culture

Barack Obama: The Great American Melting Pot, Personified

How many people remember this?


(c) Schoolhouse Rock; unofficial site here.

Head below the fold to see what made me think of it, and why -- and yes, the title is a dead giveaway.

Is America Ready for Revolution?

Promoted. Originally posted 2008-02-23 01:48:56 EST.

Sara Robinson posted an excellent article on Campaign for America’s Future a few days ago, outlining the seven preconditions for violent revolution discussed by Caltech sociologist James C. Davies in a 1962 article in the American Sociological Review. Davies’s work was largely based on the seven "tentative uniformities" identified by another scholar, Crane Brinton, who had studied and correlated the origins of the Puritan, American, French, and Russian revolutions.

“…it struck me,” Robinson writes, “that the same seven stars Brinton named are now precisely lined up at midheaven over America in 2008.”

Bloggers are telling stories from the front lines of primaries and caucuses that look like something from the early 60s — people lining up before dawn to vote in Manoa, Hawaii yesterday; a thousand black college students in Prairie View, Texas marching 10 miles to cast their early votes in the face of a county that tried to disenfranchise them. In recent months, we've also been gobstopped by the sheer passion of the insurgent campaigns of both Barack Obama and Ron Paul, both of whom brought millions of new voters into the conversation — and with them, a sharp critique of the status quo and a new energy that's agitating toward deep structural change.

There's something implacable, earnest, and righteously angry in the air. And it raises all kinds of questions for burned-out Boomers and jaded Gen Xers who've been ground down to the stump by the mostly losing battles of the past 30 years. Can it be — at long last — that Americans have, simply, had enough?

I believe Robinson is so desperately aching for radical change in America, that she sees more hope than really exists. But this can only be a subjective judgment, and the past four decades of seeing my own hopes and aspirations crushed have left me seriously doubting that much is possible in the U.S. But the argument Robinson presents is by no means weak. And, she is a great wordsmith, who delights in taking conservatives behind the proverbial woodshed for a good metaphorical thrashing. So, I pass along these excerpts, the seven preconditions for a Second American Revolution:

Waking the Dead - Book Review Discussion

book coverAaron Barlow brings his perspective to this review of Waking the Dead: A Review of The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded About Love and Haight edited by Steven Gimbel (Chicago: Open Court, 2007)

Barlow states:

But trivial this book is not. As Gimbel goes on to say, some of those Deadheads who argued all topics into the wee hours while listening to traded tapes of Dead shows went on to study philosophy seriously. This volume is the result.

Read the review on the Journal and come back here to discuss!