Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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January 31, 2006
off-line/in print

(but most of these are on-line anyway)

items recent caught in the mental sink trap from the flow of paper past my eyeballs:

Tears in my eyes, I placed the Star Spangled Banner over the burning coals. Soon, it was completely aflame, red-white-and-blue consumed in a blistering blaze of orange.

Dad had his hand over his heart. He was softly humming "God Bless America."

"That's what this country is all about," he said. "That flag is worth nothing if a man can't burn it in his own backyard. It is a sacred American right."

I stared at the wisps of smoke coming off the grill in wonder, and in my heart, knew my dad was right.
from the Winter '06 LiP Magazine. I took the above essay at face value until I realized it was written by Neal Pollack.

Look around you, Mikvah. Empty lives, wallets overflowing.

People are gorging on this unprecedented wealth, along with a super-sized shake of fear -- fear that the outside world wants to make their entire system crumble.

And instead of trying to make sense of that world empirically or methodically, Americans, with their typical impatience, want an answer now.
by Gary Shteyngard (.pdf), from the very cool inaugural issue of Guilt & Pleasure

Infringement of caste rules of vocation could lead to expulsion; thus a Chamar (shoe maker) had to remain a Chamar all his life. If he tried to become a Kumar (potter) or Darji (tailor) he was in danger of being expelled from the Chamar caste and obviously under the caste rules he would not be admitted into any other caste in spite of his having the knowledge of any other vocation.

Such discrete craft-based occupational identities began to break down under the impact of automation and the introduction of the factory system.
Ursula Huws, writing on occupational identity, and (in part) quoting Sudheer Birodkar, in the Jan. 2006 Monthly Review

Modern research has shown Nuremberg rallies were actually inspired by Harvard pep rallies. But that is another story.
the very cool David Graeber, whose Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (.pdf) has a bit reprinted in the winter issue of First of the Month