If you’ve listened to Donald Trump speak at any point over the past year and a half, you’ve likely heard him use the phrase “fake news.” It’s become one of his favorite rebuttals — so much so, in fact, that he claimed to have invented the term “fake news” in late October. Much like the man himself, this marvelously idiotic assertion is what happens when you combine boundless egotism and staggering ignorance.
By and large, media outlets tend to lean in one direction or the other on the political spectrum. It’s a shrewd business move, really — the average consumer doesn’t just want a dull recitation of the facts. They like to be told what those facts represent; they want the information placed in context for them, and outlets are more than happy to oblige.
Consumers can always check the news wires (Reuters, AP and the like) for the latest information and use that information to inform their stance on a given issue. If we all did that, however, there would be no need for FOX News, no need for MSNBC; those outlets exist not to give us the news, but to tell us how we should feel about the news.
This is not ideal.
There are three tenets that comprise the notion of American exceptionalism. The first is that the history of America’s founding (as a bastion of freedom and acceptance for all, regardless of their political or religious leanings) imbues the United States with different DNA than that of every other country in the world.
The second is that America’s purpose is to serve as a force for positive change in the world. And the third is that the first two tenets combined serve as incontrovertible proof that the United States is naturally superior to other nations.
As many of you have heard by now, there’s been quite the kerfuffle about this year’s Shakespeare in the Park production of ‘Julius Caesar’; specifically, its use of a Donald Trump lookalike in the role of Julius Caesar. The backlash is coming almost exclusively from the right, and the play, along with Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot, are being held up as evidence to support the narrative that liberals are bullying and threatening anyone who doesn’t agree with them, so they’re the REAL Nazis!
This is, of course, nonsense.
I was walking my dog Max a little while ago, because he’s a good boy when he’s not eating everything in sight. I got to a crosswalk, and as I waited for the light to change I saw a girl walking down the street, dressed in that “retro ‘90s” style.You know what I’m talking about: mid-level socks with frilly tops, tennis shoes from some weird-ass, extinct brand like Avia or Etonic, purple nylon windbreaker with an elastic bottom that makes that swshh-swshh-swshh sound when you walk, hair in a scrunchie. The retro ‘90s fashion trend is as bizarre as the one we just finished with the ‘80s, but without any of the charm.
Anyway, there she was, dressed like she was about to go play with a Skip-It in the park. I took notice, but I’ve seen enough people dressed like this that it’s not a particularly strange occurrence. What was strange was how she was walking: she had her arms straight out from her sides like she was about to engage in some light calisthenics. In fact, she wasn’t even walking; she was strolling. Ambling, even; in fact, I daresay she was meandering.
From the moment he made his way down the escalator at Trump Tower and thrust himself into the conversation, Donald Trump has dominated the media’s reporting on American politics. Reporting on the latest misdeeds of Donald Trump has proven to be a full-time job, and criticizing Trump has become de rigueur. And while Trump has certainly done and said plenty to justify the constant media coverage, one problem with the media focusing all of its efforts on investigating and breathlessly reporting Donald Trump and the Terrible, Awful, No-Good, Very Bad Cabinet Appointments is that it inevitably takes focus off of others to whom we really, really should be paying attention.
Like Mitch McConnell.
There’s been a fair amount of uproar (in fact, I’d go so far as to call it a hullabaloo) recently about the Academy Awards. Before the awards were given, many actors (rightfully so, mind you) decried the lack of diversity among the nominees, which led to thinkpieces about those actors, whether or not their assertions were valid, and what we can do about the astonishing whiteness of the Oscars. Continue reading
I realize I’m a bit behind schedule here since summer is set to end in approximately 8 hours, but I figured I’d give you all (both?) a rundown of the songs I’ve been listening to since the last time I put together a playlist.
But before I do, I’d like to cover a topic that’s been bothering me for going on, oh, fucking forever: Upworthy. Here’s a quick vignette that describes what Upworthy is like: