Joe Bageant – “cutting through the clutter and pointing out the truth of a situation”


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.

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