Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hurricane Che

Sinister Joe has applied Ernesto Guevara's nickname toHurricane Ernesto . In changing the name of the storm, Sinister Joe not only demonstrated her keen wit; she also pleased many Red State constituents. You see, a lot of folks are upset that we decided to name our hurricane after an immigrant. According to one Goldsboro, NC, woman, "Ernesto is not a North American name." I wish I were kidding...but I'm not. It seems that there's nothing like a storm system to get those racist juices flowing.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Know Thy "Enemy"

As the various morasses in the Middle East continue to thicken, is anyone starting to wonder whether or not we have any real idea of what we're up against? Here are 3 good articles to help you trudge through the muck.

1. Journalist Jumana Farouky discusses the increasing frequency with which Westerners are converting to fundamentalist Islam.

2. Egyptian activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim demonstrates how Islamist groups are gaining mainstream popularity amongst Arab moderates and legitimate democratic power throughout the Middle East.

3. Scholar Eric Davis discusses identity politics in Iraq and suggests that the problems develop less from the Sunni/Sh'ia split and more from social class differences and the urba/rural divide of the country.

Hipcat Recommended Reading...yo boy

The following links are interesting reads and great diversions from the monotony of entry-level cubicledom.

These 3 pieces provide an interesting snapshots of American conservatism, big business, and contemporary American society:

1. Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation, writes about the "collapse of culture...[into] an ever-wider sewer."

2. Robert Rector, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, analyzes the success of Bill Clinton's welfare reforms 10 years ago, saying "[It] pains me to say this - Bill Clinton was right."

3. Sebastian Mallaby uses the examples of Wal-Mart, McDonald's, and Starbucks to suggest that big business drives social progress more than government does. He points out that in "mass-market companies, customer opinion is the same as public opinion, so corporate bosses become as sensitive to political and social shifts as elected officials." He then argues that it is possible "for companies not merely to outpace government but to pull government along" the way to progress and social improvement.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Some Things to Ponder

In today's Washington Post, Juan Williams describes the hurdles that many black Americans must overcome to escape the downward spiral that characterizes parts of their culture. He references Bill Cosby's 2004 Brown vs. the Board of Education commemoration speech and echoes WEB DuBois's 1903 message about the challenges to black empowerment.

On today's NBC morning news program , law professor Spencer Overton promotes his new book Stealing Democracy. He argues that political gerrymandering and other legislative maneuvers continue to take power out of the hands of the American people.

Finally, in his book Shame of the Nation, Jonathan Kozol argues that America's public education system has created an apartheid state within our borders. I heard it through the grapevine that Illinois Senator Barack Obama recommends this book to anyone who cares about American politics.

Indeed, these are tough problems that don't promise to go away any time soon.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Worldwide Hip Hop

Here's an interesting Slate article about the current state of hip hop in Israel and Palestine. I'm interested in watching Sling Shot Hip Hop, but interestingly enough, I can't find it on Netflix or IMDB. As an aside, Jackie Salloum, the filmmaker, served as the cinematographer on Michael Franti's new documentary about Iraq, titled I Know I'm Not Alone.
Another interesting article about international hip hop appeared in Time Magazine's coverage of the riots in France last year. Medine, a French Islamic rapper, wrote an article about disillusionment amongst Islamic youth in France.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Can't Resist - I Have to Post This Again

We Love Faye Mazo!

Another Cool Cover

As if the album cover isn't enticing enough, the duet with Ray Charles on "Spirit in the Dark" is feeeeeee-nom-ih-nuhl. Never has gospel salvation mixed so well with the blues' damnation:

I'm gettin the spirit in the dark
I'm gettin the spirit in the dark
People movin, aw, ain't we groovin?
Just gettin the spirit in the dark.

Tell me sister, how do you feel?
Tell me my brother, brother, brother, how do you feel?
Do you feel like dancin? Then get up and let's start dancin
Start gettin the spirit, spirit in the dark

Anyone Seen Faye Mazo?

