http://lumpenmagazine.wordpress.com. That is where the updating begins.
Transparent Reflect examines portraits and self-portraits relationship in art. The show takes the traditional approach of making a portrait from an observational standpoint and mixes it with the more reflective side of a self-portrait. The artists in the show use photography, drawing, painting and installation works to portray their ideas though a range of formal and abstract approaches. They use religion, sexuality, popular culture and the present economic times to create a response to the current state of the nation. Transparent Reflect questions the notion of identity, and brings forth reflection that is required and lately ignored in today’s society.
Artists: Zach Abubeker
Where and When: Co-prosperity Sphere, 3219 s Morgan st, Friday the 21st, 6-11PM
An undated photograph released by North Korea’s official news agency shows a woman directing traffic in Pyongyang on one of the new covered podiums found in intersections across the city, which has no traffic lights.
Updated | 12:00 p.m. Trying to discern what life is like in North Korea by following the country’s relentlessly cheerful official news agency is a jarring experience for anyone inclined to think of the reclusive communist nation as a grim, unhappy place. According to the Korean Central News Agency, things in Pyongyang are eternally looking up.
Read more >> NYT
Easy Listener, a strange publication that we put out in the late 90s, is returning from its almost decade long exile to Germany. The magazine celebrated architecture, design, music and lifestyles from the 60s + 70s. It bled through popular conceptions of these mythical times and remixed them through homage. It included photos of naked people.
We are relaunching it and are working towards creating the Return Flight issue.
Are you obsessed with groovy cha cha bands, psychedelic pop music, radical philosophers, cocaine, swinging, tragic celebrities, utopian architects, revolutionary groups, visionary designers, Love airline, or a space age plastic fantastic machine? Do you still listen to your lounge and easy listening muzak? Is it a bit too retro in your Living Room? Still go to Tiki Bars?
Then this is your day.
We are seeking writers and photographic projects that are suited for the Get Easy! set.
if you are interested: you know what to do. We are accepting pitches for editorial now!
Here is a blast from the past.
Word on the street is that we are re-doing, re-designing and re-distributing the Lumpen magazine. It will be available nationally again. for free in selected shops.
If you want it distributed in your town. contact us.
edmarlumpen at gmail dot com.
July 22, 2009 9pm
1444 W Chicago
A misdirected fantasy begins presented by Lumpen.
Featuring New Wave Romantic music from back to the future and in between days.
Live sets by:
Members Only (Edmar, Ken Zawacki and Michael Fucking Perkins)
Bobby Conn and Monica Bou Bou
DJ Le Deuce
VJ Boy With a Thorn in His Side aka Brünerd
Free if you are wearing eye make up
$ 3 cover if you do not wear eye makeup.
It takes place at Kaplan's Liquors (960 w 31st st) Monday, July 13 at 10:30pm to midnightish. Bring some.
In other comedy news.. our buddy Douggpound appeared in a recent Showtime tv show..
July 10, 2009
Chris Smith Installation
@ Eastern Expansion
244 W 31st Street
Opening reception July 10, 7-10pm
A sculptural adaptation of two Japanese films made in the early 1990’s level the ecology of its images with that of post consumer waste. A dystopic landscape of obsolete electronics, various polymer based products and the few remainders of something once organic will [...]
"Adolf Hitler is pretty pissed off to learn that Michael Jackson has died and won't be able to perform at his birthday party. Evidences the true marks of a great internet meme: infinite expandability, extremely bad taste in multiple respects, and an unfairly long lifespan." - boing boing reblog
Latin America Media Battle Continues
By NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Read or listen to the mainstream media these days and you get the impression that Sunday’s coup in Honduras was all about a simple disagreement over the constitutionality of presidential term limits. But as the coup unfolds it’s becoming clear that the authorities want something more: the restoration of Honduras’s conservative political order and an end to President Manuel Zelaya’s independent foreign policy which had reached out to leftist countries like Cuba and Venezuela.
The Coming Insurrection is an eloquent call to arms arising from the recent waves of social contestation in France and Europe. Written by the anonymous Invisible Committee in the vein of Guy Debord—and with comparable elegance—it has been proclaimed a manual for terrorism by the French government (who recently arrested its alleged authors). One of its members more adequately described the group as "the name given to a collective voice bent on denouncing contemporary cynicism and reality." The Coming Insurrection is a strategic prescription for an emergent war-machine to "spread anarchy and live communism
Just picked up the book version printed in English by Semiotext.
A link was sent to us by a poster on the Conversation.>
The video of her resignation speech is bizzare. Just wait it out a few minutes. A horrible reminder that this person will not go away. And may one day be our President. Makes me kin dof like Obama again.
Since the Revolution in 1979, Iranians have coped with an increasingly repressive regime. Attempts for greater social and political freedoms have resulted in brutal crackdowns by the hardline government. The ensuing apathy and significant boycott of the 2005 presidential elections led to the election of the ultraconservative mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Four years later Iran has become increasingly alienated and its people more polarized than ever before. The campaign of former Prime Minister Mir Hussein Moussavi galvanized voters hoping for change, especially among the youth – two thirds of Iran’s population is younger than 32. On June 12th 85% of eligible voters cast their ballots and what happened next changed Iran forever…
read the comic here
I was just thinking about the fact no one gave a crap about the stolen elections in Mexico a while back and here is the man, John Ross, reminding me all about it:
Hyping Iran, Ignoring Mexico
The New York Times and Stolen Elections
By JOHN ROSS
A stolen election by an entrenched regime? Opposition charges that more votes were cast than ballots distributed to the polling places? That independent electoral observers were barred from witnessing the vote count? Demands for a recount to which election officials respond by offering to recount just 10% of the vote? A regime-controlled media that exalts the incumbent's victory and demonizes the loser? The use of alternative media by the opposition to get their side of the story out? Massive street protests by millions of peaceful demonstrators waving homemade signs and wearing bracelets displaying the color of their movement? At least 20 protestors gunned down by authorities and paramilitaries? Worldwide moral indignation stirred up by the international media?
