There was no Cool left in America by the time the Trump era began, just noise. Part hair shirt, part hollow bombast, every day for four years Americans buried themselves beneath a falling skyscraper of cringe. The rest of the world was collateral damage. This culture had more than a whiff of mental distress about it. Over there: howling patriots, conspiracy lunatics, Nazi bodybuilders, militarized trolls, hustlers and grifters. Over here: brittle liberal worthies, nerds, meritless meritocrats, academic Torquemadas, trust-funded podcasters, pseudoscientific TED speechifiers, hysterical talking heads and way too many lawyers. Not to mention all the creepy racists, the OnlyFans fans, the ‘wine o’clock’ mothers, the whining, weepy- kneeling athletes, the hate-crime fakers, the wannabe Bolsheviks, the acorn-brained influencers, the over-exposed YouTubers, Jerry Falwell Jr’s pool boy, Bret Stephens versus the 1619 Project. It almost sounds dynamic. But two dogs fighting over a pork chop can be dynamic. It almost sounds alive. But dead bodies always release gas.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
In case you wondered …
… From Cool to Cringe: what’s happened to American culture?