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- Nov 2020
A few years ago, there was a boom of articles called “If it happened there,” imagining how the American press would cover this-or-that story if it happened in another country. How would we cover the government shutdown if it happened in another country? The Ferguson protests? The Oregon militia siege? George Floyd’s murder? Mike Bloomberg? Slate’s Joshua Keating popularized the form, but other outlets, including Vox, deployed it. The intent was to use the tropes of foreign coverage to create a sense of what the literary critic Darko Suvin called “cognitive estrangement” — severing us from the familiarity and overconfidence that can dull our awareness of extraordinary events.
this is an interesting thought experiment