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Books, Literature & Ideas

Mr. Fish | A Hole In One / clowncrack.com

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Whether or Not Trump Remains in Office, We Must Contend With the Forces That Enabled His Rise

http://www.truth-out.org/images/Images_2017_11/2017_1113rr-tr4_.jpg(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

  • The forces that pushed Donald Trump to the forefront are intrinsic to the US project, and they will not go away with him, should he be cast out.
  • Related: Special Report | Donald Trump’s first anniversary: Democracy on life support; How do we resist Donald Trump’s malignant reality?

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William C. Anderson, Truthout

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | Denounced by many but stopped by no one, the Trump administration has been an odd sort of juggernaut. Tearing down past policies and building up walls (both literally and figuratively), this administration has been a rush of drastic action. While most modern presidents have tended to define themselves by what they are creating, it would seem this president is most concerned with the opposite. The "Trump doctrine" seems to be the reversal of the Obama legacy and anything seen as even mildly progressive. The eagerness of the current administration to reverse progress on multiple fronts raises questions about what exactly it is that we're witnessing and why. Every day under Trump feels much longer to exhausted dissenters, and no one's quite sure where the nation is headed.

The denunciation of President Trump is a very low bar for which to praise someone.
The utter ridiculousness of the current presidential predicament has led some, even within the ranks of the ruling Republican Party, to distance themselves from the president, which has raised the hopes of some desiring an impeachment or forced resignation. Many Democrats and liberals have uncritically celebrated Republican Trump detractors like the Bushes, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Bob Corker and Sen. Jeff Flake, seemingly forgetting the atrocities of all Republicanism and not just "Trumpism." "We need all the help we can get" has become a sorrowful, disempowering liberal talking point, as if "help" from someone who seeks to harm us (albeit by slightly different methods) is actually help. The terrible pasts of Trump's Republican denouncers is erased as soon as they proclaim their disapproval.

William C. Anderson is a freelance writer. His work has been published by the Guardian, MTV and Pitchfork, among others. You can read many of his writings at Truthout or at the Praxis Center for Kalamazoo College, where he's a contributing editor covering race, class and immigration. He contributed an essay to Truthout's anthology Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? about the pressing need for an international Black movement against state violence, called "Killing Africa."

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Related:

Special Report | Donald Trump’s first anniversary: Democracy on life support; How do we resist Donald Trump’s malignant reality? Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Ryan%2C%20Trump%2C%20McConnell.jpg Paul Ryan; Mitch McConnell; Donald Trump (Credit: AP/Getty/Salon)

  • Part 1: Democracy on life support: Donald Trump’s first anniversary
  • Ignorance is a terrible wound when it is self-inflicted.
  • Part 2: One year later: How do we resist Donald Trump’s malignant reality?
  • A year after Trump's election, a numbness has set in. We must resist that too; it's poisonous to democracy.
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Kick Against the Pricks and Other Unsexy Truths About Sexual Harassment

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  • Part 1: The Unsexy Truth About Harassment
    • Sexual harassment is often understood, like other forms of gender-based violence, as a violation of consent. It is more than that.
  • Part 2: Kick Against the Pricks
    • Will men ever see women as full-fledged human beings rather than ego salves and receptacles?

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: The Unsexy Truth About Harassment

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/ak_harassmentwork_12_13_17.jpg?itok=KwQ1ZBRBSexual harassment is often understood, like other forms of gender-based violence, as a violation of consent. It is more than that.

Melissa Gira Grant, The New York Review of Books / Portside 

December 8, 2017 | On both sides of my subway stop, an ad campaign for the local public radio station, WNYC, has rotated for a few months now. The ads use text message-like taglines: one about the station call letters being your safe word, and another that asks, “You up?” After this week, when two more WNYC hosts were suspended as of Wednesday and placed under investigation for “inappropriate conduct”—Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz, joining John Hockenberry, who we learned over the weekend was also accused of workplace harassment—the station’s ads now read like leaked transcripts of unwanted sexts.

