Wednesday August 05, 2015
May 21st, 2015
Three female professors at Eastern Michigan University were shocked to learn that some young scholars in their lecture hall had been on their cellphones attacking them with lewd public posts, complete with imagery. It was all done anonymously, courtesy of an unusually obnoxious social media app called Yik Yak.
Their lecture topic, post-apocalyptic culture, seemed somehow apt. And to think, this was an honors course.
A tried-and-true advertising concept is a technique called myth analysis. In it, the marketer establishes a narrative that has nothing to do with the product, but which sticks in the minds of consumers.
It applies to beer and beach volleyball, GEICO and geckos, Budweiser and Clydesdales, AFLAC and a duck.
It applies as well to Republican presidential candidates and Christliness.
Jeb Bush, in an early declaration that he was not his brother George's clone, flatly acknowledged that while he loved his kin he was "my own man," and would shape his own course if elected president in 2016.
With the exception of President Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole of Kansas was the most influential Republican of the last third of the 20th century. He sought his party's Presidential nomination three times, winning it once. And in 1976 he was the Republican vice presidential candidate.
There's supposed to be an ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." Even if it's not ancient or Chinese, it captures a certain truth. World War II was riveting. The Black Death was so fascinating that no one could talk about anything else. On the other hand, GDP growing 3.5% and everyone raising contented families in spacious, airy homes with swell schools? Yawn.
Sweden's deputy prime minister Asa Romson was compelled to apologize on Monday after likening the migrant refugee crisis in the Mediterranean to the horrors of the Holocaust.
In a televised debate over the weekend, she had argued that the indifference of European governments was "turning the Mediterranean into a new Auschwitz." This sparked a predictable backlash, leading eventually to an apology.
Using the bathroom? Really? That's what this is going to come down to?
Because that's the obsession of just about anyone who is still vexed by the idea that transgender Americans should be protected from discrimination: the restroom thing.
It's not exactly a secret that big-time college sports often distort priorities on university campuses. But every once in a while, something bursts into public view to put those priorities in glaring relief.
Last year the vampires of finance bought themselves a Congress. I know it's not nice to call them that, but I have my reasons, which I'll explain in a bit. For now, however, let's just note that these days Wall Street, which used to split its support between the parties, overwhelmingly favors the GOP. And the Republicans who came to power this year are returning the favor by trying to kill Dodd-Frank, the financial reform enacted in 2010.