"If we waited on politicians to act, we would still be waiting. "

James Baldwin, Restored

February 16, 2019

“When we try to define ourselves, the truth is always somewhere in the middle. That’s one of the beautiful things about photography and portraiture: it’s not a fixed ideal, and it’s not a fixed image. It makes us think, and it makes us go further back into the recesses of our own mind to understand ideas about the truth.” – Hilton Als

Via: The Paris Review

How Words Become Weapons, And Wimps

February 15, 2019

We live in a time when language has been weaponized for high crimes and petty cruelties, while neutralized when it should state the obvious. Democracy may die in darkness, but it also slips away under cover of euphemism.

Via: New York Times

Good News

Wins, Good Works, Heroines and Heroes


Progressive Activists Get A Big Foreign Policy Win. It’s Been An Uphill Battle.

February 14, 2019

The House passed a resolution Wednesday to end US support for the war in Yemen. It’s the culmination of a years-long effort by progressive activists and lawmakers to claw back war-approving authority from the president and end US participation in a war that has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

Via: VOX

Off the Cuff

Op-Ed from our Managing Editor

The King And The American Dream

February 15, 2019

“Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea To the open arms of the sea Lonely rivers sigh, ‘Wait for me, wait for me’ I’ll be coming home, wait for me.”

These words written by Hy Zaret and sung by countless performers since the publishing of ‘Unchained Melody’ in 1955 were originally attributed to a lovesick fellow who hasn’t seen his lover in a “long, lonely time.” But in the artistic hands of celebrated filmmaker Eugene Jarecki and powerfully voiced by Elvis Presley just months before his death, they provide a fitting metaphor for both the trajectory of Elvis’ life since the 1950s to his early end and that of the American Dream, as we know it today.


Wanna talk books? Join us on Goodreads. Here’s what we’re reading right now.

The Republic – Plato

Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, this classic text is an enquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation, other questions are raised: what is goodness?; what is reality?; and what is knowledge? With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by philosopher kings.

Via: Goodreads

The Art Of Communicating – Thich Nhat Hanh

In this precise and practical guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh reveals how to listen mindfully and express your fullest and most authentic self. With examples from his work with couples, families, and international conflicts, The Art of Communicating helps us move beyond the perils and frustrations of misrepresentation and misunderstanding to learn the listening and speaking skills that will forever change how we experience and impact the world.

Via: Goodreads

Leadership: In Turbulent Times – Doris Kearns Goodwin

In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership.

Via: Goodreads

Big Screen

What we’re watching.

What Is Democracy

February 12, 2019

Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’s groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States’ reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor.


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Goes West – William Tyler

February 11, 2019

“William Tyler is drawn to instrumental music that takes inspiration from distinct historical events, he once explained, ‘like Hiroshima or the crucifixion of Jesus.’ Goes West feels less conceptually united than any of his work—more inspired by the contemplation of history than history itself—but this searching quality adds to its honest, meditative power.