The Spectacle of Independence Day

This July 4th let’s ponder the way in which our lives are dominated. Our existence slyly orchestrated. Our experiences siphoned down highways dotted with endless signs that ask in that prodding way “why aren’t you happy yet?”   “Kids are in cages” we answer. “They are ripped from their families trying to escape violence and poverty that … Continue reading The Spectacle of Independence Day

She Has Come For Your Uncool Niece

I had no idea who Marianne Williamson is before Thursday night’s Democratic debate. But I have seen Marianne Williamson before. We all have.   We’ve been seeing her for nearly thirty years, occupying that liminal space that is marginal but still mainstream, crank but still credible in the post-kombucha world.   She is the voice lecturing an exhausted Whole Foods … Continue reading She Has Come For Your Uncool Niece

Twenty-Five Things You Can Call a Concentration Camp Other Than “Concentration Camp”

Pity the middling white ego. Noticing nothing but oppression as far as the eye can see. Having its drive back from the Hamptons interrupted by marching Black people, hearing people speak Spanish at the grocery store, encountering homeless people in broad daylight who refuse to decrease the surplus population. Oppression is positively everywhere for this poor, disgruntled … Continue reading Twenty-Five Things You Can Call a Concentration Camp Other Than “Concentration Camp”

Civilization Never Happened

I. There is a truly noxious moment in Kenneth Clark’s 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. The art historian, knight, and life-peer stands across the Seine from Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and ponders the meaning of the series title.   “What is civilization?” he asks before peering over his shoulder. “I don’t know, but I think I can recognize it when I see … Continue reading Civilization Never Happened

Class Struggle and the Limits of the Liberal Imagination

Shutting Down the Shutdown It looks like Trump is ending the government shutdown without getting his precious wall. Good. There are immigrant families and government workers breathing a sigh of relief right now. Which says a lot regarding a real and material common interest. It’s a temporary victory, for sure, but a victory. That being … Continue reading Class Struggle and the Limits of the Liberal Imagination