Consider this the official Faye Maizo Search Engine. A free "A" will go to anyone who can track down Faye and see how life's treating her.

In other Woogie news, we've put together a little video montage of his moments on the flip cup and dance floors of DC. Suffice it to say that the Camel a huge 'Skins fan, and he thinks "We gonna win."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Coolest Record Cover Ever?

Ray Davies is pretty fucking hip. This record cover is especially deck when you read the lyrics. Pay close attention to the chorus:

Give the people what they want
You gotta give the people what they want
The more they get, the more they need
And every time they get harder and harder to please

Extra Credit

I'll guarantee an "A" to anyone willing to compare/contrast the Black Panthers Party for Self Defense with Hezbollah.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

World Tour With A Mic in His Hand

Jay-Z is back on tour, and this time he's saving the world. Anyone want to see him with me in Poland? He's playing there September 9th. Read about his Jehovah moment here.

In other interesting political hip hop positioning, John Edwards did yoga and lunch with Russell Simmons last week.

Is Russell Simmons hip hop's George Soros? He's politically active again, this time in the Maryland Senatorial Race.

American Revolution

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 10
The Haitian Revolution toppled Napoleon's France and expelled the imperial power from America. Toussaint l’Overture, a Bolivarian-esque revolutionary and former slave led the successful effot. According to this frat guy site,
"In 1801, he became president of Haiti, the former Saint-Domingue and the first black republic in modern history, as well as only the second American colony (after the U.S.) to gain its independence from Europe."
Discussion Questions:
  1. Why are Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico not included in the study of American history?
  2. Whatever happened to Haiti?
  3. How did Cuba become a Nation?
  4. How did Panama become a Nation?
  5. Why did Cuba and Puerto Rico not become States #49 and #50. (Remember, Alaska and Hawaii didn't become states until 1959, but Cuba and Puerto Rico become American colonies with the Platt Amendment in 1898.)
  6. Why does the history of American slavery focus on the Southern United States and not on Jamaica, Haiti, and all of the other islands?
  7. Research the year 1500 and describe West African (Wolof - others?), Mayan, Aztec, and Incan Kingdoms. Compare them to Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French Empires. Describe the effects of the various culture clashes.
  8. Compare these earlier histories with more recent events, going back to the end of World War II. Start with the Cuban Revolution in 1953, trace it through the Iran/Contra Affair, and finish with George H.W. Bush's Invastion of Panama.
  9. Of course - remember to look at it from the left and the right. The more extreme, the better. The only catch: for every extreme leftist interpretation, you much provide an equally extreme rightist/fundamental/Puritan interpretation.
  10. Analyze the positive and negative influences of United States policy in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. Pay special attention to corporate investors and US enterprise, the CIA, other US law enforcement, US Foreign Policy, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror.
Take Home Test/Essay:
  • Define "Hip."
  • Define "Revolution."
  • How many different American Revolutions can you name? Choose one, briefly summarize the revolution, and describe how its legacy affects hipster culture today?

The Tall One With Glasses

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 8
Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt. Peter Tosh did not. Somebody tell me more about Reggae and 1970s Jamaican politics.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Chinaman is Not the Proper Nomenclature, Dude

Chinese punk rock...ummmmmm, yes please. Read this Washington Post article about my newest fascination.

In other news regarding Asian reception of American popular music, the Malaysian government seems not to be the Pussycat Dolls' biggest fans. (Pussycat Dolls? Really?) Horrid bandnames notwithstanding, it seems that the United States isn't the only home to Puritans.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Things You Didn’t Know About Bushwick Bill From "The Getto Boys"

by Coleman Herbert

The statements you are about to read are true, for better or worse. I, Coleman Herbert, and my roommates have been in association with The Geto Boys' Bushwick Bill (above photo, middle) since fate brought him into our lives via the “Big Mama’s House 2” premiere. Los Angeles…Manifest Destiny like a motha fucka…

1. He's terrified of being barefoot. When he was doing sock laundry, he tied two plastic bags around his feet to make these littlebooties...

