“The Handmaid’s Tale is more relevant today, we’re further down the track.”

Margaret Atwood sat down for a great interview with Literary Hub’s Grant Munroe. They talked about the Hulu series based on The Handmaid’s Tale, Donald Trump, Salem witch trials, paper books and vinyl coming back, birds and housecats, and her numerous projects, including an upcoming novel based on Shakespear’s The Tempest. 

Here is just one of many great quotes from the conversation, commenting on Trump’s view of women and the direction of US society: 

He’s all for a certain kind of women, but not women in general, I would say. But no, he’s not much of a puritan. Whereas Cruz certainly is. And Rubio is similar. The Tea Party is of that root from American society, which never really went away. It might have looked in the 17th century as if we were having a bad experience with Salem witches, and were quite embarrassed about it afterwards, but it’s never really left.

He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration.’

UC Berkeley’s Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (via darkryemag)

I think the average guy thinks they’re pro-woman, just because they think they’re a nice guy and someone has told them that they’re awesome. But the truth is far from it. Unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations.

Junot Diaz (via luciaferr)

Intellectual life, like all other social spaces, is a home to nationalism and imperialism, and intellectuals, like everyone else, constantly peddle prejudices, stereotypes, received ideas, and hastily simplistic representations which are fueled by the chance happenings of everyday life, like misunderstandings, general incomprehension, and wounded pride.

Pierre Bourdieu. “The Social Conditions of the International Circulation of Ideas" Richard Shusterman. Bourdieu, a Critical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1999. (220)

Homeowner Who Shot Unarmed Elderly Man With Alzheimer’s Wandering His Property Won’t Be Charged | ThinkProgress

A few early morning thoughts on this tragedy:

Another case in the endless stream of questionable self-defense. Self-defense lethal through the omnipresence of guns.

Second case I read today where the justice system seems to swing in favor of someone with a higher standing within the established power structure. After all, self-defense isn’t always applied in this manner. Most prominent recent example is the case of Marissa Alexander, who gave of a warning shot to protect herself from her partner, someone with a known history of abuse and violence. She was trialed and initially sentenced.

It’s also another example of the effects of an ever increasing level of fear in society.

Homeowner Who Shot Unarmed Elderly Man With Alzheimer’s Wandering His Property Won’t Be Charged | ThinkProgress