France's Islamophobe-in-residence. / Blandine Le Cain
The Baffler,  November 14, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Normalization, Islamophobia, Save Our Souls

France's Islamophobe-in-residence. / Blandine Le Cain
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

• And so it begins. Over the weekend Mr. Trump, when asked how many immigrants he wanted to deport (or jail), threw out a cool three million figure. He gave a top job to Steve Bannon, a man who makes your common-or-garden spin doctor look quaint. We suggest you do not retire your soul for the next four-to-eight years. Why not submit to our magazine? (Apparently we’re part of an “intellectual renaissance”!)

• It’s happening everywhere. France’s fascist du jour, Marine Le Pen—whose father and political predecessor was rejected by 82 percent of the electorate just a few years ago—is getting interviews on the BBC: “You don’t gain any special insight on an ideology by letting ideologues take the floor,” argues Baffler friend Sam Kriss, “all you do is allow it to reproduce itself ( . . . ) We’re on her turf now.”

• “Americanness is a sponge, not an ethnicity; normalization is a key part of how it works” writes Hua Hsu at the New Yorker. “We should remain suspicious of efforts to welcome Trumpism into the fold of mainstream American ideas ( . . . ) to laugh, and to think that, at the end of the day, we all just want the same thing.” Sounds sensible, so why did the same magazine profile a prominent member of the alt-right a few weeks ago? Read Angela Nagle’s salvo on the link between the Internet’s countercultural id and real violence for some actual context.

You Might Also Enjoy

Signs and Blunders

Judy Berman

Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" finds moral complexity where it needed moral certitude.

word factory

Greek Tragedy

Doug Henwood

A masterful narrative of the Greek debt crisis, Varoufakis's Adults in the Room makes a case for the revival of a humane internationalism.

word factory

Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading