The Debates

The weekend debates probably didn’t have much impact. The main reason is that there have been so many other debates. By this point, all the candidates have their talking points down: Even Rick Perry could remember the three departments he would abolish. From the viewers’ perspective, these events have reached the point of rapidly diminishing marginal returns. The early debates had a significant effect because people were forming their first impressions of the candidates. Much of the audience had never seen Rick Perry and had not seen Newt Gingrich in a long time. But viewers with the motivation to watch on Saturday night or Sunday morning had probably seen previous debates. Frankly, to put it in Gingrichian terms, it would have taken something radical, absurd or grotesque to shift their opinions profoundly or fundamentally.

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U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More