November Sixth

A great day today, as expected. Daylight Savings Time is kind to me as always. On a wave of enthusiasm for the correct November vibe finally setting in, I invented a Canadian bacon casserole (Canadian bacon, kielbasa, baby potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, pesto, sour cream, coriander chutney, and no, it doesn’t taste atrocious, you hater. I have a very happy husband prowling around the rapidly disappearing dish who can testify to its merits).

Of course, as I was writing this, I got an email that one of the edited volumes I’m contributing to has collapsed, so the bad luck streak might not really be over.

How Propaganda Works

Some British lawyer in Cyprus published an article praising Putin. Within hours, every major Russian newspaper and website published an article praising the Cypriot for praising Putin.

It’s hard to believe that Russian journalists all collectively spent their Sunday morning browsing through the obscure Cyprus website where the original article appeared and then all just happened to write a nearly identical piece about it.

It’s a lot more likely that the article was written in the Kremlin and then given to some Cypriot stooge to publish under his name for a fee. The state-controlled media in Russia were tasked with publicizing the Cypriot’s article once it appeared. It’s very basic, very primitive propaganda. What’s sad is that there is bound to be a group of “it’s because of the NATO expansion” diehards who will take the Cypriot’s piece as proof that they’ve been right to worship Putin this whole time.

Death of Environmentalism as a Brand

Poor kid. The world has moved on both from her and environmentalism. The aggressive embrace of single-use COVID masks by the fashionable people made their climate concerns sound like a joke. The climate crowd has dwindled and is trying to attract attention by posing for Tik Tok videos while pouring soup on artwork. Greta is now reduced to trying to milk the topic of ray-ceesm. As usual, she’s autistically oblivious to the fact that this field is staked out by people a lot less milky than her, and there’s no fruit to pick from it for the whitest person on the planet.

The diffuse, vapor-like goals of environmentalism only become attractive when life is completely calm and very boring. Climate anxieties distract kids in opulent societies from the monotonous perfection of their lives. But the second real problems appear, everybody forgets all about climate doom while the people who turned climate into their brand start hustling to attach themselves to a more profitable brand.

There’s a lesson in this, which is to be careful when you pick your brand. Trump, for instance, came up with the brilliant brand of “make America great again,” but it was a brand that couldn’t survive winning. It carried an implicit promise that was going to make the brand short-lived whether the promise was successful or not.