As it turns out, it was an American, Edward Bernays, who wrote the playbook that Joseph Goebbels cribbed while serving as Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. Nearly a century later, propaganda still reigns supreme, but it now comes in two flavors: Hard propaganda is propaganda that is deemed as such by the dominant culture. Goebbels’ Nazi media campaign is an example of hard propaganda — it is out there for all to see. Soft propaganda, on the other hand, is those myths and narratives which are smuggled into the culture as the way things are. These are the entrenched…
Here are a couple poems I’ve been tinkering with over the years.
The Best Sunscreen for Your Face
I could prescribe
the distance between
my heart and what
graces the page.
Last night I fell
head over heels
over my bike
on the way home
from a restaurant
what I made
in eight hours
in thirty minutes
on band-aids, watch
repair, my bike.
There’s no such thing
as a free lunch,
as serving brunch
with a bandaged hand
to immaculate men
and women who ask
What happened yesterday at the nation’s Capitol interests me less than the mediated responses to the event itself. Across my Facebook feed, upon which I lurk and rarely post, there seemed to be a unified, uniform response. “These were not protesters; these were domestic terrorists,” in more or fewer words, is the phrase I saw repeated the most. I don’t watch CNN and I don’t read the The New York Times, but I can assume that this message was also the message that pervaded these media.
There is a fascinating piece of journalism that I’ve been showing my university students…
I wanted to take some time to discuss elements of what I’d like to call the ecstasy of identity. This isn’t a wholly new thought, but an idea modeled off Baudrillard’s theory that our new reality, a hyperreality, is defined by an ecstasy of communication, whereby the objective world has been transformed into a postmodern carnival. Our new jobs: to manage our virtual selves on a global network, where, despite the abundance of information, confusion and illusion abound, rendering real communication impossible.
Now that we have become inured to our positions in a complex world overrun by a surfeit of…
Good evening, my friend, good evening indeed.
Have I ever told you that my favorite holiday is Halloween? I love sweets, candy, costumes — wearing a mask so as not to pollute the world with my disgusting visage. Halloween, unlike most holidays, is magical in that it celebrates the ecstasy of anonymity. This is the one day of the year where I can be exactly what I want to be: anything but myself. Let me explain.
I was a beautiful child, Tim: blonde, featherlight, with ivory skin and eyes like a seascape. My parents lauded me, extolling my…
The West Texan philosopher Rick Roderick once remarked that “mass culture is enlightenment in reverse.” The more TV shows you watch, the more advertisements you take in, the more products which you let stand in for personality traits, the less you you become. But what does it mean, in 2020, to be anyone? Does the self exist? Erving Goffman would’ve said no, that the self exists much in the way an onion has no core. And yet, we tend to think of ourselves more as apples — that beneath a shiny gloss and some meat lies a store of seeds…
Where Does One Begin?
In 2019, Penguin Random House, the largest paperback publisher in the world, published How to Be an Antiracist, a nonfiction book by American University professor, Ibram X. Kendi. In a favorable review for The Guardian, Afua Hirsch described Kendi’s arguments as “brilliantly simple,” noting that while “[the book] is more of a textbook…there is much schooling to be done.” …
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, and the ensuing protests, there has been speculation on what can or could happen as an end-result of this moment of civil disobedience. Some are hopeful and others are critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, whose aims are not as calcified as say, the Black Panthers, or even Occupy Wall Street. However, it is worth noting that these protests, which have precipitated looting, riots, and unrest in neglected and thriving cities the world over, show no signs of slowing down. In my home state, for example, over twenty scheduled protests…
Essays by me, the Egg God. I am on Twitter at @sweeteggperson