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Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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The system of capitalist inequality reproduces itself through producing scarce and unattainable luxuries which the lower classes then attain to secure, but the moment they secure them they are new scarce, and unattainable luxuries that are being placed before them, too. So they have to stay on the treadmill. It's like the lottery, it's not a game you can win at. It's not a good use of your time to aspire to a life of opulence and wealth. And as we know from a million of scandal and true crime documentaries, these are mostly pretty miserable people. They are miserable to each other, they are miserable to their own. You know, Bill Gates, working twenty hours a day despite owning more money and resources than entire countries, that is, to me, just not a paradigm to be championed. This is just a guy who is working himself to death. So, again, to go back to this idea what a degrowth ethics looks like: here's the good thing about technology. Technology has advanced to a stage where human beings have to work a lot less to work safely and live comfortably, more than at any time in human history. And that is what we should use this technology for.

Interview with anthropologist Dominic Boyer on his Noema Magazine article Why We Have To Give Up On Endless Economic Growth.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I can’t save numbers of people in Jerusalem or Gaza, or even Tel Aviv, for that matter, with the skills I’ve, maybe foolishly, chosen to cultivate. I’m a writer. Sometimes even an artist. All I can do is process things, such as the current iteration of brutality by the Israeli Occupation against its unwilling Palestinian wards, its painted birds, and I’ve been doing so with the help, these days, of the words and overall attitude of Palestinian American poet and novelist, Naomi Shihab Nye. That processing will take some time. It’s going to be a collective effort. I hadn’t considered the collaborative nature of a poet. My thought has always been that some writing is solitary. But nothing human is ever truly solitary.

Longtime Chicago theater and music creator Beau O’Reilly was close friends with the recently- departed Michael Martin, who I talked about two weeks ago. Today, I’m talking about Beau. And by way of talking about Beau, I’m talking about collective endeavors.

Beau has a new record out. What can you say about a record by a man who is twelve centuries old in thunderstorm years but has a new girl baby, and includes a song, not about that girl baby, though her vocals are featured on it, but about the boy baby that was posited earlier on and received so many gifts in the mail he opened an imaginary emporium?

Maybe I just said it.

But probably not. The new record, Thrifty, by Beau O’Reilly, available from Uvulittle, is an expression of intentional community. It’s one of the things lately which, like hearing about the courtyard at Cary’s Lounge, or anything at all going on at Cary’s, makes me want to come back to Chicago. Beau wrote all the lyrics, except a few, and sent them out for different musician friends to write the music and turn them lyrics into songs. Then those and other friends came together/apart, in that covid way we’ve all resorted to and begun to polish, to record them. All during the 2020 plague year, that’s what happened.

Soil, earth, plant, and tree metaphors will be relied on heavily in this discussion. A few words about Beau’s words: his diction and expression arise organically from strata of influences layered over a bedrock of the imperative to create. There has never been any question to Beau – or at least I’ve never... read more