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Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five

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Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons

  • For all his (Campbell's) outlandish presentation, he is a complicated figure---something of an amalgam of the far right’s showmen and hucksters and its cynical intellectuals, who often understand very well how the stark divisions of race and class are maintained in the U.S., and exploit that knowledge for political gain.
  • Related: From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

Josh Jones, Open Culture 

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May 25th, 2017 | Amidst what is now an ordinary day’s chaos and turmoil in the news, you may have noticed some outrage circulating over comments made by erstwhile brain surgeon, former presidential candidate, and current Secretary of HUD Ben Carson. Poverty, he said, is a “state of mind.” The idea fits squarely in the wheelhouse of Carson’s brand of magical thinking, as well as into what has always been a self-help tradition in the U.S. since Poor Richard's Almanac.

Consider, for example, the immense popularity of a book written during the Great Depression, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 Think and Grow Rich, which has increased every year since its publication. By 2015, the book had sold around 100 million copies worldwide. Hill’s prolific self-help cottage industry occupies a prominent place in a distinctly American genre, and an economy unto itself. Books, videos, seminars, and megachurches promise the faithful that they need only to change themselves to change their economic outcomes, in order not only thrive but to “grow rich.”

http://www.zuccottiparkpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/occupy.jpgJosh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. 

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Related:

From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor, Chris Steele, AlterNet  / Zuccotti Park Press 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeff Nygaard <>.

Sat, 03/29/2014 | 

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

 

 

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Religion as a Front for Tyranny: A Roundtable on the Timeliness of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”

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We have only to look at how Trump conflated Christianity with white nationalism and threw in a pinch of opposition to reproductive freedom to see how far someone who is skilled at manipulating religion can get.

Anita Little, Religion Dispatches

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May 17, 2017 | “Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub, you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.”

This inner monologue from Offred, the protagonist of Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, is a warning that echoes in our time. When Margaret Atwood published the dystopian novel in 1985, she said there was nothing in the book that hadn’t already happened. What makes the story so eerie to read now is that sense of recognition, of creeping familiarity.

http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/original1.jpg Anita Little is the editor of the Remapping American Christianities initiative at Religion Dispatches. Prior to that, she was the associate editor at Ms. magazine where she spent three years covering the intersections of gender, race and class. Little's work has been published in Ms., Angeleno, Alternet, Ebony and Pacific Standard. 

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Are We Monsters?

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  • We are a failed country because we have lost our compassion and sense of community.
  • Related: America’s Descent Into Madness

Neal Gabler, Moyers & Company

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May 11, 2017 | Warner Brothers and Universal have both been dusting off an inventory of classic monsters — King Kong, Godzilla, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, etc. — which prompted New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott to speculate whether this was a reaction to a contemporary America, where monstrousness now seems to run rampant. When you add a film like the mega hit Get Out, about human monsters, you get the feeling that maybe Hollywood is onto something.

Monster films have always dealt with anxieties — the Depression in the ‘30s, the Soviet threat and nuclear threat in the ’50s, technological change in the ‘60s and ’70s. But today, the  danger is different. Today the danger is us.

Neal Gabler is an author of five books and the recipient of two LA Times Book Prizes, Time magazine's non-fiction book of the year, USA Today's biography of the year and other awards. He is also a senior fellow at The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, and is currently writing a biography of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Full story … 

Related:

America’s Descent Into Madness, Henry Giroux, Counterpunch <http://www.counterpunch.org>

http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/404983460_f76fc70f81.jpgJayel Aheram (CC BY 2.0)  

  • America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. – John le Carré
  • The Politics of Cruelty
  • The Corporation as Psychopath

 

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‘We Must Actively Stand Up’: John Angelos’ Response to Racism at Fenway Park

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Baltimore Orioles player Adam Jones at a game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2017. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

The Baltimore Orioles COO has had enough of racism at the ballpark and enough of a society that is breeding more and more hate.

Dave Zirin, the Nation

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May 2, 2017 | On Monday night, a large group of “fans” at Boston’s Fenway Park called Baltimore Orioles All-Star outfielder Adam Jones a n—– from the outfield seats and one threw a bag of peanuts at him. The incident has provoked widespread uproar. Here is an exclusive comment about the incident from Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos. People may remember Angelos from his intensely just and political response to the killing of Freddie Gray while in police custody in 2015. (What follows) needs to be read and reread.

For what it is worth and since you asked, and speaking as one man and for myself here, my thoughts on incidents of this sad and tragic kind and what they represent today are the following.

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/davezirin_small1.jpg Dave Zirin The Nation’s sports editor, is the author of eight books on the politics of sports, most recently, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy. Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,”

Full story … https://www.thenation.com/article/we-must-actively-stand-up-john-angelos...

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