What does it mean to be a centrist, anyway?
It could mean supporting politicians who actually are relatively nonideological, who are willing, for example, to seek Democratic support for health reforms originally devised by Republicans, to support deficit-reduction plans that rely on both spending cuts and revenue increases. And by that standard, centrists should be lavishing praise on the leading politician who best fits that description — a fellow named Barack Obama.
But the “centrists” who weigh in on policy debates are playing a different game. Their self-image, and to a large extent their professional selling point, depends on posing as high-minded types standing between the partisan extremes, bringing together reasonable people from both parties — even if these reasonable people don’t actually exist. And this leaves them unable either to admit how moderate Mr. Obama is or to acknowledge the more or less universal extremism of his opponents on the right.
I think we discovered a way to turn ordinary, everyday scenes into magical moments captured in digital form…If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. It’s a long road, but well worth it.
—Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram. In honor of yesterday’s big news — Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram — take a look back at this August 2011 Mashable interview with Systrom, where he offers insight into his own experiences with Instagram, plus advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. (via nasdaq)
GQ’s Dan Riley, passionately, elegantly, systematically dismantling of the Tiger Woods comeback myth, now in full flower at The Masters, which begins today:
Why [is] Tiger winning so important to us, anyway? If we accept the whole mirage as we once did, doesn’t that make us suckers? What’s dishonest about Tiger now is not that he’s looking us in the eye and lying; it’s that he’s asking us to remain complicit in that grand lie of infallibility long after it’s been publicly obliterated. Golf is better with Tiger around. And in order to preserve his presence in its most electrifying form, it’s tempting to buy what he seems to insist: that he has organically improved, as both person and player, because of what he’s been through.
For the duration of his professional career, Tiger accepted our attention, investment, adulation, and trust in a manner that suggested he felt he deserved them. He had, after all, done more than anyone ever to change golf. He had grown our interest in the game by a double-digit exponent, and he had done nothing for years to subvert the untethered heights to which his achievements and global image could soar. (His father, infamously, said that Tiger could do more for humanity than anyone in the history of the world.) We accepted his inhuman qualities as mechanical by-products, behavior we’d put up with in exchange for the robotic precision. When our idea of Tiger Woods was exposed as vaporous, we felt conflicted—or at least this fan did—about Tiger’s future success: Did we want him to win again in spite of the duplicity, or to lose as payment for it?
When he ultimately returned, what I think we wanted was a sense that he felt fortunate to be back out there. Blessed, maybe. That even though he had not cheated in competition, it was not his implicit right to be paid millions to indulge in retirement pleasures. That as compared with the rancorous storm of his personal life, the golf course was a reprieve, a place he could love to be. Instead, Tiger seemed to act more entitled upon his return than he had even during his ascendance.
Rap music doesn’t get unarmed kids shot to death, “it’s different” does. “It’s different” infuses “these assholes always get away” and gives solace to people who hear that sound bite and nod their empty heads in agreement. “It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.
Getting a buzz from booze may boost creativity. Men who drank themselves tipsy solved more problems demanding verbal resourcefulness in less time than sober guys did, a new study finds.