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“Delivered with rigor and irreverence... A lot has changed since 1973. How to Read Donald Duck reminds us of what hasn’t.” - HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK reviewed in the Baffler

November 14, 2018
IN THE EARLY 1970s, the United States engineered an economic crisis in Chile to destabilize Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government. Allende had nationalized the copper industry and was steering the country toward socialism. Washington’s plan, in the words of President Nixon, was to “make the economy scream.” Loans from the Inter-American Development Bank stalled, spare parts for industrial machinery from U.S. companies did not arrive, and the CIA financed a huge strike of truck drivers. During this “invisible blockade,” some foreign commodities did continue to enter Chile: materiel for the golpistas in the army, of course, but also mass culture—TV shows, advertisements, and magazines, including the comic book adventures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Read the full review here.

“This compact volume offers an unusual perspective juxtaposing present-day Russian activities with the US operations in the Cold War era.” - CREATING CHAOS reviewed in the Journal of Peace Research

November 12, 2018
The intensity of application of various clandestine and unsavory means – from propaganda to corruption to cyber-attacks – in the escalating confrontation between Russia and the West has reached such alarming levels that demand for systematic analysis of this phenomenon stimulates policy research. This compact volume offers an unusual perspective juxtaposing present-day Russian activities with the US operations in the Cold War era.

Read the full review here.

LIZA FEATHERSTONE on how focus groups are ruining politics on the Katie Halper Show

November 12, 2018
Liza Featherstone talks to me and Gabe about focus groups and how they're ruining politics. We discuss her latest book "Divining Desire: the Culture of Consultation," her latest piece in The Baffler "Sorry to Bother You," and the midterms.

Listen to the full interview here.

LIZA FEATHERSTONE on the culture of consultancy in the Baffler

November 12, 2018
THE APARTMENT WAS in one of those large luxury apartment buildings, like dorms for young New Yorkers lucky enough to have the money to buy a real home but still lacking the inclination to do so. The property had several sprawling lounges, a weight room, and a doorman. A pets-inclusive happy hour was advertised in the elevator.

Read the full article here.

“More books like Strongmen are needed... Strongmen part two, please.” - STRONGMEN reviewed at Asian Affairs

November 9, 2018
Until recently, progressives believed the retreat of liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War would be like water running uphill. ‘There is no coherent alternative to liberal democracy,’ wrote Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History (1992). But the Marxist historian Vijay Prashad, who edited Strongmen, a timely book about a handful of the world’s top-dog, so-called ‘strongmen’, counters with a verbal punch from Antonio Gramsci who said in his Prison Notebooks, ‘The crisis consists in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum, a great deal of morbid symptoms appear.’.

Read the full review here.

“To be contributing to writing, contributing to language — I consider those to be political acts.” - KAREN FINLEY interviewed in The Villager

November 9, 2018
At 62 years old, artistic provocateur Karen Finley has worn many outfits over her storied lifetime. Most recently she’s donned a red Make America Great Again baseball cap, as well as a frumpy, untailored blue suit, a billowy blue cotton dress with a headscarf, and a white power suit topped with a blond wig, variously impersonating Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

Read the full interview here.

MEDEA BENJAMIN on Donald Trump's imposition of new sanctions on Iran at Loud & Clear

November 8, 2018
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by economist and political analyst Shabbir Razvi; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, and the author of “Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran;” and University of Tehran Professor Mohammad Marandi.

Listen to the full interview here.

“CBN is the most influential evangelical Christian organization in the world - without a doubt.” - TERRY HEATON discusses Trump and the Christian Broadcasting Network on Al Jazeera's The Listening Post

November 5, 2018
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly labelled much of mainstream American media "fake news" and the "enemy of the people". But there are a few outlets that are in Trump's good books. It's common knowledge that Fox News is a soft landing spot for the president, but what's less well known is the wide-ranging access he, and many members of his administration, offer to the much smaller Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN.

Watch the full program here.

“The record will show the game securely rigged in favor of the rich.” - Read an excerpt from MONEY AND CLASS IN AMERICA at Literary Hub

November 5, 2018
At the higher elevations of informed American opinion in the spring of 2018 the voices of reason stand united in their fear and loathing of Donald J. Trump, real estate mogul, reality TV star, 45th president of the United States. Their viewing with alarm is bipartisan and heartfelt, but the dumbfounded question, “How can such things be?” is well behind the times. Trump is undoubtedly a menace, but he isn’t a surprise. His smug and self-satisfied face is the face of the way things are and have been in Washington and Wall Street for the last quarter of a century.

Read the full excerpt here.

“We have a history within our families, our country, about resistance, and we know what to do.” - read an interview with KAREN FINLEY in Paper

November 1, 2018
No one knows provocative quite like Karen Finley. The artist's politically charged writing and performances have brought her both admiration and notoriety since the early 1980s. Her ninth and most recent book, Grabbing Pussy, is an outrage-driven, anger-filled, yet often satirical examination of the psychosexual obsessions of men in power. Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein and, of course, President Donald Trump all get the Finley treatment.

Read the full interview here.

VIJAY PRASHAD on fascism in the age of digital reproduction in the Daily Hampshire Gazette

November 1, 2018
You blame Trump for everything. I admit: It is hard to disagree with you. He is a disagreeable person. There is the sexism and the predatory behavior. There is also the racism and the transphobia. Add to that his acidic rhetoric, the grisly way in which he dismisses all that he dislikes. But then again, there is more to Trump than meets the bile duct. He’s so ordinary these days. So unoriginal.

