I Didn’t Mean To Write About Trayvon Martin

By: Friday July 12, 2013 9:15 am

America, it hurts my feelings
Each time it’s implied
That we can look the other way
Each time a black boy dies


FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nicco Mele, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath

By: Sunday May 26, 2013 1:59 pm

Nicco Mele is a man who knows the internet. The webmaster for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004 and the founder of a leading internet strategy firm, his discussion moves between the effect of Twitter on news reporting, Hollywood’s relationship with Netflix and Al Qaeda’s use of YouTube. These are only three of the many examples which make this book so interesting. The big ideas are sustained by engaging anecdotes.

The theme of Mele’s book is the effect of “radical connectivity”, which he describes as “our breathtaking ability to send vast amounts of data instantly, constantly and globally”, thus transforming politics, business and culture.

HBO Gets honest for 3 minutes….mostly.

By: Sunday February 3, 2013 5:00 pm

This 3 minute clip has been getting some play on the Internet. I don’t know how many people have shared it on YouTube and FB but it has been quite a few. The opening of the new series NEWSROOM, though not having cable I will not be able to see just how honest it will remain. Most series have at least 3 minutes worth watching.

The Decline and Fall of an American Empire

By: Tuesday January 15, 2013 6:10 pm

The American Empire was not like other historical empires, for from the very first it has been made up of various different ethnic and cultural groups. Initially French and Spanish. Then Dutch and British. With other nationalities coming later. Irish and German and Russian and (in my case) Finnish.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Leigh Ann Wheeler, How Sex Became a Civil Liberty

By: Sunday January 13, 2013 1:59 pm

Do you believe that the government should stay out of your private sex life? Let me guess… What I love about How Sex Became a Civil Liberty, by Leigh Ann Wheeler, is how she forces us to reexamine our assumptions.

Wheeler, a historian at Binghamton University and the co-editor of the Journal of Women’s History, sets out to unearth the history of a phenomenon most of us probably see as natural—that we possess, in Wheeler’s apt phrase, “sexual civil liberties.”

Disposable America

By: Thursday January 10, 2013 5:36 pm

Before the industrial revolution everything you got was made by hand one at a time. There very likely were apprentices and helpers involved but it was one at a time. Each unique in some way from the the others. made by craftsman an artisans who learned and honed their skills and trade over the years.

Then the industrial revolution got underway big time.

America’s White Male Pathology

By: Monday January 7, 2013 4:09 pm

We have seen it time and again. A small group of people in congress spewing out the most outrageous garbage and crap. Dog whistling about small government and states rights and religious freedom and what not. The same fine folks who began spewing out about the country’s lack of morals and permissiveness. Law and order and patriotism. Respect for authority.

The Show So Far ………

By: Sunday December 30, 2012 7:00 pm

Working toward the kind of society we envision is never a lost cause. And passing on this vision – even in the family structure – is what will bring about any real and lasting change. And put a halt to this sick, dark comedy we have been living for the last few thousand years. Where teachers and guides replace leaders, and wisdom and enlightenment and virtue and altruism are cherished and valued.

And they lived happily ever after to the end of their days…………

By: Saturday October 27, 2012 4:00 pm

It’s in the very fabric of the American myth and culture. It has permeated it form the beginning. Our art and entertainment. From the early novels to the show girls. This fantasy land vision that that anyone can make it here.

It has drawn people from cultures far and near. People who left their countries behind to see a fresh start. All believing that they could make a much better life over here. Reflected in film and radio and television and on the stage.

With heroes and heroins too numerous to name. Played by John Wayne and Randolf Scott and Irene Dunn and James Stewart and Ginger Rogers and Linda Darnell. The beautiful people and the flappers of the 1920s. That all it takes is hard work and imagination and you too can live the Horatio Alger story. All the heroes wore white hats and were white christian protestant males. That if you were poor and could not make it, it was your choice. Your fault. After all this is the land of opportunity.

Late Night: Early Readers

By: Monday October 8, 2012 8:00 pm

I can’t tell you how important it is to be able to write. Not from an artistic perspective, but from a practical one when searching for jobs or doing those jobs. If your e-mail is entirely AOL kiddiespeak, or misuses words, you don’t get to the next stage of the interview. If you can’t fill out a form in plain language, or read a paragraph to understand insurance benefits or a doctor’s instructions, or write a request letter, it stymies you in ways that go far beyond just the inconvenience of not expressing your thoughts clearly.

Part of solving this is equalizing the opportunity for exposure: better funding for libraries and musuems, especially in economically disadvantaged communities. Part of this is also making sure we close the digital divide; there are whole libraries online and I know the joke is that today’s technologically connected kids don’t read but reading on a screen is still reading.

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