The Motivation And Purpose To Boycott

This commentary is in response to this recently “Freshly Pressed” Post entitled “I May Shop On Thanksgiving.”

I say this respectfully and not with intent to draw ire but just to poke at your logic a bit…the problem is simply “want”. What I mean by that is that we currently live in an economic system in which workers in the jobs you reference are basically compelled to sell their labor to corporations in order to just have the basic means to survival-food, shelter, etc Labor is viewed and treated as a commodity just as a television or an xbox 360. The market is a disciplining force. It is a compelling force. It’s maxim is maximization of profit at whatever cost. And one of those costs is labor. So if every company in these sectors is offering shitty wages for long hours then the fact is workers have no where else to go. If the exploitation existed with just a few companies then those companies would quickly go out of business because no one would want to work under their conditions when they have the freedom to choose better conditions. The problem is there is a monopoly on exploitation in the sectors you reference, and so the conditions are set for the labor market to act as a compelling force. People need to have access to the basic means of survival. This is the reality of wage labor. Continue reading

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“Why Teach” by Mark Edmundson And The Dogma of New Criticism

Should a high school students, college student, or even an adult who has long since graduated from formal schooling be expected to value what is termed the Western literary canon just because it is held in such high regard by the individuals who first dubbed it the Western literary canon?

I pose this question after reading what I consider to be a semi-polemical work by University of Virginia English Professor, Mark Edmundson, entitled Why Teach, in which he claims in the chapter headed “Narcissus Regards His Book/ The Common Reader Now” that the devaluation of so-called Western Culture and the Western literary canon is caused by a growing “culture industry” in the United States in which the main standard by which society judges a work of literature is its ability to elicit feelings of pleasure and satisfaction from readers, Continue reading

My Most Amazing Dream

I usually write about topics pertaining to education, philosophy, religion, and politics but last night I had the most amazing dream, and would like to share it with you.

I was lying in my bed listening to a radio podcast on my mp3 player.  Slowly but surely, I started to drift into that wonderful realm between sleep and wakefulness. Continue reading

The Willingness To Express Insecurity

I wrote this after watching Finding Forrester.  I tried to follow William Forrester’s advice, and just write my first draft with my heart.  I don’t think I have ever written over 1,000 words this quickly.  Sorry William, but my head sees no need for a second draft.  That’s what my heart said.

Too often, because of our insecurities, we perceive conflict where there is none.  That is how conflict arises.  Sometimes I wonder, how willing will a stranger be to open up to me.  Why am I so afraid of being turned down?  Am I as afraid of being turned down as I am of turning someone down?  Perhaps not equally afraid, but I am certainly afraid of both dearly.  Continue reading

Interning on the Campaign Trail: The People and the Purpose

I ended my post Interning On the Campaign Trail: Advertising vs. Policy by saying that I harbored mixed feelings about my time spent interning so far.  It primarily focused on my dissatisfaction with the way campaigns are orchestrated these days.  Even though I have a lot to learn and my viewpoints are constantly evolving I do not hold out much hope that any of those sentiments will change.  But now I want to focus on the more positive aspects of working on a campaign. Continue reading

Interning On the Campaign Trail: Advertising vs. Policy

So I recently started interning for NJ Congressman Bill Pascrell’s re-election campaign, and up to this point I’ve got mixed feelings.  What really saddens me is how the campaign is orchestrated like a popularity contest.  I mean the organizers tell me that the campaign is on a tight budget and that something like $2.4 million was spent on the primary, yet what are they spending money on now:  Pens, banners, lawn signs, stickers, pins, buttons, posters, flyers, and a ton of cell phones to be used for phone banking. Continue reading

Wordpress Should NOT Have “Freshly Pressed”

I am sure that every wordpress blogger would agree that blogging is NOT a competition.  We do not blog to compete with one another.  We blog to express our ideas, hopes, dreams, aspirations, opinions, shortcomings, and accomplishments.  We blog in order to share, in order to find common ground, in order to enlighten and be enlightened ourselves.  But apparently wordpress does not see it that way.  I fail to see how the inclusion of the “freshly pressed section” into its blogging service can be interpreted as anything but a blatant presumption that we bloggers have the desire to compete with each other. Continue reading