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Showing posts from 2018

Iraq War 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sequels to Hollywood hits are rarely good. It's just too easy to succeed by being fundamentally lazy. Note the success of the original, sign the stars to new contracts, rehash the same basic story and jokes in a new setting, start advertising a year out, and finally: rake in the profits. It's great for the studios, but rarely good for the viewers. The Karate Kid was a masterpiece. The Karate Kid 2? Total bummer.
Remember the Iraq invasion? Not the prequel, when America barely dipped it's toes into Iraq. I'm talking about the good one when the military got all up into that sovereign nation, wrecked it, tried to install a government and set up shop in a gigantic fortified compound right in the middle of Baghdad (those madcap Americans!). Then, in a plot twist right out of M. Night Shaymalan, the Iraqi people fought back, pressured their government to kick the Americans out, and...something, something Surge! It turned out the Iraqi people were actually the bad guys all a…

Public Service Announcement About Corporate News

Five major corporations own almost all of the media Americans consume on a daily basis, and corporations have an outsize impact on national policy. This is just a friendly reminder that in a country run by a corporate elite, corporate propaganda is state propaganda:


If the corporate oligarchs don't want you to hear about something, they can make sure you have very little exposure to it, and bias you against that message when you manage to hear it. If they want/need you to know and internalize something, they can keep sending you that message until you do. The video above is a desperate attempt to keep you away from independent news sources. All while trying to convince you that we live in a democracy, and that that democracy is challenged by unapproved voices, open discourse of topics that have actual bearing on our lives, and independent thinking.  It's amazing that those newscasters warn against one-sided news sources and not checking facts without a shred of irony (hello r…

Questions for Those Seeking Freedom

I recently gave a "diversity talk" at a large public university, and I reiterated a point that I've been making whenever I get an opportunity. Namely, I believe there are two primary ways one can enact social justice activism. One is to recognize that injustices occur along various axes such as gender, race and physical ability, and then stake out a position on a perceived high ground from which you identify the Bad People who are responsible for those injustices. People taking this approach are the ones who seem to always have a story to share about a racist uncle on Facebook, or a sexist dude at work, or the person who made an insensitive remark in a meeting. While it is important to identify these types of actions and those who are prone to do them, if your activism ends at naming these actions and people, then I don't see how you can accomplish much. This is because the problematic actions of individuals are not inherent to those people. Rather they are symptomat…