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Chris Hedges | Confronting the Signs of a Society in Decline

In contemporary society—especially modern society—we can see the signs of morbidity around us, in our boundless use of harmful fossil fuels, in much sought-after expansion beyond the capacity to sustain ourselves, and in the physical decay of the environment and in the places we inhabit.

Depth Psychology Alliance / Dandelion Salad with Chris Hedges

 

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Image by r2hox via Flickr

September 15, 2016 | In this depth psychology oriented discussion powered by Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Chris Hedges speaks with Depth Psychologist, Bonnie Bright, Ph.D, about how, as both individuals and civilizations, we encounter cycles of growth, maturation, decadence, and decay, and death.

In contemporary society—especially modern society—we can see the signs of morbidity around us, in our boundless use of harmful fossil fuels, in much sought-after expansion beyond the capacity to sustain ourselves, and in the physical decay of the environment and in the places we inhabit.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

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America, We Are Better Than This, David A. Miller, Huffington Post

This is not the time to give in, it is the time to find what has always called us to be just a little bit better, rise above what serves to drag us down and soar above our basest of instincts. We can do this America, please, don’t give up and don’t give in.

 

John Cena Just Schooled Every Conservative, Bigoted, Flag Waving ‘Patriot’ On Patriotism

  • Cena starts out by calling for an end to divisiveness. This post and its title are therefore contrary to his wishes. It cannot be ignored, however, that the things Cena talks about are all liberal ideologies and that it at least appears that he is addressing the Islamophobes, bigots and homophobes of the right. I watched it and there was an emotional response and a lot of head nodding in agreement. I have a neighbor who thinks the Muslim Obama is stockpiling ebola in the Lincoln bedroom who would see the same video with contempt and hatred.
  • Cena fans on the right should be turning in their “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect” shirts and hats any day now.

Busta Troll, Gopocalypse

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July 5, 2016 | John Cena’s wrestling career is more impressive than most not because of how well he reads a script or how many titles the writers of the show have awarded him, but for what he contributes to humanity in general. Cena, who is credited for fulfilling more Make-A-Wish Foundation wishes than anyone else on the planet, is a role model for children and adults alike.

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He volunteers his time to work with veterans groups, wrestles for free aboard aircraft carriers and donates more money to charitable organizations as a percentage of income than all of the owners of Walmart combined. That’s why when this video came across my newsfeed I couldn’t help but share it, because John Cena has once again lent his voice to a very good cause.

Busta Troll: After 2 years of trolling and goating I retired to become a professional clickbait whore. The time has come for Busta to return to what Busta does best: Making conservatives look stupid. Grab your goat memes and come along for the ride.

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How a Museum Reckons With Black Pain

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  • The Smithsonian’s new memorial of African American history and culture is at once triumphant and crushing.
  • Related: Black Lives Don’t Matter to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Vann R. Newkirk II, the Atlantic

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/09/RTSNR10/lead_960.jpg?1474640977A woman passes a display depicting the Mexico Olympic protest at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Sep 23, 2016 | I should not be here.

By the cold universal logic of statistics, none of us should; each of the near-7-billion lives on Earth is a mathematical fluke. But as an American black person, albeit as a free person with a fairly full complement of civil rights, I’ve always been aware of the especially immense unlikelihood of my own existence. For four centuries, most people who look like me and the vast majority of the people who gave rise to my own flesh and blood have been killed, crushed, or disenfranchised under the torture rack of white supremacy and racial injustice. As police violence, voting rights, and Donald Trump’s promises of Big Racism dominate our political conversations, and as protests and riots roil the streets of my birthplace of Charlotte, I’m reminded that I may be thanking my lucky stars a bit too soon.

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at the Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.

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Black Lives Don’t Matter to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Bill Blum, Truthdig

http://www.truthdig.com/images/reportuploads/Black_Lives_Matter_protest_590.jpgA Black Lives Matter protest in New York City. (The All-Nite Images / CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • One thing the (Black Lives Matter) BLM analyses don’t do, however, is endorse a presidential candidate. And that’s for an eminently good reason: The candidates of both major parties, in their quests for power, have chosen to snub and malign the movement and the cause it represents.
  • Related: The Normalization of Evil in American Politics

Are We Living in T.S. Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’?

