June 12th, 2014

TV

in defense of Game of Thrones

"We don’t watch TV to look in a mirror, we watch it to look at something else, something prettier or crazier or just completely different. Game of Thrones creates a suspension of disbelief so immersive it feels almost childlike, some great cultural bedtime story for people who thought they were too old for such things. If The Wire is important for what it tells us about urban America and social institutions and the moral failures of late capitalism, Game of Thrones is important for what it doesn’t tell us about any of these things. Instead it tells us is that for an hour each week we can be something like kids again, and for all those letters indicating all those 'adult' situations that precede it every Sunday, that’s no small achievement."

Politics

credit/blame where it's due

"As critical as Gingrich was, though, he lasted only a few years before flaming out and becoming a historical footnote. It was Fox News that became the ongoing, institutional expression of Gingrichism. The Republican Party would have turned right in any case, but without Fox I'm just not sure Gingrichism would ever have developed a critical mass. Without Fox, our politics never would have gotten so astonishingly toxic that a significant fraction of the nation — not just a fringe — honestly believes that we have a lawless, America-hating tyrant in the White House who's literally committed himself to destroying the country from both within and without."