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Archive for the ‘capitalism’ Category

If you have a little boy or girl, then you probably know about Thomas the Tank Engine. No, I don’t mean a character. And I don’t even mean a show. And, no, I don’t even mean a merchandise aisle at Target. I mean what becomes, so very easily, an entire way of being. What is it about trains in general, and Thomas the Tank Engine in particular, that get inside little people’s brains?

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I’m officially a regular blogger again, starting today.

I really have a small comment to make, but maybe one that has big implications. No matter, I guess, as only a couple of hundred will read this, though I feel compelled to say this because I care about things like reason. To start: I remember the original Sister Souljah moment. It confirmed what I thought then and have always thought: Bill Clinton was icky, cruel, and actually quite comfortable being anti-black. That’s why this primary season had me barely (if that) restraining “told ya” every time the news had Bill’s newest quip about Obama.

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No one following the Democratic primary will be surprised that John Edwards stepped out of the race today. It didn’t happen and certainly wasn’t just wasn’t about to happen. I find his withdrawal sad, not because I’m especially enthused about him, the Democratic party, or our particular brand of democracy, but only because he was such an uncanny presence – he talked about poverty. And this is part though not nearly enough, of the Time magazine story on his candidacy: why Edwards did not catch on… (more…)

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It had to happen. The problem of outsourcing is very real for the United States, and puts us all in such a precarious political and social space. Politically, outsourcing is bad for us because it chooses cheaper labor at the expense of our national interest in reasonable (full?) employment for our fellow citizens. Socially, outsourcing is good for the consumer self, providing cheap goods and services for a lot of us. I’ll skip the familiar reflection on how this is capitalism’s endgame, etc., and just underscore the fact that all of it is just so precarious. We’re off-balance when balance might really help. Outsourcing. Sigh.

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Earlier this week, Charles P. Pierce at Slate.com wrote up some thoughts on LeBron James as “the next Michael Jordan.” Well-timed, of course, given his spectacular take-down of Detroit – honestly, it was a single-handed take-down – and the first visit to the NBA Finals starting last night. I don’t much disagree with the author on assessing The Bron as bluntly non-political, but the very question is quirky. I’ve been trying to sort out my thoughts… (more…)

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cash.pngIn today’s Slate.com, Seth Stevenson writes up a soon-to-appear (as in tonight) miniseries on USA Network, entitled The Starter Wife. Fab write-up. One of my favorite lines, actually: “Having watched an advance DVD of the first three hours, I can offer a mini-review: two thumbs up. Up my own eye sockets.” That’s funny. The review, however, is about a whole lot more, namely, how this show might be pushing ahead a new trend in funding television and movies: single-sponsored work. That just icky. (more…)

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American Idol exhausts me. The sheer number of months it takes to get to finalists – or even a group of finalists who seem like legitimate singers – takes it out of me. I don’t lack enthusiasm; American Idol is one of my favorite television shows, and I love television. It is just that American Idol is comprised of mostly crass careerists (star-wannabes) and too many stylized, faked voices. This is exactly why I welcome the replacement of American Idol with Nigel‘s other show: So You Think You Can Dance? So You Think…? is just a superior show, on all accounts. And much more interesting to watch and think about. (more…)

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