Iran 2009? Yes!
Mexico 2006? Yes and no.
Read more on Counterpunch
Civilization is a video installation we created with artist/director Marco Brambilla for the elevators Standard Hotel in NYC. It's comprised of over 400 video clips and it takes elevator passengers on a trip from hell to heaven as they go up or from heaven to hell as they go down. Pictures of the installation and Q&A with Brambilla and Crush is posted here glossyinc.com/civilization.html
June 26, 2009 : Lumpen magazine turns !8
We recently released our 112th issue of Lumpen. Download a web pdf.
Oldmar forgot that the magazine is officially 18 years old and decided there should be a party.
So this next friday a ton of one (wo)man bands will perform,you can dine on some Korean Polish Bar B Q, and decide whether the surprise guests and performances were worth the mystery. Come around 8 for the food.
Friday June 26, 2009, 8pm
3219 S Morgan Street
Lord of the Yum Yum http://www.lordoftheyumyum.com
Disposable Thumbs http://www.disposablethumbs.com
Michael Fucking Perkins
The BIg Man
Reuben Kincaid doing Geighties Karoake
Nick Bahr on the mic
the aforementioned surprise performances.
And lastly: For years people say they have no idea how to get printed in the magazine. It's really easy. Bring some texts, scribbles, comics, illustrations or pitches and put them in the I WANNA BE IN LUMPEN BOX that will be sitting there waiting for you on a table. You can help us create the next issue as our new Managing Editor James Ewert Jr will be assigned the task of discovering your genius.
And no we don't pay anyone anything.And yes there will be a $5 cover .
Geeks, nerds, dorks -- chances are, you didn't attend your high school prom. During college, you were so focused on your engineering/math/science degree that other humans barely registered within your domain space. This is your chance to rectify your oversight without yielding to irrational forces of social pressure, and perhaps enrich your symbolic-semantic inter-nodal linkages, as well! (okay, that was actually gibberish) On June 13th come to Pumping Station One's grand opening event, the Geek Prom!
There will be music, dancing, and some sort of contest based on physical appearance, but we promise that it won't be excruciating or embarrassing! Local tinkerers will bring their latest DIY and hacked gadgets -- stuff that you WISH you had made for your High School Science Fair.
Tickets are available in advance at $15 for a couple and $10 single through Eventbrite.
June 1, 2009 : 9pm
3219 S. Morgan St
Make a Donation to the touring act.
The Unbroken Circle Of Broken Things
TrutheaterTheater presents a tale about the unbreakable spirit energy of love. The company of four intermixes costumes, puppets, shadows, jokes, song and dance with live and prerecorded sound to create a captivating 40 minute psychedelic narrative. . .
In the words of Morgan Fitzpatrick of Puppetuprising.org,
"TRUTHEATERTHEATER are an elusive troupe of actors, silkscreeners,
puppeteers, noisemakers, musicians, videographers and illusionists from
Providence, Rhode Island whose performances are akin to mystical rites of
passage that is the digestive process of transforming truth into theater."
TrutheaterTheater Company Members (Spring 2009) :
Peter Glantz is a theater and film maker known for video collaborations with bands Lightning Bolt, Lavender Diamond, and The USA is a Monster as well as his frequent theatricks with trutheatertheater, Killing My Lobster, and Califunya – The Most Beautiful Show That Ever Lived.
Erin Rosenthal is a creator of shadows, costumes, toys, screenprints, and sounds. Her artwork has recently been published in The Ganzfeld and in Flowing Well, a collaborative self-published newsletter with Leif Goldberg.
Roby Newton is a puppeteer, projectionist, musician, and builder, working frequently with light and kinetic objects. She has travelled extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan with various bands and puppet shows.Leif Goldberg is a graphic artist and performance collaborator whose work follows a deliberate intuitive improvisational process. His drawings and prints have been published in the recent notable anthologies Hopital Brut and Kramer's Ergot.
May 30, 2009
Eric Fensler has created an installation for Eastern Expansion Gallery..
Stop by and see it before you go to the Co-Prosperity Sphere for the Cardboard Show.
The installation will run through June 17, 2009.
The installation will run through June 17, 2009.
Lumpen magazines will be distributed via our El Artes Media Cart at the HPAC Artist Run Chicago Show opening this Sunday May 10, 2009.
May 10 – July 5, 2009, Gallery 1
1/Quarterly, 65GRAND, Alogon, Antena, artLedge, Butchershop, Co-Prosperity Sphere, devening projects + editions, Deluxe Projects, Dogmatic, Fraction Workspace, Fucking Good Art (FGA), Green Lantern, He Said-She Said, HungryMan, joymore, Julius Caesar, Law Office, LiveBox, Margin Gallery, Medicine Cabinet/Second Bedroom Project Space, mini dutch, Modest Contemporary Art Projects, NFA Space, Normal Projects, Old Gold, Polvo, Roots & Culture, Scott Projects, Standard, Suitable, Swimming Pool Projects, Teti, The Suburban, and VONZWECK.
With special contributions by Imperfect Articles, INCUBATE, Mess Hall, Seven Three Split, and ThreeWalls.
Artists Run Chicago is an exhibition showcasing the energy and audacity of some of the most noteworthy artist-run spaces that have influenced the Chicago contemporary art scene over the past decade. Chicago has long been known for cultivating a strong entrepreneurial/Do-It-Yourself spirit in business and the arts. The participating artist-run venues have transformed storefronts, sheds, apartments, lofts, industrial warehouses, garages and roving spaces into contemporary art galleries testing the notion of “exhibition” while complicating the definition of art. Coinciding with the Hyde Park Art Center’s 70th anniversary, Artists Run Chicago reconnects the Art Center to its beginnings as an artist-run space by showcasing spaces that continue the legacy.
