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THE SPLIT

19 Reasons why Democrats will remain divided - and what it means for the party's future.

Spoiler:
Throughout most of the 2016 presidential primaries, the media focused on the noisy and reactionary rift among Republicans. Until the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders turned acrimonious in the home stretch, far less attention was paid to the equally momentous divisions within the Democratic Party. The Clinton-Sanders race wasn’t just about two candidates; instead, it underscored a series of deep and growing fissures among Democrats, along a wide range of complex fault lines—from age and race to gender and ideology. And these disagreements won’t fade with a gracious bow-out from Sanders, or a victory in November over Donald Trump. For all the talk of the Democrats’ need for “unity,” it would be a serious mistake to paper over the differences that came to the fore in this year’s primaries. More than ten million Democrats turned out in force this year to reject the party establishment’s cautious centrism and cozy relationship with Wall Street. Unless Democrats heed that message, they will miss a historic opportunity to forge a broad-based and lasting liberal majority.

To help make sense of what’s causing the split, and where it’s headed, we turned to 23 leading historians, political scientists, pollsters, artists, and activists. Taken together, their insights reinforce the need for a truly inclusive and vigorous debate over the party’s future. “There can be no settlement of a great cause without discussion,” observed William Jennings Bryan, the original Democratic populist insurgent. “And people will not discuss a cause until their attention is drawn to it.”

It goes way, way back

BY RICK PERLSTEIN

The schism between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is knit into the DNA of the modern Democratic Party, in two interrelated ways. The first is ideological: the battle of left versus right.

Start in 1924, when the party cleaved nearly in two. That year, at Madison Square Garden, the Democratic convention took a record 103 ballots and 16 days to resolve a fight between the party’s urban wing and its conservative opponents. How conservative? Well, the convention was nicknamed the “Klanbake,” because one of the great issues at stake was—no kidding—whether the KKK was a good or a bad thing. The divide was so heated that tens of thousands of hooded Klansmen held a rally and burned crosses to try to bully the party into meeting their demands.

Eight years later, under Franklin Roosevelt, the party’s urban, modernist wing established what would become a long hegemony over its reactionary, Southern one. But that hegemony remained sharply contested from the very beginning. In 1937, bipartisan opponents of FDR banded together to forge the “Conservative Manifesto.” Co-authored by a Southern Democrat, the manifesto called for lowering taxes on the wealthy, slashing government spending, and championing private enterprise. Hillary Clinton’s eagerness to please Wall Street can be traced, in part, to that ideological split during the New Deal.

Indeed, over the years, many of the most “liberal” Democrats have remained sharply conservative on economic questions. Eugene McCarthy, the “peacenik” candidate of 1968, ended up backing Ronald Reagan. Dan Rostenkowski, the lunch-pail chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, proposed a tax package in 1981 that was more corporate-friendly than Reagan’s. Jerry Brown of California, long derided as “Governor Moonbeam,” campaigned for president in 1992 on a regressive flat tax. That same year, Bill and Hillary Clinton won the White House with the business-funded support of the Democratic Leadership Council, which sought to downplay the “big government” solutions championed by FDR.

Which brings us to the second strand in the party’s divided DNA: It’s sociological.

Slate’s Jamelle Bouie has pointed out the pattern’s clocklike consistency: Since the beginning of the modern primary process in 1972, the Democratic divide has settled into a battle between an “insurgent” and the “establishment.” But Bouie errs, I think, in labeling every insurgent as “liberal.” Just look at Brown in 1992—an insurgent who was conservative on economic issues. Or Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and 1972—an establishment favorite whose signature legislative initiatives, including centralized planning boards to dictate industrial production, were more socialist than those of Sanders.

This year, however, the traditional order of battle aligns with crystalline precision. Clinton, endorsed by 205 out of 232 Democratic members of Congress, is clearly the establishment’s pick—and also, increasingly, that of Wall Street masters of the universe terrified by the prospect of Donald Trump. Sanders represents the guerrilla faction, arrayed this time behind the economically populist banner of FDR.

Does history tell us anything about how Democrats can bridge their long-running divide and forge a stronger, more unified party? Sanders would do well to remember that sore loserdom never helps. (“George McGovern is going to lose,” a leading Democrat supposedly vowed after Humphrey lost the nomination in 1972, “because we’re going to make him lose.”) And Clinton needs to recognize that campaigning on economic liberalism is almost always a good political bet. (Even at the height of Reagan’s morning-in-America blather in 1984, barely a third of American voters favored his plans to reduce the deficit by slashing social programs.)

If Hillary has any doubts about embracing the economic agenda laid out by Sanders, she should ask the insurgent of 1992: William Jefferson Clinton. The man who ended a dozen years of presidential exile for the Democrats didn’t do it simply by promising to get tough on crime and to “end welfare as we know it.” He also pledged $80 billion in federal investments to improve America’s cities and to create four million new jobs—not to mention, of course, a plan to deliver health care to all Americans.

It’s Obama’s fault for raising our hopes

JACOB HACKER, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT YALE AND CO-AUTHOR OF WINNER-TAKE-ALL POLITICS: We’ve now had almost eight years of a Democratic presidency. And with the exception of the policy breakthroughs in 2009 and 2010, they’ve been viewed as relatively lean years by many in the Democratic Party. There’s a sense of, “We went with someone within the system, and look what happened—Republicans still tried to crush that person. So let’s go for the whole thing.” There’s a sense that supporting the Democratic establishment and going the conventional route hasn’t been that productive.

MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH, AUTHOR OF INVISIBLE MAN, GOT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING: A lot of young people who showed up to vote for Obama were voting for the very first time. But now they’re looking at the ways economic inequality persists, and they’re saying, “Oh, the Democratic Party doesn’t actually stand against that.” They’re looking at the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, the two big linchpins in the Black Lives Matter movement, and they’re like, “Oh, Democrats are actually the architects of the policies that have affected and continue to define young black life in terms of systemic, institutionalized racism.” So you have young folks getting into the Democratic Party and realizing they don’t have a place.

ASTRA TAYLOR, AUTHOR OF THE PEOPLE’S PLATFORM: TAKING BACK POWER AND CULTURE IN THE DIGITAL AGE: This is in part a symptom of the expectations that people had for the Obama administration that weren’t met. It got its first major expression through Occupy Wall Street, and it’s still playing out. Because nothing has changed, and people know that.

RUY TEIXEIRA, CO-AUTHOR OF THE EMERGING DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY: You can make the case that Obama has been a very successful and progressive president, but people are impatient. What used to keep people in line, so to speak, when they had these kinds of dissatisfactions was, “Oh, I’m really frustrated, but what can we do? The country is so right-wing. We’ve got to worry about the national debt—there’s no room in the system for change.” Now there’s much more of a sense of possibility. The Democratic Party has contributed to this transformation by becoming more liberal, and by ceasing to be obsessed with the national debt and the deficit.

ELAINE KAMARCK, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION AND AUTHOR OF PRIMARY POLITICS: Here’s the irony—the Bernie people are the Obama people. They’re all the young people; that’s the Obama coalition. They’re frustrated because under Obama, nothing much happened that they liked. They’re taking it out on Hillary, which is unfortunate, since she’s much more capable of making something happen.

JEDEDIAH PURDY, PROFESSOR OF LAW AT DUKE AND AUTHOR OF AFTER NATURE: The disappointment in Obama took a while to set in. The Obama campaign had the form and rhetoric of transformative politics, but not the substance. Many of us believed or hoped the substance might follow the form; but it didn’t. It turns out you need a program that challenges existing power and aims to reshape it. So Sanders represents the continuation of these insurgent energies. Clinton is also the continuation of Obama, but the Obama of governance, not of the campaign.
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It’s Hillary’s fault for lowering our hopes

Ron Haviv / VII for the New Republic
JOHN JUDIS, FORMER SENIOR EDITOR AT THE NEW REPUBLIC AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE EMERGING DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY: In 1984, you had Walter Mondale, a candidate of the Democratic establishment, pitted against a young upstart, Gary Hart. The split wasn’t left-right—it was young-old, energetic-tired, vision-pragmatism. Bernie, for all his 74 years, represents something still of the rebellious Sixties that appeals to young voters, while Hillary represents a tired incrementalism—utterly uninspiring and rooted largely in identity politics and special interest groups, rather than in any vision for the future.

The party hasn’t kept up with its base

JILL FILIPOVIC, LAWYER AND POLITICAL COLUMNIST: The party itself has been stuck in some old ideas for a while. You’ve been seeing movement around the edges, whether from Elizabeth Warren or these grassroots movements for income inequality. The pro-choice movement, for example, is a key part of the Democratic base that has liberalized and modernized and completely changed its messaging in a way that the party is now just catching up to. So you get these internal discords that dredge up a lot of bad feelings.

DANIELLE ALLEN, DIRECTOR OF THE EDMOND J. SAFRA CENTER FOR ETHICS AT HARVARD: In the last 20 years, we’ve collectively experienced various forms of social acceleration. Rates of change in social dynamics have increased across the spectrum, from income inequality to mass incarceration to immigration to the effects of globalization and the restructuring of the economy. When you have an acceleration of social transformation, there’s a lag problem. The reigning policy paradigms will be out of sync with the actual needs on the ground. That’s what we’re experiencing now.

JEDEDIAH PURDY: The people who have been drawn to the Sanders campaign have no love for or confidence in elites, Hillary’s habitus. And why should they? They’ve seen growing inequality and insecurity, the naked corruption of politics by oligarchic money, total cynicism in the political class of consultants and pundits, and wars so stupid and destructive that Trump can say as much and win the GOP primaries. There’s a whole world that people are surging to reject.
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Bernie’s supporters aren’t living in reality


Mark Peterson / Redux
DAVID SIMON, CREATOR OF THE WIRE: I got no regard for purism. What makes Bernie so admirable is he genuinely believes everything that comes out of his mouth. It’s incredibly refreshing. If he didn’t have to govern with people who don’t believe what he’s saying, what a fine world it would be.

I look at the hyperbole from Bernie supporters that lands on my doorstep. Either it’s stuff they believe—in which case they’re drinking the Kool-Aid, so they’re not even speaking in the vernacular of reality. Or what they’re doing is venal and destructive. That level of hyperbole, which Bernie himself is not responsible for, is disappointing. The truth is, it’s not just your friends who have utility in politics—sometimes it’s the people who are against you on every other issue. If you can’t play that game, then what did you go into politics for?

THEDA SKOCPOL, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AND SOCIOLOGY AT HARVARD: A lot of Bernie supporters are upper-middle-class people. I’m surrounded by them in Cambridge. I’m not saying they’re hypocritical. I’m just saying they’re overplaying their hand by celebrating his focus on reining in the super-rich as the only way that we can talk about improving economic equality.

ELAINE KAMARCK: This is part of a bigger problem with American presidential politics selling snake oil to the voters. Everybody from Trump with his stupid fething wall, to Sanders with, “Oh, free college for everybody.” Of all the dumb things—let’s go ahead and give all the rich kids in America a nice break. That’s not progressive, I’m sorry. But people want to believe in Peter Pan. And he’s just not there.

MARK GREEN, FORMER PUBLIC ADVOCATE OF NEW YORK AND AUTHOR OF BRIGHT, INFINITE FUTURE: A GENERATIONAL MEMOIR ON THE PROGRESSIVE RISE: There’s a lot of adrenaline in primaries between purity and plausibility. Sanders is the most popular insurgent in American history to get this close to a nomination, and to help define the Democratic agenda. I admire his guts to run in the first place, and I get why his combination of Bulworth and Eugene Debs makes him such an appealing candidate. But the programmatic differences between a walking wish list like Sanders and a pragmatic progressive like Clinton are dwarfed by the differences between either of them and the first proto-fascist president.

There’s a double standard against Hillary

JILL FILIPOVIC: The dovetailing of gender and wealth in this election is really striking. I don’t remember a lot of Democrats ripping John Kerry to shreds for being wealthy when he ran for president. But it’s been interesting to see Clinton demonized for her Goldman Sachs speeches. For some Democrats, that seems to be inherently disqualifying. Obviously, money would be an issue even if she were a male candidate, because this is an election that’s about income inequality. But the sense that she’s somehow undeserving, that does strike me as gendered.

THEDA SKOCPOL: Older women support Clinton because they’ve witnessed her career, and she’s always been into economic redistribution. Some Sanders followers have been quite sexist in things they’ve said; that’s very apparent to older women. A friend who studies abortion politics tells me that the nasty tweets she’s gotten from Bernie supporters for backing Hillary are worse than anything she gets from the right wing.

AMANDA MARCOTTE, POLITICS WRITER FOR SALON:What you’re seeing is a huge drift in the party, away from having our leadership be just a bunch of white men who claim to speak for everybody else. We’re moving to a party that puts women’s interests at the center, that considers the votes of people of color just as valuable as the votes of white people. Unfortunately, some of the support for Sanders comes from people who are uncomfortable with that change and are looking to a benevolent, white patriarch to save them.

ELAINE KAMARCK: Clinton is being penalized because she has a realistic view of what can be done, and that leads people to mistake her for some kind of bad conservative. She’s not. She’s extraordinarily liberal, particularly on children and families. But because she’s been around a while, when Sanders comes out with this new radical stuff, they think, “Oh, he’s the one whose heart is in the right place.” But listen, she took on Wall Street before he did, in a way that hit their bottom line. If people really want to get something done, they’d vote for her.

MARK GREEN: Look, there’s a debate I have with my friend Ralph Nader. He sees Hillary as more Wall Street, and I see her as more Wellesley. She’s as smart as anyone, grounded, practical, engaging, and unlike most testosterone-fueled male politicians, actually listens more than lectures. So she’s not as dynamic a candidate as Bill and Barack? Who is? That’s an unfair comparison. But if I had to bet, I’d guess she’ll be as consequential and good a president as either of them.

Poverty is fueling the divide

BY KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR

The Democratic Party today engages in delusional happy talk about economic recovery, while a staggering 47 million Americans are struggling in poverty. As the rich remain as wealthy as ever, working-class people continue to see their wages stagnate. In the 1970s, 61 percent of Americans fell into that vague but stable category of “middle class.” Today that number has fallen to 50 percent. African Americans, the core of the Democratic Party base, continue to be plagued by dead-end jobs and diminished prospects. Fifty-four percent of black workers make less than $15 an hour. Thirty-eight percent of black children live in poverty. More than a quarter of black households battle with hunger.

This is the heart of the crisis within the Democratic Party. Eight years ago, the party ran on hope: “Yes, we can” and “Change we can believe in.” Pundits openly wondered whether the United States was on the cusp of becoming a “postracial” nation; on the eve of Obama’s first inauguration, 69 percent of black Americans believed that Martin Luther King’s “dream” had been fulfilled. Today, the tune is quite different: Millions of Americans are more disillusioned and cynical than ever about the ability of the state to provide a decent life for them and their families.

Bernie Sanders tapped into the palpable disgust at America’s new Gilded Age, and it’s a revulsion that will not be quieted with a few platitudes from Hillary Clinton to “give the middle class a raise.” Yet the Democratic leadership continues to treat Sanders as an unfortunate nuisance. The party keeps charging ahead the way it always has, as Clinton pivots to her right to appeal to disgruntled Republican voters. As long as the party has no challengers to its left, the thinking goes, its base has nowhere else to go.

This strategy may lead Clinton to victory in November. But there is a danger here: In winning the battle, she very well may lose the war being waged within the Democratic ranks. The inattention to growing inequality, racial injustice, and deteriorating quality of life will likely result in ordinary people voting with their feet and simply opting out of the coming election, and future ones as well. Millions of Americans already do not vote, because most elected officials are out of touch with their daily struggles, and because there is little correlation between voting and an improvement in their lives. By continuing to ignore the issues Sanders has raised, Clinton and the rest of the party establishment risk losing a huge swath of the Democratic electorate for years to come.

There is a way out. More and more voters are identifying as independents. This demonstrates that people want real choices—as opposed to politics driven by sound bites, political action committees, and billionaire candidates. The wide support for both Sanders and Trump points to the incredible vacuum that exists in organized politics. If the movements against police racism and violence were to combine with the growing activism among the disaffected, from low-wage workers to housing advocates, we could build a political party that actually represents the interests of the poor and working class, and leave the Democrats and the Republicans to the plutocrats who already own both parties’ hearts and minds.

It’s the economy, stupid

JOHN JUDIS: There have been insurgencies before—George Wallace in ’64 and ’72—that were radical. What made Wallace radical was the split in the party over civil rights. What makes Sanders radical is the lingering rage over the Great Recession.

If you want to move the question up a level theoretically, you can talk about the failure of “new Democrat” politics to deliver prosperity or economy security. Clinton and the Democrats in Washington don’t understand the level of anxiety that Americans, and particularly the young, feel about their economic prospects. It can’t be addressed by charts showing the drop in the unemployment rate.

BRETT FLEHINGER, HISTORIAN AT HARVARD AND AUTHOR OF THE 1912 ELECTION AND THE POWER OF PROGRESSIVISM: The Democratic Party has done a poor job of delivering on the economic promises of equality. That’s what’s opened up the possibility for Sanders. It’s what he’s believed in for 20-plus years. But the question is: What’s making it resonate now? It’s the failure of the party to liberalize, since Bill Clinton.

JACOB HACKER: There’s a feeling of, “Really? This is it? This is the recovery we’ve been promised?” It’s been a long, difficult path since 2008 and the financial crisis. Even Democratic voters who are doing pretty well are feeling that something has gone seriously awry.

This may be the first time in my life that there’s been a full-throated critique of the Democratic Party as being excessively beholden to money and too willing to work within the system. You saw echoes of this in the Howard Dean campaign, and you saw it much more forcefully in 2000 with Ralph Nader. But Nader was not running within the Democratic Party; he was clearly playing a spoiler role. Whereas Sanders is essentially trying to take the Democratic Party in a different direction.

JEDEDIAH PURDY: Bernie’s campaign is the first to put class politics at its center. Not poverty, which liberal elites have always been comfortable addressing, and not “We are the 99 percent,” which is populist in a more fantastical sense, but class more concretely: the jobs and communities of blue-collar people, the decline of the middle class, the cost of education.

