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Category: Commentary

Jim Palombo/Politics

 In this day and age it is not existential thinking to ask “who are we” or “what kind of country do we want to be?”  Nor is it out of the realm to consider whether we can realistically achieve our societal goals given the ideological behavior we’ve exhibited over time, including our actions related to empire building, consumption, individualism, social responsibility, and so forth. Put another way can we, in “real time,” individually and collectively face-up to the enormous task of looking at ourselves as ourselves and make changes accordingly? Moreover, under what conditions might this form of collective self-analysis legitimately occur?

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The Future of Art/Jane Kallir

Modernism is inseparable from the rise of the Western middle class. In nineteenth-century Europe, the bourgeoisie created a vast new market for art, previously a luxury enjoyed mainly by aristocrats. Cities, especially, became cultural hubs replete with museums, galleries, concert halls, theaters and publishing houses. The direct patronage that had characterized the aristocratic age was replaced by a wider distribution system that depended on intermediaries to connect artists with consumers.

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Braised Bourdain/by Jim Palombo

In applying Durkheim’s thoughts as to our own norms and values, functions and dysfunctions, as well as the nature of our societal balance,  one might begin by examining how the principles of democracy — think justice, fairness, equality, etc. get mixed with the practicalities of capitalism — think competition, material success, consumerism, etc. In this light it’s fair to ask to what extent these principles and practicalities can co-exist, how their interpretations might conflict with each other and what type imbalance might be evident in terms of overall societal objectives? In addition, a look into how our cultural instincts (tendencies that become part of our behaviors over time) get framed – think of these instincts in relationship to how generations were affected by their particular set of societal variables, especially in eras like the industrial and technological revolutions. In this regard, and in similar context, we would also have to consider our contemporary social concerns – think of work/labor problems, changing family dynamics, the environment, racial and gender issues, and even war and peace. 

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The name Ragazine was coined in the mid-’70s in Columbus, Ohio, as the title of an alternative newspaper/magazine put together by a group of friends. It was revived in 2004 as ragazine.cc, the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. And that’s what it still is.