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Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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949jeffdorchen

It doesn't even seem like she wants anyone to sympathize with her as someone out of the ordinary. She just wants people to accept her as black even though she clearly isn't, and can't even give a persuasive explanation about why she wants to be black. She loves black people, but not enough to care what their opinions are about her strangely colorless performance of blackness.

In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen reads Ijeoma Oluo's feature "The Heart of Whiteness" on Rachel Dolezal, and has some good things to say. Oh, about the piece itself, not Rachel Dolezal, that's mostly very critical about Dolezal's uniquely privileged understanding / performance of Blackness.

Read the transcript here

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

 

Masculinity and Capitalism

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I was raised in a shitty suburb of Detroit full of bullies or aspiring bullies. As a child my biggest worry was being noticed. I preferred anonymity. Being singled out in a crowd was a prelude to horrible things.

I say I preferred to remain anonymous. It never occurred to me to make friends. I didn't know what that was about. I had friends by default. Anyone who interacted with me without insulting or bullying was my friend. And even then I didn't always trust them. I just knew they had chosen to behave like a friend and that was their choice. Until they behaved otherwise, they were my friend. I didn't understand myself as an active being in the community. I was much more concerned with how the community was acting upon me.

A little later on people would recount their memories of our interactions. I then began, slowly, to understand that I had a presence among others. I was not invisible. I did and said things, which actions and statements were remembered by others. A relationship began to develop between my observing eye and this reported thing that was, I guessed, some aspect of me. I began to watch myself, just as I had been watching the world. I saw myself through the eyes of others. And the more I heard about my presence in the lives of others, the more I saw myself as the main character in a story being told.

I'm going to name the observer, "The Gaze" and the observed, "The Hero," just for the sake of simplicity. The Gaze evaluates what's going on, and the Hero is the main character in the drama the Gaze is watching. Somewhere in between those two was an empty space. My true identity began to be built in the empty space between these conflicting aspects of myself as both an invisible observer and an observed character. And I had no idea what was being built. And I had no desire to know.

I don't know if everyone's identity is constructed this way, or if I'm just one of the unlucky ones who found himself with an empty space where a self should be, letting it build itself without my cultivation or conscious awareness, like an autonomous, unseen detective building an image of a crime from pieces of evidence, discarding whatever judgments prove faulty, incorporating what seems reliable. But I do believe we all have shells made out of Gaze and Hero, and we all have a space within, where our self is built, however... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here's what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:


Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
 - John Nixon [Blue Rider Press]

Senator-Elect and Former Paramilitary Leader Guy Philippe Arrested on Drug Charges - Jake Johnston [CEPR]

Rex Tillerson Could Be America's Most Dangerous Secretary of State - Antonia Juhasz [In These Times]

The Concept of the Wall - Elliot Sperber [ROAR Magazine]

Episode 934

Spin Cycle

Jan 7
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...


In 1131 – (886 years ago) – a Danish prince named Canute Lavard was killed by his cousin Magnus, who viewed him as competition for the Danish throne. Canute was the son and nephew of Danish kings and had been chosen by his uncle, King Niels of Denmark, to establish peace with the Slavic warriors who kept attacking the area of what is now the border between Denmark and Germany. Canute’s success in that assignment made him a contender for kingship, a favorite of the Holy Roman Emperor, and a target of the jealous hatred of Magnus, the son of King Niels. A few years after murdering Canute, Magnus himself would die in battle, still trying to cement his own claim to the throne. Canute, meanwhile, would be canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 1169.

In 1355 – (662 years ago) – Inês de Castro, the mistress of Crown Prince Pedro of Portugal, was beheaded in front of her own children on orders of Pedro’s father, King Afonso IV. Inês had been a lady-in-waiting to Constança of Castile, Prince Pedro’s lawful wife, whom he had been forced to marry for political reasons. Pedro and Inês became passionate lovers, and after Constança died of childbirth, Pedro went on to have four more children with Inês. But King Afonso still would not let his son marry Inês, since he feared that it would confuse future claims of royal succession, which could escalate into bloody political conflict. Instead, the king sent three courtiers to kill Inês. When the king died two years later, Pedro inherited the throne and had two of the courtiers executed by having their hearts ripped out of their bodies as he watched. Pedro then announced that he and Inês had been secretly married, thus retroactively and posthumously making her queen. On his orders, her body was exhumed, dressed in royal finery, presented to the court, and then given a majestic reburial. In ensuing centuries the story of Inês de Castro would be told in countless works of literature, and would give rise to a conversational expression that persists in Portugal to this day: “Agora é tarde; Inês é morta” — It’s too late, Inês is dead.

