Barry Spector's Blog (183)

Barry’s Blog # 241-242: The Mythic Sources of White Rage, Parts 6 and 7

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…

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Added by Barry Spector on May 19, 2018 at 5:02pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 239-240: The Mythic Sources of White Rage, Parts 4 and 5

Part Four

 

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…

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Added by Barry Spector on May 19, 2018 at 4:56pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 236-238: The Mythic Sources of White Rage, Parts 1,2 and 3 of 7

Part One

 

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.

But economics…

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Added by Barry Spector on May 19, 2018 at 4:35pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog: Normalizing Trump, Part Four

Part Four…

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Added by Barry Spector on April 15, 2018 at 3:27pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog: Normalizing Trump, Part Three

Part Three…

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Added by Barry Spector on April 15, 2018 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog: Normalizing Trump, Parts One and Two

Part One…

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Added by Barry Spector on April 15, 2018 at 3:21pm — No Comments

Barry's Blog # 42: The Myth of Israeli Innocence

The Myth of Israeli Innocence

Part One

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.

When 15th-Century…

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Added by Barry Spector on March 8, 2018 at 5:08pm — No Comments

The Civil Rights Movement in American Myth

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…

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Added by Barry Spector on January 14, 2018 at 3:47pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 44: The Innocent American is the Violent American

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Added by Barry Spector on December 23, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 224: The Hero Must Die, Part Four of Four

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…

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Added by Barry Spector on December 18, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 223: The Hero Must Die, Part Three of Four

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Added by Barry Spector on December 15, 2017 at 5:32pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 222: The Hero Must Die, Part Two of Four

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Added by Barry Spector on December 14, 2017 at 1:11pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 221: The Hero Must Die, Part One of Four

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Added by Barry Spector on December 13, 2017 at 2:53pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 220: Redeeming the World

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Added by Barry Spector on November 29, 2017 at 11:29am — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 219: Thank You For Your Service

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. –…

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Added by Barry Spector on November 11, 2017 at 4:15pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 214: Paying Attention, Part Two of Two

Many indigenous societies believed that the dead were always close by at the times of the greatest celebrations. The festivals of mid-winter, as well as the November first celebrations in the Celtic world, looked forward to the annual restoration of the world that would come in springtime. But the elders taught that renewal would be unlikely unless due attention were paid to that which must die, as well as to those who had already died and become ancestors, and those – like Dionysus…

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Added by Barry Spector on September 10, 2017 at 12:57pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 213: Paying Attention, Part One of Two

Spiritual and mystical literature often speaks of the need to pay full attention, to be present moment to moment. In addition, what we might call “soul-work” asks us to focus our awareness of both the outer and the inner worlds with a detached, witnessing perspective, even while, as Joseph Campbell wrote, “participat(ing) joyfully in the sorrows of the world.”

A large part of the self is normally hidden from us. Indeed, cognitive linguist George Lakoff claims that only five…

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Added by Barry Spector on September 9, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Barr's Blog # 2010-212: The Dionysian Moment. Trump Lets the Dogs Out, Parts Five-Seven of Seven

Part Five

The Local Level: Policing in America

Let’s clear up one issue quickly. If mental illness (you know, the old “single shooter” trope) were the sole cause of these actions, people from all over the political spectrum would be committing them. Instead, it is the radical right that consistently enacts them. And we should also acknowledge that people with mental illness are much more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent…

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Added by Barry Spector on July 30, 2017 at 2:51pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 206-209: The Dionysian Moment. Trumps Lets the Dogs Out, Parts One-Four of Seven

Part One

…Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice

Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;

That this foul deed shall smell above the earth

With carrion men, groaning for burial.

– Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

 

So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, 

knock the crap out of ’em, would you? Seriously. Okay? 

Just knock the hell…I…

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Added by Barry Spector on July 30, 2017 at 2:48pm — No Comments

Barry’s Blog # 205: Funny Guys, Fake News and Gatekeepers

I’m just a comedian. – Jon Stewart

This is a revised and updated version of a blog I posted in early 2013. I enjoyed watching Jon Stewart preaching to the choir as much as anyone. However, I never expected any authentic, radical commentary from him, for three reasons. First, the fact that he never mentioned the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats were in office) indicated the limits of his criticism of American policies that have been…

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Added by Barry Spector on May 4, 2017 at 5:36pm — No Comments

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