True story: I'm an ex-suburbanite happily living in Chicago - or as I like to think of it, a "rehabbed" suburbanite. I mean that quite literally: moviTrue story: I'm an ex-suburbanite happily living in Chicago - or as I like to think of it, a "rehabbed" suburbanite. I mean that quite literally: moving out of the suburbs was like attending rehab, in that I had to detoxify myself of ugly suburban ignorance tied to classism and white privilege. So when I saw a book entitled "Bomb the Suburbs", I was all about that shit: "YES, PLEASE.[fistpump]" Alas, fellow Chicagoan William "Upski" Wimsatt was really referring to bombing as in graffiti-bombing.
Okay, cool, I thought, but who is Upski? Turns out he's a DIY journalist and political activist from my hometown, which means I immediately have love for him. But, he also happens to be white. I approached this book with some hesitation because of this: how can a white person write about hip-hop? (That, and I really do know absolutely nothing about hip-hop itself.) Upski never hides his whiteness though - he remains an unapologetic and respectful observer of urban culture. He also uses his unique position to make some very solid observations about how graffiti and hip-hop become diluted and propagated by suburbanites. He certainly describes well how white privilege has infiltrated and corporatized something owned and created DIY by urban communities.
But why only three stars? Merely describing just wasn't enough for me. I felt he could've done more. But I could see a lot of inklings of good observations and ideas that weren't followed through upon. Perhaps at the time of publication, Upski wasn't yet mature enough to tackle the topics he brings up. Or maybe I didn't get it. Maybe I'm the wrong audience for this book - even though I'm a librarian in a Chicago public school, 100% African American and low-income. I could see how there's a lapse in experience and knowledge for me to fully appreciate this book. But still, I want to peruse more of his work, to see how these ideas are delved into. ...more
Today, I went on Amnesty International's website and signed a petition to demand a more human treatment of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. InToday, I went on Amnesty International's website and signed a petition to demand a more human treatment of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. In reality, I have a pretty low opinion of AI, especially when the Chicago office told me my student group couldn't affiliate with them if we called the situation in Darfur "genocide" (political issues, disgusting) - but I had to do something today. I am pissed, and you should be pissed. I'm a school librarian on Chicago's West Side, and I have plenty to be outraged about - but in perspective, my kids don't have what's happening in Palestine, and I am eternally grateful for that.
If you want something to get angry about, here it is. A human story about occupied Palestinian territories, AKA Hell on Earth. We Westerners have all seen the images on the news, and we regard them with pity and dispassion. In truth, we have no personal connection to these events... other than perhaps our tax dollars, which are funding Israeli guns and bullets. Most of the events we're seeing have no real meaning to us, because in our mind we've dehumanized the perpetrators as "Arabs" and "Israelis" - not human beings.This is why we need Joe Sacco: to bring us stories that make us consider these people as humans.
There are some horrors that you cannot depict with just words - the images have to speak for themselves. That is the genius of Joe Sacco, a true on-the-ground journalist who mixes haunting personal stories with his drawing style to create his own brand of comics journalism. Regain a bit of your humanity today, read him.
One of the most fucking awesome things I have EVER read. I've been able to find essays for nearly everyone I know, I'm gonna copy some and send them oOne of the most fucking awesome things I have EVER read. I've been able to find essays for nearly everyone I know, I'm gonna copy some and send them out to people!...more
Chuck Klosterman is an idiot. Basically, this is a hipster's pretentious rant on stupid aspects of pop culture. The only thing that I got out of it waChuck Klosterman is an idiot. Basically, this is a hipster's pretentious rant on stupid aspects of pop culture. The only thing that I got out of it was that humor nowadays is all about being ironic and/or sardonic... It embodied the heartlessness, hopelessness, and utter apathy I despise in hipster culture, and in the real world....more