Everywhere you look, there are people who have figured out ways to game our shoddy system
Unless you are Bob Dylan in the 60s, or Bret Easton Ellis in the 90s, it is very hard to capture the zeitgeist when you are still living through it. But while I have yet to write my The Times They Are A-Changin’ or American Psycho, I’m going to describe this era as the age of the scam. Everywhere you look, there are people who have figured out ways to game our shoddy system, from politics to pop culture, and who are making inordinate amounts of money out of nothing or worse. Nothing feels entirely true; everything feels calculated to manipulate. Authenticity, instead of being a descriptor, has become a marketing concept.
Which is why many of the most hotly discussed stories of the past year have been about scams gone wrong. Here we have confirmation of our suspicion that this is how the world works now, as well as rare moments of comeuppance for the scammers. There have been two documentaries about Billy McFarland, the entrepreneur behind the 2017 Fyre festival disaster; and a podcast series and documentary devoted to Elizabeth Holmes, who founded Theranos, the fraudulent tech startup once valued at more than $9bn. These weren’t your run-of-the-mill scams, but ones that emerged, respectively, from social media and Silicon Valley, both of which have an inherently scammy feel to them. Last week, another scam saga came to an end with the conviction of Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey, the phoney heiress found guilty of, among other things, stealing more than $200,000.
Related: I used to pretend my epilepsy didn’t exist. Like a no-deal Brexit, it’s a dangerous game | Hadley Freeman
Donald Trump | The Guardian
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)