Fodder for #DEMANDside Argument: 12 Graphs to Make the Blood Boil

From Mother Jones, a dozen bits of graphic evidence that supply-side economics is the wrong medicine for what ails the US economy, if shared prosperity is the health standard for national prosperity. Just one pair makes that point perfectly:

GROWTH IS BACK…                                    …BUT JOBS AREN’T

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Spread the word: #Demandside

Three articles in today’s New York Times have only reinforced my determination to get the word #Demandside into the national conversation. I have little faith in anything, let alone American politics or the national discourse, but I do have utter faith in the notion that if our political so-called leaders do not return to pre-Reagan-era demand-side economics, we can kiss the prospect for shared prosperity good-bye. Continue reading

Writing Sample: Academic Paper

Witchcraft and Statecraft: The Political Uses of Magic in Shakespeare

If Shakespeare held his mirror up to Elizabethan and Jacobean society to produce his art, it was inevitable that he would catch his own image along with that of his society. The author’s image is, I think, most interestingly reflected in the passages of his plays that concern magic. I would not argue that Shakespeare presents the reader with any faithful self-portraits in a superficial sense. It is not necessary to take the monomaniacal Prospero in The Tempest, for example–Shakespeare’s most famous magic “artist”–as an autobiographical figure representing a one-to-one correspondence between the play’s author and its central figure. However, on a deeper level the magic of Prospero and the other magicians in Shakespeare’s plays reflects the artistry behind the scenes in a number of important ways.

Where magic is used by Shakespeare it inevitably serves as the engine by which the action is propelled forward, thus miming–in fact, dramatizing–the author’s structuring of the action. This self-reflective, mimetic function of Shakespeare’s magic is clearest in The Tempest, where Prospero’s magical “project” is the plot of the play. Yet even in Macbeth, in which magic is practiced by non-humans, the supernatural elements serve on one level to reveal in coded form the outcome of the dramatic action. Shakespeare’s magic also mimes the relationship between the author and the audience. The audience of Macbeth, for example, stands in relation to Shakespeare as Macbeth stands in relation to the Weird Sisters; in each case, the former is forced by the relationship to interpret the “imperfect”–that is, latent or not wholly manifest–signs of the latter. Continue reading

Writing Sample: Feature Article

Uptown: The New Downtown?

by Chris Pierson

At the intersection of Forest and Cumberland Avenue in the heart of Portland, four corners meet but do not shake hands.  On the southeast corner, the monolithic art deco AT&T building glowers across the street at a lonely vacant lot to the northeast.  A new parking garage on the southwest corner seems preoccupied with the developments in the condominium space at its foot.  And on the northwest corner, Thomas Moser Cabinetmakers, in an elegant civil war era residence, casts an interested eye on the less than harmonious proceedings all around. Continue reading

Welcome to My World

It’s good to be back in WordPress!

I’ve been unemployed for almost two months. In my last job, from which I was laid off rather abruptly, I spent a lot of time posting with WordPress. As I began looking for work, I gravitated to Tumblr, probably because my teenage daughter was raving about it. Fact is, though, it wasn’t doing much for me. I’m much more comfortable in this environment.

Here’s hoping it accomplishes for me what I want it to accomplish, namely:

  • To serve as a springboard for my job search
  • To serve as a home for my writing samples
  • To serve as a journal for my thoughts
  • To serve as a muse for those thoughts

We’ll see what other functions I can wring out of this blog as I go along.

Onward!