Fascinating profile of pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim: "Barenboim, a Jew who holds both Israeli and Palestinian passports, has recently returned from Gaza. In May, after various thwarted attempts, he finally made it across the border to perform a concert.... 'One young man came up to me afterwards and said, "When the international community ignore us except to give us food, it makes us feel like animals. When you come here and give us a concert, it makes us feel like human beings.'"" (Financial Times Magazine)
Obama's original sin: Frank Rich argues that the lack of a moral and fiscal reckoning for culpable financiers could have disastrous consequences for Obama, who's too easily swayed by well-spoken, wrong-doing smart people. By failing to confront populist anger, "Obama gave his enemies the opening to co-opt it and turn it against him." (New York Magazine)
How to land your kid in therapy: Could having great parents make you neurotic? A therapist argues that "parental overinvestment is contributing to a burgeoning generational narcissism that’s hurting our kids." (The Atlantic)
Dave Simpson tracks down real people from famous song lyrics: "One day a friend called me and said, 'Turn on the radio!' They were playing "Walk On The Wild Side".... I'd never met Lou Reed. I called him up and said, 'How do you know this stuff about me?' He said, 'Holly, you have the biggest mouth in town.' We met and we've been friends ever since." (The Guardian)
The greatest music video ever made: That's Roger Ebert on this huge lip-sync singalong to Don MacLean's "American Pie," shot in one, uninterrupted ten-minute take and put on by thousands of people in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in response to a Newsweek article citing it as a "dying city." It's quite something. (Roger Ebert)
[Image: Drag queen Holly Woodlawn of "Walk on the Wild Side," with Andy Warhol.]
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.