In Entertainment

  • “I Feel Sorry for Americans”

    Hannah Beech reports on how the United States1 is perceived by the outside world these days due to our poor response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the continuing failure of our political system.

    Myanmar is a poor country struggling with open ethnic warfare and a coronavirus outbreak that could overload its broken hospitals. That hasn’t stopped its politicians from commiserating with a country they think has lost its way.

    “I feel sorry for Americans,” said U Myint Oo, a member of parliament in...


  • The Unsettling Normalcy of Societal Collapse

    Indi Samarajiva lived through the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka that killed an estimated 80,000-100,000 people over 30 years. He cautions that societal collapse can feel quite normal for many people — but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. I Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There.

    I lived through the end of a civil war. Do you know what it was like for me? Quite normal. I went to work, I went out, I dated. This is what Americans don’t understand. They’re waiting to get...


  • How Cities Can Make the Most of a Pandemic Winter

    As winter approaches in North America and Europe, cities should be thinking about how to encourage and enable people to spend as much time outdoors as possible to help keep everyone sane and safe from Covid-19. From a great piece in CityLab by Alexandra Lange:

    Dress in layers, invest in silk and wool long underwear, get over your prejudice against parkas. Many people do this as a matter of course when gearing up for a day of skiing or a turn around the ice rink. But in cities, people dress for...


  • Clear Language on Slavery

    I’ve posted before about how the language we’ve been conditioned to use about slavery and the Civil War obscures reality. From historian Michael Todd Landis:

    Likewise, scholar Edward Baptist (Cornell) has provided new terms with which to speak about slavery. In his 2014 book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books), he rejects “plantations” (a term pregnant with false memory and romantic myths) in favor of “labor camps”; instead of “slave-owners”...


  • The Approaching Crisis of the 2020 Election

    This is an excellent piece in The Atlantic by Barton Gellman on The Election That Could Break America. Excellent and hair-raising. It outlines several of the ways that Donald Trump & the Republicans could disrupt the election process to produce an ambiguous outcome and use the chaos to retain the presidency.

    The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all...


  • This Is Usually Where the Title Goes

    Hey everybody stream of consciousness warning. I’m behind on most things in my life and this has been exacerbated recently by some medical drama of my own dumb making (not Covid) so I am going to beg your kind pardon if things continue to be a little slow and disjointed around here while I get some things sorted out. I don’t really know what kottke.org is supposed to be right now — an escape? the spearpoint of the resistance? hopeful? realistic? — but I do know that the site has been not that...


  • A Conversation with Jason Kottke on the Kottke Ride Home Podcast

    Hi folks. As you may have seen here recently, there is now an official kottke.org podcast: Kottke Ride Home (subscribe here). Every weekday, host Jackson Bird brings you 15 minutes of “the coolest stuff that happened in the world today”. Last week, Jackson and I talked on Skype for a special weekend bonus episode of the podcast: A Conversation with Jason Kottke (more listening options).

    This is a peek behind the scenes of Jason’s process, his philosophies, and general thoughts on the internet...


  • 'Sopranos' memes are having a real moment in 2020