The participating artist-run venues have transformed storefronts, sheds, apartments, lofts, industrial spaces, garages and roving spaces into contemporary art galleries testing the notion of exhibition while complicating the definition of art. >>> READ MORE >>>
Our friends at Seripop need a hand. If they win the most votes for this t-shirt design they will get an edition of t-shirts made at threadless, the grand daddy of t-shirt action! Kids will be able to order it, our team will win, and the world is a little brighter.
Please VOTE FOR THEIR DESIGN RIGHT HERE!
Friday April 17, 2009 7pm to midnight
@ Country Club
1100 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
The event is called "The Version Festival User-Directed Super Raffle and V-Bay Buy-it-Now Art Auction!"
We are holding an event this Friday to raise funds to pay for Version festival. http://www.versionfest.org.
The awesome must-have works and services are available due to the generosity of Version festival friends and participants. You can win something pretty amazing for just a few bucks. Or buy the work right off the wall. The raffle begins at 10pm!
VIEW WORK AT THE FLICKR SITE
Featuring work by:
Michael T. Rea
Dave the Lightbulb Man
and many others
The deal: Donate at the door and get raffle tickets ($5 for 2 tickets/ $10 for 5 tickets)
Put tickets in the envelopes underneath the items you want (art - objects.)
At 10:00pm or so, WE WILL START picking winning raffle tickets from each cup. You must be present when your ticket is drawn, or another winner will be chosen.
Or, if you really must have it, pull the ticket with the "BUY IT NOW" price, bring it to the Reception desk and pay cash (or check) on the spot.
The Guardian, Friday 17 April 2009
All is not well in Obamafanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from the US treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from re-regulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.
Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard. This is a good thing. If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programmes capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.
The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.
Hopeover. Like a hangover, a hopeover comes from having overindulged in something that felt good at the time but wasn't really all that healthy, leading to feelings of remorse, even shame. It's the political equivalent of the crash after a sugar high. Sample sentence: "When I listened to Obama's economic speech my heart soared. But then, when I tried to tell a friend about his plans for the millions of lay-offs and foreclosures, I found myself saying nothing at all. I've got a serious hopeover."
Hoper coaster. Like a roller coaster, the hoper coaster describes the intense emotional peaks and valleys of the Obama era, the veering between joy at having a president who supports safe-sex education and despondency that single-payer healthcare is off the table at the very moment when it could become a reality. Sample sentence: "I was so psyched when Obama said he was closing Guantánamo. But now they are fighting like mad to make sure the prisoners in Bagram have no legal rights at all. Stop this hoper coaster - I want to get off!"
Hopesick. Like the homesick, hopesick individuals are intensely nostalgic. They miss the rush of optimism from the campaign trail and are forever trying to recapture that warm, hopey feeling - usually by exaggerating the significance of relatively minor acts of Obama decency. Sample sentence: "I was feeling really hopesick about the escalation in Afghanistan, but then I watched a YouTube video of Michelle in her organic garden and it felt like inauguration day all over again."
Hope fiend. With hope receding, the hope fiend, like the dope fiend, goes into serious withdrawal, willing to do anything to chase the buzz. Sample sentence: "Joe told me he actually believes Obama deliberately brought in Summers so that he would blow the bailout, and then Obama would have the excuse he needs to do what he really wants: nationalise the banks and turn them into credit unions. What a hope fiend!"
Hopebreak. Like the heartbroken lover, the hopebroken Obama-ite is not mad but terribly sad. She projected messianic powers on to Obama and is inconsolable in her disappointment. Sample sentence: "I really believed Obama would finally force us to confront the legacy of slavery in this country and start a serious national conversation about race. But now he never seems to mention race, and he's using twisted legal arguments to keep us from even confronting the crimes of the Bush years. Every time I hear him say 'move forward', I'm hopebroken all over again."
Hopelash. Like a backlash, hopelash is a 180-degree reversal of everything Obama-related. Sufferers were once Obama's most passionate evangelists. Now they are his angriest critics. Sample sentence: "At least with Bush everyone knew he was an asshole. Now we've got the same wars, the same lawless prisons, the same Washington corruption, but everyone is cheering like Stepford wives. It's time for a full-on hopelash."
In trying to name these various hope-related ailments, I found myself wondering what the late Studs Terkel would have said about our collective hopeover. He surely would have urged us not to give in to despair. I reached for one of his last books, Hope Dies Last. I didn't have to read long. The book opens with the words: "Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up."
That pretty much says it all. Hope was a fine slogan when rooting for a long-shot presidential candidate. But as a posture towards the president of the most powerful nation on earth, it is dangerously deferential. The task as we move forward (as Obama likes to say) is not to abandon hope but to find more appropriate homes for it - in the factories, neighbourhoods and schools where tactics like sit-ins, squats and occupations are seeing a resurgence.
Political scientist Sam Gindin wrote recently that the labour movement can do more than protect the status quo. It can demand, for instance, that shuttered auto plants be converted into green-future factories, capable of producing mass-transit vehicles and technology for a renewable energy system. "Being realistic means taking hope out of speeches," he wrote, "and putting it in the hands of workers."
Which brings me to the final entry in the lexicon.
Hoperoots. Sample sentence: "It's time to stop waiting for hope to be handed down, and start pushing it up, from the hoperoots."
• A version of this column was published in the Nation
The following Obituary was sent out by Penelope Rosemont.
