Lavin Weekly #37: Thompson, Meyer, Braitman, & Huang
“Economic anxiety and racial anxiety are not separate forces, but rather a growing, snarling hydra,” says The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson in his recent op-ed, "Donald Trump and the Twilight of White America." Trump’s political rise is explicable, he says, and it comes down to disenfranchisement felt by middle-class, white voters. Many hark back to a 1950s heyday—pre-globalization and the collapse of domestic manufacturing—when white men without college degrees enjoyed their greatest level of prosperity. Thompson also pinpoints three key events that may have led to this sentiment—the 1968 election, the peak of manufacturing in 1979, and Barack Obama taking office in 2008—and it’s a fascinating study in psychographics and the us-vs.-them dynamic. For more from Derek Thompson, check out his feature on why Trump and Hillary Clinton are winning the same states.
2. Erin Meyer Maps Cultural Nuance for The Washington Post
Cultural differences can create unwanted boundaries, both in commerce and in everyday life. To Erin Meyer, understanding our national nuances—especially in a hyper-globalized world—could be the key to breakthroughs in the boardroom. In a new Washington Post article, Meyer’s book The Culture Map serves as the basis for a chart that plots countries’ typical mannerisms on two continua: “Emotionally Expressive—Unexpressive” and “Confrontational—Avoids Confrontation.” Especially hard to understand, argues Meyer, are the countries whose characteristics seem counterintuitive; those that are confrontational yet unemotional, and those that avoid confrontation while expressing a high degree of emotion. Wonder where your country falls? Head over to the Post to find out.
3. Is Your Dog Depressed? Try Singing Him a Song, Says Laurel Braitman
Laurel Braitman is the author of The New York Times bestseller Animal Madness, which proposes a curious theory: just as humans can suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental ailments, so can animals. And on PBS NewsHour’s Brief but Spectacular, she brings her thesis to life. “We think about [animals] as entertainment. One thing that makes me sad is that we don’t usually think about what entertains them,” says Braitman—who is now putting on concerts for the benefit of animals. In the video embedded below, Braitman talks about playing bluegrass and Nina Simone for a lonesome donkey, and enlists the band Black Prairie to perform for wolves at a sanctuary in Washington state. She recalls how the wolves came as close to the music as they could—and how they even howled along with band as the closing act. To hear Braitman’s groundbreaking Animal Madness keynote, or her take on managing uncertainty in times of chaos, contact us today.
4. Eddie Huang Talks Breaking with Fresh Off the Boat, and What Comes Next
America has fallen in love with one version of Eddie Huang—the boisterous, hip-hop-loving 12-year-old on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat—but they might not know the man behind the character. Since leaving the show, he’s become a household name—as a popular New York City restaurateur, celebrity chef/world traveler on Viceland’s Huang’s World, and a phenomenal keynote speaker. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Huang shares his views on everything from Donald Trump to watching a 12-year-old enact his childhood to the complexities of the contemporary Asian-American identity, all with his usual candor. Huang remains optimistic about his new venture: “If there’s one thing people could learn from the show and myself, it’s empathy: to put yourself in other people’s shoes, see it from a different perspective than yours. I think it really makes your view of the world a lot more textured and deep and rich,” he says. Huang’s new memoir Double Cup Love drops at the end of the month, and if his on-screen personality is any indication, the book should be chock-full of wit, humour, and relatable anecdotes.
To book a keynote from Derek Thompson, Erin Meyer, Laurel Braitman, Eddie Huang, or from hundreds of other influencers and thought leaders, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.