Kickoff For March 11, 2024

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

A quick announcement: The Monday Kickoff will be moving house on April 1, 2024. And, no, that’s not a joke! The Monday Kickoff is becoming an email-only letter. Why? Almost all of the engagement with it comes via email, believe it or not. With the move, I’ll also be experimenting with a new format.

I’ll be moving subscriptions over to the new platform on March 26. If you no longer want to receive The Monday Kickoff, please unsubscribe before then. If you decide to stick with me (and I hope you do!), check your spam folders if the first edition of the new-look Monday Kickoff doesn’t land in your inbox on April 1st.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to our regularly-scheduled service.

Free Speech and Bad Meats: The Domestic Labour of Reading in Milton’s Areopagitica, wherein Katie Kadue looks at the unspoken debt that the poet, and his famous polemic about free speech, owes to what was considered woman’s work in Milton’s day.

Behind the Scenes, wherein Kimberley Nelson takes us into the world of the movie extra, a world that’s not as exciting or as glamorous as it seems.

Literary Fight Club: On the Great Poets’ Brawl of ‘68, wherein we learn about how a drunken taunt at a party during the 1968 World Poets Conference started a mass brawl involving some of the era’s most famous rhyme slingers.

The Dead Internet to Come, wherein Robert Mariani ponders an online world driven not by people but by bots — as surmised by the so-called Dead Internet Theory — a world which may be on its way to becoming a reality.

The Myth of Meritocracy Runs Deep in American History, wherein Jeff Fuhrer examines the idea of everyone in society having an equal chance of succeeding, how that idea became baked into the American psyche, and why that notion was (and is) false.

Mao to Now, wherein Perry Link surveys the changes in the ways in which Westerners — especially scholars and journalists — interacted with China from the 1960s to the present.

Nobody Wants Their Job to Rule Their Lives Anymore, wherein Eloise Hendy looks at the how conceptions of work have changed and the clash of culture between different views of what work is.

Auto Mind, wherein Adrian Daub reflects on the tensions between cars and pedestrians in Germany (and, by extension, elsewhere), and the effect of driving and car ownership on the mass psyche.

Nothing Fails Like Capitalism, wherein Robert Tracinski argues that the recent collapses of over-valued and over-hyped start ups doesn’t demonstrate that capitalism isn’t working, but rather that those collapses are a demonstration of capitalism’s self-correcting mechanisms.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt