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Book Review, Culture

Brilliant Materialist Interpretation of Modern European History

Eric Hobsbawm’s four-volume survey of European history from the French Revolution to the Fall of the Eastern Bloc is the premier materialist text of its generation. While giving solid notice to culture and politics, Hobsbawm’s first interest is in the movements of economics and production, and how these tides shaped the broader history of the period.

Readable, engaging, fast-paced – an indispensable survey of the past two centuries.

Just released in audio format – click here 

Plenty of used paperbacks – click here

Kermode’s reading is solid – but the audio quality is poor. Tantor usually does better – how about a remix?

Still – five stars for this extraordinary book!

Painting: Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People

Delacroix-LibertyLeading

activism, Culture

Why Are Only Honkies Protesting?

Senators vote to approve the extension of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's emergency declaration in Lansing

Take a close look at the Covid protest photos – notice anything missing? Like a little color?

The photo of a recent Michigan march above, courtesy of PBS,  shows hundreds of people marching – generally something I support! – but I blew it up, and could not spot a single person of color. Not one.

Michigan’s population is 25% POC.

Last time this happened was around 1981, when the anti-nuclear movement noticed it was overwhelmingly white. Here’s what POCs said at that time:

“Figures honkies would get out in the streets when it’s their own asses on the line!”

*****

For more on the evolution of progressive activism, see our new youtube video:

A Brief History of Direct Action

Culture, Resources & Downloads, Workshop

Magical Writing Class – Begins Sat May 23

Online Magical Writing class (via zoom) – next class Fall 2020.

Spring 2020 class with Irisanya & George (aka Luke Hauser) – full
Join us for a magical writing class via zoom, Saturdays from 12-2pm PDT, six weeks beginning Saturday May 23.
Using the tools of Reclaiming-style magic, we’ll create sacred writing space and magically invoke inspirations, allies, characters, ideas, voices – and words!.
Each week we’ll share writing exercises and games, as well as taking a close-up look at various aspects of our craft.  Tools and skills are useful for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, scripts, dissertations, blogging, sidewalk-chalking, and more.
Here’s a downloadable booklet that shows some of the things we’ll be doing. Every circle is different – let us know if you see things you’d like us to cover.
Timing/Tech:  Six sessions, Saturdays 12-2pm PDT, beginning May 23. Via zoom.
Cost: Requested donation $99-299 sliding scale – please place yourself generously on the scale to support our diverse group. Some scholarship assistance available.
Contact: George <georgefranklin1982@gmail.com>, or Irisanya <irisanya.moon@gmail.com>
Teachers: Irisanya and George are Reclaiming teachers active in various NorCal camps and communities. Last time we co-taught, it was Newts Path (ages 4-8) at Witchlets family camp.
Irisanya (she/her) is an international teacher, blogger, and author of several non-fiction books. Details at www.irisanya.com
George (he/they – aka Luke Hauser) is a community organizer and author of several fiction and nonfiction works – visit DirectAction.org
MagicalWriter-Cover
Culture

Kent State Killings – 50 Years On

2020 marks 50 years since the murders at Kent State. Four protesting students were gunned down by National Guard troops who were basically on campus to force students back to their classes.

The killings appalled many previously “neutral” Americans, including religious congregations and previously-unengaged young people.

1970 was the peak on the Vietnam-era protests. The direct actions of these years compelled the United States to begin disengagement, eventually resulting in the inglorious end of the long war in the early 1970s.

Here’s Michael Winship’s reflections on Kent State.

Neil Young’s song Ohio catches the urgent tone of that period.

Kent State photo by John Paul Filo / Library of Congress

KentState-JohnPaulFilo-LOC

activism, Resources & Downloads

Dancing the Spiral: A Companion to the Writings of Starhawk

DTS-Cover02

Welcome to Luke Hauser’s lastest project – a companion text to accompany Starhawk’s voluminous writings, featuring dozens of magical workings, ritual ideas, activist skills, pagan history, and more.

Dancing the Spiral – free download and more info.

Created in cooperation with Starhawk and Teen Earth Magic witchcamp, the goals are: (1) an exciting and challenging book for people working alone or with friends; (2) inspiration for folks to form a circle so they can do these workings with others; and (3) a fun book to flip through and get inspired!

The book also features pages of magical and activist resources – books, music, websites, free downloads, and more.This initial mock-up already contains much of the material, including the just-completed history essays.

We hope to complete and publish this book as a PDF and print edition sometime in 2021. Meanwhile, we’ll post drafts as they develop.

Dancing the Spiral – free download and more info.

*****

Economics, Satires

Jobs Crash – Dow Booms

DowBest-CNBCMadMoney

Shawn Langlois of MarketWatch flagged this marvelously sickening screenshot from CNBC’s Jim Cramer (Mad Money): “Everything that is wrong with America.”

While millions lose jobs and faced financial ruin, the Dow chalks up its best week in 80 years.

Of course, that prior “best” was during the Great Depression, so maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.

Economic Musings by Luke Hauser – short and sometimes funny!

 

Culture, Satires

Witches Fail To Levitate Mitch McConnell

McConnell-Levitate-ThisWeekABC

ABC News reports that a coven of masked witches attempted and failed to levitate US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY).

The masked pagans surrounded the hapless politician at the Kentucky Statehouse and demanded that he speak out for social justice during this time of national crisis. When McConnell failed to recognize the meaning of word “justice,” the protesters turned to Plan B – levitate the banana slug until the next election.*

Sadly, McConnell had his shields (if not his face mask) in place, and remained rooted to the marble floor.

The coven vowed to hold online zoom rituals to boost their psychic powers and shift their attention to levitating the President during one of his daily televised coronavirus rallies.

Photo and original report from This Week ABC.

More satires from Luke Hauser: https://directaction.org/category/satires/

* – UPDATE – Responding to a flurry of complaints from readers, Luke Hauser apologizes to banana slugs everywhere!