All posts filed under: Medium

Image: © R. Kikuo Johnson

Post-Truth & Late Modernity: Filling the Ideological Void

Post-Truth: a Crisis of the Intellectual Bourgeoisie In November 2016, just days after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Oxford Dictionaries announced that its choice for Word of the Year was post-truth. There, it was defined as, “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion that appeals to emotion and personal belief”. Since the emergence of the term, there have already been numerous articles and even entire books written with sprawling commentary about why truth doesn’t seem to matter to people as it used to. Many of which are written by center-left intellectuals and journalists who lament the end of a time when fact was regarded with sanctity over opinion and veracity was revered. One of the central underpinnings to these analyses is the idea that the post-truthers helped to give rise to Trump, as sites like Breitbart and even the POTUS’s own words on Twitter have warped what is accepted into popular consciousness as valid grounds for basing our belief systems. The musings I’ve seen on the concept …

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On the Consumption of Current Events

Over the summer as I logged into the fourth dimensional reality that is Facebook, I noticed something I hadn’t before. As I watched my social network ride the wave from Harambe into the latest outrage about Brock Turner, I got to thinking about the point in Romeo and Juliet at which the impetuous Tybalt kills the clever and rye humored Mercutio in a duel at the height of a stifling heat wave. I began to wonder about the ways that this summer’s outrageous events functioned as a release for each of us to vent some of our own heat-induced neuroses. Fast forward through the stream of allegedly apocalyptic events to Trump’s election. It seemed that everyone with two thumbs and a blaring screen before them cared to weigh in on what happened. Most of the people on my feed took one polarized stance or another in what a more astute observer in my network likened to a Hobbesian trap. No doubt, a climactic sense of bitterness and resentment arose online between Trump’s supporters and his …