Thursday, October 9, 2008

Media City

Last night I attended a panel discussion on the upcoming election with Matt Taibbi and New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg. They provided some interesting perspectives about the fickle nature of the American electorate, how wedge issues and cynical tactics are used to scare people into voting against their interests, and how Obama is really a once in a generation, maybe a century, presidential candidate. Matt and Hendrik provided some fascinating political insights that I hadn't really considered before.

Hendrik pointed out that conservatives -- who so often think of things in black and white, right or wrong, this-side-of-the-fence-or-other terms -- have an ironically postmodernist view when it comes to reality and truth; namely, they don't believe that objective truth exists, or that reality is even real. Obviously, the awfulness and dishonesty of the Bush administrations forces them to believe this but isn't it interesting how, when its their ox that's being gored, conservatives suddenly believe in, other all things ... New Age relativism.

Matt, who I blogged about here a couple of days ago, made another interesting point about how conservatives are now more guilty of practicing identity politics than liberals. Sarah Palin is proof positive of that. She was chosen as McCain's VP merely because she's a female "hockey mom" who loves to shoot things. Her qualifications are, clearly besides the point.

You can see this panel discussion yourself -- and some of the fireworks that erupted there -- on NYCTV, Sundays at 8:30 PM. Go to the Media City website for more info.

Postscript: shortly before the panel I bumped into Matt Taibbi and told him what a big fan I am of his work. Reading his super-smart, razor-sharp prose, you'd never think that he's a really nice, modest guy in person. He shook my hand, asked me about myself, and was very cool and gracious. Matt isn't only a great writer, he seems to be a really great guy.

You can pick up his brand-new book, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire, on Amazon or at major bookstores.

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