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Archive for January, 2012

Lessig & Hedges on Confronting the Corporate State #OWS

January 29, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Just watched this impressive conversation between Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges on the situation in the United States re: the “Winner Take All Politics” (to borrow a title from a book whose authors Bill MOyers had on his opening week of his new show recently).

I had downloaded a sample chapter of Lessig’s latest book Republic Lost,  and now I am compelled to go and rerad that entire sample and likely be convinced to download the complete Kindle version.  Between Moyer’s show this month,  finsihing Suskind’s Confidence Men,  and the inspiration I have been finding in the Occupy movement,  what I heard from Professor Lessig makes this book a likely candidate for my “stack” of must reads.

The video I just watched is below

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a great #OccupyTheology conversation

January 28, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Uncategorized

Listening right now to this podcast w/ @Micahbales and @JamesLee and Jeremy at @glassdimlyfaith.  Great stuff ,  great #occupytheology

#SOTU is into INDIVIDUAL stories, but apparently NOT movements ie #OWS #occupytheology

January 27, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

It just occurred to me that the SOTU tends to be GNOSTIC in it’s nationalism.  It’s the fashion to feature “highlighted” individual stories in the State of the Union.  But when it comes to movements,  FIRE! BAD!   No mention of what the obvious popular movement that has brought the very issues and themes upon which that Obama executed his oratory.  While individual stories are safe politcal fodder,  the real battle is one that I found the speech to be timidly avoiding mentioning: OCCUPY WALL STREET!   It almost came off as plagiarism. Taking the oratory and the message but not providing attribution.  The article here  , amazingly,  doesn’t even seem to notice that he never mentions them.  And the OWS message that was printed here?  I can’t help but suspect that this was redacted from the article;  that the actual message included a question as to why the movement was not mentioned by name.

One could argue that this OWS group was so delighted to hear its themes being affirmed,  it didn’t notice.  But I did.  At the end,  I was feeling all the way through that the speech was a good one and displayed a real refocus on the 99%,  but then when it ended I realized the movement had never been recognized.

Thanks for the paring down of the message into the “individual story” over the community story.  It’s a problem to which  we in the church should be well accustomed.

article link mentioned in this post


Why Davos is ignoring Occupy #OWS #Davos #1pctOfThe1pct

January 27, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

What a dandy swipe at the elite of the elite:

If you’re Europe, and your struggling people are called “Greeks”, and your rich people are called “Germans”, then the World Economic Forum will spend pretty much limitless amounts of time and effort on attempts to understand the dynamics between the two and (doomed) plans to try to prevent it from turning into a fully-blown crisis.

On the other hand, if you’re a country — the USA, say — and your struggling people call themselves “the 99%” while your rich people are called “Davos delegates”, then your fundamental asymmetries will be studiously ignored — and, indeed, encouraged.

And this is also my big problem with the State of the Union OWS not being mentioned —and yes,  BY NAME.  If we’re talkiong about instilling confidence,  here is the biggest source of hope that is happening rigght now.   I continue to feel tremendously let down.  But I can’t say I didn’t halfway expect that it wouldn’t be mentioned.  The degree to which Obama has over-expressed deference to the other side is ,  to say the least, staggering.

the Davos crowd is not even close to listening carefully to what Occupy has to say: they’re evidence of the problem, but they’re not remotely helpful when it comes to solutions.

Really?  Not even remotely?  I call “SNOB”.  That puts me close to the same attitude toward these Davos burgeoise.  Not even listening to them anymore.  Dismissed.  Out of touch.  Part of the problem.

And God forbid that churches ever display such callous disregard,  particularly when mosty of these poor misguided folks are themselves taking the side of the oppressor by buying into their mythological “American dream” that can only,  CONVENIENTLY,  be realized by taking the medicine they prescribe.  One of the first things to go in powerful nations is the prophetic voice of the church,  replaced by the assimilation of the ideologies OF the powerful,  FOR the powerful,  and BY the powerful.

A zinger of a conclusion from the above article:

Davos feels past its prime. It’s not helping to change the big world problems, in Europe: the best it can do is identify them. And it’s utterly divorced from the movements which really might make a difference.

But hey, at least the skiing is good this year.

BP and Wall Street: Beyond the Edge via @RonSuskind in #ConfidenceMen

January 26, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

A good juxtaposition of two disasters in Ron Suskind’s book on the Obama economic team, Confidence Men.

Like so many other disasters in this period, the spill was the result of executives pushing themselves to the very edge of legal limits, and then beyond, in the name of short-term profit.
—Suskind, Ron (2011-09-20). Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President (p. 427). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Very fitting parallel here.  Suskind hits the nail on the head.  “Beyond the very edge of legal limits”,  and for me (and probably for Suskind as well)  WAY beyond the moral limits, on both counts (BP AND Wall Street).

Suskind ,  author of three previous books that I’ve read (and also of others I haven’t)  is a great storyteller  (not in the sense of fibs,  but in the sense of letting us in on the conversations,  gleaned from many accounts and interviews).  I knew back in 04 whenI read “The Price Of Loyalty” (about Bush’s Sec of Treaury Paul O’Neill)  that I would be coming back to future Suskind works.  Suskind also has this style of taking us back into the relevant past experiences of the players in the story he tells.  And in the case of the financial disaster,  he takes a highly appreciated amount of time to fill us in on all the most important elements of the disaster.

Big time recommendation.