Tailings from a gold mill abandoned in the 1930s.
- The Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year is post-truth, and if I have to tell you why this is good and smart and funny, well then you can crawl right back into your hidey-hole, young man. Being a dictionary, they’ve provided a definition for the adjective: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” And a history: “Post-truth seems to have been first used in this meaning in a 1992 essay by the late Serbian American playwright Steve Tesich in The Nation magazine. Reflecting on the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich lamented that ‘we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world.’ ”
- In China, meanwhile, the word on the lips of officialdom is comrade. President Xi Jinping would like to bring the term—tongzhi, in Chinese—back in vogue for the ninety million members of the Communist Party; it went out of fashion during the eighties, as Westernizing influences swept in. But there’s a problem, as Amy Qin reports: “Among gay men, however, tongzhi became a term of affection and solidarity and eventually a catchall label for sexual minorities. A gay and lesbian film festival held annually in Hong Kong has been called the Hong Kong Comrade Film Festival since 1989. And the Beijing center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people calls itself the Beijing Tongzhi Zhongxin—or the Beijing Comrade Center. Even Google has caught on. Enter the characters for tongzhi guanxi—literally ‘comrade relationship’—into its translator, and it gives you ‘gay relationship.’ ”