Riverside Drive, in front of the Long Center
Dispatch From the Land of the Deranged
What do John Hagee's "Christian Zionist" San Antonio megachurch, 9/11 Truthers, and the U.S. Congress -- notably, among them, Texas Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, have in common? Narcissism, for sure, and certainly a most unhealthy penchant for intellectual dishonesty. As a group, to Rolling Stone reporter and author Matt Taibbi, the triad are more alike than not, and together perfectly illustrative of the Great Derangement. The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire, is Taibbi's latest election-year offering, exploring how the absence of a "commonly accepted set" of facts has splintered the American psyche, leaving it adrift, primed to believe even the most unbelievable -- like President George W. Bush's post-9/11 "conclusion" that we were attacked because the terrorists hate "our freedoms." Please. Is there any doubt we're seriously deranged? In Taibbi's estimation, the answer is clear: We're fucked up. And in this latest book, he sets out to prove just that.