Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 21, 2020

Bradley, S.A. "What Are Your Limits? The Dark Waters of Exploitation and Extreme Cinema." Hellbent for Horror #5 (April 27, 2016)

Bromwich, David. "The Limited Virtues of Vice." The New York Review of Books (January 5, 2019)

Burr, Ty, et al. "Once Upon a Time in Tarantino's World." Open Source (August 8, 2019)  ["Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is many things, but let’s start with two. First, it’s a meticulous reconstruction of Los Angeles in the 1960s—sunlight angling through smog, the game faces of white guys, their lingo, their cars, and car radios, their hair, their self-pity—all at the moment of the Manson murders in Benedict Canyon: August 9, 1969. At the same time the movie’s a flight of fancy into an alternative ending for a horror story, yet another take on violence from the bloody-minded moralist Tarantino. Back in 1969, a “demented and seductive vortex of tension was building” in Hollywood, Didion wrote: “the dogs barked every night and the moon was always full.” And when the shocking news of midnight murder in the hills was confirmed, what she remembered—and wished she didn’t—was that “no one was surprised.” There’s the context of 1969 in which Quentin Tarantino has placed his own invention, a buddy flick with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt cast as a downwardly mobile actor and his stunt-man sidekick. There’s propulsive energy and fun in this movie, and a strange beauty, too."]

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "The Dark Eye: On the Films of Rodney Ascher." Weird Studies #12 (May 2, 2018) ["American filmmaker Rodney Ascher is a master of the weird documentary. Whether he be exploring wild interpretations of a classic horror film in Room 237, bracketing the phenomenon of sleep paralysis in The Nightmare, studying the uncanny power of the moving image in "Primal Screen," or considering the sinister power of a kitschy logo in "The S from Hell," Ascher confronts his viewers with realities that resist final explanations and facile reduction. In this episode, Phil and JF follow Ascher's films into the living labyrinth of a strange universe that isn't just unknown, but radically unknowable."]

Hudson, David. "Coping." Current (July 14, 2020) ["Kaufman sees mental well-being “as a site of sanctity that must be tended to and preserved,” especially when the news is “an infinite scroll of death, devastation, and disappointing leadership, while our ongoing state of social distancing means there are scant opportunities ‘for the simple harbor of a hug’ (words from the poet Grace Nichols). The temptation can be to languish in hysterical despair and to deny the opportunity for relief because it feels like a gross indulgence, but who does it serve when you make yourself an invisible martyr to the ills of the world?” Art “valorizes the quiet stirrings we have to live by bolder instincts.”"]

---. "Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods." Current (June 11, 2020)

Kuersten, Erich. "Nightmare USA: : 10 Wild, Weird Gems of Off-Brand 70s Horror Americana (via Stephen Thrower)." Acidemic (July 17, 2020)

Phillips, Alastair and Julian Stringer, eds. Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Routledge, 2007.

Tafoya, Scout. "Reincarnation of Cool: Bertrand Bonello and Zombi Child." Notebook (October 18, 2019) ["The enormity of colonization, the way its mindset bled through to the colonized and continued in insidious ways even when it was legally abolished. Slavery is indeed more ghastly than any knife-wielding maniac, and Bonello’s been saying so for the last decade of his career."]

West, Stephen. "Plato." Philosophize This! (June 20, 2013)

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Sorry to Bother You (USA: Boots Riley, 2018)





Sorry to Bother You (USA: Boots Riley, 2018: 105 mins)

Abdurraqib, Hanif. "Blackklansman and the Art of Code Switching." Pacific Standard (August 20, 2018) ["Beyond tics in dialect, code-switching often requires a shift in ideology."]

Anderson, Katherine J. "On the Absurdity of Ethical Capitalism." Public Books (May 3, 2019) ["Some critics have categorized Riley’s film as “over-the-top-madness,” deciding that it devolves into the “preposterous” despite its strong start. What it shows us, though, is fundamentally real. The problem, as ever, is whose life gets to count as real, and whose does not. In the same way the Western literary canon defined “realism” as a tidy linear narrative about everyday middle-class white life, and dismissed the stories that didn’t fit that narrative as something else—magical realism (postcolonial literature), Afrofuturism, multiethnic literature, and so on—some have characterized this film as absurd, in the sense of “ridiculously unreasonable” or “extremely silly.” What many others have rightly noted, however, is that Sorry to Bother You should be considered in the tradition of absurdist fiction, which depicts the world as having no rational or orderly relationship to human life, often through satire. That is, though Riley’s film relies on an absurdist aesthetic, its relationship to human life is entirely rational, because it narrates the precarious reality of certain lives as a logical and very real extension of Western capitalist history."]

Archer, Ina Diane and Nicolas Rapold. "Sorry to Bother You." Film Comment Podcast (July 4, 2018) ["'Audiences will enjoy Sorry to Bother You in one go, but the film invites and can stand up to multiple viewings, in much the same way that complex rap lyrics benefit from repeated plays and familiarity gained from memorization,' Ina Diane Archer writes in our July/August issue. “Boots Riley is, by his own definition, a storyteller—a socially conscious, political artist, communist, proud Oaklander, and the beloved front man of The Coup.” Riley’s scabrous satire tracks a telemarketer (Lakeith Stanfield) on the rise in a company engaged in some nefarious labor practices that bring corporate malfeasance into a surreal realm. For our latest episode of The Film Comment Podcast, Archer joined me in a discussion of the feature and the many layers she unpacks in her essay."]

