Thursday’s Water Cooler: Bourdieu, Biden, Birds, Biden, Birds, Trump, Biden, Birds, Dairy


Pierre Bourdieu wrote, “So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” Two pieces of news this week seem to illustrate this truism. First, the New York Times reports that Trump is ahead in five key states, as young and nonwhite voters express discontent with Biden; second, Biden says, “We’ll never forget. We’ll never forget the fact — him lying about the pandemic. He knew how dangerous it was, but he didn’t want to — he wouldn’t say it to anybody. He said, ‘Just go inject a little bleach in your arm.’ (Laughter.) Too bad he didn’t. (Laughter and applause.) Look — all kidding aside, it was bizarre. We lost a million people. And all the data shows those million, every one of them had eight people that were significant to them — brothers, sisters, uncle, aunts, mothers, fathers, wives, children.” These two stories, though seeming to be about Biden and Trump, are really about the same thing: the symbolic capital of the White House, and how it can be managed for effect.


William Lloyd Garrison wrote, “I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” So too with Linsey Marr and Jonathan Samet, who write, “In the

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