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Goodbye, 2023.

Osita Nwanevu
20 min read
Hand holding a sparkler in the night.
Photo by Sapan Patel on Unsplash

Hey all. It’s been a terribly long year for me and perhaps for most of us, and I can’t say it’s ending very well. But I’ve been heartened throughout by wonderful writing ⁠— I really do feel better about the profession today than when I started seven years ago, and I hope to bring you more of the work and ideas that are inspiring me (more regularly!) in the new year. For now, as usual, here are some of the pieces I worked on in 2023: 

Some Published Work

Trump has a better shot at the Republican nomination than people realize” ⁠— The Guardian (March 3)

On Trump as the presumptive nominee:

The need to compete with Trump for Trump’s voters has erased any meaningful differences between the supposedly staid establishment wing of the Republican party and Trump’s camp; those who hope to replace Trump on the ballot in the general election next year are doing all they can, whether they know it or not, to make themselves appear almost as radical and unappealing to the bulk of the general electorate – which, granted, may lose out again in the electoral college – as Trump himself does.
The fact that the candidates thus far seem unwilling to run against Trump’s actual record in office doesn’t help matters. According to Scott, the Trump administration produced “the most pro-worker, pro-family economy” of his lifetime ⁠– a sentiment that makes it hard to understand what the substantive argument against another Trump term is supposed to be. The obvious knock on him is that he was defeated in 2020 ⁠– but the conservative base isn’t going to want to hear that their preferences hurt the party, and many Republicans still don’t believe Trump really lost the election in the first place. That leaves Trump’s opponents wobbling on a tricky tightrope: trying to temper their criticisms of him and glom onto his appeal without encouraging Republican voters to consider backing the original, genuine article.

Donald Trump’s prosecution is a triumph” ⁠— The Guardian (April 5)

On Trump’s prosecution in the Stormy Daniels case:

[T]he pundits aren’t wrong to predict that a lot of chaos and drama will come our way in the coming months. And that’s especially frightful to all those who’ve come to believe political polarization and the heightening of partisan tensions are the central problems of our time ⁠— a notion that’s spurred commentary suggesting America might be too divided to bear Trump’s prosecution. To wit, a report from The New York Times Thursday speculated that this and Trump’s other potential indictments might “shake the timbers of the republic” or “tear the country apart.”
But what would it mean, actually, to “tear the country apart?” We’ve seen and survived civil war. We’ve seen cities razed and presidents killed. Social unrest, economic collapse ⁠— these are cornerstones of the American experience. A public health crisis has taken the lives of more than one million people in this country over the last three years. The reactions to Trump’s prosecution will remain loud and ludicrous. They may well turn violent ⁠— we can put nothing safely beyond a party that rallies easily to the defense of a man who attempted a coup and roused a mob into an attack on the Capitol.
But there is something rather pathetic about the idea that a president’s trial might be among the greatest trials our nation has faced. Nothing that’s coming will break us. Our republic, for all its many faults, is made of stronger stuff than that. We will be tested, yes. But let’s take a moment, too, to recognize that Bragg has already passed a critical test on our behalf.

Why are so many Republican candidates jumping into the presidential race?” ⁠— The Guardian (July 11)

On the remarkably large Republican primary field:

The absence of fleshed out platforms from the other candidates as yet means that Trump remains not only the tonal but the substantive center of the Republican race thus far. And even those running the campaigns most explicitly aimed at resuscitating the pre-Trump GOP establishment have shown a willingness to follow Trump to the extremes. It might surprise many American voters for instance ⁠– though neither President Biden nor most of the political press has made much of it ⁠– that there’s a consensus among Republican candidates, as Reason’s Matt Welch has noted, that the next administration should launch a new war in Mexico, with American troops on the ground if need be, against the drug cartels. 
This was an idea Trump first put forward four years ago; in his current platform, it survives as a pledge to order the Department of Defense to “inflict maximum damage” on the cartels and to take them down “just as he took down Isis”. The majority of the major candidates in the field are on board with this, including South Carolina’s Tim Scott and Nikki Haley, who are still routinely framed as comparatively moderate figures by much of the political press. In his very announcement speech, in fact, Scott went as far as to call cartels terrorists and promised to “allow the world’s greatest military to fight” them. Haley has also echoed Trump directly – the cartels, she said in the spring, are to be dealt with “just like we dealt with Isis”.
This is the same Nikki Haley who noted correctly and with some candor in her campaign announcement video that the Republicans have lost the popular vote in “seven out of the last eight presidential elections”. That’s an insight that can cut two ways. On the one hand, it should be plain to all running that neither Trumpism nor a mere return to the unpopular Republican platforms of old will broaden the Republican base ⁠– a conservatism that can reliably win popular majorities in 2024 and beyond has yet to be discovered or forged and none of the candidates in the running seem especially interested in paving novel ground. On the other hand, it should similarly be plain that next Republican nominee will not actually need a popular majority to win the White House in 2024 ⁠– dusting off Trumpism and missteps and malaise within the Democratic party may well be enough to deliver victory again, no platform innovations necessary. As it stands, Trump himself seems likeliest to carry the party’s mantle again next year ⁠– his rivals remain too numerous; his gravitational pull on the party’s discourse and agenda remains too strong.

