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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Ghost Capital

Ghost Capital

30

Apr

2017

It may not be entirely fair to call French director Olivier Assayas, who has delivered some of the most thrilling as well as some of the most bewildering film of the past few decades, wildly inconsistent.  There is always, at least, a baseline of artfulness in his work that suggests a control and purpose at odds with wildn ...
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Race to the Top

Race to the Top

17

Apr

2017

Ever since the 2016 election, when the Democratic establishment faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders and his relatively mild form of economic leftism, liberal partisans have insisted that everyone in America is underselling the damage done by racism.  (Everyone, that is, except themselves.  No one rol ...
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War Again

War Again

9

Apr

2017

It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump led America into another pointless, brutal conflict overseas. The only surprise is the speed with which he did it; most presidents would wait until they were in much more dire domestic straits before giving into the instinct to prop up their popularity against a pile of forei ...
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Old Wars, New Generals

Old Wars, New Generals

4

Apr

2017

For the good of the country, we are often told, the infighting between liberals (or, as they are properly understood, the party of nice rich people) and the left must cease.  Exactly which faction is supposed to lower its guns first is implicit, but so far they refuse to do so, having had a lot of experience with getting s ...
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Rush ‘n’ Attack

Rush ‘n’ Attack

3

Mar

2017

A new wave of Russophobia is sweeping the nation, surely the high-water point for such shenanigans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  It's familiar; much of it echoes the anti-communist rhetoric of Ronald Reagan, the closest analogue in presidential history to Donald Trump, only this time our political leader ...
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