I’m no native informant. But I gather that the song featured prominently in the Broadway show Fela! means something like “nobody hates something as useful as water.” Make yourself as indispensable as this, goes the implied wisdom, and any detractors you gain will just look silly. An appropriate motto for a musician like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti …
Last fall, after watching At the Edge of the World I became obsessed with the eco-radical conservation group Sea Shepherd who have been around since the 1970s trying to put an end to commercial whaling. So when I learned that I was going to New Zealand for the month of January, I was keen to find out whether Sea Shepherd was more present in the public than in the US.
Two days ago the Supreme Court issued what is perhaps its most calamitous ruling in a century.
Each spring in New York City, Left Forum gathers intellectuals and activists from around the world to address the burning issues of our times. The theme for 2010 is “The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination.” Find out more information, propose a panel, or register for the forum here.
There’s so much to think about, take in, and give right now in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake that perhaps a lone blog entry like this isn’t at all suitable.
Activists are increasingly turning to online resources to help bring about progressive, grassroots-empowering social change. I recently learned of two interesting initiatives to build awareness of the possibilities for networked activism.
Don Belton, a professor of English at Indiana University, was tragically killed by an assailant who, many in his local queer community are concerned, may seek to use a variant of the notorious “gay panic” defense. They are also concerned that hateful, racist, and homophobic remarks have been circulating on messaging boards under articles about Don’s murder.
Those who missed this — or who couldn’t take it all in — can now read organizer Trebor Scholz’s detailed and informative “post-mortem conference mashup.”
President Obama recently gave two speeches that should be seen as signposts of contemporary U.S. empire. Their continuity with American exceptionalist rhetoric of the past is striking, underlining the extent to which Obama is trapped within the paradigms of the past.
Reviewed: Tim Lawrence, Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009). David Suisman, Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). I began reading these two … Continue reading “Listening at the End of the Twentieth Century”
New York governor David Paterson has just announced that he will be withholding $750 million in scheduled payments to schools and local governments across the state in response to the state’s fiscal problems. According to an article in the NYT
No one could stop the red tide that flooded across New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco yesterday. Santacon took hold of the streets in these and other cities across the globe. With anarchist roots in the San Francisco … Continue reading “Santarchy is Coming to Town”
“So many scholars read anxiously, with a hope not to learn, not to be discomposed by learning. They fish in indexes looking for confirmation of not being trumped, they skim the surface hoping that no phrase catches them. The aversion … Continue reading “A Teaching (I) and (II)”