MARK HUGO LOPEZ, DIRECTOR OF HISPANIC RESEARCH AT THE PEW RESEARCH CENTER: When you ask Clinton supporters, or people who see Clinton favorably, you’ll find that more than half will say that, compared to 50 years ago, life is better in America today. Whereas among Sanders supporters, one-third will say that things are actually worse.

Democrats are too fixated on white workers

JILL FILIPOVIC: The class-based concerns that a lot of the loudest voices in the Sanders contingent of the Democratic Party focus on are the concerns of the white working class, and they aren’t bringing a lot of race analysis into it. The income-inequality argument makes a case, particularly to the white working class, in a way that seems to have alienated African Americans and, to a lesser extent, the Hispanic vote.

MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH: Look at every demographic breakdown of who votes. The strongest Democratic Party voters are black women. So why is it that you’re so zeroed in and focused on regaining the white working-class vote? What value does that have to you, as opposed to appeasing the voters that are actually there for you? Democrats want it both ways. They want to attract the white working-class voter again, but what they don’t accept is that the reason they lost that voter is because of Republican appeals to racism. So the Democrats want to be the party of anti-racism but also win back the racists. You can’t do that! Why would you want a coalition of those people? It doesn’t make sense.

Democrats have neglected white workers

DAVID SIMON: There’s certainly something unique about this moment, and the populist rebellion that has affected both the Republican and Democratic parties. And I think it’s earned. Both parties can be rightly accused, not to the same degree, of having ignored and abandoned the working class and the middle-middle class for the past 30 years.
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Millennials of color are tired of waiting

ALAN ABRAMOWITZ, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT EMORY AND AUTHOR OF The Polarized Public? Why American Government Is So Dysfunctional: Why are African Americans so loyal to the Clintons? Part of it is just familiarity. They feel a comfort level with the Clintons, and they really like Bill Clinton, especially older African American voters. But there’s a generational divide even among African American voters. Younger African Americans and Latinos are not as supportive of Clinton.

MARK HUGO LOPEZ: I was in Chicago recently, and I was surprised when a young Latina college student stood up and described how much she did not like Clinton. She actually said, “I hate Hillary Clinton.” That’s the phrase she used, which drew a round of applause from everybody in the room.

JOHNETTA ELZIE, A LEADER OF BLACK LIVES MATTER: I don’t think anyone was ready to deal with black millennials. I just don’t believe that anyone in politics who is running on a national scale knows how to address young black or brown people in a way that’s different from how they addressed our elders. Because we’re not the same.

I remember when Hillary got shut down by some young black students in Atlanta. They wanted to know, “What does she even know about young black people in this neighborhood and what we go through?” John Lewis basically told them, “You need to wait to speak to Hillary. Just be polite, ask questions, yada yada.” And people were like, “But you were a protester before you were a politician! You know what it is, you know the sense of urgency, you know what it means to be told to wait and to know that we don’t have time to wait.”

MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH: Throughout our history, progressive movements have often left out the idea of ending racism. Then they go to communities of color and say, “What choice do you have but to join with us­—to put aside your concerns about the differences that we experience in terms of racism?” In this election, the movement on the ground has at least pushed Democrats to adopt the language of anti-racism. They’ve had to say things like “institutionalized racism”—they’re learning the language on the fly. The problem is, they understand that they don’t actually have to move on these issues, because they have Trump to run against. All they have to do is say, “Look at how crazy the other option is. Where else are you going to go?”

Authenticity is gender biased

BY RIVKA GALCHEN


Mark Peterson / Redux
In an early scene in Stendhal’s The Red and the Black, a carpenter’s son hired as a tutor for a wealthy family dons a tailored black suit provided by his new employer. The black suit was a new and radical thing in this era, one in which bakers dressed like bakers, nobility like nobility. In a black suit, one’s social class was cloaked—a form of what back then was often termed hypocrisy.

Lately, as I’ve followed the contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, I’ve found myself thinking of The Red and the Black, and its play with antiquated notions of authenticity. The passionate support for Sanders has, one hopes, much to do with excitement about his insistent expression of a platform of economic populism. But it would be naïve to think it doesn’t also have to do with his appearance, his way of speaking. There is authenticity, and there is appearing authentic. These two things may mostly align—as they largely but not entirely do with Sanders. (Most anti-establishment figures avoid 35 years in government.) Or they may almost perfectly not align—as in the case of Donald Trump. (A liar celebrated for speaking the truth.) Either way, it’s worth investigating authenticity in our political thinking, both to understand its power and to consider how it helps or hurts the kind of effective, forward-looking agenda that we hope will emerge from a fractured Democratic Party.

One problem with authenticity as a campaign tactic is its unsettling, subconscious alliance with those who benefit from the status quo. If you’re not who you say you are—if you’re moving on the social ladder, or are not in “your place”—you’re inauthentic. Keeping it real subtly advocates for keeping it just like it is.

The semiotics of Sanders’s political authenticity—dishevelment, raised voice, being unyielding—are available to male politicians in a way they are not to women (and to whites in a way they are not to blacks or Hispanics or Asians). Black women in politics don’t have the option to wear their hair “natural”; nearly all white women appear to have blowouts, even Elizabeth Warren. It’s nonsense, and yet the only politically viable option, and therefore not nonsense.

It’s not just that research has shown that women are perceived to talk too much even when they talk less, or that men who display anger are influential while women who do so are not. It’s that there is no such thing as “masculine wiles.” The phrase just doesn’t exist. This doesn’t mean that calling into question Clinton’s authenticity and trustworthiness—the fault line along which the Democratic Party has riven—is pure misogyny. It just means that it’s not purely not misogyny.

Clinton is often described as the institutional candidate, the establishment. There’s a lot of truth to that. But she’s also the woman who initially kept her name (and her job) as the wife of the governor of Arkansas, who used the role of First Lady as cover to push for socialized health care, and who was instrumental in getting health insurance for eight million children past the Republican gorgons when a full reform failed. Someone who has survived being attacked for nearly 40 years must possess a highly developed sense of what the critic Walter Benjamin calls “cunning and high spirits”—the means by which figures in fairy tales evade the oppressive forces of myth, and mortals evade gods. Somehow she achieved one of the more liberal voting records in the Senate, despite rarely being described as a liberal by either the left or the right.

Perhaps one reason that Clinton’s “firewall” of black support has remained standing is that “authenticity” has less rhetorical force with a historically oppressed people, for whom that strategy—being recognizably who people in power think you ought to be—was never viable. There are, of course, important and substantial criticisms of Clinton. But perhaps when we say that Hillary is inauthentic, we’re simply saying that she is a woman working in the public eye.

Democrats on both sides of the party should consider which tactic best suits the underdogs they feel they are defending, and want to defend. Whoever receives the nomination, perhaps the worry should shift from whether the candidate is cunning to whether the candidate—and the Democratic Party—can be cunning enough.

The disruption is digital

BY ZEYNEP TUFEKCI

Insurgents like Bernie Sanders have been the rule, not the exception, in the modern era of Democratic politics. From Eugene McCarthy to Jesse Jackson, the party’s left wing regularly broke ranks to run on quasi-social democratic platforms. But with the exception of George McGovern in 1972, these challengers all fell short of the nomination, partly because they lacked the money to effectively organize and advertise. The party establishment had a virtual monopoly on every political tool needed to win.

Slowly at first—and then with a big, loud bang—digital technologies changed all that. First came Howard Dean, who used the internet to “disrupt” the Democratic Party in 2004. Powered by small online donations and digitally organized neighborhood “meetups,” Dean outraised his big-money rivals and revolutionized the way political campaigns are funded. Four years later, Barack Obama added a digitally fueled ground game to Dean’s fund-raising innovations, creating a campaign machine that could identify and turn out voters with a new level of accuracy. But when Obama’s policies fell short of the left’s expectations, many turned their energies to building a different kind of digital rebellion—this time, outside of electoral politics.

Sparked by a single email in June 2011, Occupy Wall Street exploded in a matter of months into a worldwide movement that mobilized massive street protests—including many who’d sworn off partisan politics as hopelessly corrupted. Occupy demonstrated how the masses could organize without a campaign or a candidate to rally around, opening a space that would soon be joined by Black Lives Matter and other activist groups. It also unleashed a populist fervor on the left. As the 2016 campaign approached, Occupy veterans joined forces with left-leaning activists inside the party. Instead of rejecting traditional politics, they decided to disrupt the Democratic primaries, the way Tea Party activists did to the GOP in 2010 and 2012.

In some ways, it didn’t matter that Sanders was the candidate they rallied behind. His ideological consistency earned him the trust of the left, and they in turn stoked his online fund-raising—producing the flood of $27 average donations that kept him competitive with Hillary Clinton. In the spirit of Occupy, Sanders’s digital operation was more volunteer-driven and dispersed than Obama’s; instead of “Big Data,” the watchword for Sanders was “Big Organizing,” as hundreds of thousands of volunteers effectively ran major parts of the show. A pro-Sanders Reddit group attracted almost a quarter-million subscribers, who helped organize everything from voter-registration drives to phone banks. A legion of young, pro-Sanders coders on Slack produced apps to mobilize volunteers and direct voters to the polls. There was even a BernieBNB app, where people could offer their spare couches to #FeelTheBern organizers.

Ultimately, the Sanders campaign became a lesson in both the potential and the limitations of a digitally fueled uprising. It seems miraculous that a 74-year-old democratic socialist could come so close to beating a candidate with Clinton’s institutional advantages. But Sanders’s superior digital reach couldn’t help him win over African Americans and older women, most of whom favor Clinton. And all his fans on social media could not alter the mainstream media’s narrative that this was yet another noble but doomed insurgency.

Whether or not Clinton wins in November, it’s safe to expect another Democratic insurgency in 2020—and beyond. Digital fund-raising, organizing, and messaging have given the left the weapons not just to tilt at the establishment’s windmills, but to come close to toppling them. Next time, they might just succeed.

Split? What split?

RUY TEIXEIRA: I don’t see differences massive enough to provoke any kind of split that has serious consequences. It’s just part of an ongoing shift in the Democratic Party. The party is going to continue to consolidate behind a more aggressive and liberal program, and the Sanders people are a reflection of that. We shouldn’t lose track of the fact that Clinton will be the most liberal presidential candidate the Democrats have run since George McGovern.

BRETT FLEHINGER: In historic terms I don’t think this party is split. I don’t even think the divide is as big as it was in 2000, when a significant portion of Democratic voters either considered Ralph Nader or voted for Nader.

ALAN ABRAMOWITZ: It’s easy to overstate how substantial the divide is. Some of it is more a matter of style, the sense that Clinton and some of these longtime party leaders are tainted by their ties to Wall Street and big money. But it’s not based so much on their issue positions, because Clinton’s issue positions are pretty liberal. Not as far left as Bernie—but then, nobody’s as far left as Bernie. Part of it is a distortion, because you can’t get to Bernie’s left, except maybe on the guns issue. So Bernie can always be the one taking the purist position.

THEDA SKOCPOL: This isn’t a revolution. The phenomenon of having a left challenger to somebody called an establishment Democrat goes way back. It’s been happening my whole life, and I’m not a child. It’s never successful, except in the case of Obama. And Obama had something that the other challengers didn’t: He was able to appeal to blacks. Most of these left candidates appeal to white liberals, and Sanders is certainly in that category. His entire base is white liberals.

KEVIN BAKER, AUTHOR OF THE NOVEL STRIVERS ROW: Democrats have almost always been the party that co-opts and brings in literal outsiders and outside movements. In the late nineteenth century, it was a bizarre coalition between Southern bourbon planters and big-city machines, which each had their own grievances. Then it was an uneasy coalition between those same machines and the agrarian populists brought in by William Jennings Bryan. Then you had the Grand Coalition, the biggest, most diverse coalition in American history, which was the New Deal one: farmers and workers, urbanites and Main Street progressives, blacks, whites, feminists, unionists. It lasted a long time, until it broke down over race and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Finally, you had the rise of the Democratic Leadership Council and the Clinton-ite and Obama-ite version of more conservative progressivism. But what that coalition left unanswered, for a lot of people in the party and in the country, was just how they were going to make a living in this new world. What we’re seeing now is a very civil contest, relatively speaking, over who is going to lead that coalition.

Don’t worry: Trump will unite us


Mark Peterson / Redux
JOHN JUDIS: Whatever shortcomings Clinton’s campaign has in creating unity are likely to be overcome by the specter of a Trump America.

RUY TEIXEIRA: I don’t see the people who support Sanders, particularly the young people, as being radically different from the Clinton folks in terms of what they support. They’ll wind up voting for Hillary when she runs against Trump.

DAVID SIMON: If you’re asking me if I think the Democratic Party will heal in the general election, I think it will. Trump helps that a lot. The risks of folding your arms and walking away are fundamental, in a way they might not be with a more viable and coherent candidate. But let’s face it, the idea of this man at the helm of the republic is some scary gak.

Bernie isn’t the future, but his politics are

ALAN ABRAMOWITZ: Younger voters are the future of the Democratic Party. But Bernie Sanders is not the future of the Democratic Party. The question is: Who’s going to come along who can tap into that combination of idealism and discontent that he represents?

JOHN JUDIS: Sanders is an old guy, like I am, and not one, I suspect, to build a movement. And I think “movement” is probably the wrong word. What inspires movements is particular causes (Vietnam, civil rights, high taxes) or a party in power that is seen as taking the wrong stance on those issues (George W. Bush for liberals, Barack Obama for Republicans). If Clinton is the next president, I don’t expect a movement to spring up. Instead, I’d expect to see caucuses within the party that take a Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren point of view. But if Trump wins, you will see a movement, whatever Sanders does.

JACOB HACKER: There’s a growing chunk of the Democratic electorate that believes the existing policy ideas that define the mainstream of the party don’t go far enough. The question becomes: What do those folks do after the election? What kind of force will they be within the party going forward? Can they form a strong movement that will press national politicians to move to the left, the way the Tea Party did on the right?

If a Democrat wins in November, you probably can’t get a movement like the Tea Party under Obama, or Move On under Bush. But what you could get—what you would hope to get—is a true grassroots, longer-term movement that tries to move the center of gravity of American politics to the left.

JEDEDIAH PURDY: But what would a movement built out of Sanders supporters be for, exactly? The campaign itself gives some answers. The Sanders campaign is much more distinct from the Clinton campaign, in substance, than Obama’s first campaign was. The Fight for $15, single-payer health care, stronger antitrust law, free college: These are huge, concrete goals. If people can organize around one guy who expresses them but, if elected, could do very little unless we also changed Congress, then we should be able to organize around them to try to change the makeup of political structures from top to bottom. Maybe we need to move into our local Democratic parties. The Moral Majority took over school boards with a specific agenda they could implement. Are there electoral institutions, as well as party institutions, that we should be aiming to reshape in our image?

DANIELLE ALLEN: It’s a huge opportunity for Democrats, if they can take all the incoming young participants seriously and give them a real role in digging into hard policy questions. This is a chance to cultivate leaders who can run for office across the landscape—not just national office, but local office. The Republicans have done a much better job, in all honesty, at growing up a generation of younger politicians. Democratic politicians skew older, so that sums up the real question about the Sanders moment: Is this enough of a wake-up call to the Democratic Party to start bringing talent in?

It’s a trap!

ASTRA TAYLOR: The young thing, this millennial left turn, is great. But there’s a part of me that’s afraid. In the 1960s, the story was the counterculture and the new left. It was Students for a Democratic Society, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam. But there’s been a lot of smart revisionist scholarship that says the story of the ’60s was not the new left, it was actually the new right, which spent the decade laying the groundwork for its resurgence. At this moment, when left-wing millennials are getting a lot of attention, my fear is that there’s a conservative counterpoint that I’m just not seeing, because we’re all in our little social and political bubbles. We should study the split between the new left and the new right in the ’60s, and make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

The worst thing would be to ignore the split

DAVID SIMON: The Democrats are going to win, because they’re up against Trump. But I’m worried they’re going to paper over a fundamental flaw in their coalition, which is: You’ve got to help working people and the middle-middle class. They’re not your guaranteed votes, and you lost them once to Reagan. Maybe you can do without them long-term. But I would get them back because (a) it secures your coalition going forward and (b) it’s the right thing to fething do.

JILL FILIPOVIC: The brawls that people are having on Twitter every day—I don’t know if that’s healthy for the party. But the bigger debates are really important conversations to be having. Who is our coalition? Who are we representing, and how do we best do that? Do we want to be the center-left party of the ’90s, or should we be serving a more diverse and liberal voter base? I don’t think those conversations are going to destroy the party. I think they’re going to set us in a better direction.

JACOB HACKER: It’s nice to be able to talk about what’s happening on the Democratic side, because all of the focus has been on the Republican side. It’s a bit like living in a house that’s got some peeling paint and holes in the roof. Right next to it is a derelict building that’s practically falling over. And you’re like, “Man, I’ve got a nice house.” But if you just put your hand up and cover up your neighbor’s house so you can’t see it, you’d be like, “Um, I think my house needs some work.” The Democratic Party is kind of like that right now. I want to live there, but I really would love to upgrade it.

The best is yet to come

BY NAOMI KLEIN


Mark Peterson / Redux
On the surface, the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders looks like a deep rift, one that threatens to splinter the Democratic Party. But viewed in the sweep of history, it is evidence of something far more positive for the party’s base and beyond: not a rift but a shift—the first tremors of a profound ideological realignment from which a transformative new politics could emerge.

Many of Bernie’s closest advisers—and perhaps even Bernie himself—never imagined the campaign would do so well. And yet it did. The U.S. left—and not some pale imitation of it—actually tasted electoral victory, in state after state after state. The campaign came so close to winning that many of us allowed ourselves to imagine, if only for a few, furtive moments, what the world would look like with a President Sanders.

Even writing those words seems crazy. After all, the working assumption for decades has been that genuinely redistributive policies are so unpopular in the U.S. that they could only be smuggled past the American public if they were wrapped in some sort of centrist disguise. “Fee and dividend” instead of a carbon tax. “Health care reform” instead of universal public health care.

Only now it turns out that left ideas are popular just as they are, utterly unadorned. Really popular—and in the most pro-capitalist country in the world.

