Tag: reading

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Camaraderie, reading, and “a queer socialist poet” by Galtisalie

enter site Why do we do this? I can only speak for me, but I do it not only to foment revolution–a worldwide peaceful one of justice in the service of love brought about by direct and indirect action–but also for the camaraderie. NancyWH reminded me of that in a comment she made last Sunday night in a chain under annieli’s latest diary for this group (an amazing educational piece, read by very few at the time, I am sad to say):

Every journey starts with one step (4+ / 0-)

I hear.  Now I have two!  I will end up having so many tabs open, I’ll get confused.  So I have a word document where I stash links, so I can find them again later.  

And I am apt to come back early tomorrow, and find people came along and added other suggestions after I went to sleep.  It was see url that comradery that drew me here in the first place.

And that comment got me thinking about “camaraderie.” I volunteered to do this diary a day later because we needed a writer for this week, thinking that I could come up with something, but as usual not knowing what it would be. I do love this unpredictable journey of socialist sharing with comrades, some of whom are now living across one big pond or another from the U.S., and none, to my knowledge, within hundreds of miles of me, a lonely watermelon in a highly un-“red” part of the Deep Red South. To me, it does not really matter what specific anti-capitalist theme I write about or one of my comrades writes about, but it does matter that we are together, sharing our bad ass love for humanity, including for each other.

Of course, Daily Kos writ large has an agenda which should bring some solidarity, and any group blog at Daily Kos has some camaraderie around a profile, and some profiles are more or less expressly aimed at camaraderie. Because of responsibilities, I don’t often get to participate in Saturday night’s WYFP?, but when I do, I am always uplifted by the fact that people bring their problems to each other there and receive encouragement from others. It is quite beautifully real and sometimes brings me to tears.

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Stuck in my atrophying mental space, based on NancyWH’s comment, was this subject of camaraderie. I have never spent much time thinking about socialist camaraderie per se, but I have known some camaraderie in my day, most of it decidedly un-socialist and un-progressive–a “wide gamut,” everything from little league competition and bench-warming of the “worst” “teammates”; to high school locker room glory days, where one fits in by not only performing on the field or court but also by committing or ignoring bullying of the smallest “teammates”; to goldfish-swallowing beer-guzzling fraternity “good times,” where one fits in by committing or receiving bullying given the more grandiose name of hazing; to beer-guzzling adult softball team after-game carousing and what not–then again, it dawns, maybe I don’t know shit about camaraderie, sure haven’t had much of it that wasn’t involved with competition, cruelty, or both.

After all, as we all know down heuh, when it comes to “heaven and hell,” it is everyone for “himself,” standing condemned from the instant of birth by the sinful act of copulation, so loved by the great tortoise in the sky that he would send us into a burning eternal barbecue pit for daring to enter this perfect world. I was raised in, and in the acceptable capitalist ways rebelled from, the most conservative of fundie religious subcultures in the Cold War U.S., where “comrade” was used as a term of hostile disparagement of “the enemy.” Come to think of it, the closest I received in comradery growing up was probably involved with sharing bong hits and playing hearts while ditching some class in minimester I can’t remember now.

I do remember distinctly when I first read the word “comrade” in reference to real people that I know–the members of this group, which I’d just joined, a little over a year ago. Ironically, it was used by one of my now heroes, NY brit expat, in asking for writers! I am sorry to say that I at first assumed it was humorously used. “Comrade” died with the Soviet Union, right? I replied back somewhat tongue in cheek but even then felt scared to acknowledge the request because, as in joining this group to begin with, it means to voluntarily wear a badge that could invite repression, and where I live, repression can get ugly.

I have learned in this group that camaraderie involves honest and sometimes difficult exchanges, solidarity with not only each other but all of the workers and less fortunate of the world, gentle expressions of friendship, and tons of edjurecation, and even a little re-edjurecation.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=use-accutane which leads to reading,

While we have many scholars who write for this group, I am not one of them. Each week, when I read the diary and the comments, I add to my reading list. My special top secret personal revolutionary bookcase is full of pink, red, and green things to do that involve me learning, which is good, but time-consuming. Perhaps you too carry around on your smart phone links to works of Luxemburg, Gramsci, and Bookchin, things you need to read or re-read and can feel guilty over.

