Archive for the 'culture' Category

19
Nov
08

Our moment, our time

I am amazed. Politics has been subject matter for street art for as long as they have both been around, I am sure. But in my experience, the political message of this kind of work is almost always critical of the dominant political party, and when it comes to elected officials, nearly always scathing in its portrayals and parodies. I’ve seen plenty of this for all the presidents I have lived through going back to Nixon. Admittedly most of the criticism has been directed at Republicans. No one, however, was sneaking around putting up triumphal representations of Slick Willy or Jimmy, as far as I remember.

I just don’t remember street artists ever busting out to celebrate the election of an American president like I’m seeing happen for Obama. It is almost disorienting to see newstands and telephone poles plastered with stylized images of Barack bearing slogans of support. I think it is another indication of what an enormous cultural and political earthquake this election has turned out to be.

It’s almost as if one needs to be continually reminded of this fact because it is so hard to really grasp. And the artists are doing it. They are reminding me to be amazed.

21
Oct
08

a poem for our times

The Coil and the Supplicant

The Coil and the Supplicant, originally uploaded by neocles.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats

08
Oct
08

Tiny Point in Last Night’s Presidential Debate

OK. This thing is probably done, but I am still curious about something. During the debate last night, McCain was discussing the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, if I heard him correctly, he said, “We forced the Soviets out of Aghanistan by supporting the freedom fighters, but then we left and the Taliban came in…” Please correct me if I am misremembering, but are they not one in the same? Was it not in fact the Taliban that we supported as freedom fighters when we wanted the USSR out of there.

It seems to me this is either a huge blunder or a huge mistruth for a potential president to make, particularly the one who claims to have superior foreign policy experience. If our government cannot remember it’s own policies and strategies, and the very history and origins of the situation we are now facing with the so-called “war on terror”, then how can we possibly find a solution?

06
Oct
08

Season of Obsession

Well, I keep saying that I am going to write more. I keep saying that I am going to simply repost content from other blogs just to stay in the habit of updating the blog. I have failed. But now I have a really good excuse. I have become totally obsessive about the election. 

It has been a roller coast, and i can’t stand not knowing when the next precipitous dip or steep climb is going to come. So, I have been checking with some number of polling site constantly throughout the day to see the updates as they happen. It is like watching water heat to a boil, but I cannot help myself.

One would hope that I’d be super-well informed by now, but alas, no. I don’t have time to read the fine print! I just need the quick fix of scanning the top-line numbers. That’s all i have time for at work, when in fact, I have a huge pile of work to do. 20 seconds is all the time i can spend on any given visit. 

I’d love to repost some other people’s content here, but wordpress does not seem to like the code form pollster.com. Dropping a link is hardly satisfactory. And this is the second time in the last couple weeks that i could not embed content here. AAARRGG!

19
Sep
08

Blogger’s Block and Video Fun

I am having a mid-life crisis. That is my excuse for not writing anything in such a long time. I also notice that the longer one goes without writing something, anything, the easier it is to continue not writing. So, my new strategy is to participate in that time-honored practice of bloggers the world over: recycling content. So, in the spirit of writing something, anything, in order to make it a habit, i have written this as a preamble to the video below. I think it’s an inspiration to middle-aged breeder hipsters like me. And maybe it is an homage of sorts to Art of Noise.

Once i figure out how to embed this feed here, i’ll do it. In the meantime, here is the link.

01
Aug
08

When the Cultural Intersects the Personal

I have mostly kept to personal writing in this journal. But there are times when cultural and societal conversations possess a gravitas that pulls all matters into their orbit, including the most isolated personal ones.

Recently, i was again reminded of the conversation going on at a site dealing with a topic of importance to all Americans, How to Avoid the Bummer Life. I trust that the below is all that need be presented to establish the apodictic centrality of this site to your life.