Monthly Archives: September 2016

We Must Revisit Slavery To Find Healing

After attending some remarkable reconciliation events dealing with America’s history of slavery, I now have a better understanding of Octavia Butler’s time travel novel about slavery–and about why the protagonist doesn’t escape back to the present unharmed.

Posted in Butler (Octavia) | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Trump & Bounderby: Cut Taxes or Die

In Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump warned that companies would take their business elsewhere if taxes and regulations on them weren’t lowered. As Dickens noted in “Hard Times,” businesses have been threatening this, like, forever.

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Hillary Clinton Is Hermione Granger

Hillary Clinton is like Hermione Granger in many ways, but there is one very important difference.

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A Novel about Unexpected White Violence

Octavia Butler’s “Kindred,” a time travel novel about an African American woman dragged into slave America, speaks to a number of our racial problems today.

Posted in Butler (Octavia) | 3 Comments

On Broken Ceasefires, in Homer & in Syria

The horrific bombing of a 31-truck aid convoy brought an end to the painstakingly negotiated ceasefire between Russian and the United States in Syria. The incident resembled how Hera and Athena break up the truce that the Greeks and Trojans are trying to negotiate in “The Iliad.”

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I Am Lazarus Come Back from the Dead

I’ve just realized that the Lazarus mentioned in Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a different once than I’ve been assuming. This makes me appreciate the poem even more.

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Black Lives Mattered to Langston Hughes

Following two more shootings of unarmed black men, the New York Times devoted a full page to Langston Hughes’s powerful poem “I, Too.” Meanwhile, his poem “Harlem” provides an explanation for the riots in Charlotte.

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You Never Did the Kenosha Kid

An aide to Ohio governor John Kasich recently labeled Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus a “Kenosha political operative.” This gives me an excuse to revisit Thomas Pynchon’s extended riff upon “the Kenosha Kid” in “Gravity’s Rainbow.”

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I Am Trump, the Great and Powerful!

Donald Trump is the Wizard of Oz, and this past week America got to see him exposed, complete with collapsing curtain.

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