It’s baffling to look back at the past year in politics, to begin to wade through the number of protections rolled back by the administration, or the number of Friday afternoons interrupted by news existentially threatening our democracy, or the number of times the President has demonstrated severe and unchecked senility. It’s also baffling to look back at the growing cast of henchmen called together by that President—a group of people so thoroughly despicable in so many creative ways that it seems impossible that they were all able to occupy the spotlight as much as they did, spreading hatred, chaos, and knowledge of their horrible chins (each more horrible than the last). But the Jezebel staff is committed to documenting and cataloging this cast of withered goons, and so, for our final episode of Big Time Dicks of the year (we’re going on a quick holiday hiatus), we present an educational tour through the biggest dicks of 2017. Listen to this week’s … [Read more...] about From Jared to Kellyanne: The Year in Political Dicks
Year in Review 2018 We made it through another weird year. Let's look back on how we got over. There is no shortage of things to read about our current political moment, but way too much of it is stenography for people in power that is nakedly transactional or stenography for people in power that mistakes itself as deep. There was endless garbage published in 2018, but these things were very good. “The Mystery of Amy Sherald’s Portrait of Michelle Obama” by Doreen St. Felix Doreen St. Felix’s essay on Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama is not just a complicated dissection of the work itself—which empowers Obama with a somber, steely gaze we haven’t seen from her yet—but also the ways in which first ladies are expected to contort themselves to fit an ideal image of the role. St. Felix stresses that for Obama, the portrait is of course not just a portrait but also a stunning corrective to two terms of racist cartoons, sexist … [Read more...] about The Best Political Writing We Read This Year
Start the Countdown Watergate was one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. See more pictures of protesting. MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images Political scandals are as old as politics itself. Sex, greed and self-importance often go hand-in-hand with power, money and cronyism, causing many a politician to stray from the straight and narrow. When the dirty details come out, the voters fume, comedians laugh and politicians blush. Some scandals, such as extramarital affairs, are merely personal -- these may be mostly just embarrassing for the parties involved. Others involve wrongful death or an abuse of power at the highest level. These types of scandals can cripple even the most promising careers. The Greeks had a word for it: hubris. It means the arrogance that leads to ruin. Thinking they are above the law or immune from any consequences, politicians sometimes take actions that prove to be self-destructive. Political scandals happen all over the world, and … [Read more...] about 10 Political Scandals
The Reagans at the Republican National Convention, New Orleans, La., Aug. 15, 1988. Photo courtesy NARA The political convention is a uniquely American tradition, one that is focused on the political parties that have defined Americans' choices in government for nearly 175 years. Political conventions, and the party system they are an integral part of, are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, the founding fathers of American government viewed political parties with distrust or outright hostility. Yet today, Americans can hardly imagine a government without political parties, and the parties' conventions are enormous, televised media events. In this article, we'll learn how political conventions came about, how they have changed, and what they are used for. We'll also look at some famous events at political conventions in American history. First, let's figure out what these conventions are supposed to accomplish. … [Read more...] about How Political Conventions Work
Has the Internet changed your child's personality? Huntstock/Thinkstock The Internet brings the world closer in many ways, but it can also create a layer of distance that encourages people to shed their inhibitions and act differently than they would during comparable face-to-face encounters. The experts call this phenomenon "disinhibition," and a growing number of parents are becoming concerned that the Internet is teaching their children poor social habits in the real world because the relaxed rules in cyberspace don't mesh with social expectations at home, at school or in the community. Aspects of the cyber-medium may have built-in limitations that can cause problems, too. Texting an idea to a friend involves lots of abbreviations and hurried responses. This type of shorthand doesn't have room for the finesse necessary to smooth the waters of human interaction. Emoticons -- those smiley faces designed to represent emotions -- are one cyber method of softening the impact of … [Read more...] about Is the Internet making children less polite?