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Category: Politics

2017-05-21 :: Jordan // Politics + Writing
Bring On Pence

Should Mike Pence become president, the Left will surely lead us in a national chorus of “Whew! Back to normal.” Correct? After all, our friends in the Democratic party have been saying for many months that President Trump is not normal, that he is uniquely unfit for office, that his brand of mendaciousness, volatility, poor […]

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Roger Ailes made his debut appearance early In Joe McGinniss’ landmark book The Selling of the President 1968, a brilliant first-hand study of how filmmaking and advertising techniques permanently altered the political landscape during Nixon’s landslide election that year. McGinniss argues that the postwar, television-era thinking of Marshall McLuhan and other pioneers of media study […]

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2017-03-01 :: Jordan // Politics
The Art of the Sale

It worries me that the speech was “a success” because it reminds me of experiences with publicity/promotion types for whom “success” is a non-negotiable perfect attribute, like the speed of light, so that even products that everyone knows became bestsellers because of shrewd advertising or clever placement or well-arranged (or bought) endorsements are, afterwards, used […]

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2017-02-17 :: Jordan // Politics + Writing
Out of Touch

What’s absolutely infuriating me right now, more than the daily psychic blows of the Trump era, is the way that my own (and others’) expectation that Hillary would win the election is being turned into a blunt-force rhetorical weapon against us—against myself personally and others who think like I do, as recounted everywhere, daily—not just […]

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Despite the joy of seeing beloved family members, I returned from Grosse Pointe, MI this week even more depressed than I’d been at any point since the election, since the casual, obscene racism and unthinking Trump support I encountered (among perfectly well-meaning and pleasant well-to-do Americans who sincerely believe themselves to have the best interests […]

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2016-08-24 :: Jordan // Politics
David Brooks: Retrograde Motion

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2015-07-24 :: Jordan // Politics
Trump is Hitler (Part II)

I had not watched Donald Trump’s July 8 interview with NBC News’ Katy Tur when I posted my (clickbait-titled) Trump is Hitler post on Tuesday. (I admit that I have actively avoided viewing Trump footage, in general, over the years — I am, for example, unfamiliar with his TV show about firing people.) But now […]

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2015-07-21 :: Jordan // Politics
Trump is Hitler

I’m sorry but this is exactly what nascent, doctrinaire fascism looks like. More timid comparisons (to George Wallace, to Barry Goldwater) are insufficient: Trump is following the Adolf Hitler template exactly. I don’t want to hear about “Godwin’s Law” when Bernie Sanders is called a Nazi in the National Review and Obama has been compared […]

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2014-11-04 :: Jordan // Politics
Get Rid of the Guns

Get rid of the guns. Outlaw the handguns; forcibly take them away from all American citizens. I’m tired of everyone’s equivocation on this point. 4,350 Americans were killed with guns between January and July 2014 and 475 of them were children. Gun deaths exceeded car deaths in 14 states during the same period. The statistics […]

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Jennifer Senior’s New York Magazine interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, wherein Scalia talks candidly about the Devil (whom he views from a strict, literal standpoint—”Jesus Christ believed in the Devil,” he points out) is drawing keen interest even when compared to the many other incendiary exchanges with the controversial jurist (both recent and […]

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2013-05-11 :: Jordan // Politics
Apparent Retrograde Motion

Rush Limbaugh is easy to dismiss (or rather, to not “take seriously,” since his statements are so exuberant and grandiose — so obviously geared to foment certain primitive emotions in his listeners), but I think he’s very interesting. Limbaugh is absolutely crucial to those entrenched, institutional forces of injustice, malfeasance, and the corruption and exploitation […]

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2013-05-03 :: Jordan // Politics + Writing
Not With a Bang

There’s a scene in Stephen King’s 1978 apocalyptic epic The Stand (in the 1990 extended edition, with the wonderful Berni Wrightson drawings and the lamentable Cyndi Lauper references) in which we are able to read several of the final top-secret reports by one of the United States government scientists who are desperately trying to contain […]

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2013-03-04 :: Jordan // Politics + Writing
How Long Ago

It’s strange to realize that you’re old enough to have seen the world change. The idea comes out of nowhere when you don’t expect it and aren’t looking for it but the frisson of recognition is always very strong — we grew up hearing our parents and grandparents talk this way and dismissing it as […]

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2013-03-01 :: Jordan // Politics
Popes: Velásquez and Bacon

For obvious reasons I’ve been thinking about Papal authority (moral, philosophical, financial, political and spiritual) in the past few weeks. Andrew Sullivan is among the loudest voices in the chorus excoriating Pope Benedict for “destroying the moral authority of the Catholic Church” (“The only word for that is evil“). But “Doctor Science” at Obsidian Wings […]

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2012-11-09 :: Jordan // Politics
The Makers and the Takers

If only one good thing comes out of the rhetorical cacophony surrounding this year’s election results, I hope it’s this: can we please, as a nation and as a society, reverse the inverted positions of “provider” and “taker” in our political language? Former Nixon economic adviser Herb Stein first used the term “supply side” in […]

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Of all the elements of American Conservatism that I dislike and/or disrespect (and it’s a long list), the worst might be Conservatives’ self-bestowed role as arbiters of who can and who cannot “politicize” tragedy. It’s not just the proscriptive, arch condescension of trying to do that — trying to police everyone else’s rhetoric in the […]

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2012-04-11 :: Jordan // Movies + Politics + Writing
Movie trailers

Not “trailers” as in “Coming Attractions” (or, the three-minute-no-second ads for movies that are a burgeoning art form in themselves) (I made one myself for my favorite movie). I’m talking about actual trailers, or “mobile homes” or “ten-wides” or “single-wides” depending on what sort of construction or zoning nomenclature you’re using. Would you ever want […]

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After finally watching Moneyball I realized what it’s got in common with David Fincher’s sublime, belatedly-appreciated tract Fight Club: Brad Pitt as an onscreen salesman for an abstract idea. In both movies, a reasonably subtle concept (that runs strongly against the cultural grain) has to be conveyed clearly to the audience, not as some ancillary […]

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A recent essay in Toronto Life magazine with the provocative title (the incendiary tone of which is probably invisible to the author, Jonathan Kay) “Almost Rich: an examination of the true cost of city living and why rich is never rich enough” has drawn the bilious scorn of Gawker editor Hamilton Nolan (and the commenters […]

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Thanks to the Indiana Senate (and their tactical regrouping over “creationism-in-all-but-name,” last month) I ended up “wasting” a spectacular amount of time poring over the actual court transcripts of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (the famous 2005 “Intelligent Design” Federal Case). (The rest of that site, talkorigins.org, is worth exploring in penetrating — or, […]

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According to Ars Technica (last Thursday), “Yesterday, after almost no debate, the Indiana State Senate approved a bill that would allow its schools to teach the origin stories of various religions when a class touches on the origin of life. It now moves on to the state’s House, where one of its cosponsors is currently […]

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2012-02-01 :: Jordan // Politics
Elizabeth Drew in NYRB

Elizabeth Drew has a new piece in the New York Review of Books about Romney and the election, which deviates pretty far into the “Greenwaldian” zone of near-existential dread that used to be the exclusive province of Noam Chomsky types. I actually have loved Drew ever since she was in The New Yorker comparing Ed […]

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