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What You’re Feeling Isn’t A Vibe Shift.

Two-thirds of the way through his claustrophobic 2021 comedy special Inside, Bo Burnham briefly strips away all the

The song doesn’t work if the idea of a “stunning 8K resolution meditation app” doesn’t

Burnham and I are in the middle range of millennials, a generation born into the longest period

The general edicts of the rules-based order and liberal society have applied

American wars no longer had specific ideological enemies; instead, they were fought against concepts — public opinion was

He was grasping for a unifying theory, trying to name an ethos of anxiety and uncertainty, a

In the preface, he declares that he takes issue with the “post-” prefix; at the time, everything

Beck was unsatisfied with that frame because “post-” is a negative definition

Beck argued that we were actually in a “risk” society — a very cool, not-at-all-alarming name — an era

On a national level, technology has accelerated a complete breakdown in trust of institutions that once served

Globally, a war in Ukraine has exposed the fragility of the rules-based order

Meanwhile, the collective reluctant action to fight the climate crisis has deepened instability and thrown into doubt

The world as we knew it is not coming back, and it’s entirely reasonable that we

There was a general sense that we were all vulnerable to a virus we still knew little

Global economic machinery, for the most part, had ground to a halt

City streets were empty, save for the essential workers in hospitals, grocery stores, and other services required

On social media and in news articles, experts told us to take care of ourselves, to check

We may be apart, we declared, but we’ll find a way back to each other

Beloved musicians asked for patience and promised, “There will be light after dark / Someday when we aren’

But as the pandemic wore on, and waves crested and waned, a new set of politics started

Alliances formed based on how willing people were to spend time with each other IRL or how

On a deeper level, the pandemic has introduced an elevated tenor of personal politics

In this way, the pandemic enlarged politics, making it the most immediate thing about relationships

If the personal level of our lives is filled with fraying personal relationships, the national level is

He never said that the people in power are corrupt and that he should lead instead; that

“Drain the swamp” was not a promise to purify; it was a promise to undo

The world as we knew it is not coming back, and it’s entirely reasonable that we

On the one hand, it’s a deeply cynical, destructive, and indeed existential argument

But the cost was deep disarray, a rattled political realm that has not yet fully contended with

And who knows who will be compelled to push the precedent further next time?

The more immediate question for American democracy is: Why did more people vote for Donald Trump in 2020

It’s impossible to have missed him systematically subverting the institutions that governments rely on

The public relations firm has been conducting an annual global survey measuring public confidence in institutions since 2000

Though it’s easy to be dismissive of Trump’s crass nihilist threat, it’s far harder

5 trillion in 2020 thanks in part to generous government spending to keep the economy afloat

Soon it became clear that even the wealth gains of the pandemic were not equal

Generally, workers with higher incomes saw their lot improve due to the sweeping economic changes of COVID

It’s possible — at times rational, even — to conclude that successive American governments have not considered widening

It’s rational to conclude that successive American governments have been asleep at the wheel, content with

That we have social language for this is a meaningful success of the Occupy Wall Street movement

We have a 1 percent and a 99 percent — and by every imaginable metric, the lives of the 1 percent

There have been tremors in Canada, where a convoy of truckers and their supporters occupied downtown Ottawa

On the other side of the Atlantic, they’ve popped up in the Netherlands, Germany, and France

It’s difficult to imagine how trust in national governments can be repaired

But civic trust, the stuff of nation-building, believing that governments are capable of improving one’s life,

” At best, this is a direct attempt to minimize the events of that day

At worst, the Republicans’ declaration implies that the US’s political institutions are fraudulent and that any

This may get the party votes in the upcoming midterm elections, but it’ll cost more than

But it also raises another question: Why didn’t the US do anything to stop it? America

One thing we can deduce from the lack of action is that the plan, probably, was never

President Joe Biden had long talked up his plan of targeted sanctions and diplomatic pressure

To put it another way, perhaps the US and NATO were going to let Ukraine fall and

Far from folding in front of Russian military might, Ukraine’s people used social media to tell

In the 30 years since the fall of the Soviet Union — nearly my entire lifetime — liberalism has come

Three decades of not articulating what you stand for will do that

Liberalism has come to be taken for granted, the will to defend it withered

The West, so secure in its superior narrative and assuredness that history has ended, has regularly defied

It has overlooked certain crises (see: Palestine) in favor of strategic interests

And it has preached the transformative power of free trade while simultaneously cooking up extraordinary sanctions (see:

All in all, the US may have claimed moral superiority, but Russia needn’t reach far to

If liberalism stands for defending freedom everywhere, it sure isn’t eager to show it

It turns out that not only are the bad guys not gone, they may even be winning

Some parts of the West do not have the luxury of feeling distance from danger

In the long term, the aftermath of the war in Ukraine means we can no longer tell

After Russia invaded Ukraine, a batch of memes about surviving a pandemic “to be rewarded with World

The panic about memes generally carries the same tone — that memes are an unserious response to a

But consider this: For millennials and younger generations, the last couple of years have carried a reordering

There is no obvious immediate, or even distant, way back to the systems that governed us and

A hundred thousand COVID deaths were deemed a tragedy in 2020

On March 23, 2020, 12 days after the World Health Organization declared COVID a pandemic, the Harvard Business Review ran

On social media, people praised it for the way it summed up their inner turmoil and captured

But that feeling was localized, limited to a now-surreal stretch of time when some thought we’d

As one investment research firm put it in a recent paper, “The risk of Armageddon has risen