• Lawrence Ferlinghetti is still revolutionary at age 100 – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/03/lawrence-ferlinghetti-is-still-revolutionary-at-age-100

    Poet, retail entrepreneur, social critic, publisher, combat veteran, pacifist, poor boy, privileged boy, outspoken socialist and successful capitalist, with roots in the East Coast and the West Coast (as well as Paris), Ferlinghetti has not just survived for a century: He epitomizes the American culture of that century.

    Specifically, he has been a unique protagonist in a national drama: the American struggle to imagine a democratic culture. How does the ideal of social mobility affect notions of high and low, Europe and the New World, tradition and progress? That struggle of imagination underlies the art of Walt Whitman and Duke Ellington, Emily Dickinson and Buster Keaton. It also underlies a range of American issues, from the segregation of public schools to the reality of human-caused climate change. Those political issues involve our interbreeding of the highbrow and the vulgarian in a supercharged process whose complexities defy simplifying terms like “culture wars.”

    The founder of the San Francisco landmark City Lights bookshop rang in the turn of his very own century as his adopted city—he’s originally from New York—celebrated “Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day,” one of many centennial celebrations held throughout March in his honor.

    Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, who once worked at City Lights and has been a lifelong friend of Ferlinghetti, writes about the city’s festivities, “Lawrence turns 100 today and poetry owns the Barbary Coast in a wild romp of readings at bars, galleries, and other watering holes in North Beach around Broadway and Columbus where City Lights Bookstore still stands as the best rebuke to the slick mindlessness of capitalist culture that now overwhelms Ferlinghetti’s once beloved bohemian San Francisco.”

    #Lawrence_Ferlinghetti #Belle_personne #City_lights

  • ‘Ravenous hysteria’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says attacks from Republican extremists have reached a ‘ludicrous level’ in New Yorker interview – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/03/ravenous-hysteria-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-says-attacks-from-republican-ex

    If a smartphone video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jaywalking in Midtown Manhattan were to surface, someone on the far right would inevitably be tweeting about how “scandalous” it was. Hysterical, incredibly silly attacks on the 29-year-old Democratic congresswoman have become a regular occurrence among Republicans, and the New Yorker’s David Remnick explores the ridiculous nature of the attacks in a new interview with her.

    Remnick notes that Republicans have been resorting to “phony memes” about everything from “her clothes, her makeup, her intellect, her boyfriend, her apartment building” to “her dance routine from her days at Boston University.”

    And Ocasio-Cortez asserts that the “ravenous hysteria” she is experiencing from the far right is “really getting to a level that is kind of out of control.”

    The article’s headline, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Coming for Your Hamburgers!,” is clearly mocking the over-the-top criticism of her coming from Republicans—which Ocasio-Cortez finds both frustrating and amusing. Discussing Republicans’ reactions to her Green New Deal proposals on climate change, Ocasio-Cortez tells Remnick, “Apparently, I am a cow dictator. What’s humorous to me is that we’re finally proposing a clear, ambitious, but necessary and grounded policy on the scale of the problem. And so, it’s hard for the Republicans to refute the actual policy on its substance. They resort to mythologizing it on a ludicrous level. Ted Cruz says we want to ‘kill all the cows.’ How far have we slid in our discourse? But that’s what half our political representation is up to.”

    Remnick asserts that the GOP’s demonization of Ocasio-Cortez is meant to discredit Democrats in general as President Donald Trump fights to win a second term in 2020. Trump, Remnick writes, “made clear in his State of the Union Address” that he “will try to hang ‘socialism’ around the neck of the Democratic Party” and “describe the Democratic candidate as the second coming of (North Korean dictator) Kim Jong Un…. That will surely be the move, and Ocasio-Cortez, who is six years short of eligibility for the presidency, will surely be a focal point of Trump’s tantrums.”

    Remnick concludes the piece by noting that Ocasio-Cortez cannot be the only one to address issues like climate change, universal health care and raising the United States’ national minimum wage.

    #Alexandria_Ocasio_Cortez #Campagne_hystérique