‘Is the sky falling?’

The May-October 2024 blog editions feature considerations about the cultural milieu in which this year’s elections occur.

These are possible topics to be explored:

  • “Accelerationism,” both in its original context as well as its “appropriation” by various political groups.
  • The ubiquity of information, communications, social media and news sources and possible effects on voters’ perceptions of candidates.
  • Does the decline of bipartisanship best serve a divided or polarized electorate?
  • Is former U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse’s analysis of the ‘1960s headache’ and its effects on today’s politics ‘playing out?’
  • Sour grapes and sore losers: Is majoritarianism best fitting for the U.S. as a means to diminish “tyranny of the minority?’
  • What factors within U.S. Christianity led to the rise of ‘Christian Nationalism?’
    Does today’s populism differ from that of the past?
  • Does decline or lack of support in U.S. institutions result in the rise of personalized or entrepreneurial politics?

Frederick Childe Hassam (1859 –1935), U.S. impressionist painter, noted for his urban and coastal scenes. Along with Mary Cassatt and Henry Twachtman, Hassam was instrumental in promulgating Impressionism to American collectors, dealers, and museums. He produced over 3,000 paintings, oils, watercolors, etchings, and lithographs over the course of his career, and was an influential American artist of the early 20th century. Hassam demonstrated an interest in art early. He had his first lessons in drawing and watercolor while attending The Mather School but his parents took little notice of his nascent talent. He descended from a long line of New Englanders. His mother, a native of Maine, shared an ancestor with American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. His father claimed descent from a seventeenth-century English immigrant whose name, Horsham, had been corrupted over time to Hassam. Although not of Mideastern ancestry, he often painted an Islami-appearing crescent moon (which eventually degenerated into only a slash) next to his signature, and he adopted the nickname “Muley” (from the Arabic “Mawla”, Lord or Master), invoking Muley Abul Hassan, 5th a fifteenth-century ruler of Granada whose life was fictionalized in Washington Irving’s novel Tales of the Alhambra.

(The Greatest Display of the American Flag Ever Seen in New York, Climax of the Preparedness Parade in May)

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