Myth is conveyed – and consumed – in narratives and images. So it is important to understand our most fundamental mythic image. The American obsession with individualism has been built up and buttressed by three centuries of stories, repeated in thousands of variations, of the lone, violent hero.
All societies evolved versions of Joseph Campbell’s classic…Continue
Added by Barry Spector on September 29, 2018 at 11:17am — No Comments
You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself. – Ivan Boesky
This is America. If…
Added by Barry Spector on September 28, 2018 at 2:50pm — No Comments
Whether they are uttered by Trump or by respectable media pundits, false equivalencies typically come into use in order to marginalize progressive alternatives when actual counter-arguments to them would be unconvincing. Here’s the logic:
A is the moderate opinion acceptable to those in power.
B is a progressive alternative, which gatekeepers ignore.
C is a loony, right wing conspiracy theory.
Added by Barry Spector on September 6, 2018 at 3:32pm — No Comments
In January 2013, Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC, addressed a conference of professional vote-counters. His audience included sales reps for voting machine and software companies, as well as several state secretaries of state. Todd ridiculed critics of electronic election machines, saying that they must…Continue
Added by Barry Spector on September 6, 2018 at 12:04pm — No Comments
11:00 A.M. – I leave Sebastopol in a good mood, after a wonderful poetry salon and a great breakfast with close friends. I have plenty of time to attend to today’s projects: get home, check the chickens, clean up, review the poems I might want to recite this evening during my KPFA interview about Rumi’s Caravan (www.rumiscaravan.com), meet another friend for coffee at 3:00, go to the Finnish Hall in Berkeley,…Continue
Added by Barry Spector on June 27, 2018 at 2:19pm — No Comments
The third archetype we need to discuss is that of the Apocalypse.
It is critical to this enquiry about rage in American life to remember that the myth of American innocence began to take form while Puritanism was still dominating all intellectual discourse and most politics in both Britain and North America. Then, the idea of “America” – and along with it, the…Continue
Added by Barry Spector on May 19, 2018 at 5:02pm — No Comments
Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand…Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different. – F. Scott…Continue
Added by Barry Spector on May 19, 2018 at 4:56pm — No Comments
Who are the angry white males?
Sociologists tell us that the populations from which most reactionary activism arises are those who think they may be overtaken economically by groups below them in social class. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan have always been comprised mainly of lower-middle class men, not the poor. Similarly, most anti-abortion activists have been baby boomers who make less money than their parents.
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There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population – Moshe Dayan
This essay is not really about politics; it’s about how politics reflects mythology, and together they create history.
Added by Barry Spector on March 8, 2018 at 5:08pm — No Comments
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT In AMERICAN MYTH
Part One: The Mythological and Psychological Background
Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees…
- Billy Holiday
From the perspective of those who have been forced to bear the…Continue
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PART FOUR – THE PARADOX OF THE OUTSIDER
The redemption hero, like the Christ, always comes from outside the community. And like the Christ, he leaves once his work is done. He must leave; redemption mythology requires that since he came from somewhere else, he must return. But this leads to a paradox. The innocent community defines itself by what it is not – the external Other of terrorism, and the internal Other of race. We know who…Continue
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I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism…I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents. – General Smedley Butler
I laughed to myself… “Here we go. I’m starting a war under false pretenses.” – Admiral James Stockdale, on the Gulf of Tonkin incident
I will never apologize for the United States of America. I don’t care what the facts are. –…Continue
Added by Barry Spector on November 11, 2017 at 4:15pm — No Comments