Dead Wild Roses: When is Violence Acceptable in Society? – The Fascist/Antifa question.

    I am playing catch up with the recent dust-up around the choice of tactics used by Antifa in the United States in it’s struggle against the proto-fascist elements energized by the current Republican Administration led by Trump.  There are several sources in this brief overview, first from a academic journal to help with the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Antifa Methods

It’s not just Tina Fey who’s getting lambasted for promoting this position, “I really want to say, to encourage all good sane Americans, to treat these rallies this weekend like the opening of a thoughtful movie with two female leads: Don’t show up. Let these morons scream into the empty air.” Now it’s Chomsky and ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Hedges’ Veganism Claims

Chris Hedges’ recent article, “Eating Our Way to Disease,” largely just advertises the new doc What the Health: “Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn—whose documentary Cowspiracy, about the environmental impact of the animal agriculture industry, led me to become a vegan—recently released a new film, What the Health, which looks at how highly processed animal products are ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Hedges on Impeaching Trump

“If the deep state replaces Trump, whose ineptitude and imbecility are embarrassing to the empire, that action will not restore our democracy any more than replacing Commodus restored democracy in Rome. Our republic is dead. . . . Corporations, cannibalizing the federal budget, legally empower themselves to exploit and pillage. It is impossible to vote ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Social Control in Universities

Chris Hedges has concerns with Trump’s impact on intellectuals: Trump and his Christian fascist minions, sooner than most of us expect, will seek to shut down the small spaces left for free expression. Dissent will become difficult and sometimes dangerous. … The Trump administration will hand our Christian jihadists a platform to champion a repugnant ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Social Control in Universities

Chris Hedges has concerns with Trump’s impact on intellectuals: Trump and his Christian fascist minions, sooner than most of us expect, will seek to shut down the small spaces left for free expression. Dissent will become difficult and sometimes dangerous. … The Trump administration will hand our Christian jihadists a platform to champion a repugnant ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Retaliation

Both Hedges and Reich are writing about Trump’s frightening behaviour. It’s not just the weird tweets, but the follow-up from him and from supporters.  Reich discusses Chuck Jones’ experience: “I’m getting threats and everything else from some of his supporters.” And he talks about Trump’s tweet proposing cancelling a fictitious Boeing order, which resulted in a ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Retaliation

Both Hedges and Reich are writing about Trump’s frightening behaviour. It’s not just the weird tweets, but the follow-up from him and from supporters.  Reich discusses Chuck Jones’ experience: “I’m getting threats and everything else from some of his supporters.” And he talks about Trump’s tweet proposing cancelling a fictitious Boeing order, which resulted in a ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Standing Rock Resistance

Chris Hedges is in Standing Rock, back to his original career as a war correspondent. The natives there are preparing for winter, and I’m struck by the contrast to the Occupy fight that dwindled away when things got cold. I’m curled up on the couch as I write that, so I mean no disrespect. But ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Standing Rock Resistance

Chris Hedges is in Standing Rock, back to his original career as a war correspondent. The natives there are preparing for winter, and I’m struck by the contrast to the Occupy fight that dwindled away when things got cold. I’m curled up on the couch as I write that, so I mean no disrespect. But ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Is This the Sixth Estate?

The “Fourth Estate” is an antiquated term for unofficial social and political forces, primarily the media. Use of the term recognized, over two centuries ago, that the media affect social change. But once that became clear, it became a tool of the establishment. The church, politicians, and corporations started using the media to sway the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: If You’re Not Turned on to Politics…

…. politics will turn on you.  – Nader Hedges is at his most impassioned in this debate with Robert Reich. It’s just the last 35 minutes of the show. But his point was made years ago by Rage Against the Machine, in this video directed by none other than Michael Moore. At less than four minutes, ...

A Puff of Absurdity: If You’re Not Turned on to Politics…

…. politics will turn on you.  – Nader Hedges is at his most impassioned in this debate with Robert Reich. It’s just the last 35 minutes of the show. But his point was made years ago by Rage Against the Machine, in this video directed by none other than Michael Moore. At less than four minutes, ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Solidarity Over Competition

As always, I loosely summarize/transcribe the important bits below. THE PROBLEMS: This is an astonishing moment in history. The human species has been around for about 200,000 years. Up until this point, people have made decisions about their lives, their immediate futures, but we’ve now reached the point that we have to make a decision ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Solidarity Over Competition

As always, I loosely summarize/transcribe the important bits below. THE PROBLEMS: This is an astonishing moment in history. The human species has been around for about 200,000 years. Up until this point, people have made decisions about their lives, their immediate futures, but we’ve now reached the point that we have to make a decision ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Avoiding the Lesser of Two Evils

It’s not my country, but what happens in America affect the world. And we’re right next door. The Left Forum had a panel discussion a couple weeks ago with Glen Ford, Chris Hedges, and Jill Stein, chaired by Linda Thompson, that’s worth a listen. It’s two hours long, and a feat of tolerance for all the chattering and ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Avoiding the Lesser of Two Evils

It’s not my country, but what happens in America affect the world. And we’re right next door. The Left Forum had a panel discussion a couple weeks ago with Glen Ford, Chris Hedges, and Jill Stein, chaired by Linda Thompson, that’s worth a listen. It’s two hours long, and a feat of tolerance for all the chattering and ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Fighting Fanaticism

“Fanaticism is bred by hopelessness and despair. It is not the product of religion, although religion often becomes the sacral veneer for violence. The more desperate people become, the more this nihilistic violence will spread….Neoliberal ideologues, after all, are also utopian fanatics. And they, too, know only how to speak in the language of force. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On So Much Anger

Anger may be defined as an impulse, accompanied by pain, to a conspicuous revenge for a conspicuous slight directed without justification towards what concerns oneself or towards what concerns one’s friends. If this is a proper definition of anger, it must always be felt towards some particular individual, e.g. Cleon, and not “man” in general. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: One Neat Trick to Lose Weight Fast

I just lost 10 pounds without even trying!! So I was ready to give away some clothes to charity because it was time to resign myself to my middle-age body. I had to accept that I wasn’t going to fit into these clothes ever again.  Then I tried them on one last time, and THEY ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Hedges on Education

Yesterday Hedges wrote on a profound relationship he had with a teacher who passed in December, and he had much of value to say about education: Education is not only about knowledge. It is about inspiration. It is about passion. It is about the belief that what we do in life matters. It is about ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On the Courage to Care

It’s snowing in Australia and Alaska is on fire, but what really worries me is some police overstepping the bounds of their authority. Just on my facebook feed today, they’ve punched a kid with autism, barged in on a naked woman illegally, and provoked or directly caused suicides in jail, and that’s on top of ...

A Puff of Absurdity: In the Realm of Terrifying

CBC has a brief (7 min.) podcast up about the rise in anxiety in the population being reported by psychologists over the past couple of years due to climate change. One of the climate scientists, when asked how he feels about it, suggested the title of this post. This is something I discuss with my ...

A Puff of Absurdity: So I Went to the March

I went to the Jobs, Justice, Climate march on Sunday.  It’s taken me a few days to think about what I think about it. Klein so close at the pre-pre-rally. I got to Queen’s Park way early and sat under a big tree to read and wait, and I happened to sit where the media ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Sublime Madness

“You don’t fight fascism because you’re going to win. You fight fascism because it is fascist.”      – Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason I previously intended to write about Hedges’ new book, Wages of Rebellion, but I got thoroughly overcome by a rant that’s been building.  So here’s the gist of his writing ...