reincarnate and revivify the thought and spirit of the greatest of American dissenters, Henry David Thoreau, for our time and historical situation. The commercial sexual valuation of youth is urged by the liberalization of sex and the fixation on youth in a competitive economy. Walden, Greif made Thoreau a personal symbol of strict judgment: I knew a philosopher to be a mind that was unafraid to be against everything. Each essay in, against Everything is learned, original, highly entertaining, and, from start to finish, dead serious. Even before he read. But his attunement is not a form of participation; rather, it is the prerequisite of dissent.
In Against Everything, Mark Greif makes us rethink the ordinary, taking our own lives seriously, exploring how we might live an honest life in these dishonest times.
"Mark Greif 's Against Everything as its title suggestsmatches brilliant critique with improbable optimism.
His essays risk embarrassment to analyse the irritations of urban lifehipsters, foodies, gym-goersso that we might see these characters in ourselves, and treat them with, if not more kindness.
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These essays address such key topics in the cultural, political, and intellectual life of our time as the tyranny of exercise, the tyranny of nutrition and food snobbery, the sexualization of childhood (and everything else the philosophical meaning of Radiohead, the rise and fall. Though Greif stands firmly on the left and is clearly inspired by the Frankfurt Schools project of radical cultural critique, his approach. A surprise of being around police is how much they touch you. Social-contract theory has a place for punishment, not police, except as herders. Occupy Wall Street, an action in which Greif participated. I taught myself to overturn, undo, deflate, rearrange, unthink. If n1 names a politics, it is a politics of a purely formal hope, rather than a developed program. Everyone is at least vaguely aware of the hipster, as they are of most of Greifs subjects (reality TV, food, pop music but few people bother to think hard about such things and what they might mean. Partisan Review, which is the obvious model for n1, was originally named that because it was sponsored by the Communist Party. An intellectuals job is to provoke thought and argument, and this Greif does as well as anyone writing today. He taught himself to rethink, and rethinking has released this fusillade of essays, as dense and chewy as a pastrami on rye from Katzs Delicatessen.
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