African-American Humor: The Best Black Comedy From Slavery To Today is a collection of anecdotes, jokes, sayings, and mini-biographies of influential African-American comedians, providing a broad reflection of the African-American experience in America. With history as a backdrop, author Mel Watkins, shows how humor played, and continues to play, an important role in not just the African-American community, but in America generally.
Carl Jung is the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist that founded “analytical psychology.” Analytical psychology focuses on the whole of the human being, believing that the unconscious mind is a source for healing and the development of an individual’s soul. The conscious mind can interact with its unconscious counterpart by observing and interpreting symbols encountered during one’s life. Such symbols can appear in the form of synchronous events – the occurrence of meaningful coincidences. It is this concept that author Ira Progoff focuses on, providing an overview of Jung’s research, and some of his thoughts and research as well.
From the book: Do you hunger for skills to improve the quality of your relationships, to deepen your sense of personal empowerment or to simply communicate more effectively? Unfortunately, for centuries our culture has taught us to think and speak in ways that can actually perpetuate conflict, internal pain and even violence. Nonviolent Communication partners practical skills with a powerful consciousness and vocabulary to help you get what you want peacefully.
This is an interview with Randall Robinson on his newest book, Makeda. The book is set at the dawn of the civil rights era and follows a young man coming of age in segregated Richmond, Virginia. Through his blind grandmother, who remembers past lives from the 1300s and shares with him her visions on the workings of the interplanetary system, the protagonist discovers his roots in Africa and experiences personal transformation. The book follows the protagonist through this discovery, illustrating the complexity of his life, and the moment he lived through.
From the author: This novel is the story of an extraordinary woman who is a poor, blind waitress in Richmond, Virginia, who remembers past lives … and she tells it to her grandson, who wants to be a writer. And they have a special relationship. And she swears him to secrecy that he tell no one that she has these memories, or people will think she’s a bit fruity, as she says. But she remembers these lives in extraordinary detail. And he is inspired by it. He gains his confidence from it. And this is, of course, to symbolize the enormous consequence. Sometimes when we think of slavery, we calculate the economic consequence of it. But we have not calculated the psychosocial consequence of it, unless we factor in the loss of memory, which was occasioned by a deliberate and systematic program imposed from those—by those who controlled us.
In the Lost Star of Myth And Time, author, Walter Cruttenden, presents evidence for an alternative theory of history, one that is a modern take on an ancient science that posits the solar system revolves in a 24,000-year cycle around a companion star. As it does, the Earth is carried through the magnetic or electromagnetic (EM) field of the other star, similar to but different from the EM spectrum of our own Sun, causing subtle changes in human consciousness over long sweeps of time. Just as night and day and the changing seasons are caused by the dance of our Earth and Sun, so too is all life gradually affected by a larger celestial motion: the dance of our solar system with another star, interacting with subtle forces in local space.
What is The Gutenberg Galaxy? It is [Marshall] McLuhan’s term to describe the post-printing press world, and it is home to a whole lot of knowledge, thoughts, and ideas. In short, you might say that the galaxy consists of anything that’s ever been printed. The Wikipedia page for this book has an estimate for just how big the Gutenberg galaxy might be: in 2004/2005, the British Library had more than 97 million items, while the Library of Congress had more than 130 million.
The general trend Putnam [the author] illustrates is that between 1900 and the mid 1930s, civic engagement was consistently moderate, but then an explosion of activity occurred between the 1940s and the mid 1960s. This period correlates to when people born between 1910 and 1940 started coming of age. Ever since then, participation has declined. This trend is illustrated best by the rise and decline of league bowling. Believe it or not, “bowling is the most popular competitive sport in America. Bowlers outnumber joggers, golfers, or softball players more than two to one, soccer players (including kids) by more than three to one, and tennis players or skiers by four to one.” [hence, the title of the book]
The holidays are part and parcel of the gross fraud, wrong, and inhumanity of slavery. They are professedly a custom established by the benevolence of the slaveholders; but I undertake to say, it is the result of selfishness, and one of the grossest frauds committed upon the down-trodden slave. They do not give the slaves this time because they would not like to have their work during its continuance, but because they know it would be unsafe to deprive them of it. This will be seen by the fact, that the slaveholders like to have their slaves spend those days just in such a manner as to make them as glad of their ending as of their beginning. Their object seems to be, to disgust their slaves with freedom, by plunging them into the lowest depths of dissipation.
In my analysis of the issues plaguing American society, greed plays a significant and influential role. But as the sociologist, Max Weber, wrote in 1905 in The Protestant Ethic & The Spirit of Capitalism, “People do not wish ‘by nature’ to earn more and more money. Instead, they wish simply to live, and to live as they have been accustomed and to earn as much as is required to do so.” So then, where does this quest for personal wealth come from? The Protestant Ethic & The Spirit of Capitalism explains how personal wealth became to the faithful, actual evidence of their salvation status.
As we move further into this digital age, we have to be aware of how radically different our world is becoming, especially when comparing it to the industrial age our parents and grandparents grew up in. The digital age makes necessary “a huge increase in the number of people paid to think or talk, rather than to produce or transport objects”. As others have said before him, Clay Shirky makes it extremely evident that we are living in a world of bits, not atoms. For instance, in analyzing Napster’s success, Shirky writes that “Napster, like all forms of digital data sharing, took advantage of the fact that music could now be shared like thoughts rather than like objects.” Music shared like thoughts, rather than like objects. Bits of information, rather than atoms of matter.