Magical Thinking

Round-up of Recriminations

Corey PeinNovember 10, 2016
Fingers pointing
Fingers pointing

Recriminations will abound in the days to come. The finger-pointing won’t stop for months, years, maybe decades. After all, it’s not every day global empires collapse from within, tweet by inexorable tweet. Given the scale of the disaster, we should expect the arguments to be spiteful and counterproductive.

Protocols of Moron

Corey PeinSeptember 20, 2016
Conspiring in secret.
Conspiring in secret.

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 Dreamed President Trump Tweeted the Nuclear Launch Codes”

Corey PeinJune 17, 2016
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep." / Meg Nicol
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep." / Meg Nicol

There is no escape from the grotesque waking nightmare that is the 2016 elections. Not even sleep offers refuge.

Some friends of mine have been plagued by dreams of Donald Trump. As the journalistic cliché goes, they .

Primary Lessons in Propaganda

Corey PeinMarch 30, 2016
GOP Presidential candidates at the 2016 Presidential Candidates Forum, hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington DC on December 3, 2015.
Donald Trump.
GOP Presidential candidates at the 2016 Presidential Candidates Forum, hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington DC on December 3, 2015.
Donald Trump.

All propaganda is not advertising, but all advertising is propaganda. With “sponsored content” becoming the norm, corporations hiring “reporters” to cover themselves, and media organizations hiring political operatives to deliver the news, the notion that journalism once had a meaning distinct from advertising sounds increasingly quaint and fanciful, like believing in gnomes and fairies.

Donald Trump, Trickster God

Corey PeinMarch 04, 2016
Beck_TrumpFuz2BaflrWeb1602.4_24rgb
Beck_TrumpFuz2BaflrWeb1602.4_24rgb

The witch-doctors of the electoral season have utterly failed in their essential task; that is, to explain the alarming spectacle that has befallen the land like a sudden eclipse. Political reporters, consultants and pundits are flailing in astonishment as “the unthinkable becomes inevitable.” You know what I’m talking about. 

The old conventional wisdom held that Donald Trump’s campaign was a joke soon to be forgotten, that the bratty-rich-kid-turned-reality-show-star was unelectable—even in a Republican Party primary where a large share of the electorate believes the sitting president is a Manchurian candidate engineered by the all-powerful Islamic Illuminati.