Michael Benton -- I wish I had grown up next to or personally knowing Cornel West. I have never met him, yet he has irrevocably altered the way I think and act in this world, always in the most positive of ways. He is a total package: critical thinker, spiritual leader, default positivity, radical love, powerful rhetorician, cross-cultural theorist/historian and political activist. Check out this discussion he has with Joe Rogan - the conversation flows so easy and together they talk about a wide range of the most important and interesting issues of our culture/society.
You have to be able to find a firm grounding to think through the bullshit because it can contaminate us with despair (or nihilism).
I find it helpful to identify positive thinkers/activists that operate for me as a guide through the morass. Critical thinking is truly important, but just as important is retaining a sense of positivity/possibility. I don't mean we should seek out hollow hallmark fantasies or self-help banal happiness. What I mean is the need to cultivate a radical love for the world & its beings in order to be able to deal with the knowledge of what is wrong with the world and to build the fortitude to do something about it (in whatever way we are capable of doing that).
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (USA/UK: Stanley Kubrick, 1964) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)
Ledbetter, Jay and Ryan McQuade. "The Last Black Man in San Francisco / Fast Color." InSession Film (June 2019)
Press, Alex N. "A Tale of Two Prisoners." Jacobin (July 27, 2019) ["Comparing the treatment of Jeffrey Epstein to Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner's murder, reveals the grotesque inequality at the heart of American society. There’s one set of rules for the rich, and an entirely different set for the poor."]
Rose City Antifa. "Statement on the Far-Right’s Attempt to Criminalize Protest of Concentration Camp Deaths and Hate Groups." It's Going Down (July 25, 2019)
Anne Braden (Louisville native) would have been 95 today - her life continues on in the passionate social justice activism of those she influenced/still-influences:
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