In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell
“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.
Let us be very clear. The white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, hate-filled and repugnant as their goals may be, are not the ones responsible for the U.S. wars on Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. They are not responsible for turning our public school system over to private corporations. They are not responsible for our separate and unequal health care system that consigns people of color to ill health and early death. They are not the ones foreclosing and evicting people of color from their homes. They are not the authors of neoliberal capitalism with its devastating effects on the poor around the planet. They are not the ones militarizing the borders to enforce global apartheid. They are not behind the extraction and burning of fossil fuels that is destroying the planet, with the poor and people of color the first to lose their homes and livelihoods. If we truly want to challenge racism, oppression, and inequality, we should turn our attention away from the few hundred marchers in Charlottesville and towards the real sources and enforcers of our unjust global order. They are not hard to find.--AC
The white supremacy that some of us see as more insidious is not reflected in the simple, stereotypical images of the angry, Nazi-saluting alt-righter or even Donald Trump. Instead, it is the normalized and thus invisible white supremacist ideology inculcated into cultural and educational institutions and the policies that stem from those ideas. That process doesn’t just produce the storm troopers of the armed and crazed radical right but also such covert true believers as Robert Rubin from Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Nancy Pelosi—”decent” individuals who have never questioned for a moment the superiority of Western civilization, who believe completely in the White West’s right and responsibility to determine which nations should have sovereignty and who should be the leaders of “lesser” nations. And who believe that there is no alternative to the wonders of global capitalism even if it means that billions of human beings are consigned permanently to what Fanon called the “zone of non-being.”--AB
Here in Oregon, our lone right-winger Rep. Greg Walden is an obvious fascist representing Republicanism, witness his support of Ryan and Trump during the dog days of the healthcare debate. His famous "impassioned speech" from the House floor defending the armed thugs who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was an earlier display of his contempt for democracy.
On the neoliberal side, Oregon's Democrats are less obvious, but no less culpable as they struggle with propping up capitalism while attempting to appease the underclasses and gift anti-fascism with a blurb or two on occasion, thus keeping their "liberal" credentials in order.
We know where all of these characters stand in truth--with business, the workers and poor be damned!
Note: RP Thomas turned me on to Charles Bukowski many years ago, before Buk was well-known. Drink and the horse races are legacies of Buk's lit of course, and worthy of our admiration. Bukowski wrote for real people, and the academics loathed or ignored him.
Thomas let me crash at his place one summer when I was between women and contemplating my move to Portland, where I've lived for 40 years.
Forty years...imagine that. I find it both unreal and terrifying!
Trump’s remarks were a firehose of gasoline gushed onto a political firestorm. Almost giddy with the easy political points to score, Democrats rhetorically lashed Trump to the Klansmen and Nazis he defended. Nearly the entire Republican leadership took to Twitter to denounce bigotry, even Senator Orrin Hatch, who had earlier said Trump was “not a racist,” after Trump attacked federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel’s fairness because of his Mexican heritage, tweeted, “We should never hesitate to call out hate. Whenever and wherever we see it."--TMK
The hypocrisy of the economic elites who support the status quo and then cry racism is staggering. There are many neo-fascists in Congress who are paying lip-service to Charlottesville.
They're not as obvious as Trump about their hate, but it's real. The US is teeming with racist autocrats in high places. The US is a fascist state. Its top pols are the reason, not the cure, for why fascism is spreading. I'm speaking of both American parties, which is one party guided by wealth and heap big nonsense beginning with the lie that America is a democracy. Fuck that. The US is a police state. Its exceptionalism is a mirage.
Look how the pols initially fell in line behind Trump, who ran a racist campaign. If they didn't support him, they'd have moved to oust him by now. Sadly, they are as corrupt as he is.
