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Archive for the ‘ideology’ 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 saw Wall-E a couple of weeks back. Unlike most, if not all of my friends who saw the movie, I didn’t like it very much. It was of course visually awesome and charming, for the most part, and told a decent enough story. It’s hard to “disagree” with the moral of the story, which, so far as I can tell, is that garbage is bad for the earth. And that submission to the spectacle of marketing is also bad. I got that. But I do think there is a more problematic something about the film – not a “message,” but instead something more like a presupposition.

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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 has been awhile, but having now finished a big project, I’m back to regular blogging. And what better topic for getting back into it than the current election stuff. I do have a lot to say. In particular, about this strange ascension of Hillary Clinton and the genuinely baffling coverage of the “race.” OK, that’s a cheap pun, but I had to. I’ll pass over the saucier stuff on, say, Vincent Foster, whose case would send lefties over the edge (rightly) if the name had been Bush or Cheney, not Clinton. There are other things to discuss. (more…)

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I’ve debated whether or not to blog on Columbus Day. Not “on” this particular day – though a case can be made for a day of silence today – but “about” this day, this figure, this holiday. I’d decided not. I didn’t want to be too trite or repetitive, just rehearsing now familiar stuff about Columbus as murderer and vanguard of what became a bloody, cruel rot in the heart of European “civilization.” (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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