Trump Fatigue

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Since so much of Donald Trump’s reality is mediated through television, perhaps it’s best to view the trajectory of his candidacy as if it were a reality show that hit it big in the beginning but then saw its audience diminish over the years, buoyed at the end only by the most ardent of fans who faithfully watched.

Continue reading Trump Fatigue

The news summer from hell and the end of optimism

globe By this point in the summer, a sane person could reasonably conclude that the world is going nuts.  Spiraling out of control, descending into darkness, making optimism a delusional last recourse – that kind of feeling.

“What fresh hell is this?” – the question Dorothy Parker asked when her doorbell rang – now applies to the news.  If you’re staying informed, you’re licking the razor.  Unfortunately, not following what’s happening in the world isn’t really an option.  These horrors seize our lizard brains; we’re hard-wired to pay attention to danger. Continue reading The news summer from hell and the end of optimism

Not Just a Pretty Face

prettyface Last week I was in New York to attend the founding meeting of the Professional Speechwriters Association. While there, I managed to take in a play at Manhattan’s Irish Repertory Theatre. Sea Marks: An Irish Love Story, tells of two middle-aged people: Colm, a fisherman who has lived all his life on a small rocky isle on the west of Ireland, and Timothea, a Liverpool divorcee who works in publishing. Continue reading Not Just a Pretty Face

What if We Really Knew What Media Does To Us

media What if we knew that the fictional rapes in HBO’s mega-hit “Game of Thrones” caused real rapes in the real world?  What if we knew that the portrayals of gay characters in “Modern Family” caused actual states to legalize same-sex marriage?

The catch, of course, is causation.  Medical research can prove that cigarettes cause cancer, but the best social scientists can do is to say whether there’s a “correlation,” or not, between media and behavior. Continue reading What if We Really Knew What Media Does To Us

A Very Fox News Christmas

tvguide Last year, the people (okay, person) behind May Not Be True News previewed the holiday season programming on Al Gore’s Current TV. Shows such as “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus” and “No, Virginia” brought holiday cheer to many dozens of viewers. In August, the network went belly-up. Don’t blame us. Continue reading A Very Fox News Christmas