The Angle 10/16/2018

One of the gloomier American narratives of our time is the possibility that Millennials will not prosper as their Boomer parents have. We assume that the obvious question in response to this is “Why?” as if Millenials are the paltry exception to a trend of ever increasing prosperity. But what if the question is “Why not?” as if the inevitability of their situation weren’t already baked in before they were born?

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Kanye West And The Double Hustle

Kanye West is a small player in a sprawling, decades old play that’s seldom seen for what it truly is. The Double Hustle’s features are 1) real and genuine oppression; 2) mass, mostly justified grievances; 3) white hot media fascination; 4) obsession with celebrities who use their “platforms” to speak on behalf of the movement; 5) black politicians following instead of leading; 6) the inevitable wane and disappointment; and, lastly, 7) “non-commensurate victory conditions,” when “winning” for black people has a higher bar and a higher cost than it does for any other groups with which we claim solidarity.

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The Angle 10/11/2018

It only took us 20 years to understand that digital readers get “easily distracted, flitting from link to link, and a little allergic to depth.” By contrast, if you’ve paid hard cash for a newspaper and it’s the only thing in front of you, aren’t you going to get your money’s worth? Are you going to check Google News on your phone while you’re scouring box scores? Indeed, “In print, newspapers had few if any competitors. Online, they have infinite competitors.” This is the Achilles heel of making money from digital content.

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Project LinX 10/06/2018 — Gas Mask

A lot more people think they’re middle-class than actually are. This is because “middle-class” is as much an ideology as it is a salary range. By “ideology” I mean a “way of thinking” that justifies how one thinks and acts. It’s interesting that neither “lower-class” nor “upper-class” are ideologies. Neither has need for it. Both understand the true nature of class warfare. It’s crucial that the middle class remains oblivious.

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Steven Pinker And The Enlightenment Paradox

We sense that something has gone wrong, that our way of doing things has been disrupted by its own rules. That everything we’ve built over all this time is more fragile than it should be. We may even feel some low-frequency trauma that we might not have it as well as our parents or grandparents. What Pinker might dismiss as “un American gloominess” shouldn’t dissuade us from thinking through to some clarity about whether Enlightenment values are still sustainable, even though Enlightenment institutions are still going strong.

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Brett Kavanaugh And The Delusion Of Due Process

Due process is about the relationship between the state and a citizen in terms of the former’s authority and the latter’s rights. But the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing has nothing to do with a clear, definite understanding of due process. The confirmation process is a political, not a legal procedure, slapped together by Congressional staffers. The stakes may be high in this process, but there are no rules established by law to govern them. General notions of “fairness” may be more appropriate when discussing how Kavanaugh should be treated, but “due process” isn’t required to be one of them.

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More And More This Omarosa Thing Is Looking Like A Limited Hangout

What if every hyperreal public moment of Omarosa’s has been part of a limited hangout? What would that look like? What’s its purpose? I contend that it would look very much like what we’ve seen thus far–real in some sense, contrived and coordinated in a much deeper sense such that it’s more real than real. Even more so if we consider how she threatened April Ryan, one of the few prominent black reporters in the White House briefing room, like a scene from a BET reality show. Or that weird fiasco where she brought her wedding party to the White House, like a scene from a BET soap opera.

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What Good Is A Minion’s Resistance If He Still Supports His Master’s Agenda? (The DexFiles 9/7/2018)

“In the face of what may be the beginning of an existential crisis for this administration, thus far no elected or appointed official has willingly jumped ship from the Trump agenda. To quote John Heileman recently on Nicole Wallace’s MSNBC show, they are “Craven, weak-willed enablers.”

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