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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.

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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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‘On Contact With Chris Hedges’: Eugene O’Neill’s Revision of Electra Shatters the American Myth

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RT via YouTube

O’Neill viewed the illusions that continue to power the American myth machine, “which have now largely supplanted reality itself, as a kind of disease eating away at the American soul.” --Chris Hedges

Kasia Anderson, Truthdig 

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Apr 23, 2017 | A culture saturated with artifice and false promises of success and happiness doesn’t easily accommodate the kinds of ideas playwright Eugene O’Neill made it his business to dramatize onstage. As Chris Hedges explains in this week’s episode of his RT show “On Contact,” that’s precisely why his work is so important at this moment.

Calling O’Neill “America’s most revolutionary and perhaps greatest playwright,” who took on the critical project of “shattering of the American myth,” Hedges invites two people who know his work from the inside out—actor Eunice Wong and director David Herskovits—for a conversation about O’Neill’s significance. Wong, who is Hedges’ wife, as well as Truthdig’s book review editor, will appear as Lavinia Mannon in the Target Margin Theater’s production of “Mourning Becomes Electra.” Directed by Herskovits at the Abrons Art Center in New York City, the play opens Wednesday and runs through May 20.

Kasia Anderson is a deputy editor at Truthdig .

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Nothin’ but Debt: Which NCAA Tournament Schools Give Low-Income Students the Best Shot?

 

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(Credit: Getty/Al Bello) 

So who fares well in this tournament?

Mike Tigas and Olga Pierce, ProPublica  

March 16, 2017 | We used federal data to create an NCAA Tournament bracket based on five factors that measure each school’s ability to graduate low-income students with little debt: the percentage of undergraduates from low-income households, the average financial support given to those students, the tuition discount that those students receive, their post-graduation debt, and the percentage of those students who are unable to pay back their loans after graduation.

Click any game in the bracket below to view more information on how both schools fare in each Debt by Degrees head-to-head matchup. You can also compare any two schools by clicking here.

 

Mike Tigas is a News Applications Developer at ProPublica. He also works on tools for online privacy and the liberation of public data.

Olga Pierce is the Deputy Data Editor. Previously, she was a reporter at ProPublica, specializing in data-driven stories.

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March Madness and money: Should American universities spend so much serious cash on sports? David MasciotraSalon

  • Most college athletic programs are a financial burden to their schools. As higher ed costs increase, why keep them?
  • Related: From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners

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