Brett Kavangaugh

Turns Out My Comparison of the Kavanaugh Hearings to the Salem Witch Trials Was Actually Spot On

Earlier this autumn, I wrote a piece comparing our present political climate to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. It was an association I made because I happened to be in Salem the weekend that The Kavanaugh Affair was at its height. I was happy with the way the piece came out, but worried that my comparison might have been a bit strained.

Turns out I got it just right.

A Catholic priest in Washington recently performed a mass exorcism, meant to lift the hexes being put on Brett Kavanaugh by a coven of witches, mostly based in Brooklyn, using magic as a form of ritual protest against the patriarchy.

Welcome back to 1692, everybody!

The Surprising Effectiveness of Gentle Public Shaming

Where would you put your money?

Leave it to the staff of one of my favorite lunch places to come up with a brilliant example of the persuasive communication.

What do I love about it?

It’s absolutely of the moment. It exploits identity to motivate us to action (We all want to express how we feel about Brett Kavanaugh because it says something about who we are). By seeding the tip jars the restaurant itself subtly expresses a point of view. It gamifies what is otherwise an obligation. It’s physical, and it has an implicit but clear call to action.

And what could be more American than monetizing political expression?

Shamed a bit by the tip jar, I pulled out my (electronic) wallet without a second thought and made a point of mentioning to the staff that I was putting my digital tip into the Matt Damon jar.

Bravo, guys. I’ll be back for lunch again tomorrow.