Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
Uprising in tehran  keshavarz boulvard september 2022  2  cropped for itn

My take is that when it comes to establishing and trying to grow these kind of roots for democracy, I personally think it has to be rooted in resistance, originally. I think that democracy, in order for it to be meaningful and for it to thrive over time, it has to grow these kind of deep roots within the culture. And I think that when it comes to protest and resistance, these are ways of expressing these kind of desires. And for really constituting this sort of collective memory among the populace to say, you know, one: we're not going to forget these moments, these acts of brutality by the regime, we're going to make our voice heard, right? So that to me is a deeply democratic way of thinking and of beginning. I think that it's the sort of incipient and early moments of democracy.

We speak with political science scholar, Nojang Khatami who is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Justitita Center for Advanced Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt. Beginning in the fall of 2023, he will be Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. Nojang is on to talk about his Boston Review article, “The Lifeblood of Iranian Democracy: From street demonstrations to song, dance, film, and poetry, women are advancing a long legacy of struggle against authoritarianism in Iran.”

 

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri
Windover grave shop

If you believe that a “right to work” law is about supporting workers’ rights, I’ve got some swamp land in Florida you might want to buy. Not a swamp, actually; more of a bog. How much does it cost? If you have to ask, you couldn’t afford it.

 

It’s a pretty special bog. Windover Pond. Since 1982, Windover Archaeological Site. They found some 8000-year-old brains in that Florida bog. No, none of them belonged to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, but that is a good guess. Like the governor’s brain, these have shrunken down to a quarter of the size of that of a living sentient human. Also like the governor’s brain, one would be hard-pressed to use it for thinking in its current condition. Different from the governor’s brain is that the 8000-year-old brains have the excuse of having been buried under ten feet of peat for 8000 years.

 

Eighty centuries. Eight millennia. Thereabouts.

 

Archaeologists had the bog drained so they could retrieve all the dead people. They found about ten thousand pieces of human remains representing some 168 corpses. And this was no mass grave like that mass frog grave we learned about a few weeks ago in the segment entitled, “The Cambridge Holocaust.” This was not the locus of any war or massacre or even black plague body dump. Nor was this a mass sacrificial site.

 

This, dear listeners, was a community cemetery. The people were mostly buried in the fetal position on their left side with their heads oriented north. They were buried ceremonially with objects and covered in woven fabric, fabric that survived, protected from decay, for eighty centuries by the Ph neutral water and anoxic, antibiotic nature of the bog. The deceased were even anchored with stakes so they wouldn’t float to the surface and be picked over by varmints. These ceremonial burials took place in this bog over generations, and DNA showed that one family had been burying their dead there for over a hundred years.

 

Tradition, bum ba da dum, tweet deedle deedle deedle deedle deet Tradition!

 

But they weren’t Jews from the Pale of Settlement, most likely, though genetically they are thought to have originated in what is now Russia, but in the North Asian part. So maybe some of their descendants were neighbors, either in Siberia or down in Boca Raton. People get around.

 

Were they maybe aliens from outer space?... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
Ascension

It is well known that the 12th Century abbess, theologian, poet, mystic, and musician, Hildegard von Bingen, composed her famous morality musical revue, Ordo Virtutum, known in English as The Virtue Play, based on music she heard in one of the many trances during which her divine visions were revealed.

It is also known that Saint Hildegard, beatified in 2012 by recently-retired Pope Benedict, kept a fifty-five-pound (25 kg) dry-cured Westphalian ham in her sleeping chamber in the abbey at Disibodenberg and then at Rupertsberg under a blanket of coarsely-woven wool.

 

It should be no trouble, then, to place the two facts, the seeing of visions and the companioning with the ham, one fact next to the other, tie them together with additional facts from little-known sources, bind them with the duct tape of bold supposition, and discern for yourself the SuperTruth® that Hildegard’s inspiration for the Ordo Virtutum emerged from no other source than out of her beloved ham in signals from the ultra-high-wattage broadcasting antennae of Jesus in His faraway fortress of solitude, Heaven.

 

As a child, Little Hildegard first started having visions, hearing voices, feeling feelings, and smelling smells when she was around five years old. This was in about the year 1103. At that time she was known to be fond of carrying with her everywhere she went a cowhide pouch containing a severed, desiccated rabbit’s foot. As she grew older and entered the monastery as an oblate and assistant to Sister Jutta, she could often be found in the chapel communing with a braided cross woven of strips of venison jerky. Later some cured, dried beef, called “speck,” in a hunk about the size of a full-grown squirrel, occupied her teenage years in the Benedictine monastery at Disibodenberg. By the time she became prioress and moved her nuns to St. Rupertsberg, she had already taken up residence with the enormous meat product.

 

Sister Jutta, when Hildegard visited her on her deathbed, expressed her disapproval of the relationship. In Hidelgard’s own records of her visions, the Scivias, the Liber vitae meritorum, and the De operatione Dei, she never mentions her communications with the ham, which might seem odd given the big deal we’re making of it here. We can most logically attribute the omission to Jutta’s disapprobation and Hildegard’s wounded feelings. Whatever clairvoyant and... read more