Benton, Michael Dean. "Sorry to Bother You." Letterboxd (July 28, 2018)

Beshara, Robert K. "Dear Boots, Thank You For Bothering Us!" Dark Matter (December 13, 2018)

Chang, Justin. "Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ is an arrestingly surreal satire on class rage and cultural identity." Los Angeles Times (July 5, 2018)

Cummings, Janae and Jon Vickers. "Boots Riley Interview." Profiles (December 23, 2018) ["Mobilizer, instigator, and artist Boots Riley is a prolific poet, singer, songwriter, producer, humorist, and screenwriter. He is a director of films, music videos, and television. He is also a community organizer and public speaker who weaves his social activism and engagement into all of his creative work. Never afraid to speak his mind, or even to challenge his heroes, Boots Riley found politics and activism at the age of fourteen. He is heavily involved in the Occupy Oakland movement, and is one of the leaders of the activist group, The Young Comrades. His directorial debut, Sorry to Bother You, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2018, and opened in theaters nationwide in July. Boots Riley has also been recording hip-hop and funk music for over 25 years as the songwriter and lead singer of the bands The Coup, and Street Sweeper Social Club. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed collection of his writings and lyrics, called Tell Homeland Security-We Are the Bomb."]

Enzo and Eve. "Wakanda Deferred." Hammer & Camera #16 (July 12, 2019) ["Enzo and Eve of the Marxist "propaganda circle" Unity & Struggle to discuss their article, "Black on Both Sides: Grappling with BLM in Movies", and to review the past year of Black cinema. Among the films discussed are Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Sorry to Bother You, Blindspotting, and Us."]

Goldberg, Michelle. "Pop Culture Gets Radical: Sorry to Bother You and Dietland offer something we need at this moment." The New York Times (July 27, 2018)

Gray, Briahna. "You Say You Want a Revolution? The Anti-Capitalist Film Sorry to Bother You Shows the Way." The Intercept (July 25, 2018)

Hudson, David. "Sundance 2018: Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You." The Current (January 24, 2018)

Kelley, Robin D.G. "Sorry, Not Sorry." Boston Review (September 13, 2018)

Koski, Genevieve, et al. "Sorry to Bother You / Putney Swope (1969), Pt. 1" The Next Picture Show #138 (July 24, 2018) ["Rapper-director Boots Riley has said he hadn’t seen Robert Downey Sr.’s 1969 satirical comedy Putney Swope when he made the buzzy new Sorry to Bother Your, but the films share so much on both a surface level (white men providing the literal voices of black characters) and deeper thematic ones (concerns about capitalism, race, and what it might take to burn down an unjust system) that we had to put them in conversation with each other. In this half, we try to make sense of the fascinating mess that is Putney Swope, considering how it works as both satire and comedy, and whether Downey’s choice to overdub his black title character’s voice with his own is an asset or a liability."]

---. " Sorry To Bother You / Putney Swope (1969), Pt. 2" The Next Picture Show #139 (July 31, 2018) ["As with Robert Downey Sr.’s 1969 satirical oddity Putney Swope, there’s a lot going on in Boots Riley’s new Sorry to Bother You, which takes a similar anything-goes approach to the intersection of race and capitalism. In the second part of our “white voice” double feature, we dig into the anti-capitalist philosophy that unites Riley’s work and keeps Sorry to Bother You on the rails, then we look at how the two films compare in their views of race and capitalism, and their use of satire and surrealism."]

Phillips, Maya. "Sorry to Bother You and the New Black Surrealism." Slate (July 18, 2018) ["Like Get Out and Atlanta, Boots Riley’s gonzo satire realizes the best way to depict black people’s reality is to depart from it."]

Questlove and Boots Riley. "Sorry to Bother You." The Film Comment Podcast (July 18, 2018) ["Boots Riley, director of the mind-altering new film Sorry to Bother You, and special guest Questlove at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “All art is political,” said Riley, who detailed the genesis of the movie’s surreal Marxist story of a African-American telemarketer, and traded stories with Questlove about the nitty-gritty of the creative process."]

Rebanal, Jamie. "Sorry to Bother You." Letterboxd (July 13, 2018)

Riley, Boots. "Boots Riley on His Anti-Capitalist Film Sorry to Bother You, the Power of Strikes & Class Struggle." Democracy Now (September 3, 2018) ["In a Labor Day special, we air an extended conversation with Boots Riley, writer and director of “Sorry to Bother You,” his new film about an evil telemarketing company, a corporation making millions off of slave labor, and one Oakland man at the center of it all who discovers a secret that threatens all of humankind. His dystopian social satire is being hailed as one of the best movies of the summer. Riley is a poet, rapper, songwriter, producer, screenwriter, humorist, political organizer, community activist, lecturer and public speaker—best known as the lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club."]

---. "On Sorry to Bother You and Communism." The Dig (August 9, 2018) ["Sorry to Bother You is a hilarious film about the dead serious shitiness of life under neoliberalism's flexibilized and precarious labor regime, a system teetering upon a thin line between free labor exploitation and a form of expropriation reminiscent of full-on slave labor—all at the mercy of the thinly-veiled barbarity of Palo Alto-style techno-utopianism. It's about how capitalist society divides and conquers friends and family to claim not only our obedience but also our very souls, and about how the task of left organizing is to see through that game and fight together. Dan's guest today is Boots Riley, who wrote and directed the film and also fronts the left-wing hip hop group The Coup."]

Tiffany, Kaitlyn. "Sorry to Bother You gets everything right about the horrors of viral fame." The Verge (July 24, 2018) ["It’s a radical statement about capitalism and the internet long before the big twists hit."]






Dialogic Cinephilia - July 18, 2020

Biagetti, Samuel. "In the Ocean of Land: The History of Central Asia (Pt. 1)." Historiansplaining (August 8, 2019) ["We consider the vast sweep of Central Asian history, from the first nomads to tame the horse and gain mastery of the steppes, to the splendrous cities of the first Silk Road, to the rise of Ghenghis Khan. Few Westerners learn the dizzyingly complex and tumultuous history of Central Asia, even though it forms the linchpin connecting all the major civilizations of the Old World, from Europe to Persia to China. Finally, we consider the unsettling paradox of the Mongol empire, which fostered a vibrant cosmopolitanism at the same time that it brutally repressed subject peoples."]

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "Art is a Haunting Spirit." Weird Studies #11 (April 25, 2018) ["M. R. James' "The Mezzotint" is one of the most fascinating, and most chilling, examples of the classic ghost story. In this episode, Phil and JF discover what this tale of haunted images and buried secrets tells us about the reality of ideas, the singularity of events, the virtual power of the symbol, and the enduring magic of the art object in the age of mechanical reproduction. To accompany this episode, Phil recorded a full reading of the story."]





