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  • feedwordpress 21:03:58 on 2022/05/14 Permalink
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    tainted love 


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    One of the biggest movie stars of his generation accuses his ex-wife of slander. She wrote an op-ed in a national newspaper in which she presented herself as the victim of domestic abuse. This man is now claiming that she abused him, they are suing and countersuing each other, as their not-so-secret history as a couple turns inside out for public consumption. Meanwhile a psychologist on the stand floats the term “mutual abuse” which has other psychologists scratching their heads and saying that ‘mutual abuse’ is an oxymoron.

    Here’s another word: toxic.

    Every abusive relationship may be a toxic relationship, but is every toxic relationship an abusive one?

    An abusive relationship depends upon a pre-existing power imbalance that gives one partner the power to abuse in the first place. In other words, you abuse your partner by abusing the power you have over the partner. You do this systematically. You do this over time. An abusive relationship might or might not be physically violent, but it is always — always — a massive mindf*ck in which the abused partner begins to accept the abuser’s twisted version of reality for reality itself. Anything that contradicts that reality — including the abused partner’s own instincts that something is very and increasingly wrong — gets cut off at the root.

    A therapist once said to me that this culture makes it very difficult for a woman to be the more powerful partner in a relationship; if the woman has more money, for example, the man will assume superiority in other areas. As a therapist states to Ada Calhoun in the book WHY WE CAN’T SLEEP:

    Women who earn more than their husbands….actually do more housework in an effort to compensate for their higher earnings and the psychological drama involved.

    So if a young blonde actress was somehow able to establish and maintain power over a man twice her age — not to mention her body weight — with greater wealth, greater fame, and a considerably greater fanbase, that strikes me as impressive in a demented kind of way.

    She must have superpowers.

    Yet somehow I doubt it.

    Femme fatales and evil goddesses exist in fiction, in movies, in the public imagination; in real life, the women who get designated as either or both turn out to be as human as everybody else.

     
  • feedwordpress 06:42:15 on 2020/10/04 Permalink
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    On the Radicalism of Love 


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    This livestream has ended.
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  • feedwordpress 21:24:53 on 2020/06/03 Permalink
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    The Upcoming Election 


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    To learn more about donating to these candidates, click here.
     
  • feedwordpress 20:14:36 on 2020/04/17 Permalink
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    April 17, 2020 


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    Image by Stephen Skinner

    Without access to health care or higher education and burdened by heavy college loans, people are practically caged within a system where the actualization of their potential becomes harder and harder to achieve.

    Chronic economic anxiety thus becomes a constant companion, as it was even before the pandemic for tens of millions of Americans.There, in the constriction of their opportunities, lies the constriction of the American economy.

    To speak of the economy as a separate entity that bestows its abundance on people rather than as the creativity of people sharing their abundance with the world, is the upside down thinking that makes our system so skewed and inevitably cruel.

    Even now, masters of the universe speak of re-opening the economy with almost bloodless lack of consideration for how many millions of people will be too financially devastated by then to vitally participate. the bubonic plague led to the end of serfdom; COVID-19 threatens to re-introduce it.

    If the political class does not stop underestimating the intelligence of the American people, recognizing that the barrenness of our system has now been revealed in all its heartlessness, they will be caught off guard by forces of chaos that then wash over American society like a tsunami in the wake of the pandemic.

     
  • feedwordpress 06:42:11 on 2020/04/17 Permalink
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    April 17, 2020 


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    My friend Susan sent me this picture today. She said that in the midst of all the sadness her new granddaughter was born, and her peonies began to bloom a few days before Easter. I almost cried at the reminder. Children continue to be born, people continue to love each other, and flowers continue to bloom. In the midst of the pandemic, with all its grief and horror, it seems to me there’s an undeniable awakening occurring. In the silence, in the realizations, even in the tears, there are gifts of knowledge and wisdom and depth and understanding. When this ends, whenever it ends, the sky is going to be bluer and the light is going to sparkle more and we will emerge as a more grateful and more humble people. Some will be grieving for years to come and it will be our task to comfort them. But our greatest task will be to make sure that those who died did not die in vain; that what we learned from this pandemic was to do life differently, for our country and for the world.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:36:02 on 2020/04/14 Permalink
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    Time to Choose Another Way 


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    April 14, 2020

    Since you’re at home anyway and might not have a lot to do, try this little mind exercise: spend five minutes imagining what our world would be like if Congress, the Senate and White House was made up mainly of authors, artists, teachers, healers, scientists, yogis and philosophers.

    Would things be any worse, and might they possibly even be better? How are we doin’ with the way we’re running things now? Is it possible for us to break the spell, to awaken from the delusional prejudice that a certain kind of business mentality is a better kind of leader?

    The pandemic is not a surprise to scientists, for instance, who have been warning us about this kind of thing for decades. Their words have gone largely unheeded by large portions of our political leadership. And why? Because they do not represent financial leverage – what they have to say does not increase short term corporate profits – and it is money, not wisdom, that runs Washington. (Until we get the money out of politics, such insanity will prevail). And it is not a surprise to philosophers either, who know that humanity’s recklessness and irresponsibility have paved the wicked path to this. It is a mindset that is killing us, a dense material fear-based worldview that has nothing to do with paving a sustainable, much less thriving path for humanity in the 21st-century. The origin of this virus, whatever it was, was an expression of irreverence toward people, animals or planet.

