What the Hell is Going on in the World? LINKS 01/26/18


 

GOOD vs. EVIL

Why is modern-day pop culture obsessed with good vs. evil themes?

Good guy/bad guy narratives might not possess any moral sophistication, but they do promote social stability, and they’re useful for getting people to sign up for armies and fight in wars with other nations. Their values feel like morality, and the association with folklore and mythology lends them a patina of legitimacy, but still, they don’t arise from a moral vision. They are rooted instead in a political vision, which is why they don’t help us deliberate, or think more deeply about the meanings of our actions. Like the original Grimm stories, they’re a political tool designed to bind nations together.


 

LEGENDS

“Mind-blowing” unreleased music from Prince is coming soon, according to the late star’s estate.

“Previously unreleased Prince music is ‘coming soon,’ estate adviser Troy Carter tells Variety, although he declined to specify any further details about the recordings.

“He was a guy who practically lived in a recording studio, and once we started going through [the unreleased material] we really started finding some gems,” Carter, who is also Spotify’s global head of creative services, said earlier this month. “I heard some music the other night that was pretty mind-blowing and we’re getting some stuff mixed right now. We’ve got great projects in the works that I’m excited to talk about.


 

NATURE

A collection of spider eye arrangements.

spider eyes


 

 

UNCERTAINTY 

Walter Kirn on Trump, chaos, uncertainty and confusion.

Trump’s narcissism is larger than himself. With his seemingly inexhaustible hunger for injury and blame and anger, he encourages people to feel his pain, to join him in directing it at others, to wallow in their own. What a strange function for a president: aggravating and revealing trauma. Usually they strive to do the opposite. Obama was like that. He made things seem okay even when they weren’t. He presided over terrible wars, the loss of our privacy, and the consolidation of extreme economic inequality. Once we had absorbed the shock from some difficulty or disaster, Obama would urge us to shift our attention to possible remedies or merely back to normal life. Not Trump. That is not his instinct or his way. He doesn’t buffer; he intensifies. He provides a twisted kind of public service, often dispiriting, frequently alarming, but important nonetheless. America has been the scene of many crimes. Trump shows us where the blood is — the old blood, the blood that has dried and that no one wants to see.

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