Resistance Is NOT Futile

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, a ragtag bunch of charismatic castoffs and merry malcontents staged a rebellion against the dark forces of evil in their midst. The stakes were high, as the fate of the world hung in the balance. The empire was strong and inflexible, but its hubris also made it vulnerable — if you knew where to look, and were willing to sacrifice for the greater good. This band of revolutionary misfits gathered together in secret, and launched their insurgency with principled determination. Ultimately, they prevailed through sheer fortitude, gifted insight, actionable intel, mystical wisdom, humor, and a dash of the good fortune that often favors the bold. Continue reading “Resistance Is NOT Futile”

Dread and Circuses?

It’s something of a supreme irony that just as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its 146-year operation, we have entered an era that is the political equivalent of a circus. Activists have long decried the captivity and forced compliance of the animals at the center of the circus, directly contesting the cultural aphorism that it was “The Greatest Show on Earth.” By cultivating public sentiment that ultimately yielded “mounting obstacles that even its most acrobatic members could not overcome” (including diminished attendance) these oppositional forces were able to shut down what the Washington Post referred to as an “iconic spectacle.” Does any of this seem vaguely familiar, even figuratively speaking, in terms of the present political moment? Continue reading “Dread and Circuses?”

Don’t Mourn, Organize

Before his execution by the state of Utah in 1915, the legendary activist and songwriter Joe Hill wrote a telegram to Bill Haywood — himself a founding member and prominent voice in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) — in which Hill wrote: “Goodbye, Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize!” History remembers Joe Hill as a colorful and dynamic figure in the labor movements of the early twentieth century, and as someone who crafted songs and penned lyrics that have inspired generations of musicians and artists for decades since. Among other legacies, Hill coined the phrase “pie in the sky” and is probably best known for the enduring paraphrase from his letter to Haywood: “Don’t mourn, organize!” Continue reading “Don’t Mourn, Organize”

Transitions of Power

Yes friends, we stand on the cusp of a shining moment in our American democracy, when we effect the peaceful transition of political power. This hallowed process sets us apart from all of those other, lesser nations where the transition of power is at times accomplished through less refined means, potentially leading to chaos and authoritarianism. Fortunately, we are immune from such outcomes, and now we can celebrate the virtues of our time-honored tradition in which power is transferred between respected leaders while the people gather to witness the miracle of democracy. Continue reading “Transitions of Power”

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs…

It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, and it certainly didn’t start in 2017, but it does seem as if the sense of information bombardment is reaching new levels. Perhaps it’s due to the incessant tweeting of a certain unnameable PEOTUS and the mainstream media’s willingness to let a jester’s rants drive the news cycle. Maybe it’s because we’re all way too hooked into this digital leviathan for work, play, and everything in between. Or it could simply be a reflection of postmodern malaise reaching its apex, at which point everything’s been done and all we have left is to seek out the new and exciting in the old and familiar. Continue reading “Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs…”