Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Saturday Night Live

The Collapse of Artistic Criticism Under Trump

The Trump presidency has been bad for art and the way we evaluate it. Yes, there’s newfound popularity for far right art forms that speak to dark impulses. “Martial industrial” music–often set to images of Nazis marching–is spooky stuff, and in the last few years it’s quietly spread all over YouTube:

But mainstream art critics have mostly ignored the niches of material which are nakedly far right. They prefer to focus on more popular stuff. And here they have done us a number of disservices, aiding the right even as they attempt to resist it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The NFL Scandals Don’t Matter

I’ve recently watched the season premiers of two shows I like to watch–South Park and Saturday Night Live. Both shows were returning after a long hiatus, but rather than lampoon the intervention against ISIS, the crisis in Libya, the conflict in Ukraine, or global indifference to climate change, both shows chose to lead off with the recent scandals in the NFL, with South Park making fun of the Washington Redskins name controversy, while SNL mocked the league’s indifference to the domestic violence committed by players Ray Rice (punched his fiancee in an elevator) and Adrian Peterson (beat his kid with a switch), among others. My Facebook feed is dominated by this stuff. This is really unfortunate, because it is yet another case of the American voting public being distracted from the serious issues by soap opera outrage politics.

Read the rest of this entry »