the baffler

the baffler is a quarterly political magazine that is a voice for left-wing liberal politics in america. it features political criticism, cultural analysis, short stories, poems and art.



if you misread the subtitle of this edition as ‘Trumps and millionaires’ you wouldn’t be wrong by much, as this issue takes on right-wing populism with a series of in-depth essays. Some look back to look forward, such as John Ganz’ essay on white supremacist and nationalist politician David Duke, and J.W. McCormack’s look at campaign songs’ role in politics. While others assess the contemporary climate, like Anne Elizabeth Moore’s look at ‘pink wave fundraising’ in the US midterms, and Jennifer Piejko’s whistle stop global survey of contemporary public art.
// from the issue: the sick history of the U.S. campaign song //

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The Baffler returns with their 40th edition and take a timely look at privacy and forms of surveillance, both physical and digital. There’s a look at how Silicon Valley’s campaigns to keep data in their hands and out of government’s or the public’s; there’s a consideration of the consequences of ever-improving facial recognition software; and how the rich hold on to their privacy through ownership of Manhattan’s towering ‘supertalls’ residences. Elsewhere film journalist Nick Pinkerton offers a capsule history of surveillance cinema, and Hanson O’Haver finds the paranoid style alive and well in skateboarding.
// from the issue: silicon valley’s astroturf privacy shakedown //

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interspersed between poetry, fiction and Corey Presha’s political and historical-influenced artwork, are a number of valuable written contributions appraising American culture and its politics. Two contributions, one on the #MeToo campaign, and another analysis of sexual consent and the delicate legality of it stand out in what is a highly analytical issue. Elsewhere there are essays on the rise of civil wars; various contributions that touch on Donald Trump’s presidency; and radical academic discourse.
// from the issue: manufacturing consent //

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issue 37, the winter edition of the baffler takes on the title of ‘power, corruption, and lies’. it’s a beautiful essay fest with topics ranging from the degradation of NFL to vanilla streaming services. it’s the latter of which that’s a standout essay from this issue, a damning appraisal of spotify and its ambition to “turn all music into emotional wallpaper”. elsewhere in the issue are political essays with its origin in the united states; the great rolling grift of payday lending; the surveillance-addled state of our movie screens and TV streams; and the antidemocratic dogma of public-choice theory.
// from the issue: the problem with muzak //

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