Monday, December 12, 2016
We Are Not Alone
Ye who enter unto the coming Trumpocalypse, take heart: Resistance is everywhere. It's painted on the bodies of women in the photo project SignedByTrump protesting the grotesque things he says about half the human race. It's written on the subway walls - kudos to Simon and Garfunkel - in New York's Union Station, where thousands vent their rage and fear and yes hope in a massive tableau of post-it notes. "Have a voice," they say, and "Your hijab is beautiful," and "Resist Every Day."
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Sunday, December 11, 2016
Where the People Are Many and Their Hands Are All Empty: Patti Smith Sings For Dylan At Nobel Ceremony
Patti Smith just accepted Bob Dylan's Nobel in Literature in Stockholm, offering to the glittering audience a searing rendition of "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall" that presumably laid to rest those doubting whether the blue-eyed son's decades of ineffable poetry are in fact literature. In a letter to the committee, Dylan conceded that, like Shakespeare, he'd never much considered the question, but thanked the Academy for asking it and "providing such a wonderful answer."
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Thursday, December 8, 2016
The Sort of Company We Wish To Keep: Saying Shame, Shame, Shame
Academics are increasingly, ingeniously fighting back against an Orwellian "Professor Watchlist" aimed at exposing "radical" teachers. The list has inspired online trolls to name their own suspects - Albus Dumbledore, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Spock - and a Watchlist Redux to honor not trash targets from Jesus to teachers daring to "think critically about power." Now 100 Notre Dame professors have asked to join the list in solidarity, proclaiming, "We wish to be counted among those you are watching."
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And the World Will Live As One
Lord, what would John Lennon have made of the Trump monster? Marking Thursday's 36th anniversary of Lennon's murder, Yoko Ono posted a plea for gun control, calling his death "a hollowing experience" and pleading, "Together, let's bring back America, the green land of Peace." With so many seeking solace in these ugly times, mourns one fan, "Oh John, you really should be here." Lennon conceded then, and likely would now, "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Sad! Moron/Racist/Liar/Pervert/Sociopath of the Year
Folks on social media are kinda peeved TIME's Person of the Year - he/she who "had the greatest influence for better or worse" in 2016 - is orange clown and black hole of need Donald Trump, presumably because a. he horrified so many of us and b. every president-elect is. Many noted he thus joins the illustrious ranks of Hitler, Stalin, Nixon and Putin; others offered explanations - Nostradamus voted - objections - doesn't it have to be a person? - and alternatives - us, who have to defeat him.
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Monday, December 5, 2016
We Beg For Your Forgiveness
What a sight. The extraordinary coming together of Natives and veterans at Standing Rock culminated with a moving forgiveness ceremony where vets sought atonement for America's wars and betrayals. "We came. We fought you. We took your land," said Wes Clark Jr. on bent knee. "We've come to say we are sorry." From one observer, "This is how healing begins." Many vets say they will move on to Flint, where vital water is likewise threatened and "people are suffering."
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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Because Injustice Is Here
Citing a moment in time that calls for the same "relentless, principled, organized resistance" as MLK's Montgomery Bus Boycott, activists chose today's Dec. 5 anniversary to launch a national Injustice Boycott against racial injustice and police brutality. Starting in New York, San Francisco and Standing Rock, the boycott will target cities, states, and companies that commit or condone abuses, mirroring King's spirit of mutuality in which, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
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Resistance Is Real
Many of Standing Rock's almost 20,000 Native water protectors, veterans and supporters marched, whooped and held "the world's largest prayer circle" Sunday to honor the Army Corps of Engineers' stunning decision to deny the easement for DAPL. While vowing to keep fighting if necessary, they celebrated an historic victory, the power of peace and prayer and protest, and their steadfast principle to "never give up." "This is what happens," said one, "when we organize."
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Nothing Afeared: The First Veteran Just Walked To Standing Rock
In what has been likened to a classical "hero's journey," Chris Turley - a decorated wounded veteran of Afghanistan and member of the Osage Nation - arrived at Sacred Stone camp after a prayerful, two-week, 800-mile trek on foot from Oklahoma. One of the first of over 2,000 vets coming this weekend and a self-described "warrior of this country" raising funds for both vets' programs and Standing Rock, comrades say Turley exemplifies "the highly contagious emotion we call courage."
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Such Is the Human Race: Missing Twain In the Era of Trumpian Skullduggery
On his 181st birthday, a salute to the dazzlingly incisive Mark Twain - born Samuel Clemens - the "true father of our national literature." A cranky, witty, clear-eyed moralist who never met a bullshit piece of political malarkey he didn't rush to eviscerate, he long ripped "public office (as) private graft." What would he have made of our current con man catastrophe? In his honor, maybe this: "Patriotism is defending your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."
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