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Michael Nolan

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Second-Banana Blues

Power-worship in D.C. and shows about it is nothing new. Playing it for slapstick rather than fetishizing it, however, makes Veep a welcome change of pace.

- May 13, 2014

The Good Thing About the Donald Sterling Incident

NBA players offer a reminder that we needn’t look to the State to inflict costs on odious people.

- May 02, 2014

Emotional Dictatorship

A new documentary shows North Koreans as agents of their own liberation.

- March 05, 2014

No Sleep Till Johannesburg

Music creates spontaneous, unpredictable communications directly from person to person. That makes it essential to life—and a persistent threat to power.

- February 05, 2014

Bitcoin Exec Arrested

The feds are after Charlie Shrem because he didn't rat out Silk Road users.

- January 28, 2014

You Don't Have To Learn Like a Refugee

The University of Minnesota–Rochester was created to serve its students, not its faculty. And it's doing so at (relatively) bargain rates. 

- January 17, 2014

Chemistry Is What We Are

There's a lot that can be said about Breaking Bad. What's more interesting—and what makes it art—is what our reactions say about each of us.

- October 16, 2013

How to Make a Dictator

The Economist really, really wants the United States to bomb Syria. And they really don't want a President asking permission before doing so. Apparently, unlimited power is only a problem when it's the other guy.

- September 10, 2013

On Life Remotely: An Interview with Jessica Mans

Last week, I wrote about location-independent work. Jessica Mans from Life Remotely, which opened my eyes to just how, well … really cool this lifestyle can be, graciously took some time to talk about location independence with us. 

- August 07, 2013

Take Me Out to the Cleaners

Stadium funding deals amount to making some people's leisure-time preferences a matter of law, then forcing everyone to transfer money to the already wealthy. 

- June 12, 2013

Why Brooklyn Is Home

I call Brooklyn home because the emotional cage match between the desires, the emotions, the location, and the city I make of it is too complex—and too personal—to go by any other name. 

- May 09, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombs

The Boston Marathon bombings stirred up the trolls. But the same freedom of speech they abuse lets the far-greater number of decent people speak, inquire, trade information, and lend condolences—and that's a reason to feel safer than anything any politician (or conspiracy nut) can say. 

- April 16, 2013

The Hair of the Dog

Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington team up to present an excellent piece of character development. Then Zemeckis sacrifices all of the nuance for the sake of a tidy ending that presents the State as the realm of the gods. 

- April 08, 2013

Voyeurism, Censorship, and Taste

The bewildering "controversy" over how broadcasters handled Kevin Ware's injury suggests a disturbing inability to sort out facts, stakes, and obligations—or even to distinguish between journalism and voyeurism.

- April 05, 2013

Zero Dark Maybe

Sorting out how your political beliefs relate to your entertainment choices isn't always a simple process. When it comes to a movie about the war on terror, though, the stakes get a little bit higher.  

- February 28, 2013

FEE in Translation, Public Choice in Iran

FEE's message is being spread to Iran and Azerbaijan. 

- February 14, 2013

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