Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wake up
The first Columbian we encountered was a sullen youth from Teenage Central Casting, playing the usual corporate schlock on his boombox. We entered the diner and were seated behind four ladies with mellifluous Mississippi accents. They spent the next half-hour recounting the plot of the previous night’s episode of “Friends,” that vulgar and witless NBC sitcom by which archeologists will someday condemn our civilization. I wanted to confront them, plead with them: Look. Here you are, citizens of the economically poorest yet culturally richest state in the union, the state that gave us Eudora Welty, the Delta Blues, William Faulkner, Muddy Waters, Shelby Foote, and yet you not only consume but crave the packaged products of cocaine-addled East/West Coast greedheads who despise you as ignorant rednecks and stupid crackers. Get off your knees, Mississippi!
— Bill Kauffman

The same writer on a film I’ve not seen and should add to my Netflix list
Easy Rider was groping toward a truth that might have set America free. The hippies and the small-town southerners gathered in the diner; the small farmers and the shaggy communards: they were on the same side. The side of liberty, of locally based community, of independence from the war machine, the welfare state, the bureaucratic prison...
One to add to Stuff the Upper Middle Class Like:

Loving folk music but hating country music
And its people

Paul and Nader

‘The world’ according to Washington

Noam Chomsky’s latest:
...according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse... “the world” as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that “the world” fully supported President George W. Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. That may be true of “the world”, but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight.
How a modern society collapses
By Dmitry Orlov
Stage 4 collapse occurs when society becomes so disordered and impoverished that it can no longer support the Big Men, who become smaller and smaller, and eventually fade from view. Society fragments into extended families and small tribes of a dozen or so families, who find it advantageous to band together for mutual support and defense. This is the form of society that has existed over some 98.5% of humanity’s existence as a biological species, and can be said to be the bedrock of human existence. Humans can exist at this level of organization for thousands, perhaps millions of years.
Life-affirming pagan culture: not

Pope Benedict’s restoration is still under way


From Joshua Snyder.

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