On Sunday night, Roger Waters made his feelings for Donald Trump plenty clear before a crowd of 80,000 at Desert Trip (aka Oldchella). A giant pig, emblazoned with the words “Divided We Fall,” hovered over the concertgoers. The words “Trump is a Pig” flashed on a screen a football field-wide.[...]
On Wednesday night, Las Vegas will mercifully host the final presidential debate. And it promises to be another rated-R affair. You’d except nothing less from the candidate who’s going to “make America great again.”
If you want a spectacle your kids can actually watch, then shut your TVs and travel back into America’s past.
Painting of Asimov on his throne by Rowena Morill, via Wikimedia Commons
In 1980, scientist and writer Isaac Asimov argued in an essay that “there is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been.
We’ve reached the final stretch of the most infuriating, unsettling election I’ve ever experienced. And we find the U.S. so polarized that—as The Wall Street Journal chillingly demonstrates in their “Blue Feed Red Feed” feature—the left and right seem to live in two entirely different realities.[...]
Give it up for U2. Playing in Las Vegas, America’s gambling capital, Bono turned a performance of “Desire” into a bit of Orwellian theater.[...]
“If you want a picture of the future,” George Orwell famously said, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.” Since his ominous warning of coming tyranny, and the publication of his dystopian novel 1984, Orwell’s grim vision has been put to various partisan uses.[...]
Regularly in these pressure cooker days we hear plausible arguments from liberals and conservatives about how democratic institutions have recently failed us, and how uniquely polarized we have become as a people. We also hear often highly implausible claims about how current contenders intend to restore some kind of justice or fairness.[...]
Doonesbury; November 14, 1999
Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History, just ended its first season with an episode (stream it below) dedicated to how satire can speak truth to power. “Satire lets you say almost anything,” muses Gladwell, “When you sugarcoat a bitter truth with humor, it makes the medicine go down.
For an anarchist like Noam Chomsky, libertarianism as it’s understood in the U.S. is a corruption of the term.[...]
Americans have often found themselves caught up in panics about immigration, like that now driving the campaign to build a wall between us and our third largest trading partner—when more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than arriving.[...]