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Stars of Courage: Seraphim Rose and the "Abnormal Life"

Art by Jordan Denato

In my spiritual journey, I have openly looked at many different incarnations. I grew up in a non-demonational Christian household, with most of our time in a place of worship spent at the Catholic Church blocks from my mom's old house. I had a small exposure to Judaism growing up which I kept up as I put together my Jewish heritage and also worked at a Jewish magazine, Tikkun (where, oddly enough, I spent most of my time writing about Catholicism), when I was most open to religious ideas.

Nothing ever exposed me to the Russian Orthodox Church, however. The narrative about Russia in the 1990s and 2000s was pretty black and white - communism was godless and atheist and hostile to all religion. I had heard of the Greek Orthodox Church but never the Russian Orthodox. Honestly, it's only been in very recent years that it seems to have formed a place in the mainstream American consciousness.

The Orthodox Church has a rich and long history that extends through th…

An Interview With Mohamed Zeeshan

It looks like I am doing a lot more posts for Radical Second Things than I usually do. Following is an interview with Mohamed Zeeshan. Mohamed has been my friend for a few years now, via Facebook, and I have seen him grow from a young intellectually curious kid from India in to a graduate student in International Affairs at Columbia University! Mohamed contributed with the Hampton Institute alongside me and I am very proud of his success. He has also contributed to the Huffington Post. His views are a bit more centrist than you usually see on this website but I think that people will learn from them. 

As always, if you like interviews like this, please consider a donation to Radical Second Things. Donations allow for the freedom to not only conduct works like this but also to make the website more interactive and attract collaborators.
Donald Trump as president! Once this actually happened, I actually began to see the benefits. In my view, Trump is what America actually is like unfilter…

The Man in the High Castle Second Season Review

For its first season, I reviewed The Man in the High Castle, which portrays the United States in the early 1960s, in the aftermath of a Japanese and German victory in World War II, for the leftist Hampton Institute. My review was written in early 2016, just as Donald Trump's campaign was heating up in the Republican primaries. That was Trump, seen as a "proto-fascist" by many, at his nastiest - doing his best Biff Tannen (a character that, ironically, was based on him) impression, bullying a conglomerate of Republican candidates that didn't know what to do in defense of him.


As much as people laughed off what I said, I did believe Trump could win. I live in the United States - I see every day how bitterness and despair has settled in on many people who genuinely thought that if they worked hard, things would work out for them. Many people have multiple jobs and can't afford to live. Homeless people are everywhere in urban centers. Our national leaders of both str…

A Few Questions for Sonnenkind

Sonnenkind is a German neofolk artist who has put together some really incredible music. I listen to it regularly, along with artists such as Spiritual Front, Sol Invictus, Mantus, Infamis and others that I think fit in that genre like Smashing Pumpkins or Loreena McKennit. This was my first time interviewing anyone in the genre and some parts of the interview went well whereas some areas need improvement.


RST: I only found your music on Youtube and not Spotify or Tidido or any of the streaming services. Do you have plans for an official release?
SK: I really have no clue about streaming services and I‘m also not interested in it. I personally almost never download music. I highly prefer physical albums, and I actually released two physical albums, "V├Âlkerfr├╝hling“ in 2005 and "Eulenspiegels Wiederkehr“ in 2013. Both are available via Discogs. There are also contributions from me on a few compilations, and I collaborated with artists as Porta Vittoria, Uwe Nolte, Qvercvs and…

Assessing Donald Trump's Win

Hello.

I was going to do a video blog but decided this was my more natural environmment. As a political and religious blog that I like to think is serious, I felt that I had to talk about the election of Donald Trump in all its facets and from my unique perspective. Feel free to comment!

I didn't vote in this election. After nearly two years of campaigning, I felt like I got to know both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump well enough to not like both of them equally for completely different reasons. Clinton flirted with World War - Russia baiting was rampant in the three debates, along with a good degree of hawkishness on the Middle East, with a particular obsession with getting rid of Bashar Assad, one of the only figures keeping Syria together.

The whole thing reeked of some level of scam too. I still think that, even though Donald Trump won. It still seems weird that people who knew one another for that long happened to run for president in the same year. It's anyone's gu…

Judaism, Catholicism and Carrying On Marx's Torches

I identify as a Jew. I look the part, as do many of my family members, and I suspect heritage on both my grandmother and father's side, geneaology that has been overlooked by alot of my mom's research. A great deal of my friends either are Jewish or grew up immersed in the world. I was playing with dreidels and lighting the menorah when I was a little kid, the whole thing.

It's easy to find who is Jewish in almost any intellectual group, even the most reactionary ones, by who conforms the least. Jews are natural iconoclasts and free thinkers - they come up with the ideas that later become cliches for everyone else. It's no wonder that reactionary movements loathed them - the Jewish enigma was unpredictable, creating new ideas of both left and right. People who wanted to go back, to before Christianity, communism or capitalism (all Jewish concepts) would naturally see the Jew as the problem.

Nevertheless, while Jews continue to be the social movers and shakers (even tod…

The Nix and the Science of a Great Novel

I recently finished The Nix, a novel by up and coming novelist Nathan Hill, which fits all the standards for a really great novel. Great novels, despite the fluidity of good literature, do tend to follow a formula - a formula that a great artist (and writing is an art) is able to adept to and mold in to his own creation.

A great novel is sweeping. Sweeping or sprawling. These are descriptions you often hear of great books. Benjamin Percy described The Nix as "culturally relevant, politically charged, historically sweeping, sad, full of yearning, sometimes dark, but mostly hilarious." This is something that could also be described with another great American novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, which one critic refered to as a novel with "epic sweep."