Hudson, David. "Terence Nance's Random Acts of Flyness." Current (August 6, 2018)

Kohn, Eduardo. How Forests Think: An Anthropology Beyond Humans. University of California Press, 2013.

Levine, Judith and Erica Meiners. "Uncivil Committment: A gulag of prisons posing as hospitals." N+1 #37 (Spring 2020)

McInroy, Jack, Daniel Mills and Steve Walsh. "Dhalgren (1975) by Samuel R. Delany." Sherds #28 (April 10, 2020) ["Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren was originally published in 1975. Since its publication, Dhalgren has had its fair share of proponents and enemies - it has been called both the best and the worst book ever to come out of the field of science fiction. Over the course of its eight-hundred pages, we follow our main character, the Kid, as he wanders listlessly through devastated city of Bellona, located somewhere in the United States on the border between utopia and dystopia. It is a city where time dilates and contracts, buildings spontaneously combust, obscuring mists curl through the streets. And here, all society’s misfits and outcasts have gathered under its twin moons. In this conversation we discuss the extent to which Dhalgren can be considered science fiction, examine the role of its metafictional games, and think about its presentation of racial and sexual politics."]

McKenna, Terence. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge. Bantam Books, 1993.

Phillips, Maya. "Sorry to Bother You and the New Black Surrealism." Slate (July 18, 2018) ["Like Get Out and Atlanta, Boots Riley’s gonzo satire realizes the best way to depict black people’s reality is to depart from it."]

Winant, Gabriel. "Coronavirus and Chronopolitics: The Young are Trying to Save the Old." N+1 #37 (Spring 2020)





Friday, July 17, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 17, 2020

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "On Aleister Crowley and the Idea of Magick." Weird Studies #9 (April 11, 2018)

---. "Philip K. Dick: Adrift in the Universe." Weird Studies #10 (April 18, 2018) ["In 1977, Philip K. Dick read an essay in France entitled, "If You Find this World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others." In it, he laid out one of the dominant tropes of his fictional oeuvre, the idea of parallel universes. It became clear in the course of the lecture that Dick didn't intend this to be a talk about science fiction, but about real life - indeed, about his life. In this episode, Phil and JF seriously consider the speculations which, depending on whom you ask, make PKD either a genius or a madman. This distinction may not matter in the end. As Dick himself wrote in his 8,000-page Exegesis: "The madman speaks the moral of the piece.""]

Lenz, Lyz. "Sorry Not Sorry." On the Media (July 15, 2020) ["Fox Primetime host Tucker Carlson has already had quite the July. On the plus side, the latest ratings for his show have made him officially the most watched cable news host. On the other side of the ledger, advertisers are fleeing his show on the grounds of not wishing to be associated with lies and hate speech. Oh, also, his head writer Blake Neff, was forced out after his explicitly racist and misogynist social media posts were unmasked online. And now Tucker is off the show for two weeks, as he put it “on a long-planned vacation.” "]

Piketty, Thomas. Capital and Ideology. trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Harvard University Press, 2020. ["Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system. Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity. Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it." This is the Harvard University Press book page, it has links to app. 50 interviews and features on the author & the book.]




Smith, Orla. "TIFF interview: Alice Winocour on her outstanding space drama Proxima." Seventh Row (September 17, 2019)

Thompson, Scott. "Occult Features of Anarchism by Erica Lagalisse: A Review." Gods and Radicals Press (December 12, 2018)

Unsell, Tyler, et al. "The Babadook and Grief." Horror Pod Class #3 (February 2, 2018)

Wang, Nanfu. "On One Child Nation." Film at Lincoln Center Podcast #239 (August 2019) ["The film, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, powerfully and personally explores China’s One Child Policy, which made it illegal in most circumstances for couples to have more than one child. The film screened at Human Rights Watch Film Festival, where co-director Nanfu Wang joined Yaqiu Wang, China Researcher at Human Rights Watch and Minky Worden, Director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch."]

Winocour, Alice. "Lockdown Film School 8: Masterclass with Alice Winocour on directing." Seventh Row (June 25, 2020) ["In this session of Lockdown Film School, we talk to writer-director Alice Winocour about her features Augustine, Disorder, and Proxima in this directing masterclass."]




Wednesday, July 15, 2020

BCTC Pandemic Regulations

Novel Coronavirus 2020 Resources
Healthy at BCTC Reopening Plan

Hello BCTC Community,
I have received many questions regarding face masks recently and with the Governor’s announcement yesterday, I wanted to share BCTC’s specific face mask requirements. As the Governor reminded us, we must all do our part to keep ourselves and others safe. Wearing a face mask is a small inconvenience that can make a huge difference.


WHEN DO I HAVE TO WEAR A FACE MASK AT BCTC?
In performing my duties as the Healthy at Work Officer, I have pursued consistency whenever possible. My instructions have always been that we must wear a face mask whenever we are in a social situation. How do I define a social situation? social situation includes any situation in which you and at least one other person are present. If you are alone, it is ok to remove your face mask. If you are not alone, you must wear a face mask. This applies both indoors and outdoors.


SOCIAL DISTANCING AND FACE MASKS
Practicing social distancing is equally as important as wearing a face mask. There is some confusing information out there that says if you are practicing social distancing, you don’t have to wear a face mask. At BCTC, we will wear face masks while practicing social distancing.


TYPES OF FACE MASKS
BCTC does not require a specific type of face mask. The face mask that you choose should: be comfortable, adequately cover your mouth and nose, fit correctly with no gaps, and it must not have offensive language or messages on it. If your face mask does not meet these parameters, one will be provided for you.


FACE MASKS IN THE CLASSROOM
During an in-person class, face masks must be worn at all times while practicing social distancing. Even if everyone is spaced six feet apart, face masks must still be worn. Instructors must wear a face mask or face shield at all times. Our classrooms and lab spaces have been adjusted to accommodate social distancing. If a student or instructor needs a face mask, they can contact campus security for assistance.


