the left

Milo is not your worst enemy

Some unsolicited thoughts on the Milo controversy:

1. The total collapse of entertainment and politics into one another—i.e. The fact that the political arena is now under the umbrella of the entertainment industry as Fran Lebowitz said last Monday in conversation at New York Live Arts—means that we can no longer differentiate between POLITICIANS and ENTERTAINERS. It almost seems silly to mention in hindsight, but we saw this with the cult of Obama, who was “charming” and “adorable” and did things “like a boss,” never mind his merits as a statesman and his hand in paving the way for the Trump Administration, as well as the trickle-down cults of political heartthrobs Cory Booker and Justin Trudeau. (To paraphrase Fran again: politicians aren’t here to entertain you nor are you here to provide an audience for politicians. Their job is to represent your constituency.)

A Tale of Two Cynics

Years ago, in 2013, I went to see the internet and technology critic Evgeny Morozov give a talk at MoMA PS1 with a guy named David Auerbach, who describes himself as a writer and software engineer, but in practice amounted to something like a Silicon Valley mouthpiece. At the time, Morozov had just published his second book, To Save Everything, Click Here, a takedown of what he called "solutionism," the Valley's basic organizational ethos that identifies problems as problems on the basis of whether or not they can be "solved" (and which has trickled down into the cultural vulgate as "there's an app for that").