It is time to own the knowledge that our continuing participation in a world of competition, consumption, categorization, and cruelty renders us all victims and perpetrators at the same time. — Randall Amster
It is time to own the knowledge that our continuing participation in a world of competition, consumption, categorization, and cruelty renders us all victims and perpetrators at the same time.
On the south side of Chicago, in the back room of a house, on an old hospital bed, an elderly woman lies sound asleep. Her head is to one side on the pillow. Her mouth is slightly open as she breaths.
‘Ey-ya De & Stan…
This post is only loosely relevant to the article, so feel free to delete it if you like.
I’m not sure if y’all are fans of science fiction, but I felt that you might be interested in two books by Octavia Butler — One of my favorite science fiction writers and one who breathed life into the genre from the perspective of a black woman.
The books are “Parable of the Sower” and “Parable of the Talents”.
Both books give a realistic view of a post-Peak Oil/collapse society and various issues that might arise from one… Small enclaves, mass homelessness and migration, frugality and community planning, crime and the dangers of the religious right co-opting the political scape to institute fascist measures.
But there are good things as well… Love, the birth of a first child, community building from the ground up and the role that religion can play in order to enrich a community.
Secondly, I thought y’all might be interested in this film coming out called “American Violet” about a single black mother being unfairly swept up into the “War on Drugs” and trying to take on the system to reclaim her life.
Hope y’all enjoy ‘em.
Barack Obama’s election provoked a powerful symbolism, which touched the world at the time of the inauguration. Unfortunately, the symbolism was more than skin-deep. I said at the time that Barack Obama is a bamboozler, an illusionist. His skin color is real, but his motives are/were not. And his rhetoric was hollow.
Obama provided a clue as to his real self, though, when the Jeremiah Wright controversy emerged, provoked by the media by showing controversial snippets of Wright’s speeches. Obama ultimately repudiated Wright and revealed his deeper self. Wright was protesting and decrying the history of unequal treatment of his race. Obama was saying that the symbolism of his election as president would be tempered by the reality that he was not going to embrace the agenda of equal rights for all in economic terms, which is the ultimate form of equality.
Yes, Obama would speak out on civil rights and equality of all men in abstract terms, but not in economic terms. Instead, Obama chose to embrace “trickle down” economics, with billionairs given public assistance and the poor scraping by for themselves.
This is the paradoxical nature of the Obama phenomenon. His symbolism represents the fact that placing a black man in high office does not represent improvement in the lives of the masses of black men. There is no reason at all to believe that when Obama ends his term of office that black imprisonment or povery will have been reduced by any program initiated by him for the benefit of his own.
At the same time, we will find that Obama will have shown himself to have acted with determination to protect and advance the interests of those whose economic contributions put him in power. Obama will select from his electorate those who advance his insterests by financially subsidizing his political career, and he will make their interests his priority. Just like any politician of any color.
If we have entered a colorblind society at some level, the reality is that the only color that really counts is green and candidates of any skin color that can accumulate enough green by backing the interests of the elite can have viable candidacies and win any elections. The day such candidates forget where the green comes from is the day their political careers start to falter, no matter how lofty their rhetoric.
Something’s missing in that story–nurses are in short supply, and can usually make double their salaries in overtime. Or is she an LPN, not an RN? And while it’s sad the kid has to leave Columbia, there are other colleges without such a hefty price tag. The BBC isn’t known for unbiased reporting, and I’m not convinced that there’s no more to this story.
Mike Whitney has just published an essay at the link above that sounds a lot like me, but he added wonderful portions of Harold Pinter for leavening, and the loaf turned out splendidly!
The remaining hope we can have is that we can somehow push Obama towards his own rhetoric.
Thought the readers here might be interested in a Bill Moyers interview with David Simon, the creator of TV series The Wire. (I haven’t watched the show but intend to ASAP) Simon critiques institutions like schools and police, saying how they tend to become self serving and end up betraying their stated purpose. It reminded me of some of the discussions here about Illich. (the first person to recommend The Wire to me was also the first person to recommend Paolo Freire)
Stan Moore has stated quite well what is going on with the new president. The only thing that can be added is that we were never on Obama’s agenda because he doesn’t have one. All of the issues he is addressing are those which are urgent for the ruling class namely the banks, the pentagon and military suppliers.
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