Jul/Aug 2022

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(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Orwell's Preface: The News We Never Get to Hear

Shame, though, like fear, is a paralyzing, not a motivating, emotion. We resist it, insisting we cannot be held accountable for what happened before we were born or without our realizing. But, like someone who has received ill-gotten gains unknowingly, do we not assume a responsibility once we know what we were benefiting from for half a century at others' expense? Ought we not at least include such history in the textbooks we use to teach our children, and shouldn't we be reminded of it by the media we still trust not just to present the news but to contextualize it as well? If so, then maybe, not out of shame or "white guilt," but acting as adults accepting responsibility for injustices we have been party to without intending them, we can talk about how to make amends not just for those who have suffered so much for so long, but for the sake of our own peace of mind.

Thomas J. Hubschman

The Love You Make: Thoughts on Paul McCartney's Got Back Tour

One oddity of seeing Paul in 2022 is that, in between, a now decades-old billion dollar industry in Beatles nostalgia popped up. In addition to endless books and articles by everyone who slept with or even hung out with members of the band, there have been Beatles movies about Hamburg and Stuart Sutcliffe, the night John and Paul almost appeared together on Saturday Night Live, and the Fab Four being deleted from collective memory along with Harry Potter and Coca Cola. An entire sub-industry of Beatles tribute acts has popped up with Las Vegas residencies and tours outselling even highly popular contemporary musicians. In fact, the best of those acts look and sound more like the Beatles than Paul and his current band.

Marko Fong

Sarah's Choice

I did go to Sunday school briefly as a child and remember being taught the story through some book with color illustrations. That version had an angel in it (Abraham and the angel both looked Caucasian, and Isaac had blonde hair and blue eyes), but there was no mention of Hagar or Ishmael, whom Abraham didn't kill; he just sent them into the desert to die of thirst due to some conflict with Sarah. I understand the omission. Back in the 60's, kids would have found this confusing. Today's children would just say, "Oh yeah, sort of like Donald Trump and Marla Maples, but not so much like Stormy Daniels and Melania."

Marko Fong

Fools Will Not Replace Us

It doesn't take a genius to understand what's happening in America. Simpletons, particularly ones with built in grievances, are molded into full-fledge fools by scoffers who play on their vulnerabilities and convince them the enemy—whether it is Blacks or Jews, women or members of the LGBTQ community, "libtards" or "the establishment"—has violated the social exchange rules. In a world where every institution, from churches to businesses to the military to every level of government, has been found guilty of harboring every variety of charlatan and scumbag, it's not too hard to convince people they can't trust anyone or anything. It doesn't matter if the scoffer can't be trusted, either. In fact, the bigger liar the scoffer, the more complete the overall descent into nihilistic foolishness.

Tom Dooley