The poem presents a panoply of characters, all as vain as they are vacuous. Empty heads and empty hearts leading empty lives.

Joseph Pearce, Intellectual Takeout

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http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/desert-279862_1280.jpgAugust 2, 2016 | It’s almost a century since T. S. Eliot shocked the world with the avant garde innovation of “The Waste Land,” the fragmentary form of which reflected the fragmented brokenness of the modern world that it satirized. Like a modern-day inquisitor, Eliot questioned the value of modernity: “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?” Nor was he afraid to answer his own question in scathingly blunt terms: “Son of man, you cannot say, or guess, for you know only a heap of broken images …”

The poem presents a panoply of characters, all as vain as they are vacuous, signifying the synonymous nature of vanity and vacuity. Empty heads and empty hearts leading empty lives. Unreal people in an unreal city. Virtual people in a virtual reality devoid of virtue.

Joseph Pearce: To feed minds, foster discussion, and inspire action based on the principles and virtues necessary for human flourishing.

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41 years on-air and SNL finally hired a Latina cast member. Yeah, that matters.

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Melissa Villasenor

This is an important milestone because representation in media matters. It has an impact in the real world, beyond the screen.

Ally Hirschlag, Upworthy

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What does it take?

In earnest,

Dave & the Crew 

Sprockets. GIF from "Saturday Night Live."https://i.upworthy.com/nugget/57d80d80a55d8f002200017e/attachments/giphy-9cfa48e7f46c64486a797f934ea12714.gif?auto=format&fit=max&ixjsv=2.2.3&ixlib=rb-0.3.5&w=730

September 13, 2016 | "Saturday Night Live" just hired its first-ever Latina cast member, so now's the time on Sprockets when we dance!

But seriously, folks, this is huge wonderful news that's been a LONG time coming. In its 41 years on air, SNL has only had two Latino cast members: Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen.

The long-awaited addition of a Latina cast member shows the landscape of racial diversity on television is slowly but surely widening.

Ally Hirschlag: My desire to find and celebrate the many good things people are doing in this world led me to writing. If you're fighting for gender equality, to help our furry friends, and to save our planet, we should hang out. When I'm not writing, I'm usually making up silly voices or yelling at my TV.

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What the Ryan Lochte Fiasco Tells Us about the News Media and Selective Outrage

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  • This whole fiasco seems like a classic case of the news media suddenly doing their job in a way that actually exposes how and why they so rarely do so when it really matters.
  • Related: Media Is Everywhere, But Real Journalism Is Dying,

John Ziegler, Mediaite

http://static01.mediaite.com/med/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Ryan-Lochte-818-e1471534064803-1.jpg August 21st, 2016 | Ryan Lochte is a dope and liar who, if the world was universally just, deserves every bit of criticism and of the consequences which are coming his way for the inaccurate story he told at the Olympics a week ago. However, in my view, there is also little doubt that, had the circumstances been only slightly different, the news media would have given him a pass, or maybe even made him into some sort of hero. The selective outrage over Lochte’s lies tells us a lot about how the news media works (or, often, doesn’t) in these situations and how they decide who gets destroyed and who does not.

To be very clear, what Lochte did warrants condemnation. What happened at that Rio gas station, as he has belatedly admitted, was started by him. His dramatic distortion of the story caused a lot of damage for which he is solely responsible. He put his teammates in a horrendous position not of their making and damaged the reputation of the city of Rio and this Olympic Games. As a price for all of this, he has been tortured in the news media and his swimming, media and endorsement career are all, very likely, effectively over.

John Ziegler is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and documentary filmmaker.