    It is time for us to choose another way. There is a veil in front of all our eyes, on the other side of which is a newborn world – one made fresh and sparkling (we’ve actually seeing images of it already) as we stop our acquiescence to the violence now perpetuated so casually upon it.

    It is time to ask ourselves, “Is that what we want?” If it is, some things are going to have to change. We must make other choices. We must choose life, and peace, and love.

    Yet there will be a lot of resistance to those choices, of that there is no reasonable doubt. Thus back to that imaginary government. For a different world, we’ll need a different kind of government. One of the people. By the people. For the people.

    What a thought…

     
  • feedwordpress 14:53:00 on 2020/04/12 Permalink
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    April 12, 2020 


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    On the night before the crucifixion, all of the disciples were gathered around Jesus. As the hour got late they began to fall asleep. He said to them, “Can you not remain awake with me in the hour with my agony?” The disciples falling asleep was not only because of the lateness of the hour; it was because of the emotional pain of that moment and their wanting to escape it by going to sleep. And that has been us for centuries. “What you do to the least of these you do to me,” he said. And yet we have done horrible things to the least of these. We were asked not to go to sleep, and yet we did. We went to sleep with all manner of distraction, self-reference, and whatever other excuses we gave ourselves. And now we have no choice but to remain awake in the hour of his agony, because the hour of his agony is now ours as well. The answer is not to escape this mystery, to turn away from it, or to even think about trying to fall asleep. It isn’t possible anymore. The answer lies not in sleeping but in waking. The world is in agony, our collective crucifixion is upon us, yet resurrection is on the horizon even now…

     
  • feedwordpress 19:04:30 on 2020/04/10 Permalink
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    Good Friday April 10, 2020 


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    Today is Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion (I know, I know, what a weird thing to call it). We acknowledge it as a way of recognizing darkness, naming its reality and bearing witness to the suffering it creates. 

    We do so however with the understanding that within the symbolic three days our suffering will end. There will be a period of grief, torment, and anguish, yes – yet that will be followed by a burst of light so extraordinary, so miraculous, that the mortal mind will bow before the supremacy of an otherworldly love. And in that moment the reign of darkness will cease, its spell having been broken by our joint realization that in the presence of God it has no power at all. Light having entered the darkness, the darkness shall be no more. The word “Hallelujah” then takes on meaning we never could have known before.

    Hallelujah. May it be so. At this, our moment of collective crucifixion, may the infinite mercy of God be upon us. May we dwell so deeply in the consciousness of Love that God Himself will close the gap and lift us high.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:50:37 on 2020/04/09 Permalink
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    We Must Never Ever Ever Let Go 


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    April 9, 2020

    There are two political universes: The first is the parties, the pundits, the money, the polls, the debates, and the media. I call it the political/media industrial complex.

    The second is the American people, the voters, those who Jefferson referred to as “the only safe repository of power.”

    In ‘20 as in’16, the first ate the second one alive. One of the most important activities on earth has been reduced to a carnival show, overseen by unscrupulous people who couldn’t care less. I hope at least some of them are using this time to think about what they’ve done again.

    It’s so imperative to question what you’re told. If someone is referred to as a serious player, ask yourself why. And if they’re referred to as a joke, ask yourself why that as well. Do your own research. Recognize that many of those people make and break careers for fun.

    There are journalists with complete absence of ethics who are high on their ability to destroy someone. They practice the “politics of personal destruction” – and not just for fun. They do it in large part to further their own careers. They walk over bodies and consider it a good day.

    Meanwhile, there are millions of people who are desperately stuck – in jobs they hate, lacking healthcare, burdened by school loans, unable to participate in the American dream, and they show up to hear politicians with a sincere belief – eroded more and more by the bullshit that has come to be known as politics in this country – that maybe someone could actually help them.

    They are people who truly care about this country. All they want is a fair shot for themselves, their children and their planet. But they’ve been turned into pawns in a corporatized game, a cruel and manipulative process by which people are made to believe that what should be thought of as a joke is serious, and what should be thought of as serious should be seen as a joke.

    And where does that get us? Look all around you. The entire process of this campaign season was a canard. And I speak from experience. I was there. I was in the belly of the beast. I saw it, I touched it, I smelled it, I felt it. And in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I tremble for my country.”

    But I’m not throwing my hands up in the air, and neither should you. This is our country. The dream of our ancestors. We must never ever ever let go.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:59:08 on 2020/04/07 Permalink
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    War Profiteering in the Age of Corona 


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    April 7, 2020

    Most Americans would think that with doctors and nurses literally begging for protective gear and ventilators, our federal stockpile is used so we can get them what they need as soon as possible.

    But those Americans would be wrong. Why? Because the stockpile – even what’s left of it – is SOLD to the states, not given to anyone. I spoke to the CEO of a major hospital yesterday and she said that the second tsunami of despair will be financial.

    Hospitals are having to spend millions and millions of dollars to get the equipment they need‬, and states are literally bidding against each other for access to the equipment. This should be seen as war profiteering. The idea that the profit motive has anything to do with any of this, while doctors and nurses – many of them with children at home – are literally risking their lives to fight this war for us, is disgusting.

    This is the downside of unfettered capitalism, its shadow, the immoral and unethical obeisance to profit motive even when it runs against every moral consideration, every ounce of conscience within the human heart.

    We are seeing revealed the unconscionable tyranny of a political system so driven by slavish devotion to corporate profits that we the people can just drop dead for all it cares. This is why I called the system sociopathic during my presidential campaign. This is inhuman. It’s monstrous. And it is up to we the people to change it.

     
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