Trump, Populism and Affective Media

Trump, Populism and Affective Media

In my latest chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Global Populism I attribute the rise and efficacy of the Trump campaign to the transformation of media values and political economy I term “Affective Media Production”. Trump, Fox News, Alex Jones and Breitbart  do not simply represent a new political and media voice but embody the convergence of […]

Q & A w/ Yasha Levine

Q & A w/ Yasha Levine

In his important new book “Surveillance Valley”, the investigative journalist Yasha Levine retraces the counter-insurgency history of the internet and associated technologies. The advocates of the cognitivist and computational view of society where always DARPA technocrats and Cold War liberals. The cyber-utopians of the 1980s to today can only exist by repressing this past. I […]

Assessing the Ocasio-Cortez Moment

Assessing the Ocasio-Cortez Moment

I was on Radio One’s “Total Screen” with my old pal George Elliot to discuss the Democrat’s “woke-washing” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Malcolm Gladwell’s hip-hop podcast, Trump-Putin homophobia and the Dems’ prospects for 2020. I hope to put some of these ideas together for a midterm preview piece soon.  

[Video] Data-Fetishism, Surveillance and the Failure of Networks

[Video] Data-Fetishism, Surveillance and the Failure of Networks

I recently presented a 50-minute seminar at the University of Otago political studies department entitled “Data-Fetishism, Surveillance and the Failure of Networks: Social Media After Trump”. Abstract The era of Trump represents a crisis of elite American opinion, leadership and competency in seemingly innumerable ways. It is my contention that the ideological and organizational failure […]

[Podcast]: On Incels & Neo-Reactionaries

[Podcast]: On Incels & Neo-Reactionaries

Last week I was on ABC’s Drive program to talk about intel culture and online far-right communities. My argument is that intel culture comes out of both online’s privileging of white male reaction but also the social media twin logics of data and affect. Incels, primed with intense misogynistic animus, are given both a realtime […]

[Podcast]: Explaining Jordan Peterson

[Podcast]: Explaining Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson has emerged from an obscure corner of academia to become the arch-philosopher of the alt-lite. With a massive online following Peterson  has sought to speak to the anxieties of young men in the face of school transformation. His calling card is a style which purports scientific rigour while disparaging the academic humanities as […]

[Video]: Post-Truth, Affect and Reason

[Video]: Post-Truth, Affect and Reason

Earlier this month I took some of my ideas about populism, post-truth and affective media to the Centre for Science Communication at Otago. The challenge was how to think about this chaotic new media reality while preserving notions of truth, reason and science communication. This is my humble attempt to reconcile these contradictions.

Truth and Disavowal

Truth and Disavowal

In a recent issue of Austrian art and literary journal Springerin I expanded the idea of the Russia investigation and national security state working as a new ‘regime of truth’ for American liberalism. There seems no other path forward for Democrats as the invest in the reactive anti-Russian politics instead of offering a positive political alternative to […]

[Audio]: Conspiracy and the Void

[Audio]: Conspiracy and the Void

This past week I had the pleasure of presenting a paper at Otago MFCO’s “Mediating the Real 2: Politics in a Post-Truth Era”. My talk centred on the role Russia plays in American liberal political discourse. Why is it that in a deep crisis of democratic institutions that Donald Trump is being characterised by the […]

Posting for Success

Posting for Success

Donald Trump is the least qualified and the most reviled candidate ever to run for president of the United States. Yet here we are with Trump posting his anxiety-ridden, pathologically narcissistic tweets from the Oval Office. How could this possibly have happened? In a recent academic article for Boundary2 Online I explain how the demise of […]