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2016 Postmodern Village
Conference Report and Product Update
Donald J. Tranq: the Trump Nomination as Great American Drug Narrative, Navigating Bat Country and Lessons in Coping
by Thompson Burroughs
We were 100 days past primary time when the drugs kicked in. Still, a year's long acid trip is as good an explanation as any for how a field 16 Republicans offering the same things they always have and one Democrat offering viable change could devolve into a contest between a pant-suited neocon representing progressivism on one side and a bright-orange Neanderthal with an albino rat on his head on the other.
Catherine the Grate: Imperial Russia, Caviar, and The Food Network, Cuisine as Competition in the Great Chain of Being
by Rachel Fley
Fley's thesis combines an ancient idea with our current obsession with making everything a game show, including something as simple as eating. Who knew there was such a clear hierarchy, from the hot dog man to the very Pantheon of Michelin-rated super-chefs? Where are you on it, Hot Pockets-munching X-er?
Williamsburg S. Burroughs: from Beatniks to Hipster Beards, Counterculture as Trendspotting in the Text of America
by Preston B. Roache
Each establishment must have its antiestablishmentarian adversary, and each antiestablishmentarian movement is subject to the perils of its own success, namely, becoming the establishment it rose to destroy. Roache illustrates this trend/counter-trend cycle as a gyre of evolving revolutions, and graphs them all via length of beard. Never has the politics of shaving been rendered so sharp.
Warren Peace: Warren Berger, the Reagan Doctrine, and Cold War Revisionism, an Analysis in Three Pundits
by Ellie Willis-Matthews
Willis-Matthews's use of three screens running commentaries by idealized pundits from left, right, and center rendered in shockingly lifelike CGI drove home the ways public debate has shifted from people talking to each other to the punditocracy talking past each other. Willis-Matthews scores big points for her "left, right, and center" pundits actually spewing center-right, right, and far-right policy positions. Fukuyama is right: history is over. Reagan won.
William Dean Howls: Establishmentarianism as Contrarianism, a Lament of Latent Privilege
by I.M. White
When the last remaining '60s radicals finally fade from the academic world and the political scene, they will, unironically, have presided over the greatest rightward shift in American politics. We, too, have seen the best minds of that generation, and they traded in their hysterical nudity for Chevy Tahoes and 401(k) accounts. Will the last queue-jumping yippie please turn out the light?
Mosses on the Old Manx: Cat Videos as the New American Literature, a Endless Chain of Shares
by Morris Jackson Hassburger
Hassburger, "Mos Jackson, if you're nasty," finally consented to join our conference after climbing down from his post as the flamboyant, resident Public Intellectual at the popular and surprisingly accurate Zappfeed media consortium to meld Hawthornian American classicism with a breakthrough array of fur-bombs and feline near-misses. Grimalkins unite: cat vids are what has made America great again.
Go Vest, Young Man! Hipster Fashion as American Expansion Narrative, Rediscovering the Dream One Craft Brew at a Time
by Imperia Porter-Abbot
Page presents a dystopian reimagining of a children's contemporary classic, with cute engines repurposed as autonomous vehicles, forced forever to do the bidding of their Bay Area overlords and sacrificed to the illusion of freedom illogically bound up in a gridlocked system calling out for the simple truths of public transportation.
Pitches, Part 3