Benjamin Tausig

Benjamin Tausig is an assistant professor of music at Stony Brook University. He studies political protest and its sounds in contexts including Thailand and the United States. His first monograph, Bangkok Is Ringing: Sound, Protest, and Constraint will be published through Oxford University Press in 2018.

Twitter: @datageneral


The Limits of Resistance

No single word has signaled a repulsion toward Donald Trump—and the impulse to respond to him—like “resistance.” The term emerged immediately after the election, as soon as November 11th  (The Advocate: “Count us as part of ‘the resistance’”), 10th (Charles Blow: “Count me among the resistance”), and 9th (Ben Jealous: “The resistance begins today”). One Facebook page, for a group called “Portland’s Resistance,” was launched on the 8th. This last one, presumably created to rechannel a late-night panic, captures something especially visceral. And indeed, it seems that no one ever announced that “resistance” would be the keyword of a new political mobilization. Hillary Clinton did not use the word in her concession speech. There was no massively viral John Oliver clip. Rather, the word seemed to lend itself so well to the coming crisis that, like certain scientific discoveries, it occurred to multiple people independently. Something in the water made its adoption logical.