Archive for Culture Jamming

Jul
05

A Thousand People

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NSFW. For those of you who missed Lee Camp in Asheville earlier this week.

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May
17

Friday (non-political) Reading

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Let’s all take a (much deserved?) breather from the muck-a-muck of local (politics?, no. Vindictiveness? That seems more accurate…) whathaveyou, and have ourselves a read from the blog of The French Broad Brewery. They have a blog? Why yes, yes they do.

Here’s a gem from my good friend and fellow traveler Devin Walsh. I also recommend the Ryehopper, and random hyperlinks.

Happy Friday!

 

Zen in the Season of Busy

Tim Kreider is a cartoonist who last June wrote a much-quoted column for the New York Times about “busyness” and its glorification. “A boast disguised as a complaint,” he said of the quick, thoughtless reply (“Busy!”) to any question of how one is doing; something not often heard from the working poor dead on their feet from double shifts and routinely from them who’ve staffed-out their precious hours to a multitude of tasks taken on out of “ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.” As is probably pretty clear, among these frantic doers Kreider does not count himself. ”I am not busy,” he says. “I am the laziest ambitious person I know,” going on to describe an idyllic daily regimen comprising a few hours of morning work, long bike rides and errands done, evenings consumed in watching movies with friends, having drinks, et cetera et cetera. Reading this, you–if you’re me–surround all of a sudden a feeling in your belly like a pinch and a punch and a warm glow of covetous pleasure all at the same time, because you, like me, are, if not a deeply lazy person, at least someone who places a steep premium on leisure time, who has somehow gotten off track, veered into a lane where the traffic is faster and tailgating rampant and highway noise loud enough to disrupt one’s train of thought. (Although, to be honest, it is usually less a “train” of thought than a listless, colorful regatta, or a twilit-sky-filled-with-hot-air-balloons of thought.)

“It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this,” Kreider goes on, brilliantly, “any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do.”

To pick one nit, it does seem sometimes to happen all by itself–independent of a person’s anxious desire to be occupied. Day follows day follows day, a box of To-Do appears behind this door, which, son of a gun, was that even there yesterday? And what about this list in my hand? Who put that there? Hold on, wait, I have to answer this… You rise sore into the day that keeps you on your feet and going until you collapse into the night’s sleep equivalent of a Megadeath concert however many hours later, then rise sore into the day… And you (you, who like sitting) didn’t ask for it. The days were longer, before…idler, more free…less productive.

Well, boxes of To-Do have indeed been proliferating around our rickety old barn by the stream, lately. There’s a crate with a canning line in it, a newly leased space, a just-installed mother of a brite tank that, freshly packed with IPA, sprung an alarming leak, a swirl of roster changes around which we’re all learning to dance (with new partners and the tune unknown)…this on top of the gradual incorporation of the grain augur that’s redeeming the elbows’ and backs’ of our brewers from their many batches of toil (though not without its hiccoughs) and the systemic alterations made front of house that necessitated last month a three day furlough for the Tasting Room. Commerce, we disorganize and rebuild ourselves around you.

Also: listened day before yesterday to an excerpt from a keynote address given by the late David Foster Wallace to a class of college graduates. I forget what college, but I feel enormously envious and protective of their experience, ’cause this excerpt flat knocked me down. Click the link, please! I will not demean those nine plus minutes with summary, but will say that they involve consciously practiced thought. They involve the lame truth that our default mental state is woefully small and self-interested. It speaks to the intelligent person’s capacity, however, to substitute for this automatic childishness a wider, more adult awareness: the world does not exist for me; the people in the world do not exist for me; neither my comfort nor my convenience are the point of the human day. This is good!

So let this be a quality of the busy season: that we occasionally sublimate ourselves to the great, shifting abundance of folks and needs and places that clutter the day and the unseeable vectors of cause and effect that put us where we are, next to who we’re next to, doing things. Let our engines churn but our minds find time to idle.

I’ll take mine with a pint, if you please. And how are you, after all?

-D.W.

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May
01

#ColdDeadHand

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Thank you Jim Carrey.