The Life of the Party” ⁠— The New York Review of Books (September 21)

On Michael Kazin's What It Took To Win, Lily Geismer's Left Behind, Bidenomics, “moral capitalism,” and the economic policy history of the Democratic Party:

In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act infamously omitted the largely black and Latino agricultural and domestic workforces from their provisions and protections. Today, seemingly every economic policy proposal from the party comes appended with an assurance that it stands to benefit minorities in particular; the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have made subsidizing and supporting the domestic “care economy” a high priority.
In recent months a debate has broken out within Democratic circles and the progressive press over whether the new industrial policy might, in fact, be too accommodating. Liberal pundits have argued that it risks burdening necessary public investments by requiring subsidized projects to satisfy too many progressive commitments, from diversity and equity requirements to stringent environmental standards. Meanwhile, commentators further left have made just about the opposite critique—that the new industrial policy’s social commitments and administrative strictures are essentially window dressing, especially when it comes to labor rights. For instance, union neutrality provisions that Biden once promised would be a condition of federal investment—requiring subsidized firms not to contest votes to organize—were absent from CHIPS, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In general, nothing about empowering the state to make critical investments necessarily implies empowering the workers manning those projects or labor at large. Taking this critique seriously could produce yet another moral capitalism, in a guise and policy combination not yet tried. But one can also see in it the seeds of a radical turn, perhaps toward what we might call economic democracy: redistributing at least a meaningful share of the power to control economic investments from company executives, bankers, investors, and public sector technocrats to workers themselves. A turn, in other words, away from capitalism as we’ve known it altogether.

The First Republican Debate Was One Long Stare Into a Trump-Shaped Void” ⁠— The New Republic (August 24) 

On the first Republican primary debate:

Fittingly, for a party now devoted to exercises in denial, the first Republican debate of the 2024 election cycle was a full-on attempt to manufacture an alternate reality ⁠in which Donald Trump, now some 40 points ahead of his nearest opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, isn’t the prohibitive favorite for the party’s nomination. The bare fact that his victory isn’t yet a sure thing wasn’t quite enough to justify what amounted to an eight-candidate undercard debate, but the show did offer a rare glimpse at what the party’s trajectory without Trump’s victory in 2016 might have been⁠—and what it might yet be whenever he finally leaves the scene.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been among the most pointed of the candidates hoping for a reversion back to something like the post-Romney/pre-Trump consensus on the GOP’s future. Her campaign launch video rather bravely made the case that the Republican Party can’t expect to compete in presidential elections much longer if it can’t win popular majorities. That’s unfortunately untrue, but it’s a line of thought that made her sound more like a viable general election candidate than anyone else on the stage last night.

The Mass Disappointment of a Decade of Mass Protest” ⁠— The New Republic (September 20)

On Vincent Bevins’ If We Burn, a look at the last decade of global protest:

Of the 10 places that Bevins examines in his account of the most disruptive mass protest movements of the last decade or so—Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Hong Kong, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen—the same might be said of six more of them, Bevins contends. Repression has arguably deepened in Bahrain, Egypt, and Hong Kong. Brazil and Turkey both saw right-wing authoritarians come to power. And the events following the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012 led to an ongoing civil war that has killed nearly 400,000 people thus far and produced what remains one of the world’s most acute humanitarian crises—at last count by the United Nations Population Fund, some 21.6 million Yemenis are thought to need basic aid and assistance of some kind today.
The age of mass protest ushered in by the Arab Spring is hardly over, but that record of failures, setbacks, and cataclysms has been dispiriting even to many of the agitators and demonstrators who shaped the movements in question and whom Bevins has spent the last 10 years or so following and interviewing in search of answers. “The point was not just to notice that the mass protest decade hasn’t really worked out,” he muses toward the end of the book. “The idea was to understand why.” Fortunately, he comes away from his globe-trotting search with critical lessons for activists both here and abroad. Setting the world afire, it turns out, is easier than one might expect. Tending to the flames is harder.

