Archive for The Writer’s Notebook - page 2

Perspectives–Fascism Lite: The “Ur-fascism of Donald J. Trump and Company

Perspectives: Fascism Lite: The ‘Ur-fascism’ of Donald J. Trump and Company  Things to read: “On Message” by Lewis H. Lapham: From Age of Folly: America Abandons its Democracy (Verso, London/New York, 2016). “Containing Trump” by Jonathan Rauch: From ‘The Atlantic’, March 2017. “How to Build…

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Political Lynching and the Popular Mob: Donald J. Trump Against the Central Park Five

Perspectives: Political Lynching and the Popular Mob: Donald J. Trump Against the Central Park Five  Reading and Viewing:  “New York: Sentimental Journeys” by Joan Didion, The New York Review of Books, January 17, 1991. The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding by…

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South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion

South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion (Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2017) “California Notes” began as an assignment from ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Didion never wrote the piece, but she collected a large number of notes,…

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Perspectives: Sorrows of the Digital Age: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain by Eric Kandel

Perspectives: Sorrows of the Digital Age or, Communication absent Faces, Hands and Bodies—the Un-Social Network. One can only ponder the scene: The family gathered at the dinner table, each of the five, or six, or seven, staring down at a screen. One, maybe, involved with…

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Perspectives: Stabilizing Capitalism by Creating Zombie Comsumers: One Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse

One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society by Herbert Marcuse (Beacon Press Edition, Boston, org. published 1964 pb.)  I read One-Dimensional Man as a philosophy student at the University of Kansas during the mid-1960s. As a reader of Hegel, Marx and Freud,…

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Perspectives: Plutocracy, Oligarchy, Demagoguery: America Abandons its Democracy–Lewis Lapham and Noam Chomsky on our Present Horrors

Perspectives: Plutocracy, Oligarchy, Demagoguery: America Abandons its Democracy Books: Age of Folly: America Abandons its Democracy by Lewis H. Lapham, Verso, London/New York, 2016 ($29.95)  What Kind of Creatures are We? by Noam Chomsky, Columbia University Press, New York, 2016 (Chapter 3: What is the…

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Am I Alone Here? by Peter Orner

Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner (Catapault, New York, 2016, $16.95) Peter Orner is the author of two novels, two story collections, and a number of articles and essays in important journals and newspapers. He…

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Sorrows of the Digital World: The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen

The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a Technological World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen, MIT Press, Cambridge/London, 2016. “And the faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will. No one…

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Sorrows of the Digital World and “The Attention Merchants” by Tim Wu (or, The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads!)

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2016. $28.95 At a recent small college basketball game I was in the stands with perhaps twenty or thirty other fans, most, unlike me, parents of…

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The Sorrows of the Digital World: An Expanding Bibliography for a Brave New World

  Yes, the sorrows of the digital world indeed. Mommy on the cell phone while walking with her baby daughter in the park on a beautiful morning, the guy driving seventy-five texting and staring at his lap.  Generals and Billionaires running the show on Twitter….

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