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After a Stomach-Churning Year, Feed Your Head With Zócalo’s 10 Favorite Reads of 2016

By | December 9, 2016
david-bowie-reading

Looking back over the last 12 months, many see a year of horrors—from political turmoil to mass shootings in Orlando and Dallas to the deaths of pop culture giants David Bowie and Prince. But 2016 was also a year that delivered a bounty of great nonfiction, some the best of which we at Zócalo have compiled here, in our annual list of 10 favorite books. …

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Just the softest of wars/ between wind #poem

By | December 9, 2016
poem-12-9

A small bridge leads to the sea,
but you do not cross it.
No field guide, no bottle, no bible, no gun.
Just the softest of wars
between wind &
some kind of sister poppy—
Ant in the golden
forest of your hair, finds the good place
to die, at last.
And the light does not exhaust
admiring him.
 
Louise Mathias is author of two books of poems, most recently The Traps (Four Way Books). She …

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In a Strong Community, Everybody Belongs to Everyone, Says Pediatrician ChrisAnna Mink

By | December 9, 2016
chris-mink-by-aaron-salcido

ChrisAnna Mink is a pediatrician at the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she focuses on health care for children in underserved communities. Before participating in the Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation event, “How Do You Fix a ‘Bad’ Neighborhood?” she talked in the Zócalo green room about what she liked most about the neighborhood she grew …

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After a Stomach-Churning Year, Feed Your Head With Zócalo’s 10 Favorite Reads of 2016

By | December 9, 2016
david-bowie-reading

Looking back over the last 12 months, many see a year of horrors—from political turmoil to mass shootings in Orlando and Dallas to the deaths of pop culture giants David Bowie and Prince. But 2016 was also a year that delivered a bounty of great nonfiction, some the best of which we at Zócalo have compiled here, in our annual list of 10 favorite books. …

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Trump’s Border Wall Sidelined by Major League Sports as the NBA and NFL Woo Mexico’s Fans

By | December 8, 2016
On Football Mexican Fiesta

Last week I asked Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, whether he fears that a Trump presidency will revive the anti-Americanism that was once a staple of Mexican life but receded to negligible levels over the past two decades.
Surprisingly, his answer was all about a Monday Night Football game played less than two weeks after the election. Namely, the first-ever regular season Monday night …

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VIDEO: Is Fighting Populist Anger a Losing Battle?

By | December 8, 2016
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Populist anger is shaking the world, epitomized by the U.K.’s vote to “Brexit” the EU and even the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. In the U.S., Donald Trump’s election has transformed populist anger into political power. Is a worldwide populist wave inevitable?
Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor has spent decades studying how democracies succeed and fail, in the West and elsewhere. He …

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If California Won’t Build Housing on Land, Why Not “Seasteading”?

By | December 8, 2016
mathews-on-seasteading

The devastating housing shortage in California keeps getting worse. Housing prices won’t stop rising. Why can’t we solve the problem?
Perhaps it’s because all of the proposed solutions—more construction, sprawling construction, denser construction, granny flats, affordable housing mandates, new forms of financing and exemptions from regulation—are built on the same flawed premise: that housing must exist solely on land.
And on land, California’s high costs, environmental regulation, …

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Is Political Correctness Making Comedians More Creative Than Ever Before?

By | December 7, 2016
David Letterman Show

When New York Times Magazine contributing writer Carina Chocano was initially approached to moderate a Zócalo/UCLA event on political correctness and humor, she was intimidated by what she thought was the title: “Has Political Correctness Killed Humor?” On learning that the title was, in fact, “Has Political Correctness Really Killed Humor?”, she felt great relief. “I found it interesting that one little word would make …

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VIDEO: What Does Philosophy Need to Do in the Future?

By | December 7, 2016
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Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor is the 2016 recipient of the Berggruen Philosophy Prize for ideas that shape the world. His work has crossed disciplines from philosophy to political science, anthropology, sociology, literature, art, poetry, and music. We asked him what the future of philosophy should look like.
 
This video is part of an Inquiry produced by the Berggruen Institute and Zócalo Public Square, on philosopher …

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An American in Lebanon Encounters Trump Supporters Far From Home

By | December 7, 2016
Mideast Lebanon

A few weeks after I arrived in Lebanon to volunteer with Syrian refugees, I learned that my plan to offer an English class for both Lebanese and Syrian youth in the small town of Bqarzla was so sensitive as to require an audience with the village priest.
After Sunday mass in the village church, a fellow volunteer, Samer—Syrian, Orthodox Christian—and I were escorted to the high-ceilinged …

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VIDEO: What Does Poetry Prove About Humans?

By | December 6, 2016
screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-4-32-27-pm

In 1798, poet William Wordsworth and his sister took a walk in the Welsh countryside. The poem he wrote about that walk—“Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”—moved readers deeply. Wordsworth was one of the leading poets of the Romantic era, and he called poetry “a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
What is it about humans and our relationship to language that …

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