2. He smokes cigarettes in the bathtub.

3. He told me this story, a re-telling of a “Walker Texas Ranger” he had seen the night before (at my house) while I was out:

"You see that Texas ranger with us last night? The one with Hulk Hogan? Hulk Hogan and shit. [Bill stood up at this point.] Hulk Hogan, man. Hulk Hogan was like a born-again Christian gang leader or some shit. Remember that show in the 80's 'Scared Straight' where they'd get some nigga to bust up the room and say 'HEY. You keep this bad behavior up and I'll make you my bitch inside the joint!' [Laughing.] It was like that, man. And at the end, when they had that dude in the noose...peep game [PEEP GAME!!! I heard a man actually say that!] Hulk Hogan saved him. Not Walker. Walker was late. Showed up late, man. Showin up late..."

4. Hanging on the rack, his towel was recently mistaken for my girlfriend’s skirt. It’s one foot squared. No bigger. Dark green.

5. He’s scared to say “I love you.”

Monday, August 07, 2006

Detroit Red

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 6
Which image is more powerful?

Tunes at the Turn of the Century

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Music Scene 3

John Philips Sousa was a bad man. Probably not, but it sounds good. And, his band performed in the same Hall of Music where William McKinley was assassinated.

During this time, most relevant types of music were ragtime, military horn music, and the folk protest music of laborers and strikers.


A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Music Scene 2
Rockabilly pioneer Ersel Hickey surely influenced Elvis Presley's aesthetic. It would be interesting to contrast this music with skiffle.


A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Music Scene 1

The skiffle scene the British folk rock one from which The Beatles emerged. Skiffle bands wrote original songs and covered American folk traditionals and Woody Guthrie tunes.

A Young Person in a Hurry

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 4
Leon Czologosz's hero was Gaetano Bresci, the assassin of Italy's king in 1900. Both of these young iconoclasts have a lot in common with Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Franz Ferdinand and the catalyst of World War I.
Discussion Questions:
  1. Who might consider these guys heroes and why?
  2. What is the difference between a high profile assassination and a suicide bombing?
  3. What is the difference between a high profile assassination and aerial bombing?
  4. When is killing for political reasons justified?

Violent Iconoclast

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 3

These would-be assassins could have fit right in at the Black Cat. However, average punkers these folks were not. Alexander Berkman, the beau, failed to murder his archnemesis and served hard time for most of his adult life. Emma Goldman, the babe, left a somewhat more romantic legacy, however. She is the heroine of today's hipster anti-capitalist revolution.

I first learned of Emma Goldman while listening to a recorded lecture given by rock star historian Howard Zinn. I bought Goldman's autobiography at a Coup concert. I have yet to get over the irony of it all.

In this month's issue of Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows compares the turn of the 20th century anarchist movement to the turn of the 21st century radical Islamic movement. He says both feature(d) "romantic young people in a hurry with dreams of changing the world."

Discussion Questions:
  1. Is Emma Goldman a hero? She conspired with Alexander Berkman to kill Henry Clay Frick, and although she wasn't directly involved, her rhetoric and philosophy influenced Leon Czolgosz's assassination of William McKinley. However, she was also a pioneer in the women's rights' movement, a vital leader of the labor movement, and a fearless anti-war protester. Which of her legacies carries the most weight?
  2. Her autobiography, Living my Life, was available for sale at a Coup concert at the Black Cat in Washington, DC. Given Goldman's violent history and the Coup's abrasive album cover, discuss the themes of mythology and romanticization of violence in today's counterculture.
  3. How do societies create heroes, with what traits do they embody them, and how do they worship them?

Yet Another Day at the Office

The name "Rasheed" comes from "Ra," the ancient Egyptian sun god. This link shows you 100 reasons why Rasheed is our god.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pitchfork Has Arrived

Mark it zero, dude...the Master of Indie Rock has joined the mainstream.

