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Arts & Culture Committee

what we’re reading

It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis
And everybody laughed and sweetness reigned.

No American whose fathers have lived in the country for over two generations is so utterly different from any other American.

…”radical” – that indefinite word, which probably means “most critical of piracy.”

Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn “reasonable” and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid to stop and speak and one quarter are killed and you die with them. But the blessed final quarter keep you alive. 

What Now? Thoughts from around the web

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Noam Chomsky
The Center Cannot Hold
There are poignant studies of the indignation and the rage of those who have been cast aside as the state-corporate programs of financialization and deindustrialization have closed plants and destroyed families and communities. These studies reveal the sense of acute betrayal on the part of working people who believed they had a fulfilled their duty to society in what they regard as a moral compact with business and government, only to discover that they had only been instruments for profit and power, truisms from which they had been carefully shielded by doctrinal institutions.

Well, for the radical imagination to be rekindled and to lead the way out of this desert, what is needed is people who will work to sweep away the mists of carefully contrived illusion, reveal the stark reality, and also to be directly engaged in popular struggles that they sometimes help galvanize. So what is needed, in short, is the late Howard Zinn. Terrible loss. Well, there won’t be another Howard Zinn, but we can take to heart his praise for “the countless small actions of unknown people” that lie at the roots of the great moments of history, the countless Joe Stacks who are destroying themselves, and maybe the world, when they could be leading the way to a better future.

Trump In the White House
Exit polls reveal that the passionate support for Trump was inspired primarily by the belief that he represented change, while Clinton was perceived as the candidate who would perpetuate their distress.  The “change” that Trump is likely to bring will be harmful or worse, but it is understandable that the consequences are not clear to isolated people in an atomized society lacking the kinds of associations (like unions) that can educate and organize.  That is a crucial difference between today’s despair and the generally hopeful attitudes of many working people under much greater duress during the great depression of the 1930s.

Jenn M. Jackson
Prioritizing Mental Health In The Era of Trump
In the days immediately following Trump’s election, news outlets everywhere began reporting on the uptick in calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. There were even reports of several deaths by suicide within the LGBTQIA+ communities. These groups already suffer disproportionately higher rates of death by suicide due to ongoing discrimination and isolation at home and in public spaces.

Rinku Sen
Trump Reminds Us the Racial Justice Movement Is Growing
Backlash only exists when we are making progress—there is no need for backlash when we aren’t. We’ve made enormous progress in small and large chunks over hundreds of years, and we have not come anywhere close to the end of that progress.

Truthout: First, we must resist the normalization of state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy. We can do so by publishing investigative reports and analyses that center the words of people directly affected by this violence. Second, we must resist despair by reporting on concrete acts of mass resistance that can be joined and copied by others.

Michael Albert
Why No Trumpist Celebrations and Finding Our New Old Path

Chris Hedges
It’s Worse Than You Think

(Image: BAMN)

art for hard times, all times

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VIDEO  /  PODCAST
Sengal by Rojda: “Kurdish song telling the story of most cruel human catastrophe which befell on the Ezidis in Sengal.” Shared by @FGunay1 online.

Short video about the Mural commemorating Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm X. at W 125th St & Old Broadway, West Harlem, from Dave Lippman.

MUSIC
‘Soup Boys’ by Heems – Drone over here, drone over there.

Ike Reilly‘s singing in, they’re fighting it: the war on the terror and the drugs, oh yeah.

SPORTS
Colin Kaepernick has a ‘Know Your Rights’ camp. Awesome. Many Buffalo Bills fans knelt during the anthem with Kaepernick when he played there.

ARTICLES / LITERATURE
Call Number is a library-inspired book subscription box that celebrates contemporary Black literature and authors.’

‘Rochester’s youngest journalist, 14, covers shootings, fires, more.’

Roger Waters

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Roger Waters, who lost financial support from American Express because of his statements about Israel, on the reluctance of people in the industry to speak publicly: ‘I’ve talked to a lot of them, and they are scared shitless. If they say something in public, they will no longer have a career. They will be destroyed.’ He’s on a world-tour next year, tickets are almost sold out for the two shows in Brooklyn. (Official image.)

 
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