Love in the Time of College Admissions

A week of truly epic, virtuosic horse-shit reached its tragic crescendo today, with the murder of at least 49 people in an attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. A sobering reminder, if any were really needed, that there are real stakes in the Western world’s drift toward fascism and revanchism.

Blood is on the hands not just of extremist butchers like Breivik, who inspired this madness; or the alt-right trolls who egg it on as some kind of obscurantist sport; or the politicians and elected officials who have cravenly stoked the stupidest reptile impulses of their scared cattle followers just for a tiny chit of electoral advantage. It’s on all of our hands for letting it get this bad, and not arresting, somehow, the slide toward illogic and fanaticism. This is a day, like too many others, when those of us who are in the field of Education™, who like to think we are promoting reasoned thought and open-mindedness, really have to ask ourselves what it is that we’ve been up to.

What we’ve been up to, mostly, is typical American nonsense. Several has-been celebrities got caught up in an FBI dragnet targeting a Keystone Kops-style conspiracy to rig the already thoroughly rigged system of higher education in the US, a fiasco of such audacious complexity that even Rube Goldberg is somewhere smashing a Zima bottle in the hopes of slashing his wrists and finally ending it all. This prompted an astonishing response: media elites across the political spectrum, from right to left, basically shrugged, saying, yeah, what’s new? How do you think my excrementitious offspring Mackenzie got into Brown?

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson got in trouble for saying that world-champion rapist Warren Jeffs is just a misunderstood artiste, and that stupid-ass bitches just like to be put in their place, and lesbian sex is super-hot, bruh, as long as it doesn’t involve his daughter. What followed is an all-too-familiar kabuki pageant of media outrage that, admittedly, we participated in. (And successfully!)

Trump is still stupid and corrupt. Beto is still cruising on whiteness, dudeness, and heightness. Theresa May is still stumbling toward a catastrophically pointless Brexit in a comedy of errors that grows more surreal by the day. Liberals are still waiting by the telephone to hear from Bob Mueller that everything is gonna be alright. It’s not.

But we do have a smorgasbord of tasty treats for our faithful readers this week. Our tireless editors have been toiling in the Internet mines, tagging and flagging superior content on capitalism, MMA, tampons, Yugoslav architecture, and much, much more.

  • The white Southerners who fought US segregation (BBC)
  • People Are Calling For Tucker Carlson’s Firing After The Unearthing Of Unfortunate Audio Footage (Uproxx)
  • Bettina Aptheker on Shirley Graham Du Bois’s Autobiographical Writings (Black Perspectives)
  • Sarah Perry on The Quality Without a Name at the Betsy Ross Museum (Ribbon Farm)
  • Felix Biederman on Fighting in the Age of Loneliness (SB Nation)
  • Peter James on The Racist Dawn of Capitalism (Boston Review)
  • Suresh Naidu, Dani Rodrik, Gabriel Zucman on Economics After Neoliberalism (Boston Review)
  • “A Culture of Caring”: Documenting Home Health Care Workers (Folklife Today)
  • Oregon Set To Pass The First Statewide Rent Control Bill (NPR)
  • Tennessee Becomes First Southern State to Protect Trans People from Hate Crimes (GA Voice)
  • Drag queen story hour in America’s Bible Belt (BBC)
  • Only women bleed: Weird advertisements for feminine hygiene products (Dangerous Minds)
  • Designing Tito’s Capital: Urban Planning, Modernism, and Socialism in Belgrade (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Anja Mutic: “I’m from a country that no longer exists” (BBC)
  • Deja Vu all over again: Scooters invade downtown Atlanta (1916) (AJC)

Author: Alex Sayf Cummings

Alex Sayf Cummings is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University, whose work deals with technology, law, public policy, and the political culture of the modern United States. Alex's writing has appeared in Salon, the Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, Al Jazeera, and Southern Cultures, among other publications, and the book Democracy of Sound was published by Oxford University Press in 2013 (paperback, 2017). Alex can be followed on Twitter at @akbarjenkins.

One thought

  1. thanx for this. i share the anger, and the question. where have we been? however, one needs to remind oneself as a white person that ” the Western world’s drift toward fascism and revanchism” – if a “drift” at all – has been drifting ever since settler colonialism and longue durée enslavement. white terror is really not a newness for black people, neither for so-called “indigenous populations”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s