Franklin Rosemont, celebrated poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and surrealist activist, died Sunday, April 12 in Chicago. He was 65 years old. With his partner and comrade, Penelope Rosemont, and lifelong friend Paul Garon, he co-founded the Chicago Surrealist Group, an enduring and adventuresome collection of characters that would make the city a center for the reemergence of that movement of artistic and political revolt. Over the course of the following four decades, Franklin and his Chicago comrades produced a body of work, of declarations, manifestos, poetry, collage, hidden histories, and other interventions that has, without doubt, inspired an entirely new generation of revolution in the service of the marvelous.
Franklin Rosemont was born in Chicago on October 2, 1943 to two of the area’s more significant rank-and-file labor activists, the printer Henry Rosemont and the jazz musician Sally Rosemont. Dropping out of Maywood schools after his third year of high school (and instead spending countless hours in the Art Institute of Chicago’s library learning about surrealism), he managed nonetheless to enter Roosevelt University in 1962. Already radicalized through family tradition, and his own investigation of political comics, the Freedom Rides, and the Cuban Revolution, Franklin was immediately drawn into the stormy student movement at Roosevelt.
Looking back on those days, Franklin would tell anyone who asked that he had “majored in St. Clair Drake” at Roosevelt. Under the mentorship of the great African American scholar, he began to explore much wider worlds of the urban experience, of racial politics, and of historical scholarship — all concerns that would remain central for him throughout the rest of
his life. He also continued his investigations into surrealism, and soon, with Penelope, he traveled to Paris in the winter of 1965 where he found André Breton and the remaining members of the Paris Surrealist Group. The Parisians were just as taken with the young Americans as Franklin and Penelope were with them, as it turned out, and their encounter that summer was a turning point in the lives of both Rosemonts. With the support of the Paris group, they returned to the United States later that year and founded America’s first and most enduring indigenous surrealist group, characterized by close study and passionate activity and dedicated equally to artistic production and political organizing. When Breton died in
1966, Franklin worked with his wife, Elisa, to put together the first collection of André’s writings in English.
Active in the 1960s with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Rebel Worker group, the Solidarity Bookshop and Students for a Democratic Society, Franklin helped to lead an IWW strike of blueberry pickers in Michigan in 1964, and put his considerable talents as a propagandist and pamphleteer to work producing posters, flyers, newspapers, and broadsheets on the SDS printing press. A long and fruitful collaboration with Paul Buhle began in 1970 with a special surrealist issue of Radical America. Lavish, funny, and barbed issues of Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion and special issues of Cultural Correspondence were to follow.
The smashing success of the 1968 World Surrealist Exhibition at Gallery Bugs Bunny in Chicago announced the ability of the American group to make a huge cultural impact without ceasing to be critics of the frozen mainstreams of art and politics. The Rosemonts soon became leading figures in the reorganization of the nation’s oldest labor press, Charles H. Kerr Company. Under the mantle of the Kerr Company and its surrealist imprint Black Swan Editions, Franklin edited and printed the work of some of the most important figures in the development of the political left: C.L.R. James, Marty Glaberman, Benjamin Péret and Jacques Vaché, T-Bone Slim, Mother Jones, Lucy Parsons, and, in a new book released just days before
Franklin’s death, Carl Sandburg. In later years, he created and edited the Surrealist Histories series at the University of Texas Press, in addition to continuing his work with Kerr Co. and Black Swan.
A friend and valued colleague of such figures as Studs Terkel, Mary Low, the poets Philip Lamantia, Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Dennis Brutus, the painter Lenora Carrington, and the historians Paul Buhle, David Roediger, John Bracey, and Robin D.G. Kelley, Rosemont’s own artistic and creative work was almost impossibly varied in inspirations and results. Without ever holding a university post, he wrote or edited more than a score of books while acting as a great resource for a host of other writers.
He became perhaps the most productive scholar of labor and the left in the United States. His spectacular study, Joe Hill: The I.W.W. and the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture, began as a slim projected volume of that revolutionary martyr’s rediscovered cartoons and grew to giant volume providing our best guide to what the early twentieth century radical movement was like and what radical history might do. His coedited volume Haymarket Scrapbook stands as the most beautifully illustrated labor history publication of the recent past. Indispensable compendium like The Big Red Songbook, What is Surrealism?, Menagerie in Revolt, and the forthcoming Black Surrealism are there to ensure that the legacy of the movements that inspired him continue to inspire young radicals for generations to come. In none of this did Rosemont separate scholarship from art, or art from revolt. His books of poetry include Morning of the Machine Gun, Lamps Hurled at the Stunning Algebra of Ants, The Apple of the Automatic Zebra’s Eye and Penelope. His marvelous fierce, whimsical and funny artwork—to which he contributed a new piece every day—graced countless surrealist publications and exhibitions.
Indeed, between the history he himself helped create and the history he helped uncover, Franklin was never without a story to tell or a book to write—about the IWW, SDS, Hobohemia in Chicago, the Rebel Worker, about the past 100 years or so of radical publishing in the US, or about the international network of Surrealists who seemed to always be passing through the Rosemonts’ Rogers Park home. As engaged with and excited by new surrealist and radical endeavors as he was with historical ones, Franklin was always at work responding to queries from a new generation of radicals and surrealists, and was a generous and rigorous interlocutor.
In every new project, every revolt against misery, with which he came into contact, Franklin recognized the glimmers of the free and unfettered imagination, and lent his own boundless creativity to each and every struggle around him, inspiring, sustaining, and teaching the next
generation of surrealists worldwide.
A piece of the transcript that got us thinking:
AMY GOODMAN: The whole issue of populist rage, Noam Chomsky, actually, do you think that this rage is going to boil over as the unemployment figures rise?
NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s very hard to predict those things. I mean, it has a potentially positive side, like it could be like the activism of the 1930s or the 1960s, which ended up making it a more civilized society in many ways, or it could be like an unfortunate precedent that quickly comes to mind. I’ve written about it.
