O.J. Simpson, the Iraq War and the Day Satire Died

Henry Kissinger died and thus a spotlight shone on imperialist absurdity. A Tom Lehrer quote has re-emerged in the American zeitgeist: “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize.” Indeed, it is no secret that Kissinger killed millions. It is also no secret that O.J. Simpson very likely killed his wife. Yet, Simpson jests in a recent viral TikTok that he is a “slayer of the women.” In this way, Simpson reclaims the narrative — such blatant irony could only come from a subject wholly unaffected by his guilt. Any further condemnation of his moral corruption is futile; the comment section is only full of jokes because what is there to gain from saying, “Hey!

Against Mark Rober Vigilantism

An unforgettable quote from a very forgettable movie: “Batman is a fascist!” DC’s latest Blue Beetle rides the wave of tokenist superhero films meant to vacuously pander to some corporate misconception of progressivism — yes, us progressives love cookie-cutter, AI-written afterthought action flicks so long as they promote BIPOC cultures in the same way that a NatGeo documentary promotes endangered birds. It’s reminiscent of that sentiment many Asian Americans felt from Crazy Rich Asians; it is the prerogative of out-of-touch Hollywood execs who want to cash in on the fact that they know about Hawker stalls from white people who don’t. 

That deliberately outrageous quip, though, should provoke a sympathetic response from any sincere liberationist. Who does Batman think he is? Did Spider-Man just throw a manhole at a homeless shoplifter down on his luck? I’m reminded of that thing filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu said: “I see heroes every day.

Elfbar Ideology: Reimagining the Death Drive

Slavoj Zizek, a proponent of Jacques Lacan, describes the psychoanalytic concept of the death drive as “the fundamental libidinal stance of the human individual for self-sabotaging; the basic idea of psychoanalysis is the pursuit of unhappiness, people do everything possible not to be happy.” Plainly, the death drive is that tendency for rational beings to engage in self-destructive behaviors as a refusal of mortality. A medieval footsoldier will charge into certain death with the reassurance that God waits in the afterlife. The people of Gaza now stand their ground in the face of bombardment with that same reassurance. This is an archaic instantiation of death drive ideology to those that live in the contemporary West, in the heart of empire. But mortality transcends time and place.