The McCarthy debacle barely scrapes the surface of how dysfunctional Congress is” ⁠— The Guardian (October 6)

On the clowns in Congress:

The inescapable fact uniting so much that grates about Congress right now ⁠– Republican shenanigans in the House, the Democratic party’s sluggishness in handling an obviously corrupt, compromised and distracted Menendez, gerontocracy within both parties ⁠– is that we ask very little of our representatives. Being a member of Congress simply isn’t substantively demanding enough.
The irony of all the talk about how elderly our leaders are, and the reality that, in fact, has allowed obviously infirm politicians like Feinstein and Mitch McConnell to retain their positions even as they go catatonic in public view, is that the halls and offices of the Capitol are absolutely teeming with unelected and invisible young staffers ⁠– many of whom are in their 20s and 30s, some of whom are constitutionally incapable of occupying the offices they serve ⁠– who do much of the actual work Americans believe our elected officials do themselves.
Policy research, drafting and reviewing legislative language, authoring speeches, drawing up the questions senators and congressmen ask at hearings, writing tweets and statements that go out under their bosses’ names, preparing talking points for media appearances, relaying directives from party leaders about how to vote and why ⁠– as a practical matter, the average politician in Washington today needn’t be more than a warm body with a pulse ready to cast a given vote.

Why Tim Scott Couldn’t Go the Distance” ⁠— The New York Times (November 14)

On Tim Scott’s failed campaign: 

While most Republicans surely agreed that Mr. Scott’s background fatally undermined the critiques their opponents have been making of America and its history — “I am living proof that our founders were geniuses who should be celebrated, not canceled,” he told a crowd in Iowa early this year — they weren’t enthralled by his campaign, perhaps because Mr. Scott’s message of racial uplift doesn’t have more than a cerebral appeal to an overwhelmingly white Republican primary electorate. Thus far, the party’s voters have preferred to get their defenses of American history straight and neat from Mr. Trump and Ron DeSantis, without the detours into personal narrative that Mr. Scott offered up.
Mr. Scott insists often that he doesn’t want people to think about his race at all. “People are fixated on my color,” he said to Politico in a 2018 profile. “I’m just not.” There’s a similar line in “America: A Redemption Story,” Mr. Scott’s 2022 entry in a now-venerable genre, the pre-campaign memoir. “Today we live in a world that thrives on creating narratives of division,” it reads. “But my childhood and my life have not been defined by my blackness.”
The book itself suggested otherwise — that Mr. Scott was not only as fixated on his own color as the critics he scorned but also as determined to make use of it. The words “Black” or “African American” appear 75 times, or once every three-and-a-half pages — often within its capsule biographies of Black figures like Jackie Robinson and Madam C.J. Walker, whom Mr. Scott evidently sees as his historic peers. In truth and by design, the book is as much a kind of Black History Month reader as it is about Mr. Scott’s own life. And even that material begins with his grandfather teaching his mother how to pick cotton.

And here are some highlights from the newsletter.

Some Newsletters

Food Fights” ⁠(January 15)

On the closure of Noma, our changing restaurant culture, mercurial creatives, and labor:

The imperious, impulsive, and neurotic chef is on his way out. The same may not be so with the film auteur ⁠— even today and even given increasing post-pandemic attention to the long hours and difficult conditions faced by crew in the industry. I suppose that’s partially because film is seen as a creative medium for the masses ⁠—  at the end of the day, whatever happens behind the scenes, a movie is a work of art that enriches us all, supposedly. By contrast, and as Saxena wrote, almost none of us were ever going to eat at Noma in the first place; the abuses and exploitation that made that food possible were being done for the benefit of a jet-setting elite. But I don’t think that’s the right way to think about the creative industries. For starters, seeing a non-franchise film with novel creative ambitions or pretensions in a theater on a big screen as intended by an auteur director might become an outing as rarified  as eating from a tasting menu before long. But even beyond that, underpaying and mistreating people isn’t worth it even when the cultural products they make wind up good ⁠— dignity comes first and I think it’s reasonable to suspect more money and less stress for workers would produce better, more innovative food, films, and whatever else anyway.