REFUSAL TO WEAR A FACE MASK
Refusal to wear a face mask will result in being denied access to our buildings and may result in disciplinary action. If refusal occurs, please notify campus security. If you cannot wear a face mask due to a documented medical reason, please contact me and we will make the necessary accommodations. Please be aware that face masks may not be a good option for everyone.


SUMMARY
Wear a face mask to protect yourself and others. Remind others to wear a face mask if they forget. Let’s work together to keep everyone #HealthyAtBCTC.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Freedom/Liberty (Key Concepts)


"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established. They are read in every page which records the progression from a less arbitrary to a more arbitrary government, or the transition from a popular government to an aristocracy or a monarchy." — James Madison, Political Observations, 1795
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Anderson, Elizabeth S. "Philosophy of Freedom and Equality." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Archive)

Armstrong, Sally, Paul Heinbecker and James Orbinski. "Five Freedoms: Freedom from Want." Ideas (April 11, 2019) ["Poverty has always been a defining issue in the quest to build a better world. Most political systems lay claim to the idea that they alone can create a better world. It's a kind of litmus test: if our political systems can't raise almost everyone out of relative poverty, then what exactly have we achieved? Why poverty exists at all in otherwise wealthy, prosperous democratic countries is a very incisive question, and it's not enough to just shrug and say our system is still better than any other alternative. And those alternatives? Dictatorships take us into the abyss. Right-wing libertarianism has little to offer as solutions to poverty. Soviet-style Communism didn't exactly work either, which leaves some version of western liberal democracy, either what we have now, or some variation that is still to emerge. So once we've got past that, and accepted that we've failed on the poverty file, how do we go about making things more equitable right now, making sure that wealth is distributed to those in need, and creating opportunity for the weak to become stronger?"]

Aron, Hadas. "Free Speech #56: The Populist Attacks on Academia." Think About It (May 21, 2019) ["Why do populist movements, which exist on both the left and the right, attack universities? Is there any justification for their suspicion of elites who tell us what's true, how to live our lives, and how to solve our problems? What's the relation between populism, academia, and the idea that everyone's opinion should matter, regardless of their education, birth and academic degrees? Hadas Aron is a political scientist who studies populist movements in various countries to understand the underlying problems and tensions that drive such movements. We talked about the attacks on academia, how best to understand them, and whether there are some issues that are non-negotiable even in the most robust and raucous political disputes."]

Barme, Geremie, Zha Jianying and Eugene Wang. "A conversation about the 1980s in China, on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests." Open Source (June 6, 2019) ["China in the 1980s can sound like a Paradise Lost—paradise crushed by tanks on Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, paradise erased by massacre and state propaganda ever since, an unmarked memory hole. Except that people remember: the freedom of Democracy Wall; longhair students steeped in Confucian classics but sampling Virginia Woolf and Nietzsche for the first time, and dancing to Bob Dylan. Cosmopolitanism was in: Mao was dead, and Time magazine made the new ginger man Deng Xiaoping its man-of-the-year. John Denver of Rocky Mountain High cheered China’s long march to modernization. Bob Hope cracked jokes and swung his golf club in an NBC special from Tiananmen Square—till, poof, everything changed. What we know of Tiananmen Square is mostly the tanks turned against plain people 30 years ago. What’s just as compelling in restored memory is the charged air of hope and possibility in Tiananmen, and in China of the 80s, until just days before the crackdown, the end of reform. Tiananmen Square had more and bigger Speakers’ Corners than Hyde Park in London: students, workers, artists plying agendas; musicians trying tunes, rehearsing democracy, you could have supposed. It was a romantic proving ground of blooming civic virtue and community spirit, and the American audience loved it, too."]

Chipman, Melissa. "When Religious Freedom Imposes." LEO Weekly (October 25, 2017)

Cole, David. "Free Speech #63: The ACLU's Defense of Liberty." Think About It (May 21, 2019) ["The ACLU defends your liberties - whether you're on the right, the left, and entirely off the political spectrum. The 100-year old organization has argued and won landmark decisions before the Supreme Court to defend individual rights. Is it right to put principle above all other consideration and offer legal aid to Neo-Nazis? Or are there factors beyond the ideals of the law that inform such actions?"]

Cole, David. "Political Activism and Constitutional Law." Conversations with History (February 22, 2018) ["Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes David Cole, National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a discussion of two of his ten books-- his first book, No Equal Justice and his most recent book Engines of Liberty. The conversation begins with his reflections on his formative years and the skill set and temperament appropriate for a constitutional lawyer. It then turns to the work of the ACLU and his role as national legal director. On the issue of criminal justice, Cole emphasizes how the structure of the criminal justice system reinforces inequality and sacrifices justice. On the issue of the evolution of the meaning of the Bill of Rights, Cole analyzes the role of political activism in shaping constitutional law with specific reference to the establishment of gun rights and gay marriage rights. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the implications of the changing political landscape-- with its emphasis on libertarian ideology, nationalism, and the importance of social media-- for affecting constitutional law. "]

Davis, Angela and Imani Perry. "Angela Davis Returns to Birmingham, Reflecting on Palestinian Rights & Fight for Freedom Everywhere." Democracy Now (February 18, 2019) ["Civil rights icon and scholar Angela Davis returned to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, over the weekend. She originally planned the visit to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but the institute withdrew the award last month, soon after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring Davis due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting the Israeli government and Israeli institutions. Facing swift and widespread outcry, the institute then reversed its decision and reinstated the award. But Angela Davis has yet to say if she will accept it. More than 3,000 people gathered Saturday evening for an alternative event to honor Davis hosted by the Birmingham Committee for Truth and Reconciliation. The event featured a conversation between Davis and Princeton professor Imani Perry, who is also from Birmingham."]

