Daily Bafflements

Russian bears, positive thinking, and American dreams

The BafflerOctober 05, 2016
The Russia bear never sleeps . . . it merely invades sovereign nations. / Magnus Johansson

The Russia bear never sleeps . . . it merely invades sovereign nations. / Magnus Johansson

• Chris Lehmann—brave soul that he is—has spent a significant amount of time this election season mulling over Donald Trump. Now, over at The Nation, he’s plunging into the growing industry of Trump biographies and Trump’s gospel of positive thinking. “Trump comes bearing the tacit message that he is not merely the aggrieved voice of dispossessed Americans; he is also the embodiment of their greatest aspirations,” writes Lehmann. “He is, believe it or not, the nation’s premier positive thinker.”

• Brooklyn now has the unfortunate honor of being the most expensive place to live in the United States—and if developers have their way, it’s bound to get worse. In Crown Heights, however, long-time residents are pushing back. But is it working? The Guardian provides an in-depth look at the anti-gentrification efforts of activists, organizers, and residents in the neighborhood. 

• Corey Pein, The Baffler’s resident dream interpreter, offers insight on political dreams and/or nightmares in his podcast, News From Nowhere. It’s crucial work this election season—after all, as he wrote in June, many of us have found that “not even sleep offers refuge.”

• Here’s a first for the 2016 election: Mike Pence has taken to inventing “old” Russian proverbs.