I See What You Do

I See What You Do

8

Feb

2017

There is a moment, late in I am Not Your Negro, where the great writer and thinker James Baldwin is appearing on Dick Cavett's talk show to discuss the one subject that consumed him like no other during his life:  America's compulsive reluctance to address the reality of its treatment of black citizens.  As Baldwin holds ...
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All the Ways of Communicating

All the Ways of Communicating

26

Jan

2017

The question so memorably posed by Jack Nicholson's Joker in Tim Burton's Batman -- "Hubba hubba hubba, who do you trust?" -- has become of rather grave importance in recent years.  With Donald Trump in the White House, the Republican war antagonism to the press, at a low boil at the best of times, has boiled over into ...
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As a Punishment for Crime

As a Punishment for Crime

25

Jan

2017

When you get right down to it, for capitalists, slavery was a hell of a good deal.  It opened up new markets, it was a self-reproducing form of labor, and best of all, it provided a very inexpensive and largely docile workforce.  Its failure, if you remove morality from the picture -- which capitalists are forever strivin ...
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The Curse of Memory

The Curse of Memory

18

Jan

2017

When I was much younger, a writer named Paul Slansky put out a book that had a huge effect on me.  The Clothes Have No Emperor:  A Chronicle of the Reagan '80s was formulated by its author as a defense mechanism, what we'd call today a means of self-care -- a way of staying sane in the face of the fact that the impossible ...
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Between Impression and Expression: Fred Hampton

Between Impression and Expression:  Fred Hampton

11

Jan

2017

With some things, you have to learn by either seeing it or participating in it.  And you know yourselves that there are people walking around your community today that have all types of degrees that should be at this meeting, but are not here.  Right?  Because you can have as many degrees as a thermometer; if you don't h ...
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The Party of What People?

The Party of What People?

30

Dec

2016

This will be my last entry of 2016.  Next year will begin, barring some unexpected act of fate, with the ascension to the presidency of Donald Trump, as dim-witted, incurious, crass, and crooked human being that has ever held public office in America.  Trump has spent the hours since the election staffing his White House ...
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Beck and Call

Beck and Call

20

Dec

2016

It’s inevitable, in the face of any great political defeat or party realignment, for loyalties to get a bit shaky. Confusion rules the day, and the ally of yesterday is the heretic of tomorrow. Only a few months ago, when it looked like the Republican Party was about to shake itself to pieces under the weight of Donald Tr ...
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Not Waving But Drowning

Not Waving But Drowning

11

Dec

2016

Donald Trump isn't even president yet and the liberal establishment is already in a frenzy, convinced that the apocalypse has arrived and that if we don't hang Mitch McConnell for treason right this second, it will mean the end of the American Dream.  Some are even lapsing into an all-too-familiar paranoid style, recalling ...
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Honky Reduction

Honky Reduction

1

Dec

2016

Barring a miracle, it is now a mere 30 days before overconfidence trickster/foundation abuser Donald Trump will assume the presidency of the United States.  The most important battle to be fought once that happens is building political organizations powerful enough to combat the damage he will be able to inflict with the c ...
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Content Farm

Content Farm

29

Nov

2016

The problem with writing a sequel to a legendary literary property is that it's almost impossible to do it right, and if you beat the odds and manage it, you won't get any of the credit.  For the original creator, the situation is already bad enough:  if your work is a success, fans will clamor for more of the same and cu ...
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Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

26

Nov

2016

Fidel Castro is dead.The last man standing in the Cold War, who survived the attempts of nearly a dozen American presidents to dislodge him from power, who elements of America's foreign policy apparatus attempted to murder an uncountable number of times, has finally succumbed to age and decay, leaving behind a completely tr ...
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To Caress the Hand That Strikes You

To Caress the Hand That Strikes You

16

Nov

2016

I've been thinking a lot about political violence.The election of Donald Trump has brought with it a significant escalation of the rhetoric that he is a dangerous fascist, and that things are about to get serious for Muslims, women, and LGBTQ people, to name a few.  And, indeed, this is a critical time for the Trump admini ...
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Rules for Ridicule

Rules for Ridicule

9

Nov

2016

Well, good job of it, America.  You threw a fit and at the end of it elected a man who's been a national punchline for four decades.  Conservatives so completely swallowed their own venom that they ended up stuck with a nightmare from the id.  Liberals fielded a candidate so disliked that she lost the most winnable ele ...
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A Still Small Vote

A Still Small Vote

7

Nov

2016

This is the last post that I'll make before America elects a new leader.  It's been a punishing election cycle, even by the degraded standards of our latter republic; the prospect of it being over is a little like finally getting out of prison, but knowing that the warden is going to be in charge of the whole government af ...
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Game Recognize Game

Game Recognize Game

4

Nov

2016

In this spot, which all three of you have been breathlessly refreshing all throughout the election cycle, I've spent a lot of time talking about the sportification of politics -- the way that people, especially ones with the least to lose from the actual policies being enacted by winning parties, tend to treat politics with ...
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