This is a picture of John Lennon, a dead musician who has nothing whatsoever to do with this article.

Looking back now over almost seventy years, I think of all the ways in which I imagined how things might turn out for me as I trod the thorny pathways of life. If I’m honest about those many fantasies — because that’s what imagination is, after all — not one single time has any of those smoky suppositions turned out the way I thought it would . . . or even materialized. I could be projecting my own experience of imagination onto everyone else, but I doubt it. …

The following is one chapter from a book I wrote, Tough Gynes: Violent Women in Film as Honorary Men, published by Wipf and Stock in 2019. It is a gender-and-war reflection on the film, Alien (1979), directed by Ridley Scott and featuring Sigourney Weaver as the protagonist, Ellen Ripley. There will be references to other chapters, covering eight other films: Star Wars (1977), Silence of the Lambs (1991), GI Jane (1997), 28 Days Later (2002), Michael Clayton (2007), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), the Hunger Games trilogy (2012), and Jane Got a Gun (2015). Hope you like it.

The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity, Eugene McCarraher, Belknap Press, 2019, 799 pages.

We can feel slightly encouraged by the stated intention of the Biden administration to withdraw more troops from Afghanistan. Biden said that the withdrawal will be “unconditional,” rejecting in advance the shopworn excuses about “conditions” used to keep US Armed Forces on the ground in Afghanistan since 2001. This could be a real feather in the cap for Biden, his successor, and his Party in 2022 and 2024, because most people are sick to death of American troops being committed to open-ended wars.

It’s a bold step. Not a bold step doing it, because it hasn’t been done yet, but…

Damn, I’m tired of saying this.

But the killings-by-cops and the mass shootings keep happening, and the same arguments reappear without resolution. And yes, I know that there are legal questions that have to be resolved in killings by cops, like deadly force criteria and qualified immunity. Yes, I know there are mental health issues involved in mass shootings. I acknowledge that we need laws that restrict the ownership of guns, that ban assault weapons, that disallow ownership of guns by people who have demonstrated a penchant for violence, that require registration of all guns. I even acknowledge that women…

Book Review by Stan Goff

Washington Bullets: A History of the CIA, Coups, and Assassinations
by Vijay Prashad
Monthly Review Press, 2020
162 pages

Slavoj Žižek has a descriptive term for the covert violence of the imperial American state. Paraphrasing, he said that we recognize the explicit norms, values, and practices of the state, but that its constant reproduction requires “an obscene underground” of brutality and horror. First this obscene underground is covered up and-or ignored. Then it is denied and swallowed up by amnesia.

The Trump era has distorted our view of the American political landscape. Trump’s single-minded, infantile…

There was a man who put on armor. He was afraid of being afraid, so he put on armor. He was afraid of being afraid and being seen to be afraid, so he kept the armor on overnight. The next day, he was still afraid of being afraid because he might be seen to be afraid, so he kept the armor on. He was soft in the middle, so he had to make himself hard on the outside — like a bunker on legs. He kept the armor on all day, and the next day again, and the next. Each…

Sherry and I have six bird feeders around the yard. We started with one, then we kept adding. We feed them seed and suet. We discovered early that almost every bird that hangs around here likes black (sunflower) oilseed, which is good, because when you buy bulk it’s fairly cheap. The local seed store sold fifty-pound bags for $18, but it closed,then I found out Tractor Supply sells forty-pound bags for $16. It went up from $14 since the pandemic, and the quality has fallen (more trash per pound). I keep the big fiber-and-plastic bags, which I open up into…

Prefatory: During his campaign against Hillary Clinton and in his ongoing use of Hillary Clinton as a rhetorical punching bag, Donald Trump and his minions have often cited many of the things you will read below. This does not mean they aren’t true. They certainly are. True stories that can be verified, after all, are ideal weapons for an opponent. It is important for readers to take this distinction into account. The feud between Clinton and Trump is not a cosmic battle between good and evil, but a falling out among thieves.

I traveled to Haiti 21 times between 1994…

“It has recently become fashionable to insist on an impending energy crisis. This euphemistic term conceals a contradiction and consecrates an illusion…high quanta of energy degrade social relations just as inevitably as they destroy the physical milieu.”

Ivan Illich, “Energy and Equity,” 1974

I was having an argument with a fella I know online about nuclear energy. I’ve been having this argument with people for about eighteen years since I first researched it. I’ve been over the same ground again and again and again (the vagaries of old age), so it was tedious, but the crux of the matter…

Stan Goff

Author of the books “Hideous Dream,” “Full Spectrum Disorder,” “Borderline,” “Mammon’s Ecology,” “Tough Gynes,” and “Smitten Gate.”

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