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Revolutionary Musings

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“Revolution” by Delano Dunn

Join the revolution!

Barbara Ransby, Huffington Post

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02/28/2017 | Revolution! The word means different things to different people. It has been made seductive by the work of artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda, in his groundbreaking musical, Hamilton. Perhaps a more palatable “call for revolution” is Bernie Sanders’ new organization, Our Revolution, which asks Americans to “reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the ‘political revolution.’”

Invocations of revolution have long held a special place in the radical imagination of Black freedom struggles all over the world.

When I was a teenager growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, I thought we were on the verge, if not in the midst, of a revolution. 

Increasingly, I have come to view revolution as a process, not an event, as a journey, not a final destination. In fact, there is no ‘promised land’ in my revolutionary imagination, just a beautiful eternal promise that we make to one another (and to the planet) to fight with unrelenting passion for a more just, humane and sustainable world.

Barbara Ransby: Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

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It Can’t Happen Here

 

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But all if this is simply American fiction, the product of Sinclair Lewis’ powerful imagination. Just a tale from the 1930’s. Fantasy. It can’t happen here.

Lee Miller, Santa Fe Reporter

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January 19, 2017 | Donald Trump’s ascendency to the American Presidency is strikingly similar to the rise of Buzz Windrip, a fictional politician in Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here (1935). The first half of Lewis’ story describes the social conditions that contributed to Buzz Windrip’s improbable rise, while the second half of the book outlines the devastating impacts of his revolutionary leadership.

Sinclair Lewis, the first American novelist to win the Nobel Prize, wrote It Can’t Happen Here during the early 1930’s, at the heart of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. The main character of this story, Buzz Windrip, is an unconventional politician who upsets FDR and the Democratic Party establishment. He wins the presidential primary by tapping economic and social fears of common citizens. 

Lee Miller graduated from Cornell University and has taught writing for over thirteen years at the secondary and post-secondary levels.  This column examines current events through the lens of quality literature.

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Nat Hentoff, columnist, critic and giant of jazz writing, dies aged 91

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/cdd8f8ab07ad81a92d78f8a0b97e76f428806789/0_71_2048_1229/master/2048.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=a8331d5fd6c61e6312d6a91d9c9a2d84 Nat Hentoff in 2004. Photograph: K.G. Schneider/Flickr
Nat Hentoff in 2004. Photograph: K.G. Schneider/Flickr

  • “Over the years, my advice to new and aspiring reporters is to remember what Tom Wicker, a first-class professional spelunker, then at The New York Times, said in a tribute to Izzy Stone: ‘He never lost his sense of rage.’ Neither have I.” --Nat Hentoff
  • Son says longtime Village Voice columnist died of natural causes, after long career in which he wrote more than 25 books and collaborated with Bob Dylan.

Associated Press in New York / Guardian

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  • Sunday 8 January 2017 |  Nat Hentoff, an eclectic columnist, critic, novelist and agitator dedicated to music, free expression and defying the party line, died on Saturday at age 91.
  • His son, Tom Hentoff, said his father died from natural causes at his Manhattan apartment.

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La La Land and Streep dominate Globes

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Meryl Streep: ‘Disrespect invites disrespect, violence invites violence.’ Photograph: Handout/Getty Images

 

Meryl Streep rips the 'bully' in Trump

 

Guardian US briefing

 

 

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January 9, 2017 | La La Land continued its seemingly unstoppable Oscars charge by winning a record-breaking seven awards at the ceremony in Los Angeles Sunday. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone both took home awards for acting and Damien Chazelle won best director for the film. Moonlight took home best picture drama. 

One of the night’s biggest moments, though, saw Meryl Streep deliver a searing and emotional speech, in which she criticized Donald Trump for imitating a disabled reporter and called on the press to hold power to account. “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence invites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose,” she said. 

Trump responded on Twitter, calling Streep a “Hillary flunky” and “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”, before denying he mocked the reporter.

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