Today’s Links

Only time today for a few quick links, which I may or may not expand upon in future posts.

OnlySky: The methadone of the people, subtitled “As long as the human condition is characterized by suffering, the vulnerable will seek solutions”

The theme of this piece is pertinent not so much because it’s about religion, or about the resurgence in belief in astrology and crystals, as that the reason such beliefs take hold is that the modern world is so different from the ancestral world that shaped human nature. This is the same idea I am exploring as it pertains to science fiction and fantasy.

The article cites a book I’ve had for decades and never fully read: Marshall Berman’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity.

The essayist here responds to Berman:

Less ignorable than the whirling ball is the crushing anxiety and uncertainty and unfairness and loneliness and vulnerability of daily life in an alien world, a world for which we are not adapted. To our Stone Age brains, this is all terrifying, alienating, anxiety-producing.

Our situation is not okay. It’s hard, and unacceptably so.

So we declared it untrue and wrote a better story. I am loved and protected, and Everything is Part of a Plan, even if I can’t see it. When I die, fingers crossed I will live in eternal bliss, reunited with those I’ve loved and lost.

See? Much better story.


Salon: “Unfriending” America: The Christian right is coming for the enemies of God — like you and me, subtitled “Rising far-right Christian movement linked to GOP calls for ‘kingdom revolution’ led by an ‘army of believers'”


Vox: The “anti-intellectual attack” on higher ed will take years to undo, subtitled “Here’s what’s really behind the right-wing campaign on academic freedom.”


Heather Cox Richardson explains the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers, and the role of the late Daniel Ellsberg.


Robert Reich explains the five elements of fascism, “And how Trump and much of today’s Republican Party embrace them”


Media Matters: After fearmongering about crime, cable news networks are now largely ignoring decreasing homicide rates across the US, subtitled “Since March, only one Fox News anchor has mentioned this year’s decline in homicides”


The Guardian: Barbara Kingsolver: ‘Rural people are so angry they want to blow up the system’

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