in politics

Trump’s inauguration cake symbolizes his approach to the presidency

Masha Gessen, writing for The New York Review of Books:

Better yet, take the cake. On Saturday it emerged that the inaugural-ball cake that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence cut with a sword was a knock-off of President Obama’s 2013 inaugural-ball cake. Obama’s was created by celebrity chef Duff Goldman. Trump’s was commissioned from a decidedly more modest Washington bakery than Goldman’s, and the transition-team representative who put in the order explicitly asked for an exact copy of Goldman’s design—even when the baker suggested creating a variation on the theme of Goldman’s cake. Only a small portion of Trump’s cake was edible; the rest was Styrofoam (Obama’s was cake all the way through). The cake may be the best symbol yet of the incoming administration: much of what little it brings is plagiarized, and most of it is unusable for the purpose for which presidential administrations are usually intended. Not only does it not achieve excellence: it does not even see the point of excellence.

  • eean

    first off: Disqus comments! Listening to the afterdark now, I thought this site was a refuge from corporate managed social media.

    Anyways as an IRC user for most of this century I think threads are an abomination. I guess the idea is that instead of switching to email, as would be common previously, you would switch to Slack threads. Is that really an improvement?

    I’ll acknowledge they are probably handy for huge active channels, where it really is more like a social media stream than a group discussion due to the scale.

    • Re: Disqus – hey, I gotta make some concessions somewhere to encourage engagement 🙂 And Disqus MAY offer you the abiliy to export comments. Kind of.

      Agreed that Slack isn’t a great replacement for email.

      • eean

        to be a true 90s/early 00s throwback the comment section needs to be mostly spam for supplements

  • I’m finding that Slack isn’t at all useful for anything representing a comprehensive location or gathering spot for discussion about a topic. It’s only useful (so far, for me) as someplace to jump in and discuss RIGHT NOW about a topic, but only about what is currently generating the specific conversation. For movies and TV and pop culture, there’s just SO MUCH of it that it’s impossible to focus it unless you are creating specific threads for each movie or show, and even then, within each show, subtopics related to plot mechanics or spoilers or box office or whatever. I can see how Slack can be amazing for teams working on projects, but I don’t know that open-ended media discussion is the best use of Slack.

    • It’s definitely not for everyone! And it seems like you’re one of the people it’s not for. Sorry you aren’t enjoying it. Thanks for checking it out.

      Personally I’ve LOVED some of the insights in #SplitSpoilers and see a lot of potential there for specific film conversations. And some of the general channels have given me a lot of cool insights and links as well.

      • It’s definitely cool, just a frustrating experience when you aren’t able to stay logged in and following along all day. For example, if I’m in or following a sub-topic or conversation topic within a channel for an hour, then have to step away (aka, go back to work) and then come back much later, it’s next to impossible to locate where you left off or to pick up the conversation (much less re-engage in it), especially if it’s a popular overall channel.

        Much of this may be chalked up to the fact that I just don’t yet know enough about the mechanics of Slack to be able to mitigate these things. Threads seems to be one way (minus the issues you address). Maybe my brain is still too locked into a message board or Reddit-style functionality and granularity. Any good Slack How-To videos you can point to?

        • I don’t know that any how-to videos will help. I think on my end all I can do is further subdivide the channels so the conversations aren’t so scattered and voluminous.

          But on the user end, people just need to accept they wont’ be able to read all the messages.