In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
Bob Dylan is 75 today. He’s not the only one who’s still making records after 50+ years, but it’s hard to think of anyone else with as many good ones. “Keep it religious,” the Century’s longtime editor liked to say. Many people find this hard to do when talking about Dylan.
Time was when we had a neutral commons where those of us who wanted to say something could say it, try to earn people’s attention, and choose whether to give them our own. I’m speaking of course of the internet—a long decade ago, before social media swallowed it whole.
There are at least two important differences between a touring musician who skips a state to make a point and a service provider who doesn’t want to provide services on account of personal opposition to the larger thing being served.
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s death penalty sentencing violates the Sixth Amendment. Tomorrow, the court will consider whether to hear a death-row petition based on the Eighth. The first is comparatively narrow in scope: Florida has to stop sending people to its rather bustling death row unless that decision is made by a real live jury. The second, however, could be quite sweeping.
Here are Steve Thorngate's most-read posts of the year.
It’s all over my Facebook newsfeed: some retail stores are bucking the trend and staying closed for Thanksgiving Day, and people—Christians and atheists, conservatives and liberals—are applauding them for it.