Your Morning Cup of Links

Yes, men really did greater things when boobs were harder to see.

A closer look at the Hellenic virtue of “frank speech”and when and why the Greeks became more polite

Men are getting weaker, because we’re not raising men.

Aristocratic 18th-century England was one long picnic of boating, archery, feasting and amateur dramatics.

Marc Chagall’s struggle with fatherhood

“We keep hearing that ‘black lives matter,’ but they seem to matter only when that helps politicians to get votes, or when that slogan helps demagogues demonize the police.”

Donald Trump is Jon Stewart’s true successor

The real giveaway is Trump’s employment of a classic Jon Stewart trope: Clown Nose On, Clown Nose Off…If the sin of “Crossfire” was its attempt to turn political debate into entertainment, it had nothing on “The Daily Show,” which replaced political debate with entertainment. But when challenged on this, and indeed when challenged on anything he said, Stewart had a ready-made defense: that he just runs “a comedy show.” This became known as the Clown Nose On, Clown Nose Off defense. When you’re caught doing something bad—a lie, a distortion, an exaggeration, selective editing, offensive comments—you put the clown nose on. Don’t take it so seriously, everybody, this is just a comedy show! But when your eager audience of gullible millennials tunes in to receive their instructions about what to think, you take the clown nose off and encourage them to take you seriously.

Donald Trump, who likes a good turnkey property, found this approach ready-made and moved right in, bringing along a very different and much older audience. Hence the repeated cycle we saw again last week. Trump says something blatantly false and offensive—in this case, that President Obama is “the founder” of ISIS. He repeats it, doubles down on it, insists on it. Then when everybody calls him on that, he insists with equal fervor that it was all just a joke, and what’s wrong with you, anyway, can’t you recognize sarcasm? And all of this comes with an extra nudge and wink, because his core supporters will believe he still really meant what he said and is only disavowing it to jerk around the media.

To be fair, this method is not unique to Stewart. If you recognize it from elsewhere, that’s because it’s a common trope of the Internet troll…But Trump is just a symptom, just the inheritor of the political world wrought by Stewart and his ilk. They replaced reasoned discussion with ridicule, leaving themselves helpless before a man who is impervious to ridicule because he is impervious to shame. You can’t make his candidacy look like a joke, because he already beat you to it. Thus have we turned political discussion into a comedic performance in which you are never required to stand behind or to take seriously your own position. I’m afraid that the results, as was often the case with Stewart’s original show, are not going to be very funny.

As I’ve been saying for months, Trump’s campaign manager plotted against the U.S. and NATO.

Meanwhile, Obama has released another 15 extremely high-risk detainees from Gitmo, including an agent of Iran’s Ministry of Intel (VEVAK).

500-year-old Albrecht Dürer engraving found in French flea market

Now’s your chance! 80-room medieval Italian castle to be sold for the first time ever.

The untold story of the fight over the legacy of “H.M.” — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory.

This would be important news, ripe for a smart Republican nominee to pounce on, but the GOP nominated Trump so lol whatever.

Trump is bringing Putin’s boy to his first classified intelligence briefing because he doesn’t trust American intelligence officials. JFC.


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Filed under Art, History, Politics, Uncategorized

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