Ben Carson's ideal Republican National Convention. / Peter Paul Rubens
The Baffler,  July 20, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Ben Carson's ideal Republican National Convention. / Peter Paul Rubens
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• Despite Ben Carson’s best efforts to convince the Republican National Convention participants that Hillary Clinton is Lucifer, we know that if there’s one spiritual force involved in the 2016 presidential election it’s actually Loki, the Norse trickster god. “It is not very often that a thousand-year-old deity manifests in a foreign country in order to wreak havoc on an electoral contest, slaying taboos and causing spasms of cathartic rapture among his worshippers while sowing trepidation throughout the remainder of human civilization,” Pein wrote in March. “Yet there is historical precedent for this line of thought.” 

• Over at the Washington Post, Chris Lehmann expounds on the role of the prosperity gospel in Trump’s rise to power and his attempts to win over American Evangelicals. Although the prosperity gospel is a far cry from biblical orthodoxy, Lehmann notes: “The American Protestant mainstream, weaned for so long on the dogmatic gospel of economic uplift and possessive individualism, no longer processes contradictory information or intimations of a different moral alignment of economic reward and punishment.”

• This year has been hard. Please, take a moment and watch these bears

• Fr. Daniel Berrigan—who passed away this yearwrote of Selma in 1965: “The breakthrough had come, irresistible as spring. You could see it, whoever you were, trooper or housewife, white or black. You could hate it like the approach of death, or feel it in your bones like the nudge of Christ on Lazarus—but it was there, for all the world to see.”

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DACA was no DREAM. It was, at best, one of those restless afternoon naps one sometimes takes on a bad day hoping to wake up to something better.

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Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire, I say, shut up, the lot of you.