David Petraeus, the pressures of politics, and the road out of Iraq. Early in 2007, when David Petraeus became Commanding General of United States and international forces in Iraq, he had in mind a strategy to manage the political pressures he would face because of the unpopularity of the war, then four years old, and of its author, George W. Bush. He pledged to be responsive to “both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue”—to his Commander-in-Chief in the White House, of course, but also to antiwar Democrats on Capitol Hill. — New Yorker

Week in Review: Guess Which Stories Were Made Up! In these slower-than-slow final weeks of August, during which the American media focus its exclusive attention on the political conventions and allows its entertainment writers to publish all the ridiculous nonsense they want, it can be hard to distinguish between the factual reports and the made-up ones. Can you guess which of this week’s top stories were total fabrications? — Vulture

“Don’t Tell Your Mom”: Freud and Everyday Life. My five-year-old memorizes song lyrics like they’re the plans to the Death Star. When he locks onto a song, he’ll insist on starting over if he gets even one phrase wrong. The sentence, “Start this song over, please,” is perhaps the most dreaded in our household, though we also find it charming that he can sing along to songs as different as “Iron Man” and “One Week,” or to music ranging from nerdcore rap to Arcade Fire or Flogging Molly or Kimya Dawson. — Bookslut

Ten Woody Allen Sex Scenes Better Than the Ones in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’. Much has been made (lots of it by us) over the love scenes in Woody Allen’s new Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Problem is, the film’s non-threesomes aren’t just dull by our standards — they’re even kinda boring by Woody Allen’s typical ones. After all, this is the director who gave us the Orgasmatron and the sex orb! — Vulture

Peter Fray

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