Midasing, cookie-grubbing, and gish galloping are just a few of the rhetorical moves embraced by Trump, as The Week helpfully explains.
Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, has taken to NPR to dub Oliver Stone’s Snowden as a “gross mischaracterisation of what NSA’s purposes are.” One has to wonder—in what way?
Did Chuck Todd see Clinton’s relentless, suffocating citations of facts and figures and talking points and data sets as a betrayal of the late-’90s indie-rock code: Never Let Them See You Try? Was her ostentatious display of competence the oratorical equivalent of Neil Peart’s preposterous thicket of drums and cymbals and who-knows-what-the-fuck-kind-of-ethnic-windchime-he’s-plinking-on-now?
“By galloping sideways, the cat manipulates an intruder’s perception of her size,” wrote Carney, Cuddy, and Yap in 2010.
During his long life, it was said that Gore Vidal’s literary and cultural appeal stemmed from one singular feat: that he pisses from a very great height. Vidal’s rarefied, mingent corpus was disorienting and too snobbish for some, but for grown-ups, it’s a delight.
Over at Columbia Journalism Review, Shelley Hepworth dives into the sticky situation surrounding eyewitness video. In an era where citizens with cellphones often have the first—and best—footage of news events, what is the responsibility of journalists and editors trolling social media for material?
One of the less edifying displays in this election—there are many—is the level of left-liberal and radical critique of Hillary Clinton. Whether you advocate a vote for Clinton, Stein, or nobody, the discussions of Clinton need more ideological heft than is often observed in left-of-center fora.
Sit up and take notice, monitors of plain speech in our elite journalistic discourse: the New York Times has at long last elected to call a lie a lie, at least as far as Donald Trump is concerned.
“Say it to my face” may sound righteous and brave, but the smug boors who shout that slogan the loudest are often the ones least prepared to listen. If you try to tell this person how her tokenism makes you feel, it could mean a lot of work for you.
In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud describes the pre-historic man as a fellow who likes to get his jollies off by pissing on fire pits. “The first person to renounce this desire and spare the fire,” Freud explains, “was able to carry it off with him and subdue it to his own use.” So, too, with the $100 candle hooked up to the internet of things—he who subdues the fire with his app (n.b., this isn’t a euphemism, you perv) shall be able to put the wi-fi-enabled candle to his own use.
What do you get when you combine an atomized, alienated public that possesses a deep and justifiable mistrust in institutions with a floundering press-political-entertainment complex that’s desperate to hold our nanoscopic attention spans? You get a nation of half-assed shamuses who’ve traded genuine political argument for paranoid fantasies about alien masterminds, lizard overlords, and government airplanes dispersing mind-control mist over population centers, not to mention presidential candidates who think and talk just like conspiracy theorists.
“I explain to her that I haven’t called ahead for credentials, but that I just plan on quietly standing with the press corps, jotting down ridiculous things I see and maybe firing off some incredulous low-quality pics on Twitter.” (Thanks, McSweeney’s.)
“What set Peale’s message apart from standard New Thought invocations of the Higher Self and its abundant earthly reward was his clear allegiance to a reactionary brand of business conservatism.” Baffler editor in chief Chris Lehmann has an excerpt of The Money Cult over at LitHub—about Trump’s go-to religious source, Norman Vincent Peale.
Our friends at MuckRock will fund your pet research project on Palantir with their Thiel Fellowship, although we’re a bit skeptical that the program only lasts one year—we suspect the Paypal founder’s misdeeds and covert operations from intelligence contracting to publisher-killing, could keep you busy for a while.