That’s how I read them. My AIM window once used to light up with messages from my editors and other writers at all hours, though it was one editor who was responsible for most of the late-night notes. This is how I knew he was editing my stories in bed with his wife, and he wanted me to know that he enjoyed it. He told me repeatedly, treating me like I was a secret, though it was one of his own invention, and I was not a participant. I don’t have the messages. It was years ago. I can’t say the words upset me, not then, not now. What they left me with was doubt, a sharp jab coinciding with the moments of accomplishment that I should have been able to enjoy as a writer. To detach myself from that editor meant I had to look at my own work with distance and suspicion. Did it only merit attention because I had? The editor didn’t have to say anything more; I did this doubting to myself. Over time, I stopped.

http://melissagiragrant.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/melissa__bk_3664_v1-750x750.jpg Melissa Gira Grant  is a journalist and author, covering sexual politics, criminal justice, and human rights. She is a contributing writer for Pacific Standard and the Village Voice, and a writer in residence with the Fair Punishment Project (a joint initiative of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and its Criminal Justice Institute).

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Part 2: Kick Against the Pricks

http://cdn.nybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/kipnis_1-122117.jpg Donald Trump with Allie LaForce (Miss Teen USA), Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe), and Chelsea Cooley (Miss USA) at a launch party for Cara Birnbaum’s book Universal Beauty: The Miss Universe Guide to Beauty, Trump Tower, New York City, April 2006 Gabriela Maj/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

  • Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back ~ Gretchen Carlson
  • Will men ever see women as full-fledged human beings rather than ego salves and receptacles? Until that day, the accusations and exposés will continue: the floodgates have opened and aren’t closing anytime soon.

Laura Kipnis, The New York Review of Books

http://cdn.nybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/kipnis_2-122117.jpg Gretchen Carlson shortly after she was crowned Miss America, September 1988  Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives/Getty Images

December 21, 2017 | At first it was a lot of enormous media potentates crashing to earth, followed by a bunch of lesser despots and lords, many employed in the media industries too, and it soon expanded to include half the men in Hollywood and ancillary trades like politics. The accompanying din was the clamor of pundits (those who hadn’t yet been felled themselves) attempting to explain what had happened—then reexplain, then explain some more—because the picture kept changing: soon the not-so-powerful were under fire too (freelance writers and experimental novelists were among those anonymously charged in an online list), and it was becoming unclear whether it was “toxic masculinity” or masculine panic we were talking about.

But at the beginning, the story seemed plain enough. It turns out that in the tallest skyscrapers and plushest hotels of the most advanced economies, many high-profile men have been acting the part of feudal lords, demanding droit du seigneur from their vassals, the vassals in this case being their female employees and others wishing entry into their fiefdoms. Evidently there’s been a covert system of taxation on female advancement in the work world, with the unluckier among us obligated to render not just the usual fealty demanded by overweening bosses but varying degrees of sexual homage too, from ego-stroking and fluffing (which is gross enough), to being grabbed and groped, to the expectation of silence about full-on rape.

Laura Kipnis is a Professor in the Department of Radio, TV, and Film at Northwestern. Her books include How to Become a Scandal: Adventures in Bad Behavior and Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus. (December 2017)

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The Uncommon Conversation on Sex Abuse Needs to Move to the Next Level

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  • Part 1: 'Uncommon conversation' on sex abuse falls silent
    • An "uncommon conversation" is on hold in Minnesota.
  • Part 2: Leonard Pitts Jr.: What does it mean to be a man?
    • You see, Fox "News" has it exactly wrong. Men are not an endangered species. Real men are another matter.
  • Related: The Sexual Harassment Conversation Needs to Move to the Next Level

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: 'Uncommon conversation' on sex abuse falls silent

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An "uncommon conversation" is on hold in Minnesota.

Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) 

Jul 18, 2017 | After meeting a decade ago at a sex abuse treatment conference, Gil Gustafson and Susan Pavlak each came to see in their pasts a possible way forward for their home archdiocese, St. Paul-Minneapolis, as it struggled to deal with the scandal of clergy sexual abuse.

