schedules is likely to result in journalism swinging harder to appeal to the people who can afford to access it — meaning fewer articles asking about poverty, the safety net for those who really need it, less on labor and its declining worth, more geared toward the owners of businesses or those aspiring to own or manage. This is what we fear with newspapers potentially reducing their schedules (or actually doing so, in the case of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.)

    In short: this is journalism heading for a path where it reassures the comfortable and either ignores or “others” the afflicted.

  2. So via Hullabaloo, we have an awful cover, an even worse pitch…
In an age where women are dominating - in the workplace, at school, at home - why are they seeking to be dominated in their love lives? Recent media portrayals have shown that a rising number of modern women fantasize about being overpowered, while studies are turning out statistics that bewilder feminists. New shows like HBO’sGirls and books like Fifty Shades of Grey are showcasing the often hidden desire for powerlessness. But why? Katie Roiphe examines the submissive yet empowered female in Newsweek. “It is perhaps inconvenient for feminism that the erotic imagination does not submit to politics, or even changing demographics,” she writes. 
…and an article in which a book, a TV show, and references to studies, supposed feminist consternation that isn’t linked to, etc. reminds us that Katie Roiphe’s idea is that data is merely the plural of anecdote.
Women may certainly have more power, more income, and more freedom than at any time in our history, but let’s be clear: that’s not saying a whole lot. This piece comes smack-dab in the middle of numerous state legislatures passing or voting on laws that require invasive ultrasounds, numerous procedures, and even trans-vaginal “wands” just to obtain a legal abortion. The likely Republican candidate for president refuses to say the Lily Ledbetter Act was a good thing. Women may make up half the population and more than half of college students, but that doesn’t mean they get to management levels or the political or corporate seats where real power is exercised.
I mean, not a week ago the ADD media had its annual buzz over whether Augusta National would ever have a female member with some extra frisson because IBM’s CEO is a woman and usually the CEOs of sponsors are offered membership without question there.
After several months in which it’s been more than demonstrated that women clearly do not have the real power posed in the premise of the article’s summary, how is this not flagged as complete hokum from the first paragraph? The sole nugget of anything resembling truth here comes from a Katha Pollitt quote: “Women have more sexual freedom and more power than ever before in our history, but that does not mean they have a lot of either, and it doesn’t mean they don’t have complicated feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness.”
(This isn’t even getting into the fact that there are men who fantasize and get off on surrendering power in similar ways. Sadomasochism, BDSM, whatever you want to call it — it’s been around forever and will last through whatever changing gender dynamics we encounter. In my opinion, that will remain because people sometimes desire spaces where they can assert or forfeit control in different ways, regardless of their real life dynamics.) 
Essentially someone came up with the cover and decided to write an article to fit it.

    So via Hullabaloo, we have an awful cover, an even worse pitch…

    In an age where women are dominating - in the workplace, at school, at home - why are they seeking to be dominated in their love lives? Recent media portrayals have shown that a rising number of modern women fantasize about being overpowered, while studies are turning out statistics that bewilder feminists. New shows like HBO’sGirls and books like Fifty Shades of Grey are showcasing the often hidden desire for powerlessness. But why? Katie Roiphe examines the submissive yet empowered female in Newsweek. “It is perhaps inconvenient for feminism that the erotic imagination does not submit to politics, or even changing demographics,” she writes.

    and an article in which a book, a TV show, and references to studies, supposed feminist consternation that isn’t linked to, etc. reminds us that Katie Roiphe’s idea is that data is merely the plural of anecdote.

    Women may certainly have more power, more income, and more freedom than at any time in our history, but let’s be clear: that’s not saying a whole lot. This piece comes smack-dab in the middle of numerous state legislatures passing or voting on laws that require invasive ultrasounds, numerous procedures, and even trans-vaginal “wands” just to obtain a legal abortion. The likely Republican candidate for president refuses to say the Lily Ledbetter Act was a good thing. Women may make up half the population and more than half of college students, but that doesn’t mean they get to management levels or the political or corporate seats where real power is exercised.

    I mean, not a week ago the ADD media had its annual buzz over whether Augusta National would ever have a female member with some extra frisson because IBM’s CEO is a woman and usually the CEOs of sponsors are offered membership without question there.

    After several months in which it’s been more than demonstrated that women clearly do not have the real power posed in the premise of the article’s summary, how is this not flagged as complete hokum from the first paragraph? The sole nugget of anything resembling truth here comes from a Katha Pollitt quote: “Women have more sexual freedom and more power than ever before in our history, but that does not mean they have a lot of either, and it doesn’t mean they don’t have complicated feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness.”

    (This isn’t even getting into the fact that there are men who fantasize and get off on surrendering power in similar ways. Sadomasochism, BDSM, whatever you want to call it — it’s been around forever and will last through whatever changing gender dynamics we encounter. In my opinion, that will remain because people sometimes desire spaces where they can assert or forfeit control in different ways, regardless of their real life dynamics.

    Essentially someone came up with the cover and decided to write an article to fit it.

  3. It’s a graphic representation of all that’s wrong with the coverage of politics in this country. Thank you, Tina Brown & Co. for providing a simple image of what’s bothered me for a few years now.

    It’s a graphic representation of all that’s wrong with the coverage of politics in this country. Thank you, Tina Brown & Co. for providing a simple image of what’s bothered me for a few years now.

  4. It’s that whole flowery sundress, nerdy horn-rims, bicycle basket, put-a-bird-on-it tweeness of the forever child. Also, she records indie rock albums and makes a point of singing a lot in the new show — tra-la-la-la — which only makes it more awful.

    Hank Stuever explains what he finds so awful about Zooey Deschanel in his look at the horridness of female characters in television’s fall lineup. (via washingtonpoststyle)

    Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou, Hank Stuever. “Put-a-bird-on-it tweeness.” Perfect.

    (via newsweek)

    The OG MPDG, typecasting herself. What seems horrifically improbable to any rational viewer is how Zooey Deschanel is supposedly the “ugly ducking” in New Girl. No one with an ounce of suss buys that.

    (via newsweek)