It’s heartening to see many new faces and hear many new voices who may in the past have not explicitly considered themselves “activists,” or who have felt a greater call to stand up against a political administration whose ideologies show every indication of running counter to a constitutional democratic framework.

If that describes you: THANK YOU! You are awesome. And if you’re an Old Hat at this sort of thing, this post is for you too — by way of initiating a civil dialogue with some of the fresh faces you see in your timeline or in your local community…

There’s something those of us in marginalized groups know instinctively, having lived lives long in opposition to a dizzying continuum of Absurd Moral Authority: from outright violence, to secretive “technical” manipulations of statutes designed to erode or remove rights, to vague and carefully unstated “wink wink nudge nudge” moments from individuals of authority who had some power to constrain us — whether it’s a boss (or potential boss), a teacher, a community figure, and/or perhaps most guttingly a family member.

We know the sting of being scolded for even daring an attempt at upsetting the Tautological Supremacist Meritocracy: “If you…

Much hay was made this weekend over the fact that the staid global news outlet The New York Times had the audacity to put the story about Mike Pence’s well-timed stunt at Hamilton above the fold, while it relegated the story of Donald Trump’s hasty settlement of $25 million over the Trump University lawsuits (an amount which lawyer Lisa Bloom called “power evidence of guilt”) to past the jump, in the print edition.

First of all, who is kidding themselves that people are still reading only the New York Times print edition above the fold?! If someone buys the New…

Without the doing of some thing brand inappropriate
Something unmonetizable
If i don’t rend the cloth of this Culture Fit soon i will die
Like the coral
Like two-thirds of the wild
Like the humans on the edge of a rising shoreline
In a ceaseless world
With iceless poles
And icy proles
As the planet heats,
Civilization chills;
Swallowing our red or our blue pills;
Interned into camps of grievers and shills
Grieve i do and for the West
Our president the Bigly Best!
We’ll come and go at his behest
Put down your Freedom of Info Requests
Baby, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet
Joe Walsh got his balls out, and his musket too
The Lefties dream of…

are not merely empowered to separate us from discerning fact and fiction.

They separate us from debate; civic discourse; meaningful conflict;

From coalition-building; compromise; concession.

They separate us from each other.

Communities seem quaint

Common ground, a shifting place

Quicksand beneath one’s feet

We are all swamp things now

The eyes ogle, waiting for us to falter — for sport

Our shelf lives grow ever shorter

While billionaires transfuse the blood of the young

The youth don’t want my mid-life crisis

It bores them so

My tone grates on America’s next greats

Ideologies wage the fifth world war out on the vast placeless social media savannah

Faux fantastical beasts feast upon felled paper tigers

One can only hope the most outsized egos

Are the biggest dinosaurs

When the meteor comes

(hi Google and maybe some humans: this post originally appeared on

It’s getting harder to tell anymore who is being paid to push pro-Russian messages, and who has just been sadly taken in by them. For all this braggadocio (braggadocious, even!) about “building a wall” to keep supposed Mexican rapists out (although net migration has been falling with our southern neighbor for some time and is now net negative), no matter what the outcome of next Tuesday’s election, the “borders” around the internet will remain difficult — if not impossible — to police for the foreseeable future.

This all makes our breathless, behind-closed-doors hand-wringing over Soviet Communist influence over the population…

There is anger on the left — from would-be Bernie supporters to passionately anti-war Stein supporters — that is entirely understandable. Conflict wages around the world, as it has since the dawn of civilization. Often, the U.S. plays a role when it concerns our allies, or our enemies.

Many times throughout history we have been the aggressor: Bush’s fatuous foray into Iraq; Eisenhower’s Guatemalan coup; the Discovery doctrine invoked to justify our own occupation of American soil. Our military-industrial complex continues to provide arms for the conflicts of nations we have no quarrel with. It is deeply concerning, and worthy…

Every political pundit (or even remotely connected cultural pundit) is tying themselves up in knots to find the reason(s) — we know it’s complex, yet cannot seem to stop ourselves from Finding The One True Reason behind all things — behind the sheer absurdity of this U.S. presidential election. No one can find the meaning in Election 2016, because we appear to have hit Peak Meaninglessness.

It is the moral equivalent of the 2007–8 financial disaster we also fomented: overweaning hubris and overconfidence in our ability to book tomorrow’s profits, today. We so strongly believe in the Power of Progress…

Another day, another horrifying story of labor treatment at Yelp — hot on the backs of talia jane’s scathing indictment of her experience at the $1.5 billion company. Cue the attendant chorus of empathetic humans accompanied by a mass of elitist neoliberal vitriol about the virtues of Personal Responsibility, finger-waggling moralizing over which shelf The Poors should be choosing their liquor from with which to drown their sorrows, and the definitionally eminent foolishness of anyone who hasn’t already “made it” in the Valley (like the author has, natch — and boy how hard they worked to get it!!

barb dybwad

writer, traveler, aspiring philosopher in los angeles. (words | data | people) (ars longa | vita brevis | #YOLO)

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