Virginia Heffernan Profile picture
Columnist @WIRED & host @thiscriticalpod. Sometimes @latimesopinion, @TheAtlantic, @nytimes. PhD fwiw. Formerly: the late non-lamented @realTrumpcast
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May 21 13 tweets 3 min read
Some actual intelligence on the crypto crash from (of course) ⁦@adam_tooze⁩:… In Tooze’s logic, “crypto”
denotes two things:

1. a speculative commodity
2. a byword for a libertarian jackoff delusion
May 10 4 tweets 2 min read
The staggering achievement of 1/6 is not that the Capitol was breached, but that, after an orderly break, Congress filed back onto the recent battleground with briefcases to perform the monotonous rite of certification that is as cinematic as a tax form.… How the red tape won.
May 5 5 tweets 3 min read
Reminder that before all this, Musk called his Tesla bot Tesla’s “most important product” of 2022. The bot? A petite, feminized, racialized android that does minstrel dances. It’s built to do drudgery and be “easy to overpower.” ImageImage It’s such a racist image I can’t post it here. It’s also supposed to be “friendly.”

Thanks to @daviopp for his commentary on the Tesla bot and @ejonesimhotep for his work on Black androids.
May 4 10 tweets 4 min read
Time to look into If When How. It's loudmouth lawyering for reproductive justice. It's prepared for just this moment. h/t @CarrieNBaker If you prefer sabotage and hacking, Sean Black on TikTok continues to do excellent work to confound anti-choice surveillance systems that are hunting women. cc @SeanDaBlack…
May 4 9 tweets 2 min read
Have you ever tried to break up with someone and tried to make it seem like their idea? Or had this happened to you?

What a spot-on description of this particular gaslight (here a rejection of a daughter by a father) in "What Maisie Knew": [Maisie] understood as well as if [her father] had spoken it that what he wanted, hang it, was that she should let him off with all the honours—with all the appearance of virtue and sacrifice on his side.
May 3 5 tweets 1 min read
My 16yo son Ben and I did a dialogue about Glenn Gould for the @GlennGouldFndn and I’m so proud of it—and him (who hates Twitter)—that I had to post. Image Here it is…
Apr 30 7 tweets 2 min read
This is by far my favorite Catholic v Protestant showdown since Whittaker Chambers v Alger Hiss, meaning between two white gentile men whose conflicting vibes are not generally distinguishable to the naked eye today But between Whitehouse & Kavanaugh is a world of difference, spottable in their prep schools, their clubs, their politics, their orientation toward drinking and sexuality, their noblesse oblige (Whitehouse) v brawling resentments (Kavanaugh), and their racism (see: their clubs)
Apr 28 7 tweets 2 min read
New on Substack:

1. A look at new ways to get sober:… 2. What’s up with all those men trying to live forever?…
Apr 18 5 tweets 1 min read
Worth clocking signs of the far-right's disintegration:
1. Alex Jones's bankruptcies
2. NRA chapter 11
3. 816 charged in 1/6 insurrection
4. Q gone
5. Limitless list of Trumpites—Giuliani to Barr to Manafort to Stone—sidelined or turned on Trump
6. Trump all but deplatformed 7. Conservatives no longer preaching the Big Lie
8. Most Republicans don't want Trump to run
9. Proud Boys, Oath Keepers all but extinguished after arrests of leadership
10. Tucker Carlson cognitively impaired by his daft incel/testosterone cause
Apr 14 10 tweets 3 min read
These education dustups—on everything from evolution to sex ed—always run deep: they are panics that our kids will turn on us & reject us as rubes.