When I started thinking about “comradery,” I decided to start with the French “liberty, equality, fraternity,” which led to the limited spare time of three days being spent with some dead dude named Pierre Leroux, whom I have really come to like. I was going to riff this diary on him, when serendity happened …  

quanto costa viagra generico 50 mg online a Napoli which leads me back to a dear friend from long ago, “a queer socialist poet.”

At 2:14 pm Central Time this past Thursday, when I was at work, my real-me personal in-box received a visit from my independent socialist comrades at Monthly Review. And, maybe my life will never be the same, I am serious. Into my life came a new book by some literary lefty at Penn State named John Marsh, In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself (Monthly Review Press, 2015).

By Friday night I had read the UTNE Reader excerpt from the book and was completely stoked. I took the full plunge, and it now mysteriously “sits” in my dinosaur first generation pawn shop iPad half-read but already well-loved. I would be reading the rest of it now, except that I have to write this darn diary and go chop down some wild stuff before spring gets here.

I will, tortoise willing, come back to you one day with a full review of the book. It is friggin’ terrific. Like my other new buddy Leroux, it implies that the liberal and the socialist have much to learn from each other. For instance, while the liberal conception of “justice” as defined by capitalist laws is woefully inadequate, the artistic and intellectual freedom of humanity should not be pinned down by what came to be known as “socialist realism” or convenient to a hierarchy, respectively.  

We will fight for a just world for all and not accept no for an answer. But our blades will primarily be leaves of grass. Our practice must account for time and place, and we all need true friends:

Nor did I always believe that Whitman would save America from what ailed it. More often than not I thought he was-or represented-exactly what it suffered from. His naive optimism, his boosterish patriotism, his fuzzy spiritualism, his celebration of the body and sex-though these may have once seemed, in the nineteenth century perhaps, like the solution to a problem, they now seemed like the problem itself. Americans did not need to be told to look on the bright side, to love America, to trust God, or, my Lord, to worship sex. They needed to be told not to.

But I know now that I was wrong. At some point, and for me it came in my early thirties, you realize that socialism will be a long time coming in the United States, especially when one of our two political parties fervently believes that the United States is already on the road to socialist serfdom. When you wake up to this reality, you care a lot less about whether a poet was socialist enough or not, and a lot more about how he can help you live in the world you have.

[W]hitman had nothing to do with building up the empire of illusions that currently enfold and enthrall Americans, not just because few people actually read him, then or now, and therefore you cannot lay much blame at his door. But also because-read carefully-he says no such things. Indeed, I am now convinced that reading Whitman would go far toward striking back against that empire of illusion.

When I read Leaves of Grass the first time, I was beginning a new life, becoming must closer to who I am today than who I was raised to be. Something told me to take Walt Whitman with me on that long back-packing trip. I sat and read him on rainy days in the tent and on a clear day by a roaring ice-filled river read him too. He, long dead as Leroux, planted wonderful seeds in me, like not only a love of compost but also the assumption that composting can be a political act.

He was fearless. What kind of bravery it would have taken in 1855 to self-publish such thoughts: “Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean. / Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest.”

Well I am off to chop those vines, which will go in This Compost, where I will hopefully one day join them:

Behold this compost! behold it well!  

Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick person-Yet behold!  

The grass of spring covers the prairies,  

The bean bursts noislessly through the mould in the garden,  

The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,  

The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,  

The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves,  

The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,  

The he-birds carol mornings and evenings, while the she-birds sit on their nests,    

The young of poultry break through the hatch’d eggs,  

The new-born of animals appear-the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare,  

Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark green leaves,  

Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk-the lilacs bloom in the door-yards;  

The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead.    

What chemistry!  

That the winds are really not infectious,  

That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea, which is so amorous after me,  

That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues,  

That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited themselves in it,    

That all is clean forever and forever.  

That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,  

That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,  

That the fruits of the apple-orchard, and of the orange-orchard-that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,  

That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease,    

Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a catching disease.  

