Bigger Cages, Smarter Bombs

With a disoriented far-right having made its exodus off the most popular social media, we have now entered the historical moment of the Twitter Liberal. They existed before of course, and for some time. Always some of the most insipid and annoying people you would find on that abominable site, the Biden administration has ushered in their heyday. Because if anyone is in need of a platform through which one can transmit the feeblest ideological excuse-making, a site for kind of “I can’t believe anyone actually thinks this” bullshitcraft that through its sheer volume can act like a shield for the powerful, it’s liberals.

Wholly Disposable

We have become numb. Safe little phrases like “pandemic fatigue” don’t begin to cover it. Headlines about spiking death tolls and overwhelmed hospitals, new strains and nations cut off from the world interchange in our minds with news of friends and family sick or dead. The pain of intimate loss and the horror of the grand tragic-historical fill in for one another.

Liberal Democracy Is a Spectacle

In the vast warehouse of insufferable chestnuts that comprises popular American political wisdom, few are more cloying and useless than “democracy is not a spectator sport.” Not just for its thick-headed, football coach motivation-speech optimism, but because, by point of fact, American democracy has always been a spectator sport. It has always feared the mob, always relied on passivity to get its business done, and – if you’ll indulge another stupid sports metaphor – has always viewed the voting public as an inert crowd watching while the real action happens on the field.

The Spectacle of Independence Day

This July 4th let’s ponder the way in which our lives are dominated. Our existence slyly orchestrated. Our experiences siphoned down highways dotted with endless signs that ask in that prodding way “why aren’t you happy yet?”   “Kids are in cages” we answer. “They are ripped from their families trying to escape violence and poverty that … Continue reading The Spectacle of Independence Day

Civilization Never Happened

I. There is a truly noxious moment in Kenneth Clark’s 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. The art historian, knight, and life-peer stands across the Seine from Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and ponders the meaning of the series title.   “What is civilization?” he asks before peering over his shoulder. “I don’t know, but I think I can recognize it when I see … Continue reading Civilization Never Happened