Month: January 2019

Response to Srinivasan

I frequently recoil at articles about race in the US written by Indians who qualify because of color – hair, skin, and eyes – but little else. Many Indians speak good English, are highly educated (I know it’s a stereotype, but true), wealthy and don’t give a rat’s ass about other “poor immigrants or minorities” here. We, and I include myself here, are delighted we have made ourselves a comfortable nest egg, enjoy “snowboarding and crossword puzzles” (actually I prefer skiing!), and can afford the frequent trips to India where we still feel at home. We have our cake and we delight in eating it. We have a superiority complex regarding other South Asians, our closest brethren. Bangladeshis? They deserve our sympathy, poor things. Pakistanis? Thank God the US has finally recognized they are Al Queda in disguise. Nepalis? Naah, just a small tribe up north. Sri Lankans? I do want to visit their quaint island where my US dollars would be welcome. A friend of mine who lives in Calcutta was at Harvard Business school many years ago. He told me the story about how, during orientation, he proceeded to tell a fellow HBS student, an African American, that “discrimination” in the US was not a big deal, he’d never experienced much beyond skin color and where are you from? curiosity. His fellow student shut him up. Told...

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Red Rum Club — Matador

Red Rum Club Matador Modern Sky Red Rum Club are from Liverpool.  Also from Liverpool is Echo & The Bunnymen,  Why does this matter?  Because Red Rum Club sound like an updated version of the Bunnymen,  Shimmering guitars, quick beats, and frontman Fran Doran sounds a bit like a cross between Ian McCullough and Noel Burke (the temporary frontman of the Bunnymen c. 1990).  And yet, this is a brand new bag.  RRC also have this bizarre mariachi horn.  You’d think this would be a bad idea.  It is not.  In fact, this is some seriously good shit. Doran...

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How Fascism Works: A Reply To Peter Ludlow

How Fascism Works is devoted to explaining fascist politics. The book is devoted, that is, to a description of a specific ideology and set of tactics to gain power. It is composed of ten chapters. Each chapter is devoted to a distinct aspect of fascist ideology and propaganda. I understand fascist ideology as the endpoint of an ideological continuum. An ideology can be more or less fascist, depending upon how many of these ten distinct characteristics it embraces. For example, a traditional caste based system is one that rests on a hierarchy of value. Such a system overlaps in...

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My Back Pages and Morning Fog by John Savoie

Installment 39 rings in that season of suspension, that restless waiting between winter high spirits and the still-distant return of life.   *** My Back Pages One cricket trills somewhere within the bookshelf like the fan belt slipping on a ‘74 Maverick idling at the red light in the rain. *** Morning  Fog Last night, driving alone, snug within my purring dome of darkness tinged with glass, green dials, and my own breath, I called out your name as I had done a thousand times before, but this time I startled at my voice, no passion, no desire, just syllables filling silence, the way commercials play on late- night tv long after the sale has come and gone, still urging the perfect gift— synthetic yule logs that burn for hours, a diamond pendant she’ll cherish forever, special store hours, early and late, for these two days only, some time last year  . . . . . .  and here, this sodden morning, the last patches of snow dissolve in fog dripping from swollen twigs, spattering black puddles where geese thwack their feet, smear green shit, strut their smudgy wings, hiss and honk through thrusting throats, savage with the first scent of spring *** Photo © Matthew...

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Ricky and Jim and Me: On Whiteness

In State College, Pennsylvania, five miles north of the airport, in a stately house on a street that hasn’t quite grown into itself—the trees are like shrubs, which is striking given the wooded expanse one hundred yards away—Jim lives with his wife, Shannon, and three children and one grandchild. The oldest is twenty-one and a problem. The two younger children, nine and eleven, are being homeschooled the “classical” way; they’ve just started learning Latin. At 2:30p.m. when school lets out, they race to the bus stop at the end of the street to find friends to bring home to play. Jim works for a San Francisco-based affiliate of Hewlett Packard and has a 415 number. Jim also has a side gig: buying and repurposing computer parts and reselling them on Amazon. He has just returned from a work trip to New Zealand and is jet-lagged. His wife has been alone with their four children for the past two weeks. If Chanelle, their foster daughter, hadn’t emancipated herself earlier in the year, after placing her own baby up for adoption, it would have been five at home with Shannon, a former schoolteacher with a graduate degree in education, pale skin, and blue eyes. When Shannon is pulled over for speeding, she cries. She is generally let off. *** I meet Jim in Chicago’s O’Hare. He’s standing with a guy named...

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