Deaton, Angus. "On How the Flaws in Capitalism are Fatal for America’s Working Class." Keen On (March 13, 2020) ["Over the last two hundred years, nothing has divided us more than our free-market economic system. Is it the source of every social injustice, from exploitation to alienation to inequality, or is it essential to our freedom and democracy? This debate is as relevant today in 2020 as it was in 1920 or 1820."]

Ellerby, Kara and Sumita Mukherjee. "How Empire Uses ‘Feminist’ Branding to Sell War and Occupation." Citations Needed #65 (February 6, 2019) ["Since the dawn of the American Empire, thin moral pretexts in our politics and press have been used to justify our wars and conquest. The invasion of Cuba and Philippines in 1898 was declared to be a fight for freedom from Spanish oppression. Vietnam was about stopping Communist tyranny. The pioneer myth of Manifest Destiny and “westward expansion” was built about “taming” and “civilizing’ the land from violent savages. But one current that flows through all of these imperial incursions has been the idea that the United States – as well as its allies the Great Britain and Israel – are out to protect women. Today's endless occupations in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are, in large part, justified in perpetuity because the United States is a self-declared, unique protector of modernity and women’s rights. All the same, the Pentagon is increasingly promoted, in press releases and media puffy pieces, as a place where women can exercise their agency: the ultimate apex of meritocracy and a vanguard of equality. But what if this approach misses the point of equality altogether? What if this is simply a craven branding exercise, putting a liberal face on what is a fundamentally oppressive system of violence? On this episode, we explore various ways women’s rights and empowerment has been used to sell colonial objectives and how one can differentiate between actual progress and the superficial language of inclusion used cynically in service of mechanized violence."]

Ewing, Heidi and Rachel Grady. "One of Us." Film School Radio (October 15, 2017) ["In their new documentary ONE OF US, acclaimed observational filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (JESUS CAMP, DETROPIA) take a deep and moving look at the lives of three individuals who have chosen to leave the hugely insular world of Hasidic Judaism.The film follows Etty, a mother of seven, as she decides to leave a violent marriage and divorce her husband; Ari, a teenager on the verge of manhood who is struggling with addiction and the effects of childhood abuse; and Luzer, an actor who, despite having found success in the secular world, still wrestles with his decision eight years earlier to leave the Hasidic community. Produced over three years, ONE OF US offers unique and intimate access to the lives of all three as they deal not only with questions of their beliefs but also with the consequences of leaving the only community they have ever known. With their trademark sensitivity and keen interest in the nature of faith, Ewing and Grady chronicle these journeys towards personal freedom that comes at a very high cost. Co-directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady join us for a conversation on their emotionally wrenching look into a world of dogmatism, ostracism and community."]

Ferguson, Micheale L. "On the Job: Debating Sex Work." Boston Review (May 14, 2014) ["Does sexual liberation entail a laissez faire attitude toward sex, or can it involve the freedom to critically, consciously, and intentionally explore pleasure and desire?... Sexual liberation is best understood as the freedom to be curious about sex and about the broader economic and social context in which desire and sexuality are produced. It is the freedom to engage in pleasure as something to be indulged not mindlessly, but mindfully: observing our individual relationships to our bodies, to what turns us on or off, to what troubles us, and to how this may change over the course of our lives—observing all of this with curiosity."]

Gatnarek, Heather and Zach Heiden. "Abortion Rights: A Tale of Two States." At Liberty #69 (October 17, 2019) ["While abortion restrictions have left six states with only a single clinic standing, other states are finding ways to expand access. We speak with Heather Gatnarek, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Kentucky, who is helping fend off sustained attacks on what remains of reproductive care in that state. And we hear from Zach Heiden, legal director of the ACLU of Maine, where abortion was just made more affordable and accessible."]

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. "Ruth Wilson Gilmore with Rachel Kushner." Lannan Podcasts (April 17, 2019) ["Ruth Wilson Gilmore is director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and a professor of geography at the City University of New York. She is most famous for arguing that the movement for abolition, with its proud history of challenging slavery, should be applied today to the abolition of prisons. In an era when 2.3 million people are behind bars in the United States, she challenges us to think about whether it is ever necessary or productive to lock people in cages. She warns of the “nightmare made palatable by the terrifying numbers of prisoners and prisons produced by the last generation, while we were all, presumably, awake.” But her hope lies in the fact that “just as real was the growing grassroots activism against the expanded use of criminalization and cages as a catchall solution to social problems. In order to realize their dreams of justice in individual cases, the [freedom] riders decided, through struggle, debate, failure, and renewal, that they must seek general freedom for all from a system in which punishment has become as industrialized as making cars, clothes, or missiles, or growing cotton.” Gilmore wrote Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California(2007) and contributed to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (2007). The American Sociological Society honored Gilmore with its Angela Davis Award for Public Scholarship in 2012. A tireless activist, she has co-founded many social justice organizations, including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network."]

Gladstone, Mariah. "Decades after forced sterilization, Native American women in the US still face rejection and retraumatization in healthcare." At Liberty (September 2019) ["Across the entire country, an estimated 25 percent of Native women of childbearing age were sterilized by 1976. While sterilization procedures should only have been presented as one of many contraceptive options, Native women were often coerced into signing forms or given incorrect information about their options. In one case, two 15-year-old Native girls on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana were admitted to the local clinic for tonsillectomies and released with tubal ligations. Another woman in Los Angeles was told her hysterectomy would be reversible, only to find out six years later that she had been lied to. Others still were given forms to sign for painkillers or appendectomies, finding out later that they had relinquished their ability to bear children. Unfortunately, the history of forced sterilizations in the US extends far beyond Native women. In 1973, African American sisters Minnie and Mary Relf, 12 and 14 years old at the time, were secretly sterilized by a federally funded clinic under the premise of giving the girls birth-control shots. Mexicans and their US-born descendants were described as “immigrants of an undesirable type,” and thousands of women were forcibly sterilized in California institutions from 1920 to 1950. The US is responsible for tens of thousands of state-sponsored non-consensual sterilization procedures, all done to control populations of people deemed inferior."]

