Skip to main content

Buy the Print Edition of Radical Second Things!

Systematic Change And Chaos In Action

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.


A recent article about Pope Francis' trip to South America made me realize how much things really are changing and changing very fast: 

Between 800,000 and 1.2 million people could cross the border between Argentina and Paraguay to see the pontiff, according to immigration officials in both countries. Most will be Argentines seeking to get closer to Francis, a fellow countryman. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner will be there too.

About a fifth of the roughly one million Paraguayan immigrants estimated to be living in Argentina will also make the trip, officials say.

The idea that such activity could ever have been influenced by the previous Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, is laughable and ridiculous on its face. Francis has not only tapped in to the developing world but also could potentially change religious institutions in the first world. His installment of Blase Cupich as Archbishop in Chicago put a serious progressive in a place of authority over millions of Catholics and others who use Catholic social services, while his call for fossil fuel divestment could potentially change the American way of life if were put in to action by American religious institutions.


Change is happening and change always is chaotic. The optimistic view of this chaos is that positives always come with negatives and this could potentially explain the violence that the United States is experiencing.

As I wrote in one of my last posts, a firearm is a tool. It's a tool I think should be heavily, heavily regulated but it is a tool - like a bow and arrow or any number of other dangerous items. As I also wrote, I think these mass shootings will be remembered historically as a right wing insurgency. Most of the manifestos and explanations by the mass shooters amass as some level of right wing status anxiety from "women won't date me" in Santa Barbara to "I hate black people" in South Carolina. There are men's rights and neo-Nazi groups that have fairly sophisticated ideologies built around these sentiments and I'm sure there was at least some level of "I get where he was coming from," if not outright support, from those camps when the shootings occurred.

There's alot of left wingers who support gun rights - my chief writer Josh is one of them. Apparently Bernie Sanders is not a gun control advocate either - although I think there may be some exaggeration from analysts. When I actually saw a video of him talking about the subject, he said basically that "Vermont is a rural area and guns are used for target practice and hunting but I realize that not everywhere is Vermont." It didn't really sound like the absolutism that most gun rights advocates adhere to.

I think that, with the level of systematic societal change that we are seeing, attacks like this would be an unfortunate reality. Transitional periods have alot of violence - this is a historical reality. Policy in the United States allows for it to occur alot easier at the hands of sick individuals and that's something that I do think is going to be altered, even if it is altered by people extremely reluctant about altering it.

We thought we lived in a world we didn't. Right wing ascendancy for decades had assumptions not only about how things worked but about what people wanted that have proved tacitly false. This is a pretty extreme result - the result of such change isn't going to be peaceful.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Life is Much More Than Bratwurst:" A Chat With Rummelsnuff

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.




Rummelsnuff is awesome. If you don't know, he is Roger Baptist - a bodybuilding German singer who has toured abundantly in support of his music - an unusual composite of German industrial, drinking songs and electronica. Roger was nice enough to do an interview with me and took the time to answer in English, not his first language. Thanks so much, Roger!

First off, you have quite the physique? Can you tell us about your diet, your regimen, etc.?

Maybe I am lucky to like exactly the stuff, which is good for mu…

Eagles of Death Metal Go Alt Right

Hey all - remember writing is not free! If you want to see more of this, be sure to donate.


Back in 2010, I, along with my friend Alex Knepper, wrote about the prospective rise of the Alternative Right movement – a political organization of well dressed and well presented white supremacist who bring all of the hate, free of swastikas, shaved heads or all the usual turn offs of that ideology.
Alex’s article is up still at Frum Forum, a website of former Bush advisor David Frum. As one friend told me, I not only was right but more right than I thought I’d be about all of this. The world is changing very fast and it would take a profound change in human nature for the response to that change not to include a bit of reaction.
It’s much worse that I thought it would ever be. The forthcoming nominee of the Republican party blatantly flirts with white nationalists on his Twitter account, retweeting their material with abandon and refusing to condemn when pressed on it. Jesse Hughes, the lead …

"Proud Boys" and the Alt Right in the Bay Area

Now that NBC News picked up the Proud Boys story, here is something I wrote for a local Bay Area newspaper about them earlier in the fall. The newspaper was hesitant to write about the subject, as seems to happen when I want to write about the Alt Right. I interviewed Paul Bazille, a member of the Proud Boys group and everything. If the headline on the story seems different than this link, that's because I've changed it from what the newspaper wanted to one more appropriate for the story. Writing about this is frustrating - I'm torn between wanting to accurately portray the source, who put trust in me, and not wanting to seem sympathetic to the Alt Right, which I am certainly not. What that frustration turns in to is just not writing about it at all. The picture I took is from an anti-Alt Right protest in Berkeley.



Could a replay of Charlottesville occur here? The Bay Area has many of its own icons of a racist past that may be ripe for removal. UC Berkeley’s Barrows Hall, …

RST on Facebook

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.

© 2017 Radical Second Things