November 2016 archive

Nov 30

On Terminators, Trump, and “The Guy” (3)

Martin Sheen as Jed Barlet standing at the podium with Presidential seal

[Part One of this piece focused on the 2003 California Governor’s Recall and argued that Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected in large part due to his fame. Part Two connected Donald Trump to Schwarzenegger and examined the role of public persona in the 2016 Presidential campaigns. Part Three comes back around the the question of public persona and charisma… Continue Reading On Terminators, Trump, and “The Guy” (3)

Nov 30

On Terminators, Trump, & “The Guy” (2)

Part Two: Trump [Part One ended with the rhetorical question, “What does the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election have to do with 2016? Both nothing and everything.” This next installment attempts to answer that question.] Donald Trump is no Arnold Schwarzenegger. As I watched the debates of the primary season, I found myself surprisingly wistful for the… Continue Reading On Terminators, Trump, & “The Guy” (2)

Nov 30

On Terminators and Trump and “The Guy” (1)

Hillary Clinton seated on a plane, looking at her cellphone, wearing sunglasses.

[What follows is a three-part piece that explores the effect of celebrity on American electoral politics in the 21st century. Part One examines the 2003 California Recall election. Part Two segues from the Terminator to Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential contest. Finally, Part Three connects 2016 to previous Presidential elections via Martin Sheen and… Continue Reading On Terminators and Trump and “The Guy” (1)

Nov 19

On Author Interviews: Masks, Unmaskings, & Masquerades

Blue masquerade mask with sequins and feather trim

[What follows is my contribution to a really fun roundtable discussion organized by Sam Cohen and Greg Erickson which focuses on artist interviews as a vehicle for cultural production. The other panelists were Greg Erickson, Jonathan Lethem, Eugen Vydrin, and Carolyn Kellogg.] In my remarks for this roundtable, I’m going to talk about two, or rather three,… Continue Reading On Author Interviews: Masks, Unmaskings, & Masquerades

Nov 13

On Safety Pins and Slactivism (and Facebook Birthdays)

closed safety pin casting shadow against a wooden surface

I posted a link to a think piece on Facebook last night. I’ve been posting lots of links to think pieces on Facebook in the last week or so. This one seems to have struck a nerve, both on my wall and on many others. It’s titled “Your Safety Pins Are Not Enough” and was… Continue Reading On Safety Pins and Slactivism (and Facebook Birthdays)

Nov 01

On Ropes Courses & Platforms

I’ve been thinking about ropes courses lately. Not ropes courses in general, but the high ropes course that I’ve had occasion to do a couple of times with groups of incoming first-year students in 2010 and 2011. I like to think that I’m not afraid of many things, but I am afraid of heights. The idea… Continue Reading On Ropes Courses & Platforms