Our culture’s worship of celebrity

It was in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age that the modern concept of celebrity was born, said George Packer. But if the worship of gaudy wealth and fame began in The Great Gatsby era, we’ve taken it to new, “perverse” heights in 21st-century America. Today, celebrity demigods dominate every field: There are celebrity chefs, bankers, computer engineers, chief executives, hip-hop […]

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Guatemala: A nation in the grip of depression

Guatemalans are suffering from “an epidemic of chronic pessimism,” said Jose J. Camacho. We all seem to agree that “everything is bad, nothing is certain, everyone has a price, and something evil lurks behind every good deed.” The media fuel these perceptions by covering every new incidence of violence exhaustively, lavishing special attention on the most frightening and lurid details […]

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China’s Ecological Mess

Thousands of pigs were found dead in rivers supplying Shanghai’s water, a grisly discovery that has drawn attention again to China’s toxic pollution, which contributes to some 700,000 deaths each year. Here are some points of concern: WASTE Tai Lake—a massive basin that holds China’s third largest body of freshwater, providing water for 30 million people—has been classified as a […]

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