The money . . . it disappeared! Like magic! / Travis Wise
The Baffler,  May 11, 2016

Daily Bafflements

The money . . . it disappeared! Like magic! / Travis Wise


• The Panama Papers have come to Hogwarts. Emma Watson, the British actress who played the much-beloved Hermione Granger of Harry Potter, was outed as one of the latest big-name beneficiaries of Mossack Fonseca’s services. Of course, being the “woke” feminist that she is, Watson and her PR team would like the world to know that these offshore accounts only exist for her privacy. According to Watson’s spokesperson:

“‘UK companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardised in the past owing to such information being publicly available.’’’

We don’t even need to bother with snark here. The fellow’s words speak for themselves.

• Finally, someone has the answer to the question that’s been on every American voter’s mind. That is, is presumed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump more or less popular than cockroaches and hemorrhoids? As luck would have it, he’s managed to secure a stable lead over both, but he’s falling behind when it comes to hipsters, traffic jams, and root canals. Thanks, Public Policy Polling

• Great news, folks! You don’t need to act happy at work anymore

Eat the rich

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Strip The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy of its satirical critique, and you're left with a logic that is dismally familiar. The categories of embattled manhood now trafficked by the cuck-trashing, immigrant-bashing men of Breitbart or 4chan are shifting but ultimately exacting; like Fourier’s taxonomist, they obsess over finer and finer distinctions. Their aim is not to elevate one idealized version of masculinity, but to break masculinity into a more perfect pecking order, so almost everyone can look down a level at the scum below. This new order relies on the traditional markers of manly achievement—a girlfriend, sexual partners, money, power, and, most importantly, control—but none of those matter as much as the act of division itself. It’s a coping strategy. Yes, the 4chan men like to make jokes about living in their parents’ basements, but those jokes are only funny if they can point to someone even lower than themselves.

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Further Reading

 October 16

When a conservative commentator like Bret Stephens starts explaining how of “culture” dictates behavior, reach for your bullshit detector.

 October 16

Some seventy-two years from the last American execution for desertion, the firing squad is a tough-guy pantomime for hacks and hams.