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The Story of O: An Empty Spot in the Middle of American Culture

You can’t make an “O” without a big empty spot in the middle. And as Peter Birkenhead reminds us in his excellent article on, the Big O of American culture, Oprah Winfrey, is using her tremendous reach and influence to accelerate the evisceration of meaning in American life – and beyond – through her championing of the genuinely moronic “self-help” system called, moronically, “The Secret.” This cargo cult – which guarantees untold riches and endless happiness simply by wishing really hard and “ordering” whatever you want “from the Universe” – might seem too witless and trivial to think about,

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A Drop of the Hat

“Who’s gonna throw that minstrel boy a coin?
Who’s gonna let it roll?”
– Bob Dylan

We’ve been busking at this corner of the blogosphere for a few years now without ever passing the hat. But unfortunately, the time has come to put out the fedora and see what drops in. Your humble corresp<img src="" align="right"

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Defenestration Row:Convenient Suicides and State Power

This week saw the mysterious death of yet another journalist in Moscow. This time it was Kommersant columnist Ivan Safronov, a former colonel who wrote about Russia’s ever-murky military affairs, as the Moscow Times reports. Safronov, who occasionally ran afoul of the “security organs” when digging up dirt on Russia’s military-industrial complex (much akin to its American counterpart centered in the north Virginia badlands formerly known as Hell’s Bottom but now called the Pentagon), apparently committed suicide by jumping out

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A Tale of Two Houses: How the Clintons and Bushes Took us to Hell

Scott Ritter is back, telling the same truths he’s been telling for almost a decade, about the rank deception and violent aggression that has driven the bipartisan American effort to conquer and plunder Iraq. Ritter has been forced into this Sisyphean labor because these self-evident truths – lying in plain sight for many years – are still ruthlessly suppressed by the corporate media and forever removed from the

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Social Notes From All Over

From Johnny Fargo’s “Eye About Town” (Howser County Tribune):
Last night’s Gala Charity Ball/Pot Luck Dinner at the Sump City Ramada Inn was certainly not lacking in celebrity glitter! Many shining stars of the dinner theater/infomercial scene were on hand to help raise almost $2,170 for gingivitis research. Just check out the glamor shot below (or “money shot,” as I believe they call it in Hollywood)! On the left, it’s none other than the great Lyle Waggoner — remember him with Carol Burnett? Weren’t they a

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Stopping the Next War Now

More from that indefatigable man on fire, Arthur Silber, who has offered up six practical steps for stopping the next war, the attack on Iran:  Building an Effective Resistance. This new war is close — much closer than we think, as Robert Parry notes — and is only being held at bay, for the moment, by resistance from some top military brass, some reluctance from Tony Blair (who doesn’t want to leave office in the next few months with another gigantic quagmire on his record), and some scattershot opposition from a

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Wanker of the Decade (UK)

From the Guardian (and via a ripped-off concept from Atrios), we give you the UK wanker not just of the day, the week, the month or the year, but surely the whole decade. It is, of course, none other than the rear half of the oh-so-Christian Coalition, Tony Blair, captured here in his palmy student days at St John’s College, Oxford. The child, as they

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Operation Enduring Idiocy: The Deadly Child’s Play of U.S. Politics

Arthur Silber, as always, talks good and damning sense about the maddening moral idiocy of the entire American establishment and the whole “national debate” about the Iraq war. He limns with brutal accuracy the inability of our movers and shakers — and most of the public they manipulate so thoroughly — to comprehend the true nature of this bloodsoaked hell: that it is a monstrous crime, conceived in evil, steeped in murder, breeding death, brutality and corruption in everything it touches.

Silber’s penetrating ire is sparked off <a target="_blank"

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Yet Another Glorious Victory in the War on Terror

Victoria Brittain gives us the story of another glorious triumph in the “War on Terror,” with the military and intelligence forces of the oh-so-Christian Coalition of Bush and Blair combining magnificently to keep all those of godly whitish hue safe from the inherent evil of the darker folk.

How blessed we are all to live in such a time and be led and protected by such men and their minions. And yet how often do the American people — hoodwinked and bamboozled by the liberal media — see stories like this,

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