July 25, 2019

“Mine is an odd destiny. Perhaps no man in the United states has sacrificed or done more for the present Constitution than myself — and … I am still trying to prop the frail and worthless fabric. Yet I have the murmurs of its friends no less than the curses of its foes for my rewards. What can I do better than withdraw from the scene? Every day proves to me more and more that this American world was not… Read more

July 24, 2019

In the first decade of the 21st century, an unsexy, inoffensive software markup language called  XML solved a problem that has been the predicate for all major historical transformations: extracting content from its conventional forms and repurposing this content in ways never before imagined. XML became the vehicle for liberating data – as digital representations of the stuff of the material world – from established publishing formats. With almost no one paying attention, new possibilities for endlessly reproducing, recombining, and remapping… Read more

July 23, 2019

Long before Donald Trump seized his spurious, self-canceling political moment as the imagined defender and champion of the “hardworking Americans” maligned as “deplorables” and “garbage” by out-of-touch, elitist Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, we have grappled as a nation with the complexities and contradictions of the relationship between “class” and “race,” and between “working class” and “white trash.” The Precarious  Position of the Working Class American From the late 1970s through the early 1990s, the collapse of the… Read more

July 22, 2019

                Bartoleme fell into a meme With a Nicolas Cage theme. In which Weird Nic went after The wise Philosoraptor. Whilst The Most Interesting Man Unspooled his dark plan, To build a spelling machine That would secretly wipe clean Our memories of all words Tied to fish, reptiles, and birds. Leaving just the indignity Of soporific benignity A dream world so silly Cheered on by Wonk Willy. In which Weird Nic grew large,… Read more

July 21, 2019

The underlying dynamics that cause & perpetuate racism are incredibly complicated, requiring honesty & introspection. Instead, we default to rote images of the individual as autonomous agent, actor, and author of her life’s drama. We default to conflated behavioral-linguistic perspectives on social change. and raising questions about the value of a “language lens” on racism. Read more

July 20, 2019

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings _____ I wrote this essay in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. Reading it nearly 3 years later reminds… Read more

July 19, 2019

Note: I wrote this essay a number of years ago, but am mindful of its relevance as we consider the Antonin Scalia legacy in the aftermath of his death, a task that remains especially vital as more than three years Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have reshaped the entire federal judiciary in his image (including, of course, the Supreme Court). Yesterday, Donald Trump also announced his intention to nominate Scalia’s son Eugene, also an attorney, to replace Alexander Acosta as… Read more

July 18, 2019

Despite his wannabe symphony orchestra conducting pretensions, Dennis Prager is one of the more discordant and less thoughtful of the morality police on the right. Which is to say he is – at his best, when hitting the high notes – an unsophisticated scold. But Prager is worth tracking anyway. He has for two decades been a fixture of the Salem Media Group’s low-rent network of right-wing, Christian print, radio, and digital content properties (Salem owns a slew of radio… Read more

July 17, 2019

Well, since we’ve been chatting about Peter Thiel … In July 2017, The New York Times published a fascinating essay about the cult-like worship of Ayn Rand among Silicon Valley tech bros such as Peter Thiel and Travis Kalanick, and of Donald Trump administration insiders such as Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, and Trump himself. In a much-read and discussed December 2016 LinkedIn post, hedge fund impresario Ray Dalio concisely (and presciently) characterized what we might expect the “traumatic” impact on politics… Read more

July 16, 2019

Early in 2017, the redowdable Maureen Dowd interviewed Peter Thiel (for the “Fashion and Style” section of the New York Times). Technology blog Gizmodo printed an orgy of quotes from the interview and gushed about its subject. Both Maureen Dowd and Peter Thiel are currently back in the spotlight for stirring up shit – Dowd for sponsoring the recent lunch where Nancy Pelosi ate her own maladaptive children (the wayward women of “the Squad”) and Thiel for his keynote at the National Conservatism conference in… Read more

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