Hegemonic Tic

From an academic conference at Yale: We’re used to Donald Trump punctuating his pronouncements with a quick “OK?” as if to simultaneously block any disagreement and reassure himself that he’s right.

There’s a match in the habit of self-consciously hip younger academics presenting papers at a conference, reflexively hitting “right” at the end of declarative sentences, but in a manner that makes you hear a comma, not a question mark: a way of certifying the assumption that everyone present shares a certain set of opinions and terms of discourse. Right—it’s not an aggressive pronouncement but a congratulation of both the speaker and the audience for the truth that they already agree and that no fundamental preconceptions will be challenged. In other words, they and Trump are speaking the same language.

 

#6 from Greil Marcus’s last “Real Life Rock Top Ten.” (Click here to link to Marcus’s column in Pitchfork.)

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