Archive for May, 2009

To vida, noxzema and chi chi, thanks for everything

I will break him out of school half day, slowing the car as he hops in. We will speed away, two people on the same road, age and authority disappearing as we sit side by side in the front seat. We will be alert and together, the excitement building as we approach our city, basking in […]

“Come Over and Help Us”

We had an argument about American exceptionalism here once, right? Here’s Chomsky on why we shouldn’t be surprised by Bush and Obama.

A day goes by

It’s been just about ten years since I said the only real prayer I’ve ever said: “Please make him better or take him soon.” I didn’t want my father to go through a long, emaciating fight against cancer. I took a deep breath and rode the elevator up to the cancer floor at U Penn […]

Those who grade

What are your favorite lines from student papers this semester? Mine: “Everyone loves pirates, and that is not a generalization.” Runner-up: “Cannibalism was an awful thing, even back then.”

My new favorite artist

Just recently discovered Kehinde Wiley.  Born in LA some thirty-one years ago, he now lives in Harlem.  He takes images of young African-American males and paints them in traditional “Old World Art” style.  A Judas with a cell phone; a Renaissance colonel with a backwards baseball cap, a pieta with a goatee.  The collision of worlds is electric.

Asia, 1989. Part IV: Guangzhou and Hong Kong

Part I. Part II. Part III. April 15:  Impressions from a day on a Chinese train: loud Chinese pop music – vendors pushing carts of rice and celery and liver – our Malaysian neighbors singing “What a friend we have in Jesus.” People spitting, throwing garbage out the train windows – rice paddies, hills, small […]

Disappointed by someone new watch: Civil liberties edition

Glenn Greenwald has a cogent summary of Obama’s recent actions on torture and other Bush-era detainee issues. The President is not our friend.

The Monday Photo (Fred Perry)

How, Beat Box Girl?

And… why? This is truly amazing, if mildly baffling.

Out of line

Standing in line is a problem.  One would never choose to queue. We’re there because our demands outstrip some sort of supply, whether of cashiers, buses, or bartenders.  Or we are supplicants for food or money.  Our time is not valued and is in the control of others.  We have to stay in proximity to […]