Due to my unforgivable negligence, I have not updated this page in a few months. The world has turned in the interim period, however, and I have written. I have written about music, literature, politics, intellectual culture, and sexuality.
My new book, Barack Obama: Invisible Man, is now available!
The Chicago Reader recently summarized the book as following: The cultural critic’s new book Barack Obama: Invisible Man is, in a broader sense, about how America banged its collective head against Trump Tower after last year’s election, no longer able to believe in the kind of change Obama had brought to the Oval Office. He touches on issues not often raised, such as race, privilege, and Obama’s demeanor. Masciotra has previously written about John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen, but needless to say this is his most controversial topic.
Jesse Jackson, as I have written before, is a largely unsung hero of the American story. More than nearly anyone else, he has enlarged the franchise for all Americans over the past forty years.
I recently sat down with Jackson in his Chicago office to discuss current battles over voter suppression and registration. Read my essay on the discussion at Salon.
I recently had the pleasure of spending time with songwriting legend, Steve Earle. We had a wide ranging conversation about music, politics, history, and love. Read my essay on the experience at Salon.
In a recent essay for Salon, I revisited the Bruce Springsteen masterpiece, The Rising. It is a record that grows even as its gains distance from its precipitating event, the attacks of 9/11. Read my summary and interpretation of the record at Salon.
I have not updated the site in an unforgivably long time, and the screams of rage and terror from the world have finally reached my window. I have heard the people’s demand.
Over the summer, I have written about identity politics, free speech, racism, Trump’s dangerous deference to military leaders on foreign policy, and perhaps most urgently, whether or not Ted Cruz is human.
I recently had the profound thrill of sitting down in conversation with Warren Haynes, the frontman of Gov’t Mule – a musical unit I recently called the “world’s best band.”
Haynes, a brilliant conversationalist, and I discussed the power and mystery of creativity, the need for personal innovation from artists, and the value of art in times of trouble.
In my new essay at Salon, I use the life of Steve Bannon, controversial and powerful advisor to Donald Trump, as a predicate to explore the problem of meaninglessness in American culture, and how often the search for meaning ends with a cure worse than the illness.
In my latest column for Salon, I examine how Republicans in government are incapable of governance. After having spent years mocking liberals as overly ideological, naive, and unable to make difficult decisions, conservatives have now drifted so far to the fringes of the right that they cannot implement or administer public policy.
The fiasco of health care reform is an illustrative example of Republican ineptitude.
Hostile opposition to immigration, mockery of diversity, advocacy of theocracy, and now the nomination of a man who routinely calls America an “embarrassment” and “hellhole,” has led me to wonder if the right wing hates the America that actually exists – a secular republic and nation of immigrants.
I offer my conclusions in my newest essay for Salon.