Hegemonic Half-Truths: Why 9/11 Did Not Necessarily Strengthen the Religious Right in the Long Run

(This post is cross-published here on Narrative Paths Journal) Last week I fielded a query from the University of Tennessee campus newspaper about legacies of 9/11/2001. Its reporter asked: “How did 9/11 strengthen or weaken the religious faith of Americans? How did it change the way people think about mortality, evil, and hope? In what … Continue reading Hegemonic Half-Truths: Why 9/11 Did Not Necessarily Strengthen the Religious Right in the Long Run

Thoughts from a Culture War Turning Into a Shooting War

I went to my local farmer’s market here in the north woods of Wisconsin, feeling happy for the beautiful day and the chance to be a good local citizen—but the first words I heard were a guy saying “maybe they shouldn’t have shot seven times, but other than that I can't see that he didn’t … Continue reading Thoughts from a Culture War Turning Into a Shooting War

Injecting Bleach or Ingesting Beach—Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I’m writing this note after reading a New York Times piece and reader’s thread about Trump’s suggestion to combat coronavirus by “injecting” a form of bleach as a sort of "cleansing” (which he has now walked back to supposedly being “sarcastic,” although that seems worse than sincerity). I noticed on cable TV as the story … Continue reading Injecting Bleach or Ingesting Beach—Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The Death of My Old Hometown: Sucking Out the Wealth, Filling the Gap with Fecal Pollution

Last summer, on a road trip between Minneapolis to Kansas City, I passed through a small town in Iowa where I lived from age two to five.  Here is a picture I took. I have few personal memories of my early years, and almost all of them are filtered through home movies that I watched … Continue reading The Death of My Old Hometown: Sucking Out the Wealth, Filling the Gap with Fecal Pollution

Speaking Hard Truths

I don’t often recirculating comments from others here. But sometimes I make an exception, and I will do so for this interview with Noam Chomsky on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now. https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/10/noam_chomsky_trump_us_coronavirus_response I do not have much to add.  But if you are celebrating Easter or Passover, may I recommend that you make this part of … Continue reading Speaking Hard Truths

Don’t Deem a Melting Glacier Irrelevant (Just Because the Rest of the Glacier is Still Cold and You Really Hate Cold Things)

“Many evangelicals are likely to switch their loyalties to the Democrats [in the coming election]—and the exact numbers will depend partly on whether they perceive that mainstream liberals are treating them with nuance and respect, as opposed to stereotypes and contempt.” I said that in 2008, in a context I will discuss shortly. It remains … Continue reading Don’t Deem a Melting Glacier Irrelevant (Just Because the Rest of the Glacier is Still Cold and You Really Hate Cold Things)

I Watched Kanye’s Christmas Pageant So You Don’t Have To

…Or… if you want to watch, or already did—if you are into that sort of thing—it’s not a problem, we can compare notes. This production is interesting in several ways— especially if you care about the cultural politics of religion in US popular music, or are the sort of person who was turned on by … Continue reading I Watched Kanye’s Christmas Pageant So You Don’t Have To