Best Of The Web
“THERE IS A FAMILY FRIEND, a man I’ve known for decades. A highly educated man with total financial security in his recent retirement. A man who always had a good story to tell or an interesting side of a conversation to hold up. Then, a few years ago, he got on Facebook. Reading his timeline became an exercise in watching a man’s descent into madness. Over the summer I was surprised to learn that he had purchased three very expensive AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. When I asked why, he said, “For the race war that’s coming” in a tone that suggested no further explanation would be necessary.
If you are under the age of fifty, the odds are that you have at least one older person in your life who has gone down this road in the last few years. If you are white, I am certain of it. Lamenting our older relatives’ journey down the rabbit hole of right-wing paranoia and vituperation feels, at times, like my generation’s version of having the big talk about putting Nana in a nursing home. “Losing a parent” has dual meanings for us after 2016. We’re dealing with the loss of people who are very much alive—but who have become such chaotic stews of anger, persecution complexes, racism, and half-assed conspiracy theories that they can no longer hold a normal conversation.
Intergenerational tension is hardly new; it dates roughly back to mankind’s mastery of fire. In this case, though, more than a typical generation gap separates us, thanks to a nearly irresistible system designed to draw in old white people and get them hooked on an outrage fix they end up needing every bit as much as their Lipitor.
Though Fox News binging is typically blamed for this phenomenon, viewership data doesn’t support the argument. Fox News tops cable news ratings, but cable news is a small, declining market compared to, say, televised sports, Netflix streaming, or anodyne sitcoms. The number of people sitting saucer-eyed in front of the TV all day watching News Corp render the arts of satire and parody moot is significant in Nielsen terms but quite meager compared to the audience of Monday Night Football.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Military relations in the transatlantic alliance are humming. Yet an intangible but palpable crisis is shaking the foundations of NATO – and it has brought the organization to a moment of reckoning."
"With the midterm election a week-plus behind us — well, mostly behind us, as Democrats continue to try to steal seats in certain locations — it is time to take a look ahead at what we are facing over the next two years."
"Leaving the ultra-Orthodox community is nothing new in Israel. Everyone, secular or religious, knows someone who used to be on, but is now “off the derech.” But the phenomenon hasn’t been well studied."
"Post Malone’s music is dead-eyed and ignorant, astonishingly dull in its materialism, an abandoned lot of creativity with absolutely no evidence of traffic in his cerebral cortex — and there’s also a negative side..."
"Having assessed over 2,000 CEOs and over 18,000 C-suite leaders since 1995, we are struck by how often careers of talented executives stall or even derail because of seemingly trivial issues, many of which are utterly fixable."
"While the revelation of an apparent indictment against Julian Assange sets an ominous precedent for news organizations, it also serves as a reminder of his group’s stark transformation."
"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."
"While many books experience sweeping popularity, Ferrante’s novels are part of a subgroup of pop culture that compels people to travel. Tour groups like Looking for Lila and Ferrante Fever Naples have popped up across Naples..."
"E-cigarettes may help tobacco smokers quit. But the alluring devices can swiftly induce a nicotine habit in teenagers who never smoked. This is the tale of one person’s struggle."
"As thrilled as I am to be hosting (and therefore not to have to deal with one of the busiest travel days of the year), I’ll be honest: I’m a little stressed out. "
"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."
"Be connected, be still, and be satisfied -- my 3 essential principles of Shabbat do more for me than all the halacha I learned to be a rabbi."