Archive for the 'toughtful' Category

Arthur Miller on the folly of taking literature as ‘just a story’

In 1966, The Paris Review Interviewed my favourite 20th Century Playwright Arthur Miller.

Arthur Miller had the following to say about the myth of apolitical literature and the foolishness of the modern attempts to gloss over the literary subject as divorced from the polis or his/her political existence.

Q:  Yet so much of the theater these last few years has had nothing to do with public life.

Miller:  “Yes, it’s got so we’ve lost the technique of grappling with the world that Homer had, that Aeschylus had, that Euripides had.  And Shakespeare.  How amazing it is that people who adore the Greek drama fail to see that these great works are works of a man confronting his society, the illusions of the society, the faiths of the society.  They’re social documents, not little piddling private conversations.  We just got educated into thinking this is all ‘a story,’ a myth for its own sake.”
-The Paris Review, pg. 25

To borrow the magnificent words of Neo-Gramscian writer Robert Cox, it is necessarily “always for someone and for some purpose’.

To me, Miller’s struggle against apolitical literature dovetails almost perfectly with what I wrote the other week in the context of apolitical non-news stories in the post entitled “How ‘non-news’ news stories reinforce the status quo”.

A *Really* Inconvenient Truth: ‘Green capitalism’ is an oxymoron


oxymoron-eco-capitalism-2.pngI recently came across an interview with Joel Kovel, the man behind A Really Inconvenient Truth and Enemy of Nature.

Joel Kovel is an eco-socialist who critiques Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth not from an environmental skeptic position, but rather on the contrary, he critiques it from the left.

The interview is well worth the listen to if you get the chance. However, I do suggest that if you’re going to listen to it, do it soon because I’m not sure how long the radio program will be hosting the file.

You can access it here:


or you can access it here.





Blogs to expand your mind

The always delightful Polly Jones nominated me a while back as one of the five blogs that make her think.  I haven’t had a chance to participate in naming the five blogs that make me think yet, so I figured that now was as good a time as any.

There are way more than 5 blogs listed on my blogroll which make me think and which challenge me to better myself everytime I read them.

I’m going to try to not re-nominate some of the blogs who have already been nominated for a thinking blogger award.  So, despite my love of Red Jenny’s blog and Polly Jones’ blog and April Reign’s blog (and they’re all fantastic blogs), I’m going to try to draw my readers’ attention to what are maybe some less popular blogs who are just as worthy of receiving a thinking blogger award as these three popular blogs.

So, my five nominations for a thinking blogger award are:



In my opinion, Doug’s blog is one of the most underrated blogs on the internet and deserves to be read by every progressive and thinking comrade.


Even if you know nothing of Louis Proyect, reading his blog makes you abundantly aware that this is a man who knows what he is talking about better than 99.9% of all bloggers out there.  Truly, a joy to read.


Now Scott’s blog, I believe, is a very popular blog, so it’s entirely likely that it has already been nominated for a thinking blogger award.  But, nevertheless, I first stumbled across his blog through a post he had discussing the Gramscian roots of the popular television series Sesame Street.  As a Gramscian, I couldn’t help but find instant respect for Scott and that respect has stayed ever since then.


While I definitely identify as a Marxist, the truth is that my formal education was painfully wanting in economics and political economics.  So, whenever I find myself drifting towards utopian, purely moral socialism, Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy is one of the sources I rely upon to help put me back in touch with scientific socialism.


Lastly, there’s Greg’s blog Democratic Space.  Never let it be said that I’m a purely partisan who can’t recognize intelligence in non-socialist and non-anarchist comrades.  Greg and I have definitely had our differences and I don’t agree with him on everything he writes, but I can’t deny that he puts an inordinate amount of work into his blog and it is always very well researched and well thought out.  I would recommend it even to other socialists


So, that’s it.  I hope everybody goes and gives each of these fantastic blogs a try.  You’ll be better off having done so.


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