But does it even matter?

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“In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 …


How did mask wearing become such a partisan issue? How has it, like dealing with Climate Change, become a “symbol” of the left when it is simply a protection against a deadly disease? The left will say It’s ALL TRUMP’S FAULT! That’s partly true. But the left has also used the mask as a symbol of “better than” and helped to push the conflict to the extreme. It didn’t have to be like this. Regardless of collective outrage and fury at Trump, that was no excuse to turn a simple mask into a weapon of war.

Let’s start at the beginning. …


In their book Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future, Roy Williams and Michael Drew map out how society repeats itself in cycles. In their book, the pendulum shift is a 40 year span. But there are other ways to see how the pendulum can swing in American culture. If John F. Kennedy inspired a cultural renaissance that led to a counter culture revolution, which eventually swung in the opposite direction to Ronald Reagan, one can see how the arc went from the 1960s to the 1980s.

The next big culture quake on the left happened when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. He inspired a renaissance of identity, of shared voice, which then gave rise to the counter culture revolution we’re living through now. What we don’t yet know is where 2020 will fit into this shifting landscape. Which side of the pendulum will the country swing? …


With Ryan Adams

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Last year, we made the case for why Joe Biden would be our best bet against Donald Trump. I thought Bernie Sanders was the candidate that would bring on another 1972-like situation as the one thing guaranteed to drive voters to oppose, more than anything else, is socialism. But that was before the pandemic hit, crashed the economy, and sent the country into a fear and panic spiral.

It was before Biden committed to choosing a female Veep, and it was before the murder of George Floyd sent the country reeling, with protests in all 50 state. On the left, they showed mostly violence by the police against protesters. On the right, they showed mostly violence by the protesters. As usual, the truth was somewhere in between. But this turbulent conflux has pushed the demand for an agenda that put would social justice — along with identity politics — front and center. …


Conversation and Debate is Better than Dehumanization and Suppression of Speech

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As a lifelong Democrat who has been fighting on what I thought was the right side I have never been so disappointed with how things have evolved than the reaction to this letter. While the critics of it do not represent “the Democrats” or “The Left,” they represent the loudest voices, which in turn seem to be setting the tone of how people should be reacting to what amounts to a plea for more compassion, less judgment, open hearts and open minds.

It was met with resistance for two reasons. The first, in our ongoing crippling partisanship we can cede nothing to Trump. Since Trump has already targeted the “radical left” and “cancel culture” it would seem that any opposition to it coming from our side is somehow an admission that Trump was right. That is an odd position to take but if you’re someone who has not been ruminating on the ongoing disaster on the left, you might be inclined to revert to “all things Trump are bad.” But this has nothing to do with Trump. It has nothing to do with the right, in fact. It is based on what many are noticing but not saying. It is born out of fear of totalitarian conformity of thought growing on the left as we head into an election year. It is driven by the key factors of a fascist state: dehumanization of those who disagree with you and the shutting up and shutting down of dissent. With journalism, science, films and books all up for the smack down, we have to at some point ask ourselves what we’re losing. …


Just because they tell you to sit down and shut up does not mean you have to

[My “day job” is as the founding editor of AwardsDaily.com, a website that follows the Oscar race. This is a crosspost from a piece written there]

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It won’t be easy for West Side Story to withstand the blow it was dealt when anonymous accusations surfaced this week. Steven Spielberg’s hotly anticipated movie, scheduled to open just before Christmas, will now face intense scrutiny about the alleged behavior of its male lead six years ago. A girl’s painful confession on Twitter blew up, and though all her social media accounts have now been deleted there is no stopping this story. She says she still has panic attacks and PTSD over what she describes as an incident of sexual assault. Ansel Elgort maintains it was a consensual affair and has issued an apology for the way he ended it crudely and thoughtlessly, but no matter what happens next, his life and career will suffer incalculable damage. …


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We seem to be witnessing the end of journalism as we once knew it. Maybe it was never meant to last, journalistic objectivity. The change started with the rise of the internet, when so many immigrated online and began telling their own version of the news. Blogs, comment sections proliferated, and before long, newspapers were cutting staff and trying to compete with the flood of information. Then came ad-based financial woes for print media and new models evolved to replace the old, which meant that a newspaper could survive online if enough eyeballs hit the site in a day. That led to clickbait headlines that lure the reader in with extreme phrasing to frame relatively benign stories. …


Tara Reade’s story isn’t going away any time soon. There will be more interviews, more tweets, more soggy think pieces, maybe even a whole book written in colorful prose about the many things that may or may not have happened to her. Whether any reporter will ever fully investigate the real story remains to be seen.

But a few pieces of the puzzle are still yet unanswered. One of those pieces is this: what drove her to target Joe Biden?

What made her reverse her positive opinion of him from as late as 2018 to seeing him as the source of all of her life’s problems and a worse evil than (or on par with) Trump? …


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Whether it was the Salem Witch trials, the Jim Crow South, or the Holocaust, when fear drives a system of justice it all too easily collapses under the weight of an angry mob. Conservatives will take this moment to call all of us Biden defenders hypocrites. So what?

What we know for sure: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape,” the saying goes, “than that one innocent suffer.” So far, that hasn’t been the position of the #MeToo movement, where we accuse first, ask questions later, and forget due process because it just doesn’t exist or matter. …


A lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes

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For starters, this story is horrible all the way around. It’s awful in how it exposes Tara Reade’s life for public consumption, awful in how ugly it has gotten from her allegations against Joe Biden that put a picture in the public’s mind that will be hard to erase, and ugly in how both Reade and Biden will be raked over the coals over this. He could not have known that the legislative aide who walked into his office 27 years ago would end up being pinned to his legacy for life.

Sasha Stone

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