Recommended reading

💻 Jerome Carter shares a fun story about the wonderous suburban American deck — and the bees that inevitably come and spoil the fun. Read Carpenter Bees And Wasps Are On The Deck — Must Be Spring

Vigo County Courthouse
Konica C35 Automatic, Fujifilm Fujicolor 200, 2013.

💻 The story of the United States is a story of a relationship with fascism — mostly of holding it at bay, but it is an ever present threat. So says John Scalzi, who writes an essay to support his point. Read Reader Request Week 2021 #5: American Fascism

📷 Jack Falat was an AT&T lineman and still is a dedicated photographer. He’s sharing photos he made of the places AT&T sent him, going back to the 1970s. It’s a remarkable view of an America that hardly exists today. Poindexter shares his work on Curbside Classic. Read Vintage Snapshots: Favorites from the Jack Falat Collection

📷 Konica is an oft-overlooked former camera and film maker. Dario Veréb considers their history and legacy. Read A Better Look at Konica

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7 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. DougD Avatar

    Interesting article on Facism. It reminds me of Jordan Peterson’s point of “if you grew up in Germany from the teens through the 30’s you would have been a Nazi too”.

    My mother (who had actual experience dealing with Nazis) told us all Germans were not Nazis, and all Nazis were not Germans. Everywhere those guys went there were people who embraced and aided them.

    1. tbm3fan Avatar

      Problem is Nazi is thrown around while not understanding what it means. You were a Nazi if you were a member of the National Socialistic Germans Workers Party. Most Germans weren’t and not just anybody could. However, simplicity kicks in and every German was a Nazi during WWII. Now if you asked Rommel if he was a Nazi he would have emphatically said he was not and would be right.

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s mindblowing to think that non-Germans aided them.

  2. David Millington Avatar
    David Millington

    I think Mr. Scalzi, as is common with a lot of bloggers these days, has fallen into the trap of labelling everything he sees as Right-of-Centre as ‘fascist’, or as part of Fascism, without really understanding the meaning of the word.
    He neglects the history, which goes right back to the ancient Romans, where the fasces, or bundle of sticks, were used as a form of punishment, as a symbol of the authority of the Emperor.
    He should consider instead the word ‘totalitarian’, as applied to a repressive regime, usually in the control of one man or few men.
    Something which could not easily happen in this country, due to your constitution.
    The Senate and Congress would not easily be overcome.
    In trying to justify his beliefs, Mr. Scalzi omits to examine totalarianism in the light of history:
    Before WWII – Germany, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Cuba and lastly Spain all had regimes that he would label ‘Fascist’.
    Some were, like Spain, simply nationalist, but in the control of one man.
    Russia was everything these countries were and more; would Mr. Scalzi label Russia as ‘Fascist’?
    Same repressive regime, same lack of freedoms, lack of individuality, same labor camps/prison camps, trials in camera.
    Post WWII – China, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Cuba.
    Vietnam, Cambodia.
    Same result, but now with a different label – Communism.
    Same repressions, lack of freedoms, labor camps/prison camps
    In other words, “same old song, just a different group of gangsters singing it”.
    The past four years have seen something uniquely American, to me.
    An INDEPENDENT businessman as President, representing neither of the two political parties, nor following their rules.
    “If you are not a Democrat, you must be a Republican!”
    Why must that be so?
    I found it amusing that the ‘professional’ politicians spent so much of their time running around in circles just trying to prove the validity of THEIR cause.
    Only in the USA.
    Which, as an outsider working in the US, endears me so much to this country.
    Mr. Scalzi has it wrong: Americans will try anything once, maybe twice or more.
    It’s what makes them, and you, a great nation, in every respect.
    Oh, and by the way: I come from Europe and have firsthand experience of the East German model, reinforced by my German wife.
    I write from history and experience, which, I doubt, Mr. Scalzi does.
    This is just MY opinion, versus his.
    Regards, David

    1. DougD Avatar

      Guess you didn’t read the part about not engaging in whataboutism at the end of the post.
      Although you did get a genuine LOL for the words INDEPENDENT and businessman, thanks for that.

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    I’ve been saying for five years now, anyone that wants to know how Trumpy got into office needs to read the book: “Listen Liberal”, by Thomas Frank. He predicted that outcome before the election, and why a certain socio-economic group decided that he was their savior. As long as we’re mentioning the Nazis. my interest in them is from the propaganda/marketing standpoint; something that has a lot of correlations between the brown-shirts in Germany and the neo-con working class in the United States, through the right-wing fantasy media, built after the destruction of the fairness doctrine.

    Another good read for the interested is Anne Applebaum’s book: “Twilight of Democracy” tracking the rise of authoritarianism in Europe, and it’s beginnings in the U.S. This was recommended to me prior to the 2020 election, and I saw it’s tenets played out in the Capitol seditionist riot recently where a small group tried to usurp the outcome of an election. Also ‘seeable’ in just the recent actions of some right-wing state legislatures to make voting more difficult and suppress communities of color, who generally vote “left”. We have yet to see if this modern “Jim Crow” will be seen for what it is, and hopefully challenged in the supreme court!

    The thing that has worried me about the U.S. over the years is the rise of plutocracy, with the aid of the right wing. Starting with the de-taxing of the wealthy to promote the fantasy concept of trickle-down economics. Every Republican in office since Reagan has tried to enrich the wealthy, as some sort of ersatz ruling class. This includes the canonization of business owners as some sort of “holy see”; when in fact, most small and medium business owners survive solely on under-paying help and government tax breaks. Even Eisenhower warned against the “military-industrial” complex, and he was as conservative as they get!

  4. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    And in a serendipitous event, Samuel Goldman’s essay in the paper this week, called: “America Has A Ruling Class” . Something I realized in the years I was living in Washington D.C.

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