Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

So long, Sharknado!

Last night, an era in motion picture history came to an end; SyFy aired the sixth and final Sharknado movie. If you haven’t seen one, just think tornadoes plus sharks.

The Sharknado movies were every bit as bizarre and entertaining as they sound. And they were innocent. They set out to do nothing more than put a smile on your face and that they did. There is real value in that.

As an immigrant to this country, one of the most striking things about it is how pervasive politics is. Back home, Britain’s king of late night is Graham Norton. He is, on his chat show at least, an affably apolitical host who coaxes entertaining turns from his guests, like Johnny Carson or Dick Cavett used to do here. In this country, nowadays, late night TV is Seth Myers or Jimmy Kimmel lecturing you on public policy. Even your sports are political.

The increased politicization of American life is not a good thing. Two of my friends are die-hard Vikings fans. One voted for Trump, the other for Clinton, but they stow that on Sunday afternoons and get together to talk rushing and running yards, kicks returned, and all the rest. Then football got political and now they spend their Sundays apart. With less and less common ground, there is a real danger that we will retreat into mutually uncomprehending tribes; one watches Will & Grace, the other watches Roseanne. Or it did, until it got cancelled.

Political ideologies that tell you that ‘everything is political’ are corrosive of the common ground that a society needs, where political opponents can see that the other side is not, in fact, an alien, existential threat. Sharknado was a little bit of that common ground. There was no politics, just tornadoes plus sharks. So do your bit for civic society, ditch the politics for a couple of hours, and watch a Sharknado movie.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment and veteran of six Sharknado movies. 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • YLC Curling Event

    Location: Chaska Curling Center 3210 Chaska Blvd, Chaska, MN 55318

    Grab your broom and stone and join the Young Leadership Council for an evening of Curling at the Chaska Curling Center! $40 registration includes: Instruction Ice time and equipment Appetizers (Curling Center Bar will be available to purchase drinks) The event will begin with 15-20 minutes of classroom instruction on curling rules and basics followed by 20-30 minutes on the ice for practice and drills. Instructors will be on hand the whole evening to guide your games. Dress Code: Bring a pair of clean-on-the-bottom shoes to change into. No leather soles or metal lace hooks Loose fitting or strechy clothes…

    Register Now
  • The Diversity Delusion

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, April 24th at the Hilton Hotel for a lunch forum with Heather Mac Donald as she discusses her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.  Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race…

    Register Now
  • 2019 Annual Dinner Featuring Nigel Farage

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now