People of Every Land, How Can You Not Be Roused?

People of Every Land, How Can You Not Be Roused?

3

Aug

2017

Today was the first day of the Democratic Socialists of America's national convention.  It's taking place in my own city of Chicago, and it's the first convention since the DSA experienced unprecedented growth in the wake of the Bernie Sanders campaign and the election of Donald Trump.  In addition, it's the first convent ...
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Today We Mourn a Stooge

Today We Mourn a Stooge

25

Jul

2017

Criticizing the Republican Party is always a tricky proposition.  With the election of Donald Trump in particular, it's practically impossible; calling out a moronic huckster who won the election by making jerk-off gestures at the very notion of being a respectable politician is like arguing against a fart.  Part of the r ...
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Two Slices of Bread and a Promise

Two Slices of Bread and a Promise

13

Jul

2017

It has come to my attention, after a careful review of American commerce and culture, that what this country truly needs right now is another overpriced sandwich shop.  Please give me ten million dollars in venture capital to make this dream a reality.  All profits from Piercenham's Sandwich Shop, after I buy everything I ...
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Crown Thy Good

Crown Thy Good

4

Jul

2017

There was a time when I used to say, in agreement with the great Paul Fussell, that July 4th was the one day we should hold up nothing but praise for the things that make America great. The rest of the year should be given to relentless criticisms of what this country does wrong, and how it can be made to fulfill the promis ...
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Comrades and Cronies

Comrades and Cronies

3

Jul

2017

Who are your comrades?The more time I spend in the political space that involves ground-up building of resistance and alternatives to capitalist hegemony -- call it activism, call it organizing, whatever suits you -- the more I begin to notice the patterns that we use to trip ourselves up just as we start to gain momentum. ...
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Concession Stand

Concession Stand

22

Jun

2017

Ladies and gentlemen, my constituents, citizens of my lovely home town of Fleenerville, voters, and Platinum V.I.P. Brunch Club Super-Tee level donors; my beloved wife Plovis, and my two wonderful sons Coho and Spelt, who flew in to support me tonight right after their Offal Studies final at Klumner State Butcher's College; ...
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Show of Force

Show of Force

21

Jun

2017

It is giving no secrets away to say that, growing up, I was a huge nerd.  I am, let us be honest, still a huge nerd, which is why you are reading these words on the pages of a decade-old blog instead of the pages of Entertainment Weekly.  But in some fairly important ways, I was a different kind of nerd than most of my ...
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A Moral with No Fable

A Moral with No Fable

20

Jun

2017

Another week, another flame-out between liberals and the left over which we should ‘choose’ in the alleged battle between class and identity.  Believe me, folks, I don’t like writing these pieces any more than you like reading them, but until we can bury this utterly false dichotomy once and for good, these beatings ...
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Love is the Only Law

Love is the Only Law

16

Jun

2017

It's been a busy week as I help my comrades prepare for the Democratic Socialists of America's national convention, to be held here in Chicago in only a few months.  I'll also be running for a leadership position in our local chapter -- a prospect that, I must admit, fills me with dread.  Ever since my anarchist days, I'v ...
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Fix Your Hearts or Die

Fix Your Hearts or Die

6

Jun

2017

There is a school of thought which says that an artist, to do truly effective work, must always keep the audience -- any audience, even an imaginary one -- in mind.  I've never quite believed this to be true. Except in the case of explicitly commercial work, an artist can (I do not say must) create entirely for himself; h ...
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Dangerous Intersection

Dangerous Intersection

5

Jun

2017

So here we are again, talking about materialist dialectics vs. identity politics as if the two could exist independently of one another.  Longtime readers will know that I've struggled with this issue for years, and the stark contradictions between what I will describe for the sake of convenience as the leftist position an ...
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Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers

23

May

2017

Ottessa Moshfegh is a hot property right now.  Establishing herself as a writer of excellent stories in the early 2010s in the Paris Review and Granta, she has just published her first collection of short fiction, Homesick for Another World.  It was her first novel, however, that really put her in the sights of the litera ...
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Deadly Quiet

Deadly Quiet

12

May

2017

I'm not normally a fan of horror movies.  Even when they're well-executed, they tend to be all surface and no depth; they tell us nothing about the human experience beyond the sensation of fear and our capacity for cruelty, which isn't something many of us need to be reminded of.  Without exploration, without an attempt a ...
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Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

4

May

2017

As I write this, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives have just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of legislation of their own making.  That the American Health Care Act is a complete disaster almost goes without saying; it will rob millions of people of the already inadequate health insurance ...
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The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

1

May

2017

This year's May Day sermon is an expanded version of a speech I gave this morning at the dedication by Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa of Chicago's 35th Ward of an honorary street named for the great radical freedom fighter Lucy Parsons.We’re all here today because of Lucy Gonzalez Parsons. And when I say we’re here today ...
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