It’s not just that Sanders has won 20-plus contests, all while never disavowing his democratic socialism. It’s also that, to keep Sanders from hijacking the nomination, Clinton has been forced to pivot sharply to the left and disavow her own history as a market-friendly centrist. Even Donald Trump threw out the economic playbook entrenched since Reagan—coming out against corporate-friendly trade deals, vowing to protect what’s left of the social safety net, and railing against the influence of money in politics.

Taken together, the evidence is clear: The left just won. Forget the nomination—I mean the argument. Clinton, and the 40-year ideological campaign she represents, has lost the battle of ideas. The spell of neoliberalism has been broken, crushed under the weight of lived experience and a mountain of data.

What for decades was unsayable is now being said out loud—free college tuition, double the minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy. And the crowds are cheering. With so much encouragement, who knows what’s next? Reparations for slavery and colonialism? A guaranteed annual income? Democratic worker co-ops as the centerpiece of a green jobs program? Why not? The intellectual fencing that has constrained the left’s imagination for so long is lying twisted on the ground.

This broad appetite for systemic change did not begin with Sanders. During the Obama years, a wave of radical new social movements emerged, from Occupy Wall Street and the Fight for $15 to #NoKXL and Black Lives Matter. Sanders harnessed much of this energy—but by no means all of it. His weaknesses reaching certain segments of black and Latino voters in the Democratic base are well known. And for some activists, Sanders has always felt too much like the past to get overly excited about.

Looking beyond this election cycle, this is actually good news. If Sanders could come this far, imagine what a left candidate who was unburdened by his weaknesses could do. A political coalition that started from the premise that economic inequality and climate destabilization are inextricable from systems of racial and gender hierarchy could well build a significantly larger tent than the Sanders campaign managed to erect.

And if that movement has a bold plan for humanizing and democratizing new technology networks and global systems of trade, then it will feel less like a blast from the past, and more like a path to an exciting, never-before-attempted future. Whether coming after one term of Hillary Clinton in 2020, or one term of Donald Trump, that combination—deeply diverse and insistently forward-looking—could well prove unbeatable.


The "It’s a trap!" one is something else....
          9/11’s Generational Divide        
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Professor O'Connell

Katherine Duke ’05 interviewed Professor Barry O’Connell, the James E. Ostendarp Professor of English, about 9/11 and, more broadly, about grief, memory, teaching and historical understanding.

KD: Begin by describing your own memories of Sept. 11, 2001.
BO: I had an appointment that morning at 9. I came to my car, and I turned on the radio and caught the tail end of somebody saying what had happened. I think there was a gathering of the whole student body in the chapel [later in the day].

KD: I think it was LeFrak Gymnasium.
BO:  Yes. I remember students being very, very upset with one of the speakers, Barbara…

KD: Ehrenreich [a writer and political activist who happened to be on campus].
BC: Right—who immediately created a context that she believed this belonged in, about things that we [as a nation] had done that in some ways brought it on. A number of students were intensely hostile to this. That large meeting simply fell so far short of what people wanted and needed.

KD: So you and Professor Martha Saxton began running a discussion group about 9/11 and related topics.
BO: We wanted a setting where people could express uncertain feelings as well as feelings of uncertainty. We wanted to encourage people to affirm, in the face of enormity, that inarticulateness may be inescapable; [to] speak searchingly and take the risk of saying things that might be unpopular or surprising or unappealing.

KD: You also co-taught a course called “Media, Culture and Citizenship Since 9/11.”
BO: The course began sometime before 9/11. Obviously, we retitled it. We had a month unit on torture. I can’t bear what I call “falsifying language,” so the rhetoric of justification used, especially by American officials, I ridiculed savagely. I would describe in elaborate length what these tortures were, and I made [the students] watch a film in which waterboarding was central. But then I tried to step back and say, “Is there a place in your minds where torture might be justified as a way of protecting a nation? Or as revenge?” There were raging debates in the class.

We initially thought to rename the course after 9/11 because we believed—and I still believe—that it was a significant divide in the history of our culture.

KD: For the past few years, it’s simply gone back to being called “Media, Culture and Global Citizenship.”
BO: 9/11 got taken out of the title because, in our reading, it was no longer, in students’ consciousness, as large an event as we continue to believe it is. Every fall, it’s important to remind yourself how old your students were when X happened. We want to get students thinking hard about things that they either feel strongly about or can come to very quickly. And 9/11 is past in the minds of undergraduates now.

KD: Has 9/11 contributed to generational differences between the students you taught more than a decade ago and those you teach today?
BO: Yes. Students today see themselves as living in a world in which their country is in decline. That would have been impossible before 9/11. Students are very conscious of living in an American world of diminished possibility. I think that was true before the recession.

What events and perception move through people’s minds and influence how they act, or fail to act, are most often, I think, not tangible and visible to them. That’s why I would argue nobody really dependably ever understands a cultural moment.

KD: Is there anything you’d like to add?
BO: One might feel it’s shocking that something like 9/11 could fade in people’s consciousness. The fading—part of that is a very intelligent human way of surviving. [That’s] because living with pain endlessly is truly unbearable and keeps you in the present moment insistently. [But] if you forget completely, you’re at risk of wandering the world not just naïvely but helplessly. This is a real problem: How much and what should we struggle to remember of a historical event? And what is the cost of letting it go, in what measure?

Photo by Samuel Masinter ’04


          Across the Generational Divide: Two Marketers’ Perspectives        
SYZYGY EgoTech StudyA Guest Post by Gail Nelson, Head of Marketing, SYZYGY & Amanda Degelmann, Marketing Coordinator, SYZYGY We’re in the midst of millennial marketing mania. But what, if anything, makes millennials truly different? It’s a topic that hits close to home, as most of us working at SYZYGY* were born between 1980 and 1996. Beyond our …
          Brimming With Enthusiasm        

((img|zimny-07-10-17-4.jpg|width=400))
At Star of the West in Belle Fourche, Brad Montague makes cowboy hats for West River ranchers as well as sports and television stars.

Is the generational divide over cowboy hat brim width just another indicator of the deepening socio-aesthetic chasms in our nation? Probably not. In any case, wide or tight, Brad Montague at Star of the West can shape you up. 

He’s been shaping hats since he was knee-high to a buckaroo in Fruitdale, just east of Belle Fourche. “As a kid growing up wearing hats all the time,” Montague recalls, “we had to learn to shape our own hats. We had a pan with a little knob on the top that you could take a screw out and pull the knob off, and when it started boiling it shot steam. So we’d stand over the pan and steam our own hats and shape them.”   

He didn’t know then that standing over that jerry-rigged steam kettle, he was shaping more than just his hat. 

Much of what makes a hat unique is in the curvature of crown or brim. “In my opinion," he says, "the harder part of making a hat is the shaping.”

A hat's shape conveys subtle messages about the age, persona or social milieu of the wearer. The “taco” look — a high, narrow crease in the crown that looks ripe for a spoonful of carne asada — is popular on the horse show circuit. The "cattleman" crease is a little wider and tends to be favored by more mature cowboys. 

Brim width tends to correspond with age. “For years, the standard brim width of a hat was 4 inches. You’re starting to see the factory hats go to 4 and a quarter. A quarter inch doesn’t sound like much, but when you add a half inch in diameter it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the hat.”

“When you start getting into the older generations — 70s and up — you’ll see them going to a 3 and a half inch brim as opposed to a 4.” 

Montague understands the visual subtexts communicated by a hat. More importantly, he intuitively understands how to formalize that visual language with his hands. And he knows what every cowboy used to know — that while styles can fade, a hat made of the right materials will endure.    

Like most makers of Western hats, Montague uses the “X” rating system (unrelated to the old MPAA rating) to grade his hats. “The higher the Xs, the more quality and durability you get.” 

((img|zimny-07-10-17-3.jpg|width=400))
Montague begins with a raw hat body and shaves away any excess felt before shaping the crown over a hat block.

But he doesn’t necessarily recommend relying on the rating system. “For years, Xs meant a lot more than they do now.” A higher “X” rating on a hat will generally mean a higher ratio of wild fur, but there is no governing body to set exact requirements for any given rating. “Anybody can label whatever they want.”

“If you take a hat from the ’60s or ’70s and it’s labeled as a 3X, you’ll find that little 3x is probably better than most of the 10Xs nowadays.” 

Montague uses rabbit and beaver fur exclusively. A higher “X” rating means a higher percentage of beaver fur. More fine, short beaver hairs make for a stronger, more compact hat.

Older cowboys and cowgirls know this, but, “It’s gotten to the point that somebody my age or a little younger can’t feel a hat. I’ve had people come in here and argue with me that the higher quality the hat, the thicker the material is. No, that’s a lesser quality felt.”

Somewhere along the way, a tactile kind of knowledge was lost. People lost touch with their hats and started relying on the labels. “Cowboys that have been wearing hats their whole life will tell you that the movie Urban Cowboy is what killed it.” Not because John Travolta wasn’t true West, but because the movie’s popularity triggered a wave of hat inflation. Xs became status symbols rather than a measure of dependability. 

“Around here, most people buy a hat to wear for dress, but eventually they make a work hat out of it. They wear it on a daily basis where it’s going to shed the sun, rain, the snow — the durability becomes a big issue. You know, if you’re going to spend $400 on a hat, you want something that’s going to hold up.”
 
Like most custom hatters in the U.S., Montague gets his felt hat bodies from Winchester, Tennessee. The Winchester Hat Corporation processes beaver, rabbit and other furs and forms them, with liberal use of steam, into a basic hat body. 

At this point the hat body is cone-shaped and looks something like the hat worn by your classic hillbilly caricature. Maybe real hillbillies saved moonshine money by buying unfinished hat bodies directly from Winchester. 

Cowboys are more particular about their hats.

((img|zimny-07-10-17-1.jpg|width=400))
Ironing helps shape the brim, which typically finishes right around 4 inches wide.

Montague starts with the raw hat body, molds it into the crown height he needs by pulling it tight over a hat block, cuts the brim to the desired width, irons out the Dionysian hillbilly lilt and forms a forward-facing Apollonian ellipse — a brim built to unfurl the Plains beneath a gaze like a hot branding iron. Nature renounces chaos beneath the benevolent tyranny of the brim, huddling into ordered bands like branded beeves. Rattles cease abruptly as its power surges over the land like a spinning blade severing serpent heads. Voles hunker. Storm clouds dissipate. Raptors trace its lines with flight.  

That this instrument, so crucial to the breaking and taming of nature, itself comes from nature … well, Mother Nature should have seen that one coming. What else could the beaver portend? The beaver — nature’s self-intervention, altering ecosystems with its chompers and can-do. The beaver, whose pelt-money would launch wars and help John Jacob Astor build Manhattan, whose tail would make Davy Crockett a living legend. Of course the hat that donned the heads that broke and platted the Plains would be prized above all for how much of it was beaver.   

Montague moved to Rapid City in the 1990s. He’d been working construction in the summers and took a winter job at the since-closed Western Way Work Warehouse. “Once they figured out I knew how to shape a hat, they paid me enough to keep me on.” 

A couple years later, previous Star of the West owner Todd Christenson called him and offered him job. The plan was to take six months to apprentice Montague in hat making, then eventually sell him the store. “I’m one of those, if I can watch you do something, I can pick it up,” he says. “So I’d get ahead of what I was doing, and I’d watch [Christensen] finishing the hats. He was gone one Saturday, so I went to finishing hats. He came in that Monday and said, ‘Well, you got it figured out. Holler if you need anything.’” Montague was running the store within a month, and bought it out four years later.             
 
Six days a week he takes felt hat bodies from Winchester — made up of more or less beaver depending on the X-quality the customer wants and is willing to pay for — shaves the excess felt down to an impervious surface, shapes the crown to the bespoke needs of the buyer, cuts, embosses and sews in the goat skin sweatband (“they cost a little bit more, but in the long run they’re more durable”), and makes hats out of them. He shoots for three per day on average. 

((img|zimny-07-10-17-2.jpg|width=400))
A hat's crease says a lot about its wearer. High and narrow creases are popular on the horse show circuit, while cattlemen often prefer a wider crease.

His shop is a like an enclosed fumarole. Most steps in the process involve plenty of steam. Steam, shape, steam, cut, steam some more. Gradually the union of heat, moisture and fur spawns something obdurate and supple.

“There are a lot of tools that take the hands-on thing out of it, but the more machines you get involved, the less custom-made it is.”

And a truly custom-made hat is getting harder to find. Since the 1990s, Western wear retail options have been steadily diminished, in Rapid City and the region. Even Pete’s Clothing in Belle Fourche — the local shop Montague grew up with — will close in the next few months. Consolidation means it’s harder to find something unique. And custom craftspersons with their own storefront are more rare than the shrinking number of Western wear outlets. He estimates there might be 50 makers of custom Western-style hats in the country. That’s why people come from far and wide to Star of the West. 

“If you’re wanting anything different than what the shelf hats are,” says Montague, “you’ve got to come to me.”

Cowboys and cowgirls have noticed, including some noteworthy athletes.

“There was a year I think I had 10 of the top 15 bare back riders in the world wearing my hats.”

The walls of his store are lined with pictures of rodeo stars and country musicians wearing his hats. The most star struck he ever felt was when country artist Bobby Bare walked in. Outside of American ranch country, he ships hats to Japan, Australia, Russia and the UK. He’s even been commissioned to hat the casts of TV series like Fargo and Hell on Wheels

Western styles are his bread and butter, but not a bridle on his powers of expression. 

“I actually built a steampunk [fedora] here not too long ago.” 

Still, the only trade show he does is the Black Hills Stock Show. Winter is his busiest time. Once calving season starts, some people might not make it to the shop for a while. “Hats will start to pile up on the floor.”

“A lot of my customers are people like me, people that I grew up with, that are interested in a lot of the same things. And the ones that aren’t cowboys, ranchers and all that — you get to learn.”

Michael Zimny is the social media engagement specialist for South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion. He blogs for SDPB and contributes arts columns to the South Dakota Magazine website.


          Study: Hispanic Americans Use the Internet Less Than Any Other Ethnic Group        

Hispanics use the internet the least of any ethnic group, according to research from eMarketer.

The study found that 79.8 percent of Hispanics use the internet at least monthly from any device—cellphones, tablets, desktops, etc. That’s compared to 84.3 percent of whites, 83.6 percent of Asians, and 82.5 percent of blacks. The report also predicts the gap will continue to shrink, but Hispanics still won’t reach the same usage levels any time soon: By 2021, it anticipates that 82.6 percent of Hispanics and 86.2 of whites will use the internet monthly.

These numbers are pretty similar to a 2016 report from Pew, which put the rate of Latinos using the internet at 84 percent. But in that survey, black Americans were the group that use it the least, with only 81 percent usage. (The Pew survey referred to its survey participants as Latinos, while the eMarketer survey used the term Hispanics. While many Latinos are Spanish-speaking, and the populations are similar, these terms are not interchangeable.)

According to Pew, a large part of the difference in usage comes from disparities in education and English proficiency levels.

Like any other segment of the population, there is a generational divide when it comes to how Hispanics use and think about the internet. A separate survey conducted by Simmons Research showed varying feelings among Hispanics of different age groups about watching television vs. playing online. For young Hispanic age 18–34, 43.5 percent said they watch less TV on television sets because of the internet, compared with 29.2 among the 35-49 group and 16.7 with those over 50. This probably has something to do with the fact that way fewer Latinos 50 to 64 use the internet (just 67 percent) while their younger counterparts use it at a rate of 90 percent, according to another section from the Pew Research Center study released in 2016.

However, Latinos have had high rates of usage when it comes to other technologies. According to the same Pew 2016 report, Latinos are very likely to “own a smartphone, to live in a household without a landline phone where only a cellphone is available and to access the internet from a mobile device.”

While the percentage of Hispanics who use the internet has continued to rise steadily, adoption rates have risen slower for whites. Between 2009 and 2015, the rate among Latinos rose about 20 percentage points, while for whites it only rose about 8 percentage points.

This digital divide is important because differences between internet usage can very easily translate to disparities in everyday life. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center, which has a series about how low-income families access Federal Communications Commission programs, says, “internet service and digital technologies are critical for accessing a broad range of resources and opportunities.”

In a 2015 report titled “Aprendiendo en casa,” the center examined media as a resource for learning among Hispanic-Latino families. It found that parents believe children develop academic skills from using educational media, but they still want to know more about the media their kids can use.

The report profiled a young girl named Alicia, a 9-year-old of Ecuadorian descent whose name has been changed for privacy reason, who watches YouTube videos both to help her with her math homework and as a resource to teach her how to make dresses and accessories for her dolls. Her mother plays an active role in both these activities. The lesson here? An increase in technological resources can also help bridge the gap between generations.


          Comment on Pokémon Go, Goes into the the Community by Steph Clarke        
That's the think that's made me smile the most. I've seen fathers in their 40s with toddlers in pushchairs playing alongside teens with skateboards, I myself sat playing with a mom and her son, and a teen couple. It has definitely crossed the generational divide.
          Support for the Death Penalty by Republican Legislators No Longer a Sure Thing        

One year after the Nebraska legislature voted to repeal the death penalty and overrode a gubernatorial veto of that measure, actions in legislatures across the country suggest that the state's efforts signalled a growing movement against the death penalty by conservative legislators and that support for the death penalty among Republican legislators is no longer a given. Reporting in The Washington Post, Amber Phillips writes that Republican legislators in ten states sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to repeal capital punishment during the current legislative sessions. She reports that although these repeal bills have not become law, they have made unprecedented progress in several states. In Utah, a repeal bill sponsored by Sen. Stephen Urquhart (pictured)—a former death penalty proponent who supported the state's firing squad law—came closest, winning approval in the state Senate and in a House committee. Missouri's bill saw floor debate in the Senate, and Kentucky's received a committee hearing for the first time in 40 years. An effort to return death penalty support to the platform of the Kansas Republican Party failed by a vote of 90-75, and the Kansas College Republicans passed a resolution calling for the abolition of the death penalty, highlighting a generational divide on the issue. Dalton Glasscock, former president of Kansas College Republicans, said, "My generation is looking for consistency on issues. I believe if we say we're pro-life, we need to be truly pro-life, from conception to death." The National Association of Evangelicals also changed their stance on the issue, acknowledging "a growing number of evangelicals," who now call for abolition. Though a majority of Republicans still support the death penalty, Phillips writes that "it's notable that a year after we wondered whether Nebraska was an anomaly or the start of a trend, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that conservative opposition to the death penalty may indeed be a trend -- a small but growing one."

