THURSDAYS ARE FOR MAGAZINES  6:07 pm April 2, 2009

An Affair To Remember

by Juli Weiner

It’s Thursday, and you know what that means: time to read a magazine, you and me! Let’s see, let’s see, how about Foreign Affairs? That’s appropriately capital-i Important and relatively low-profile. Like their pioneers-of-capitalism friends over at the American Prospect, Foreign Affairs charges you if you want to read the “premium” articles. But we’re not going to be reading anything “premium” today, as that would be disrespectful and insensitive to Our Times. Still, to read the pieces, you’re going to have to register, which only costs 2 seconds of time and zero recession dollars. And then voila, you are a registered user of Foreign Affairs—a real intellylechual like Nate Silver or whatever.

“The Japan Fallacy”: Remember Japan’s “Lost Decade”? No? No worries, it was “lost”, so that was a trick question. Anyway, pundits and the like might try using it as a framework to talk about our own recession, except this is a fallacy, a titular fallacy. Titular fallacy. … So right, so Japan went construction crazy in the 90s, building later-abandoned buildings with bad loans. Of course, terrible policies made this all worse, but structurally Japan was just fucked. Things are different here; nothing’s inherently wrong with our economy, for the most part, we’re just making disastrous decisions to bring out all the bad. Let’s enumerate our self-destruction: 1. SUB-PRIMES; 2. fatcat CEOs making obscene salaries; 3. not regulating derivatives. [The Japan Fallacy]

“Center Stage for the 21st Century”: The Indian Ocean! Everyone is going to be all about it, just you wait. The Indian Ocean has a long history of mattering, starting with demonstrating evidence of the COLONIAL OPPRESSION of maps, which tend to split the Indian Ocean in two—one side on each end of the map—and not split the earth right down the United States or something. There’s a map here of the Indian Ocean, so you can follow along with the geography, but Foreign Affairs has been culturally sensitive enough to not split it in two, so good for them. But back to this geography, which is more than incidental, if that’s what you were thinking. The Indian Ocean is just off the shore of places like India and China and Yemen, etc., so any instability—military or economic or what have you—will be played out at least partially on boats. And regulation of these maritime relationships, in particular Indian deciding to be friends with Myanmar, is up to the US, because of historical precedent. [Center Stage for the 21st Century]

“The Geoengineering Option”: There is a zen koan that Republicans like to deconstruct publicly, and that is, “If the icecaps melt and everything on the planet dies, but it is not written in CAPITAL LETTERS on the Huffington Post’s main page, will global warming still be an issue?” Foreign Affairs will not engage in such children’s games, because even though can anyone even name the last time something global warming-related was on the front page of anything, the magazine is arguing that the effects are “coming into sharper focus.” Whatever. This piece talks about something cool, and that is geoengineering, in which a troupe of elite college-educated robot scientists will “engineer” the climate by doing things like vaguely shooting particles into the atmosphere. It’s so easy, even volacanoes do it accidentally all the time and they’re volcanoes. Still, this is a complicated issue because controlling the climate and making it hot or cold in one country for benevolent reasons actually be bad for another country. Politics! [The Geoengineering Option]

 
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{ 28 comments }

chocotaco911america April 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm

First!

qwerty42 April 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm

But let’s return to a simpler time. When authors had simpler names. Like X.

Suds McKenzie April 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm

[re=279951]chocotaco911america[/re]: at least have the common decency to mention But Sex.

proudgrampa April 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I didn’t know there was gonna be homework.

grevillea April 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Yawn. Wake me when you get to Martha Stewart Living. Or Latin Inches?.

facehead April 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm
shortsshortsshorts April 2, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Remember Japan’s “Lost Decade”? No? No worries, it was “lost”, so that was a trick question.

Bravo, Ms. Juli. That was hilarious.

mbprice April 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Why are you writing this when you should be grading our Blingees???

Red Zeppelin April 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I’m gonna check out Sexy Losers…I’ll come back when the blingees are posted.

Tommmcatt April 2, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Zero recession dollars is worth about 5 hours of my real dollar salary.

JohnnyMeatworth April 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm

here, i Blingeed the Foreign Affairs cover: http://blingee.com/blingee/view/87518761-NR

lawrenceofthedesert April 2, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I thought “Foreign Affairs” starred Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck.

kona farmer April 2, 2009 at 6:41 pm

The best issue of Foreign Affairs ever printed was the one draped across Tracy Reed’s naked ass in Dr. Strangelove.

proudgrampa April 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

OK. So maybe we aren’t in the same pickle Japan was (still is). But I’m not getting any warm fuzzies out of G20 or anything else, economics-wise. We are freakin’ doomed.

Time to buy gold, silver, and oil. Whee! This investing stuff is easy!

urrca April 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm

volacanoes sound adorable.

look! i’m that annoying person that points out inconsequential mistakes!

kona farmer April 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Someone more techy than me should link to a photo. I don’t even knpw how to get my own avatar up.

proudgrampa April 2, 2009 at 6:48 pm

[re=279969]JohnnyMeatworth[/re]: Hey, that was pretty good!

facehead April 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

[re=279969]JohnnyMeatworth[/re]: I’m just gonna start blingeeing everything,

http://blingee.com/blingee/view/87519648-Blingee

Canuckledragger April 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Foreign affairs? Hmmmm. Intriguing….

AND they include “titular fallacies?”

Sign me up, pronto!

Can I request Cleveland? The place is a fuckin’ pit, but the ladies are mighty fine!

Mad Farmer Manifest April 2, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Geoengineering. That is a good idea because fucking with a system that we barely understand ALWAYS turns out well.

[re=279951]chocotaco911america[/re]: Thanks for nothing, meatstick.

DustBowlBlues April 2, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Juli’s the intern, right? So she got the assignment to read this boring conservative magazine and write synopses that are funny, in spite of the boring original material?

Ever notice how people who abhor government and deny “it” can ever do anything positive always writes off shit like global warming with “oh, they’ll do something about it before it gets that bad” and I always think . “who? Who will do that?”

Like geoengineering the climate. Good reason to do nothing because “they’ll” fix it.

chascates April 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Does Gahan Wilson do their cartoons?

Zadig April 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

[re=279973]proudgrampa[/re]: Plus, Japan is just fuckin’ weird. There’s really no clear lessons we can draw from the economic history of the country that gave us karaoke and tentacle porn.

greensprout April 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm

I believe the correct spelling is “a blaffair to rememblack”

102415 April 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Oh snap! I had a copy of Foreign Affairs I kept for decorating the coffee table when digitaries drop by but I threw it out for my Spring cleaning event. Now I know I can just put it up on the big screen TV and make a big deal about turning it off when they sit down. Thank you Wonkette I love your decorating tips.

102415 April 2, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Ha,ha that was dignitaries. You fools. I need another drink.

SayItWithWookies April 2, 2009 at 10:39 pm

The Chinese government has already adopted a “string of pearls” strategy for the Indian Ocean, which consists of setting up a series of ports in friendly countries along the ocean’s northern seaboard. It is building a large naval base and listening post in Gwadar, Pakistan, (from which it may already be monitoring ship traffic through the Strait of Hormuz); a port in Pasni, Pakistan, 75 miles east of Gwadar, which is to be joined to the Gwadar facility by a new highway; a fueling station on the southern coast of Sri Lanka; and a container facility with extensive naval and commercial access in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Holy crap. What the hell were we doing while this happened? No, nevermind — I remember.

drrty martini April 3, 2009 at 1:40 am

[re=280204]SayItWithWookies[/re]: So China is going to give the Indian Ocean a pearl necklace? Damn, that’s what I call a strategy!

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