America, I forgive you…

“Benediction” Pale brown Moses went down to Egypt landTo let somebody’s people go.Keep him out of Florida, no UN there:The poor governor is all alone,With six hundred thousand illiterates.America, I forgive you…I forgive youNailing black Jesus to an imported crossEvery six weeks in Dawson, Georgia.America, I forgive you…I forgive youBurning Japanese babies defensively–I realize how necessary it was.Your ancestor had beautiful thoughts in his brain.His…

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War Poetry?

Two “Comments” by poets appearing in a 1945 “anthology of the war poetry of the 20th century”: Wallace Stevens and Muriel Rukeyser (“civilian poets”). While Stevens seems to be staying on a kind of broad epistemic level (consciousness, imagination, fact, real, heroic) and makes a distinct claim for kinds of poetry (of war, of imagination), Rukeyser gets her hands dirty, so to speak; she says…

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Good Listening for Afternoon Dog Walks: Interchange Recommendations

A friend (flesh and blood, not Facebook) told me she’d listened to the recent Interchange shows on The Tempest and on Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, really liked them, and wanted recommendations for shows in a similar mode. Good pace, good music, not “too heavy” for an afternoon walk. This is what I shared with her. Of Her Kind (about history of the Radcliffe Institute for…

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It Spiralizes – Interchange Echoes

When I “make” an Interchange program I create analogizing echoes inside and outside of the show. An example. The last show with author Maggie Doherty was about her book The Equivalents. During the Interview Doherty talks about Betty Friedan and how she called being a wife and mother a kind of concentration camp within a “traditional norm.” This “echoed” in my thinking as I edited…

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Just what you need in a quarantine: Nada.

AUDIO LINK: “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” For your edification and pleasure, I hope. Here is an audio recording of Ernest Hemingway’s 1933 story, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” Papa’s “existentialist” perspective is nowhere better on display than this story and this paragraph in particular. “Turning off the electric light he continued the conversation with himself, It was the light of course but it is necessary that…

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Burn the Trolley Car Mind

The calculus of harm is the topic of this recent Interchange on “On Climate Change and Non-Human Animals” with philosopher and ethicist Jeff Sebo. Beasts’ Burdens But the history of human thinking is simply full of error. Example: “Between Scylla and Charybdis.” Wikipedia: Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters noted by Homer; Greek mythology sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina…

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It’s Now or Never: Lessons On Protest from Hong Kong (Interchange on WFHB)

AUDIO LINK: It’s Now or Never Today’s show is a discussion of how seven million ordinary people are standing against the most powerful surveillance state on planet earth. Episode producer Sean Milligan talks to two activists who spent time in Hong Kong during the height of the protests in the summer of 2019. Facing eventual reunification with mainland China, the citizens of Hong Kong took…

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Pathways to Planetary Sovereignty – Interchange (WFHB)

AUDIO LINKLet’s cut to the chase, in their book, Climate Leviathan, importantly subtitled A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future, Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright posit that it’s very likely that we face a future organized by a planetary sovereign which asserts the right to decide what parties, and what peoples, will have to sacrifice (or perhaps be sacrificed) in the face of looming ecological catastrophe and…

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Interchange – United Slaughterhouse of America: Josh Specht on the Cattle-Beef Complex

AUDIO LINKIn Red Meat Republic author Joshua Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Cowboy myths, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York. He shows how the enduring success of the cattle-beef complex—centralized, low cost, and meatpacker dominated—was a consequence of the meatpackers’ ability to make their interests overlap with those of a hungry public, while the interests…

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Interchange – Roll Jim Crow: The Racial Project of the American Tobacco Company

AUDIO LINK Our opening song is “Lucky Day.” This is Judy Garland’s version from the London sessions of 1960. The first performance of the song was by Harry Richman in a 1926 Broadway revue. “Lucky Day” became a theme song for the 1940s NBC radio show Your Hit Parade which was sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes. Sponsoring radio and television shows and getting celebrities to promote smoking…

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