• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Parallel in Significance

The other day, I decided to treat myself to an eleven-dollar bottle of Italian wine and to make some home-made guacamole. So, I went downtown to make my desired purchases of ingredients at a local wine shop and the adjacent grocery. When I was leaving with my purchases, I happened to notice a small, dead bird on the freshly resurfaced parking lot which is shared by the places where I had made my purchases. I recognized the patterns on the bird immediately and I was filled with sorrow. I wondered how this small tragedy came to be in this place. I speculated that it must have been deposited by the front of a vehicle which had been out in the countryside.

I felt puzzled because the bird was a Dickcissal. They are not likely to be found in a town.

They are a bird which somewhat erratically appears in summer in the open pastures and prairies of the Midwest. They are finches which innocuously summer here and travel thousands of miles in migration to Central and South America where they are considered an agricultural pest. Here, they are dapper little yellow breasted announcements of “dick,dick,cis,cis,cis,sal” which feed on insects and seeds with, generally, considerable space between their territories. A few years of traveling thousands of miles every year under their own power is not a small thing to accomplish, but that is their life.

To most people, they are an unknown entity, but to me they are one of the treasures of the Midwest and they are a measure of environmental quality. It is also noteworthy that their numbers have dropped off by an estimated 25% over the past few decades.

As I briefly stood in sorrow on that hot black surface with its intense yellow guidelines, I was struck by how the brilliant yellow softness of that breast which no longer pulsed was reflected in, and contrasted with, the hard artificial controls of the human made lines. I found myself remembering the painting of a chained goldfinch by Carel Fabritius which had stunned me with its skilled execution, symbolism, and seemingly advanced anachronistic existence when I was an art history student in the 1980s.

Both images, the one before me and the one of memory were the result of human actions which I imagined were disconnections from nature. At the same time, I know that any disconnection from nature is an impossibility. Human nature and human cultures seem to be largely driven by a need to believe that we have power over nature, but that sense of our place in the supposed scheme of things is possibly our greatest folly. An image of a chained little songbird and the reality of a dead little songbird in a seemingly alien location to its habitat are of no less significance than any other supposed achievements by humanity. We have been led to believe otherwise by religions and other forms of desperation.

The power to be disconnected from the effects of our existence is all around us and it is a very dangerous power. Trillions and trillions of imagined monetary worth is obsessively sought and used to maintain our vain delusions of superiority over nature and each other while the signals of the extent of our delusions are all around us, but we are usually too busy trying to be a part of our personal cultural delusions to learn to see or comprehend any message from beyond our delusions.

So, there I was, in “the Midwest,” seeking “Italian wine” and avocados while pondering the seeming alien location of a little native who had died not so far away while I was seeking things which were far from native to my location. My desires were not disconnected from a system which relies upon huge amounts of cruelty and death in regions halfway around the world and the chain which connected me to my little perch gave off a little glint of brilliancy in the body of that Dickcissal.

More articles by:
June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail