A conversation with essayist, author and podcaster Meghan Daum
Regarding Mehgan's comments on the Twitter files: I think it has to be pointed out that they are not just about confirming that shadow banning is actually a thing. The US government, via the FBI, DHS, DOJ, etc have been shaping the discourse throughout the world, essentially curtailing the 1st amendment rights of Americans, using big tech. It is not only Twitter - all the big tech companies were all talking to each other, making sure that they were all censoring the same things. The military was using Twitter as well. How is this not "interesting"?
Noah Smith had this to say about The Internet wants to be fragmented - that is we are moving away from large social groups (twitter FB) and back towards small social groups. Think how many of your friends are active on FB vs private chats on Whatsapp or Signal.
Point 2: media (print music TV etc) has always been a winner take all. I read somewhere that 50,000 albums are released a year yet only a few reach commercial success. Substack is the same, 100s of them but only a few make all the bucks.
Finally when I first heard about Tara joining substack I thought, yeah another CBC hack that won't make it, man oh man was I wrong. I love her podcast, no idea where she finds so many interesting people and unlike Joe Rogan she's not 4 hours long
Keep up the good work!
Strange that speaking truth to power does not include the top management of twitter or the FBI/CIA. More like speaking truth to the vulnerable. And going along to get along with power.
Hi Tara and Meghan. Thank you for an easy-going conversation. Relaxing to listen to. I've been listening to the idea that cancel culture is taking mean girl antics mainstream, and trying to make sense of it. Unfortunately it's easy to use it as a club (like the term 'Karen') to bash women. That aside, I think a person needs to add the dynamics of power into the discussion. Western societies' power structure has arguably inverted over the past two decades or so from men being on top to women being on top. My guess is that this is because the standard masculine attributes such as aggression and protection aren't needed very much in Western society. We're living in one of the remarkably rare periods of peace and freedom in the history of the world. It won't last. Back to the conjunction of cancel culture and the feminization of the innate human struggle for power. Men and women, all humans, are hard wired to seek power. As soon as there is more than one person, the struggle begins. With women now on top, and men's attributes in relatively low demand, it's unsurprising that the power struggle morphs from a masculine to a feminine structure. Voila, cancel culture (or some more descriptive term for feminine war).
History does tend heavily to be patriarchal. No refuting that. All except relatively modern history occurred in a much more tactile world where physical contests of strength, aggression and combat were a big component of leadership. Our more modern history has trended into an arena where those attributes aren't very relevant in moving up the ladder. Maybe history was primarily patriarchal because men dominated the physical contests. If one is sitting at a computerized console pressing a button to launch a bomb or missile using high definition sensors on a Reaper, being a big strong man is no advantage. The natural distribution of power has morphed, and that introduces a world where matriarchy and patriarchy are more balanced.
Great piece. Will check out Babylon Bee:)
1. Wokeness is a fad like bellbottoms. (This too shall pass)
2. But like the hippies, persistent. As Toronto journalist Rick Salutin observed, hippy culture was not a revolution but a media event that focussed on a small minority (that made great press, and music). They/we linger and wokeness is their/our spawn.
3) ... the Munk debate, we long for and are attracted to authority, and independent journalists, no matter how good, will never have that. It shouldn’t have been journalists defending big media, but psychologists.
That conversation was a great way to wrap up 2022 and look ahead with hope for 2023. Thanks to both of you.
For anyone looking for conversations like those in the “Un-Speak Easy” gatherings, I’d encourage you to check out Braver Angels (www.braverangels.org).
Onwards and upwards! Happy new year!