A distinctly American tragedy in Colorado Springs
A host of unique pathologies culminated in another mass shooting
Earlier this week, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dressed in tactical gear and wielding an assault-style rifle — legally purchased despite a 2021 arrest for an alleged bomb threat that was never adjudicated — Aldrich murdered five people and wounded 17 others before being violently subdued by nightclub patrons. When Aldrich appeared in court on Wednesday, the face of the shooter, whose attorneys said uses they/them pronouns, was described as “bruised” and “swollen,” his jaw and mouth so damaged that he was “uttering slurred responses” to questions from the judge. ...
How George ‘Tyrus’ Murdoch became a Fox News superstar
The pro wrestler is now one of the most popular voices on the network
A decade ago, the 6’8”, 400-pound American pro wrestler George “Tyrus” Murdoch served as comedy relief in the WWE, gyrating his blubbery, singlet-clad frame in the ring. Now, however, he occupies a spot near the top of the Right-wing pop cultural food chain, appearing as a regular panelist on Fox News’s top-rated Gutfeld! programme, hosted by Greg Gutfeld. He has also authored a best-selling autobiography, and recently became only the second black pro wrestler to claim the sport’s most storied title belt, the 73-year-old NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship (upsetting a number of former champions in the process). ...
Like her or not, Nancy Pelosi is a hard act to follow
She held together the moderate and progressive wings of the party
This Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her retirement as leader of the House Democratic caucus. One of the most powerful and polarising figures in recent political history — and undoubtedly the most powerful woman in the history of American politics — Pelosi dutifully advanced the interests of her party while her businessman husband Paul amassed a $160 million fortune during her four decades in office. Although she didn’t cite the recent home invasion that led to Paul’s injuries as a cause for stepping down, she told CNN last Sunday that any decision to run “is about family” as well as her colleagues. ...
Blake Masters fails to conquer Arizona
Peter Thiel’s protégé was the victim of a broader shift back to the centre
On paper, recently defeated Arizona senate candidate Blake Masters seemed to have it all. He had the Stanford pedigree, the legal background, the venture capital expertise, and a longtime friendship with billionaire businessman Peter Thiel — whose lecture notes Masters turned into a successful book. Only 36, Masters had the added benefit of cutting his teeth in the extremely online world that has produced many of the rising stars of the latest iteration of the New Right.
What the Donald Trump-endorsed Masters did not have, as proved by last Tuesday’s midterm elections, was voter support sufficient to unseat incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly. Kelly is an unexciting moderate and retired astronaut whose primary claims to fame are being one half of the only pair of identical twins to have orbited the earth and developing an interest in politics after deranged assailant Jared Loughner attempted to murder his wife, then-congresswoman Gabby Giffords. ...
Elon Musk needn’t worry about Twitter’s Left-wing rivals
Mastodon and Tribel are poor imitations
Earlier this week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman joined the open-source social framework Mastodon. Citing concerns about a “Muskocalypse” that would result in a “loss of critical mass” — whatever that means — the Nobel Prize-winning economist immediately began struggling with Mastodon’s interface. “So far things not going well,” he wrote on Twitter.
Although I have no particular problems with Twitter, I decided to follow Krugman’s example and see if Mastodon offered a better user experience. I also wanted to take a look at Tribel, the “pro-democracy” alternative to Twitter operated by Occupy Democrats founders Rafael and Omar Rivero, as some of my most treasured media acquaintances have laid down virtual stakes there in the event of the aforementioned “Muskocalypse”. ...
Left and Right are wrong about Paul Pelosi attacks
Neither side has a satisfactory explanation for David DePape's attack
Last week, 82-year-old Paul Pelosi was attacked in his San Francisco home by David DePape, a local man identified in the San Francisco Chronicle a decade earlier as a “hemp jewellery maker” who lived with a nudist activist. Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and a businessman with a fortune estimated at $120 million, suffered serious injuries. He had been struggling with DePape for control of a hammer when police — admitted to the residence by an unidentified third party — rushed in and subdued the assailant, who had allegedly been shouting “Where’s Nancy?” during the attack. ...
What will Kanye West do next?
The alternative Right-wing economy isn't very lucrative
Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, has seen his financial fortunes take a downturn since he made a number of anti-Semitic remarks. As is de rigueur in the risk-averse corporate world of 2022, many companies terminated their relationships with Ye. Some, like the design house Balenciaga, could simply erase all mention of the rapper from their websites. Others, such as Adidas and Foot Locker, had to act quickly to remove Ye’s Yeezy apparel line from production as well as the retail stores where these products were sold. West had already ended his relationship with Gap prior to this controversy, but the company shut down YeezyGap.com and removed all Yeezy products from its store after his remarks had circulated widely. ...
Anime: the new conservative battleground
Divisions in the American Right are widening
Recently, Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh threw some fuel onto a simmering intra-Right-wing cultural conflict by referring to anime — animation produced in Japan that often deals with science-fiction or fantasy themes — as “satanic.” “I have no argument for why it’s satanic,” he explained, “it just seems that way to me.”
Setting aside the truthfulness of this claim, Walsh’s provocation speaks to a major tension in American Right-wing politics that has existed at least since the “alt-Right” emerged as a small but influential force behind Donald Trump’s 2016 victory. Reared in the aesthetics of video games and extremely online culture, many on the alt-Right used images derived from manga (Japanese comics) and anime to create compelling “God Emperor Trump” meme images. Indeed, one of the movement’s catchphrases — “Trump will make anime real” — began its life as a part of a 2012 meme in support of Right-libertarian American politician Ron Paul. ...