City of the Future” (February 27)

On Malcolm Harris’ Palo Alto and the state of Silicon Valley: 

When I graduated from high school in 2011, the conventional wisdom was that social media and the tech industry more broadly had delivered us into a new age of productive and enriching connectivity ⁠— the negatives had to be weighed, it was said, against the likelihood that Facebook and Twitter had brought about the Arab Spring. Democracy and posting, it was supposed ⁠—  hard as it may be to swallow now ⁠— simply went hand in hand. Things have obviously changed. The industry’s facing down growing distrust from both mainstream sides of the political aisle ⁠— from the right for cultural reasons that should be more obvious to those hoping Democrats stand with them on tech reforms and from liberals who have shifted their attention away from the kinds of structural issues Malcolm chronicles (labor rights, intellectual property, antitrust) to a preoccupation with content moderation and “misinformation,” a problem that defies solution about as much as “terror” did.
[...] The tech industry has all the money in the world to fight off public pressure as it mounts, of course. But I also think there’s a silver lining in the fact that its leaders haven’t proven themselves especially good at thinking or writing. Peter Thiel can buy himself a Senator, sure, but I think it’s becoming more and more obvious to most folks that these people are aliens; the late-2000s/early-2010s honeymoon is long over and they haven’t been able to sell a compelling vision for where their work is taking us since. The world of the future was supposed to be sleek, shiny, and pleasurable. But the ptich now is that we ought to live like cavemen ⁠— trading our books for a return to oral tradition, trading our meals for slurry, and trading Earth’s lush landscapes for rocks and dust on Mars. That’s not the future most of us want; I kind of doubt they’ll be able to force it upon us. 

Let’s Go Brandon” (April 24)

On Biden and 2024:

It’s not at all implausible that an illness or injury could throw a bit of chaos into the race next year; as it stands, many Americans, including many older Americans, just aren’t sure he has the stamina to stay in the job. As was the case in 2020, the main thing Biden has going for him is that he’s not Donald Trump. The big ticket items of the term ⁠— the Rescue Plan, the infrastructure bill, CHIPs ⁠— just haven’t made a deep impression with the voting public. His 53 percent disapproval rating is about where it was a year ago; while Biden compares favorably to Obama on policy grounds in my book, he’s still less popular than Obama was at this point in his fraught presidency. And all this is before the wave of bad news likely looming on the horizon ⁠— a recession, a debt ceiling standoff, and other unwelcome and unexpected twists and turns sure to come. 
Add the built-in advantage Trump or DeSantis will retain in the Electoral College ⁠— it’s been estimated, as I’ve written before, that Biden had to win the popular vote by at least 3.8 points to win the Electoral College outright in 2020 ⁠— and things actually look fairly bleak for Democrats next year, though Trump and DeSantis are helpfully doing all they can to hobble their own chances at the moment. I wouldn’t say that they need a good reelection platform to win ⁠— the last two cycles should have fully disabused us of the notion that good policy really wins elections ⁠— but it wouldn’t hurt.

The Soul of America” (May 9)

On the murder of Jordan Neely and our political climate:

Fear is no license, in New York state law or in common sense, to do what you will to someone who frightens. Bigotry ⁠— habitually seeing the worst in the disfavored ⁠— often operates as one. And so does boredom, though it’s less often discussed. How many people in this country go about their days desperate to do something out of the ordinary ⁠— daydreaming about being the protagonist of some extreme situation? This, I think, is much of what the guns are about. The fantasy that one might wind up heroically repelling a home invasion is sustained by the blood of schoolchildren. This is one reason why Jordan Neely is dead. Frankly, it’s one of the reasons we invaded Iraq. This hunger for a bit more drama, vitality, and meaning in otherwise flat lives ⁠— this also kills. 
I’d like to believe we can weaken that solipsism with better politics. A fuller democratic life ⁠— engaging and working in concert with the people around us for our collective benefit in more ways and more often than during elections ⁠— might help. But much of what ails us ⁠— as Americans and as human beings ⁠— obviously lies beyond the realm of politics and policy. Those are the things I know well; confronting the rest, as I’ve tried to this week, often leaves me despairing. And I think this, finally, may well be why I find the project of recovering or restoring the national soul so perverse. Nations don’t have souls. It’s more plausible to me that people do. And politicians can’t tend to or nurture them for us. 

