- The Racket
- Light One Candle
Light One Candle
Merry Christmas to all those celebrating, and Happy Hanukkah to those already in progress. (Tonight is the fourth night.) When I was a kid, I learned the central story of Hanukkah: the revolt against the Greek Seleucid Empire by the ancient Jewish Maccabees. It had everything a six year old could want: outnumbered good guys, evil bad guys, warrior priests, and war elephants:
If you remember anything about the 1980s, it shouldn’t be hard to guess what I directly compared it to:
As I got older, I learned more about the complexities of the story. (In a lot of ways the Maccabean revolt was really an intra-Jewish civil war, the Maccabees themselves were super-reactionary, and their descendants basically ended up destroying ancient Israel through their greed. I did a Twitter thread on it here.)
But that complexity only underscored the basic truth of the kids’ version: Oppression is bad. Freedom is good.
It isn’t hard to see how a kid raised on those stories would be taking so much time away from freelancing to write a book about the costs of empire today.
All of that is a long-winded way of saying to you—thanks. Thanks for subscribing, for sharing these posts, and for your support. My first year doing this newsletter has been a wild ride—with some literally death-defying moments! And you’ve been with me for it all. It’s meant the world.
If you are in the mood in this giving season, you can up your support with a paid subscription. Your contributions keep me moving independently, telling the truth about oppression, and staying on stories others are afraid to tackle because of the professional risks.
In short, you help me carry on my own little revolt:
You can also give a gift subscription to someone else:
Whatever you are celebrating this season, make it a good one. And here’s to a better world in 2020.