Now I am terrified at the Earth! it is that calm and patient,  

It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,  

It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,  

It distils such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,    

It renews with such unwitting looks, its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,  

It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.

See you next week, same lefty batting channel. Meanwhile, let’s go hit the books comrades–when, that is, we are not working, dancing, frolicking naked across the prairie, etc.  

What are you reading? Mar 2 2011

For those who are new … we discuss books.  I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=prednisone-buy-online Just finished

Started and finished Split Image by Robert Parker.  This is the last in the Jesse Stone series.  It’s not bad, but it’s not the top of Parker’s form.  full review

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The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.  Right now, I am not in the mood for this sort of book.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.  Subtitle is “tales of music and the brain” and that describes it well.  Written with Sacks’ typical clarity and humanity.

Charming Proofs.  A book of beautiful (or charming) proofs in mathematics, nearly all of which require no advanced math.

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see above

What are you reading? Feb 23 2011

For those who are new … we discuss books.  I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

SPECIAL NOTE:

In this diary on daily Kos I wrote about my dad.  He didn’t die that weekend, he died this morning.

I will be in and out today.

Carry on as usual.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=levitra-originale-consegna-in-italia Just finished

A re-read of Distraction by Bruce Sterling.  Cyberpunk SF.  Very good. Full review

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom.  A mystery set in England in the era of Henry VIII.  Very good.  And, it’s a series!

go site Now reading

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.  Right now, I am not in the mood for this sort of book.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

Just started

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.  Subtitle is “tales of music and the brain” and that describes it well.  Written with Sacks’ typical clarity and humanity.

Charming Proofs.  A book of beautiful (or charming) proofs in mathematics, nearly all of which require no advanced math.

What are you reading?

This is a series that has a history on dkos.  I’m going to try it here.  I list books I am reading, with some comments, and you can do the same in the comments.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

Just finished

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom.  A mystery set in England in the era of Henry VIII.  Very good.  And, it’s a series!

Now reading

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

Just started

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

OEF/OIF Suicide Toll and Reading Materials

I want to point you to a friends website PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within if you hadn’t know about Ilona’s work and research, or if you’ve visited but not in awhile.

And point you to her recent post OEF/OIF Veteran Suicide Toll: Nearly 15% of Overall U.S. Military Casualties Result from Suicide

I’m only going to give you a small snippet of her post, visit and read the rest, for there are a number of link backs giving one an open window in the problems that war and occupation theaters inflict on those who serve in them, as well as the people of the occupied and destroyed countries.
 

Next Wonderful Writer You Might Not Have Heard Of : Adolfo Bioy Casares

As promised, my next WWYMNHHO essay (in about 2 weeks or so mas y menos) will be about Adolfo Bioy Casares’ novel The Invention of Morel, a short, intense, brilliant novel.  Both Borges and Octavio Paz described the novel as “perfect.”  It is a small gem (100 pages +/-).

This little notice is here at kj’s suggestion.  Folks may want to read the book before the essay, and discuss it in the comments to the essay.  Maybe WWYMNHHO can be our version of the Algonquin Round Table. Or Gertrude Stein’s living room.

I’m stoked.

What are you reading?

First, the request: I need someone to fill in for me next week (April 11) I also need someone for April 25.  On April 11 I will be guest host Frugal Fridays (at dailyKos); on April 25 I will be out of town

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights

pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights, but it’s on hiatus

What are you reading? is crossposted to dailyKos

If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know.  In two weeks, I am thinking of “books that explain America”

What are you reading?

The usual list, this time, as I will be out a lot today.

If you would like to guest host on April 11, please let me know.  I will be guest hosting Frugal Fridays.

