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Showing posts from December, 2014

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Pope Francis, Barack Obama And Buying In To Power

What makes a radical? What makes someone give up on moderation, stick to their principles and tell the world to get with it or fuck off?

I have been involved with Gonzo Times and the community around it since roughly 2010. It's been five years of arguing and brotherly bonds. I ran Gonzo Times for a brief time before giving it back to the founder, Punk Johnny Cash, earlier this year.

I think that the members of the Gonzo community have as many disagreements as agreements. I have disagreed with Josh over gun control - although he has made me come around to seeing disarming the police as a prerequisite that is necessary before private citizens are ever disarmed. I have disagreed with Luis about prescription drugs for behavioral disorders.

What is the unitary thing? I noticed, bizarrely, that almost every single member of the Gonzo community had, once upon a time, been a conservative or libertarian. I don't think there are actually exceptions to that.

Libertarianism and conservat…

Thomas Merton and the Synergy of Christianity and Buddhism

I have a new article at the Hampton Institute! Colin Jenkins has been allowing me to contribute there for a bit over a year now. He has encouraged me several times to write more religious material and I was initially reluctant because I didn't think I had enough knowledge about it yet. I feel much more confident and this point and I can proudly say that this is only the start of more to come:

I had a very interesting conversation with a good friend recently. My friend is a lifelong Catholic who has attracted more recently to evangelical faiths of the "personal savior" variety. I mentioned to him Thomas Merton, who he had never heard of, much to both my surprise and his.

My friend is more on the fundamentalist spectrum of things, which is okay - unlike many progressive Christians, I don't think fundamentalism is completely out of bounds. I told my friend about the parallels between Buddhism and Christianity, and he began to say he was "worried" that…

Rethinking Feminism

Feminism is a topic I have been weary and careful about writing at Radical Second Things. I have written up articles about it and scrapped them and considered writing them anonymously. (Writing an article anonymously would be stupid - where would I write it that no one would connect it with me? Also, my style is fairly unique and I think anyone who knew about me would figure out who wrote it.)
 I am a man. I'm not a woman. I don't know what it's like to be a woman in this world and never will. I like to think I am empathetic and have long accepted that we live in a multilayered people - people can adopt views that may cast me in an unfair light while being totally rational, building off of their personal experience. This makes identity politics and gender politics especially extremely difficult to talk about without loading it with all sort of subjective analysis - we ultimately cannot truly understand the other person's experience unless we have lived it.


A Journey Through Post-Protest Berkeley

As of at least right now, I am living in Berkeley, California - the home of America's top public university, the site of the Free Speech Movement fifty years ago and a bastion of progressivism and radicalism. It shouldn't come as a big shocker that the riots and protests taking off after the non-indictments of several police officers who killed unarmed men have taken root in such a place.

It's been a bit strange - for a couple days helicopters were very, very present overhead and a pizza guy even said to me, "Stay safe out there." The BART train closed very early in the afternoon. The pictures I took were during the day, when the protests were either over or had moved on to elsewhere:

The couple and I got a pretty cool conversation about Hillary and who the political candidates were that, if not anti-war, were at least reluctant about war. She mentioned Bernie Sanders and I mentioned Rand Paul, which caused her to cringe. The boyfriend in the couple, Lucas Oshun,…

Maiello And Orion Do It Again: Star Wars, Police Brutality, Obama And 2016

Orion's Questions For Maiello

With this Eric Garner ruling, Michael Brown, etc. - it really feels like this country is a big chaotic mess. I watch and digest international news and no other countries in such bizarre disarray. What is wrong?

America's race problems are unique but we're not the only country with them. When you say "no other countries," I guess you mean developed, Western style democracies.  Spend any time in Nigeria and you will see disarray.  In France there has been significant unrest over the years and enormous prejudice.  But I do think that police cultures are different in Europe.  Perhaps less likely to shoot first and even less likely to have a gun in the first place.  I am reluctant to say, though, that you are necessarily less likely to be roughed up by a cop in London or Paris or Berlin.  Brutality is universal.  Police have power and it generally corrupts them no matter where you are.
Here is something that may be uniquely A…

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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