Cold Dead Hand with Jim Carrey from Jim Carrey

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Feb
05

Brief Encounters With Non-Hideous Humans

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Dana Levin is the author of three books with Copper Canyon Press: In the Surgical TheatreWedding Day, and Sky Burial, which was noted for 2011 year-end honors by The New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal and Coldfront Magazine. A recipient of fellowships from the Rona Jaffe, Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations, Levin chairs the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

 

 

 

 

Questions From the Audience:  Read More→

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Dec
13

Random Thursday Variousness

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Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve arrived in the vast cornfields of Canada…*

 

Another day, another death. Today’s featured death is Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah a 17 year old Palestinian teenager shot dead in West Bank. He pulled a toy pistol from his belt at a Israeli checkpoint, and was gunned down by IDF soldiers.  Protests ensued. The use of leathal force against non-violent protesters is left to the discretion of Soldiers in the field. The US give an average of $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel (that’s billion with a “B”).

Israeli soldiers use rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas bombs and stun grenades against non-violent protesters in the the West Bank – in addition to spraying them with water mixed with chemicals. These tactics have led to the injuries of hundreds and even several deaths among protesters.

Here’s some random stuff to read/discuss/ignore (after the break):

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Dec
12

Random Wednesday Variousness

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It’s 12.12.12. Do with that what you will. In the past 24 hours there have been approximately 153,400 deaths world-wide ( with approximately 356,201 births, do with that what you will), one of those deaths belonged to Ravi Shankar, again, do with that what you will. Also, several people were shot and killed at a mall in Portland, by a man wearing a white mask and brandishing a semi-automatic rifle. He killed himself. Also, North Korea shot something off, and had a parade. They are fond of parades.

 

Here’s some random stuff to read/discuss/ignore (after the break):

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Dec
11

Random Tuesday Variousness

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‘Tis the season and all that crap. Hopefully you’ve been partaking in the great consumerist holiday that is Christmas by buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff, or perhaps you feel guilty about not spending enough time with that (not so?) loved one so you’ve attempted to make up for it by purchasing a waffle iron. I don’t know what you people do in your spare time, so I won’t venture any more guesses. To the point!

Here’s some random stuff to read/discuss/ignore (after the break):

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Aug
24

Meet the Overpass Light Brigade

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“The Overpass Light Brigade was forged in the activist climate of the Wisconsin Uprising. Our messages shine over highways at night. We believe in the power of communities coming together in physical space, as well as the importance of visibility for grassroots and progressive causes. We are a loose and inclusive affiliation of people dedicated to the power of peaceful and playful protest.

“Contact us on our Facebook page if you would like to join one of our Bridge Parties, and feel free to share our images, follow us Twitter, and give a few “democrabeeps” when you drive beneath the bridges… Shine on, OLB!”

[h/t Diane Sweet at C&L]

Jun
17

Burn a Book, Save a Library

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Sometimes we are too slow out of the gate. Underfunded. Out-shouted. But that doesn’t mean we’re beaten. Not by a long shot.

From Boing Boing:

The Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide agency has won a gold prize in the Effie awards for their hoax “Book Burning Party” campaign, which is credited with saving the public library in Troy, MI. Michigan’s extreme austerity measures and collapsing economy had put the library under threat, and the town proposed a 0.7% tax raise to keep it open. The local Tea Party spent a large sum of money opposing the measure on the grounds that all taxes are bad, so the Burnett campaign reframed the issue by creating a hoax campaign to celebrate the library’s closure with a Book Burning Party a few days after the vote.

The outrage generated by this campaign was sufficient to win the day for the library, as Troy’s residents made the connection between closing libraries and burning books, focusing their minds on literacy and shared community, rather than taxation.

Troy Public Library would close for good unless voters approved a tax increase. With little money, six weeks until the election, facing a well organized anti-tax group who’d managed to get two previous library-saving tax increases to fail, we had to be bold. We posed as a clandestine group who urged people to vote to close the library so they could have a book burning party. Public outcry over the idea drowned out the anti-tax opposition and created a ground-swell of support for the library, which won by a landslide.

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