Review: The New Prophets of Capital

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Last night I finished reading Nicole Aschoff’s new book, The New Prophets of Capital, which was published as part of the Jacobin series of books. Here’s a description from their website of their book series:

The Jacobin series features short interrogations of politics, economics, and culture from a socialist perspective, as an avenue to radical political practice. The books offer critical analysis and engagement with the history and ideas of the Left in an accessible format.

And by the way, if you don’t know what Jacobin magazine is, you should take a look. I recently signed up to receive the paper versions of all of their magazines and books, which was my version of a donation to a good and very thoughtful cause.

Aschoff’s book explores the storytelling nature of modern capitalism and neoliberalism, and focuses on the underlying assumptions, as seen through four larger-than-life figures: Sheryl Sandberg, Whole Foods founder John…

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One time in comics: Peter Parker skipped the air pollution rally

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This story is from Amazing Spider-Man #89-90, and was re-told in Marvel Tales #70-71 (from which the images below are taken)

Back in 1976, Peter Parker was invited to join a march in the streets of New York City. Robbie Robertson, editor at the Daily Bugle and man with a mind towards improving society, let Peter know the event was happening, and that he was expected to participate.
IMG_6319I absolutely love this page. Every single panel is crucial to a subplot that is given two full pages here, then another few panels in the next issue, despite the sub- nature of this particular plot.

Robertson, one of the first black characters in comics to play a straight dramatic role, is given the space to promote the fight against pollution by Stan Lee (who wrote this book).IMG_6319Air pollution (then and now) is not just some cause to blow off, though…

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The Stake Podcast – RoboCop

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Director Paul Verhoeven once said that RoboCop is the American Jesus.

What does that mean? Verhoeven’s RoboCop is an ultra-violent sci-fi action movie that’s surprisingly funny—but does the film’s anti-corporate, anti-capitalist satire hit its mark? Chris ZF and Andrew talk about Verhoeven as auteur, whether the 1987 film was progressive for it’s time, and whether or not RoboCop is the ultimate American Jesus.

Listen to the episode on Libsyn, or find and follow the podcast on Stitcher or iTunes.

Next week: The Goonies turns 30 this year.

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Hilary Mantel’s The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

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by Levi C. Byers

Hilary Mantel continues to expand her readership as more people latch onto her brilliant Thomas Cromwell trilogy. This piece of historical fiction is the first taste of her work for a lot of us, and the final installment has yet to land (not to mention a TV adaptation that British viewers are enjoying as we speak, but which awaits stateside release). In the interim, a separate publisher has provided the ten short stories that make up The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher.

The opening shot, “Sorry to Disturb,” is a confusing gauge of what is to come. It paints a modern culture clash, with vague hints of a male threat against the female protagonist, and then fizzles with not much of an ending. Bad men, and infidelity specifically, are a regular occurrence in this collection. In “The Long QT” a wife comes upon her straying…

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