Goodman, Amy. "Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara—A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony." Democracy Now (August 31, 2018) ["In this exclusive broadcast, Democracy Now! breaks the media blockade and goes to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco’s violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. The international media has largely ignored the occupation—in part because Morocco has routinely blocked journalists from entering Western Sahara. But in late 2016 Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years."]

Greenwald, Glenn. "Chelsea Manning’s Refusal to Testify Against WikiLeaks Will Help Save Press Freedom." Democracy Now (March 11, 2019)

---. "Glenn Greenwald." Lannan Lectures (September 27, 2017) ["Glenn Greenwald is an investigative journalist and author. A former constitutional lawyer, he founded the online global media outlet The Intercept with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill in 2014. He is the author of several best sellers, among them, How Would a Patriot Act?; With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful and the recent No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State. Greenwald has received numerous awards for his investigative journalism. In 2009 he was awarded the Izzy Award by the Park Center for Independent Media for his “path breaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception, and controversial issues.” In 2010 he received an Online Journalism Award for his investigative work on the arrest and detention of Chelsea Manning. In 2013 he led The Guardian’s reporting team that covered Edward Snowden and the NSA, which earned the newspaper the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013."]
Greenwald, Glenn and Trevor Timm. "The DNC’S Lawsuit Against WikiLeaks Poses a Serious Threat to Press Freedom." The Intercept (April 20, 2018)

Guisado, Angelo. "Necessary to the Security of a Free State." Current Affairs (May 8, 2019) ["On the history of the second amendment, white militias, and border vigilantism…"]

Hansen, Randall, Lama Mourad and Joseph Wong. "In Search of Global Freedom." Ideas (December 10, 2018) ["What does it mean to be free? All societies place restrictions on what citizens can do, but some restrictions (speed limits) may be more important than others (limiting the right to vote.) But one-size freedom doesn't really fit all: "democracy" has many faces, and ideas of freedom are shaped by culture."]

Janz, Bruce. "Theses on Freedom." (Academic Website: May 1, 2020)

Jones, Martha. "How African Americans Fought For & Won Birthright Citizenship 150 Years Before Trump Tried to End It." Democracy Now (October 31, 2018) ["As President Trump claims that he can end birthright citizenship in the United States, we speak with professor Martha Jones about the history of the 14th Amendment, which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Martha Jones is the author of “Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America.” She is the Society of Black Alumni presidential professor and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University."]

Kaye, Harvey, et al. "The Fight for the Four Freedoms (FDR vs Libertarianism)." Best of the Left #1247 (February 5, 2019) ["Today we take a look at the history of FDR's "Four Freedoms" and "Economic Bill of Rights" that laid the groundwork for the fight for economic freedom for all that continues to this day."]

Krajeski, Jenna. "What the Kurds are Fighting For: The Idea of Rojava is at Stake." What Next (October 16, 2019) ["When the U.S. abandoned its Kurdish allies, it not only left the Kurds vulnerable to devastating attacks from Turkey, but it also abandoned Rojava, the Kurdish autonomous region that lies in the northeast of Syria. Right now, the Kurds are fighting to preserve what they can of this unique political arrangement, but it might already be too late. And, maybe, it was always destined to fall."]

Krajeski, Jenna and Rapareen abd Elhameed Hasn. "The Rojava Revolution in Peril." On the Media (October 18, 2019) ["Rojava: it’s the three cantons at the top of Syria that comprise what’s more commonly referred to as “Kurdish Syria.” Each canton is governed independently but according to a shared social contract based on principles of local democracy, feminism and ecology. It’s a land that, until recently at least, had about two million people, mostly Kurdish but with ethnic and religious diversity. And its political experiment was mainly functioning — until the abrupt retreat of the United States from northern Syria. Now Rojava is being pummeled by the invading Turks — martyred to the impulses of an unmoored American president. And so it has been reported: a ruinous betrayal of an ally that has made unimaginable sacrifices in the Ameican wars against Sadaam Hussein and ISIS. But lost in that narrative is another story: the equally unimaginable sacrifice of an equitable model of governance in a region where other models have stifled freedom for centuries. First, Bob speaks with Jenna Krajeski, a journalist with the Fuller Project for International Reporting who has reported on the Kurds. Then, he speaks with Rapareen abd Elhameed Hasn, a 27-year-old activist and co-president of her local health authority in Rojava, about what it's been like on the ground."]

Lawler, Ophelia Garcia. "Trump Considers Terrifying New Policy to Eliminate Transgender Rights." The Cut (October 21, 2018)

Lepore, Jill. "On the Construction of American Citizenship." At Liberty #25 (December 6, 2018) ["Almost 250 years after the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence, debates about founding principles like equality, rights, and representation are as fraught as ever. Jill Lepore, a Harvard history professor and New Yorker staff writer, discusses her latest book, “These Truths,” an ambitious exploration of the evolution of our nation from its earliest days."]

Levinson, Ariana and Devon Oser. "Kentucky’s Right-To-Work Law: Unions Punch Back." LEO Weekly (August 29, 2018)

Moss, Candida. "Trump and the Christian Persecution Complex." On the Media (June 3, 2020) ["On Monday, President Trump stood outside St. John's Episcopal Church, which had caught fire the day prior in protests for racial justice. When he brandished a Bible before photographers, Trump knew exactly what message he was sending: Christianity is under siege and the president is the defender of the faith. Never mind the fact that peaceful protesters, clergy among them, were driven from the area minutes before with tear gas to make way for the photoshoot. The narrative of Christianity under attack is a familiar one. Just a few weeks ago, Trump declared that houses of worship should open amid the pandemic on the grounds of religious liberty — despite the public health risk. But it turns out, the myth of Christian persecution can be traced far further back than the Culture Wars. In fact, according to Candida Moss, Christian historians coined the idea that to be persecuted was to be righteous in the 4th Century and they exaggerated claims that Christians were persecuted in the first place. Moss is a professor of theology and religion at Birmingham University in the U.K., and author of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom. Moss spoke to Bob just after Trump has announced his call for churches to open. In this week's Pod Extra she explains how Christian history has been revised for political means, from the early church to present day."]

