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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – October 10, 2023

War, peace and Taylor Swift

Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune
  1. How We Talk About Peace
  2. Why Conservatives Fear Taylor
  3. Violence at Planned Parenthood Center
  4. Maine Push for Public Utilities
  5. Is SCOTUS Getting a Clue?
  6. Subway Buskers
  7. Swedish Culture War: Made in USA
  8. Lessons From a Strippers’ Strike
  9. Radical Roots of Renaissance Fairs
  10. Shawn Fain, Christian Radical


How We Talk About Peace

By Peter Dixon, Amy E Lerman, Fiorella Vera-Adrianzén and Naomi Levy
The Conversation

When public opinion polls in the U.S. ask people about peace, it’s either in the context of religion or world peace. Instead of using the word peace, Americans are more likely to say that they care deeply about safety and security and issues like terrorism, crime, illegal drugs and immigration. But they still care about the same things people in places that have faced war are focused on.

Why Conservatives Fear Taylor

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By Olivia Luppino

Travis Kelce has Bud Light and Pfizer COVID vaccine partnerships. Taylor Swift spoke out against Donald Trump, baked Biden Harris cookies one time and has had her unabashedly female and queer fanbase infiltrating football stadiums all summer. Naturally, the right decided to wage war against the potential couple, but it's a tougher battle than they think.

Violence at Planned Parenthood Center

By Jonathon Ambarian

Helena Police say someone fired two shots at the front entry of a Planned Parenthood center in Helena Thursday afternoon. Friday morning, anti-abortion protesters with the group 40 Days for Life were protesting outside the Helena Planned Parenthood center. During the last two Montana legislative sessions, state lawmakers have passed a series of tighter restrictions on abortion.

Maine Push for Public Utilities

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

As Election Day nears, climate and economic justice advocates are calling on voters in Maine to approve an historic referendum that would initiate a public takeover of Maine's two for-profit utilities—a move which public power experts say could bring about a sea change in public utility ownership and lower rates for consumers while building resistance to fossil fuel infrastructure.

Is SCOTUS Getting a Clue?

By Dahlia Lithwick

The Supreme Court soundly rejected and repudiated the Alabama Legislature’s efforts to ignore its June holding in the Voting Rights Act case. It is the Supreme Court that at least sounded, this past Tuesday, as though it wasn’t all that interested in striking down entire federal agencies as unconstitutional. It's the only entity that seems to have been working to get its own crazy under control.

Subway Buskers

By Lydia Wei
The Indypendent

We speak to a collection of subway buskers — including a blues piano player, an experimental cello-maker, a singer-songwriter, and a psychic rapper — to learn more about their worlds.

Swedish Culture War: Made in USA

By Martin Gelin
The Guardian

Politics in Sweden used to be reliably boring; a sure sign of a healthy democracy. But over the past few years, something has genuinely changed. The political discourse is aggressive, focused on the culture wars, and seems stuck in a constant mode of outrage. The shrill vocabulary often seems to be lifted straight from American cable news. 

Lessons From a Strippers’ Strike

By Maria Esch
Waging Nonviolence

At a time when labor strikes are escalating across a wide variety of industries, these Los Angeles strippers' techniques could prove fruitful to new organizing efforts.

Radical Roots of Renaissance Fairs

By Gillian Bagwell
Smithsonian Magazine

United by their raucous entertainment, elaborate costumes and setting in the distant past, these outdoor events boast a surprising backstory. The country’s first Renaissance Pleasure Faire, staged in Los Angeles in May 1963, was inextricably linked to the Red Scare.

Shawn Fain, Christian Radical

By Heath W. Carter

Mixing Bible verses with class-struggle rhetoric, Shawn Fain’s pro-labor Christianity has baffled some in the media. But the UAW leader stands in a rich tradition brimming with scripture-quoting union workers and labor prophets like Eugene Debs and MLK.