“The fight for real power is over what gets to count as a fact in the first place. Truth only matters insofar as you have the power to determine what is truth.”Read More
Trump’s America will shine not as an exemplar of righteous conduct but as an example of “winning” business practices and national self-interest.Read More
A history of what began as a clique of kids on the street, developed into a disciplined organization that reordered the nature of gang relations in Chicago (inaugurating the alliances of various gangs under the umbrella “People” and “Folk” labels), and was reinvented by its “Chief” as first a Moorish Science and then an Islamic religious organization; all the while running a variety of criminal enterprises, culminating in negotiations with the Libyan government with the hopes of being paid in exchange for unleashing certain amount of targeted violence in Chicago. There’s a series of huge stories here, and this book—while certainly the best resource on the subject—is hurt by the sheer range of material it has to address.
A few weeks ago the stars were realigned. The Archimedes’ Lever of this cosmic shift was, of all places, in Minnesota, where a newspaper published an article quoting an astronomer on an issue involving the accumulated result of long, slow gravitational pull. These comments went viral online at something close to the speed of light, leading to reevaluation of the Zodiac, panic among horoscope followers, assorted tweets defending or regretting tattoo selections, and some attempts at explanation from astrologists as to their systems of making sense of human existence through claims about the pull of the stars.Read More
There’s a scene in Martin Preib’s recent and remarkable collection of essays where he describes pulling over to the side of the road to scribble down a note, deep in conversation about the work of Walt Whitman, about what that work accomplished and how. “My terms are useless:…Read More
While Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell didn’t say anything about Wicca, per se, when she talked about “dabbling into witchcraft,” her more recent “kill the witch” comments will surely distance her further from pagan communities used to dealing (especially around Halloween) with this confusion between the swirling cultural tropes of “the witch” and those who embrace “witch” as a religious self-description.Read More
Controversial Muslim Scholar Tariq Ramadan, banned from travel to the United States, spoke in Montreal last week at the annual convention of the American Academy of Religion. In a question-and-answer session he answered accusations of “doublespeak.”Read More
This Haitian religion, caricatured by Hollywood, maligned as “Satanic,” and dismissed as “primitive,” is getting a facelift.Read More