The Sky Is Falling

The Sky Is Falling

How Vampires, Zombies, Androids, and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism

Book - 2018
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A Sunday Times (London), Best Book of 2018

"A thoughtful, entertaining, and occasionally profound critical study of the texts that entertain, move and, sometimes, shape us."
-- The Spectator (London)

"A bold, witty, and brilliantly argued analysis of the role pop culture has played in the rise of American extremism."
--Ruth Reichl

"You'll never look at your favorite movies and TV shows the same way again. And you shouldn't."
--Steven Soderbergh

A bestselling cultural journalist shows how pop culture prepared Americans to embrace extreme politics

Almost everything has been invoked to account for Trump's victory and the rise of the alt-right, from job loss to racism to demography--everything, that is, except popular culture. In The Sky Is Falling bestselling cultural journalist Peter Biskind dives headlong into two decades of popular culture--from superhero franchises such as the Dark Knight, X-Men, and the Avengers and series like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones to thrillers like Homeland and 24--and emerges to argue that these shows are saturated with the values that are currently animating our extreme politics.

Where once centrist institutions and their agents--cops and docs, soldiers and scientists, as well as educators, politicians, and "experts" of every stripe--were glorified by mainstream Hollywood, the heroes of today's movies and TV, whether far right or far left, have overthrown this quaint ideological consensus. Many of our shows dramatize extreme circumstances--an apocalypse of one sort or another--that require extreme behavior to deal with, behavior such as revenge, torture, lying, and even the vigilante violence traditionally discouraged in mainstream entertainment.

In this bold, provocative, and witty investigation, Biskind shows how extreme culture now calls the shots. It has become, in effect, the new mainstream.

Publisher: New York :, The New Press,, 2018
ISBN: 9781620974292
Branch Call Number: 973.93 BIS


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Nov 22, 2018

Very odd book, not at all what I expected: no movie or TV stills of zombies, etc. POLITICS!

Sep 27, 2018

It's a good thing nobody reads books anymore in America, otherwise this crazy dude will expose everything. Of course Zombie-TV works: in Seattle, they have this quite popular mass zombie walk every year, and the local zombied-out electorate voted in Jenny Durkan, once condemned by the Seattle Human Rights Commission for her actions as US Attorney, as our fearless mayor!
Obviously, this zombie/vampire/whatever stuff works, and works quite well. When will Stormy Daniels be making a zombie-stripper flick?
And those goshawful superhero movies: can anyone really believe that Capt. America movie where the Nazis were supposed to have infiltrated SHIELD and the American gov't?!?!
I mean, they expect us to really accept the fact of Operation Paper Clip - - and second- and third-generation Nazis at the CIA [should be quite a number there now], and how that pertained to the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Rev. King?!?!
Yup, definitely Hollywood has done us in . . .

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