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Americans Are Living in an Alternate History

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The Trump presidency has engendered many other alternate histories. The Plot Against America, David Simon and Ed Burns’s serialized treatment of Philip Roth’s 2004 novel, brought to the screen a dire exploration of what might have happened had Charles Lindbergh—and his fascism—risen to power in America. The Man in the High Castle, the Amazon show taking on Philip K. Dick’s alternate history from 1962, wondered aloud what might have become of America had the Axis powers won World War II. Those revisitations are part of a broader impulse in popular culture to play with plots and possibilities—among them episodes of shows such as Black Mirror and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that adopted a choose-your-own-adventure approach to storytelling. Interactive episodes share the ethos of video games, but you can also read them as responses to the chaotic nature of history. They use fiction to acknowledge how little it takes for imagined futures—whether of a Hillary Clinton presidency or a competent response to the pandemic—to dissipate into the fog of the Might Have Been.

You can see a similar impulse at play in Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld’s novelistic answer to another Clinton-related question: What would have happened had Hillary Rodham, who met Bill Clinton at law school in the early ’70s, not married him? How would her life have been different? And how would it have hewed to the biography that is so familiar today?

Rodham is by turns fascinating and depressing—in part because the events the book addresses, including the 2016 election, remain so raw. Without Hillary to bolster him, Sittenfeld’s timeline goes, Bill runs for president in 1992 but does not win. (A woman comes forward to allege a long-term affair with the Arkansas governor; Bill and the woman he ends up marrying, Sarah Grace, flub the 60 Minutes interview intended to explain away his infidelities.) Without Bill to hold her back, the timeline further posits, Hillary returns to Chicago, near the town where she grew up, and eventually wins a U.S. Senate seat—through a campaign that emphasizes her tenacity and midwestern pragmatism. Meanwhile, without Bill Clinton to challenge him, George H. W. Bush gets reelected in 1992. Sittenfeld takes a light touch with the correlation-causation dynamics of this revised American history; still, in the timeline in which Hillary decides not to marry Bill, here are the recent American presidents and vice presidents:

1988: George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle

1992: George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle

1996: Jerry Brown and Bob Kerrey

2000: John McCain and Sam Brownback

2004: John McCain and Sam Brownback

2008: Barack Obama and Joe Biden

2012: Barack Obama and Joe Biden

The effect of all these consonances—the alternate timeline tangling with the facts of the world—is to create an awkward sense of stability. Some things will still be the same, Rodham insists, in spite of it all. The Bill Clinton of the book, after losing his presidential bid, becomes a tech billionaire in San Francisco; just like the Bill Clinton of reality, he becomes a vegan. The Hillary Clinton of the book, just like the Hillary Clinton of real life, gets mocked in the press for commenting that “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas”; in the book, though, the line comes not when she is at Bill’s side, but while she is running for president. (Spoiler: She wins.) In Rodham, the butterflies flap their wings; only some things change. The notion of destiny hovers over the book, just as it does in many other alternate histories: What is so likely, in the course of human events, that nearly every timeline will contain it? What things are enduringly true? What things are subject to the insults of contingency?

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Radhika Apte reveals real reason why she got married

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Radhika Apte needs no introduction to Kollywood fans after her appearance as Superstar Rajinikanth’s wife in ‘Kabali’ directed by Pa Ranjith.  The intense actress impressed with her performance of a meek girl to a mother of a grown-up and especially her reunion scene with Rajini took the audience on an emotional ride.

Radhika is happily married to her British boyfriend Benedict Taylor who is a singer and she shuttles between Mumbai and London to balance her personal and professional life.

Radhika Apte in her most recent interaction with Vikranth Massey on social media from London has admitted that she does not believe in the institution of marriage.  When asked why she got married the talented performer replied that it is easier for married people to get a British visa and that’s why she and her man opted for it in 2012.

Radhika is currently chilling with Taylor in their London home during the lockdown and will soon start filming her next English film ‘Noor Inayat Khan’ in which she plays a spy based on a true story.

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Jacqueline Fernandez shares picture of her being in ‘happy place’

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Actor Jacqueline Fernandez is working on a secret project where she found herself in a ‘happy place’. Taking it to Instagram on Sunday, the 35-year-old actor shared a picture dressed up like a traffic police officer as she is seen laughing her heart out.

“How was everyone’s Sunday?? Fun project coming up soon! #myhappyplace,” wrote Fernandez along with a picture where she is also seen holding a coffee mug. The ‘Kick’ actor also shared a few Instagram stories of her getting ready for the upcoming project.

Recently, the actor extended gratitude to her fans after the number of Instagram followers hit the 46 million mark.

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Why an ‘active’ approach to risk modelling is key to navigating markets today

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Whether investors are aiming for a cautious approach or a riskier investment profile with the potential for higher returns, Architas’ Blended Fund range is designed to match a range of investor risk appetites. And like many asset managers, Architas predominantly uses two approaches to define asset allocation within the five risk bands used in the Blended Range – strategic and tactical.

Whilst risk model provider EValue’s quantitative approach to asset allocation takes into account the long-term performance of different asset classes and the likely future performance given current valuations, along with long-term measures of volatility and correlations with other asset classes. Yet as with most systems of its kinds, EValue focuses on the long term; it is unable to analyse short-term market movements and fluctuations. So whilst it would have seen that in Q1 2020 markets fell by a record percentage before rebounding, it will not be able to factor in the cost of the coronavirus and lockdown and its impact on markets. Similarly, it is not able to consider ongoing Brexit woes, geo-political trade wars or the outcome of the US election in 2020.

Click here for the full article and to access more about the flexibility of the Architas Blended Range by clicking on the box below.

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