Read the full article here.

This Halloween, treat yourself to a ghoulish delight by the master of horror himself: ED WOOD

October 31, 2018
read on if you dare
dracula revisited

 

DRACULA REVISITED

 

Time stood still! Fright kept the eyes behind drawn shades fastened over the windows. The wheels crunched into the ruts and the horses' hooves beating rhythmically against the ground were never lost to the other sounds of the more powerful elements. Blackness and total despair took its toll of mind-bursting horrors.

Then the wild, terrifying ride into darkness was over. There had never been a sign of the vintage vehicle slowing nor was there a change of pace from the horses. The coach simply was speeding into infinity one moment and the next it had come to a complete stop. Then there was only complete and total silence. There was not even the sound of the thunder or the heavy breathing which should have been audible form the horses after their long run. It was as if one had entered completely into another world... a foreboding void where neither sound nor light existed. This is an experience only the deaf and blind could fully comprehend... or the dead!

The silence was not to last long. It was an eternity in one's anxious mind, but only moments in reality. The first sound was the opening of the carriage door from the outside. And the remaining sense speedily returned into their proper place with the human sphere. It was a beastly cold wind which poured through the door... bitter, mountain cold and it was not soundless. There was an eerie quality which could only have accompanied the wind when it had crossed through the tombs and markers of some ancient, musty cemetery. It was the crying of lost and damned souls. The screams for release from their everlasting pits of hell.

.........

And the hour of midnight silently overcame me. The coffin lid had a strange sound as it opened… a sound like the beating of my own heart back in the black carriage. It was all together yet separated… both were there… and the fingers came out of the slight opening.

The last of the twelfth minute enveloped me as I hynpotically held my gaze on the raising coffin lid.

The legend had been dispelled as a legend. The realness of reality had to leave my mind. There was no longer any reason for being. The dead arose from his coffin. His funeral suit was as it had always been described. His lips were red. His fangs were those of the wolf. His blue eyes were mirrors…

 

Further Reading

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“He Was the Visual Voice of the Village Voice”: Dwight Garner on FRED W. McDARRAH

October 30, 2018
McDarrah had an inflamed curiosity, great feelers and an ability to capture liquid moments. He was in the right place at the right time, for sure, and caught a subculture in situ. He also had hustle. “When the chance came for him to make the most” of his moment, the historian Sean Wilentz writes in his excellent introduction, “he didn’t blow it.”

Read the full profile at theNew York Times.

“Can America Survive the Rule of a “Stupified Plutocracy”?” - LEWIS LAPHAM discusses MONEY AND CLASS IN AMERICA at the Institute for New Economic Thinking

October 30, 2018
When author and journalist Lewis Lapham, founder of Lapham’s Quarterly and former editor of Harper’s, turned his shrewd gaze on the go-go ‘80s in “Money and Class in America,” he never imagined the era’s avatar of greed would one day become President Donald Trump. Three decades later, Lapham shares his views on the decades-long deterioration of democracy in an interview with INET’s Lynn Parramore. An expanded and revised edition of his book is now available with a new foreward by Thomas Frank from OR Books.

Watch the full interview here.

“Dear President Trump, no wall will stand forever.” - read an excerpt from A NEW HOPE FOR MEXICO in Literary Hub

October 30, 2018
The desert that extends toward the south of this city is an immense graveyard. Thousands and thousands of Mexicans and Latin Americans have been left to die of hunger, thirst, or exposure. Miguel Méndez, born here, in Arizona, to Mexican parents, migrants from Sonora, spoke of the border thus.

Read the full excerpt here.

DESPERATELY SEEKING SELF-IMPROVEMENT reviewed in Vice

October 30, 2018

Read the full article here.

“Fred W. McDarrah's iconic photos are being reissued. You can help bring the book to life.” - PRIDE: PHOTOGRAPHS AFTER STONEWALL in the Advocate

October 30, 2018
Fifty years ago this coming June, the Stonewall uprising occurred in Greenwich Village — an event that marked the coming-out of New York’s gay community and a refusal by gays to accept underground status that was as important in its way as the Montgomery bus boycott was to the civil rights movement..

Read the full article here.

“Caustic and furious... a fascinating book.” - HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK reviewed in Socialist Review

October 25, 2018
Written in Chile in 1971 by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic has had a troubled existence. Copies were burnt in Chile following 11 September 1973, when the Popular Unity government led by Salvador Allende was overthrown..

Read the full review here.

“A fake “balance” between Palestinians and Israelis is a “balance” that favors Israel.” - GREG SHUPAK writing in FAIR

October 25, 2018
Since the Palestinians’ Great Return March began on March 30, Israel has killed 217 Palestinians in Gaza, 163 of whom were participating in the demonstrations. Among the dead are 33 children, three paramedics and four people with disabilities; Israel has injured a further 11,155 Palestinians, many of whom will be maimed for life.

Read the full review here.

Unintended Consequences: US Sanctions on Russia and Iran Weaken Dollar’s Rule - VIJAY PRASHAD on The Real News

October 25, 2018
As the US tries to keep countries such as India from dealing with Iran and Russia, it is driving more and more countries to seek alternatives to the US dollar, threatening the dollar’s hegemony, says Vijay Prashad.

Watch the full interview here.