Here’s a fun one: As Ben Mathis-Lilley points out, the phrase Merry Christmas—historically a benevolent albeit culturally specific expression of festive goodwill—has acquired partisan salience. Keep that in mind as you greet your loved ones this holiday season!
- Trump is assembling “an ungovernment brought forth by reactionary hostility to the idea of the public, a throwback to the industrial oligarchy that eventually brought American democracy to its knees.” Of course, his supporters won’t care.
- North Carolina Republicans are mounting an attack on democracy.
- Russia didn’t “hack the election”—it hacked the voters. Fred Kaplan on how the U.S. should respond.
- Why did establishment liberals fall in love with a deranged Twitter thread? It’s time for some game theory.
- A fresh, persuasive Universal Theory of Trump.
- Remember the Bangladeshi factory collapse in 2013? Since then, buildings have gotten safer—and apparel-makers are still being worked to death.
- Are New York City rents about to crash?
- Why did Hillary Clinton bomb with white evangelical voters? She didn’t show up.
- La La Land and why it’s always cool to hate jazz.
Not From Slate
- A vigorous demolition of essay guru John D’Agata that transforms into a convincing theory of knowledge.
- Some conservation biologists are giving up on the goal of saving every species from climate change.
- An illuminating interview with a Democratic pollster on the racial panic triggered by Obama’s presidency.
- The underlying dynamic connecting Trump and Putin: the carbon bubble.
- Bring back proper playground equipment!
First in a very occasional series. Actually, let’s be honest, we’ll probably never do this again. This week’s dream comes from staff reporter Leon Neyfakh.
Last night I dreamed I found a tiny boy, the size of a pinky finger, stranded in our elevator. I had to get a plastic cup to transport him home. I reached out to doctors for advice on how to get him healthy and growing, at which point I was made to understand that it was all a viral marketing ploy hatched by a protein/weight gain powder company that was planning to give me free products in the hope that I would post about the tiny boy’s progress on Instagram.
Thanks, Leon! Keep us posted!
This newsletter is on vacation next week, although Slate itself no longer takes vacations. We will return in two weeks, on New Year’s Eve eve. Thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which helps make our journalism possible, and happy holidays.
Editorial director, Slate Plus