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EP PODCASTSXML

July 20, 2007

Reivers' Redress

Deer Hunting With Jesus coverHoward Zinn says that Joe Bageant "...evokes working class America like no one else." Joe does, in fact, bring us a large dose of raw intelligence from the hinterlands. And a particularly convincing argument, laid out more fully in his recent book Deer Hunting With Jesus, why if the Democrats can't enlist poor white working people they'll not only continue to lose elections but could hardly be called the "liberal" party. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Joe — I not only appreciate his taking the time, but in opening up in a very personal way Joe reminds us what's really important. This is a long conversation with a total runtime of an hour and forty seven minutes. Enjoy!

Listen

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Comments


Got to comment!

I was thrilled by what Joe said about Studs Terkel! What an endorsement!

I just got Bageant's book and am in Chapter Three. Boy! Doesn't he say it all!

Comments after listening to this program:

On education: student debt is lifetime indenture — slavery?

On public libraries: they seem to teeter on despite being possibly our strongest foundation of freedom in this country.

On San Francisco "liberals" — I won't pursue that here — save saying you can tell a lot about the ones who can't be parted from their bottled water.

On the future: God bless Cynthia McKinney — if only the folks in Winchester would give her a listen! Or even my fellow San Francisco "progressives" for that matter!

On serving in the Third World and wherever help is needed: Maybe it's my own Scots-Irish inculcation that has me believing that there is infinite good work needed to be done. Too many of us are under and mis-employed in this country that only values us as consumers.

Nancy McGirr is a great example of another person who found a way outside of the box (an ex-Reuters photojournalist). Look what she has done in Guatamala:

http://www.fotokids.org/

If only America had a real Peace Corps (that payed for education like the G.I. bill once did) — one that better fulfills the spirit it touts.

They always say that it is independent, but why was a CIA recruiter attending an orientation I once did?


I've read Joe's articles many times on Dissident Voice and other sites, and I've heard him interviewed.

While I agree with him in some ways, I think his demands that we somehow "frame" real problems in terms that won't conflict with people's devotion to their religion, their materialism, or their affection for war and violence is in many ways just an intellectual exercise. In fact, it reminds me of demands that Democrats do more to appeal to theocratic evangelicals.

In many ways, it is itself a cynical and nihilistic view because it implies that the very people who need to be educated and informed not only CAN'T be educated, but that to do so is somehow "elitist."


I was thrilled to see that you have an interview with Joe Bageant. I've been reading him on the Internet for several years and he has been and is one of my favorite commentators on life in America. I very much enjoyed the interview as I did his book, which I finished reading this morning.

I find Joe Bageant very valuable, because he emphasizes two points which you don't hear very much about. First, that there are a lot of people (the ones he writes about) in America who are essentially ignored by the popular culture, but yet who are very significant for many reasons (which he also writes about).

The second reason I really like Joe Bageant is because he has compassion for people, he listens to them. I think he would agree with what Kurt Vonnegut reported his grownup son told him when he asked the big question about life, "Father, we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."

I believe that this ethos is natural to human beings, but has been suppressed in many of us primarily due to living in a capitalist dominated world, but also due to the psychological damage done to us as children by our parents, that the Swiss psychologist Alice Miller has documented so well. (Perhaps the damage that Alice Miller describes is responsible for allowing capitalism to flourish). In any case, I believe that this ethos of looking out for each other is necessary to avoid the many horrors that loom in our future (global warming, peak oil, etc.) and Joe understands this and articulates it very well. I also, George, hope that he writes some more books.

So thank you very much for having Joe Bageant on your show!


Really enjoyed this. Seems a kindred soul. I have written a book that covers some of the same issues: peak oil, class struggle, etc. But also deals with matters of spirituality and reconciling the teachings of Jesus with modern Christianity.

As he suggests, there's no market for such a book with corporate publishers.

My book, Ruminations from the Garden, paints a picture of the world from the vantage point of a garden in Seguin, Texas, grown amidst big corporate farms without benefit of fuel or modern equipment and the implications Peak Oil will have on our ability to grow food.


Joe Bageant is a great writer. I've only read his essays, but I'm particular to the essay format. He's got Hunter S. Thompson and John Steinbeck.


Thanks for the interview, at least I know how to pronounce his name now...

Joe has put a lot of good stuff in the book and the interview was great. I could really identify with the Scots-Irish Borderers , being from a frontier area myself.

In the interview, there was a side comment about a mean streak in the Scots-Irish. I think this is something that you have to 'be one to know one', and the Lyndie England story brought tears to my eyes, thinking of how that mean streak is really in us all as humans, but until we acknowledge it, we won't be human. The primitiveness of the Borderers and the simpleness of life on frontier should be enhanced by education, rather than shunned by it. Until we truly understand the connections between the human predator and the human civilizers, we will not know what it means to be fully alive.
As for the morality quest, I wish Joe all the luck in the world catching up...;-)

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