(A. Phillips, "Death penalty support is no longer a given in red states," The Washington Post, May 18, 2016.) See New Voices.

          U2 releases “Songs of Innocence”        

Before I start, I think we should all pause to honour the many brave individuals who have taken to social media in the past few days to let everyone know they hate U2. Swimming against the tide is a very tough thing to do; I just hope their reputations can recover. But we should thank them as well – it’s not often social media in 2014 can take you back to 1988.

The reality is U2 have been hated for most of its existence. The period it went from being known by enough members of the public to then being hated was pretty short – perhaps from the time it took The Joshua Tree to sell squillions of records till the moment people saw the horrendous megalomaniacal mess that was Rattle and Hum.

U2 have never been cool. The release of Achtung Baby in 1991 and its follow up Zooropa, plus the incredible Zoo TV Tour did give them a bit of a nudge towards coolness; but fortunately for all concerned, the release of Pop in 1997 allowed everyone to go back to hating them and not having to worry about such an opinion being out of whack.

I’ve been a U2 fan for far too long really – since probably around 1984 when I think I first saw footage of them singing Sunday Bloody Sunday at Red Rocks. I was 12 at the time and not really a big enough consumer of music to be able to say I was all the way with U2. Back then I was just young enough to think Duran Duran’s The Reflex was about as good as music got.

But within a year or so U2 was it for me and so it has remained. Songs of Innocence

Back when they released their last album, I was someone who actually did blog and so I did a ranking of all the U2 albums. It would have been perhaps correct at the time to suggest U2 were done and they would be able to retire to the Greatest Hits concert circuit.

And yet the release of Songs of Innocence as part of the iPhone 6 launch sees them actually more relevant than they were 5 years ago.

Of course such a statement is absurd: U2 are not relevant. We know this because in the approximately 7,846 instant reviews of the album on every single newspaper/magazine/news website we have been told how they are not at all relevant.

Judging this album is tough because of the way it was released. It’s free and inserted into your iTunes library whether you liked it or not.

I can understand why some people don’t like that, though most of the objections are pretty stupid. The ones about privacy are easily the dumbest. I wonder if these people have ever had Windows automatically updated on their PC? How about apps on the iPhone, ever noticed how they also get automatically update now? Yes people, IT companies whose product you have agreed to use can change things on your computer.

But perhaps the thing I have most liked on Twitter is people making jokes about worrying the person next to them on the bus might see their iPhone/iPod has a U2 album on it.

Here’s a news flash, no one gives a shit about anyone’s record collection anymore.

When I was at uni I knew a bloke who had an amazing LP collection. It was jaw-dropping the great and obscure albums he had, and it was a source of pride and respect. Now I probably have almost as many albums as he does – and if you subscribe to Spotfiy so do you.

Sure everyone was given this album for free, but albums have lost pretty much all the currency they once had, and certainly your record collection has.

You got an interesting album on your iPhone? Wow, how long did you have to go round town to find that? Oh I forgot, you just clicked “purchase”. Well done you.

At this point I should acknowledge how old and get off my lawn I might sound – don’t worry in 15 years you’ll be saying the same about… err you know that band that is the biggest thing now… oh ok, not really. Bands like U2 don’t really exist anymore, unless they are carry overs from the 1990s.

Heck in 20 years time music might no longer be what it is now. Surely some computer programmer is working on an app that takes all your favourite bands and mixes their songs together in this weird mesh and jumble that spits out a computer generated songs which people will at first think is a travesty and then find bizarrely seem to work.

And bands like The Rolling Stones, U2, Led Zeppelin will make squillions from it.

(If no one has thought of this, I’m claiming copyright here and now)

At this point you can talk about how magnificent music is now, how we’re not reduced to the old mono-culture (geez, I loved using that word when I was young as well, it sounded like it meant something). And then we turn our eyes with glazed boredom to the charts and see it’s as mono-culture as it ever was.

Wow, Taylor Swift, Redfoo, Nicki Minaj, G.R.L., Paloma Faith. Talk about the full gamut…

As Redfoo said recently in response to his critics:

“People write ‘His song is so annoying, it’s No.1, I hear it every day, I hate that guy’. Relax guys! They complain about me using autotune, when I bet there are 20 songs on their iTunes that use autotune.”

Well, quite.

And so when we turn to reviews of U2 we find it has not just become a review of the album but a review of generations – perhaps in a way that has never occurred before.

Let’s go back 20 years and think of reviews of The Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge.

I scarce wonder if anyone cared one way or the other – by this time even Rolling Stone magazine knew there was little interest in them. There was no need to tear them down to try and demonstrate how the younger generation had surpassed them – there was already U2 (already gettin’ a bit old), Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine etc etc.

There was in fact still bands making rock albums that mattered. There aren’t anymore. That doesn’t mean there aren’t the occasional good rock albums but none really that are going to take over the world.

And maybe that is good, but don’t blame my generation that the biggest concert acts are people who last wrote a good song before you were born.

And look, it’s not all bad. You’ve got Kanye riding a motorcycle with Kim Kardashian – live it up!

It’s not hard to then see the generational divide in the reviews of Songs of Innocence – mostly there are the oldies like David Fricke for Rolling Stone who gave it 5 stars (even I think that’s a bit much), then there are the younger one’s who are wondering what the hell is this whole thing with 4 guys with guitars a bass and drums.  And then there are those who seem above all just desperate to show they don’t like it.

One of the best of these is from Elmo Keep, and yet even in-between the fairly standard disparagements (yeah corporate band, yeah mention of Coldplay…) even she notes of “Songs for Someone” “that “This is kind of a great song”, and then of “Volcano” “This is also a pretty great” and of “Sleep like a baby tonight” “Where did this amazing Kate Bush song come from? Why isn’t there a whole record full of this stuff? Why isn’t there a whole record full of this stuff? Oh, there is, Zooropa.”

And thus we get to it – the most common reaction from those who have grudgingly found songs they actually like on the album, but really (really) don’t want to have to admit it, the “regardless of anything, they’re not as good as they used to be” view.

Well, yeah. Just how long have you been listening to music?

No band in their 35th year is ever as good as they were in the 5th.

It’s a bit like reading the commentary on Federer at Wimbledon and the US Open – the praise of his play, but the acknowledgment that he’s no longer the player he was from 2003-2007.

Sportsmen and women have primes and so too do music acts.

This doesn’t always have something to do with quality – it’s about that period where you can matter in a way that is never going to happen ever again.

The Roger Federer of 2014 would likely beat the Roger Federer of 2005. That sounds absurd, but the reality is Federer is the number 2 player in the world – tennis has not gone backwards in quality, to stay at the top you need to keep improving. But no one is going to watch Federer play a match this year and think he is doing things with a tennis racquet that have never been done before. 

Music is similar. Popular music is and always will be a young person’s game. You need to make an impact before you are 30. I think some of the songs on Dylan’s most recent album are among his best – “Roll on John” is one of my all-time favourite Dylan tracks. But no one was thinking that song or album was going to change our world like any of his early work did. 

In fact an artist’s music, if it is going to make an impact, pretty much needs to do so within that artist’s first 8 to 9 years.

U2 are a unique band. They are the same 4 guys who have been recording together now for 35 years. They haven’t had a member end up dead in a swimming pool or mysteriously choke on something that may or may not have been his own vomit. They haven’t lost a member who has had enough of touring. They haven’t decided to go their separate way because a lead member wants to explore different music.

And yet while their longevity is unique, their pattern of making it big is not.

Below is a chart of the yearly album releases of U2, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Due to size I couldn’t include more acts, but the full table is here.

From first release to last, The Beatles were run and done in 8 years. They were perhaps smart to end it then, because it is around the mark of when the decline generally begins. (My favourite bit of trivia – they were recording Rubber Soul before Help was even released, and on both albums only one song went for longer than 3 minutes, there’s something to be said for not mucking about)

To keep making good music – music that will register in the cultural consciousness – is bloody hard once you enter your second decade of recording.

Years U2 The Beatles The Rolling Stones
1 Boy (1980) Please Please Me / With the Beatles (1963) The Rolling Stones (1964)
2 October (1981) A Hard Day's Night / Beatles for Sale (1964) The Rolling Stones No. 2 / Out of Our Heads (1965)
3   Help! / Rubber Soul (1965) Aftermath (1966, UK) 
4 War (1983) Revolver (1966) Between the Buttons / Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)
5 The Unforgettable Fire (1984) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) Beggars Banquet (1968)
6   "The White Album" (1968) Let It Bleed (1969)
7   Yellow Submarine / Abbey Road (1969)  
8 The Joshua Tree (1987) Let It Be (1970) Sticky Fingers (1971)
9 Rattle and Hum (1988)   Exile on Main St. (1972)
10     Goats Head Soup (1973)
11     It's Only Rock 'n Roll (1974)
12 Achtung Baby (1991)    
13     Black and Blue (1976)
14 Zooropa (1993)    
15     Some Girls (1978)
16      
17     Emotional Rescue (1980)
18 Pop (1997)   Tattoo You (1981)
19      
20     Undercover (1983)
21 All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)    
22      
23     Dirty Work (1986)
24      
25 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)    
26     Steel Wheels (1989)
27      
28      
29      
30 No Line on the Horizon (2009)    
          Lawyers report ‘boom’ in generational divorce         
The generation known as the baby boomers has been credited with many trends, but they may not want to take credit for the latest development. According a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorces among couples older than 50 years of age are on the rise. More than 61 percent of AAML ...
          Glenn Loury II & David Blankenhorn        
On The Glenn Show, guest host Glenn II and David tackle the issue of marriage equality. David sees a crisis in the institution of marriage in America. Glenn and David discuss the generational divide over the public and private meanings of marriage, and explore the chicken-and-egg reasons for the declining marriage rate. Glenn asks David why he changed his mind to become a supporter of same-sex marriage. David wants conservatives to realize that family values and gay rights are not in opposition. What about the subset of gays and lesbians who are opposed to getting married? They close with a discussion of how to bring David's conservative brethren into the fold.
          I LOVE MUSIC (prequel)        
itunes pic
sooo... my DJ schedule has been picking up after some other things have slowed down and I've been somewhat frustrated because of the local of musical range that people have.... on Saturday I was asked by a local "MC" in a sort of sarcastic tone "umm... do you have any new school" ... as if i should play new shit because it's new. that's what's always annoyed me about hip hop culture. this fascination with the current, the new and this fear of the played out or corny or old. the older i get and the more i see shit repeated the more i feel that the generational division that we believe in and reinforce is part of the kool-aid that keeps us retarded. GOOD FOOD is GOOD FOOD, GOOD CLOTHES ARE GOOD CLOTHES, A GOOD WOMAN IS A GOOD WOMAN AND GOOD MUSIC IS GOOD MUSIC.... ... GLADIATOR CIRCUS!!
          Creative Production Director - Heartland Church        

The Slingshot Group www.slingshotgroup.org is partnering with Heartland Church in Indianapolis, IN in search of a Creative Production Director to join the team. 

 

HOW TO APPLY FOR THIS JOB:

Please do not contact the church directly. 

If you sense that this position would be a good fit for you, or would like more information, please visit the following link to apply. 

http://slingshotgroup.org/job_posting/creative-production-director/

 

Heartland Church:

Lead Pastor, Darryn Scheske and his wife, Loree, moved to Indianapolis with the dream of planting a church that loves people well, leads them into a transforming relationship with Jesus, and launches them out to change their world. Pastor Darryn founded Heartland Church in his living room 16 years ago, desiring to reach people of all cultures and backgrounds, no matter where they are on their faith journey.  That cultural and generational diversity continues to be the driving force behind Heartland’s growth and has set it apart from other area churches.

Today, Heartland hosts thousands each weekend in 4 locations across greater Indianapolis. Over 2,300 people have been baptized in water and nine new churches have been launched out from the Heartland.

Heartland’s main campus is situated on the north side of Indianapolis with 3 other locations in Fishers, Westfield and downtown Indianapolis. Indianapolis is the capital and largest city in Indiana. It is the 15th most populous city in the U.S, with an estimated population of 855,164 (census 2016). From the legendary Indy 500, to the Pacers and the Colts, Indianapolis offers ample opportunity for sports fans and also appeals to the musically minded as a regular stop for major concert events and touring shows.

 

Creative Production Director:

The Creative Production Director will bring hands-on leadership and creative vision to the entire Production Team at Heartland Church. An eye for excellence, passion for detail and a heart to recruit and develop others is essential in this role. The Creative Production Director will work alongside the Worship Director to organize and implement weekend services and special events with high-level creativity and excellence.

Candidates for this position should have ample experience with multi-site broadcasting, mobile campuses and live video production. They should also have some level of experience with audio and lighting design, stage design, Pro-Presenter and Planning Center. This position will have a large role in building, training and sustaining volunteer teams for weekend implementation so a passion for development is key.

Ideally, the Creative Production Director would also pour into their production team at a pastoral level, motivating their volunteers and staff toward spiritual growth. The ideal candidate would emulate the culture of humility and dedicated work ethic already in place among the Heartland staff.

 

HOW TO APPLY FOR THIS JOB:

Please do not contact the church directly. 

If you sense that this position would be a good fit for you, or would like more information, please visit the following link to apply.

http://slingshotgroup.org/job_posting/creative-production-director/

 

IMPORTANT:  Please do not apply through the Church Staffing Website.  You will not receive any follow up by applying through the Church Staffing Website. 

 

Career Note:  We are working on a number of key Worship Arts/Production and other Ministry Leadership positions at this time in various locations around the country.  Feel free to contact us via www.slingshotgroup.org to learn more about these potential opportunities. 

 


          The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies        
All of the best Oscar winning movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture. Prior to the 2015 Oscars, there are 86 movies who have won the highly coveted Best Picture Academy Award and they are all here for you to vote and rank from best to worst. The annual Academy Awards ceremony brings the world together in celebration of the best films of the year, and this list of all the movies that have won the Best Picture Academy Award is here in celebration of decades of quality filmmaking.

With nearly 86 years of votable film history behind us, there are plenty of classic movies vying for the honor of being called the greatest film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. From the movies that win critical acclaim across generational divides (The Godfather, Schindler's List), to the feel-good movies with great casts (Forrest Gump, The Artist), to controversial Best Picture Oscar winners (The Hurt Locker, Crash), this list of the films that won a Best Picture Oscar is here to separate the best movies of all time from the ones that were maybe the best of the year they won.

What is the best movie that ever won the Best Picture Oscar? What is the worst movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture? Vote on these winners of the Best Picture Academy Award and maybe you'll find out! If there's an Oscar winner for Best Picture that you didn't like, vote it down and let other moviegoers know it wasn't worthy of film's top honor.

If you're interested in what movie will end up on this list after the 2013 Oscars are given out, check out the 2013 Best Picture Oscar ranking to vote for your 10 (or more) favorite potential Academy Award winners.

The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies
          Generation Blend - Using Technology to Cross The Generational Divide        

Show : Generation Blend - Bridging the Generation Gap

Guest : Rob Salkowitz, author of Generation Blend

Aired :August 17th 2008 

One of our missing shows that recently came back to us.  


          Bad Ideas For "America's Best Idea"        
"In a soul-searching, head-scratching journey of its own, the agency that manages some of the most awe-inspiring public places is scrambling to rethink and redefine itself to the growing number of Americans who do not use the parks in the way that previous — mostly white — generations did. Only about one in five visitors to a national park site is nonwhite, according to a 2011 University of Wyoming report commissioned by the Park Service, and only about 1 in 10 is Hispanic — a particularly lackluster embrace by the nation’s fastest-growing demographic group.

View of Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park
April 2008
[…] But the new effort goes further, to the question of how, and how much, the parks themselves must change to attract a fundamentally different audience. Wireless access, for example — still nonexistent in much of the Park Service universe — could divide older park visitors from minorities and young people, the so-called millennial generation, who want to share the experience live in social media with their peers.

'Boomers maybe want to get away, and millennials want to be connected; that changes how you use the space,' said Laura Swapp, REI’s director of diversity and inclusion. Music events could be another potential generational dividing line — peace and quiet versus entertainment — but would also draw the demographic the Park Service is after, Ms. Swapp said."

Here's hoping Jay-Z and Lady Gaga never perform on stages in Yellowstone or Yosemite.

Although I, too, would like to see more cultural and racial variety on our parks' trails, further developing the parks with WiFi towers and concert venues would be a myopic and ultimately fruitless move. Few areas of the American landscape afford us with the opportunity to "tune in" by tuning out, and the National Park Service should not fundamentally alter its mission in an effort to appeal to younger and more diverse demographics.

Instead, the NPS needs to celebrate the conservation heroes of color -- Majora Carter and Van Jones, for example, as well as the growing number of African American and Latino NPS rangers -- thereby providing role models for today's youth. Most importantly, we need more programs that get urban kids into our parks, encouraging them to recognize that these tracts belong to them. It's possible that their time afield without phone calls, Facebook, and Reddit will stay with them, appreciated, even if they're less than enthusiastic about the mosquito bites.

Photo credit: Christopher Reiger, 2008
          Social Media for Teens: "It's Complicated!"        

Image Credits: "Study: What teens feel about social media and privacy." MSN

**This article, written by Beth Holzhauer, is in response to the article "Online, Researcher Says, Teens Do What They've Always Done" by Elizabeth Blair, originally posted on NPR. Read the original article here.**

Parents often find themselves negotiating a new and challenging terrain when their children become teenagers.  Good enough parenting requires relating, understanding, guiding, mentoring and teaching, which is quite a tall order when talking about today’s tech savvy teen.  How do parents increase the interpersonal IQ of adolescent children in the age of Facebook, texting, tweeting and snap chat?  Today’s parent is often crossing uncharted lands, trying to guide their teen child through the necessary communication and relational skills in the world of social networking. 

This piece on danah boyd’s research and book, It’s Complicated:  The Social Lives of Networked Teens, offers insight into the lives of teens and their use of social media.  It is a GPS of sorts to help parents navigate this new land of technology.  As a therapist to many teens and families, I share “the kids are alright” stance, and believe that the information danah shares helps parents understand and bridge a generational divide. 