Pablo Picasso, Content Creator” (June 7)

On Pablo Picasso, Hannah Gadsby, Susan Sontag and how to think about art: 

Cultural progressives have a tendency to regard the focus on aesthetics Sontag calls for as intrinsically conservative or reactionary, and I think wariness about the politics of elevating form over meaning and context is defensible. Elites on the right have always droned on and on about protecting beauty and the sublime from the degeneracy of cultural radicals; this realm of cultural critique has itself degenerated in recent years into philistine sloganeering and memery from marble bust accounts. We shouldn’t take our inherited standards of beauty for granted or the notion that beauty ought to be paramount in art in the first place as a given. The oppression and exclusion that have shaped the aesthetics of Western art and hindered the marginalized from participating in it matter; it matters that Pablo Picasso was not just an asshole but an abusive misogynist whose personal life reflects the challenges women have faced as artists and in art’s cultural spaces. All of this should go without saying. 
But it should also go without saying that aesthetics also matter and that the ranks of those who have a vested interest in insisting they don’t, as I’ve written before, now include major corporations that are hard at work pressing as much of culture as they can into a profitable gray slurry. And they benefit from another negative aspect of interpretation as a mass cultural practice that I don’t think Sontag quite foresaw. The idea that most of what really matters about a work of art lies either beneath its surface or outside itself facilitates the project of churning out ready-made bullshit; Ant-Man 13 or some such is a less offensive prospect in a culture always ready to convince itself that a work of art might be more interesting, complex, or worthy of discussion than it initially appears ⁠— that the formal properties and accomplishments (or lack thereof) of a work in itself are dwarfed in significance by the meanings we might strain to find within it or the sociocultural conversations we might freight it with. 

More on Men” (July 17)

On the crisis of masculinity, or the lack thereof:

It seems to me that there are two potentially complementary but distinct masculinities the pundits in this discourse are after. The first one we’ve basically already got ⁠— a corrective masculinity aimed at scrubbing sexist and patriarchal norms and habits out of male behavior. “Real men,” we often hear these days, ask for consent, advocate for the women in their lives loudly, and reject dunderheaded machismo. They’re not afraid to cry, admit that they’re wrong, or wear pink. To me, all of this is well and good. But the “men in crisis” folks are pining for more ⁠— a second, affirmative masculinity aimed not at correcting male flaws per se, but valorizing uniquely male attributes in healthy, egalitarian ways. While corrective masculinity is still, in essence, about what’s been wrong with men, the affirmative masculinity-in-waiting would celebrate what’s distinctively right with men. And if there were something distinctively right with men as opposed to anyone else, I might find myself all for the project of building that masculinity out. But I doubt that’s the case. I don’t see any reason to believe that there are inherently positive qualities that are distinctively and intrinsically male or female. And if there were, it would be all the more reason to try eroding the differences between the sexes further ⁠— allowing anyone, regardless of sex, to access the full range of admirable human traits. Courage, vulnerability, confidence, and sensitivity for all. 
The “men in crisis” discourse tends to imply there’s a naivete about this position ⁠— that it’s, again, inattentive to the realities of the political and cultural moment we’re in. “[M]ost people,” Emba writes, “don’t actually want a completely androgynous society.” And that’s likely so. But consider, by comparison, the way that we talk about race in America. I doubt most Americans actually want to live in a raceless society either; making racial progress, for most, isn’t a matter of aspiring to a country where everyone’s been blended together into a smooth, untroubled beige. Instead, most people aspire to colorblindness ⁠— race becoming a real, distinct, but mostly incidental fact of our existence, an interesting detail without the power to arbitrarily shape and shorten lives. We’re obviously much further from it than voices in the center and on the right are given to arguing, but I think colorblindness would be nice if we could get it. And similarly, I dream of an America where individuals are defined not by the configuration of their genitals but by the content of their character. 

What’s Left for the Left in Washington?”(July 31)

On the Left’s power in Washington, or the lack thereof:

Good things are happening thanks substantially to the work the left has put in over the last decade or so, and deBoer should recognize it. But I don’t think that deBoer is wrong to suggest that there’s a ceiling to all this. After all, ARP, the IRA, and CHIPs aside, the Democratic Party has failed to enact the vast majority of its stated non-COVID, non-crisis legislative priorities ⁠— immigration reform, the voting rights and democratic reform bills, the PRO Act, increasing the minimum wage, an assault weapons ban, another healthcare bill, reams of child and family policy, and so on. For reasons that ought to be obvious to readers of my previous writing and my letter, it is extraordinarily hard to make liberal policy in Washington, let alone left policy; the most salient challenges for the left here have less to do with the machinations of Democratic Party elites, real as they often are, than with the structures of American governance and the bare fact, as Levitz reminds those who might need reminding, that most Americans…still aren’t leftists.
[...] If we aspire to more than holding second-order influence over a party that will increasingly struggle to win elections in the years ahead ⁠— and I think we should ⁠— the left is going to have to find ways to reach and appeal to the broad unconverted electorate despite those conditions. I don’t know that taking a bunch of protest votes in the House is going to be a particularly important part of that effort. In fact, as I’ve written before, it would probably be wise to shift our focus away from federal politics; we ought to invest more fully in building power closer to ground. States and localities are heating up as policy battlegrounds anyway; it might make sense to try winning control of a state ⁠— which might serve as a proof of concept for the political and substantive viability of left proposals ⁠— before we try our hands again at winning the country. 

On Gaza, Part I”(November 1)

On Israel’s assault on Gaza: 

Most Americans have been given to thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a hopelessly complex and intractable situation ⁠— the product of an impenetrable tangle of ancient grievances carried stubbornly and bloodily into the present day. But while a political solution seems perhaps further and more difficult to imagine now than ever, I have to suspect the Israeli response to October 7th has been clarifying and galvanizing to large segments of the American public. Before our very eyes and in real time, the Palestinians are being wronged and treated inhumanely in ways that aren’t especially difficult to parse and understand; one needn’t be a foreign policy expert or Middle East scholar to intuit that impoverished children shouldn’t be flattened under rubble for atrocities they didn’t commit. And the Israelis haven’t helped their case by implying it shouldn’t matter how many civilians die in their crusade against Hamas as long as those citizens aren’t being targeted intentionally ⁠— a moral calculus that values the lives of innocent Palestinians less than the lives of innocent Israelis. 
We’ll have to wait for more polls to see what’s actually happening to public opinion more broadly as the assault continues, but as far as elite opinion is concerned, the center and right's favored tactics for disciplining the discourse  ⁠— hysteria, slander, sensationalism, distortion ⁠— seem to be failing Israel’s defenders spectacularly. Contrary to what many on the left have said, this doesn’t seem like an especially post-9/11 or pre-Iraq moment to me. A broad constellation of  journalists, other figures in the media and entertainment industries, political staffers, think tankers, and politics and policy-adjacent academics ⁠— the bulk of the political world from the center leftwards, essentially ⁠— have been critical to condemnatory of Israel’s actions. And their views really are being widely aired, including by figures who find themselves in grudging agreement with at least some of the concerns of pro-Palestinian activists. And though there’s been much criticism of how some on the left initially lauded Hamas’ attack, it’s striking that there seems to be a growing but unspoken and under-acknowledged consensus left of center that some form of armed Palestinian resistance to Israel might be justified ⁠— the crux of the debate on that front over the last few weeks has been the massacre and abuse of Israeli civilians, not whether Palestinians have a right to disciplined violence against the Israeli state at all. I’m not an expert on how Israel-Palestine discourse has played out in American politics through the decades, but that seems like a remarkable position for centrists and liberals to have taken up so quickly, given how unacceptable unabashedly pro-Palestinian advocacy has been in mainstream politics for as long as I can remember. 

Lastly, here are some tracks I was fond of this year, available as a little playlist on TIDAL or Spotify. I wasn’t as diligent about listening to new stuff this year, but that’ll be a resolution for 2024, I suppose. 

Athene” ⁠— The Velveteins

Bath Country” ⁠— Wednesday

Bob’s Casino” ⁠— Grian Chatten

Crying” ⁠— The Murder Capital

Echolalia” ⁠— Yves Tumor

Fader” ⁠— Róisín Murphy

Heartbeat” ⁠— INOYSON

Hello Love” ⁠— Jessie Ware

Infinite Surprise” ⁠— Wilco

jazz is for ordinary people” ⁠— berlioz

Muo Duo Show” ⁠— Muo Duo

Back on 74” ⁠— Jungle

Rice” ⁠— Young Fathers

Warning Sign”⁠ ⁠— Hannah Jagadu

When Memories Snow”⁠ ⁠— Mitski

That's about it! Lastly, if you're getting this email as an unpaid subscriber, consider it a preview of all you might get when you subscribe! Not much goes out on the free list right now but occasional posts and updates, but I might make more use of it once the book comes out (in 2025!)

Happy holidays and happy new year. Bye.