Prepare to Be Baffled Again

The Baffler, the late-'90s journal of stuffy-and-crotchety-yet-youthful dissent, which always read like it was edited by precocious 13-year-olds who wore bow-ties and read Das Kapital and listened to the Misfits semi-ironically and hated their parents, is returning.

The New York Observer reports that co-founder Thomas Frank is relaunching the sporadically published journal, which was last seen in 2007, as a reliably bi-annual publication starting this October. The publisher will be Conor O'Neil, a Northwestern University alum, former intern for Barack Obama's Senate campaign, and founder of the Clio Society, a nonprofit forum that hosts speakers and "cross-polinates" things.

The Baffler served as a springboard for Frank's career as a writer and political thinker—"pundit" would be too crass a word—that included the publication of his book What's the Matter With Kansas? and culminated in a column at, of all places, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page. The Baffler's whole editorial stance was all piss-and-vinegar and disenfranchised rage filtered through an intellectual prism, so we wonder how it will play now that the kids have all grown up and joined the establishment. But we're eager to find out.

Where will the money come from (it should go without saying that it won't make any)? Who knows, but according to an old New City Chicago story, this O'Neil fellow is "a member of the wealthy McCormick family," which is cosmically ironic given that the family's chief patron, Col. Robert McCormick, was an insane old man who used his newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, to advance the aims of his pals in the John Birch Society.