A Thought for the Day
Truly, spiritual death and psychic despair follow in the train of untrammeled privilege in similar fashion as massive wealth in realms of poverty and despair inherently and ineluctably leads to venality and treachery and hypocritical narcissism, conclusions of fact that must in turn elicit at the very minimum a critical attitude toward the class practices of exploitation and extraction that promulgate and accept such wretchedness and aggression against wage-earners and unemployed people and the poor, all of whom merely serve to exemplify the predatory plundering that capital visits on the undercapitalized as ‘surplus labor’ expands its presence, justifying schemes of mass murder, mass collective suicide, and, ultimately, human extinction in the name of profiteering bottom-lines and lives of luxury and leisure for the unworthy inheritors of fortune and fame who almost always have constituted the upper crust in every society that has ever existed.
This Day in History
In one of many celebrations of life now before us, today is Arbor Day in the U.S., as well as, much more bizarrely around the globe, World Laboratory Animal Day, while in Armenia April 24 is Genocide Remembrance Day; at least in traditional calendars, in the territory over which at least a half a dozen world class empires have since passed, three thousand two hundred and one years ago, the Trojan imperial center at Troy fell to the Greeks; three hundred and thirteen years ago, the first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, was published in Boston, Massachusetts; MORE HERE
- At the risk of quoting Mephistopheles I repeat: Welcome to hell. A hell erected and maintained by human-governments, and blessed by black robed judges. A hell that allows you to see your loved ones, but not to touch them. A hell situated in America’s boondocks, hundreds of miles away from most families. A white, rural hell, where most of the captives are black and urban. It is an American way of death.”
- All Things Censored (2001, Seven Stories Press), pp. 55-56 Mumia Abu Jamal
If there is anything which should make an American sick and disgusted at the literary taste of his country, and almost swerve his allegiance to his flag it is that controversy between Mark Twain and Max O’Rell, in which the Frenchman proves himself a wit and a gentleman and the American shows himself little short of a clown and an all around tough. The squabble arose apropos of Paul Bourget’s new book on America, Outre Mer, a book which deals more fairly and generously with this country than any book yet written in a foreign tongue. Mr. Clemens did not like the book, and like all men of his class, and limited mentality, he cannot criticise without becoming personal and insulting. He cannot be scathing without being a blackguard. He tried to demolish a serious and well considered work by publishing a scurrilous, slangy and loosely written article about it. In this article Mr. Clemens proves very little against Mr. Bourget and a very great deal against himself. He demonstrates clearly that he is neither a scholar, a reader or a man of letters and very little of a gentleman. His ignorance of French literature is something appalling. Why, in these days it is as necessary for a literary man to have a wide knowledge of the French masterpieces as it is for him to have read Shakespeare or the Bible. What man who pretends to be an author can afford to neglect those models of style and composition. George Meredith, Thomas Hardy, and Henry James excepted, the great living novelists are Frenchmen.
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Nearly Naked Links
From Friday’s and Saturday’s Files
A Libertarian Neurosexism Take – http://quillette.com/2017/04/
Managing Radioactive Waste – https://www.nap.edu/catalog/
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An Aeon essay by a thoughful correspondent that contextualizes the long and eventful history of the study of the mind’s recesses: “Freud’s ghost might still haunt a small corner of the modern-day psychological laboratory, but the lexicon of censorship and repression has not retained its explanatory currency. Studies of waking and sleeping unconscious processes suggest that deception is not, and has never been, the second self’s true forte. As the mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead sagely observed in the early days of psychoanalysis, the unconscious is essentially an enabler, quietly rolling up its sleeves to expand ‘the number of important operations that we can perform without thinking of them’.”
A Columbia Journalist Review look at the way the current media climate can be deleterious to one of the most ubiquitous cultural bastions of urban areas: “Whether the magazine was in Seattle, Dallas, or New England, it was suddenly fighting for every penny. “When I was coming up in this business, you had the big fish—network affiliate TV and the newspapers—and then the rest of us—radio, us, free-rack pubs, burgeoning new websites—were all guppies,” says John Palumbo, owner and publisher of Rhode Island Monthly, who also writes an industry insider column for FOLIO:. “There were certain pieces of business that you wouldn’t think the big fish would look at. Now we’re all guppies. Everything is fair game.””
A Process History analysis of the role that labor concerns play in regards to the formulation and resolution of environmental concerns: “The recent pipeline battle at Standing Rock, and the lead poisoning disaster in Flint, have once again thrust issues of environmental justice and environmental racism into the mainstream media spotlight (however briefly). In the aftermath of Trump’s election, casual observers might be forgiven for assuming that labor unions and environmental justice activists at Standing Rock and Flint have conflicting interests. Last month, in a familiar public relations tactic, President Trump surrounded himself with coal miners while signing an executive order to dismantle Obama’s Clean Power Plan. AFL-CIO leaders have supported the Dakota Access Pipeline, and criticized the Standing Rock protesters, largely due to pressure from building trades unions. However, numerous unions have opposed the pipeline and supported the protests, including the Communication Workers of America, the United Electrical Workers, the Amalgamated Transit Union, National Nurses United, and the Labor Coalition for Community Action. Similarly, dozens of labor unions have aided Flint residents with water filter and faucet installations and low-cost loans to replace lead pipes.”
A Clinton campaign post-mortem, from Consortium News: “An early insider account of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, entitled Shattered, reveals a paranoid presidential candidate who couldn’t articulate why she wanted to be President and who oversaw an overconfident and dysfunctional operation that failed to project a positive message or appeal to key voting groups.”