I’ve written an essay on John Mellencamp’s masterpiece, Scarecrow, for the Progressive, and its enduring musical and political relevance. Read at the Progressive Magazine!
New Essay at The New Republic: The Growing Religious Alliance to Ban LGBTQ Books
I have a new article in The New Republic about the hateful campaign of book banning and censorship taking place in Dearborn, Michigan. It foreshadows the formation of a dangerous and powerful new religious right. Christian evangelicals have joined forces with conservative Muslims, putting aside their differences, to advocate for homophobia.
What is happening in Dearborn very likely functions as a preview for the future of fascism in the United States: Theocratic bullies clasping hands to assault not only LGBTQ rights, but educational freedom, public officials who oppose their agenda, and democracy itself.
I owe gratitude to Brandon Will, who was born and raised in Dearborn, for his generous research assistance.
Read at The New Republic.
New Essay at the New Republic: How San Francisco Helped Give Birth to Modern American Fascism
I make my debut in the New Republic on how the assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone foreshadowed the fascism and terrorism of the contemporary right wing. The criminal defense of double murderer, Dan White, along with the outpouring of support he received from the San Francisco Police and so called “Christian conservatives,” provided a dark insight into the American right – one that, unfortunately, resonates today more than ever.
Read at the New Republic.
New Essay at CounterPunch – “Getting Away with Murder: Gov’t Mule as Model of Countercultural Excellence
After attending a recent Gov’t Mule performance, which was characteristically intense, creative, and profound, I was inspired to write about the band as a model of countercultural excellence, advancing the tradition of everything from Walt Whitman’s poetry to The Grateful Dead’s freewheeling music. As an exercise in dissection, I attempt to determine what makes Mule’s music so uniquely powerful, and how it can serve as an instrument of hope for anyone attempting to color outside the lines in an increasingly cold and corporate culture.
Read at CounterPunch.
New Essay at the Progressive: Yes, We Can Call Them “Fascist”
In my newest article, I make the argument that it is time to stop playing mealy mouthed games, and call the American right what they are: fascists. With help from the brilliant scholars on fascism, Paul Street and Anthony DiMaggio, and a reference to the late, great Italian historian and philosopher, Umberto Eco, I posit that “fascism” is the only term that accurately signifies the danger of the reactionary right wing political agenda.
Read at the Progressive.
New Story at the Bulwark: The Right’s Antisemitism Problem, and the Left’s
I’ve written an new essay for the Bulwark on the abhorrence and menace of antisemitism in the United States, focusing on how it is rising in the form of deranged conspiracy theories, hate crimes, and threats of violence. The reaction from the media, the political left and right, and broader culture is a collective yawn. Referencing the work of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, David Baddiel, Dara Horn, and Ben Tanzer, I examine the why and how. Read at the Bulwark.
New Essay for the Daily Beast: Democrats Must Fight the Worst Assault on LGBT Americans in Decades
In a new essay for the Daily Beast, I review the evidence to conclude that the United States is suffering the worst wave of homophobia in decades. Manifesting in rising hate crimes, threats of violence, book banning, and hundreds of state bills to crackdown on LGBT rights, the right wing is in a homophobic frenzy. Democrats have the right position and policies, but must fight back more aggressively.
Read at the Daily Beast.
New Essay for CNN: Thoughts on the “Fan Fiction Left”
In a new essay for CNN, I examine one of the reasons for Biden’s abysmal approval rating, and more important, the troubled state of the country – the insidious influence of what I call the “fan fiction left.” The fan fiction left is withdrawn from reality, and in the words of George Orwell, lost in political thought that is nothing more than “masturbation fantasy.”
Read my diagnosis of the fan fiction left’s delusions, and my survey of the damage that they cause at CNN.
New Essay on David Foster Wallace for CounterPunch
I’ve written an essay on the last completed work of the brilliant and masterful writer, David Foster Wallace. The novella is not only a great read, but has much to teach a nation that has become one big “wastoid.” Read at CounterPunch!
New Essay at the Progressive: Why You Shouldn’t Care about Gas Prices
I’ve written a new essay for The Progressive Magazine. I ridicule the hypocritical and foolish obsession with gas prices, calling on American political culture to give more attention to the costs that actually transform everyday life into a financial struggle – housing, health care, education, and debt (major increases in these burdens receive almost no coverage from the press).
Relentlessly focusing on gas prices also acts as a propaganda victory for the oil industry by distracting the public from the impending catastrophe of global warming.
Read it at the Progressive.