America, America, WTF America?
8th November 2016
Students, remember: this is what happens when you don’t read books. Tonight, as the world’s most powerful country goes to the polls, join the Creative Writing Society for The Great American Quiz at Smokey Joe’s, and listen online to American-born Senior Lecturer Lania Knight’s thoughts on the impending catastrophe.
The country that has given us Mark Twain, Herbert Melville, Walt Whitman, F Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, Grace Paley, Ursula le Guin, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, and Toni Morrison is also a country that has confined political debate, privatised education, and celebrated unfettered capitalism. Democracy has for a long time meant nothing more than a quadrennial choice between interchangeable neoliberals – and now they can’t even get that right. What’s most frightening about the US election, and what was most frightening about the Brexit election, is how fervently some people cling to their hatred. We send greetings and kind thoughts to our American students and to our alumni who have returned to the US. We’d suggest you flee back over here, but the standard of debate that surrounded the Brexit referendum is evidence that British society faces all the same problems.
Still, here’s a consolation: tonight, Tuesday 8th November, join the Creative Writing Society for The Great American Quiz. They say: “It’s a quiz. It’s American themed. It’s election night. It’s at Smokey Joe’s. Aka, it’ll be great and you should Be There™. Its £1 per player!”
And, as preparation, why not listen to Lania Knight’s election-based interview on BBC Radio Gloucestershire! Lania is on at 02:09:30.