Quote of the day: ACTIVISM

September 27, 2020

ACTIVISM

We use the terms “demonstration” and “protest” interchangeably, at our own peril, like we interchangeably use the terms “mobilizing” and “organizing.” A protest is organizing people for a prolonged campaign that forces racist power to change a policy A demonstration is mobilizing people momentarily to publicize a problem…The most effective protests create an environment whereby changing the racist policy becomes in power’s self-interest, like desegregating businesses because the sit-ins are driving away customers, like increasing wages to restart production, like giving teachers raises to resume schooling, like passing a law to attract a well-organized force of donors or voters. But it is difficult to create that environment, since racist power makes laws that illegalize most protest threats. Organizing and protesting are much harder and more impactful than mobilizing and demonstrating. Seizing power is much harder than protesting power and demonstrating its excesses.

–Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

photo by Emma Howells for the The New York Times

Media: PARTY IN THE BARDO with Laurie Anderson

August 30, 2020

I met Laurie Anderson in the fall of 1980, when I interviewed her for a cover story in the Soho News after I was blown away by Part 2 of her work-in-progress magnum opus United States, which she performed for a week at the Orpheum Theater on Second Avenue. When the entire cycle had its premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I interviewed her again for the New York Times Magazine. Over the years, I would run into her and we would have meals and take walks together — in Paris, in Minneapolis, in San Francisco, and on the home front in New York City. It’s been a treat to build a friendship with someone whose wide-ranging work has thrilled me for decades — her albums, her shows, her films, her books, her collaborations. So it was a special honor when she invited me to be a guest on “Party in the Bardo,” the biweekly radio show she’s been producing during the pandemic for the Wesleyan University campus radio station WESU-FM. We spent two hours playing music, reading poems, and talking about life. The show premieres at 4am on a Friday morning, and it’s archived on the station’s website. You can also listen to it on Soundcloud. Check it out here and let me know what you think.


Quote of the day: QUEENS

August 29, 2020

QUEENS

A block from The Chateau [in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens], I wanted to point out Community United Methodist Church. There’s a street sign at the corner commemorating the invention of Scrabble, which was played in the church in 1938. It was the invention of a Jackson Heights resident (an unemployed architect) named Alfred Butts. Legions of Scrabble devotees now make pilgrimages to the church, which you will notice also advertises services in Punjabi, Urdu, Bahasa, Korean, Chinese and Spanish. I love that God is worshiped in so many languages in the house where Scrabble was invented. Brooklyn may be known as the Borough of Churches. But Jackson Heights is where, for example, the Jewish Center, on 77th Street, also hosts Pentecostal services, Hindu services and the annual Iftar celebration of Bangladeshi and other Muslims.

–Suketu Mehta (interviewed by Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times)

                                                    photo by Victor Llorente


Quote of the day: RESISTANCE

August 28, 2020

RESISTANCE

But – let’s never discount it – within every official, statistical, designated nation, there breathes another nation: of unappointed, unappeased, unacknowledged clusters of people who daily, with fierce imagination and tenacity, confront cruelties, exclusions, and indignities, signaling through those barriers – which are often literal cages – in poetry, music, street theater, murals, videos, Web sites – and through many forms of direct activism.

–Adrienne Rich, Poetry and Commitment

                                                    photo by Steven F. Dansky


Quote of the day: VITAMIN D

August 6, 2020

VITAMIN D

Did you know that dogs and cats, perhaps because their fur blocks their skin’s ability to absorb sunlight and produce Vitamin D, secrete an oil that converts to Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight? It then has to be ingested orally, which is one reason that pets are always licking themselves.

–Brooke Jarvis, reviewing Monty Lyman’s The Remarkable Life of the Skin


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