Conflict resolution here has to start with that.… Also this article is bit of a alarmism, as this is the real takeaway:
Apr 13 18 tweets 5 min read
A couple of things from the Substack that might interest you:

1. A short account of the geopolitics of Alexander Dugin, who is known as Putin’s Brain:… 2. Q is no longer Anon! And how to tell when your yoga friend is lurching toward MAGA:…
Apr 9 6 tweets 2 min read
From 3 years ago. Larry Ray convicted this week. As media complaints get deafening, it’s actually staggering how well investigative journalism has chugged on. Harvey Weinstein convicted; Elizabeth Holmes convicted; Curtis Flowers exonerated; Larry Ray convicted. Journalism works Reminds me of when we all rightfully bagged on Thomas Friedman for bad ideas when Bob Herbert was quietly getting (I think) 4 wrongful convictions overturned.
Apr 4 9 tweets 2 min read
Why is there so much pressure to not talk about the slap? No shame talkers, it was legit interesting Like my beloved roommate @albomike at 10:30am on 9/11/2001 who thought we had talked about 9/11 too much
Apr 1 13 tweets 3 min read
The NYT cancelation that was a disgraceful banishment & ritual humiliation & still haunts the place: Jayson Blair. Then, for good measure, Gerald Boyd & Howell Raines, bc they had “coddled” a Black reporter? How was that this century? Judith Miller solidly on staff at the time. When it becomes clear that an executive editor & deputy can be summarily fired for what’s seen as excessive anti-racism, it’s no wonder the paper bends over backward to give racism its due.
Mar 27 4 tweets 1 min read
When I stopped being able to think of intimidating penalties for my kids, I started just saying, "if you don't clean up your room, woe betide." "Woe betide" is also the secret to negotiation between nuclear powers The idea is to gesture at something terrifying and vague to buy time so you can figure out what to do, which will be nothing
Mar 20 4 tweets 1 min read
Russia is now on record as refusing to join humanity —

Latest newsletter is about the
Ukraine invasion, Aleksandr Dugin, and his plan for world domination… Unlike Putin, who spoke of “helping” “bullied” Ukrainians, demilitarizing Ukraine, and forcing regime change, Dugin describes the invasion as Russia’s way of “being heard” as it secedes from the liberal world order once and for all.
Mar 4 5 tweets 2 min read
I hope this doesn't sound grandiose but Zelenskyy seems to be reinventing the world in front of our eyes—reimagining culture, borders, digital citizenship & leadership, even the idea of "living on Earth." If he is assassinated, the loss will be unfathomably great. ImageImageImageImage He's not appealing to "common humanity," in the usual wartime cliché, but a new idea: distinct but mutually enriching culture areas and idioms, much of which lives in blogs & TikTok.
Feb 20 4 tweets 1 min read
The radicalization of the namaste set. On this week's episode of @ThisCriticalPod. There are many ways to feel that you were once in a glorious natural state and have been defiled by civilization.

Education, medicine, law, agriculture, government, cities, money, sex — ANYTHING can come to be seen as the agent of that defilement.
Feb 14 4 tweets 1 min read
It wouldn’t matter whether the small cadre of advisors around Biden were smart or dumb or insular or worldly if the president would try the novelty of following the Constitution. Congress deliberates & decides what to do with Russia and Ukraine. We can let Kissinger or Cheney or whoever make a backroom decision again, or we can insist on no more undeclared wars. No more monarchs — that is, omnipotent executives.
Feb 11 5 tweets 2 min read
Good news for the environment:

1. Fossil fuel divestment
2. Meat from plants & lab-grown meat
3. Breakthroughs in nuclear fusion
4. 13 big NYC bldgs, incl the Empire State Building, now powered entirely by wind
5. Bricks stronger than concrete now made from plastic waste 6. Electric & hybrid cars now outselling diesel in Europe.
7. Solar costs down by nearly 90% (!) in the last 10 years
8. Dramatically more open streets & bike lanes in major cities around the world
9. Repair of coral reefs
10. Major progress repairing ozone gash
Feb 9 11 tweets 2 min read
It’s worth entertaining the idea that Trump’s single term and January 6th were the end of the coup project and not the beginning.

And maybe anxiety about next time is toy thinking. Like asking, “What if Peter had NOT killed the wolf? What then?” It was for fear of the “next” 9/11, which never came, that we spent 20 years in terrible wars.