Although has grown steadily over the past 5 years, this past weekend shot the website into a new zip code. The indie rock magazine staged an audacious summer festival in Chicago, selling every ticket it printed. About twenty thousand music nerds gathered for two days to hear Spoon, Yo La Tengo, and a bunch of other bands we've never heard of play their post-punk-DIY-hip-hop-indie-call-it-anything-but-sell-out music.

Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, The Onion AV Club, The Chicago Tribune, and myriad bloggers documented the event. Considering Pitchfork's already big advertising deals (iTunes, MTV2, American Apparrel) and its mainstream media coverage (Washington Post, NPR), it's safe to say that the magazine is a major player and one of the first clear case studies for success in web-based grassroots media, image-driven marketing, and 21st Century rock and roll.

Of course, Pitchfork's still a bunch of indie douchebags who criticize guitar solos and erase blemishes from their record like Krzyzewski.(Did you see Phish's Billy Breathes on the old "Best of the 1990s" list? Yes. See it on the new one? Of course not - it disappeared like all those losses Coach K's team endured when he sat out a season for back problems.)

But, in spite of their pomposity, they're pretty damn funny...and I read what those hipster yannis have to say everyday. I guess that makes me a yanni too (Especially if you consider that I "applied" to write for them. I never heard back.)

I propose a toast to Pitchfork Media. May it one day be big enough to buy its namesake rights away from the livestock-hawking original.

Bailey NC Represent.

New Beginnings:

Preseason - Sat. 8/12 - Buffalo

Regular Season - Sun 9/10 - ATL

Office Productivity: Another Day at the Office

A couple of interesting links...

This Village Voice article discusses the negative effects The Daily Show could have on young people's political perceptions. Certain political scientists have claimed that the show makes us more cynical. The question is - what young people aren't cynical about the political process?

This Slate article explores the glory, history, and usage of the word "sucks."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Enterprise and the Puritan Ethic

A Hipsters' Guide to Revolution - Lesson 2
Rock box Run DMC...yo boy.

Listen to their song It's Like That . On their eponymous debut album.

Pay special attention to the lyrics:

People in the world tryin to make ends meet
You try to ride car, train, bus, or feet
I said you got to work hard, you want to compete
It's like that, and that's the way it is

Money is the key to end all your woes
Your ups, your downs, your highs and your lows
Won't you tell me the last time that love bought you clothes?
It's like that, and that's the way it is
Bills rise higher every day
We receive much lower pay
I'd rather stay young, go out and play
It's like that, and that's the way it is

A Model of Christian Charity John Winthrop

Jamestown 1607
joint-stock companies

first successful colony was a company, or ENTERPRISE

“He who does not work does not eat.” – Captain John Smith

Massachusetts Bay Colony 1629
17th Century England

Reformation: Calvinism: Predestination, Purification, Persecution

Bible Verses:
Psalm 2: 7-9
- "I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession."
Romans 13
-"Therefore, whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer...The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet"...Let us then throw off the works of darkness (and) put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.”

Enterprise: a purposeful endeavor

Puritan Ethic
-labor as a virtue
-labor as survival
-US vs. THEM: judgment, Predestination
-Utopia: “city upon a hill”
-Model: self-righteousness, self-importance, egoism
-no sex, drugs, or rock and roll

How would this foundation lead to success and prosperity?
-hard work, productivity, sense of community, morality in society

How would this foundation lead to problems in society?
-US vs. THEM, lack of empathy or compassion for “them,” fear, lack of trust, JUDGMENT

Who would this empower?

What would be the source of that power?

How is it still present today?
-race, class, us versus them, hipsters, "the" establishment

Have the positive effects outweighed the negatives?

How has it changed? How has it stayed the same?

What are the great threats to it today?

How does it affect power today?

Do we still seek a Utopia?

What are the positive and negative effects of seeking a Utopia?


Poseur Hipster.
Real Mustache.


[EDITOR'S NOTE: Anyone have the shot of Roy and QT at practice before this year's ACC Tourney? Roy is wearing a fairly ridiculous argyle sweater and appears to be hugging Quentin. If you have it and want to share it, send me a link.]