Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Chris Hedges

Thursday Links

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* Today is our last day discussing John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up, and conveniently the headline at io9 right now reads “Gonorrhea is becoming untreatable.” The prophecy was true!

 In an 8-1 vote, the City Council of Greensboro, North Carolina approved a resolution opposing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban any legal recognition of same-sex couples. Greensboro joins Raleigh and Chapel Hill all in opposition to Amendment 1, which comes to a vote on May 8. The Durham City Council opposes the measure too.

* 16 Things Super Bowl Ads Would Like You to Know About Women in 2012.

* Steve Jobs’s FBI file. Academic pro-tip: when beginning research on anyone who is deceased you should immediately request their FBI file.

* Bad news folks: Obama Has Put America On ‘The Path’ Of Executing Religious People By Decapitation.

* In an interesting piece at An und für sich, Adam Kotsko tries to dive beneath the politics and explain just why it is the Catholic hierarchy is so interested in birth control.

I propose that the answer can be found in a historic compromise set forth by one of the most influential thinkers you’ve never heard of: namely, Clement of Alexandria, a second-century Christian philosopher.

* From David Graeber—Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges.

Surely you must recognize, when it’s laid out in this fashion, that this is precisely the sort of language and argument that, historically, has been invoked by those encouraging one group of people to physically attack, ethnically cleanse, or exterminate another—in fact, the sort of language and argument that is almost never invoked in any other circumstance. After all, if a group is made up exclusively of violent fanatics who cannot be reasoned with, intent on our destruction, what else can we really do? This is the language of violence in its purest form. Far more than “fuck the police.” To see this kind of language employed by someone who claims to be speaking in the name of non-violence is genuinely extraordinary.

Facebook has found a way to make money from its new Timeline feature less than five months after launching it, repackaging what people “listen” to, “watch,” and “read” into ads and delivering them to their friends.

* Tomorrow’s TV Tropes today: my friend @drbluman finds another example of Sitcom Entropy, the inexorable law of nature that shows how sitcoms degrade in quality over time.

* Arizona Law SB 1467 Would Make It Illegal to Teach Law, History, or Literature, or for Teachers to Have Sex, or Pee.

* And James Fallows attempts to explain Obama.

This is the central mystery of his performance as a candidate and a president. Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?

‘We’re All Criminals; People Need to Accept That’

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“A riot is the language of the unheard,” said Martin Luther King. And Oakland is a city of the unheard, a city of tremendous institutionalized violence, a city of empty and blighted bank-owned homes, a city that saw riots and mass arrests just a year ago in response to police brutality, all before Occupy has a name or public face.

Here’s another response to Chris Hedges’s anti-Black-Block essay, from Occupy Oakland’s Susie Cagle.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

‘Their Thinking Is Not Only Nonstrategic, but Actively Opposed to Strategy’

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UPDATE: A response.

Chris Hedges against the black bloc: The Cancer in Occupy. This piece is blowing up among the Occupy Oaklandistas in my Twitter feed right now.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm

On Giving Up the Dream

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Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. The speech itself is only 27 minutes. (Via Elsie.)

It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that’s what we’ve forgotten. Give up that dream!

‘The American Empire Is Bankrupt’

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Chris Hedges: ‘The American Empire Is Bankrupt.’ Seems a bit premature to me; empires, like relationships and Coke machines, have to rock back and forth a few times before they go over.

Angry denunciations at MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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Wednesday, Wednesday

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Obviously posting took a backseat to real-life nonsense today. But I did look at the Internets. Here’s what I looked at.

* The House Next Door and SF Signal try to figure out whether this season of Heroes is back on track.

* Gang of 100? Via Lenin’s Tomb, Columbia president Lee Bollinger receives a “statement of concern” from over 100 faculty members partly in response to his poor behavior during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit.

* Nicholas Guyatt reviews Chris Hedges’s American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America for London Review of Books. I linked to Hedges a bit on the old blog earlier in the year, when this book was getting a lot of hype—I’m curious why this review comes so late. I’m also surprised to see Guyatt take such a skeptical attitude towards Hedges’s thesis. I haven’t read American Fascists, but my impression has been that the book is about the (very real) dominionist movement within American evangelicism, not an assertion that all evangelicals are dominionists. And what to make of this:

It would be a mistake to imagine that the religious right has controlled American politics for the past quarter-century. Despite the present spate of books decrying a fundamentalist takeover of the Republican Party, there has been plenty for evangelicals to complain about even since the triumphs of Bush and Karl Rove. As Thomas Frank argued in 2004 in his book What’s the Matter with Kansas?, the striking thing about the Republican alliance with evangelicals has been the thinness of their legislative achievements: abortion is still legal, campaigners for gay rights have made real strides and the wall between church and state remains largely intact in American classrooms. Frank suggested that legislators had pulled off a confidence trick in their courting of evangelicals.

The truth is precisely this: the religious right has controlled American politics for the past quarter-century without actually getting any of the things they want. What happens when they finally realize they’ve been hoodwinked? Hedges has this right; the business wing of the Republican Party is locked into an alliance with powerful and dangerous forces it will not necessarily be able to control forever.

* NYU students would trade their right to vote for an iPod. Can you blame them? In a country so completely gerrymandered on both a macro (Electoral College) and micro (Congressional district) scale, voting is more or less a fraud across the board. The vote of someone living in New York City isn’t even worth an iPod; the vote of someone in Florida or Ohio, maybe, but only just.

* Train passengers face routine airline-style bag checks and body searches as part of a new counter-terror crackdown announced by Gordon Brown. Next up, strip searches. Freedom isn’t free.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 15, 2007 at 4:39 am