Linh Dinh

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and the novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Looting Frenzies: Thinking about the Federal Reserve while Nursing a Cheap Beer
Hey, let’s go into McGlinchey’s, the cheapest bar in Center City. When I first entered this place in 1982, I was only 18, so to make myself look somewhat legal, I wore an old man jacket, bought at a thrift store for 2 bucks. Inside, I was thrilled to discover that a draft of Rolling Rock was only 50 cents, and a hotdog 25. Now they are $1.25 and 75 cents, respectively. This low life bar, my kind, is still dirt cheap, but that’s inflation for you.
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Friday, July 29, 2011
Ubasuteyama, USA: Abandoning the Old to Die
Modern industrial civilization weakens the family, which is not necessarily bad, since it allows children to escape tyrannical parents. In such a society, the home is not so much a socializing haven as a motel, where wage earners drive back each evening only to ignore each other. FaceBook has become a hearth and shrine, and independence is having your own flat screen TV.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Poor Richards Rise
July 4th, I wandered down to Independence Hall. There were soldiers in dress and battle uniforms, a high school marching band, many beefy bikers and a handful of svelte beauty queens, including Miss America, Teresa Scanlan. In front of the National Museum of American Jewish History, more than thirty Falun Dafa drummers , all female, performed a measured dance.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Mugged then Shot
“The United States has been a leader in the multinational effort to end bribery and corruption in international business practices." --Website of The U.S. State Department
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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sentimental Mass Murderer
When Obama came into power, there were roughly 35,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Within two years, he tripled that number. Now, Obama announces that 10,000 soldiers will come home by the end of 2011, and 33,000 by the end of next summer. He surges twice, pulls back once, and declares it a successful withdrawal, as promised. I’m sure glad Obama’s not my accountant, or both of us would be arrested for fraud, but wait a sec, Obama is my accountant, and my banker, and my president.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Fig Leaf Nation
When any man falls, we laugh, and when an upright citizen is exposed as just ordinary slime, we hoot and holler. Glad it ain’t me, we reflect. At least I’m not important enough to be publicly shamed. Rest assured, us nobodies could disseminate a steady stream of spine chilling pics of our hirsute or well-shaved shady regions and nothing would happen.
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Sunday, May 08, 2011
Osama bin Laden: Murder Without a Corpse
In a photograph, Bush is shown in an Army jacket, his hands holding a tray with a picture-perfect turkey, garlanded by grapes. He is surrounded by American troops, most of whom are not looking at him. This is meant to convey that the photo was spontaneous, casual, and not posed. It is authentic.
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Thursday, March 31, 2011
Heartwarming Massacres from Iraq to Libya
On January 28, 2003, George W. Bush gave a 50-minute State of the Union address, nearly half of which was devoted to his decision to invade Iraq. During this segment, he didn’t mention oil or, God forbid, the petro dollar even once, but focused relentlessly on weapons of mass destruction.
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Friday, March 25, 2011
Winding Down Obama
Occupying Iraq, the U.S. spends about $300 million a day. For Afghanistan, it’s $200 million. These numbers are approximations because the Pentagon doesn’t really know how much it has spent on anything, or how many it has killed in its several wars, big and small. It doesn’t really care, I don’t think. Imagine a team of alcoholics parked permanently at the bar, downing pints and shots with an open tab into infinity, or until the Second Coming, at least. In 2001, Donald Rumsfeld admitted that $2.3 trillion were unaccounted for. He blamed it on sloppy bookkeeping.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Photoshopping the American Dream
The spinmeisters are playing same record over and over, recovery, recovery, scratch, scratch, recovery’s in da house! The Associated Press trumpeted, “After two years of recession, Christmas 2010 will go down as the moment when Americans rediscovered how much they like to shop.” On December 28th, Yahoo Finance reassured us at 9AM, “The recovery is on track,” but an hour later, it featured a new headline, “Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Falls in December.”
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