In 1948 – (69 years ago) – Captain Thomas Mantell, a twenty-five-year-old Air National Guard pilot and World War II veteran on routine patrol in the skies... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
934lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 12:45PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:10 - Author Mark Danner looks through Trump's song and dance routine, and sees nothing.

Mark wrote the piece The Real Trump for New York Review of Books.

 

10:05 - Writer Alexandra Chasin explores the pathologies of America's drug war architect, Harry Anslinger.

Alexandra is author of Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger's War on Drugs from University of Chicago Press.

 

11:00 - Live from São Paulo, Brian Mier looks for signs of US involvement in Brazil's 2016 coup.

Brian wrote The US & Brasil's Coup of 2016, and translated Luciana Itikawa's piece The Golpista Everyman & the “Clean” City for Brasil Wire.

 

11:35 - Journalist Julianne Tveten explains why the Net isn't neutral for poor customers.

Julianne wrote the article Digital Redlining: How Internet Service Providers Promote Poverty for Truthout.

 

12:10 - Journalist Stefania Maurizi talks about losing her Julian Assange interview to the fake news cycle.

Stefania's interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was distorted by the Guardian's Ben Jacobs last month.

 

12:35 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen examines toxic masculinity and capitalism, like a boss.

 Jeff is starting off 2017 on a high T note.

Posted by Alexander Jerri
Mostclicked2016

 

1: It's too late to halt climate change. Near-term human extinction is inevitable. / Guy McPherson

 

2: Hillary on the internet: Feminism, civility and the minefield of online dissent. / Amber A'Lee Frost

 

3: On violence, neoliberalism and the hallucinatory anti-politics of the Trump era. / Henry Giroux

 

4: The individual is a fiction: Why the left must return to party politics. / Jodi Dean

 

5: Don't believe the Russia hype: Who profits from the new Red Scare? / Andrew Cockburn

 

6: Why the public never bought Hillary's Anti-Social-Democratic agenda. / Liza Featherstone and Doug Henwood

 

7: On climate change, automation, and the possibilities of life beyond capitalism. / Peter Frase

 

8: On domination, extinction, and capitalism's long history of slaughter. / Ashley Dawson

 

9: Bern after reading: Why the beltway press wrote off the possibility of Bernie Sanders. / Thomas Frank

 

10: Fuck work: The case against full employment, and for guaranteed income. / James Livingston

 

Episode 933

Staff Picks 2016

Dec 31 2016
Dec 24 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

 The Origin Of Conflict: Part 1, Probably

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

It's important at all times, but especially at such times as these, when tragedy and catastrophe dominate the news, to remember the origins of conflict. Obviously, our understanding of the origins of conflict depend on our point of view. What historical period are we in? Where do we live? What language do we speak? What economic class do we inhabit? What is our social position, and how likely is it to change? And how far back are we willing to go when we look for the origins of conflict?

We might as well begin at the beginning. In the beginning, a spontaneous fluctuation out of nothing created the Big Bang. That may seem to be going a bit farther back than necessary, but maybe not. After all, if we're going to consider root causes, why not consider the root of all roots?

It's a little silly, I guess. Nonetheless, let's see what fruit the tree of silliness bears. We eat the fruit of worse trees every day. Silliness isn't the worst of human crimes.

Immediately after the Big Bang, there was a great deal of heat and expansion. It's possible the heat was so hot it couldn't even be called heat. I'm not even sure what I mean by that but, trust me, odds are there are at least three cosmologists who know what I'm talking about, even if I don't.

Leaving aside heat, then, there was expansion. Expansion, now there's a cause of conflict. And to think it all started with the Big Bang. It's a cosmic principle, expansion. In human terms it's gone by various names: Manifest Destiny, lebensraum, and the popular umbrella, imperialism.

Is it possible that the desire of some groups of humans to control ever larger areas of land can be traced all the way back to the beginning of the universe? No, it's not. See what kind of truth the tree of silliness can bear? We've already debunked a notion that, in the desire to acquire greater territory, humans are channeling a cosmic principle.

The question arises now: why is it even necessary to debunk a doctrine no one holds? I would answer, We've tried debunking doctrines people do hold, and that hasn't worked out at all. We can't even debunk easily disproven lies that the most transparently mendacious people tell. Studies have shown both that people are reluctant to accept new information running counter to their beliefs, and that even when they're open to contrary... read more

Episode 931

Eastern Premises

Dec 17 2016