Author Archives | John J. Hunt

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John J. Hunt

John J. Hunt is an activist and author. He has appeared in New Mexico Magazine twice last year, and has written a number of Op-Eds for the Albuquerque Journal. His history book The Waters of Comfort details the settling of the Coachella Valley in the Palm Springs area of Southern California and its hot mineral water.

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Remembering the Battle of Valverde

04. April 2015

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By John J. Hunt

Most of us don’t think about the American Civil War being fought in New Mexico, but this past February 21 marked 153 years since of the Battle of Valverde. Below Peralta, a short throw from Hwy 380, not far from the Owl Bar, there is an area on the Rio Grande called North Ford. It is also called Valverde—“green valley”—a rather picturesque name that does not quite tell the true story of this bloody bend of river.

Valverde was the first engagement in New Mexico between the forces of the Confederacy and the Union in what was then called the War of the Rebellion...

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Why, Pancho, Did You Invade New Mexico?

06. March 2015

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By John J. Hunt

 

There are many lessons in the pages of our nation’s history, which we seem unable to assimilate, so we must repeat them in an endless cycle of disillusionment and destruction. We appear arrogant in our dealings with other nations, unilaterally deciding what’s best for the world, at the same time endlessly proselytizing about democracy. When foreign nationals feel that their internal lives are being manipulated and disrupted by U.S. intervention through military and monetary power, a blowback is inevitable. The infamous outlaw and revolutionist Pancho Villa raided the United States in 1916, his actions being an example of this backlash; we may extrapolate this lesson to September 11, 2001...

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The Lost Poets of the Russian Revolution

07. February 2015

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By John J. Hunt

I have always loved poetry, its power and resonance in the human heart; and I have always had an affinity for the Russian poets, especially those of the October Revolution of 1917, how they used their words to further that revolution.

My meager study is cursory at best, a mere dip in a great sea of verse. Yet, it might whet your appetite to explore further, as Russian poetry holds a unique place in literature. As Joseph Brodsky says in his essay on Osip Mendelstam, “For those raised in the English-speaking world, it is difficult to comprehend that Russian poets have long had a political status as great as that as more public figures and that Russian poetry frequently has a political impact.”...

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Who Controls ABQ’s Public Airwaves?

22. January 2015

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By John J. Hunt

Eighty-one years ago Congress passed the Communications Act of 1934, which stated that, “the airwaves belong to the people,” a syllogism that does not stand the test of time. Corporate ownership of the airwaves is a labyrinth of holding companies and monopolies that control almost all aspects of electronic communications in this nation.

In Albuquerque, for instance, there are very few viewers who can tell you who owns the local commercial broadcast entities, like Hubbard Broadcasting, Hearst Television, or Lin Broadcasting. Who are these media conglomerates? And what do they offer in return for permission to exploit our airwaves?...

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Reflections on Mary Jane

10. December 2014

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By John J. Hunt

Okay, here it is: I started smoking pot in 1967, and I’ve continued to enjoy the Herb, on and off, since then. I’ve lived through it all. Mexican weed, which was the only kind you could buy, was ten bucks a can. A “can” was literally a 1½-ounce Prince Albert shiny red oval tobacco can, with a metal top, a lid, filled with their leafy “crimp cut” rolling or pipe tobacco.

The dealer would stuff one of these empty cans—a classic example of early recycling— with marijuana from Mexico, stems and twigs and buds and seeds into this can—a sawbuck.  Two fins...

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Immortal Desires & the Seduction of Art

14. November 2014

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By John J. Hunt

If you ask me what the most important, let’s say intellectually challenging, non-fiction, book written in the 20th century, it would have to be Life Against Death by Norman O. Brown. First published in 1959, when I read it in 1968 I found myself re-reading almost every page just to make sure what he said was what I thought he said. The sub-title is The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History. Brown was profound.

When he wrote LAD Brown was a professor of classics at Wesleyan University, and later at UC Santa Cruz, in California, where he died in 2002 at 89. During the 1960s the Movement raised him up to an icon. Remember the Movement?...

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Reed’s Rules & the Drive to Create Colonies

12. October 2014

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By John J. Hunt

I was listening to our vice president mouthing off to the Russians about not permitting one country to simply take over another, and all I can think is, what hypocrisy! The United States is the champion of starting wars, then collecting the spoils.

As I watched the VP, I flashed back to when we precipitated the Spanish-American War. The United States has not altered its face, the one it shows to the world, since the turn of the 20th Century. The thinking that precipitated the Spanish-American War, undeniably, was in evidence some years before...

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Max Linder & the Roots of Film Comedy

10. September 2014

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By John J. Hunt

I love books about film. Motion pictures. In The Silent Clowns, Walter Kerr—a playwright and theater critic—explores the roots of comedy in Hollywood films. Of course the French were a little ahead of Hollywood, as Georges Méliès, an illusionist and filmmaker, who could be called a special effects master, sometimes called a “cinemagician,” seemed to already understand the medium thoroughly. One of his best-known films, A Trip to the Moon, was made in 1902...

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The Prophet Armed: The writings of Norman O. Brown

16. August 2014

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By John J. Hunt

Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, Avicenna, three of the most important men of the Islamic Golden Age—but how many of us know these names; or know what they wrote or practiced, or how they contributed to the knowledge of the West?

How many non-Muslims in this country have ever read the Quran? When you consider that the Protest-ants began their split with the Roman church almost five centuries ago, yet in today’s Islamic world the sects of this religion are waging bloody battles against one another, as witnessed in Iraq today, it becomes clear that these internecine disputes are not just about dogma, they are about politics...

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Some Thoughts on δημοκρατία☆

05. August 2014

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By John J. Hunt

From the adoption of nascent democracy during Greece’s Golden Age, around 460 bce to this day, the system has been considerably altered.

In Athens, the center of trade and the arts, the citizens voted for their government officials. The Council and the Assembly ruled. The Council was made of 500 members who were drawn by lottery from the population. Stop for a second and visualize that today.

The two groups met every ten days and any citizen could speak and vote at the Assembly. However, they would only convene if there were at least 6,000 citizens present. Imagine that...

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