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Notebook

Apr212021

Thinking About: “EMPIRE OF PAIN, GRUNGE, BRIDESMAIDS, APRIL 19th”

 

  • Was the grunge revolution racist? Meaning was the longing for a return to some notion of guitar-based rock music based on a toppling of pop and hip-hop and music mostly made by black and brown people.

 

 

  • Also something about the writing team behind it. Would love to speak with Kristin Wiig and Annie Momolo about the BRIDESMAIDS screenplay and the difference between writing comedy for cinema v. TV.

 

 

  • What does Jewish Geography mean when we include Jews of color and jews outside the synagogue/youth group/summer camp cartel?

 

  • The movie HIGH FIDELITY caused us as a culture to tragically misjudge the talents of Jack Black. SCHOOL OF ROCK rectified the situation but only somewhat.

 

Jan122021

Quote of the Day: “Unsolved in your heart”

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

 

Rainer Maria Rilke

Jan112021

Daily Links: Today in Tabs, Fashion During COVID, Bicycles and Goats.

Today in Tabs, the world’s greatest weird-stuff-on-the-internet newsletter,  is back. Subscribe for free and witness the hilarios genius of my old friend Rusty Foster

— “How the press can hold Trump’s enablers—and itself—to account” [CJR]

“The Year Without Clothes” is New Yorker staff writer Rachel Syme’s brilliant assessment of what “fashion” means when no one can leave the house.

— URL’s, like plants, are part of a living system. Which means someday, they will die. A great point . [Maya.Land]

— There’s going to be a Season 2 of Zoey’s Infinite Playlist? Really? [Paste]

— Bicycle ownership around the word is booming [BBC].  (via Clive Thompson)

“Militarizing the Police was a Failure” — Cory Doctorow breaks down just how badly.

— “How Music Persisted During the Pandemic” [Pitchfork]

Culture Type: “An essential resource focused on visual art from a Black perspective” could open up and swallow me whole and I wouldn’t mind.

— Leading the comeback of vinyl records…goats!

Jan112021

A Wish for 2021: “We are the Ones”

A poem for New Year’s Day…
Sunrise over America
“And who will join this standing up
and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing 
back into the mountains and
if necessary
even under the sea
we are the ones we have been waiting for”
June Jordan  (i.e. one of my heroes)

Jun212020

In Praise of “Red” Cities and Purple America: Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Skyline

Dear blue state friends,

Allow me to tell you something about Tulsa, particularly if you have never visited.

Tulsa is friggin awesome.

Birthplace of SE Hinton, John Hope Frankin, Bill Hader and Current Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. The cultural capital of the state. Home to the Bob Dylan archive and the Philbrook Museum of Art. Cain’s Ballroom (i.e. Johnny Cash’s favorite venue outside of Nashville) and the BOK Tower (i.e. the building Minoru Yamasaki honed his skyscraper chops on right before sketching the World Trade Center). A blue dot in a sea of red.

Yeah, it’s got some silly shit like Oral Roberts University. And its progressive power is usually blotted out by blood red Oaklahoma City in electoral politics. But before we go giving all the credit to teenagers on Tik Tok for the sorry-ass turnout at this weekend’s Trump Rally, consider this: Tulsa was a boneheaded, tone-deaf place to hold that rally anyway.

Tulsa is NOT the Trumpy base. Tulsa is filled with open-minded, creative, diverse, forward thinking people like my dear friend Jeff Martin, owner of Magic City Books downtown, who has brought basically every interesting cultural figure you can think of to Tulsa, who sold and gave away a truckload of books by Black authors this weekend, who has been giving out gave out water and supplies to protestors since protesting began this month.

Jeff is a singular presence and a miracle worker. He is far from the only person doing amazing progressive cultural work and organizing in Tulsa.

Jeff brought me to Tulsa a few years ago while I was on book tour. It was one of the highlights of almost a year on the road, a town filled with friendly interesting people, great food, beautiful sites and plenty to do. I would recommend anyone visit as soon as it is safe to do so. And see Tulsa as a reminder that we blue state dwellers all too often think the red-leaning parts of America are an endless sea of small minded bigots.

We are wrong.

Tulsa is one of my favorite cities in America. It’s purple America. And purple America are our allies and friends in this fight too.

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