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Passing The Torch From WWE To UFC

I remember when I blogged here before that Michael Maiello was really in to the WWE. WWE was truly a strange creation and while it dominated the market for "sports entertainment," with copycats like TNA or WCW mimicking its image, in retrospect, it seems like the creation of madman Vince McMahon.

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The Death Of Naivety

I found this interesting: 

"Ocasio-Cortez’s 'concentration camps' comment questions an old orthodoxy: that only other countries—and not the U.S.—are capable of evil.

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Random Thoughts On The World Part 1

Taken from Facebook statuses.

1. Miles Davis put more soul and effort in to Sketches of Spain than Kind of Blue. I didn't listen to the former until well after I heard the latter. It's the real deal as far as composition.

2. Western society has progressed from printed information to putting all of our information in a cloud. If that cloud ever shuts down, we might not leave much more behind than ancient civilizations did - and the physical inside of a computer will seem as comprehensible as hieroglyphics.

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Everyone's Podcasting! But Who Is Still Reading?

In Berkeley, there are many copies on display of Slavoj Zizek's "In Defense of Lost Causes." After his debate with Jordan Peterson, it was the book put up in Berkeley to promote him. The book is fantastic and Zizek's analysis is incredible - his writing on Mao, on artificial intelligence, even on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein novel, is all stellar. All of it was clearly written in the 2000s, however, as there are a bunch of references to George W. Bush or Hugo Chavez.

Since then, he has mostly become known online in videos on YouTube. His persona is being built through various interviews on Russia Today, at college seminars, Vice documentaries, etc. Unlike a lot of people today, he doesn't seem to produce the videos himself, which I guess makes him kind of an outlier.

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How America May Amend Its Gun Culture

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam war dragged on for over a decade. Opposition to a military draft that required youth to become involved in it, regardless of what they thought of it, led to the burning of draft cards, marches on Washington D.C., and, eventually, the elimination of the military draft in the country, and the end of the war itself.

That didn't mean America suddenly became pacifist. No, that would be naive to find possible. However, America never again tried drafting anyone. Wars proliferated after the Vietnam war on a smaller but more numerous and clandestine scale, including in neighboring Cambodia, throughout Latin America in the following decade, and in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa after that. War for the U.S. became more and more remote, culminating with Bush's all volunteer occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and Obama's drone wars. Tours of duty were extended again and again and bombing done from thousands of miles away, with a draft being avoided as much as possible.

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The 1970s, 2010s: Who Programmed the Simulation?

The world does seem in dire straits indeed and has for roughly the last five years or so. The seeming progress of Barack Obama's election cascading in to regular civil strife and civil war in the United States, where racial and gender harmony, worked on for so many decades, appears torn to shreds. Cities are on fire, under fire or being torn apart. A rivalry with Russia, which is held responsible for the election of Donald Trump has been stoked again between America and the rest of the west. China is on the ascent, as is intolerance, cultural malaise, fear, despair and disappointment.

All of this seems horrible and is until a thought comes in. We've been here before. A friend of mine, Larry Bernard (who can be seen commenting on comic book movies) told me that "all Obama and Trump did was take us back to the 1970s." During his election, Barack Obama was compared to Kennedy for many reasons, from his charisma to his minority status. According to Roger Stone's book, Donald Trump was personally told by Richard Nixon during the 1980s that he would make a "fine president" and Trump's tacit support of Roy Moore in Alabama reflects Nixon tacit support of segregationist George Wallace.

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Interview With Bay Area Catholic Author Stefan Salinas Part One

Originally posted at Radical Second Things: 

I met Stefan unexpectedly last week while I was at the Bay Area Book Festival. I came across his two children's book - Catholic Churches Big and Small and A Muslim Family's Chair for the Pope - and instantly thought that both were a perfect match for Radical Second Things. I got copies of both and Stefan agreed to an interview. Hopefully it leads to more - he is perfect for this project!

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