Browsing All Posts filed under »the critic«

The Symbiotic Relationship Between the World Economy and Black Market

January 5, 2012


Not many people think of shantytowns, illegal street vendors, and unlicensed roadside hawkers as major economic players. But according to journalist Robert Neuwirth, that’s exactly what they’ve become. In his new book, Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy, Neuwirth points out that small, illegal, off-the-books businesses collectively account for trillions of […]

The Monsieur’s Brief: Arguments For and Against Income Inequality

December 22, 2011


The Argument Against Income Inequality Imagine four families sharing a large, jointly owned backyard area. The families would like to install a swing set, slide, etc. for their children to share. The set costs $1,200, and they need to figure out how to pay for it. One of the households is fairly well off and […]

James Franco: The Monsieur We’d All Like to Be

December 21, 2011


How could James Franco possibly be simultaneously reading for a Yale Ph.D and filming a multimillion-dollar motion picture? How could he possibly have time to write anything when he’s also teaching a class at NYU and starring so many films? I’ve wondered the same thing myself. But on that trip to Detroit, I learned a […]

Move Over Bond, Meet the World’s True Post-Modern Spy

December 9, 2011


Readers of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” first encounter George Smiley, the puzzled problem-solver of the novel’s maze, as he hastens along a rainy London street. It is by no means his first appearance in the pages of le Carré. He was in “Call for the Dead,” and then in “A Murder of Quality” (1962), in […]

Why Is Everyone (in Hollywood) Kung Fu Fighting?

December 5, 2011


Asian pop culture began seeping into the West in the 1990s, with a stream of Japanese imports: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” Nintendo’s Pokemon, “Iron Chef” and anime cartoons, notes Adam Ware, CEO of Mnet, a new U.S. cable channel featuring only Asian content. Decades of videogames like “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter” have put martial […]

Culture Vulture: A Tribute to Drive

December 5, 2011


Ryan Gosling. His watch from Drive. His suits from Crazy.Stupid.What’s not to Love?

Inequality: Which are Socially Acceptable and Which are Not?

November 16, 2011


Foreign tourists are coming up to me on the streets and asking, “David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country. How can I tell which are socially acceptable and which are not?” This is an excellent question. I will provide you with a guide to the American inequality map to help […]