Image Credits: "Online Bullying Rampant Among Teens, Survey Finds," Fox

I also believe that social media poses possible snares and dangers to teens.  Cyberbullying is a very real and damaging product of the misuse of social media.  Being able to reach an audience of thousands with cruel words, threats or gossip can produce traumatic results.  There are also the minor infractions and relational wounds of miscommunication, which occur more frequently when conversations are relayed via text.  When a teen’s online relationships substitute for more emotionally intimate friendships, the capacity to experience genuine connection and community may be compromised.

There are certainly both potentials and pitfalls for teens and their parents in the world of social networking.  As danah said, it’s complicated!


On March 16th, Beth will be presenting a workshop on supporting teenagers called Watch Me Soar. The workshop is designed for girls ages 13-18 who wish to learn how to actively build their self esteem. Please click here and then click on "Watch Me Soar: Resiliency and Self-Esteem Building for Teen Girls" for more information on that workshop.

**Do you agree? Disagree? Have some insights to add to this article? We would love for you to leave us a comment below! You are now able to comment completely anonymously if you would like to share your wisdom but aren't comfortable with your identity being shared. Just type your comments in the box below and then click on the box next to "Comment as" and choose "Anonymous!"**

          I Create As I Speak        



In the time before writing, and then the advent of technologically enhanced communications allowing mass media, when someone wanted to manipulate others, they had to convince them to fall prey to their racket with only their words.

The original racket of manipulation and sheeple herding through oral communication, is clearly described in the New Testament of the Bible, when analyzing Jesus Christ's critique and condemnation of the Pharisees and their practice of Priestcraft. Based on the "Traditions of the Elders" in which the Pharisees claimed divinely granted powers through oral transmission of the laws from God to Moses, the Pharisees set themselves up with one heck of a racket for power to dictate and control the behavior of their followers, as well as giving them their own authority for taxing the wealth of their subjects. THEY claimed their power as lawgivers was invested into their class by the spoken word of God. This is the traditions of the elders that was then transmitted through the ages by an oral tradition amongst the Pharisees.

Thus, by claiming a divine source of oral tradition for their laws directly from God, they created the original "Matrix" of artificial and abstract construct of reality to set themselves up as the Theocratic rulers of society. In other words, by claiming God told the progenitors of their Priest Class an oral law, THEY were able to construct an entire social order and cultural hierarchy, setting themselves up at the top, to receive the tributes, indulgences, tithes and other offerings from the masses below who were seeking redemption for their sins....and those sins were defined by the words of the Pharisees themselves, citing their "Traditions of the Elders" as their sole authority to rule society.

THEY spoke. The sheeple listened and obeyed, accepting their oral claims of God's authority, thereby submitting to the creation of the Pharisee's system of Priestcraft hierarchy to enable their authoritarian control and exploitation of the masses.

This is their "magik" and it's the same name of the game as it ever was today as it was thousands of years ago. The answer to it then, is the answer as it is now: the Truth that will set us free... free from the rule and control of THEY who defile all of mankind by speaking the evils of their heart to rule and control we the sheeple through the propagation of their lies and deceit to create our current dystopia.


http://www.blogblog.com/scribe/divider.gif


I've often written off the value of the higher education I attained while attending five years of institutionalized indoctrination in the hallowed halls of academentia at my State University, as mostly a giant wast of time. I largely credit all my graduate studies at the University of the Autodidact as the most influential and meaningful on my present condition in this life as a raving conspiritard in our Brave New World Order.

But it was the years I spent in Business School majoring in Marketing that is probably most responsible for  eventually helping me to open my eyes to the reality of our world and how our rulers use mass media and transhumanist technological "progress" to socially engineer we the sheeple. For in retrospect, I realize that all of those classes on Marketing were nothing more than a study of the oldest tactic employed by THEY who sought power and control over their fellow human beings: divide and conquer. And the best way to divide and conquer, is to get we the sheeple to divide ourselves by categorizing and segmenting ourselves based on both objective and subjective differences they create for us out of thin air.

The study of Marketing in undergrad Business school is nothing more than studying the art of psy-ops and propaganda to get the viewers and consumers to divide and conquer themselves so as to allow the marketer to capture the targeted segment of consumers in order to convert them into cash cows that can be continuously milked until dry.

In one of my classes, we spent well over a month worth of classes analyzing "Generations" and the generalizations that define each era so as to forge your message to more effectively reach your targeted market. We studied the various stereotypes, generalized habits and attitudes of the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and at that time, the emerging Generation Y. We also dedicated some classroom discussion time on speculating about the generation that came to be known as the Millennials. Over at the Dusk in Autumn blog, agnostic has got a lot of insightful posts regarding the differences between the various Generations. But if you really want to see the differences, look at the interactions of the mostly Generation X dread ilk over at Vox Popoli and the Boomers anytime Vox Day makes a post on the topic.

It would be insane to try and argue that there are in fact no differences between the various generations of the 20th and 21st centuries...but I have a different contention to make on the topic. Prior to the advent of mass mind control enabled by mass media technology, there was no real substantial differences between generations...at least not the sort that so thoroughly and contentiously divided us for the past century. Culture was far more static and slow changing, and influenced much more by religion and cultural traditions and norms.

But the advent of the tell-a-vision, radio broadcasting, the consolidation of print media and the popular music industry all gave those with the same agenda of societal control as the Pharisees of old, the means to "Speak" to the mass audience so as to create such artificially imposed divisions as "generations." THEY told each different generation that the older generations were "uncool" and "old-fashioned." With mass media and commercial consumerism, THEY were able to institute a continuous, dynamic change in music, dance, fashion, clothing, hairstyles, slang and lingo, and ultimately an ethos and moral code for each generation of youth entering their young adult years, so that THEY successfully severed the connections between generations to divide and conquer we the sheeple.

Just for one example of this, we need only look at the differences in marriage and family between the different generations. Our Grandparents were for the most part the last generation that followed the patterns of multiple generations that preceded them. They mostly dated, got married, had sex, then had children. Our parents dated, got married, had sex, had children, got divorced, dated, re-married, had more kids and often got divorced again. We (GenX) dated, had sex, had children, then got married, then divorced, then remarried. The younger generation don't date, they hook up and have sex with a multitude of partners (or they're incel and resort to teh Pr0n, or gay or transgendered or whatevers). Marriage is mostly out of the question, whether they have kids, use birth control, or have abortions or not.

The common cultural ethos and paradigm that drove the changes in mating patterns and family formation (and disintegration) trends are all different for each generation, and it was this artificially created division causing each successive generation to reject the former generations morality that lead to this cultural devolution and attitudes towards family over the span of a few decades.

The entire story of the 20th century, is one of mass culture-driven generational division, so that we have now reached the stage where we are nearly conquered and subjugated to the worldwide Brave New World Order they have been inexorably working towards for aeons.

THEY are only as successful as they are, because we give them and their 'magik' its power when THEY speak and we listen. The only way to break the spell THEY have over us, is to stop listening.


           "Hey, you good?"        
"It was a terrible pass.

Connor Cook knew it as he walked off the field; his back turned to a replay of the pass playing over and over from every possible angle above Michigan State's end zone.

Mark Dantonio knew it as he saw his quarterback slowly walk toward the sideline, his head slightly hung after he looked up at the scoreboard.

Cook, Michigan State's sophomore quarterback, was driving the Spartans near midfield with a little more than two minutes left in the first half and in position to either tie the game with a field goal or take the lead with the touchdown. Instead, he panicked when Stanford defensive back Usua Amanam blitzed him off the corner and he lofted a picture-perfect pass to Stanford linebacker Kevin Anderson, who ran it back 40 yards untouched for a touchdown.

It was the kind of play that usually turns the tide of a game.

"It did. But in a direction that would surprise everyone not standing on Michigan State's sideline.

"Cook had already thrown two other passes that could have easily met the same fate but didn't when they inexplicably went through the hands of Stanford defenders. It was understandable to wonder if the pressure of playing in the Rose Bowl was getting to Michigan State's 20-year-old quarterback.

"So as Cook walked toward the sideline, Dantonio met him and asked him what he normally asks him when he throws a bad pass: "You good?"

'"Coach D was just giving me this look, and I was hoping he wasn't going to be super-upset and say something to put me down," Cook said. "Coach D does a great job of just having a good relationship with all of his players no matter what. If you do something stupid, he's not going to degrade you, he's not going to yell at you, so I walked off the field and he said, 'Hey, you good?' I was like, ‘Yeah, I'm fine.' I gave him a little fist pump. Everything was good after that."' [ESPN blog]




OK, yes, I am a Michigan State fan, a very loyal one, even if I think the graduate programs in the MSU College of Education are often dangerous to the health and welfare of children in the United States and around the world. But aside from that I think MSU is a great university, from its deep respect for the land-grant university traditions, to its campus full of the most amazing range of incredible programs. And one of the programs on that campus in East Lansing is the set of "varsity" sports - Basketball, Hockey, Football, Swimming, Soccer, et al. These sports, yes, cost far too much, pay (some) coaches way too much, and at times twist campus priorities in ways that should, at least, annoy any educator. And yet, at their best, they can inspire, they can unify a community, and they can teach...

And on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California, educators everywhere could find a vital lesson in the moment described above. And even with my delight in the athletic accomplishment... a great win in a great game against a great opponent... my greater delight is in what Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio explained to too many teachers, too many administrators, and almost every "edu-politician" from Bill Gates to Michael Gove to Arne Duncan: failure by our students is OK, failure by our students is part of education, failure by our students is not only the only way to help them succeed, it is the only reason we teachers and administrators have jobs.

"he's not going to degrade you, he's not going to yell at you..." he's not going to "lower your grade," or "retain you," or drop you out of the "honors courses." "He," that is, a real educator, is going to treat you with human respect, support you, and ask you to give it another try. And wow, you see, that seems to work out. The Michigan State University football team picked itself up from disaster and completed a season in which, essentially, everybody received an "A." Everybody, including seniors Andrew Maxwell - who lost the quarterbacking job early in the year but was rewarded for his efforts by getting game appearances in both the Big Ten Championship and The Rose Bowl - and Max Bullough - the defensive captain suspended for this game and sent home who nonetheless cheered his teammates on from afar.
QB Andrew Maxwell is in the record
books - Dantonio put him in Spartans
last 2 games.
"The 13-acre Bullough estate, which sits atop a hill that overlooks West Arm Grand Traverse Bay and is marked by a Michigan State flag in the driveway, was still glowing with Christmas lights Friday evening."
I just see so many crucial things here. Because, sadly in the MSU College of Education, I was criticized for "giving out too many As" in courses I taught. "Really," I would say, "isn't that my goal an A for every kid? What kind of a teacher would I be if had any other goal?" And because sadly, across America and too much of the world, we believe that failure should always have costly imposed consequences. We have a whole group of idiots (my term for them) who believe that third graders who struggle with reading need to be punished. We have a world full of leaders - and again sadly, teachers as well - who think failure on a test, in a course, on an f---in' homework assignment, requires punishment.
An opposite tack: An educator was so proud of this
incredibly insulting sign he Tweeted it -
Can his students limit his wardrobe?
If he had real relationships with his kids,
would he need this sign?
I see far too many classrooms where the simple lessons Mark Dantonio knows go un-understood. Just as I was writing this a woman with a doctorate in "educational leadership" from Seattle University went on Twitter arguing that demeaning and insulting children with signs as they walk into a classroom is 'good for them' (assuming they have grown up poor).

"He's not going to degrade you, he's not going to yell at you,' said Cook about Dantonio, and we really don't need to explain the why of this, do we? There is only one ethical code of human conduct, not one for adults and one for children, not one for teachers and one for students, not one for elites and another for people born powerless.

And we teach effectively, we teach well, when we act as if there is one system, and we approach relationships and our work with each other as human-to-human interactions, not moments to exercise our momentary positional power.

"So I walked off the field," Cook said, "and he said, 'Hey, you good?' I was like, ‘Yeah, I'm fine.' I gave him a little fist pump." Young kid in his (not quite) first full season playing college football and veteran, million-dollar-making football coach. There could have been a whole lot of positional power exercised there, we've seen that a lot watching American college games, but here, there was none.


Rutgers University's (ex) Basketball Coach thought differently than Dantonio...


...a generational divide? or is it about human dignity?
"after all, its not about how many times you get knocked down,
its about how many times you get back up."

But in that moment Mark Dantonio taught Connor Cook one more amazing lesson, not just in football, in life, in leadership. And he established a level of trust which lies behind every successful educational outcome. Cook trusts his teacher, the Spartans trust their teachers, and from that point, the sky is the limit for any student.

Do the moments in your school look like this? And if you say, "no, but... we've got all these pressures, the tests, kids coming from poverty..." consider that the Cook/Dantonio moment came in the midst of just a bit of pressure as well...

- Ira Socol

          Generational Unity in Worship Music        

In this episode, Mikel Del Rosario, Dr. Darrell L. Bock, Ryan Flanigan, and Patrick Thomas discuss leading worship songs in church, focusing on approaches to reconcile the generational divide.


          Stop Being Shocked That Teen Girls Give a Shit About Politics        

Over the last few months, Teen Vogue's clear-eyed, accessible coverage of the Trump administration has caught the collective attention of the internet. A major force behind Teen Vogue's recent work is Lauren Duca, the magazine's weekend editor. Her piece on Donald Trump's gaslighting of the American people went viral back in December, as did her powerful response to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, after he suggested on air that instead of writing about politics, she should "stick to the thigh-high boots." Cringe.

But Carlson's comment was actually less annoying to Duca than the fawning masses who seem so surprised that a magazine for teenagers can also produce great news commentary. I talked to Duca, whose new column launched last week, about her role in shaping Teen Vogue's work—and why the magazine's political coverage reaches far beyond its target demographic.

Lauren Duca

Mother Jones: How did you start writing politically opinionated pieces for Teen Vogue?

Lauren Duca: Their mode of coverage has been really rigorous and committed to informing their audience since I started [in January 2016], and also earlier. I was on the weekend that the Pulse shooting happened. It was really a high level of support editorially for taking these things on in a way that was unflinching and honest. So it was honestly kind of an organic segue into becoming more political as things took on more urgency. My job on the weekends was just to be deciding what the coverage was for the weekend. So that meant everything from Selena Gomez has a new Pantene ad to Donald Trump is lying to the American public. That was the scope of possibilities.

I think the reason they hired me, too—it wasn't just a random thing. I had a culture column called Middlebrow at HuffPost and a reporting background. But weekend editor is typically a more starting-level position, and they took someone who they knew did a lot of cultural analysis. And when I say "they," I mean specifically Phil Picardi, the editorial director. So hiring me was a very deliberate choice. It was kind of like, these are the ethically driven people with skills that are already in place. And this was kind of the work that Teen Vogue was already doing. So people being shocked is a little annoying.

MJ: It seems like just since Trump was elected, Teen Vogue has really ratcheted up the coverage. Was there a particular moment that you felt a real shift at the magazine?

LD: When I came on, it was already the kind of place that was doing that kind of thing. The wellness stuff, for example, is political in a nontraditional way. LGBTQ work and mental health work and being frank about sexuality—all those kinds of areas where they've been "woke" for a long time. It's just taking on that mode of informing young women, and just a natural segue into traditional politics.

MJ: So it's annoying that everyone is kind of fawning and surprised that Teen Vogue is showing up with political coverage.

LD: Yeah, there's a spectrum of those responses. There's definitely a mode of stealthy condescension sometimes, where I'm almost relieved by the Tucker Carlson comment in a way. Because the sort of "stick to the thigh-high boots" denial of access to a political conversation is such an explicit version of what I was already kind of itching over with the response. Other versions of the Tucker Carlson comment: "Her last post was about Selena Gomez's makeup." And it's like, yes, it's possible to do both those things, especially because I was on weekends. That's part of why I didn't have a specific beat. But the moment we're living in right now, a politically active voice is required of everyone, and they're still allowed to have nonserious interests. And I don't see why that's not true for young women.

MJ: Right, it's just sort of baffling, the idea that teens aren't political.

LD: It's so frustrating. Especially because there's so much political potential for young people. Millennials are now as big of a segment of the population as baby boomers. If we can actually can get everyone to show up and vote and be active, there's a potential to shape elections for the next 35 years based on those statistics. I think young people absolutely care. They care in different ways. That generational divide, how it shows up in political discussions is especially ugly. It's all, "Ugh, millennials and selfishness and narcissism, and oh my god, they're taking selfies." It's like, "No, this is how we're interacting with our world, and it's different from the way you interact with your world, and by the way, thanks for the mountains of debt."

MJ: So when you write, are you writing for millennials or teenagers?

LD: The audience for Teen Vogue is young women specifically. I think the reason the [Trump] gaslighting article did so well was that it wasn't like, "Hey, teen girls." It was like, "hey everybody." I think the idea of political coverage that's accessible to young women, the reason it took off so much is because so much of political coverage—people feel alienated from it, they don't necessarily have the news literacy to make sense of everything. Everything is legitimately confusing. I think that things that are accessible to more people are just going to empower more people with information. And I think there are more people reading Teen Vogue now. I certainly get a lot of letters like, "I'm a 64-year-old man, and I certainly never would have read Teen Vogue before." It's like, relax. In the column I'm starting, I'm hoping it can be breaking things down and providing resources on what to read and what to prioritize in thinking about all the drain clogging and disinformation from this administration. I would love if that went beyond the typical readership.

MJ: What are you hearing from the actual teen readers of Teen Vogue?

LD: I'm hearing some really cool stuff. I have people doing school projects on me, which is insanely amazing. Yesterday I got an email from a high school junior who was doing a speech on me and my work, and do I have a message for her audience. I was like, this is insane, this is incredible. So yes, it's reaching the people it's meant to reach, too.


          Kennelly and Winter present on Generational Diversity at BN 360 Conference        
BN 360, a program of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, held its latest Skills for Success session in downtown Buffalo in March. BN 360 is a partnership of young working professionals in the Western New York region and the program is presented by Niagara University. The topic of the March session pertained to generational diversity and was […]
          Diverse workforce a boon, not a burden        

Generational diversity issues in the workplace have never been more present or more complex. As many as six generations are now working side by side, and a great generational shift is underway. At one end of More »

The post Diverse workforce a boon, not a burden appeared first on OR Manager.


