Michael Sandel on the Partially Examined Life Podcast Talks About the Limits of a Free Market Society

≡ Category: Philosophy, Politics |Leave a Comment

Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel is one of our most famous living philosophers. His course, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (available via YouTube, iTunes, or Harvard’s web page) has been enjoyed by more than 14,000 students over 30 years, and was recently offered as a Massive Open Online Course.

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Wattstax Documents the “Black Woodstock” Concert Held 7 Years After the Watts Riots (1973)

≡ Category: Music, Politics |Leave a Comment

Recent events in Missouri have brought back painful memories for many of the brutal treatment of protestors by police during the Civil Rights Movement. Others see specters of the riots in cities like Detroit, Washington, DC, and the beleaguered Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder.

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Why R.E.M.’s 1991 Out of Time May Be the “Most Politically Important Album” Ever

≡ Category: Music, Politics |5 Comments

Raise your hand if you bought your first music on cassette tapes. No, not those detourned objects of nostalgia circa 2013, but the “this is the latest technology and that’s that” kinda thing.

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Take The Near Impossible Literacy Test Louisiana Used to Suppress the Black Vote (1964)

≡ Category: History, Politics |4 Comments

In William Faulkner’s 1938 novel The Unvanquished, the implacable Colonel Sartoris takes drastic action to stop the election of a black Republican candidate to office after the Civil War, destroying the ballots of black voters and shooting two Northern carpetbaggers.

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Hunter S. Thompson’s Conspiratorial 9/11 Interview: “The Public Version of the News is Never Really What Happened”

≡ Category: Politics |Leave a Comment

Having read almost everything the prolific Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson ever wrote, I don’t know if I would call him paranoid, per se. Nor do I know if I would call him not paranoid. He certainly trusted no entity with power, especially not governments, and really especially not the United States government.

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The CIA’s Style Manual & Writer’s Guide: 185 Pages of Tips for Writing Like a Spy

≡ Category: English Language, Politics, Writing |2 Comments

Along with toppling democratically elected governments, funneling money illegally to dubious political groups and producing pornographic movies about heads of state, the Central Intelligence Agency has also been fiendishly good at manipulating language.

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Jean-Paul Sartre Rejects the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964: “It Was Monstrous!”

≡ Category: History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics |Leave a Comment

In a 2013 blog post, the great Ursula K. Le Guin quotes a London Times Literary Supplement column by a “J.C.,” who satirically proposes the “Jean-Paul Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal.” “Writers all over Europe and American are turning down awards in the hope of being nominated for a Sartre,” writes J.C.

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Animated Films Made During the Cold War Explain Why America is Exceptionally Exceptional

≡ Category: Animation, History, Politics |2 Comments

The CIA fought most of the Cold War on the cultural front, recruiting operatives and placing agents in every possible sphere of influence, not only abroad but at home as well.

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Read 9 Books By Noam Chomsky Free Online

≡ Category: Books, Politics |6 Comments

The gross and ever-increasing degree of economic inequality in the United States has become a phenomenon that even the country’s elites can no longer ignore since the explosive publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century.

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Slavoj Žižek Tells Jokes (NSFW)

≡ Category: Comedy, Philosophy, Politics |1 Comment

For Sigmund Freud, a joke was never just a joke, but a window into the unconscious, laughter an anxious symptom of recognition that something lost has resurfaced, distorted into humor. For Slovenian psychoanalytic philosopher Slavoj Žižek, jokes function similarly.

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