Author Archives: DP

The Greenwashing Machine

As COP27 continues to tie itself up in rhetorical knots and nooses while suppressing and marginalizing those most damaged by the climate crisis, we focus attention on the lucid voice of Guatemalan land protector Andrea Ixchíu.

Excerpts from a recent interview below; image added by DP.

 

THIS IS WHAT GREEN TECH LOOKS LIKE

 

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The Gasping Harvest

Today we celebrate the voice of the poet, journalist and frequent DP correspondent Jon Swan (1929-2022) through the publication of one of his last poems, together with a passage from a BBC radio play in which he played, ever so gloriously.

 

 

And here is that same voice, vividly present along The Loneliest Road:

 

 

Jon Swan’s last missive to DP included the following lines:

The disgraced president can smugly watch
as his corrupt Supremes hack away
at the tree of liberty and the oil boys are given
a pass to pollute. Aber, Vorvaerts!
 

We shall sorely miss his love of language, whether sounded or scribed; his unbounded curiosity and fierce opinions; his unfettered spirit of play; and above all, his magnificently twisted sense of humor that saved many a day.

Gone for now, but if you know how to listen, if you cock your ear, you can hear that voice.

 

Jon Swan, 1929-2022

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From Sparks Into Wildfire

Now comes Nobel Peace Prize winner (2003) Dr. Shirin Ebadi, with a few cogent insights into the spreading wildfire of protest in Iran, excerpted from a recent interview. Image with caption added by DP.

 

 

PORTRAIT OF A SPARK

 

 

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Operation Deathstar

Here at DP, we have long proposed that human supremacism – treating all other life forms as objects for our use – is at the heart of all that ails us. Factory farms represent industrialized human supremacism in one of its most extreme and cruel forms.

This week, we are pleased to relay a recent post from the animal rights non-profit Right To Rescue:

In 2017, DxE investigators infiltrated a massive pig farm  in the Utah desert, a facility owned by Smithfield/WH Group, the world’s largest pig killing company. This one Smithfield farm is 20 miles long with over 300 barns on site. The investigators filmed the conditions inside in 360 degree virtual reality footage. Their footage, titled “Operation Deathstar,” documented row after row of mother pigs crammed inside gestation crates barely bigger than their bodies and piles of dead piglets covered in their mothers’ feces.

The investigators rescued 2 sick piglets, Lily, who had a severe leg injury, and Lizzie, who was malnourished and nursing on a shredded nipple. They took Lily and Lizzie to a sanctuary to receive care. Then, they published the whole investigation and rescue online and in the New York Times to show the world the nightmarish cruelty happening inside Smithfield’s farms. The story went viral when the FBI started hunting for the piglets, raiding sanctuaries and even cutting off part of a pig’s ear to do DNA testing.

DxE investigators Wayne Hsiung and Paul Darwin Picklesimer went to trial October 3-7, 2022 in Washington County, Utah. On Saturday, October 8, after a full day of deliberations, the jury of 8 people unanimously found Wayne and Paul NOT GUILTY on all charges for rescuing Lily and Lizzie from Smithfield. Together, we have just set a powerful precedent for the legal right to rescue animals from abuse.

 

Next, excerpts from a recent interview with Wayne Hsuing following his acquittal on all charges:

 

 

 

 

Finally, a link to the video that documented the alleged “crimes” for which Pickelsimer and Hsuing were arrested:

 

 

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Women, Life, Freedom

With an ear bent to protests in Iran and around the world following the brutal torture and murder of Mahsa Anini, we offer the below excerpts from a lucid op-ed written by Roja Fazaeli, Associate Professor in Islamic Civilizations at Trinity College in Dublin, and Maryam Foumani, an Iranian-British journalist.

 

 

 

 

 

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Language In Tune

This week, we tune our ears to a second voice from the Harvard Divinity School’s Religion & Public Life program: Cynthia Wilson, the RPL Fellow for Native and Indigenous Rights. Below, she illuminates the “burning question” that brought her to HDS.

 

 

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Listen To the Margins

Now comes Deborah Jian Lee, a journalism Fellow at Harvard Divinity School’s timely and compelling Religion & Public Life program (RPL). Lee is an author and journalist working at The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which covers economic inequality in America.                                                   

During a recent online “Voices” forum at RPL, Lee was asked for the one “burning question” that frames her time within the program; below, a transcript of her illuminating response, together with a video link. 

 

 

 

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Imperial Imperatives

This week, for reasons that we are sure need not be scribed here, we bend an ear to the distinguished historian Caroline Elkins, author of Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire. Excerpts from a recent interview below.

The image documents the detention of alleged participants in the so-called Mau Mau Rebellion, with a caption added by DP.

 

 

THE CIVILIZING PROCESS

 

 

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Wounded By Time

We are grateful to a DP correspondent for steering us to a beautifully conceived essay, hidden within the vast archives of the Public Domain Journal. and written by distinguished professor Kenneth Gross, whose most recent book, Dangerous Children: On Seven Novels and a Story, will be published this autumn.

Excerpts below, with images from the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern.

 

 

THE OLD MAN, THE DEVIL WITH RINGED GLOVE AND THE MONK

 

 

THE PHILISTINE, MATCHBOX SPIRT AND THE CROWNED POET

 

 

BIG-EARED CLOWN, SELF-PORTRAIT AND THE WHITE-HAIRED ESKIMO

 

GHOST OF A SCARECROW, ELECTRICAL SPOOK AND MR. DEATH

 

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Shadow Play

We are grateful to the editors of the ever-excellent Orion magazine for alerting us to the publication of Crane Maiden, a collaboration between author Brenda Peterson and artist Ed Young. Published by Chin Music Press, the book is also on display as an animated exhibit in the Eric Carle Museum.

A brief excerpt below:

 

 

 

And a note from the artist:

Taoism is an ancient philosophy of nature, simplicity, and humor. The dualism of Chinese Taoism calls us to attend to opposites, like two faces of the same coin—light and dark, parting and reunion, gravity and flight. Yin and yang complete each other, cannot exist separately, enrich and fulfill the other. Their “interplay of energy makes harmony,” writes Lao Tzu in his classic Tao Te Ching. Just as in physics, the positive and negative magnetic fields synthesize and work as a whole. 

In China, cranes are symbolic creatures of nature. They bring good fortune and rain to crops and wetlands, as well as flood and destruction. Good and evil coexist in this Taoist balancing act. The West perceives truth as static perfection, but Chinese philosophy embraces polarities, always in a state of change, always alive. So red-crowned cranes embody both extremes, like the cosmos, or a vessel that can be perceived as half empty or half full.

How will we choose to live, to dance?

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