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http://riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/images.jpg?w=225 Media Is Everywhere, But Real Journalism Is Dying, Dan Tynan, Quora / Huffington Post

  • Watch the movie Spotlight. That kind of journalism hasn’t disappeared entirely. But it’s more and more rare, and one day it very well might. And no one will be left to report that story.
  • Related: The Media Is Enabling Trump’s Divide-And-Conquer Strategy

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Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

So much for the Adele effect. This past year, catalogue albums outsold the current ones by 4.3 million copies.

Adam Pugsley, Chart Attack

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http://www.chartattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/old-music.jpg Jan 20, 2016 | Despite the massive success of Adele's album 25, which sold a whopping 7.4 million copies in only six weeks, 2015 marked the first time in U.S. history that new releases were outsold by catalogue albums. Seems like everyone's been feeling extra nostalgic lately.

The term "catalogue" refers to albums released more than 18 months ago. According to Nielsen's annual year end music report, catalogue albums outsold current releases by 4.3 million copies, something never before seen in the industry. Just 10 years ago, current music sales outpaced catalogue music by over 150 million albums. Keep in mind that these stats don't include album streams, but regardless, it's a significant turning point.

Adam Pugsley (is) an apiring Dj Host, who produces trance, dubstep and trance music. I have been hosting a personal radio show online through my website www.djpugz.com. My alias Dj Pugz, is on soundcloud, mixcloud and iTunes too with monthly mixes of the latest in EDM music.

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Special Report | The 2016 Olympics: Government Dysfunction, Police Violence, Broken Promises

  • Brazil's Dance with the Devil: 2016 Rio Olympics Begin with Government Dysfunction & Police Violence
  • How a chance to remake the city for ordinary Brazilians ended up lining the pockets of the rich instead.
  • Part 1: Dave Zirin: Protests by Athletes and Displaced Rio Residents Accompany Opening of 2016 Olympic Games
  • Part 2: The Broken Promise of the Rio Olympics

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Dave Zirin: Protests by Athletes and Displaced Rio Residents Accompany Opening of 2016 Olympic Games

Brazil's Dance with the Devil: 2016 Rio Olympics Begin with Government Dysfunction & Police Violence

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Dave%20Zirin%2C%20Sports%20Writer%2C%20The%20Nation.jpgAugust 05, 2016 | Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine, says protests highlighting racial and economic injustice are expected from athletes attending the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, such as tennis champion Serena Williams and players from the NBA, WNBA and other countries. Polls show more than 60 percent of Brazilians think hosting the Games will hurt their country. He says that ahead of today’s opening ceremony, residents of heavily policed and displaced neighborhoods plan a major march to Rio’s "Olympic City."

 

Amy Goodman: I wanted to turn to the American tennis star Serena Williams, who just arrived in Rio and was asked about the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Dave Zirin: sports editor for The Nation magazine and author of Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy. He is also the host of Edge of Sports.

Full story (video, rush transcript) … 



Part 2: The Broken Promise of the Rio Olympics

How a chance to remake the city for ordinary Brazilians ended up lining the pockets of the rich instead.

Alex Cuadros, the Atlantic

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/07/RTR3GM15/lead_960.jpg?1469825160 A slum in Rio de Janeiro Sergio Moraes / Reuters

Aug 1, 2016 | The Rio de Janeiro you see advertised in videos promoting the Olympics is the iconic one everyone knows: Ipanema, Sugarloaf Mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer. But that’s just a tiny slice of this sprawling metropolis of 12 million people, most of whom live miles from the beach. You can see the other Rio, their Rio, as you drive into town from the international airport, past the walls enclosing the freeway: a sea of red cinderblock shacks stacked precariously atop one another, with narrow roads snaking in between. One in seven Rio residents make their home in so-called favelas like these.

When Brazil won the right to hold this year’s Summer Games back in 2009, it seemed ready to vault into the club of developed nations. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, then the country’s wildly popular president, pitched the Olympics as an opportunity to develop Rio’s infrastructure, and remake the city into a new world capital. But this was also a rare moment of Brazilian self-confidence—one ultimately undone by hubris.

Alex Cuadros is a writer based in New York. He is the author of Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country.

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