Mounk, Yascha. "The People vs. Democracy." Ideas (December 13, 2018)
["Authoritarian populists have won elections across a large swath of western liberal democracies. Populist leaders have formed government through free and (mostly) fair elections by riding a wave of popular disaffection with the status quo. But once in power, these governments have gone on to dismantle the very institutions and conventions that help keep liberal democratic principles in place. So how are we to confront this paradox wherein liberal democracy serves a growing and undemocratic illiberalism? How do we strike a balance between the rights of individuals and the popular will? And if we can't figure this out, are the best days of the liberal democratic tradition long gone?"]

Murray, Melissa. "Marriage as a Tool of White Supremacy." At Liberty #71 (October 31, 2019) ["The Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, the landmark ACLU case decided in 1967. But the government‘s regulation of marriage and sex didn’t start with anti-miscegenation laws or end with Loving. Melissa Murray — an expert in family law, constitutional law, and reproductive rights and justice at the New York University School of Law — discusses why the institution looms so large in America's past and present. This episode was recorded live at the Brooklyn Public Library, as part of “‘Til Victory is Won,” an evening commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to America’s shores."]

Presser, Lizzie. "When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested." Pro Publica (October 16, 2019) ["Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection."]

Rana, Aziz. "Two Faces of American Freedom." The Dig (July 26, 2019) ["The Two Faces of American Freedom boldly reinterprets the American political tradition from the colonial period to modern times, placing issues of race relations, immigration, and presidentialism in the context of shifting notions of empire and citizenship. Today, while the U.S. enjoys tremendous military and economic power, citizens are increasingly insulated from everyday decision-making. This was not always the case. America, Aziz Rana argues, began as a settler society grounded in an ideal of freedom as the exercise of continuous self-rule—one that joined direct political participation with economic independence. However, this vision of freedom was politically bound to the subordination of marginalized groups, especially slaves, Native Americans, and women. These practices of liberty and exclusion were not separate currents, but rather two sides of the same coin. However, at crucial moments, social movements sought to imagine freedom without either subordination or empire. By the mid-twentieth century, these efforts failed, resulting in the rise of hierarchical state and corporate institutions. This new framework presented national and economic security as society’s guiding commitments and nurtured a continual extension of America’s global reach. Rana envisions a democratic society that revives settler ideals, but combines them with meaningful inclusion for those currently at the margins of American life."]

"Revoking Net Neutrality Violates Freedom of Expression." Amnesty International (December 14, 2017)

Robinson, Jennifer. "Julian Assange’s Attorney Decries Espionage Charges as 'Grave Threat to Press Freedom.'" Democracy Now (May 24, 2019) ["In an unprecedented move, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 17 charges of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing U.S. classified military and diplomatic documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents were leaked by U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The Espionage Act of 1917 has never been used to prosecute a journalist or media outlet. The new charges come just over a month after British police forcibly removed Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he took asylum in 2012. Initially the Trump administration indicted Assange on a single count of helping Manning hack a government computer, but Assange faces up to 170 additional years in prison under the new charges—10 years for each count of violating the Espionage Act. We speak with Jennifer Robinson, an attorney for Julian Assange. “It is a grave threat to press freedom and should be cause for concern for journalists and publishers everywhere,” Robinson says." Part two: "Daniel Ellsberg: Espionage Charges Against Assange Are Most Significant Attack on Press in Decades." Part three: "Jeremy Scahill: New Indictment of Assange Is Part of a Broader War on Journalism & Whistleblowers." Part four: "Assange Is Indicted for Exposing War Crimes While Trump Considers Pardons for War Criminals."]

Schönecker, Dieter. "Protecting Academic Freedom: Five Arguments for Freedom of Expression." Philosophy Now #135 (January 2020)

Scott, James C. "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States." New Books in Political Science (June 3, 2020) ["We are schooled to believe that states formed more or less synchronously with settlement and agriculture. In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale University Press, 2017), James C. Scott asks us to question this belief. The evidence, he says, is simply not on the side of states. Stratified, taxing, walled towns did not inevitably appear in the wake of crop domestication and sedentary settlement. Only around 3100 BCE, some four millennia after the earliest farming and settling down, did they begin making their presence felt. What happened in these four millennia is the subject of this book: a deep history by “a card-carrying political scientist and an anthropologist and environmentalist by courtesy”, which aims to put the earliest states in their place. James Scott joins us ... to talk about state fragility and state persistence from Mesopotamia to Southeast Asia, the politics of cereal crops, domestication and reproduction, why it was once good to be a barbarian, the art of provocation, the views of critics, and, human and animal species relations and zoonoses in our epidemiological past and pandemic present."]

---. "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States." Slavery and Its Legacies (April 13, 2017) ["James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Science, Technology and Society Program at M.I.T., and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression. Recent publications include Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press, 1997; “Geographies of Trust: Geographies of Hierarchy,” in Democracy and Trust, 1998; “State Simplifications and Practical Knowledge,” in People’s Economy, People’s Ecology, 1998; and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Press, 2009)."]

Strangio, Chase. "A Shifting Landscape for Transgender Rights." At Liberty #24 (November 29, 2018) ["The state of transgender equality is in rapid flux in state legislatures, in federal law, in the courts and at the ballot box. Progress is consistently met with backlash. In the past midterm election, Massachusetts voters staved off an effort to dismantle legal protection for trans individuals in public spaces. Yet the Supreme Court is poised to reconsider legal victories won by trans plaintiffs in the federal courts, and Trump's White House seeks to exclude trans people from the military and from federal anti-discrimination law. Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, discusses the current legal landscape."]

---. "Trump Admin Attempts to Erase Existence of Trans People After Years of GOP-Led Attacks on Freedoms." Democracy Now (October 22, 2018) ["The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is attempting to eliminate the rights of transgender people by creating a narrow legal definition of gender. Citing a government memo, the Times reveals that the Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken an effort across several government agencies to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex. That definition would be either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals a person is born with. The Times reports that the memo says, “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex.” If enacted, the proposal would reverse the expansion of transgender rights that took place under President Barack Obama. We speak with Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU."]

