Americana

Chelsea Manning’s Existential Threat to American Innocence

Chase MadarJanuary 23, 2017

You know the story: a court-martialed soldier of an unpopular war granted clemency as the very last act of a U.S. president amid great public controversy.

I refer, of course, to Lt. William Calley, the soldier of the Vietnam War who on March 16, 1968 led the systematic slaughter of nearly five hundred unarmed Vietnamese civilians—women, children, the elderly—in the hamlet that Americans called My Lai 4.

Be Afraid

Martha BayneDecember 23, 2016
Forsaken Fotos
Forsaken Fotos

In the final minutes of Doomocracy—a piece of immersive theater styled after a haunted house that ran in Brooklyn during the month leading up to Election Day—audience members were confronted with three doors. One was labeled “Clinton,” one “Trump,” and the third “Other.” Pass through the Clinton door and you were greeted by a pantsuited actor in a grinning Hillary mask and urged to don identical headgear.

The Baffler’s Trump-Era Gift Guide

Hannah GaisDecember 21, 2016
“We're gonna be saying Merry Christmas.” —Donald Trump / pexels
“We're gonna be saying Merry Christmas.” —Donald Trump / pexels

Forcing the phrase “Merry Christmas” back to the forefront of American culture will make our liberal-infected country “great again,” insists president-elect Donald Trump—but somehow, we’re not feeling the cheer. Instead of masking our suffering with enough mulled wine and spiked eggnog to kill a small horse, we’ve opted for a less traditional, more “smarmy” route: the gift guide.

New American Feud

Nikkitha BakshaniDecember 16, 2016
Left: Watergate salad (pistachio pudding, pineapple juice, marshmallows). Right: New American (duck, something, something). /
Left: Watergate salad (pistachio pudding, pineapple juice, marshmallows). Right: New American (duck, something, something). /

The 1980s in America meant saying tata to Watergate salads and letting a bit more of the world into our national cuisine. Then, in a 1998 restaurant review in New York magazine, Hal Rubenstein recorded a plot twist in New York’s—and, by domino effect, America’s—culinary history: Tavern on the Green, “mother of all tourist restaurants,” was trying to win the hearts of sophisticated locals.

By What Authority?

Hawa AllanNovember 23, 2016
Fibonacci Blue
Fibonacci Blue

The 1890 massacre of as many as 300 Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, by a U.S. Army regiment was precipitated by a Ghost Dance. The dance was originally envisioned by a Paiute shaman in Nevada, a turning point in a prophesy of his in which Jesus Christ had been reborn as a Native American, Paiute ancestors, too, would be resurrected, buffalo herds and other animals would return in multitudes, and “the white man” would relinquish all indigenous lands.

The Sanders Strategy

Max B. SawickyNovember 18, 2016
According to Max B. Sawicky, the left won't win by vilifying Sanders's recent comments on Trump. / Paulann Egelhoff
According to Max B. Sawicky, the left won't win by vilifying Sanders's recent comments on Trump. / Paulann Egelhoff

Okay, folks. This is the game.

Bernie Sanders is taking the line of resisting the intolerant, warmongering Trump & Co., while simultaneously challenging the president-elect to put real money into infrastructure and to write better trade deals, Trump’s signature overtures to the working class.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

Sam KrissNovember 17, 2016

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but how could the American people have given their highest public office to a man who is so clearly an idiot? Not just any ordinary lunkhead, but someone who brutishly, bullishly, maddeningly inhabits his own stupidity, who practically grabs the world by its lapels and shouts: I’m a big dumb moron, and I don’t care; you have to listen to me anyway!

Are Sex Offenders Human?

A scene from the film  Pervert Park. / De Andra/Final Cut for Real
A scene from the film  Pervert Park. / De Andra/Final Cut for Real

In July 16, 2015, Barack Obama visited a federal prison, the first sitting president ever to do so. It was a powerful statement of support for a broad movement—stretching from Black Lives Matter to Right on Crime—to reform the U.S.

Letter from Louisiana

Joshua LeibnerNovember 01, 2016
A bilingual Louisiana welcome.
A bilingual Louisiana welcome.

Even as Donald Trump’s campaign has zero chance of winning California or his own state of New York—and despite being spectacularly, unprecedentedly unfit for the office of the presidency—Trump will easily win the eight electoral votes of Louisiana. What could possibly connect someone like Trump to “Trump Nation”?

The Unshackling

Baffler StaffOctober 19, 2016
The Unshackling
The Unshackling

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that we devoutly hope will end soon: namely the Second Official Baffler Presidential Debate Liveblog, aka “The Unshackling.” This will be the last face-to-face confrontation between Priapic Reality-TV Has-been Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, woman and dead-end neoliberal.

Pussy Riot

Baffler StaffOctober 09, 2016
Liveblogging the October 9 Debates
Liveblogging the October 9 Debates

Welcome to The Baffler’s first-ever election debate live blog, “Pussy Riot” (yes, we went there). In a perfect world, of course, Hillary Clinton would have invited the members of Pussy Riot to be in the crowd as she seeks to deal out some richly deserved gender retribution to Donald “The Predator” Trump in what, by all appearances, is the death-rattle phase of the GOP nominee’s improbable White House run.

As We Saw Ourselves

Lottie L. JoinerOctober 04, 2016
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, many years in the making, opened on September 24. / John Sonderman
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, many years in the making, opened on September 24. / John Sonderman

On September 4, 1957, Carlotta Walls LaNier and eight other African American students tried to enter Central High School in Little Rock, but the students, who became known as the Little Rock Nine, were turned away by the Arkansas National Guard.