Take a look at Germany. In the 1920s, Germany was the absolute peak of Western civilization, in the arts and the sciences. It was regarded as a model of democracy and so on. I mean, ten years later, it was the depths of barbarism. That was a quick transition. “The descent into barbarism” it’s sometimes called in the scholarly literature.
Now, if you listen to early Nazi propaganda, you know, end of the Weimar Republic and so on, and you listen to talk radio in the United States, which I often do—it’s interesting—there’s a resemblance. And in both cases, you have a lot of demagogues appealing to people with real grievances.
Grievances aren’t invented. I mean, for the American population, the last thirty years have been some of the worst in economic history. It’s a rich country, but real wages have stagnated or declined, working hours have shot up, benefits have gone down, and people are in real trouble and now in very real trouble after the bubbles burst. And they’re angry. And they want to know, “What happened to me? You know, I’m a hard-working, white, God-fearing American. You know, how come this is happening to me?”
That’s pretty much the Nazi appeal. The grievances were real. And one of the possibilities is what Rush Limbaugh tells you: “Well, it’s happening to you because of those bad guys out there.” OK, in the Nazi case, it was the Jews and the Bolsheviks. Here, it’s the rich Democrats who run Wall Street and run the media and give everything away to illegal immigrants, and so on and so forth. It sort of peaked during the Sarah Palin period. And it’s kind of interesting. It’s been pointed out that of all the candidates, Sarah Palin is the only one who used the phrase “working class.” She was talking to the working people. And yeah, they’re the ones who are suffering. So, there are models that are not very attractive.
The Reader's cover story Fail "How Daley and his crew hid their process from the public, ignored their own rules, railroaded the City Council, and screwed the taxpayers on the parking meter lease deal." has made waves..
The piece is brilliant for a short attention spanned blog reading public. But it underlies the sorry state of journalism in Chicago. An investigative piece that would have been a 15,000 word treatment pre Reader buyout got around 3,000 in our weekly of note. Despite this unnoticed point Lumpen tips her hat at the great work Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke.
Let a million investigations bloom.
Cuban-Americans will also be allowed to send more money to relatives in Cuba.
The move, announced by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, comes after Mr Obama last month signed a spending bill easing some economic sanctions on Cuba.
Mr Gibbs said the aim was to promote democracy and human rights on the Caribbean island.
Baratunde’s Posterous posted this unwonderful video produced by The National Organization for Marriage, describing it as "Fake People Tell Fake Stories About The Threat Of Gay Marriage."
I don't know if the people are fake or not [UPDATE: They are actors], but they are assholes. One woman whines plaintively, "My freedom will be taken away," if gays are allowed to marry. What -- her freedom to be intolerant?
Re_Posted via Frauenfelder
UPDATE: Here are the audition tapes that show these people are actors.
We wish we were as cool and avant garde as the people who brought Postopolis to the universe.
Storefront for Art and Architecture and ForYourArt invited 6 bloggers to curate Postopolis! LA, a live five-day event of near-continuous conversation about architecture, art, urbanism, landscape, and design that washeld in Los Angeles from 31 March to 4 April 2009.
The 6 bloggers are David Basulto of ArchDaily/Plataforma Arquitectura, Geoff Manaugh from BLDGBLOG , Dan Hill of City of Sound, Bryan Finoki of Subtopia , Jace Clayton from Mudd Up!, and our favorite blog of the moment : we-make-money-not-art.
Riot police in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, have regained control of the parliament building that had earlier been stormed by protesters.
This followed the re-election of the Communist Party in Sunday's elections.
Thousands of anti-communist demonstrators stormed parliament, smashing furniture, throwing computers through windows and lighting fires.
More protests, which President Vladimir Voronin said amounted to an attempted coup, are expected on Wednesday. "
French rebels in the streets Disrupting the G20
LONDON (Reuters) - Demonstrators clashed with riot police and smashed the windows of a bank in London's financial center on Wednesday in protest against a system they said had robbed the poor to benefit the rich.
Hundreds of protesters converged on a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland, shattering windows.
Rescued by the government in October, RBS has become a lightning rod for public anger in Britain over banker excess blamed for the crisis. The protests were timed to coincide with a G20 meeting of the world's leading and emerging economies.
Report: Obama Decides Bankruptcy Best for GM, Chrysler
President is reportedly convinced that a negotiated bankruptcy is the best way for General Motors to restructure and become a competitive automaker.
The fast-food chain has sent off a letter to the nation's mayors, offering to patch their potholes for free. The company will leave behind a stenciled brand on the patch informing people the road has been "Re-Freshed by KFC."
"In honor of our "Fresh Tastes Best" campaign, we want to come and Re-"Fresh" your roads!" KFC president Roger Eaton says in the letter. "Every patched pothole comes with the Colonel's very own stamp of approval."
But Brian Steele, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, which is charged with repairing the city's potholes, said "We don't allow any type of printing or advertising placed on a city street or sidewalk."
Our friends Ray Noland and our buds at the The Post Family are co-curating, “Officially Unofficial”, an exhibition of prints, posters, photographs, and videos that emerged in 2008 as icons of the art movement in support of Barack Obama for President. The exhibition will include official campaign materials as well as independent work by artists and designers from Chicago and across the country. It opens March 31st!
The Post Family is curating the show with Nathon Mason, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs • Chicago artist Ray Noland of CRO • in collaboration with Hal Wert of the Kansas City Art Institute.
William Greider: To restore the nation's broken financial system, Washington must reform the Federal Reserve.
