President Trump Just Called Himself a ‘Nationalist.’ Here’s What That Means—and Why It’s So Dangerous.

Nationalism is not patriotism. Just ask George Orwell.

54857C94-3B81-4310-A61D-93B183F2ED5F

Normally, there’s a kind of catharsis in watching someone finally admit to themselves and the world who they truly are. Not here. It has never been much of a secret that Donald Trump, American president, is a nationalist. The debate is more often over what adjective might go in front. And yet it was singularly unnerving on Tuesday—in the context of a midterm election campaign in which he and his Republican allies are appealing to racism and anti-immigrant sentiment and fear in a strategy so explicit that The New York Times felt comfortable calling it out—to hear him declare, loudly and proudly, that he is “a nationalist, OK?”

47D514AE-DD45-451C-BB02-4AD7F917DF8F

The juxtaposition here between “globalist” and “nationalist” is a Steve Bannon joint—a nice hat-tip to the guy on a day where he could be found playing a near-empty conference room on Staten Island. It’s the kind of binary nonsense that authoritarian types feed on, an us-or-them formulation where the United States can succeed, or the wider world can succeed, but you can’t have both. In the context of a globalized, entirely interconnected world—a development Trump is powerless to reverse—it is fantasy. But it gets the people going.

Now that the President of the United States has embraced it as his own, it’s worth digging into what the term “nationalist” actually means and the historical baggage it carries. For this, we can turn once again to George Orwell, the legendary British theorist who, more recently, has become a prop for diaper-wearing right-wing propagandists who looked him up on brainy quote dot com. The essential point, also made eloquently by Charles de Gaulle, is that not only are nationalism and patriotism not the same, the gap between them is not some difference of degree. They are often wholly contrasting emotional forces, as Orwell writes in his Notes on Nationalism:

Continue reading

Warning! This Ain’t Your Gramma’s Nun.

Terrifying Real-Life Encounter Inspires New Horror Film “The Nun”…

“I feel the presence of a nun in this church…”

—Lorraine Warren, psychic investigator/demonologist, speaking to a group of psychic researchers and photographers (including husband Ed Warren) at Borley Rectory in England, during a trip there in the 1970s; it is noted that Lorraine uttered the remark immediately upon entering the building at 12:00 A.M.


09728A5B-7676-4726-941C-329B4C1EBE55

The Nun, played by the amazing Bonnie Aarons, first appeared in the 2016 James Wan film The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, a sequel of sorts (but then again not really) to Wan’s 2013 film The Conjuring (sequels, perhaps, in that both films are based on true stories straight out of the case files of Catholic demonologists and founders of the New England Society for Psychical Research, Ed and Lorraine Warren—played in both films by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively). In The Conjuring 2, Aaron’s character, called “Valek” in the annals of Hell, is a demon that’s attached itself psychically to Farmiga’s character—medium and demonologist Lorraine Warren—and has manifested itself to her since she was a child in the form of a Catholic Nun…as an insult to and a perversion of  Warren’s Christian faith.


033F6EBF-273B-4031-88E9-ED7AC615F02C

In the 1970s, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren saw a spectral nun in a British abbey. Real-life psychic investigators for the Catholic Church, the Warrens investigated many of the workd’s most visible—and horrifying—spirit and demonic encounters including The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring incident, the Perronne family hauntings, and the Enfield poltergeist infestation in England.


In The Nun, the latest movie in the ever-expanding Conjuring universe, a cowl-clad demon with piercing yellow eyes and dagger-like teeth haunts the cloisters of a Romanian abbey and terrorizes local clergy. The film is a prequel to The Conjuring, which detailed the real case files of noted demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Those case files have also inspired film classics such as The Conjuring 2, Anabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and the 1979 horror classic The Amityville Horror.

So how much of the story about The Nun is based on actual events?

The Warren’s son-in-law, Tony Spera, said that The Nun’s ecclesiastical phantom bears resemblance to a “real” spectral nun the Warrens encountered during a 1970s trip to the much-haunted Borley Rectory in southern England.

Below: Rare color photographs of Borley Rectory taken in 1929 (left) and 1943 after the fire (right) by England’s own famous (and infamous) ghost hunter Harry Price (Source: www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/Borley)

Continue reading