One of my earliest “wonky thinking” emails recommended listening to an interview of a bloke called Joe Bageant. A pregnant friend returned, in 2007, from doing a post-doc at a University in West Virginia. She was blown away by the wonky-ness of the US – for example, she couldn’t see the sense in going through her term there. Every time she went for an ante-natal checkup she saw a different doctor. This was so there was no likelihood of litigation if things went wrong i.e. no one doctor could take the fall. This required a complete recap of the medical history every visit! I shall not cover the racism and sexism that were prevalent, too, at the University. The good thing was she returned waving a copy of “Deerhunting with Jesus”. I was a convert from the first pages. JB was irreverent, iconoclastic, provocative, and clear sighted. On the backstreets he is acknowledged as a great man. Due to the way the system works, he was virtually unknown in the main street.
Tragically he died a week ago after a four month battle with cancer. He was a journalist and writer who was never allowed anywhere near the “infant” media – because of the truth that he spoke.
As a tribute to him there is a rebro of his interview from the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. In a far-reaching talk he touches on how the corporates own the “needs hierarchy”, the growth – scarcity conundrum of capitalism (and to cross-pollinate from another of his talks – how the lady capitalism is dead, yet we still dance with her corpse), healthcare, the media, the financial crisis, sustainability blah blah. Please get your kids to listen to him . . . they need to know there is another narrative out there . . .
I can also really recommend his two books: “Deerhunting with Jesus . . .” and “Rainbow Pie .. . “. The truly wonky thing about these books is that they are scarcely available in the US . . . I leave you to interpret the reasons for this.
His blog is here.