The story makes disturbing current events sound practically normal. But what are the storytellers leaving out? They aren't saying that this financial catastrophe was not merely an inevitable development of history but a man-made disaster. Greedheads on Wall Street did their part, but so did Washington. The reason we need new rules is that a generation of Democrats and Republicans systematically repealed or gutted the old ones--the regulatory controls enacted eighty years ago to remedy the last breakdown of capitalism (better known as the Great Depression).
The White House executed a nifty two-step this week to re-educate the public and deflect anger. On Tuesday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner relaunched the massive bailout of banking and finance. Knowing how unpopular this is with the people at large, Geithner followed on Thursday with his "sweeping" plans to re-regulate the bankers and financiers. Whenever official plans are called "sweeping," it indicates that they really, really mean it this time.
Most Americans are not financial experts. It's very difficult, nearly impossible, for normal mortals to sort through the dense policy talk and conflicting opinions to figure out if the rhetoric of reform is real. Confusion is widespread in the land. Most Americans want to believe this president is leading us out of the swamp, but how can they know? I say, trust your gut feelings. They are as reliable as the learned experts.
Many Americans want to believe because they think that returning to "normal" means their decimated 401(k) accounts might somehow recover the 30-40 percent that disappeared during the past year. If it takes monster bank bailouts to restore stock-market prices, let's have bailouts. Good luck with that. The Dow has regained 21 percent in two weeks of rallies, but I remind friends that steep, short bursts in the stock market do not foretell the future of the economy. Banks may be relieved of their losses without changing the general economic outlook. After the crash of 1929, there were occasional stock rallies, followed by fierce bears. It took twenty-five years (until 1954) for the Dow to regain its old peak. Another way to assess the Obama plan for reform is ask: who likes it? The verdict was swift and sure after Geithner's twin announcements. Wall Street likes it. The blueprint for regulatory reforms was applauded by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; the American Insurance Association; and the Private Equity Council, the trade group for the major private funds that will get public money and backup insurance to buy the banking system's rotten assets. This could be born-again patriotism. Or it could be the animal appetites of financiers smelling gorgeous opportunity for returns.
This may be one of those moments where people can find some guidance from their moral convictions. They do not need to know all the details to ask simple questions. Does the outline of what's happening to rescue major financial institutions seem morally wrong? Or is it justified by the larger necessities of the national predicament? Is the government insufficiently tough in demanding reciprocal commitments from the beneficiaries? Should Washington pursue larger structural changes in the banking system?
Trying to imagine alternatives to the bankers-first bailouts is a good place to start. What follows are suggestions I produced at the request of young people organizing demonstrations around the country for April 11. They call themselves A New Way Forward. I hope they light lots of bonfires.
This rough outline leaves out lots of particular regulatory issues, but the core goal of reform is to create a banking and financial system that serves the society and the economy, not the other way around. Everything being done to rescue and restore the old order gets in the way of creating something truly new and valuable for the future. Those of us throwing logs in the path of the bailouts are dismissed as naysayers or worse, but the financial titans are trying to foreclose just solutions by stampeding Congress and the president to adopt ill-considered ideas.
If Wall Street gets its way, the "reforms" may further consolidate power and ratify a corporate state--a grotesque hybrid that combines the worst aspects of socialism and capitalism. The reform ideas announced by Geithner would plant the seeds by creating a "systemic risk" regulator, presumably the Federal Reserve, to oversee the largest, most politically adept banks and financial firms that qualify as "too big to fail." Capitalism, with its inherent tendency toward monopoly, would have the means to monopolize democracy (see my recent Washington Post article.)
My new book, Come Home, America, asks people to enunciate their versions of "patriotic realism." That is the essence of an alternative vision: deconcentrate power, liberate people and smaller enterprises, workers and middle managers and investors, to help shape the country's future from many different perspectives. This is how democracy was supposed to work. It can again.
Some points I recommend people consider:
1. Euthanasia for insolvent banks. Transferring their losses to the public will not restore the trillions in capital the bankers helped destroy. It would merely relieve the banks, their creditors and shareholders of the pain. Government must take control of the system to supervise a just unwinding of the mess--whether we call it nationalization or something else. Handing out money and leaving bankers in control of how it's spent is nutty and morally wrong. People everywhere understand this. Only Washington seems oblivious to the irrationality of what it is attempting.
2. The Federal Reserve must be democratized and effectively stripped of its peculiar antidemocratic status as an unaccountable island of power within the government. A new federal agency--accountable to Congress and the president--can be refashioned from the working parts of the Fed. Call it a central bank or something else, but its governing power must not rest with heavyweight bankers on the board of directors at the twelve regional banks. (To understand why, consider that the New York Federal Reserve Bank was headed until recently by Geithner.)
3. The reformed Fed would be confined to conducting monetary policy and stripped of its regulatory functions. A different section of the Treasury or a new free-standing regulatory agency can assume responsibility for regulation and be armed with strong antitrust laws and other rules to ensure that "too big to fail" institutions are redefined as "too big to save."
4. The federal law against usury can be restored to halt predatory lending. Persistent violators would not be fined with trivial penalties, as they are now, but stripped of their government protections and subsidies--that is, doomed.
5. A new banking system--smaller and more diverse and responsible to the public interest--can fill the hole left by the demise of major banks like Citigroup. Vast public resources should be devoted to creating this system, not to saving the mastodons. Public banks (like the North Dakota State Bank) and nonprofit savings and lending cooperatives can also serve as an important cross-check on private commercial banking--a competitive model that offers credit on nonusurious terms and keeps the big boys honest.
6. Once the Federal Reserve is domesticated in a democratic fashion, then it can be reformed to assume broad supervision of the nonbank financial firms in the "shadow banking system"--hedge funds, private equity firms, pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies. (For more on this, see my recent Nation article, "Fixing the Fed.")
7. Our first political challenge is to disturb business as usual in Washington and prevent Congress from taking hasty action to adopt Wall Street's "reform" agenda. Congress is rattled by the exploding popular anger and listening nervously. The people need to speak louder--loud enough for the president to hear.