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights

pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights, but it’s on hiatus

What are you reading? is crossposted to docudharma

If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know.  Next week, I am thinking of “books that explain America”

Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh.  What an annoying book.  Singh has a problem: He doesn’t understand Wiles’ proof of the theorem.  That’s not his fault….maybe 100 people on Earth understand it.  I certainly don’t.  But he is to blame for, e.g., getting facts wrong, and his overly gushy writing turns me off.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.  Stunningly good.  This is really three  or four novels, tied together.  It all does connect.  Novel 1 is set at the time of WW 2, and follows Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, and his friend Alan Turing, in efforts to decode German and Japanese codes, and do other neat stuff (fall in love….).  Novel 2 also takes place in WW 2, and features Goto Dengo, an honorable and intelligent Japanese soldier, placed in intolerable situations by the exigencies of war.  Novel 3 (or 2A) is also in WW 2, and follows the adventures of Bobby Shaftoe, a gung ho marine.  Novel 4 is in the near future, and features Avi, who wants to create a data-haven (and use the profits for a very good and interesting cause) – one of his colleagues is Randy Waterhouse (grandson of Lawrence) who is in love with America Shaftoe (grand-daughter of Bobby); one of his investors is Goto Dengo, now an old and very rich businessman.

Along the way we learn about cryptography, geology, mining, spying, mathematics….. along with the old standbys like the nature of love, duty, and honor.  

My third time through this huge book.  It won’t be my last.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.  A fascinating and very well-written biography of a fascinating man (hey, get this! He thought Black people might be as smart as Whites….he opposed slavery….he fought valiantly in the Revolution….)

Gaming the vote: Why elections aren’t fair (and what we can do about it) by William Poundstone.  Fascinating.  This isn’t about cheating or hanging chads or butterfly ballots, it’s about fundamental flaws in our system of voting, and proposed alternatives.

some technical stuff:

Digital Dice: Computational solutions to practical probability problems by Paul Nahin

Lattice: Multivariate data visualization with R by Deepayan Sarkar.  Sarkar won a prize for writing Lattice, now he’s explained how to use it.

What are you reading? fiction and nonfiction

Something a little different today, below the fold.  But first

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

What are you reading? is crossposted to dailyKos

If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know  

What are you reading?

Once again the usual list – I’ve been busy with my non-Kos life….

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights

pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights, but it’s on hiatus

What are you reading? is crossposted to docudharma

If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know (one idea from last week is Fiction vs. nonfiction, but not this week….

Statistical models: Theory and practice by David Freedman.  Delves into the details of models, without getting overly mathematical.  

Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow.  Impressive (as is the subject)

The Art of Mathematics by Bela Belobas.  Interesting, easily stated math problems. For slow solving.

Biplots by Gower and Hand.  Fascinating multivariate technique.  An upcoming diary (maybe Sunday) will feature them.

 The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson.  In 1854, London suffered an epidemic of cholera, and thousands of people died – often in a few hours or days.  This is the story of that epidemic and of John Snow, who figured out what was causing it.  But it’s more – it’s not just the story of what happened, but how it happened and why.  Fascinating.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson  I’m reading this, for the third time.  One hell of a read. War, sex, love, codes, math, treasure hunting, business…. Stephenson has a lot to say, and he says it very well.  

Book Review – Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow

I met Dedra Johnson at a book signing just before Christmas.  Earl Higgins, Dedra, and I were signing our books at the Loyola University's bookstore.  I'd been hearing about Sandrine's Letter to Tomorrow from friends, bloggers, and others for a coiuple of months.  It's not the type of novel I usually read, but Dedra's a local author writing about New Orleans, good enough for me.

Sandrine may not be the type of character I usually get into, but I got into the novel nonetheless.  It is a well-written story with lots of local color and a cast of characters who are very easy to love and/or hate, just like family members.

I'm going to offer some more thoughts below the fold.  SPOILER WARNING – don't go there if you haven't read the book.

What are you reading?

The regular list

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights

What are you reading? is crossposted to dailyKos

If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know (one idea from last week is Fiction vs. nonfiction, but not this week, as I will not be here to tend this much today)

I haven’t been doing that much reading, I’ve been busy with my series on Congress

Statistical models: Theory and practice by David Freedman.  Delves into the details of models, without getting overly mathematical.  

Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow.  Impressive (as is the subject)

The Art of Mathematics by Bela Belobas.  Interesting, easily stated math problems. For slow solving.

Biplots by Gower and Hand.  Fascinating multivariate technique.  An upcoming diary (maybe Sunday) will feature them.

Araminta Station by Jack Vance.  Just started it, not sure if I will like it

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