* First Read considers the curse of the 2012 GOP candidate, noting that only Mitt Romney has avoided total credibility implosion. But stay tuned: it's a long way to Iowa, and I believe in the Mittpocalypse.
Of course, it's also worth noting that Obama's political opponents tend to be cursed in this way: consider that his main opponents for Illinois State Senate were pulled from the ballot for insufficient signatures, that his original run for Senate was facilitated by the scandal surrounding the divorce of Jack and Jeri "Seven of Nine" Ryan, and that his opponent for the presidency actually thought Sarah Palin was a credible vice presidential candidate.
* More on Kay Hagan and health care from Triangulator. Contact information for Hagan's Senate office is here.
* The MTA is trying to sell name rights for subway stations. Can't we get a court to bar this kind of silliness? "Atlantic Avenue" is a useful and informative name for a subway station; the name of a bank in London is not remotely. UPDATE: I'm 99% less outraged upon realizing that Barclay's is building a basketball stadium near that subway station.
* Michael Bérubé on the futility on the humanities. Said futility is not a bad thing.
* Žižek on Iran (at least allegedly).
And, last but not least, what this means is that there is a genuine liberating potential in Islam – to find a “good” Islam, one doesn’t have to go back to the 10th century, we have it right here, in front of our eyes.* Soccer in South Africa, at the Big Picture.
The future is uncertain – in all probability, those in power will contain the popular explosion, and the cat will not fall into the precipice, but regain ground. However, it will no longer be the same regime, but just one corrupted authoritarian rule among others. Whatever the outcome, it is vitally important to keep in mind that we are witnessing a great emancipatory event which doesn’t fit the frame of the struggle between pro-Western liberals and anti-Western fundamentalists. If our cynical pragmatism will make us lose the capacity to recognize this emancipatory dimension, then we in the West are effectively entering a post-democratic era, getting ready for our own Ahmadinejads. Italians already know his name: Berlusconi. Others are waiting in line.