The secret to Trumps success? Its sheer existential dread | Sheldon Solomon

Authoritarian populist leaders thrive on the fear of death, says psychology professor Sheldon Solomon In a recent experiment, American participants were asked: Please describe the emotions that the thought of your own death arouses in you and Write down as specifically as you can what you think will happen to you physically as you die and once you are dead. Moments later, those who had been asked to contemplate their mortality reported more negative attitudes towards immigrants, greater opposition to a mosque being built in their neighbourhood, and a greater likelihood of voting for Donald Trump for president. What could possibly explain these findings? In The Denial of Death (1973), cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker argued that while humans share a …

‘It’s ghost slavery’: the troubling world of pop holograms

Dead stars from Whitney Houston to Maria Callas are going on tour again. As Miley Cyrus explores the issue in a new Black Mirror, we uncover the greatest identity crisis in music today In the star-making Disney Channel switcheroo Hannah Montana,Miley Cyrus played a teenage girl who is able to metamorphose from regular eighth grader to pop icon, simply by donning a streaked blonde wig. Most of the show seems quaintly dated now, but one moment taps into a very 2019 pop anxiety. On foam-finger humper to The episodes trailer ends with Ashley Too acquiring potty-mouthed sentience, screaming for her owner to get this [USB] cable out of my ass! Holy Shit! Specifics are under wraps, but the episode seems …