Skip to content

Another Tribute to Hitch

The latest chapter in the on-going preemptive eulogy of the great freethinker, essayist and contrarian (and unwitting hero of this very blog), Christopher Hitchens, is a video cut together by r/atheism frequenter gonzoblair.  Dozens of folks from all over the world toast the life and work of a singular intellectual, and drink to his honor a bit of his favorite liquor, Johnny Walker Black. (Accept no substitute.) The diversity of the group is remarkable (although they almost all speak in Hitch’s tongue of English) and their sentiments are sincere.  That a man could attract such positive wishes mainly for pointing out the shortcomings of figures like Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II and the Hebrew God is a testament to how honesty is the king of virtues, and that truthfulness with one’s self is paramount.  I do wish that more mention was made of his journalistic pursuits, as my first encounter with his writing was in the inspirational Letters to a Young Contrarian.  That book made me unashamed to assert myself when I was sure I was unpopularly right, and to check myself when I had unpopular doubt.  I’ve never looked back. Perhaps it is a feature of being such an outspoken atheist that people take the trouble to tell you how much they care before you die.  Just think about how nice this world would be if we made such an effort to everyone we loved. Here’s […]

Read More →

The Absurd Man – à la 8-Bit RPG

Thanks to my very good friend Landon Zakheim – who curated the second annual “Razorblades in Your Reese’s” Halloween short film program at the Downtown Independent last Monday- I was exposed to the tender and hilarious ennui of filmmaker Emily Carmichael.  I am very happy this has happened.  Her short The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting was an outcast among the more shocking and musically epic shorts in the program (The Legend of Beaver Dam is one of the greatest things ever, as well), but its sensibility was dry and […]

Read More →

Why I Left My Bank

#remember X 2 #nov5 #BankTransferDay #treason #plot #aintnoreasonwhy #neverforget #BankTransferDay is Upon Us It probably wouldn’t surprise you if I told you I was participating in Bank Transfer Day, the Occupy-inspired day of protest where people are encouraged to move their deposits into credit unions and out of the major banks.  You might be surprised when I tell you it was primarily a personal budget decision between my partner and I, and not one made from idealism or outrage.  I even did it early, to avoid any trouble with my […]

Read More →

#OWS: Bank of America is At It Again

News broke today that the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had a little disagreement about a transfer of assets between subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (BAC) which owns both Merrill Lynch and Bank of America (BofA, the retail bank you’re more familiar with.)  It seems that BAC is moving something on the order of $75 trillion dollars of derivatives risk from Merrill Lynch, which is not insured by American taxpayers, to Bank of America, which is.  This means that just as European banks are about to crumble in on themselves in an epic default, BAC has pushed their substantial share of the risk of those defaults from their shareholders to the FDIC, effectively putting taxpayers on the hook. Here is another great piece on the transfer from former regulator William K. Black. They did this without a peep from the Federal Reserve.  Through the FDIC, you and I now bear the risk of the screwed up European banking system without ever engaging in these risky and fraudulent debt obligations to begin with.  They ate the meal, now we clean the $75 trillion dishes. This is why people do not, and probably should not, trust the financial sector and its narrow interests. People now associate ‘Wall Street’ with a threat to regular people with regular jobs and regular investments. The financial sector is the largest contributor to federal elections, including President Obama.  Mitt Romney is one and is surrounded by them.  And […]

Read More →

#OWS: The Morning After

You know the argument about a rising tide, and how it lifts all boats?  This has always seemed a dubious metaphor to me because of all the assumptions it must make in order to apply, and all of the obvious features of the ‘tide’ that it conveniently leaves out of the idiom. Join me while I break it down. (much more below the fold)

Read More →