From the NYT
FRESNO, Calif. — As the operations manager of an outreach center for the homeless here, Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.
View the slideshow
The U.S. government plan to rid banks of toxic assets will rob American taxpayers by exposing them to too much risk and is unlikely to work as long as the economy remains weak, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday…
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s plan to wipe up to US$1 trillion in bad debt off banks’ balance sheets, unveiled on Monday, offered “perverse incentives”, Stiglitz said.
The U.S. government is basically using the taxpayer to guarantee against downside risk on the value of these assets, while giving the upside, or potential profits, to private investors, he said. “Quite frankly, this amounts to robbery of the American people. I don’t think it’s going to work because I think there’ll be a lot of anger about putting the losses so much on the shoulder of the American taxpayer.”
The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power.
Read how Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution.
People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.
Good news on the Olympic front, at least for Chicago: the upper house of the Japanese parliament signed on to a plan to fund the 2016 Olympics if the International Olympic Committee awards them to Tokyo.
My condolences to the Japanese taxpayers.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A., neither the city or the federal government has yet agreed to back the games. According to a recent Tribune article by Laurie Cohen and Kathy Bergen, this is supposed to be a bone of contention between Chicago's Olympic planners and the IOC, which wants the government (federal, local--any will do) to pony up. My suggestion to the IOC is to forget about Chicago and just give the games to Japan.
In addition, the local Olympic opposition movement is gearing up. You probably already know about the April 2 rally--it starts at 5 PM at Federal Plaza (that's 50 W. Adams). But now they're going to have a march after the rally, moving north on LaSalle to City Hall and then east to the Aon Center, home of Chicago's 2016 Olympic committee.
"I'm going to pick up the permit for the march tomorrow," says Bob Quellos, a member of No Games Chicago.
Android application developer Alex Holmes is creating a simple and powerful new way to get your pirated videos: an application that uses your cellphone's built in camera to scan a DVD bar code, then starts the movie downloading onto your home computer.
Called "Torrent Droid," the program means consumers who spot a DVD they like at the local Walmart will no longer have to choose between the instant gratification of buying it on the spot, and the frugal -- albeit illegal -- alternative of grabbing it from BitTorrent.
"I could feel bad about creating a tool that could be used for piracy," says the 23-year-old Holmes, a Bournemouth University software systems student. "However if I didn't create the tool, someone else would have."
After scanning the UPC on the DVD's packaging, the program looks up the number in a database to get the title. Then it automatically runs a search on your favorite torrent site.
Select the torrent of your choice, and Torrent Droid sends it to your home computer, assuming your PC is running uTorrent with a web interface. If your broadband connection is fast and the checkout line slow, your movie will be waiting for you when you get home.
Holmes says the program will be for sale on his website, Zerofate, in about a month.
The idea for the application came from the website Android and Me, which offered a cash reward to the first developer who could create a working version for Google's Android. Holmes won the $90 award with his "very private alpha" version of the software, shown in the video.
NPR.org, March 22, 2009 · The Obama administration's latest attempt to tackle the banking crisis and get loans flowing to families and businesses will create a new government entity, the Public-Private Investment Program, to help purchase as much as $1 trillion in toxic assets on banks' books.
The new effort, to be unveiled Monday, will be followed the next day with release of the administration's broad framework for overhauling the financial system to ensure that the current crisis — the worst in seven decades — is not repeated.
This could lead to some bad times... and bad choices. like printing money to pay for this garbage.
Paul Craig Roberts says "If the US government is forced to print money to cover the high costs of its wars and bailouts, things could fall apart very quickly."
March 21, 2009, 8pm
3219 S Morgan St
There are way too many good reasons to come by Co-Prosperity Sphere this Saturday, March 21.
We are launching two new publications: Matériel and Pr.
They are awesome. And HUGE! Download this link for a sneak peak at Matériel:
We are also raising funds for Version>09 Immodest Proposals our annual international art freak out. This is our only fundraiser that will pay for 10 days and nights of projects by over 350 people from around the world.
Bobby Conn is playing along with Casual Encounter, and a super secret internet famous band.
Matériel is an oversized broadside newsprint publication that’s a collection of the best/brightest designers/illustrators/
Pr is Proximty’s in-between issues poster letter featuring reviews, interview, a calendar and a sweet recipe for a healthy art ecology.
Both of these oversized publications are beautiful. Come and get one, and fund our soon to be epic festival.
issues are complementary with a $10 Suggested donation.
... Please repost and forward this transmission:
California's Inland Empire
March 8, 2009
First in a series
At night, I can hear the soft thumps as the rats land on my roof. They launch themselves from the branches of the apricot tree because they want to get inside my attic, into a house with heat.
The house next door, and the one next to that, have been empty since October. Their yards have gone feral, with hundreds of dandelion heads glistening gray in the night.
The rats are cold and hungry. The skunks have a den somewhere next door, where the metal shed was dismantled. Opossums, raccoons and lizards have colonized the abandoned yards on my block in Riverside. And it's spooky, at night, to see so much darkness, to hear skittering, to keep an eye out for homeless people trying to break in and sleep, to listen for the sounds of desperate humans and animals.
Last week, a woman stole a pair of shoes right off my neighbor Maria's front porch. Maria woke her son, who ran down the street and confronted the woman. She threw the shoes back at him. After a pair of clippers disappeared from my yard, I've started taking ladders and anything else of possible worth inside at night.
Our mailman, Randy, said this week that from what he sees in his letter bag (he reminds me that Americans have no secrets from the letter carrier), about one in eight homes in our neighborhood are in foreclosure or a few months away. The street already has six empty houses, some vacant for nearly a year. And people walking aimlessly in the street make life eerie and uncertain.
