Creative Sensemaker

A man with a gun in a red room.

The latest instalment of Creative Sensemaker, a cultural series by Tortoise Media, the slow news agency

By Matt d’Ancona    Above image: Project Power (Netflix)    Friday 14 August, 2020    Long read

Welcome to the latest Creative Sensemaker from Tortoise Media. It is often said that culture sits upstream from politics – meaning, among other things, that the world of ideas, creativity and the imagination is usually ahead of the world of power, elections, and the cut and thrust of daily news. Our fictions often precede our reality.

Since Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket (and thus a good bet to be the party’s presidential nominee in 2024), it’s been interesting to reflect upon how we’ve been waiting for a US woman president for, well, decades.

Actually, almost a century. In the silent comedy sci-fi film The Last Man On Earth (1924), women have inherited the world, including the Oval Office. Much more recently, counter-factual fiction, in the form of Curtis Sittenfeld’s well-received novel Rodham (2020), has tried to compensate for the real-world defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016