What Creativity? Where?


Swatting down baseless stereotypes isn’t my idea of a fun afternoon, but here’s one of John Derbyshire’s reasons why the United States should restrict immigration Mexico:

Our music, our movies, our literature, our entrepreneurship and inventiveness—we have been a Renaissance all by ourselves. Importing masses of foreigners, especially unskilled and unschooled foreigners, from deeply un-creative places like Mexico may end all that. Name one Mexican invention and one fine Mexican movie, tell me the outline plot of one Mexican novel or play, and hum me a Mexican pop song.

Okay… one handy Mexican invention was the color television. For movies, both Y Tu Mama Tambien and Amores Perros are considered “fine” by plenty of critics; on the literary front, Carlos Fuentes and Octavia Paz are no slouches. I haven’t the faintest clue what Mexican pop songs sound like—I barely know what American pop songs sound like—but this guy appears to have won nine Grammys and sold 55 million records worldwide, so I imagine he’s sung something hummable at one point or another. No one expects xenophobes to know much about culture abroad, granted, but this “deeply uncreative” business is weak even by the standards of the genre.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.