Articles by Bill Asher

Dancing with Androids

hirty-eight years after Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” and one year after the film’s depiction of a future now past, comes the answer to the story’s source material. The answer comes as a clear-eyed portrayal of the year 2145, independent of Scott’s vision of 2019 or mankind’s picture of the start of 2020. The answer comes […]

The Trials of Labor Day

ow many workers are able (for now) to survive, but unable to earn a living? How many workers are testing agents for the end of work and the death of leisure, not because automation is the precursor to personal autonomy, but because machines threaten to render the unemployed unemployable? How many workers labor every day […]

Whatever Happened to Gary Cooper?

n White Sands, New Mexico, stands a monument—a black obelisk—as historic as the sights in Monument Valley. The monument stands at Trinity, birthplace of the nuclear age. The monument stands like a desert plant, a simple but potent icon of the West. In the desert also lies the truth about the illusion of time, with […]

The Excellence of ‘The Last Dance’

s symbolic as Superman’s S, as sleek as Nike’s Swoosh, the Jumpman logo is the silhouette of a man in midair. Like his likeness alone, like the image of a basketball player dancing in the sky, like the grand jeté of a long horizontal jump, Michael Jordan transcends sports and commerce. Like the original logo […]

The Way of Richard Brookhiser

f the Jews made Jerusalem famous, the Protestants made the New Jerusalem of America a light unto the nations. By Protestants, I mean the founders of our civil religion; the architects of many mansions on behalf of laws, language, culture, institutions, literature, history, and tradition. More specifically, I mean the way of those men who […]

Winning the War by Finding the Cure

eterring harm starts with assembling arms. The transformation of labor, the division of labor, the labor necessary to arm military divisions—from the assembly line do these things flow. From film reels do images of these things continue to flow, inspiring us by the power of motion itself. Were the images to fade to black, the […]

Kill All the Economics Departments

hen the pandemic ends, future generations will say of us now living: Why did the United States chain itself to a slave state, so as to strengthen the bonds of the supply chain? Why did our political parties finalize trade agreements with the Chinese Communist Party? Why did so many do so little for so […]

Bowling for Sanity

ouTube is the gateway drug of home confinement. With a channel for everyone and everything, including original content and uploads of old movies and commercials, every view is like a transfusion—a fix—to sate, soothe, or stimulate the bodies of one mass body: a body whose sinews are strands of light, whose points of light are […]

Work in the Time of COVID-19

f corporations want to maintain the legal fiction that they are people, they would be wise to support the rights of actual people. Because one right that corporations ask us to defend for them—the right of freedom of speech—is the same right they happily deny their own workers. Thus do public rights vanish behind the […]

The Death of Motivational Speakers

efore the plague ends, expect an end to what plagues workers and capital. Expect people to stop listening to speakers who conflate passion with profundity, intensity with intelligence, enthusiasm with enlightenment. Expect motivational speakers to go the way of so many televangelists and online preachers, sermonizing to cameras instead of congregants; repenting to millions instead […]

Make America Calm Again

n a room that had housed the telegraph came a telegram to the nation. The message was clear, the messenger confident. Thus began the first of 30 radio addresses from the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Thus began the president’s fireside chat on a crisis that threatened the health of the […]

Bullsh– in a China Shop

or good people to believe in the innocence of evil people, for true believers to believe in the goodness of evildoers, for extraordinary claims to refute extraordinary evidence of evil, that takes religion—the religion of the Chinese Communist Party.  The party rewrites the gospel in real-time, turning ruins into relief missions and missionaries into martyrs.  […]