This is the golden age of the grifter – and there’s a podcast for every con

Truly we are living in the golden age of the grifter. From Fyre Fest to the WeWork empire to Theranos to the personal development cult NXIVM, we see a charismatic person promising us endless growth, pleasure or wealth and we give them all our money. The con-man economy doesn’t just stop at the men and women leading these frauds and profiting wildly from them. (Some of them go to jail, yes, but WeWork leader/charlatan Adam Neumann was paid many millions of dollars just to go away.) There is also now a podcast, usually sponsored by a security system, for every con. Barbara Kruger’s shopping bag indicting shopping has become a

Tacky and incomprehensible: The Sandman audiobook reviewed

Listening to the tacky and incomprehensible audio-adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series Sandman, I couldn’t stop thinking about the 19th-century Swiss artist Rodolphe Töppfer. Did Mr Töppfer realise what he was doing when he one day decided to draw a narrative in sequential panels with captions underneath? His satirical novel in pictures, Histoire de M. Vieux Bois, was published in 1837, and made its way to America five years later as The Adventures of Mr Obadiah Oldbuck. ‘Mr Oldbuck drinks ass’s milk’ reads one caption, and then overleaf: ‘His physician recommending exercise, he buys an Arabian courser.’ Riding the courser, ‘Mr Oldbuck increases his speed, advancing at the rate