          Generational Diversity in the Workplace: Myths and Realities        
Comments following the NYHRPS 2nd Millennial Forum, October 6, 2015 by Sharon Lewis On Oct 6, the NYHRPS organized a follow up Forum to the one we held in July on the subject of Generational Diversity in the Workplace: Myths and Realities.  Gratitude to Monica Chan, Manager of College Recruiting at HBO for skillfully facilitating […]
          Generational Diversity in the Workplace: Myths and Realities        
Comments following the NYHRPS Millennial Forum, July 14, 2015 By Sharon Lewis Time Flies Did I Act that way at the age of 22?  —– YES, you did! Human tendency looks at each new generation and sees radically different behaviors than those which they themselves expressed. Wharton Business School Professor Peter Cappelli says that “many […]
          'Ode to Hellas' by Departing Canadian Ambassador Robert Peck        

Greek and Canadian flags flying together outside the Presidential Mansion in Athens in honour of the Canadian PM's State visit to Greece in May of 2011

The Departing Canadian Ambassador Robert Peck's Farewell and Ode to Hellas below was published by Kathimerini this week, a particularly significant week for Canada. It was a week which saw the Liberals being elected to power after many years and Justin Trudeau, the son of legendary PM, Pierre Trudeau, become the Prime Minister in waiting...

  "For me, last week marked the end of more than eight years as a diplomat accredited on two different occasions to the Hellenic Republic, serving for the last four years as Canada’s ambassador.

From 2011 to 2015, with the support of my able embassy team, I have worked with six different prime ministers, a multiplicity of ministers representing six political parties, and have witnessed – and experienced at a very human level – the complex challenges facing this remarkable country.
Often drawing from the insights and experiences of my Greek-Canadian spouse, the daughter of immigrants to Canada in the 1960s, I have been motivated by the resilience of the Greek people, their inherent generosity and “filotimo,” despite the existential questions of everyday life. I have tried to be a faithful practitioner of the “human diplomacy” and “a l’ecoute des citoyens” practiced by former Canadian Governor General the Right Honorable Michaelle Jean, now secretary-general of La Francophonie, and a past collaborator.

Cultural exchanges had a special place to underscore our solidarity and the human face of bilateral relations at this difficult time: the spectacular success in Canada of the exhibition “The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander The Great,” Cirque de Soleil’s Greek debut, music by philhellene pianist Alain Lefevre, Diana Krall at the Herod Atticus, and the Greek National Opera’s tribute to opera legend Teresa Stratas. Legendary international singer Nana Mouskouri and laiko icon Mary Linda both performed in Canada for philanthropic causes, a hospital partnership in support of children with cancer and Greek language instruction in three Canadian cities. The Vorres Museum and the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG) are vibrant symbols of longstanding cultural ties.
I have drawn inspiration from the selflessness of average Greek men and women who work under the radar, achieving small miracles every day with limited means in support of the elderly, the hungry and the chronically ill. And these experiences have challenged me to reflect on my own moral compass.
I also have been proud to support the efforts of those who embrace diversity in Greece, so that all can be treated with equality, regardless of differences of religion, sexuality or race.


Even when there were differences of opinion and frank talk, as Canada’s ambassador I have been treated invariably with courtesy and respect, the ultimate compliment to my country, and always in the spirit of partnership central to Canada-Greece relations.

As a diplomat I have been challenged to promote meaningful dialogue between governments past and present and other key stakeholders regarding a major Canadian investment in the mining sector. Diplomacy obviously has its limitations but I nevertheless remain hopeful that time, circumstance and win-win opportunities will lead to positive outcomes.

During my tenure I have been gratified to see Canada become one of the largest foreign investors in Greece, even at a difficult time. In all candor I can claim no real credit for these fortuitous developments; however, this Canadian engagement is a source of considerable pride and validation of the untapped potential I have often championed.

I am confident Eldorado Gold, Fairfax and PSP Investments can contribute to long-term economic growth and prosperity in support of Greece’s future. Further successes by these signature Canadian investors already present in Greece will send a clear message internationally.
The eventual ratification by European Union member-states, including Greece, of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will provide an important catalyst to bilateral trade and investment.

The future path for Greece will be far from easy. It is time, however, to move beyond the many missed opportunities I have witnessed during my mandate, including the return of seaplanes to Greece, a certain catalyst for high-end tourism and a metaphor for transformation in the sector.
Greece no doubt faces a long and difficult path ahead. The country is at an historic crossroads. I have experienced at the grassroots level a growing weariness and disillusionment across the generational divide. Far too many Greeks seek new hope and opportunity only beyond the borders of their country. This has to change.

But the glass remains at least half full, not half empty, for this friend of Greece, although my own resolve has sometimes been tested. Canada’s new Chancery in Athens, inaugurated earlier this year and designed by celebrated architectural firm Tombazis and Associates, provides a new, modern platform for 21st-century diplomacy. Canada and Greece should aspire to be more ambitious in their bilateral relations. We are joined by close people-to-people ties, dynamic cultural/educational links and a growing Canadian investment presence. This is my parting wish as our two countries mark 75 years of diplomatic ties in 2017. 

And, for me personally, a commitment that this is not a goodbye: “Ce n’est qu’un au revoir.”


Thank you Ambassador! 
We wish you well. 
As part of our Global Greek family, 
 we're sure you will continue to do your best for Greece, wherever you are. 
Ευχαριστούμε!

At Global Greek World, We ♥ Greece...and it shows! 
© GlobalGreekWorld 2009-2015 All Rights Reserved

          Black Churches in Newark Move Toward Tolerance        

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey's highest-circulating online and print newspaper, informally surveyed a number of Newark African American pastors on LGBT equality and acceptance in the Black church. Some pastors expressed that there are a number of gay members of Black churches, but many are not open with their orientation. While this indicates that there is progress to be made, the article noted the growing acceptance in Black churches:

“A random sampling of black ministers in the Newark area found many are aware of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and [transgender] men and women in their congregations, singing in the choir or working in a church office. And they are willing to welcome them with open arms.”

This is a significant step forward for many of the congregations named in the article; however, placing barriers to participation is not fully inclusive. Although the piece mentioned LGBT people “singing in the choir and working in the church office,” church leadership by someone openly LGBT is not specifically addressed.

Pastors like Rev. M. William Howard of Bethany Baptist in Newark said he speaks out against anti-gay sentiment from the pulpit. He acknowledged that some churches, not just ones in the black community, are figuring out how to be welcoming of all people, regardless of their orientation.

While the tides are changing, marriage equality and HIV/AIDS advocacy remain two areas where there is still work to be done. The Star-Ledger noted, “Polls show a generational divide in the black community, with younger members growing more supportive of same-sex marriage...Some pastors object on the basis of scripture, others just don’t see it as the church’s mission to take a political stand on gay rights of any kind.”

Regarding HIV/AIDS awareness, the paper later explained: “The black church is still generally criticized for its slow reaction to the AIDS/HIV epidemic. Many pastors admit as much. ‘We had our heads in the sand,’ says Howard. Now, he points with pride to Bethany educational programs and the church website, which heralded World AIDS Day this month.”

Rev. Reginald T. Jackson (pictured), pastor of St. Matthew AME Church in Orange and executive director of the 600-member Black Ministers’ Council of New Jersey believes black churches are moving toward more tolerance. “I think anyone who is gay or lesbian or whatever should be welcome in all of our churches,” he tells The Star-Ledger. “That shouldn’t be a question.”

GLAAD appreciates that The Star-Ledger provided a more nuanced look at changing attitudes in some black churches and also examined the often overlooked response of African American faith leaders to HIV/AIDS. At the same time, GLAAD is currently working to elevate the voices of LGBT-affirming pastors in Newark that are fully welcoming of LGBT people (including leadership) and support marriage equality.

 

December 12, 2011

          Bows        
Grandma has taken to bringing my daughter clothes when she comes over. I guess she feels like I don’t dress her properly. Yesterday she brought a red ribbon for my daughter to wear in her hair. My daughter is long past the age for bows, so imagine my surprise when she let her grandma put a bow on her. Later she said she was embarrassed, but I think she kind of liked it.

We’re at odds on this issue. I’d prefer my daughter didn’t wear the cute dresses and bows. She’s a tomboy, and likes sports. But my daughter thought it was a novelty to wear a cute little bow, so what do I know?

I guess I felt a little damaged by all the tacky little old-lady outfits I used to have to wear. And my mother would always encourage me to ‘smile.’ Later, I felt like I didn’t want to always smile. Smiling implies you’re happy, even if you are being insulted or treated like dirt. You shouldn’t have to smile all the time. But my daughter doesn’t mind. I guess this is some generational divide. In any case, she really does look cute in those bows.
          Bridge the Generation Gap With Your Students        
Accounting faculty recommend some ways to cross the generational divide and connect with Millennial students.
          01/08/2011        
According to recent research, a Christian couple in Britain has only a 50 percent chance of transmitting their beliefs and practice to their children. If a child has just one Christian parent the chance is 25 per cent. Why is it so difficult for parents to pass on their faith? And do grandparents and parents in minority faith communities face the same problems when it comes to transmitting their religious beliefs and values across the Generational Divide? Ernie Rea's guests in Beyond Belief today are Professor David Voas from Manchester University, Sadek Hamid a researcher into Muslim youth, and the Rabbi and Baroness, Julia Neuberger.
          Looking back at 2013, with pointers to 2014        

I wrote a prediction post a year ago so I'm going to review and update it. Here's last year in full "Looking back at 2012, with pointers to 2013" .

The headlines from last year, with comments and updates:

Mobile Bandwidth Greater than Fixed Bandwidth
This trend continues. LTE can get congested in cities, but the latest news is Verizon upgrading it's network to have more capacity and speeds up to 100Mbit/s. I'm about to get an LTE MiFi for our house so that when we want higher speed or our local DSL gets congested, it's available, and when we go away we can take it with us. I'll keep the DSL for background connectivity, and to avoid hitting the MiFi bandwidth cap too much.


Cutting The Cable/Satellite TV Feed

We still don't have cable/satellite. I got a Google Chromecast, but it's slow and fiddly to use compared to the AppleTV, and buggy for streaming Pandora, keeps dropping the stream. The picture quality is good though.


The Netflix Open Source Cloud Platform Got Traction

We close out 2013 with 39 distinct projects at github.netflix.com, a successful Netflix Cloud Prize contest, endorsements from many more companies including IBM, and growing acceptance that Cloud Native is an important concept that supports highly agile continuous delivery, and NetflixOSS is an onramp that accelerates transitioning to Cloud Native.


Netflix Cloud Architecture Presentations

I presented even more than in 2012, see the slides I posted at http://www.slideshare.net/adrianco. I've also got a permanent link to a full set of workshop slides at bit.ly/netflix-workshop which is easier to remember, and lets me update the workshop slides from time to time.


The Concept of Anti-Fragility Took Off

Taleb's book and concept became more accepted. Ariel Tseitlin wrote an ACM paper for Netflix on The Antifragile Organization.


Cloud, Open Source, SaaS and the End of Enterprise Computing

"During 2013 we will see if Google manages to invest heavily and execute well enough to build up a big user base."
Google came out of beta and closed some gaps, but it's not clear that they are building up a big user base. They have their fans, and in some areas have some technical advantages, but still have a lot to prove. Other public cloud vendors didn't make much headway. Microsoft Azure remains strong in it's own ecosystem, but hasn't broken out into general use, and others are getting further behind or being bought.

"I personally think in 2014 we will likely see [...] the scale, features and price point of AWS and Google clouds make everyone else irrelevant." I still think this is true. The 2013 Garner Magic Quadrant for IaaS didn't include Google as they were in beta, but showed AWS as dominant. It also included an estimate that AWS delivered capacity was five times bigger than the next 14 vendors combined. i.e. AWS was 85% of the market by delivered capacity (not by $ revenue). My tracking of AWS size by looking at their reserved IP address space bit.ly/awsiprange continues to show that AWS is doubling in size every year, and has grown 10x over the last three years, reaching 5.1 million IP addresses in September 2013.

Most big enterprise companies are actively working on their AWS rollout now. Most of them are also trying to get an in-house cloud to work, with varying amounts of success, but even the best private clouds are still years behind the feature set of public clouds, which is has a big impact on the agility and speed of product development.


Solar Powered Electric Cars Are For Real Now

Our Nissan Leaf is getting towards the end of it's three year lease, and we're replacing it with a Fiat 500e. The Fiat is smaller and lighter, but has the same size battery, so gets a bit more range. It's also cheaper and more fun to drive. During 2013 a lot of people bought Tesla Model S, including people who traded in Tesla Roadsters. We picked up a second hand 2010 Tesla Roadster with full factory warranty, and although the technology is a bit older, it's a great fun car with over 200 miles real world range for longer trips. Even with two electric cars, we still generated more electricity than we used this year, so the marginal cost of energy is still zero for our household and our gasoline spend is way down.


Global Warming Arrived in the USA in 2012

"I'm going to try and re-balance my 401K retirement accounts to divest from oil companies. Many students are nowpressuring their colleges to divest from oil as well." I spent a few hours on Fidelity Investments web site and reduced my investments in the energy sector to a minimum. The divestment movement is also gathering momentum. The public conversation continues to shift, more extreme weather in the US and worldwide is helping, and the IPCC released an updated report.


Twitter and Snapchat

I had 6,500 followers on Twitter at the end of 2012, and I have 10,500 at the end of 2013. I correctly predicted that Snapchat would continue to grow in 2013, and it was reported that more photos are uploaded per day into Snapchat than into Facebook. Twitter had it's IPO, and is becoming part of the news and entertainment infrastructure with it's own ecosystem. I think they will figure out how to continue to grow and make money, so I bought a few shares to have skin in the game.

New for 2014:

Google Glass will have a successful public launch

I got Glass last summer, and have been using it a bit and letting other people try it a lot. I just got a hardware update that makes my developer set compatible with the final consumer version, and it's clear that Google is getting much closer to having a real product to launch. No-one knows the price, and that will determine how widely people get Glass, but the feature set and support is now quite interesting. There is a generational divide, in that many younger people like and want Glass, and older people are more wary or bothered by it. Trying it out in person lets people understand what it does and doesn't do, and greatly increases acceptance.

The Glass features that I was waiting for have mostly been addressed. The MyGlass app now supports iPhone, there is support for corporate Gmail accounts and multiple Gmail accounts on a single Glass. There is a headphone to supplement the built in speaker that was too quiet, and there will soon be prescription lens support. The last of those is the main reason I don't wear Glass every day, as I have to put in contact lenses to use it currently, and my contacts don't work as well as my glasses.

The ability to get personal GPS directions while walking (or cycling) is one of my favorite features. "First person" hangout support has huge potential although it's still too fiddly to setup, and needs good network bandwidth. Video use drains the battery quickly, although in normal use it lasts long enough to be useful all day. The add-on applications I have installed include Twitter, so I get notified immediately if someone mentions or DMs me; Evernote for keeping track of shared to-do lists; and Translate where you look at a sign and it makes an English version of the sign for you.

Voice control works better than most people expect, directions to local places is remarkably good, but voice input dictation is very random. It needs quite a lot of practice to get messages recorded that contain more than "on my way" or other simple phrases. But then I don't use Siri on my iPhone either.

Best wishes to everyone for 2014.


          World AIDS Day        

AIDS became a part of my life on January 9, 1990, when the man I was not quite in love with yet sat me down and said, "There’s something you need to know.” What I needed to know was that he was HIV-positive. I was stunned. I had heard of HIV and AIDS, of course. Ryan White was still living, and I had read the news accounts of how shamefully he had been treated by too many people, and had resolved that if I ever met anyone with AIDS, I wouldn’t rush screaming from the room. But I really didn’t think it would ever happen. I wasn’t at risk for AIDS, and neither (I naively imagined) was anyone I knew.


I’ve learned a lot since then, starting with the fact that you can’t know just by looking at a person what his or her risk factors are. You also can’t know just by looking what part HIV or AIDS has played in someone’s life. I married the boyfriend with HIV, was widowed a few years later, and since then have felt myself marked both decisively and invisibly by that experience. The years I dwelt in the land of AIDS were the most formative of my life, but where are the marks of that residence? Kaposi’s sarcoma is visible; AIDS widowhood isn’t. My husband used to worry that people would look at his KS and know he had AIDS. No such signs exist for me.


With World AIDS Day approaching, it occurred to me that many of my colleagues at Fairmount Primary Care Center probably had hidden histories with AIDS as well, histories that I would only learn if I asked about them. So I did. A generational divide emerged immediately, between those old enough to remember the plague years, and those for whom AIDS has always been a more or less manageable chronic condition. The mere existence of that younger generation—one for whom AIDS has always been a more or less manageable chronic condition—still takes my breath away. My husband and I used to say we believed that such a day would come. He didn’t live to see it, but I have.


Most of the younger people I spoke with have never had a friend or personal acquaintance who had HIV or AIDS. That’s not to say they aren’t concerned about HIV and AIDS; several of them are regular participants in fund-raising and consciousness-raising events like the AIDS walk, and they recognize HIV and AIDS as serious health problems, particularly among underserved populations like the poor, those with limited access to health care, and racial minorities. But AIDS is not something they encounter within their social circle. AIDS is a disease of the "other.” And in that sense, not much has changed. In my day, the "other” (whether imagined or real) was a gay man; now the "other” is poor and black.


My older colleagues all had stories about people they had known who had died of AIDS, mostly in the early years of the epidemic—friends from college, family friends, in some cases family members. In each story I felt I could hear the echo of a shudder or a sob, echoes borne of memories of this terrible disease, breaking all the rules of modern diseases (they’re supposed to be treatable!), opening the secrets of families and individuals, disrupting relationships, inflicting waves of suffering before finally carrying people off decades before it should have been their turn to sicken and die. Or perhaps the echoes were of my own shuddering sobs, all so long ago and yet still present in the way that a memory is present.


