In his new book Ciphers
, German photographer Christopher Gielen
) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
In February 1963
, a new publication
took advantage of the New York City printers strike and launched with a daring editorial
: It does not, however, seek merely to fill the gap created by the printers’ strike in New York City but to take the opportunity which the strike has presented to publish the sort of literary journal which the editors and contributors feel is needed in America.
The New York Review of Books
is now 50
. [more inside]
Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss
when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event
, the second
UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman
, Carolin Schneider  
, Sarah Wolfenden
, Amy Faye Finnegan
, Shambrarian Knights
, Jennifer Yellin
, Jenni Hughes
, Bookshelf Guardian
, Amy Cross-Menzies
and Simon Barron
, and by one of the organisers
. [more inside]
Pity the Billionaire
(YT): Thomas Frank
discusses how the American right pulled off a massive coup and successfully branded itself the party of rebellion and protest in the wake of the financial crisis.
Alan Moore and David Lloyd designed it 30 years ago. The V for Vendetta mask appropriated
by Occupy protesters the world over. The Guardian recently
asked Alan what he thought about the masks. Now Channel 4 news takes him into Occupy territory
to face that face. But who is
the true anarchist?
New York Magazine has posted an excerpt about John Edwards' ill-fated campaign
from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's book about the 2008 presidential election Game Change
. [more inside]
How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever (via
) [more inside]
The Iron Heel
, published a century ago this year, is a novel by Jack London about socialist revolution in the United States. It is set mostly between 1912 and 1932, with a foreword and numerous footnotes written from the point of view of a historian who has just discovered the manuscript some 700 years later. Here is an excerpt (which is printed on the back cover of some editions) from chapter five:
"This, then, is our answer. We have no words to waste on you. When you reach out your vaunted strong hands for our palaces and purpled ease, we will show you what strength is. In roar of shell and shrapnel and in whine of machine-guns will our answer be couched. We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain. As for the host of labor, it has been in the dirt since history began, and I
read history aright. And in the dirt it shall remain so long as I and mine and those that come after us have the power. There is the word. It is the king of words--Power. Not God, not Mammon, but Power. Pour it over your tongue till it tingles with it. Power."
Bill Clinton on Charlie Rose
- on display: Thoughtful Visionary as well as Political Animal; cf. Howard Dean
and Jimmy Carter
"Those Who Trespass", a Pornographic Work by Bill O'Reilly -- An Audio Excerpt
This is an audio excerpt from Bill O'Reilly's fictional novel. I found it quite hilarious.
Move over Dickens, Bill O'Reilly is in town.
Fascism in America? It Can't Happen Here
is a masterful satire
in which a popular, dimwitted politician rises to dictatorial power on the backs of radio evangelists
, opponents of urban
, college professor liberalism
, common people
, and the Rotary Club. America is pushed into a manufactured war
by all-powerful corporate interests
, liberties are restricted
in the name of national emergency
, and all is coordinated by a behind-the-scenes political maestro sometimes called "the brain
." Sound familiar? It's nothing new: the book was written by Sinclair Lewis in 1935
Born-again liberal Christians.
Do you think that mainline denominations are hemorraging members? Wrong. Fundamentalist Christianity is the way of the future and all US Evangelicals worship the same political party? Not so fast
, buddy. Many scholars
think that it's time for liberals to take Christianity back. Oregon State
's Marcus J Borg
, for example, argues that Christianity "still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions". He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God
, simply doesn't work anymore for too many people.
It is an argument for an alternative to the literalist and exclusivist tradition
that has dominated Western Christianity in the modern era. According to Borg, "So different are these two views of Christianity that they almost produce two different religions, both using the same Bible and language
. A time of two paradigms is virtually a tale of two Christianities
There is, for example, an alternative view to the Resurrection Narrative not as report of an actual, physical event
but as means for Jesus' early followers to express the miracle of his continuing spiritual presence
among them, after his execution
. It is in short an 'emerging paradigm which has been developing for over a hundred years and has recently become a major grass-roots movement within mainline denominations'.
Just don't be afraid
to ask questions
. Not even about the dogs beneath the Cross
. More inside.
Bush Junta: A Field Guide to Corruption in Government
- A substantial visual document (200 pages of comics from Fantagraphics, fact-checked with an extensive bibliography; the link goes to a number of sample pages) on the Bush Dynasty, from its beginnings benefitting off of Hitler and WW2 (that entire piece, which is printed in english, is posted in its original dutch online here
), to the Bush's connection to Reagan's assassination, CIA and Iran-Contra, ending with the unsettling origins and profiles of the current administration. A great election primer, featuring comics and art by Steve Brodner, Ralph Steadman, Spain Rodriguez and many others. (Amazon link
provided for a better description)
"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear."
He is one
's great novelists
, but you don't expect Philip Roth
to be barreling up the best-seller list with a book that hasn't even been published yet
. And yet "The Plot Against America
" is in the top 3 at amazon.com
It spins a what-if scenario
in which the isolationist and anti-Semitic hero Charles Lindbergh
runs for president as a Republican in 1940 and defeats F.D.R.
"Keep America Out of the Jewish War", reads a button worn by Lindbergh supporters rallying at Madison Square Garden. And so he does: he signs nonaggression pacts
with Germany and Japan that will keep America at peace while the rest of the world burns. The Lindbergh administration hatches a nice plan to prod assimilation of the Jews. Innocuously called Just Folks, it's a relocation program for urban Jews, administered by an Office of American Absorption fronted by an obliging and pompous rabbi of radio celebrity. The teenage Roth character is shipped off to a Kentucky tobacco farm, to finally live among Christians.
is about American Fascism
, but while Roth is no fan of President Bush ("a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one"), he points out that he conceived this book (LATimes registration: sparklebottom/sparklebottom)
in December 2000, and that it would be "a mistake" to read it "as a roman à clef to the present moment in America." (more inside)
, the new novel by Brooklyn-based Contemporary Press
, just got denied
a reprinting by St. Louis-based Plus Communications
. Although they printed the first edition less than one month ago, the publisher says that their religious clients would be upset by the book's 'language' and have refused to reprint it.
I guess that is in the same spirit as Rev. Breedlove's attempt to rekindle
the tradition of book burning earlier this month.
Gore Vidal releases new book about the founding fathers, has some words for the current administration.
Vidal: But mostly we find the sort of corruption Franklin predicted. Ours is a totally corrupt society. The presidency is for sale. Whoever raises the most money to buy TV time will probably be the next president. This is corruption on a major scale.
Enron was an eye-opener to naive lovers of modern capitalism. Our accounting brotherhood, in its entirety, turned out to be corrupt, on the take. With the government absolutely colluding with them and not giving a damn.
Bush’s friend, old Kenny Lay, is still at large and could just as well start some new company tomorrow. If he hasn’t already. No one is punished for squandering the people’s money and their pension funds and for wrecking the economy.
So the corruption predicted by Franklin bears its terrible fruit. No one wants to do anything about it. It’s not even a campaign issue. Once you have a business community that is so corrupt in a society whose business is business, then what you have is, indeed, despotism. It is the sort of authoritarian rule that the Bush people have given us.
Ann Coulter confused about that pot and kettle saying.
Katie Couric calls Ann on her own slander and nazi related namecalling on the Today show. Ann later later tells James Carville
that its liberals who have a problem with calling people nazis. Hypocrisy must be selling nowadays, Coulter's new book is number one at amazon.com and fourth at barnes and nobles.