Chabon's book swept through roughly three decades - the three protagonists met in the 1930s and only resolved their problems and tensions in the 1950s. Nathan Hill's characters …

No More Rev

So I was working as a transcribor for Rev for the last four months. I stayed on despite a few very bad ratings. Over the last few weeks, my ratings were on point, regularly getting 5/5 and bringing home 3 figures each week.

I got great ratings this week and then abruptly, tonight, I got this message sent to me: 

Unfortunately, we can no longer keep your transcription specific account open. This is due to your accuracy and quality being below our acceptable average. Your transcription account is being deactivated today. If you have any other account type with us, that will remain open. This decision is final.
You will be compensated for all completed work. Here are your performance metrics for August 6 to October 5.
So, given that message, I would assume that it's time to school my self-esteem, right? I'm obviously not fit for this line of work. Well not quite. Look at the metrics they sent me:
MetricYouRevver TargetRevver+ TargetAccuracy4.34.24.6Formatting4.74.24.6% On-time submiss…

Obama, Putin and the Prospect of Being Wrong About Everything

Due to colonialism and world events leading in to World War II, including the rise and fall of fascism and then the Civil Rights era in the United States have solidified a notion in most people's head, even if it is not outwardly expressed - persecution and oppression is a fault of white men, with "people of color" always the oppressed.

This assumption of how the world works is so deeply ingrained in the minds of many that it takes on religious proportions. As a transitionary global conflict seems to engulf most of the world, violence between the black community and the larger US community (and it needs to be remembered that it is both groups who perpetuate it) is amplified and politicized while other groups caught in whatever it is going on get not nearly as much attention given to them. It's an act of hanging on to a fading narrative as the world transforms and re-aligns itself on a level that could be even more dramatic than the second world war.
Unfortunately, th…

How The New Silk Road is Flattening the World

Hey everybody,
For the last month or so, I have been working steadily with the Blue Ocean Network, a Chinese based content provider. I have the sense that the east is the future and it has been a great pleasure to write for Chinese publication after so much time spent in the US publishing world. Please check out my work for them, "How The New Silk Road Is Flattening The World:" "Knowledge and innovation are key factors in economic growth and poverty reduction." - The World Bank
The growth and development of China's economy over the last forty years has been unprecedented. The opening and reform of the nation began with western powers, such as the United States, reaching out in hopes the struggling Asian country would be a good client for its brand. The game has flipped.  America is nowhere close to the sort of superpower it was when President Richard Nixon met with Chairman Mao and China is the undisputed global manufacturing leader, making nearly a quarter of t…

Evoke Part Ten: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Nine: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Eight: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Seven: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Six: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Five: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Four: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part Three: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps (Concept by Sharon Cretsinger)

Evoke Part Two: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Evoke Part One: An Art Project By Jordan Denato and Orion Deschamps

Review: Before the Awakening

It has been a long time since I wrote a review for my website. This website brings in only a trickle of income so it's generally my lower priority. However, I finally finished reading "Before the Awakening" - one of the Star Wars books that acts as a prequel to the Force Awakens film.

I had grievances with Force Awakens. Generally, it felt as if there were no new ideas and the recycling of ideas not only came from the original trilogy which JJ Abrams sought to emulate but also from the prequels, which both critics and fans so intensely loathed, and from JJ himself. Kylo Ren, without his helmet, looked, behaved and fought just like Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith.

However there were differences and reading Greg Rucka's Before the Awakening illustrated what those differences were. We see stories featuring FN-2187, Rey and Poe, which show each character in experiences that shape their outlook and behavior in Force Awakens.

I found the story featuring Rey the mo…

Radical Second Things T-Shirts!!!!

As an experiment in fundraising, I designed a T-shirt adorned with the visage of Mahatma Ghandi. I am very proud of Jordan's art and since this is my first time doing this, I auctioned for only 25 T-shirts. This is a first try. If 25 people order the shirt, it will be made.


Radical Second Things' Anti-Trump Video

I really really do not like Donald Trump and I'm disgusted that anyone does. I am employed by a friend who needs video projects produced for her graduate school work. She has told me that I am good at this and, so, I have made my own personal effort in to this. I have challenged and rejected everyone in my life who likes this scumbag and I will be satisfied in being able to say I wasn't a silent coward. Any negative comments about this here or on Facebook will be deleted.

Also, one fair criticism I got is that the Hitler stuff is overused and cliche. Nazis are compared with everything bad in the world. My friend suggested depicting Mussolini. There will be more videos during the year - I used this primarily because you see to what degree Adolf Hitler worked up a crowd. Adolf Hitler also was a fantastic and literate speaker, something "the Donald" isn't. He talks like a two year old.

A little note - I used the music of Blutengel in this. I have used their music in…

Stars of Courage: Big Bill Haywood

Hello, Jordan Denato and I worked on art for my book project Evoke together, which is still in the process of self-publication. Our art collaborations have taken on a life all their own and,if all pans out, I hope to put all of them together and pitch them to graphic novel publishers. This series will cover well known figures in history, taking a spin off of the series "Courage Boys," created by conservative radio host Glenn Beck. 

As always - writing is not free. Please donate:  



One very striking thing about socialist figures in the United States in the period leading up to the first world war is how lavish and unapologetic their personalities were. The Cold War did enormous damage to even moderate socialist politics in the United States and effectively killed an entire movement of people, from Upton Sinclair to Jack London to Big Bill Haywood, who I will talk about here.

 Haywood's life came to a close in 1928, at the age of 59, in the newly formed Soviet Union, then …

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 …

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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.

© 2017 Radical Second Things