I wish I could be as sanguine about AIDS as the words "manageable chronic condition” suggest. Yes, I know that treatment options for HIV and HIV-related conditions have expanded exponentially in recent years, and that many individuals’ disease can be well-controlled for years on the multi-drug retroviral regimens that now exist. But how many people have access to these therapies and can comply with them? In the U.S., at least, factors (like poverty and addiction) that increase an individual’s risk for HIV are identical with factors that decrease the likelihood that an individual will have access to treatment or will be able to comply with treatment. HIV is not an equal opportunity disease; it is a disease of the disempowered and the vulnerable, and it hits mostly people who are already down.


And the stigma associated with AIDS and HIV, while undoubtedly less than it used to be, is still palpable. I’m struck by the fact that in the three months I’ve been a behavioral health intern at FPCC, no patient has ever disclosed his or her HIV status to me. I know people have HIV; I see it in their charts. But they don’t tell me. Granted, I don’t ask—we screen for tobacco use, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and PTSD, not for infectious diseases like HIV. But I hear a lot about diabetes and hypertension and high cholesterol, none of which I ask about either. AIDS and HIV remain unspoken, unrevealed, even as my own history with AIDS lies hidden from view.


          â€œInside Madeleine” and “Mr. Loverman”        
This Sunday in the New York Times Book Review, our clients, Akashic Books and Soho Press, have the marginalized covered as two of their newest books that deal with some of the more underrepresented demographics are reviewed.

Soho Press’ Inside Madeleine by Paula Bomer reflects on the female psyche, specifically focusing on the characters’ sexual and bodily identities. According to Dayna Tortorici,

“bodily control [is] a desperate expression of free will: Bomer’s characters starve themselves, stuff themselves, walk until their feet bleed, and smoke up until they cannot move. At every turn they struggle to square their strong personalities with the ritual and class-coded humiliations of being young and female.”

While Bomer’s 229 page novel may lead to grim endings and futile efforts, Bomer seems to be commenting on the societal structures that bind young women.







Akashic Books’ Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo chronicles the life of Barrington Jedidiah Walker, a West Indian man living in Britain. Barrington is a closeted gay man, and at 70-something years old, he’s been hiding his secret for a long time. Barrington is married to a faithful Pentecostal woman, Carmel, but is truly in love with Morris de la Roux.

Mr. Loverman, set in 2010, is replete with flashbacks of Barrington’s life. Furthermore Evaristo deepens her novel as she also incorporates flashbacks of Morris’ life. According to Ellery Washington, seamlessly

“intertwines historical and contemporary issues of race, immigration, generational divides, neighborhood gentrification, sibling rivalries, social progress, social disillusionment and, most directly, African-Caribbean sexuality. 
This is rich territory — dense — and Evaristo clearly knows her subjects. So much is said, so much ground covered so quickly, that one might easily get lost in the interwoven threads if not for Evaristo’s confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen’s English helping to fix characters in the reader’s mind.”

Both novels, how different they are in style and content, deal with marginalized themes. It is refreshing to see these topics handled in a personalized, but unromanticized manner.

Inside Madeleine
229 pages, $
16.
Soho Press
Purchase


Mr. Loverman
284 pages, $11.96
Akashic Books
Purchase

          Generational Divide Splits Hong Kong Views of June 4        
For the past 28 years, Hong Kong has held an annual vigil in Victoria Park to commemorate the lives lost in the June 4, 1989 crackdown on protesters in Beijing. Over the years, attendance
          Is there a Generational Divide over “Judicial Restraint” Between Reaganites and Libertarians?        

Various commentators such as Garrett Epps, Mark Tushnet, and recent guest-blogger Josh Blackman argue that there is a generational divide among right of center jurists between Reaganite advocates of “judicial restraint” and later, more libertarian figures who are less willing to defer to legislatures and more eager to strike down laws they consider unconstitutional. They argue that this divide is exemplified by the the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, where Chief Justice John Roberts voted to uphold the individual health insurance mandate as a tax, while other conservative justices voted to strike it down. As Epps puts it, Roberts voted the way he did because “his is the conservatism of the 1980s rather than the new, more aggressive version minted for the Age of Obama.” As a veteran of the Reagan-era Justice Department, Roberts supposedly imbibed the ideology of judicial restraint, from which later conservatives have departed.

I. Federalism and Reagan’s Judicial Appointees.

This thesis fundamentally misconceives the dominant constitutional vision of the Reagan administration and most of the jurists associated with it. In the individual mandate case, both of the actual Reagan appointees still on the Court – Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy – voted to strike down the law. If they had still been on the Court, Reagan’s two other appointees, Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rehnquist (whom Reagan promoted to Chief Justice), would likely have voted the same way, based on their longstanding advocacy of strong judicial enforcement of limits on federal power and their dissents in Gonzales v. Raich (in which case Scalia and Kennedy voted to uphold the law).

Reagan also nominated numerous leading libertarians and pro-federalism conservatives to the lower courts, including such well-known libertarian and libertarian-leaning jurists as Alex Koziniski, Douglas Ginsburg, Stephen Williams, Jerry Smith, and [...]

The post Is there a Generational Divide over “Judicial Restraint” Between Reaganites and Libertarians? appeared first on The Volokh Conspiracy.


          Blurred lines        
Octavio Moreno navigates mariachi opera’s geographical and generational divides Opera strikes many as a somewhat haughty affair. The word alone evokes images of impeccably dressed ladies and gents, a full orchestra tuning instruments before house lights dim and costumed divas start belting out arias in a foreign language. And a lot of times, that’s absolutely […]
          Khmer Legacies, Capturing the Stories of Genocide Survivors        

As we continue our spotlight on the role of archives in human rights advocacy, today's featured video is an interview with Socheata Poeuv, founder of the Khmer Legacies.

Khmer Legacies is a video archive that has collected thousands of testimonies from survivors of the Cambodian genocide.  By capturing these stories, the groups aims to break the silence, preserve crucial human rights memory, and bridge the generational divide between younger Cambodians and their parents - many of whom survived the mass atrocities perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975-79.

You can read more about the work of Khmer Legacies in this post by Michele DeLia, Teague Schneiter, and Grace Lile. For more on how archives are helping challenge impunity, preserve memory, and advance transitional justice, explore our special resource page on Archives & Human Rights - an extensive list of archives, videos, tools and resources from around the world.

LEARN MORE: http://hub.witness.org/ArchivesHumanRights


          Tune Into The MaddHadda         
Taking a left turn here, deviating from normal transit bloggery, to pay homage to my friend Torrey "MaddHadda" Dooley. We once took a Biology class together. He was determined to become a nurse, and I had designs on a different medical career. Torrey saw his goal through, while pneumonia ended my chances for a 4.0 GPA and entrance into the school I aspired to attend. My hat is off to this bright young man, who now cares for people with his intensely kind and gentle manner.

There is a generational divide between Torrey and me, but right away I saw his potential to be a shining star. In class, he was attentive and curious. He always brought a smile and his patented positive attitude, even when it was obvious he was exhausted. He drew fellow students to him with a warm and attentive personality. Though we were separated by at least two decades in age, I admired his fierce loyalty and determination.

Just about a year ago, we became connected through FaceBook. It was heartwarming to see that he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and has a good job in the medical field. It's even more notable to learn he dropped out of school at 15, then later decided as an adult to achieve this all with a 3.7 GPA. Now he also blogs about his work as a nurse. Using language that speaks to young people but resonates with positivity for all, I've found his blog to be a valuable communication tool he uses to encourage people to take positive steps in their own healthcare.

MaddHadda's blog can be found at TheHoodNurse.com. Congrats Torrey, and thanks for being the man you are. Lord knows we could use more like you.
          ILTA's Special Ops Track: Making Sure IT Matters and IT: The Catalyst        
The "Special Ops" set of sessions at ILTA this year was a set of really great ideas (I suspect Mary Abraham's push for alternative formats is behind it, though praise is due to team coordinators Betsy Parker, Chris Hunt, Jim McCue, and Sean Power.).  Essentially these sessions were organized around unusual formats, like alternative reality, TED talks, or roundtables, and addressed a broad range of topics of interest to legal technologists. 

I participated Monday morning in the session titled "Making Sure IT Matters," (#spec1),  which featured a crowd-sourced list of five topics, and facilitated discussion on a single topic at each of five tables, culminating in presentations to the whole group on each smaller group's discussion.  At my table of fourteen or so people, all but one or two contributed to the discussion, which focused on how to make sure IT "gets it," that is, understands the business of law and also lawyer's work and needs.  The small group that organized the discussion will be developing a mind map and probably also some additional publications (like blog posts or articles) on the results of that effort, so I won't attempt to do so here. Regardless of that additional effort, I feel that the most impact occurred in the room at the time, when so many people had the opportunity to think about and participate in their own education and development. 

A later Special Ops session was titled IT:  The Catalyst #spec5, featuring four very different speakers addressing a very broad range of topics in one hour.  The format imitated that of the TED talks. 

Hat tips to Angela Dowd , Tim Golden , and Ben Wightwick for tweets that supplemented my notes as I drafted this post.
 
Bill Caraher-- Disruption, Risk and Opportunity 

The business model of the law firm is going to have to change. If they want to stand out, law firms are going to have to buy technology, build it, or partner with someone who can supply it.

The top technology spend in law firms is still SharePoint.  Many users don't use SharePoint.  He doesn't think this should be our focus.  He is skeptical about the value of portals and the social features in SharePoint 2013.   His current investment priority is security.

Typically we are not rewarded for taking risk, in fact the contrary.  Clients have started to look more seriously at firm capabilities.

Bring Your Own Device ("BYOD") seems harmless but has serious risks.  The total cost of BYOD is quite high.  Big banks have also become worried about outside counsel who BYOD, because their regulators prohibit them from BYOD.

Phil Schneidermeyer --  Culture and Diversity as Catalysts for Continuous Improvement 

Every conversation with a client of his executive recruiting firm starts with culture.  They are trying to get the fit right between recruits and companies. One challenge is, do you try to acheive a fit with the current culture or the target culture?  Is there any mention of the people side of what we've accomplished on our resumes?

Culture is a sense of what the organization is, its history, attitudes, beliefs, and the like.

Corporations with shared values and that are driven by purpose and values tend to outperform ones that don't. 

Training, onboarding, and orientation are critical for culture.  Corporate culture has risen as a risk that corporations are considering. 

Phil recommends that leaders should be role models for the culture; reward those demonstrating good behavior [And punish those who violate cultural norms?] Peers should weigh culture heavily in considering their own roles and opportunities.

Diversity encompasses gender, race, and generations.  Generational diversity can cause tension around technology and work ethics. 

A really good reason for diversity is that diverse customers are best served by a diverse team.  Robust conversation and effective planning and execution amongst your team  is enhanced by working with people who don't think like you do. 

Ryan McClead-- The Internet of Things

There are more things on the "internet of things" than there are people on the planet.  These things communicate well on their own but don't talk amongst themselves.

Several competing technologies may lead to uniform standards for things on the internet of things.

What is the internet of things?  In quantum physics two particles can be "entangled." When you spin one of the particles, the other one is spun (observed?) as well.  With the increase of devices that are on the internet, we're starting to see the internet and the physical world become entangled.  The internet of things allows for "spooky action at a distance."

He thinks the "Twine" device is the coolest thing on the internet.  It senses temperature, vibration, and light.  He can tie it into the "If Then Then That" service.  He could have his device turn off light bulbs or warn him if his houseplants are too hot.

These sensors will get cheaper, more powerful, and smaller.  At a certain point the physical world can turn into the interface for the network.  It might feel like other technologies that have become invisible, like motors. Things like Twine and the internet of things have the potential to make computing background.
 
Scott Rechtschaffen--"I Had This Great Idea For A Presentation"

As I tweeted out at the time I saw it, Scott's presentation was brilliant, but essentially impossible to blog. 

His main point was, the legal industry needs to move online.  Why would clients work with law firms that aren't online when they wouldn't work with a bank, airline, concert venue, or other business that wasn't online?  [In similar vein, Kingsley Martin later in the week made the pungent observation that, if an airline's website was like law firms' websites, it would have pictures of the pilots, descriptions of how great its aircraft were, and the like, but no way to buy a ticket.]

          Generational Unity in Worship Music        

In this episode, Mikel Del Rosario, Dr. Darrell L. Bock, Ryan Flanigan, and Patrick Thomas discuss leading worship songs in church, focusing on approaches to reconcile the generational divide.


          Are you a Digital Dinosaur When Your Customer Needs a Tech Savvy Star?        
I witnessed a local organization’s curfuffle this week and heard an older leader exclaim, “I’m not going to let any 29 year old upstart tell me what to do!” which got me to thinking. We’re in the midst of the most momentous generational divide in the history of the world. As is typical throughout time, […]
          Mavs-Thunder showcases the post-season's ultimate generational divide         
none
          Scrappy VS Strategic: Is there a generational divide in nonprofits around how to innovate using new technology?        

Photo by Ceclcia Aros

Note from Beth: I’m working in Dubai this week and have lined up some guest posts from some colleagues.    Daniel Ben-Horin from TechSoup Global wrote a thought provoking post over at the SSIR about generational differences in nonprofits when it comes to trying to scale social change strategies using social technologies.  

Read More
          The Noisy Minority        
2014-06-14 15.02.05 (463x640)Was Richard Nixon a father figure?
That's the first questions everyone asks me
Stay turned for something even bigger
All the President's Men on All in the Family.

When I was growing up I had met the enemy and his name was President Nixon. I never actually met Nixon but I knew my parents voted for the other guy. He was enamored with power, tormented by insecurity, and kept his own enemies list, featuring some personal public heroes of mine who cared a lot more about consequences, than the powers which wield them.

Nixon also had a brilliant young communications strategist named Patrick Buchanan who saw the tie-dye and the free love and the picket signs and new that the young lefties were even less connected to their parents in their need for recognition than any single pronouncement, political stance, or pill you really needed to try. Buchanan saw the baby boomers need for attention as the single biggest reason to reject whatever injustice or misguided policy they were drawing attention to.

Hence, he hatched the silent majority -- those middle-Americans with the honest day's work, the shared sacrifice of national service, traditional values, and mortgages nearly paid off on homes well above the pay grades of their own parents. They would sooner bring comfort to the enemy than bring attention to themselves. Translation: Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers: shut-up, sit down, and get a haircut. Oh, and just because you never saw the dark times we endured doesn't diminish your own privileged lives.

Generation Landslide

The generational divide was not the only wedge issue played masterfully by the same re-election team. Perhaps too well when you consider the mix of hubris and paranoia that sealed the doom of said administration. No matter, the idea that a group of radical lefties could be dressed down by the cold stares of the so coined silent majority by Buchanan was real. That '72 landslide might have been a bad trip. But it was no hallucination.

Flash forward to today and middle America is softer around the middle only. Society is still going to hand basket Hades but now Pat Buchanan is hailing the moral rectitude of Vladimir Putin as a beacon for traditional values in the moral vacuums of today. What could be a clearer affirmation that our gridlocked politics bespeaks a right-leaning electorate than a sincere admiration for unapologetic authoritarians like Putin? And where are those proud and incensed majorities that go about their quiet lives? They're no longer in the majority and they're certainly not keeping faith with institutions or silence about their indignation.

And they make up in message volume what they're losing in members. And they're channeling their resentments into a bullhorn as well-funded as it is thunderous in the rejection that we still shoulder a common set of sacrifices for a country the self-made masses once aspired to call home.

Perhaps it's the impending loss of our majorities that makes the new face of Caucasian male America the stand your ground, pack and carry commando. We can't get our women to produce more babies. So Bubba who comes running to protect our porous borders when the invaders are the peasant children of Central American refugees, and not the imagined red menaces of yore.

And what about our own kids?  Our kids are both coddled and incarcerated. That's because we boomer parents broke the central tenet of all intergenerational understandings with the current crop of vegan-leaning, grade-inflated, prospect averse, loan indebted, and great recession-spooked millennials. We not only raised, clothed and fed them -- we made them our best friends. How's that for a conflict of interest when you're trying to balance the merits of eating meat with flipping burgers? How's that for getting them launched when we're just going to fix the first unscripted misfortune they encounter outside the nest? It's easier if we do it.

It's now the official policy of our government that corporations are people and money is speech. The wealthier you are, the chattier you can afford to be. Freedom is pursuit of the impulse by-lined in the late David Brinkley’s bio as "Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion." If speech is money does that make destitution a form of censorship? If corporations are people does that mean that corporate people get to vote twice?

What money ceases to be in the age of the noisy minority is time. Time is only money when you're working across the clock. Elites are untethered from the gravitational pressures of the billing cycle. They are getting in front of an issue just as we are falling behind on our payments. It's only when free speech is financed by the expenses we can't afford. Only then do we see the spike in attention known as a backlash.

Mostly though us non-elite majorities are too busy pedaling against our own hamster wheels to connect the prearranged dots of the message offensive. Free has a pleasing simplicity to libertarian frontierists as in free markets: me = "free" and you = "markets." Given the balancing of power (tilting heavily to the speechifiers) and the balancing of payments (leaning heavily taxpayer here) it's in the campaign underwriters' interests to blur and obfuscate the common rally points for the distracted and disenfranchised receivers of free speech.

Throwing red meat to the base is one intended outcome. Another is that the same agitations fogs the rhetoric for the less impassioned, blurs distinctions between candidates, and severs the connection between a negative (the advertising) and a positive (citizen participation in the electoral process). But there's another new and less understood connection between noisiness of the political classes and the ensuing silence of the apolitical majorities.

More and more messages are silent as well, resistant to the shrill, incendiary nature of institutional grandstanding and political confrontation. It's easy to tune out free speech. What's not so easy to muffle is one's online history -- where attentions veer to issues of credibility with much more scrutiny and sincerity than exposing which specific corporate interests are fronting smear campaigns in the name of free speech as an unimpeachable offense.

Like anyone with a phone between the ears I store my memory cramps in a Google loophole. What tropical storm am I referencing in the story about my friend's father's hip replacement? Was it Sandy? Irene? Was there an actual name for that ice storm in '96? No, that was the wedding party you held for your second marriage to wife #2. My story banks are saturated and even Google does not map to that level of storm damage.

Obscurity as the New Human Right

It's curious that we were raised on memory rights. Usually these were preserved to uphold the heroism of our forebears. Typically it was dedicated to the valor they displayed in defending abstract, universal concepts like freedom, justice, and the American way? Am I being cranky and defiant to suggest that American way lost its way during my generation's occupancy in the power seats of the social strata? No matter, a generation later the battle has shifted to more tangible and personal territory -- my past history as Google headline in perpetuity.

