It's Friday, gang. Here's what you should know today -- or at least some trivial information you can use to make your co-workers think you're an obnoxious know-it-all. Have to admit, a lot of good stuff this morning.
1. It Was Good While It Lasted
I've thought for a few days now about writing something personal about the decline of the United States as the world's only superpower. Don't get me wrong: Despite the nightmare of the last 17 days we're still on top as a nation and we still try whenever we can to be a benevolent presence on this planet (even if we sometimes fail spectaculary). But more and more we truly are becoming a weakened power -- a target for ridicule from some, lament from others, and schadenfreude from quite a few. There's simply no way that any country can be the leading source of economics, culture, and military might forever -- especially not when mass communication and globalization have helped to level the playing field. Regardless of what the Republicans say, they can't make it "better" for us and turn the clock back. Neither can the Democrats. A slide into a new era of more balanced power is inevitable.
I think about this a lot and I wonder what life will be like for us moving forward and what it will be like for my 5-year-old daughter throughout her life. A lot depends, I suppose, on how we handle no longer being number one. Because, as you know, we're a dignified and graceful culture never prone to panicked outbursts when we feel threatened.
2. "Belaboring the Point"*
I know you're all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear more details about Glenn Greenwald's new media venture, which will of course rewrite the rules of journalism, lead to every dark secret in the world being uncovered and every government power being brought to its knees in supplication, and change history as we know it. Greenwald has tantalized us with only a few facts, choosing to withhold the details he didn't want anyone to know about -- a technique he's honed down to a knife's edge over the past few years -- but now the venture's $250 million backer, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, is talking about what we can expect from "Glenn's Next Chapter."
*With full credit to Cesca, who came up with this as a name for the new Greenwald news network
3. Secrets Society
Speaking of a world without secrets, if you've ever been curious about putting a face to Anonymous, Esquire has a fascinating and lengthy interview with Deric Lostutter -- AKA KYAnonymous, who helped to expose the Steubenville case through illegal hacking -- and his run-in with the FBI. A lot of moral gray area on this one, but it won't surprise you in the least to learn that these kids think of themselves as a part of the same movement that produced and elevated Wikileaks and Snowden. As they say, they are legion.
4. Net Worst
You're never going to believe this but Anthony Weiner is still in denial. He is also still, needless to say, a dick.
You have no idea how much I dislike Morrissey. He's an insufferably pretentious asshole whose disdainful lecturing in-the-flesh and bombastic self-pity on-record have made him one of music's most tragically enduring has-beens. He was always destined to age into a bitter, imperious old queen and damn if he hasn't -- and unfortunately he doesn't have a catalog of excellent music that wasn't co-written by Johnny Marr to back up and mitigate his snobbery. If you're inexplicably a Morrissey fan, then chances are you'll really enjoy this. If you want to know why I think he's the Gwyneth Paltrow of rock -- if Paltrow were boorishly judgmental as well as the usual faux-regal -- then you should also read this.
Have a good weekend, folks.