If it makes you feel any better, Americans are not all THAT divided. For example, there’s what NYT’s Frank Bruni called “the recent ugliness at Evergreen State College.” Long story short, student activists invited Evergreen’s whites to report to an off-campus “all-day program focusing on allyship and anti-racist work” rather than going to class. The so-called “Day of Absence,” held this year on April 14, is an annual Evergreen event that usually sees students of color meeting offsite for programs and conversations. This year, organizers opted to flip the script.
The ending of Eugene Goodheart’s “Untethered” (see below) got me thinking about the recent death of Robert Silvers–founder/editor of New York Review of Books. What follows is the sort of magpie-minded essay that would’ve driven Silvers around the bend but there’s no escaping the river between his sensibility and my poor brain so let’s roll…
Conflict is abuse, harm is heteroglossic, and other phantasmagoria from an Oakland Sunday…
Trump knows that his real enemy is the media—less so the weak Democratic Party. We should not underrate his intelligence in this respect. In other words, his war is against fact and truth. If he wins the war (he needs only to win his constituency, a minority in the country and a majority in the swing states), his administration is secure.
As Trump tries to pivot to the G.O.P.’s agenda, Rev. Barber’s May prayer remains right on time.
In a previous article here, I took on what I called “Trumpism on the Left” with a focus on Stephen Cohen’s defense of the Trump-Putin bromance in The Nation magazine. A friend of mine suggested that the title of the article should have been “The Strange Case of Stephen Cohen,” implying perhaps that “Trumpism on the Left” was an unjustified generalization from a single example. Cohen, as I noted fleetingly, is not alone in his affinity for Putin and by extension Trump. What my piece lacked was the context of other advocates of the two leaders, which I try to provide in what follows.
Posts from the first one hundred days…
Destruction is desired. Chaos, a tantrum shitstorm in the face of a massive cultural turn to increased freedom for all.
He says he’s got the vision thing
His brain is like a TV show
A madder, badder, sadder king
If he should lose his mind how would we know
[Full Lyrics Below]
Out in the Midwest, the Default don’t provide much connection to Black Culture. The barrier’s mostly cultural I’ll admit, but I’d like to suggest the geographical plays a part as well. Bumping bass amidst corn fields and moldering barns just feels mostly lonely. To “get” hip-hop you really got to put some work in.
The first two days of the Trump administration, complete with swearing in and swearing.
If you lack character, lean on money.
Homeless folks lack the hygiene of money.
Wendy O showed her nipples, grabbed her crotch,
licked a sledgehammer. Said, What’s obscene is money.
For years, I’d meet our neighbor, Mrs. Edith Jones, a few blocks from home, and she’d be hauling more bags than it was humanly possible to carry.
A man w/ orange-tinged skin, side-combed dyed yellow hair and a mouth that looks like the “o”-shaped mouths in cartoons, has taken up near-permanent residence in my mind. I go to bed thinking of him and he pops into my head — the surreal and terrifying reality of him — first thing in the morning.
Two recent entries on Trump & Russia from the author’s journal.
If Hyman Roth Could See Us Now
How to understand Putin? And Trump? Look to the movies; look to Godfather II.
Late in the afternoon of January 13, 1954, less than a year after my marriage to Anne Halley, with a two-month-old son at home in our apartment, I was sitting in my half of an office in Folwell Hall, a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, when the phone rang. It was a reporter from the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, an African American named Carl Rowen who was to go on to renown and a modicum of fame in later years. He informed me that I had been “named” as a Communist by a woman from Minneapolis—a former Communist at twenty-three, testifying before a U.S. Senate committee.
The author of the following post is C.E.O. of BlocPower—a black enterprise that cultivates green energy projects in under-served communities. (BlocPower is a business that’s shaped by a social commitment: “at every point in our value chain we seek out and hire underemployed workers from vulnerable communities.”)
One of my favorite sermons by Dr. King is called “A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart.” It starts: “A French philosopher once said that ‘No man is so strong unless he bears within his character antitheses strongly marked’…
The music video above, in which an African emigre duo who call themselves A.M.G. extol Putin, seems to soundtrack Nathan Osborne’s musings on the link between contemporary rap and Trumpery. But there are (always) countervailing trends in the hip hop nation as you’ll see if you try videos in the body of this text by Big K.R.I.T.—a rapper from the Dirty South. He makes conscious music for our mess age: “I don’t rap, I spit hymns.” K.R.I.T. stands for King Remembered In Time. (A.M.G.’s initials, OTOH, are associated with the Mercedes logo.)
Donald Trump is the greatest Rapper of all time. He’s the G.O.A.T. precisely because he doesn’t even have to rap. “Well, how then is he a rapper? It says here in Webster’s…” I don’t mean to be a tease. And please don’t assume I’m suggesting that he’s a rapper chiefly due to his misogyny or his nasty language. But, to move forward, let’s go back a bit…