September 15, 2019

I discovered a fun and thought-provoking podcast a few weeks ago: Nice Try! where host Avery Trufelman looks at various attempts at creating a utopia. But the problem is, utopias aren't real. Whatever the intent, they inevitably fail, no matter what kind of retconning the scientist at Biosphere 2 says now.

The case of Biosphere 2 is a particularly illustrative example. The idea of Biosphere 2 was to provide us with a livable habitat when this planet no longer is inhabitable. But not for everyone, mind you. It was always meant to save the most worthy of us. The original Biosphere crew were homogeneous, economically secure and educated. And even with all those controls, they still couldn't make it. The crew became so polarized that some wouldn't even speak to others. And therein lies the hubris that ultimately causes each one of these utopias to fail: white men deeming what makes something a utopia. Who actually thinks that they can recreate all the factors that make up a livable self-sustaining Earth-like environment? And as Margaret Atwood says, every utopia contains dystopias for others. Add Steve Bannon (yeah, that Steve Bannon) and you've got a dystopian nightmare for pretty much everyone.

Ana Marie Cox posited that the embracing of the none-too-original "Make America Great Again" theme is the Trumpers' way of signaling the creation of their own utopia in this country, one in which the dystopia is built in for everyone else. It harkens back to a time that never existed and promises a utopia that isn't possible. And like all other utopian proposals, it will ultimately fail.

ABC's "This Week" —Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Panel: Matthew Dowd, Chris Christie, Donna Brazile and Arshad Hasan.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Democratic presidential candidates Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker; Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Panel: Helene Cooper, Hallie Jackson, Pat McCrory and Claire McCaskill.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services; Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Democratic presidential candidates Buttigieg and Andrew Yang; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Panel: Jennifer Granholm, Rick Santorum, Aisha Moodie-Mills and Bill Kristol.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Condoleezza Rice .

CNN's "State of the Union" — Alexandra Rojas and Dahlia Lithwick; Jim Sciutto; Krystal Ball; Meghan Twohey and Jodi Kantor; Barry Glassner.

Fox News Sunday” — Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. Panel: Josh Holmes, Catherine Lucey, Katie Pavlich and Neera Tanden.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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