Pavlak, now 62, was sexually abused as a child by a teacher who was a former nun at a Catholic school. Gustafson, now 66, pleaded guilty in 1983 to sexually abusing a teenage boy, and has since admitted to abuse of three other male minors. By coming to know each other, each had grown personally. They wondered if they could duplicate that experience for other victims and abusers.

Brian Roewe is an National Catholioc Reporter (NCR) staff writer.

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Part 2: Leonard Pitts Jr.: What does it mean to be a man?

You see, Fox "News" has it exactly wrong. Men are not an endangered species. Real men are another matter.

Leonard Pitts Jr. <>, Miami (FL) Herald / Tampa Bay (FL) Times

November 26, 2017 | So I guess you can take men off the endangered species list.

It wasn’t that long ago we were hearing that men were in trouble. It was said that our manly maleness was under siege from a culture of runaway political correctness hellbent on snipping off our masculine accoutrements and turning us into sissified wimps who ate kale, clipped coupons and talked about our feelings. Fox "News" sounded the alarm about what it dubbed the "feminization" of the American man.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is an American commentator, journalist and novelist. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

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Related:

The Sexual Harassment Conversation Needs to Move to the Next Level, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the Nation

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/believe-women-march-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80Participants march against sexual assault and harassment at the #MeToo March in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, November 12, 2017. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes)

  • What’s needed are real structural and legal changes to support the victims and curb the predators.
  • Related: What We Lose When We Let Predatory Men Shape The National Conversation

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Special Report | What Killed the Democratic Party?

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  • Part 1: What Killed the Democratic Party?
    • A new report offers a bracing autopsy of the 2016 election—and lays out a plan for revitalization.
  • Part 2: The Democratic Party Is Finding a Way to F*ck This Up
    • The clock is ticking on the only vehicle capable of resisting Trumpism.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: What Killed the Democratic Party?

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A new report offers a bracing autopsy of the 2016 election—and lays out a plan for revitalization.

William Greider, the Nation / Portside

November 1, 2017 | The Democratic Party lost just about everything in 2016, but so far it has offered only evasive regrets and mild apologies. Instead of acknowledging gross failure and astounding errors, the party’s leaders and campaign professionals wallowed in self-pity and righteous indignation. The true villains, they insisted, were the wily Russians and the odious Donald Trump, who together intruded on the sanctity of American democracy and tampered with the election results. Official investigations are now under way.

While the country awaits the verdict, a new and quite provocative critique has emerged from a group of left-leaning activists: They blame the Democratic Party itself for its epic defeat. Their 34-page “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” reads more like a cold-eyed indictment than a postmortem report. It’s an unemotional dissection of why the Democrats failed so miserably, and it warns that the party must change profoundly or else remain a loser.

William Greider is the Nation’s <> national-affairs correspondent.

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Part 2: The Democratic Party Is Finding a Way to F*ck This Up

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The clock is ticking on the only vehicle capable of resisting Trumpism.

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire 

Nov 3, 2017 | I will go to my grave convinced that the 2016 Democratic primary process was the single most depressing political event I ever witnessed. The Republicans at least had a thin, bright edge of insanity that kept things from getting utterly tedious. (I never will forget waking up on the morning of the Indiana primary to discover that the president* had tried to pin the Kennedy assassination on Ted Cruz’s father. Most primary days are a dull as dishwater until they start counting the votes. This one wasn’t.) But the Democratic nominating circus was an endless slog that veered between a coronation and a smug, self-righteous quasi-insurgency that quickly developed a paranoid streak a mile wide. This set a perfect stage for the nearly omnipresent Russian ratfcking. The ratfckers didn’t have to create divisions to exploit, they already were there.

And, of course, the hell of it all is that, as the president* screws up, lies his withered hindquarters off, places larval reactionaries on the federal bench, and hands the departments of the government over to the unqualified and the outright loony, this miserable political pissing match is still going on.

Charles P. Pierce is a staff writer for Grantland and the author of Idiot America. He writes regularly for Esquire, is the lead writer for Esquire.com’s Politics blog, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

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