“Is this what my tax money is going to?”: Complicating the Trump Administration’s Fascination with Norway

Before I left Norway last June, Brianne Jaquette and I worked on a piece that looked at the administration’s numerous references to Norway over the past few years. Just this past week, Mike Pompeo stated, “We just want Iran to behave more like a normal country, to be like Norway.” In this piece, Brianne and I argue that using Norway is a referent is much more sinister than just playing on the idea that Norway is “white.” It plays on Norwegian policies as well. For more on this, see Sindre Bangstad’s recent article “Far-Right Media Ecology in Norway.”

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"Memory is a wily keeper of the past": The Narrative of Memory

Throughout our lives, we create memories, then we reconstruct those memories, and they appear again and again within our mind. For me, one memory that always pops up concerns a time when I was a kid, riding a four-wheeler at my grandfather’s camp. I sat down on the seat, my dad sitting behind me, and I pulled the throttle back with my right hand. The vehicle took off, and at such a speed that it popped a wheelie, throwing my dad off the back.

In my mind, I see this scene in third person, from afar, almost like a wide angled shot in a film. I see the trees in the background and the four-wheeler just below them, on a flat spot of land. I can’t make out faces, but I know that it’s me on the machine. Or is it? The bike starts forward, the front end pops up, and the silhouette of my dad falls off the back. That’s it. That’s the memory. Is it reality? Is it me? Is it my dad falling off the back?

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Fears of Change and A More Equitable Society

Last October, Jennine Capó Crucet gave a talk at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. The university chose her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers (2015) as the campus-wide first year experience book. Crucet’s novel chronicles a Cuban American woman’s experiences at an elite college as a first-gen student and daughter of Cuban immigrants. After her talk, some students went out to a grill near the dorms and burned copies of Crucet’s novel.

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