Articles Culture

  • ​The Vietnam War, Episodes 9 and 10

    Culture

    As we cross the finish line of The Vietnam War marathon, I want to offer some thoughts about the documentary as a whole. First, despite all the Vietnamese voices it includes, this is a remarkably American film. The soundtrack, for example, is loaded with dozens of familiar and well-amplified 1960s rock songs while the music provided by the multicultural Silk Road Ensemble tends to hum quietly in the background.

  • A Plea for Nonviolence: Fighting Fascism in Trump’s America

    Culture

    Images broadcast into households of rabid right-wing bigots violently suppressing peaceful progressive activists will mobilize the country to pressure government to intervene on the side of sanity, and against fascism. We can choose to be a nation of democratic principles that embraces equality and the rule of law, or we can escalate the current conflict in favour of greater violence.

  • How (Not) to Challenge Racist Violence

    Culture

    As white nationalism and the so-called “alt-Right” have gained prominence in the Trump era, a bipartisan reaction has coalesced to challenge these ideologies. But much of this bipartisan coalition focuses on individual, extreme, and hate-filled mobilizations and rhetoric, rather than the deeper, politer, and apparently more politically acceptable violence that imbues Us foreign and domestic policy.

  • ‘Detroit’ Is The Most Irresponsible and Dangerous Movie Of The Year

    Culture

    What makes this film not just sloppy but downright dangerous is that this very denial of black life, this blindness to the experiences and perspectives of black people, makes possible the kind of brutal and discriminatory law enforcement and the lack of accountability around it prevalent in the United States today.

  • Mayweather vs McGregor: a Roman Spectacle of Greed and Vulgarity

    Culture

    The only chance Conor McGregor has of laying a glove on Floyd Mayweather when they meet in the ring is if Mayweather allows him to. But by then it will be too late, as professional boxing will have been dragged through the mud with its reputation tarnished — perhaps beyond repair. Until then we will be forced to suffer the antics of two very rich and very vulgar clowns.

  • When feminism’s wonders aren’t for all women

    Culture

    The reaction to Wonder Woman highlights the perversity and partiality of a feminism that celebrates the cinematic representation of a fictional, purportedly anti-war female superhero, but ignores the non-fictional women (and men) who experience the real brutalities of war and occupation. Such a feminism is neither truly “subversive” nor “revolutionary.”

  • Colin Kaepernick: Patriotism and the Owning Class

    Culture

    It is not enough that Colin Kaepernick is proving to be a modern-day Roberto Clemente, or that he’s following the path of the great Muhammad Ali; American society (and its sports industries) under capitalism demands that profit remains a priority over people. In order to maintain this, it must insist that workers bow down to bosses; that citizens refrain from questioning their rulers; that everyday people not dare to step out of line.

  • Walking Dead abandons progressive potential of horror

    Culture

    The failure of TWD to build on the promise of the progressive zombie tradition has resulted in a negative portrayal of human potential that negates mutual aid and cooperation in favour of violence. The Walking Dead has destroyed the progressive cultural tradition of the modern zombie. I would argue that any worthwhile progressive politics has to have hope as a fundamental building block; sadly TWD is where hope goes to die. Or is it just undead?

  • A Nation of the Walking Dead

    Culture

    The US consumes 80 percent of opioids used worldwide, and more than 33,000 died in this country in 2015 from opioid overdoses. There are 300 million prescriptions written and $24 billion spent annually in the U.S. for painkillers. Americans supplement this mostly legal addiction with over $100 billion a year in illicit marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

  • Militarism: Revolutionary Mothering and Rosie the Riveter

    Culture

    How does one cost the killing of a human being, as if military budgets can compare with the cost of providing food and water, homes and healthcare? This brief exploration suggests that among the salient regressive individual pulls are militarism and nationalism. Violence is preventable and is not hard-wired in human nature. At issue is survival, necessitating responsible human relationships as articulated by revolutionary mothers.

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