The “New Yorker” Looks for Family in All the Wrong Places

Having read the New Yorker’s recent “family issue,” Naomi Schaefer Riley concludes that the magazine, and some of its readers, “seem bent on destroying” the institution:

Take the extensive interview with Laura Wasser, “divorce lawyer to the stars.” The founder of the website “It’s Over Easy,” which was recently bought by, Wasser enjoys philosophizing about how people weren’t meant to be monogamous. Echoing her favorite pop sociologists, one assumes, she notes that marriage was really for a time when people only lived a few decades.

The idea that “family” means what is convenient and enjoyable for adults is clear also in a piece on Feeld, a “hookup app for the emotionally mature,” which author Emily Witt found when “her fantasy of family dissolved.”

Between the articles about why prenups are so popular and “what should a queer children’s book do,” the one article that seems most relevant to a “conventional” definition of family is about children who lost parents to COVID-19.

It’s a hard piece to read, with emotional interviews with children and teens on what it was like to lose the most important person in their lives. . . . The spouses left behind are also bereft, trying whatever they can do to comfort their children even as they process their own grief. . . . The kids have friends, but it’s not the same. They want the person they have grown to depend on. They want family.

Read more at Deseret News

More about: American society, Coronavirus, Family, New Yorker


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus