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September 26, 2007

garrett keizer's general strike

It is time for us to make a public profession of faith that the people who went to work that morning, who caught the cabs and rode the elevators and later jumped to their deaths, were not on the whole people who would sanction extraordinary rendition, preemptive war, and the suspension of habeas corpus; that in their heels and suits they were at least as decent as any sneaker-shod person standing vigil outside a post office with a stop the war sign. That the government workers who died in the Pentagon were not by some strange congenital fluke more obtuse than the high-ranking officers who thought the invasion of Iraq was a bad idea from the get-go. That the passengers who rushed the hijackers on Flight 93 were not repeating the mantra “It won’t do any good” while scratching their heads and their asses in a happy-hour funk.

An Election Day general strike would set our remembrance of those people free from the sarcophagi of rhetoric and rationalization. It would be the political equivalent of raising them from the dead. It would be a clear if sadly delayed message of solidarity to those voters in Ohio and Florida who were pretty much told they could drop dead.

Specific suggestion: General strike, by Garrett Keizer (Harper's).

September 21, 2007

sudama on MarkovFilter

White privilege plays no small role in a laptop that kept shutting itself down, as though he didn’t get it.

Obviously a great post and any kind of useless.

The family won’t tell great-grandma that we’re married with a graffiti “problem”. We only get wordy from here) what I said in my previous post.

A random yet readable recombinatory sample of my comment history on MetaFilter, via MarkovFilter. Awesome.

September 19, 2007

New York Times discovers the Internet

“I have negotiated several business deals recently without even using a telephone.”

The Executive Computer; A Web of Networks, an Abundance of Services - New York Times, February 1993 (via kottke)

The 'Road' much traveled

I read it in the decade of Dylan and the Beatles, and in its boozy, self-conscious, priapic posturing it seemed a boy’s book, as it does to this day. Its central conceit, Sal’s adoration of Dean, means that if you don’t dig Dean, the book is lost on you, and, frankly, Dean is very hard to dig if you’re a woman. — Marianne Wiggins

Some people remember being blown away by “On the Road” when they were young but then find that it doesn’t stand up to mature scrutiny. My experience has been completely different. It gets better and better—the heartbreak more pronounced—with every rereading. — Geoff Dyer

The LA Times asked thirty writers about the significance of On the Road: The ‘Road’ much traveled.

a bunch of articles about Jack Kerouac

The parting of the Gray Lady’s payveils reveals a bunch of articles about Jack Kerouac. Here are some of my favorites.

A recent essay on a 1964 “great American pilgrimage on Kerouac’s ‘holy road’.”

What I quickly learned was that buses were the way poor people traveled long distance, people who couldn’t afford planes, trains or cars. Many of my fellow passengers, and more and more the farther south I went, were African-American.

Unpacking the single sentence in chapter two of On the Road recounting Kerouac’s first faltering steps, this is probably my favorite thing written about the book in the last ten years.

In all probability, his journey began at the elevated train station at Liberty Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park. There, according to Joe Cunningham, a subway historian, he would have boarded a train consisting of six old wooden cars and taken it to Rockaway Avenue in Brooklyn.

Ozone Park has largely forgotten Kerouac.

“I never heard of him, but I went to school in Ecuador,” said Adriana Loga, 24, who then dialed her boss and handed over the phone. “You’re wasting your time,” the boss said. “No one there even understands what you’re talking about.”

On Kerouac’s dénouement in Northport, Long Island, from 1958—1964:

We used to wonder how he’d get so drunk on just a couple of bar drinks, until we found out he was taking swigs of his own bottle in the bathroom. Well, we ended that.

September 3, 2007

wnyc's john cage celebration

New York's WNYC is celebrating the birthday of John Cage (9/5) with 24 hours and 33 minutes of special programming, carried both on its HD Radio channel and online. "24:33 features rare audio drawn from the WNYC archives over the past 40 + years, including live performances and interviews with Cage — as well as Cage tributes, commentary, and performances by some of the most influential musicians of our time."

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. -- John Cage

the howling brightness of our once common vision


no friend will wander down
no one arriving brown from Mexico
from the sunfields of California, bearing pot
they are scattered now, dead or silent
or blasted to madness
by the howling brightness of our once common vision

Inscrutable Muses: The Women of the Beat Generation. Miss-Vintage.com

Jessamyn is important

As I get older, there are fewer and fewer situations where I need to suck it up to do anything or accomplish anything. I’ve sort of created my life this way and overall I’m pleased with that.

jessamyn.com: Vermont’s oldest lifeguard