Left coast writers splash in the Atlantic

atlantic-nov2011.jpgPretty good month for Los Angeles in the print and web pages of the Atlantic. Kate Bolick, the culture editor for Veranda magazine who divides her time between L.A. and Brooklyn, wrote the cover story on being single and 38 or so with a skyrocketing number of unemployed and de-powered men around in the culture. "As women have climbed ever higher," she writes in All the Single Ladies, "men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with."

If, in all sectors of society, women are on the ascent, and if gender parity is actually within reach, this means that a marriage regime based on men’s overwhelming economic dominance may be passing into extinction. As long as women were denied the financial and educational opportunities of men, it behooved them to “marry up”—how else would they improve their lot?...Now that we can pursue our own status and security, and are therefore liberated from needing men the way we once did, we are free to like them more, or at least more idiosyncratically, which is how love ought to be, isn’t it?


But while the rise of women has been good for everyone, the decline of males has obviously been bad news for men—and bad news for marriage. For all the changes the institution has undergone, American women as a whole have never been confronted with such a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be “marriageable” men—those who are better educated and earn more than they do. So women are now contending with what we might call the new scarcity.

Govindini Murty, the writer, independent filmmaker and co-editor of Libertas Film Magazine, has a piece asking why her fellow conservatives are staying away from movies — even the growing number with story lines that should appeal.

Witness the conservative public's tepid response to two recent films on "conservative" subjects: the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, and the Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated. Both films received extensive media coverage earlier this year. Fox News and the Fox Business Network ran numerous segments on each film (with John Stossel devoting an entire show on Fox Business to Atlas Shrugged), and both films were widely discussed on talk radio and in the print media. Yet when the films were released, they fared poorly at the box office.

Tina Dupuy, managing editor of the Crooks and Liars politics blog, gave Atlantic readers a tour of the Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall. This is what civics look like, she says.

Due to a city ordinance they can't sleep in the park surrounding City Hall. So every night all the tents move to the sidewalk and every morning they move back. They also recycle and have signs reading "Zero waste station" on all four corners of the park. I see a guy scrubbing a graffiti tag off of the wall of the landmark marble building. The group has a non-violence policy which includes graffiti. But their big concern: wheelchair access. It's a new goal to make the whole occupation accessible to those with disabilities.

Mary A. Fischer, a feature writer for Scotusblog, also has a piece for the Atlantic from Occupy LA as well as a story in the print magazine on Death Row in California.

On the male side: Atlantic associate editor Conor Friedersdorf, based in Venice, has several politics stories currently on the magazine's site.

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