ON THIS DAY: August 17, 2017

August 17th is

Black Cat Appreciation Day *

National I Love My Feet Day *

National Non-Profit Day * new!

National Thrift Shop Day

Vanilla Custard Day

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MORE! Luigi Boccherini, Hazel Bishop and V.S. Naipaul, click

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ON THIS DAY: August 16, 2017

August 16th is

National Airborne Day *

National Bratwurst Day

National Rum Day

Roller Coaster Day *

Tell a Joke Day

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MORE! Auguste Rodin, Georgette Heyer and Spike Lee, click

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ON THIS DAY: August 15, 2017

August 15th is

Chauvin Day *

Check (Your Pet’s) Chip Day *

National Relaxation Day *

Lemon Meringue Pie Day

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MORE! Kublai Khan, Julia Child and John Cranko, click

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What Do People Mean When They Say I Want My Country Back?

Author’s Note: In light of the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I’ve chosen to republish my essay dated March 29, 2015, originally entitled “What Do Conservatives Mean When They Say “I Want My Country Back?” Minor revisions have been made to the original text.

I want my country back

How often have I heard or seen this phrase, “I want my country back,” used over the years since I was born in 1956, in Raleigh, North Carolina? I can’t give you a precise number, but I can tell you that, though I’ve seen liberals employ these words on occasion over the nearly six decades of my life, most of the time it has been the mantra of white male, and, on occasion female, conservatives. Indeed, many self-identified “Tea Party” members have repeatedly used this term as their personal call to arms. Indeed, this statement is implicit in then Candidate Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, Make America Great Again.

What do they mean when they say that? To which supposed golden age of America do they want to return? Who can say what is in the hearts of such people? But I have some ideas based on my experiences over the years.

As a child born in the middle of the Fifties in the South, I knew at an early age that some people were considered inferior to me. The signs were all around – literally. I remember once, when I was three or four, a white woman stopped me as I approached a drinking fountain, thirsty after being dragged around on a hot summer day by my mother on one of her shopping trips to Raleigh’s downtown. The woman, politely, but sternly, took hold of my arm, and told me I couldn’t use that fountain because it was for “colored people.” A fountain not much different than this one:

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Posted in Democracy, American History, Equal Rights, Racism, History, North Carolina, inequality, Civil Rights | 7 Comments

ON THIS DAY: August 14, 2017

August 14th is

Creamsicle Day

Rosé (wine) Day

Social Security Day *

World Lizard Day

National V-J Day *

National Navajo Code Talkers Day *

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MORE! John Galsworthy, Lina Wertmüller and David Crosby, click

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TCS: Ever to the LEFT, Never to the Right

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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To be hated cordially, is only
a left-handed compliment.

– Herman Melville

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The ‘many sides’, of the RWNJs’ phantom enemies

By ann summers


YouTube Video

Like Joe McCarthy’s ‘reds under your bed’, the RWNJs got their wearing-white-before Labor Day done during this past weekend.

Unfortunately this occured with casualties in Charlottesville, VA as Heather Heyer was killed by a neo-nazi who drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators. This occurred around counter-demonstrations related to a ‘unite the Right’ rally.

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Now James Alex Fields jr. is their current Horst Wessel, a foot-soldier (they disclaim him, but say he met the dress-code so they gave him a shield) for anti-semitism’s National (American) Vanguard, a white nationalist organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Unlike Dyann Roof, he chose as weapon, the analogy no self-respecting gun control advocate wants to use, a muscle car. For some RWNJs, the battle is with some mythical yet pernicious hoard of ‘cultural marxists’.

The trope of “cultural Marxism” has been steadily gaining traction among the broad and diverse entity that is the radical right (although, hating diversity, would baulk at you saying so), where it serves as an umbrella term variously responsible for such un-American and anti-Western ills as atheism, secularism, political correctness, gay rights, sexual liberation, feminism, affirmative action, liberalism, socialism, anarchism, and, above all, multiculturalism. The ultimate goal of cultural Marxism, we’re led to believe, is to slowly and stealthily dilute and subvert white, Christian Western culture, thereby opening sovereign nations to rule by a one-world corporate government. Whether that’s by Jews, lizards, or communists isn’t always clear…

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The “cultural Marxist” conspiracy has a slippery genealogy through the American right, beginning with its coinage by Lyndon Larouche in the early 1990s (although Hitler had warned of “cultural Bolshevism” during the 1920s).

It passed through various esoteric journals and hard-right think tanks and was picked up by paleoconservatives such as Pat Buchanan (author of The Death of the West), William S. Lind, and Paul Weyrich, and over the last decade has spread feverishly through the murkier, more hyper-masculinist and libidinally challenged corners of the web.

In whose name does cultural marxism get its cred, and why doesn’t it have a national, regional, cultural organization to join. In that same context, what about … cultural imperialism?

Everything that is social is cultural, whether it is the knowledge communities of scholars, or the vast simulation and representation cultures reproduced and socialized. Villains were needed, and ‘cultural marxists’ came ready-made since they had had little quantitative evidence, much like Austrian economists.

The geniuses on the Right needed to invent a meme that could combine the anti-communism of the Cold War and the typical anti-intellectualism of college drop-out pundits like Limbaugh, Beck, and Carlson.

They need to believe that an “alt-left” exists, even as we mock RWNJs by uttering it. It is its own legitimation crisis just as snowflakes have no ideology. Something is subverting white(sic) culture and it couldn’t be false consciousness or stupidity. Darn that asymmetry of hierarchy and privilege. Darn those Others.

Hence “cultural marxism” emerged as an enemy conspiracy theory to offset the burgeoning ignorance now ensconced in the WH with Bannonism and its Millerist self-loathing tendencies. Bannon’s own RW interests in traditionalism are developments of a particular European origin reflected in a number of conservative religious sects.

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Posted in 2016 Election, American History, Anti-Semitism, Celebrity, Civil Liberties, Civil War, Communism, Fascism, Free Speech, Government Propaganda, History, Holocaust, inequality, Presidential Elections, Propaganda, Racism, Society, Terrorism, Terrorists, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments