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Showing posts from May, 2016

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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

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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 …

Jews - Friends of White Supremacy?

Years ago, I wrote actively on the potential rise of the Alternative Right - a political movement of well dressed hipster neo-Nazis who would present white supremacy in much more aesthetically pleasing ways (or at least ways we don't associate with Nazism). What I predicted not only came to be but came to be with a vengeance, with the frontrunner for the Republican Party actively speaking their language and flirting with them as he runs for president of the United States.

White supremacy is an odd animal. For something so ugly, it works with subtleties that one wouldn't initially expect.

While I was living in Seattle from January of 2015 to earlier this year, I lived with a landlord who was most certainly a closeted Nazi. He had books like The German Way of War in his room, along with various war artifacts. Most significantly, both his life and his household were filled with minorities.

Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, the full gamut of minorities graced his household, to the point th…

Stars of Courage: Mahatma Ghandi

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. This whole series will be in the book project when it is finally completed. Read the previous post in this series, about Mother Jones.

As always - writing is not free. Please donate:  

One of the things that made Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s campaign for liberation of African Americans so effective is that, unlike many black American leaders before and after him, he looked beyond his social group to see the experiences of others and what had succeeded and failed in the world. This took him a lot further than groups like the Nation of Islam or th…

Why There Are No Black Writers At Radical Second Things

I have a confession to make.

I grew up in and around black culture. My aunt Frenchie, who is black, was sure closer to me than any of my sisters. I worked at a hip hop magazine - Seaspot. Hip-hop and R&B was really all I listened to for years. Yet, slowly and gradually, I have detached almost completely from that culture.

I haven't had a really horrible experience - not anything I didn't get from any other group of people. I just slowly have disengaged because it felt like there wasn't anything in black culture for me to learn from and very few in the culture willing to learn.

Black culture is extremely myopic. While it's common for Hispanic groups to show solidarity with black political groups in times of controversy, it's rare to hear the opposite. While blacks have offered several leaders who preached universalism - Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama - both in the intellectual world and in normal life, it seems as if a huge social wall e…

Hold on - perhaps the Pope really is a feminist?

Many on the Left have skepticism of institutional religion with very good reason - but Francis is the real deal. I can't think of anyone who has been so forthright as this about the importance of respect for women and value of their contributions. When you think of the fact that he speaks this way in the face of millions of conservative Catholics who may feel and think quite differently, it is all the more impressive.

Donald Trump and American Heartbreak

I couldn't help but empathize with outgoing Barack Obama as he engaged in his last White House Correspondents' Dinner. I know from experience that outgoing presidents in the United States usually are tired and worn but with Obama, there was a degree of cynicism, anger and disappointment that was new.

"When I said I wanted to change the tone eight years ago, maybe I should have been more specific," he said, an obvious allusion to a bizarre presidential race in which one freak circus candidate has attacked opponents as being on their period or having had relatives involved in the Kennedy assassination. And these attacks seem to be working, in a country that is so warped and broken that they don't believe in anything tangible anymore.

Like Obama, I went way beyond expectation in my life. I have epilepsy and was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome as a teenager. Instead of living in my mom's basement, I have had many living situations of my own, which I found…

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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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