[-empyre-] Trump - Populism / Roy Cohn - McCarthyism

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Mar 14 02:29:14 AEDT 2017

Dear everyone,

In light of Renate's post, the New York Times had an interesting opinion 
piece today. I know this is US-centric, but it's relevant to the 
discussion of interior/exterior, the two conversations:

The New York Times
Monday, March 13, 2017

There are two words that didnt appear anywhere in yesterdays Sunday Review 
articles: Donald and Trump. If you want to see for yourself, Ive included 
links to every article below.

The Op-Ed editor, Jim Dao, came up with the idea in response to Trumps 
dominance of the national conversation. As Rachel Dry, the lead editor of 
the Sunday Review, explained:

Our ambitions with this Sunday Review were twofold: To highlight stories 
we think are important and engaging and to put forward an argument about 
the media attention the president commands. We decided not to overexplain 
the premise  though of course, that is what Im doing now  and hoped 
readers would find the section of interest whether they noticed anything 
different or not.

The closest the print section came to acknowledging its theme was what 
journalists call a refer  a short summary of an article elsewhere  that 
appeared atop the sections cover. It read: What happens when you dont talk 
about the one thing on everyones mind and referred to a piece inside by 
the comedian Joe Zimmerman.

Much of the attention to Trump is warranted, of course. In fact, its 
important. But it does have an unfortunate side effect: It crowds out 
discussion of other vital topics. In the weeks ahead, Id encourage 
everyone to carve out some space in their lives and brains for non-Trump 


This carving-out is increasingly difficult in the u.s., as discussion is 
dominated by the spectre (rightly or wrongly) of totalitarianism and 
brutality. So it's interesting that the NYT had done this, and just as 
interesting that the staff has pointed attention to it. We rely on cable 
news now (usually BBC Int'l) for news outside the deluge. And here, less 
attention is paid to the tweets (have they slowed?), more to the onslaught 
of legislation and hate-crimes across the country.

We need to carve out these emptied spaces for ourselves, before we're 
paralyzed completely.

Please send your comments, experiences, resistances, to the list!
We would like to expand the discussion of course; it's important.
If you live elsewhere, and the discussion seems less relevant - that's 
relevant as well; we're caught in a bubble in america...


- Alan

On Sun, 12 Mar 2017, Renate Terese Ferro wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear Maria, Alan, Simon, Patrick  and all,
> There seems to be two very distinct conversations going on here that I?m wondering if we should tease out a bit.  It?s a tension I think that has been at the heart of our listserv for a very long time, that between theory and practice.  Issues can be theorized, politicized, philosophized on an intellectual level in pretty memorable and sophisticated ways to help us intellectually appease our inner anxieties or at least try to put them into some kind of perspective.  In this discussion there is also the affective, emotive, local one where individual lives are being dramatically affected.  In fact both Maria and Patrick most recently highlighted those issues that affected them more personally.
> How do we make a difference?  How much do we write, discuss, 
> intellectualize?  How much do we emote?  How often do we take action? 
> How do we strike a balance that remains sustainable over the next 
> several years.  Where can the local, regional, and private prove to have 
> global affects?
> Patrick what kinds of changes are you seeing?  How has your news 
> shifted?  Do you have US students?  So many questions today on Sunday 
> but Maria?s post reminded me how often on our listserv there is a 
> tension between theory and practice.
> Maria perhaps you are a writer or an artist but are your personal 
> experiences coming through in your work?
> Looking forward to another week and thanks to Alan for leading us this 
> month. Renate
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu

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