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Kevin O'Neill
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My Saturday morning listening list

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
Canadian professor Robert Altemeyer has researched and studied this area for decades.  His book, The Authoritarians, goes into a lot of detail on the differences between authoritarian followers and those not so disposed.

The book is available as a free PDF.
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
I'm never sure when I see this discussion at what level it is supposed to hold true.  Very few authors portray any characters that I find believable.  'Believable' in that they reflect my experience.  

We each have only our own internal dialogues with which to compare.  The question becomes: Is my experience unique?  And that disregards the question of how well we even know our own thoughts, motivations, biases, prejudices, etc. It's hard to even objectively monitor my own internal thought processes, actions, and the resulting consequences. Especially since there are often many things going on at once and rarely in nice sequential order.

Joyce, in <i>Ulysses</i>, probably comes closest to being believable (to me). By tacit agreement we've decided that Joyce's level of detail isn't necessary.  Instead, most authors rely upon various conventions, archetypes, stereotypes, caricatures, and genre-specific memes to help fill in the missing pieces.

We are often asked to suspend our disbelief not just for  the existence of FTL drives and Elvish maidens, but for truly believable characters and/or their relationships.  This works as long as we don't examine too closely.

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
I have enjoyed stories by authors who have far different politics than mine, but only when they either stay away from ideology or tread lightly on the polemic.

Otherwise the story becomes an internal argument where I find myself constantly thinking, "Oh, c'mon. Use your freakin' brain. "  It's more annoying than anything, like constant typos or poor editing.

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
Hmmm .... comment deleted accidentally or intentionally?

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
Life and people are far more complex and interesting and frustrating than Brownson's quote would have us believe.

It doesn't explain the many whites who fought for civil rights for blacks.  It doesn't explain the many moderate to wealthy Americans who fight poverty.  Nor does it explain the many poor and middle class who promote and sustain policies that benefit the wealthy.

In any area of social, political, or economic conflict there are positions of self-interest and positions of altruism.  No class or easily identifiable group of people is entirely homogenous.

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
http://thegrio.com/2013/12/04/us-airman-stands-his-ground-in-florida-sentenced-to-25-years/

This story highlights so many wrongs I don't know where to start. Racism, handguns, violence culture, perverse christianity, mandatory minimum sentencing - one little vignette that just leaves me with a big sigh.

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
Jonathan Cook, in <a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/06/mandela-a-dissenting-opinion/">Mandela: A Dissenting Opinion</a> writes:

"It is an indication of what Mandela was up against that the man who fought so hard and long against a brutal apartheid regime was so completely defeated when he took power in South Africa. That was because he was no longer struggling against a rogue regime but against the existing order, a global corporate system of power that he had no hope of challenging alone."

"It is for that reason, rather simply to be contrarian, that I raise these failings. Or rather, they were not Mandela’s failings, but ours. Because, as I suspect Mandela realised only too well, one cannot lead a revolution when there are no followers."

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Kevin O'Neill commented on a post on Blogger.
Luke 6:29 
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

Somehow I don't interpret this to mean: Stand your ground! Pull out a gun and shoot the #!%$^#@.
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