Volokh, Eugene. "Free Speech #52: What We Mean by 'The First Amendment.'" Think About It (May 19, 2019) ["What do we mean when we say "The First Amendment"? It's obvious: we mean the most robust protection of speech rights, religious liberty, freedom of the press, and freedom of association in the world today. Correct, says Eugene Volokh, absolutely correct. But it could change! Listen to this illuminating conversation with a leading expert on freedom of speech and constitutional law at UCLA. Volokh clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and runs the Volokh Conspiracy, a legal blog."]

West, Cornel. "Maintaining Hope in the Time of Struggle and Darkness that is the Age of Trump." The Chauncey DeVega Show #258 (October 31, 2019) ["Cornel West is one of the United States’ and the world’s leading public intellectuals and truth-tellers. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West is the author of several bestselling books including Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He is also a frequent guest on CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. Cornel West explains why hope must be kept alive in times of darkness and struggle, the power of the Black Freedom Struggle and blues sensibility to sustain and improve American democracy, and why neoliberal gangster capitalism’s assault on our humanity must be resisted. He also reflects on his support of Bernie Sanders and why Dave Chappelle is an example of the artist as truth-teller and essential provocateur."]


West, Stephen. "The Frankfurt School (Part 6) - Art As a Tool for Liberation." Philosophize This (December 2, 2017) ["Art doesn’t change the world, but it may change the consciousness of people who CAN change the world.” - Herbert Marcuse]

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Ursula K. Le Guin accepting the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014: I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. … We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.
“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.
Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” —Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961 
I just finished Elizabeth Varon's Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War an essential history (one of many, also check out Douglas Blackmon's Slavery By Another Name and Carol Anderson's White Rage) for understanding the resurgence of racist ideologies in America, the rise of Trump, the battles over memorials celebrating traitors, and the recent violence and NAZI/confederate imagery at far-right demonstrations (like Charlottesville - Lessons from Charlottesville ). -- Michael Benton (January 31, 2018)

The serious threat to our democracy is not the existence of foreign totalitarian states. It is the existence within our own personal attitudes and within our own institutions of conditions which have given a victory to external authority, discipline, uniformity and dependence on The Leader in foreign countries. The Battlefield is also accordingly here - within ourselves and our institutions. - John Dewey (quoted in Fromm, Erich. Escape to Freedom. Open Road Media, 2013: 19-20.)

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 14, 2020

Farooqi, Salik, et al. "The Pandemics Social and Psychic Context." Trotsky and the Wild Orchids #36 (June 2, 2020) ["Salik Farooqi comes on the show to discuss the pandemic from the perspective of political sociology. For this episode we read: An Organic Crisis is upon Us; On the Concept of History; Gooseberries; Pandemic’s Lesson: Global Capitalism is Uneven and Dangerously Particularistic; The Myth of Sisyphus; and the Wiki on total football."]

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "What a Fool Believes: On the Unnumbered Card in the Tarot." Weird Studies #77 (July 8, 2020) ["'What a fool believes he sees, no wise man can reason away.' This line from a Doobie Brothers song is probably one of the most profound in the history of rock-'n'-roll. It is profound for all the reasons (or unreasons) explored in this discussion, which lasers in on just one of the major trumps of the traditional tarot deck, that of the Fool. The Fool is integral to the world, yet stands outside it. The Fool is an idiot but also a sage. The Fool does not know; s/he intuits, improvises a path through the brambles of existence. We intend this episode on the Fool to be the first in an occasional series covering all twenty-two of the major trumps of the Tarot of Marseilles."]

Goodsell, Luke. "The Pieces of Jennifer’s Body – Karyn Kusama on Her Cult Classic at 10." 4:3 (September 9, 2019)




Heeney, Alex. "Songs My Brothers Taught Me." Seventh Row (November 15, 2015)

Hudson, David. "Charlie Kaufman's Antkind." Current (July 13, 2020)




Lazic, Elena. "Interview: Chloé Zhao on The Rider, her feminist film about masculinity." The Seventh Row (April 27, 2018) ["I want to tell our boys that it’s okay to be vulnerable, that they don’t have to be like the tough winners on our screens. I want to tell our sons that they can have broken dreams, but a real hero is someone who keeps on dreaming anyway. They should know that a real hero can be vulnerable, cry, and still be loved. I think that’s also very important for feminism: bringing men and women together instead of making them enemies."]

Purnell, Derecka. "Radical Political Action: A Reading List." Boston Review (March 7, 2016)

Soboroff, Jacob. "'Release Is Only Way to Save Lives': Migrant Families Face Separation as COVID Spreads in ICE Jails." Democracy Now (July 14, 2020)

Unsell, Tyler, et al. "Weird Fiction." Horror Pod Class #2 (January 31, 2018)




Winocour, Alice. "On Disorder, directing Matthias Schoenaerts." The Seventh Row (August 11, 2016)





Sunday, July 12, 2020

Short Trips


Travel/Dining:

5 Hikes in Kentucky

76 Falls (Lake Cumberland, KY)

AmerAsia (Covington, KY)



Celo Inn (Burnsville, NC)

Chimney Top Trail in RRG (Pine Ridge, KY)

Con Huevos  (Louisville)



Louisville Loop

Mantle Rock Nature Preserve  (Livingston, KY)

McConnell Springs Park (Lexington)

Mexa Tacos (Louisville)

Morel's Cafe Impossible Burger (Louisville)

Naive (Louisville)

Nanny Goat Books (Louisville)

New River Gorge (WV)

Oneida, TN (Five Great Hikes)

The Pinnacles (Berea, KY)

Quiet Trails (north of Paris, KY)

Ramsey Cascades (TN)

Serpent Mound (Ohio)

Speed Museum (Louisville)


Taj Palace  (Louisville)

USS Sachem Ruins (Petersburg, KY)

V-Grits (Louisville)