Afternoon Links

1. Michael Lewis checks in with Germany for another round of his series investigating the economy of European countries.

The only economically plausible scenario is that Germans, with a bit of help from a rapidly shrinking population of solvent European countries, suck it up, work harder, and pay for everyone else. But what is economically plausible appears to be politically unacceptable. The German people all know at least one fact about the euro: that before they agreed to trade in their deutsche marks their leaders promised them, explicitly, they would never be required to bail out other countries. That rule was created with the founding of the European Central Bank (E.C.B.)—and was violated a year ago. The German public is every day more upset by the violation—so upset that Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a reputation for reading the public mood, hasn’t even bothered to try to go before the German people to persuade them that it might be in their interests to help the Greeks.

2. Ever wonder how prostitution is illegal but pornography is legal? The only difference seems to be a video camera, the Internet and some acting.

3. The Onion, a fake newspaper, is getting a very real paywall. Luckily, the AV Club won’t be part of it. Whew, dodged that bullet.

4. Russia and Georgia three years removed from their war.

Monday marked the anniversary of the day that Russia and Georgia went to war, distracting the world from the Beijing Olympics for five spectacularly confusing days. And yet, three years later, little is clear about how the war got started, how it played out, what legacy it left behind, or even what to call it. And so the two sides spent the third anniversary clawing for control of the conflict’s narrative.

5. An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of “The Dana Carvey Show.”

Steve Carell. Stephen Colbert. Louis C.K. Charlie Kaufman. Robert Smigel. Some of comedy’s greatest minds got one of their biggest breaks on the short-lived but much-loved “The Dana Carvey Show.” Fifteen years later, in this exclusive oral history, the players recount the brief but fertile life of a truly unusual show

6. The two seem related: In the last quarter alone, the nine largest cable providers in America lost 200,000 subscribers, probably because people are sick of having 500 channels to watch but 20 shows about pawnshops and 100 shows about fucking cupcakes.

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