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Peter Brooks

One of the more addictive podcasts I heard in 2022 was BBC Radio 4’s The Coming Storm, a history of the QAnon conspiracy theory and its connection to the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021. In a late episode, host Gabriel Gatehouse ponders the disturbing implications of his topic for how we think about narratives, and about the role narratives play in all our lives. ‘In a democracy,’ he says, ‘the winner is not always the one who has the best ideas. The winner is the one who tells the best story – and QAnon, this tale of a looming battle between good and evil, that’s the stuff of myths and legends.’

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As we approach the end of what might be considered another pretty terrible year, it’s worth being reminded that every age has its tribulations ...

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