Here in the Inland Empire, we joke that our people are canaries but we don't die.
Our foreclosure rate was the highest in the country for many months; Riverside County's unemployment rate is 12.2%. But we do recession better than many places. We have experience. In the 1980s, we lost Kaiser Steel and many other manufacturers; from 1992-94, the unemployment rate for the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area averaged 10%, with an astonishing 12.1% in July 1992.
But this feels different. More desperate. Last year, after the price of copper skyrocketed, metal theft was rampant; thieves stole catalytic converters from parked cars, brass plaques from headstones and monuments, faucets and bushings from fire hydrants, copper wire from schools and parks. Thieves strip foreclosed homes, identifying them by "Bank Owned" signs in the dead lawns. Water heaters, copper pipes, electrical equipment -- all torn from walls and floors, homes destroyed.
I haven't slept well for about a year. For a while, I woke up at night to check on my daughter's Honda, which was broken into repeatedly. We knew it was a prime target. But recently it was stolen from in front of her friend's house, in the 15 minutes she left it to go inside. On Presidents Day, my ex-husband and I drove to a towing yard in San Bernardino near the Colton border to retrieve what was left of the car when police found it. The guy who brought it to me shook his head.
Stripped. Everything gone but the fast-food trash the thieves had strewn on the floor. "I'll call the salvage guy for new door panels and seats," my ex-husband said. Then he rolled his eyes. "He only takes cash, but my tax refund's gonna be an IOU, right?"
We drove through streets of boarded-up bungalows, the neighborhoods of old California now turning back to wild oats and silvery foxtails so high the windows were obscured. Men wandered the potholed streets looking like something out of a current-day Steinbeck novel.
To say we might lose "community" is too simple. We are already more isolated and urbanized than in the past. But to lose the community on my street, the street I've lived on for 22 years, breaks my heart.
We watch out for each other. A neighbor with orange trees brings me bags of navels, which I share with other neighbors. I give Maria eggs from my chickens and winter tomatoes and oranges, and she brings us foods from her native Philippines -- chicken adobo and pancit.
But increasingly there are things we can't help each other with. Down the block, my neighbors -- waitresses and home day-care workers and contractors and retired people -- are all nervous about whether they'll have jobs tomorrow. One neighbor sold many of her belongings last year in a series of yard sales, trying to make house payments; her husband, an adult-education teacher, was furloughed for the summer, and his hours for this school year were cut. They are filing for bankruptcy.
A few days ago, police were at Maria's; someone had tried to carjack her son at gunpoint for his truck. And from my kitchen window, I saw police at a house on the next street. After work, my youngest and I smelled smoke on that street, so several neighbors and I ran to see whether the elderly widows on the block were OK. The fire was put out quickly, but one man said to me, "A bad day on this street." Earlier that morning, police arriving to evict a woman found her dead. A woman in her 30s, in a rental house, who'd lost her job some months before and was being evicted, had hanged herself.
None of us can get her out of our minds, because we didn't help her. We didn't know. She hadn't been here long. I can see the roof of her house as I wash dishes, and when I go to bed, I can hear the rats gnawing at the chicken wire over the vents on my roof.
Susan Straight's most recent novel is "A Million Nightingales." On Monday: The view from South Los Angeles.
Stimulus Flows Into Patchwork of State Transport Projects
There is nothing monumental in President Obama’s plan to revive the economy with a coast-to-coast building spree, no historic New Deal public works. The goal of the stimulus plan was to put people to work quickly, and so states across the country have begun to spend nearly $50 billion on thousands of smaller transportation projects that could employ up to 400,000 people, by the administration’s estimates.
See an interactive map of how the money is being spent
Here is some recent confusion:
The Lazy Man's Guide to the Economic Crisis
Taking Greenspan at his word, we can surmise that one of the goals of the ruling elites is to even the global playing field by reducing the wages of hard-working Americans, by now in a desperate race to the bottom. No more discretionary income, no more annual trips to the beach. Instead, as a wage slave, chained to an ever-turning wheel of mis-fortune, stands the American worker – oblivious to the hidden hand of events even as it operates right in front of his nose.
A Banana Republic by 2012? Obama's Budget
"President Obama has presented the most irresponsible budget in US history. His fiscal year 2010 budget projects federal spending of $3.5 trillion and a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion. In other words, 50 percent of the government’s budget consists of red ink. "
Redistributionist, and That’s Just Fine
“Over the past two or three decades, the top 1 percent of Americans have experienced a dramatic increase from 10 percent to more than 20 percent in the share of national income that’s accruing to them,” said Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director. Now, he said, is their time “to pitch in a bit more.”
Graham: Nationalizing Banks Should Be On The Table
A.F.L.-C.I.O. to Support Nationalizing Banks
WASHINGTON — Even as it pulls back from harsh interrogations and other sharply debated aspects of George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism,” the Obama administration is quietly signaling continued support for other major elements of its predecessor’s approach to fighting Al Qaeda.
The Obummer Administration is sadly on the rise.
read more at NYT
Chicago Art Parade Participation Details
Version is excited to announce the first annual Chicago Art Parade!
The Chicago Art Parade is a point of combustion. A flash moment of synergy, prosperity, and participation amongst Chicago's multi-faceted art communities. Doers, thinkers, subculture advocates and the mainstream masses alike will converge in an act of solidified networks. The most immodest proposals, creations, and collaborations will traverse Chicago's disclosed and eclipsed spaces.
Date: May 1, 2009
Nothing wider than 9'
No confetti, streamers, or anything left behind.
WHAT TO INCLUDE:Link
Detailed description of concept
Initial drawings or renderings
Number of participants
Description of set up needs.
EMAIL SUBMISSIONS TO
PROPOSALS DUE MARCH 15TH.