Magazine September 2, 2013, Issue

Future Imperfect

Matt Damon in Elysium (Tristar Pictures)
A review of Elysium

To give life to an imaginary world, it’s necessary to give it physicality — flesh and bone, bile and blood, and, in science fiction, gears and wires as well. This defiant fleshliness is what made Peter Jackson’s take on Middle Earth seem gritty and plausible, even to viewers who didn’t know Gondor from a gondola. It’s what made the original Star Wars movies — with their battered model spaceships, their puppet Yoda — feel so much more authentic than the glossy, friction-free, entirely virtual prequels. It’s why the dripping horror of Alien still terrifies, why the acid-eaten Los Angeles of

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

How Nature Works

Our contemporary debates about evolution are basically an extension of the argument Christians have been having with one another since the Middle Ages, about how much autonomy God granted to ...
Politics & Policy

The Myth Maker

Lawrence of Arabia enjoys a prominent place in the mysterious and self-perpetuating realm of myth. This remarkable achievement has always depended on the impression he left of himself as both ...


Politics & Policy


A Dissent on Dissenting I write in response to Arthur Herman’s article, “Sensitive SEALs,” in the August 5 National Review. I am a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer, and I agree ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Detroit is dead and al-Qaeda is alive. ‐ A group of conservative senators, most prominently including Ted Cruz, hopes to defund Obamacare by forcing a government-shutdown fight over a so-called ...

Keep Off the Grass

A rodeo clown in Missouri has been banned from rodeo-clowning for the rest of his life because he wore an Obama mask and subjected our president to ridicule. Tough break; ...
Politics & Policy


SPRING My enemy had hatched her young, Made real the heady boasts she’d sung, And when I saw the cherished thing, I vowed it would not fly or sing. My talons tightened in its fluff. Their ...
Happy Warrior

The Blasphemy Police

In 2010, the bestselling atheist Richard Dawkins, in the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post, called the pope “a leering old villain in a frock” perfectly suited to “the ...


The Latest

Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.