The cries of white men with the burning torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, were familiar to her. Their anger was, too. The continuous news coverage over the weekend prompted her own highlight reel of memories that included racial taunts, attacks and fears she’s lived with since she was born in the thick of the Great Depression. She couldn’t erase them if she wanted. “You never forget that feeling of being preyed upon,” said my grandmother, Clemmie. “It’s something I’ve been experiencing my entire life. I’m far from alone.”--JT
All whitey has is a sad case of the post-slavery blues. Dig it, the politicians are lying when they try to tell you that racism is anti-American. It's as American as it gets and has been for hundreds of years.
What is more dishonest than a Congress that will not admit it is the machine of oppression and inequality? That Trump hasn't been ousted by now for his incompetence is telling in more ways than the Tweet-happy Senators are capable of grasping or admitting, because it is power and not justice that makes them happy.
Marshall McLuhan’s chestnut “the medium is the message” contains some of the most important theory about mass media to have emerged in the past century. In its honor, we might propose another slogan—less conceptually tidy and alliterative—that brings to mind the arguments of critical theorists like Theodor Adorno: “the economy is the culture”—the economic mechanisms that govern the “culture industry,” as Adorno would say, determine the kinds of productions that saturate our shared environment. In a purely corporate capitalist model, we consume culture—that which is marketed most aggressively and distributed most plentifully—and often discard it just as quickly. In an economy that doesn’t make profit the fulcrum of its every move, things go otherwise. The lines between consumers, creators, and communities become blurred in weird and wonderful ways.--OC
What a great website and resource for serious cultural thinkers and researchers.
The weekend CounterPunch is loaded again and you will not have time to read all of it, but once you get started go for it. Read as much as you can, and don't miss this piece, an off-the-cuff combination of the serious and absurd, by yours truly.
I first published the fake conversations between Dooley and myself here in 2012, so one might assume the material is dated--that is unless you intuitively understand that not much has changed but the personalities now in charge.
"O Bomb I love you
I want to kiss your clank eat your boom
You are a paean an acme of scream
a lyric hat of Mister Thunder
O resound thy tanky knees
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns
BOOM BOOM ye moons ye stars BOOM
nights ye BOOM ye days ye BOOM
BOOM BOOM ye winds ye clouds ye rains
go BANG ye lakes ye oceans BING
Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM
Ubangi BOOM orangutang
BING BANG BONG BOOM bee bear baboon"
He (Corso) once explained his Utopian vision to Contemporary Authors: "I feel that in the future many many poets will blossom forth—the poetic spirit will spread and reach toward all; it will show itself not in words—the written poem—but rather in man's being and in the deeds he enacts. . . . A handful of poets in every country in the world can and have always been able to live in the world as well as in their own world; . . . and when such humankind becomes manifold, when all are embraced by the poetic spirit, by a world of poets, not by the written word but by deed and thought and beauty, then society will have no recourse but to become suitable for them and for itself. I feel man is headed in such a direction; he is fated and due to become aware of and knowledgeable about his time; his good intelligence and compassion will enable him to cope with almost all the bothersome, distracting difficulties that may arise—and when he becomes so, 'poet' will not be his name, but it will be his victory."--PF
Soon after he entered office Donald Trump abandoned the populist rhetoric that got him elected and began pushing programs that benefit connected plutocrats. Soon after he entered office Barack Obama abandoned the populist rhetoric that got him elected and began pushing programs that benefit connected plutocrats. Soon after he entered office Bill Clinton abandoned the populist rhetoric that got him elected and began pushing programs that benefit connected plutocrats. Astute readers may detect a pattern here.--RU
I read "On the Beach" for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world’s second most lethal nuclear power. There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder. The “sanctions” are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas. Their main aim seems to be war – real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.--JP
Terry Simons is the founder of Round Bend Press Books, Round Bend Press Detritus, and an associated writing/editing service to aid and abet renegade authors. He has worked as a day laborer, dishwasher, factory drone, community organizer, journalist, media consultant and freelance writer. He attended the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where he read journalism, politics, literature and history. He is the author most recently of "Along Came the Death Squad: Political and Scattered Notes."
RBP books are available from Amazon and Lulu.
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