Breaking of Silence

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Credit: Alamy

Like many socioholics, I’ve been virtually glued to my social media feeds over the past few hours, both appalled at and unable to turn away from the steady drip of new #MeToo posts and comments, and behind them, sometimes the stories, told with admirable, no-frills candour, and sometimes the bare hashtag itself, speaking of lifetimes full of normalised, regular harassment and assault. Women I don’t know, and women I do: friends, girlfriends, school friends, colleagues, mothers, sisters.

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Trump, The Cabinet, and the Purse-Strings of Power

***Warning: unapologetic speculation follows***

More than two months after Donald Trump’s electoral victory, many who did not vote for him are still in ‘Chicken Little’ mode, with social media commentators frequently inveighing against the impending disintegration of the United States, sandwiched as they are between the antithetical inexperience of the incoming ruling elite (Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Tom Price: looking at you – and your boss), and the abject ignorance of those they see as having cast their vote from some dank recess of the 14th century. Continue reading

Deconstructing the Antagonists

Several dozen news outlets have by now reported on the man who, along with his partner, was ejected from a Jetblue flight, after spotting Ivanka Trump in the cabin and very publicly taking her to task over her father’s general atrociousness (here and here, in the hopeful event you’ve had better things to do). Continue reading

The Muzzling of Satire?

It was Australian actor, author, and comedian extraordinaire, Barry Humphries (whose gifts to the world include the larger-than-life Dame Edna Everage, among others), who made the following pithy observation:

It is this shared sentiment Рone of despair at the misapprehension of satire, its importance in calling out demagoguery and ills in general, and the ever-present possibility of its erosion in the face of popular obtuseness Рthat got me in a bit of a rage this week, on discovering the palliative efforts of an American academic in combatting public credulity. Relevant, particularly, in the wake of the muck-fest of misinformation that was the 2016 US presidential race. Continue reading

Stand Down, Media. Are You There, Joe Average?

Rapes. Murders. Police shootings of blacks. Miscarriages of justice. Incitement of racism, of misogyny, of religious bigotry, of homophobic discrimination, all fuelling ethnic, sectarian, and gender tensions, which in turn stimulate the aforementioned incitement. Children killing children. Porn-addled priests. Continue reading