The NSA may know how many times I back scratch a mutual admirer with an Arab-sounding name during Ramadan. But that message board where I was flamed in the early 2000s should go up in fumigated smoke.

As we've crashed over the boundaries of middle-aged I'm wondering how many of us have fossilized the images of our former selves into the present. By that I mean our sense of what's right with the world lives resiliently in the past. I'm referring to behavior that any of us might have regarded in our former days as 'stodgy.'

Nostalgia is an intoxicant that preys on the brain's inclinations to move on -- for my circuits that means remembering the good, discarding the painful, and carrying enough scars to appreciate the healing power of time. The older one gets those nostalgia notions multiply, even take over the present with their promise of certainty and metastasize on our destinies with each ensuing loss of control.

Where does the bias of experience take us the further out we play our likely scenarios? The optimism we need for the future is stuck at that inflection point where we lost our power. Perhaps it's a bad guy whose rise to power usurped our own. Maybe it's more personal than that, coiled tightly in strong emotional memories of negative events? Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write in last month's Atlantic that women in particular: "We seem to be superbly equipped to scan the horizon for threats."

But hunkering down tilts the bias of experience towards resistance to new experience. And where does it take us? To settle where all I-know-better are leaning: to the defense of the self-serving argument. Talk about leaping to conclusions!

Circular logic is not only self-referential but it tends to impede our ability to cope outside that disappearing comfort zone -- the vestige of grumpy, embittered middle-age people. The same arms-folded folks that appeared so recalcitrant and intolerant to me as a youth when I heard tin soldiers and Nixon coming. And I clamored for a world where we were less silent – especially about how we all had something to discuss among our majority selves.

 
          First Summary Blog post: Work-Life Balance        
There are over 1000 blog posts on the women in astronomy blog! The summary blog posts are a series of posts that summarize some of the major topics covered in the women in astronomy blog. They are intended to be part summary of topics covered as well as to add some updated information on those topics. Please suggest other topics in the comments!

Sometimes the best work-life balance is to do both at the same time! One of my hobbies is to play with various aspects of 3D printing. I am demonstrating what my 3D printer can do at the annual Institute for Astronomy Open House
The first topic for the summary blog posts is on work-life balance. Why? Because it's Sunday, and I'm splitting my day between writing this blog post, preparing for an upcoming conference, and keeping the Pan-STARRS processing moving along.  Clearly, I need to work on my work-life balance.  Since I don't have kids, I'm primarily interested in how to make it so that I do more than just work.  For me, posts that discuss how to set boundaries, how to say no to things, and how to set a reasonable number of hours to work are what I consider 'work-life balance'. When writing this post, I discovered that the majority of the blog posts on work-life balance are geared towards balancing a family and a career. However, I caution it's not just the women (and men!) with children that want to manage work-life balance, this is something that probably all of us can work on. Making a workplace culture more flexible and family friendly helps everyone out.  


I did a search for 'work-life balance' on this blog, and came up with 174 matching entries.  I sifted through all of these, sorted and culled them, found updated links, and organized them into several categories. 

Career Profiles

The first set of links comes from the career profiles.  These always have a few sections on work-life balance. Easiest is to look them up directly here, and click on the ones that are most relevant.  You can also find all of them using tags on the women in astronomy blog, here, including a handful that are not listed on the aas.org site. The 2 questions that I find have the most relevant answers about work-life balance are  "How satisfied are you with your work-life balance in your current job? How family-friendly is your current position?", and "How many hours do you work in a week?"

Work Life Balance issues relating to balancing career and raising a family

- When to have kids


Gender Politics -- work-life balance for families including when to have kids

- When pregnant

I’m planning a research sabbatical next year and by the way, we’re expecting a kid -- being pregnant at the same time as being on a research sabbatical


NSF's Career-Life Balance Initiative: A Small Success Story -- using the NSF Career-Life Balance initiative to shift a start date

Rising to the Challenge -- personal story of work-life balance (cancer / defense / moving / having a kid)

Parental leave policies 2.0 -- a lot of resources about parental leave listed here

Family Leave - International Comparison -- comparison of family leave policies for various countries

CSWA Special Session at the AAS: Family Leave Policies -- primarily talks about grad and postdoc leave policies

- When you have kids

It Gets Easier -- balancing work-life gets easier as your child gets older

Work-Family: It's Not Always About Balance -- it's possible at times to have work-family in harmony

Postdoc Parenting Work-Life Balance  -- discusses childcare (including links to other posts), has information on parental leave as well

Guest Post: Graduate Student Mom -- discusses talking with advisor about pregnancy, plans for childcare, and lessons learned 

Guest Post: Eliza Kempton on Support for a Working Mom with Facebook -- it's useful to reach out on facebook when you are feeling overwhelmed - lots of great responses

Work-Life Balance: Theory and Practice -- it's important for senior colleagues to model a balanced life for younger scientists.  This one discusses flexibility in childcare.

- Policies for promoting work-life balance (primarily geared towards families)

Thoughts on Work-Life Balance  -- how will academic institutions improve work-life balance?

Balance: a generational divide -- policies for promoting work-life balance, as well as comparisons between different generations of astronomers on views of work-life balance

AASWOMEN for October 29, 2010 -- suggestions for policies for work-life balance and a few links (item #2) 

Report from Special Session on Diversity at Austin AAS -- bullet points on how to make a place more family friendly

CSWA Response to the NSF Career-Life Initiative -- CSWA's response to the NSF's request for ideas and recommendations for the Career-Life Initiative

Toward More Inclusive Family-Friendly Policies  -- From Jan 2013 STATUS, an article discussing that why we need to stop asking if women can have it all, and ideas for family friendly policies 

- How to balance observing with childcare

Guest Post: Eilat Glikman on 'In Praise of Remote Observing' -- remote observing is very work-life balance friendly

The Canary Islands, Observing Runs, and Children -- childcare is a research enabling expense, and we should find ways to reimburse it

Work Life Balance issues that can affect everyone 

- things you can do

What Can I Do? Give a Talk on a Women-in-Science Topic -- suggests hosting talks in your department about women-in-science topics

One Man's Perspective on Diversity and Inequality in Science -- the end of the article discusses how work life balance issues affect everyone, including single people and those without children

Work-life Balance: Hours -- protecting your hours, only working 40-50 hours a week

Celebrate Labor Day by Fixing Your Email Problem  -- a plan to try to limit the checking and answering of emails during non-work times

The Awesomest 7-Year Post-Doc -- a list of great ideas to set boundaries and enjoy life

Don’t Masculinize the Letter of Recommendation: Towards a Truly Gender-Brave Science Community -- don't mention work-life balance in your recommendation letters, it's a form of gender bias 

Encouraging Men to Advocate for Women in Astronomy -- lists a number of reasons why men should advocate for women in astronomy

Guest Post: Nicole Zellner on Vibrant Research at a Liberal Arts College -- Nicole describes how she balances different aspects of her work

Report on “NextGen VOICES Results: Work-Life Balance” -- from Jan 2014 STATUS, article on work-life balance, great suggestions for things you can do.

- more information and links

“What Balance?” Lessons from the AAS Special Work/Life Balance panel, January 11, 2011 in Seattle, WA  -- from Jan 2012 STATUS, a list of myths and realities for work-life balance
From AASWomen for March 22, 2013 -- a link to a NYTimes article on a discussion of work-life balancfrom Erin Callan, former chief financial officer of Lehman Brothers.

WIA 2009 - results?  -- women are more negatively impacted than men when they pursue work-life balance

Summit on Gender and the Postdoctorate: vol. 2 -- why do people leave academia? men cite money reasons, not even in top 10 for women

From AASWomen for August 16, 2013, this link  --  compares the levels of work-life balance achieved by parents and non-parents

The Post Postdoc Phase -- good work-life balance discussion as a faculty at a 4th tier university

AASWomen Newsletter 10/23/09 has information about http://www.mentornet.net -- this one specifically mentions work-life balance as something to be mentored on

CSWA resource on work-life balance  -- it has many links and resources not listed on this blog post

Women of Color in Astronomy and Astrophysics -- there are many barriers for women of color, #9 specifically talk about work-life balance

Reaching Parity: Lessons from the NSF AAPF -- lists major actions that make AAPF successful at achieving parity and which can be adapted by others

Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities -- discussion about a short video "Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities", which includes work-life balance


          MicrosoftDynamicsVoice: Finding -- And Keeping -- Your Newest Employee When There Is A Generational Divide        
Maintaining client relationships, delivering on commitments, and building the firm’s brand all depend on assigning the right people to work with each client despite the digital, generational, and cultural divides that permeate today’s changing workforce. Professional services firms live or die by their ability to attract, hire, retain, and motivate [...]
          How to Use Online Games and Activities to Connect to Grandchildren        
This feature for The Wall Street Journal spells out the way online activities like Minecraft, social media and geocaching can bridge the generational divide.
          Do You Think Technology Brings Grandparents and Grandchildren Closer Together?        

­ Technology is bridging the generational divide and bringing grandparents and grandchildren closer together, especially when geography is a factor, a joint study by AARP and Microsoft reports. The study, “Connecting Generations,” revealed that through technology, teens are actually communicating with their grandparents more than they have in the past. How Technology Brings Grandparents and Grandchildren […]

The post Do You Think Technology Brings Grandparents and Grandchildren Closer Together? appeared first on Grand Magazine.


          Glenn Loury & Harold Pollack        
On The Glenn Show, Glenn asks Harold whether social science can make sense of the massacre in Newtown. Harold is disturbed by the way that gun manufacturers advertise their wares and by the "fundamental unreasonableness" of many gun enthusiasts. They also debunk some pernicious myths about guns. Looking back at the election, Harold tries to cure Glenn of his political cynicism. Glenn expresses skepticism about the triumphal narrative of immigration reform. They close with a personal discussion of the generational divide over issues like same-sex marriage.
          Generational Divide Among Prosecutors: Who is Right?        
Attorney General Jeff Sessions supports mandatory minimum sentences, but a different breed of often younger prosecutors like District Attorney Kim Ogg in Houston believe that a more nuanced approach is needed.
          Brimming With Enthusiasm        

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At Star of the West in Belle Fourche, Brad Montague makes cowboy hats for West River ranchers as well as sports and television stars.

Is the generational divide over cowboy hat brim width just another indicator of the deepening socio-aesthetic chasms in our nation? Probably not. In any case, wide or tight, Brad Montague at Star of the West can shape you up. 

He’s been shaping hats since he was knee-high to a buckaroo in Fruitdale, just east of Belle Fourche. “As a kid growing up wearing hats all the time,” Montague recalls, “we had to learn to shape our own hats. We had a pan with a little knob on the top that you could take a screw out and pull the knob off, and when it started boiling it shot steam. So we’d stand over the pan and steam our own hats and shape them.”   

He didn’t know then that standing over that jerry-rigged steam kettle, he was shaping more than just his hat. 

Much of what makes a hat unique is in the curvature of crown or brim. “In my opinion," he says, "the harder part of making a hat is the shaping.”

A hat's shape conveys subtle messages about the age, persona or social milieu of the wearer. The “taco” look — a high, narrow crease in the crown that looks ripe for a spoonful of carne asada — is popular on the horse show circuit. The "cattleman" crease is a little wider and tends to be favored by more mature cowboys. 

Brim width tends to correspond with age. “For years, the standard brim width of a hat was 4 inches. You’re starting to see the factory hats go to 4 and a quarter. A quarter inch doesn’t sound like much, but when you add a half inch in diameter it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the hat.”

“When you start getting into the older generations — 70s and up — you’ll see them going to a 3 and a half inch brim as opposed to a 4.” 

Montague understands the visual subtexts communicated by a hat. More importantly, he intuitively understands how to formalize that visual language with his hands. And he knows what every cowboy used to know — that while styles can fade, a hat made of the right materials will endure.    

Like most makers of Western hats, Montague uses the “X” rating system (unrelated to the old MPAA rating) to grade his hats. “The higher the Xs, the more quality and durability you get.” 

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Montague begins with a raw hat body and shaves away any excess felt before shaping the crown over a hat block.

But he doesn’t necessarily recommend relying on the rating system. “For years, Xs meant a lot more than they do now.” A higher “X” rating on a hat will generally mean a higher ratio of wild fur, but there is no governing body to set exact requirements for any given rating. “Anybody can label whatever they want.”

“If you take a hat from the ’60s or ’70s and it’s labeled as a 3X, you’ll find that little 3x is probably better than most of the 10Xs nowadays.” 

Montague uses rabbit and beaver fur exclusively. A higher “X” rating means a higher percentage of beaver fur. More fine, short beaver hairs make for a stronger, more compact hat.

Older cowboys and cowgirls know this, but, “It’s gotten to the point that somebody my age or a little younger can’t feel a hat. I’ve had people come in here and argue with me that the higher quality the hat, the thicker the material is. No, that’s a lesser quality felt.”

Somewhere along the way, a tactile kind of knowledge was lost. People lost touch with their hats and started relying on the labels. “Cowboys that have been wearing hats their whole life will tell you that the movie Urban Cowboy is what killed it.” Not because John Travolta wasn’t true West, but because the movie’s popularity triggered a wave of hat inflation. Xs became status symbols rather than a measure of dependability. 

“Around here, most people buy a hat to wear for dress, but eventually they make a work hat out of it. They wear it on a daily basis where it’s going to shed the sun, rain, the snow — the durability becomes a big issue. You know, if you’re going to spend $400 on a hat, you want something that’s going to hold up.”
 
Like most custom hatters in the U.S., Montague gets his felt hat bodies from Winchester, Tennessee. The Winchester Hat Corporation processes beaver, rabbit and other furs and forms them, with liberal use of steam, into a basic hat body. 

At this point the hat body is cone-shaped and looks something like the hat worn by your classic hillbilly caricature. Maybe real hillbillies saved moonshine money by buying unfinished hat bodies directly from Winchester. 

Cowboys are more particular about their hats.

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Ironing helps shape the brim, which typically finishes right around 4 inches wide.

Montague starts with the raw hat body, molds it into the crown height he needs by pulling it tight over a hat block, cuts the brim to the desired width, irons out the Dionysian hillbilly lilt and forms a forward-facing Apollonian ellipse — a brim built to unfurl the Plains beneath a gaze like a hot branding iron. Nature renounces chaos beneath the benevolent tyranny of the brim, huddling into ordered bands like branded beeves. Rattles cease abruptly as its power surges over the land like a spinning blade severing serpent heads. Voles hunker. Storm clouds dissipate. Raptors trace its lines with flight.  

That this instrument, so crucial to the breaking and taming of nature, itself comes from nature … well, Mother Nature should have seen that one coming. What else could the beaver portend? The beaver — nature’s self-intervention, altering ecosystems with its chompers and can-do. The beaver, whose pelt-money would launch wars and help John Jacob Astor build Manhattan, whose tail would make Davy Crockett a living legend. Of course the hat that donned the heads that broke and platted the Plains would be prized above all for how much of it was beaver.   

Montague moved to Rapid City in the 1990s. He’d been working construction in the summers and took a winter job at the since-closed Western Way Work Warehouse. “Once they figured out I knew how to shape a hat, they paid me enough to keep me on.” 

A couple years later, previous Star of the West owner Todd Christenson called him and offered him job. The plan was to take six months to apprentice Montague in hat making, then eventually sell him the store. “I’m one of those, if I can watch you do something, I can pick it up,” he says. “So I’d get ahead of what I was doing, and I’d watch [Christensen] finishing the hats. He was gone one Saturday, so I went to finishing hats. He came in that Monday and said, ‘Well, you got it figured out. Holler if you need anything.’” Montague was running the store within a month, and bought it out four years later.             
 
Six days a week he takes felt hat bodies from Winchester — made up of more or less beaver depending on the X-quality the customer wants and is willing to pay for — shaves the excess felt down to an impervious surface, shapes the crown to the bespoke needs of the buyer, cuts, embosses and sews in the goat skin sweatband (“they cost a little bit more, but in the long run they’re more durable”), and makes hats out of them. He shoots for three per day on average. 

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A hat's crease says a lot about its wearer. High and narrow creases are popular on the horse show circuit, while cattlemen often prefer a wider crease.

His shop is a like an enclosed fumarole. Most steps in the process involve plenty of steam. Steam, shape, steam, cut, steam some more. Gradually the union of heat, moisture and fur spawns something obdurate and supple.

“There are a lot of tools that take the hands-on thing out of it, but the more machines you get involved, the less custom-made it is.”

And a truly custom-made hat is getting harder to find. Since the 1990s, Western wear retail options have been steadily diminished, in Rapid City and the region. Even Pete’s Clothing in Belle Fourche — the local shop Montague grew up with — will close in the next few months. Consolidation means it’s harder to find something unique. And custom craftspersons with their own storefront are more rare than the shrinking number of Western wear outlets. He estimates there might be 50 makers of custom Western-style hats in the country. That’s why people come from far and wide to Star of the West. 

“If you’re wanting anything different than what the shelf hats are,” says Montague, “you’ve got to come to me.”

Cowboys and cowgirls have noticed, including some noteworthy athletes.

“There was a year I think I had 10 of the top 15 bare back riders in the world wearing my hats.”

The walls of his store are lined with pictures of rodeo stars and country musicians wearing his hats. The most star struck he ever felt was when country artist Bobby Bare walked in. Outside of American ranch country, he ships hats to Japan, Australia, Russia and the UK. He’s even been commissioned to hat the casts of TV series like Fargo and Hell on Wheels

Western styles are his bread and butter, but not a bridle on his powers of expression. 

“I actually built a steampunk [fedora] here not too long ago.” 

Still, the only trade show he does is the Black Hills Stock Show. Winter is his busiest time. Once calving season starts, some people might not make it to the shop for a while. “Hats will start to pile up on the floor.”

“A lot of my customers are people like me, people that I grew up with, that are interested in a lot of the same things. And the ones that aren’t cowboys, ranchers and all that — you get to learn.”

Michael Zimny is the social media engagement specialist for South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion. He blogs for SDPB and contributes arts columns to the South Dakota Magazine website.