It’s considered uncool in professional media circles to speak about news events in terms of conspiracies, but the Big Lie surrounding the 2020 election, the January 6 insurrection, the widespread idea that the Trump indictments are grounded in some kind of lawless “weaponization” of the Justice Department, and the plotting of powerful right-wing groups to give authoritarian powers to the next Republican president and destroy climate policy constitute nothing less than a conspiracy to end democracy and destroy the planet for profit. So if people want to be suspicious about something, there’s plenty of material already.
Trump surrogates such as Steve Bannon have been talking about destroying the “administrative state” for years now, as though federal government employees are all in on some grand conspiracy. Now this ridiculous idea has been explicitly codified in a Heritage Foundation plan for the next Republican President, ominously called “Project 2025.” This document, brought to you by a highly influential, oft-cited think tank, is nothing short of a blueprint for authoritarian rule. But don’t take my word for it. Consider the AP headline: “Conservative groups draw up plan to dismantle the US government and replace it with Trump’s vision.”
Corporations sponsoring sporting events is obviously nothing new, yet the U.S. Open seems to take commercialism to the next level. In addition to the ubiquitous logos of upscale products and financial services splashed on every available surface, there are odd little promotions such as the instant replay (technically a “line call” to determine whether a ball was in-bounds) being rebranded the “Chase Close Call” as described in the comic. At the end of a match, the winner whacks balls into the crowd as part of the “Emirates Ball Flight.” There was also something involving Grey Goose Vodka that I can’t quite recall, aside from the fact that I found myself craving a greyhound cocktail afterwards.