A Duck Tale

By: Saturday November 8, 2014 4:00 pm

A park with a few scrub trees and a trickling brook was located across the street from one of the clap-trap rentals we called home during our days in Atlanta. To call the area a park was a stretch. When builders rushed to put up tiny houses built from old army barracks, the small ravine was too costly to fill in, so what better name than a “park.”

One morning a few domestic ducks paddled around in the stream. How they arrived, nobody knew.


FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nicolas Lampert, A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements

By: Saturday February 22, 2014 1:59 pm

Can art change the world?

This is a question I ask myself whenever I see Dave Gibbons’ drawing of a Guy Fawkes mask repurposed on the streets as an official face covering of global unrest. It’s a question gallerists ask themselves about how to keep their spaces relevant, and one that Pussy Riot fought with when they shoved their way onto that altar and spat pure punk into Putin’s face.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Marcus Rediker, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

By: Sunday January 20, 2013 1:59 pm

Marcus Rediker’s new book, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, revisits one of the most stirring episodes in American history: the revolt aboard the Cuban schooner Amistad in July 1839, during which a small group of enslaved Africans seized control of the vessel and tried to sail home. Tricked by one of their former captors, whom they had relied upon to steer the ship, they drifted northwards instead of eastwards – all the way to Long Island, where they were apprehended by the U.S. Navy at the end of August. The Africans were taken to a jail in Connecticut and spent the next year-and-a-half challenging the U.S. legal system to secure their freedom – and at last to win their passage home.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Steven Johnson, Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age

By: Sunday December 9, 2012 1:59 pm

One of my great frustrations about the digital age is how poor our language is to explain and understand what is happening in our midst. At the outset of Future Perfect, Johnson offers us a new word to describe an emerging political consciousness: peer progressive. It is an apt term, well-coined. Peer progressives believe in the progress of humanity – that we are on a path of continual improvement, and that the exciting technological innovations of the digital age offer new and compelling ways forward. While embracing a progressive worldview, peer progressives believe in the power of peer-to-peer networks, not institutions. They are “wary of centralized control, but they [are] not free-market libertarians…they [are] equally suspicious of big government and big corporations.”

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Chris Hedges, Days of Destruction Days of Revolt

By: Saturday September 15, 2012 1:59 pm

Let’s just be very clear right up front, Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco may have both collected their share of mainstream awards, like Pulitzers, American Book Awards, and the like, but with this book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, they remove any doubt about whether they are “celebrity couriers,” as they derisively term a lot of what is left of the mainstream, main street journalists out there today slapping whitewash on poverty and helping spin the machinery that manufactures rose-colored glasses. They have traveled through some of the hellholes on the dark side of the American economic reality and they are angry about the whole damn thing, fired up, fed up, and desperately looking hard for a fight. This book needs to be read, and it needs to sell very well because these guys are pretty much unemployable now. Trust me, I know this!

Behind Every Statistic There Is a Human Face

By: Sunday June 5, 2011 6:00 pm

Back in January of 2009, I wrote a diary titled I Am Unemployed but Not a Statistic. I was thinking about that diary this morning. With all the discussion of statistics, unemployment rates, jobs created or unemployment claims filed, there is a human being somewhere who is affected. I started Just A Small Town Country Boy as an attempt to put a human face on just one of those people (myself) who sits behind the statistic. But as we all know, I am just one voice among the millions.

Late Night: Reflections On Our Shared Humanity

By: Sunday June 27, 2010 8:00 pm

We all know the ways in which individuals and groups are de-humanized by languages and name-calling and we are guilty of doing the same towards people and groups with whom we disagree. We de-humanize in order to marginalize yet the reality is that even for the folks with whom we disagree, we still have far more in common as humans than we do the differences, even though we concentrate on the differences.

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