Work an Hour

A good cause to support. Forward widely.

Work an Hour 2008

NYPD Officer Assaults Critical Mass Rider

Blatantly.

Without warning or attempting to stop him non-violently.

Fucked up.

I have participated in Critical Mass rides in Chicago.

They are always peaceful.

All over the globe.

In New York City they are illegal.

New York City promises liberty and justice to the world’s “tired, poor and hungry.”

New York City stands opposed to undemocratic (state) repression and extremism and is willing to defend this freedom of its people against terrorists.

New York City markets itself around the world as the place to which one can escape from the evils of the world.

That is, unless you’re on a bike, evidently.

If on a bike in New York City, you forfeit, so it seems, your right to free speech, free assembly and the privilege of being protected.

But good news, if the logic of the NYPD and NYC legislators is correct, you should be safe from being attacked by terrorists (because you are more like them than like a good NYC citizen and those subjects NYC welcomes).

So, if you’re a New Yorker who is scared of Al Quaeda: ride a bike! But make sure you wear protective gear and look out for the NYPD. However, this may be a good gamble: in contrast to your usual terrorist, NYPD officers are at least clearly recognizable, so you reduce the paranoia factor.

Form your own opinion about what Critical Mass bike rides are, if they should be illegal in NYC and if risking a human being’s health over it is a justified action in order to uphold “the law.” Btw: it looks as though the police officer will get away unpunished. Another proud day for all of us who stand by and laugh precisely because there is nothing to laugh at (as Adorno would have it) while the “law” is being executed by aggression and troubled masculinity.

Here the footage:

Here some info on Critical Mass:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass

http://critical-mass.info/

http://www.critical-mass.org/

http://chicagocriticalmass.org/

Stranded

I shouldn’t have announced the return of this blog this early. It has been rather difficult to write lately–purely coincidentally. Today, I am stranded at Halifax airport. Still. I actually have been here since yesterday. Surprisingly, it’s starting to get a little boring.

I’ve met some nice people (a writer form San Francisco), some weird people (a bush pilot from Australia) and people I may very soon assault (an old hippie who has been playing the recorder constantly–I guess he is trying to entertain people, but he plays it really, really badly and I have the feeling someone may snap very soon. Hope it’s not going to be me. He is playing it as I am typing this. Really testing his luck, the old fella).

I hope I’ll make it out of here soon.

If customs and the Department of Homeland Security will allow me to order pizza into the terminal, I wonder?

Day 435: AY!

Wow, I’ve been really bad at this whole blogging thing as of late. (I mean even worse than usual.) I have been insanely busy and practically spent every day in its entirety at coffee shops writing. I’m just finishing an article (which I will be sending out tonight). Also, I hope there will be some time left for me to do laundry, since I have to get up at 4 in the morning to go to the airport where I have to get on a flight to Long Beach at 7 in the morning. I’ll be at the ACLA convention over the next few days. I organized a panel there and will be presenting a paper (along with some other UIC folks). There will also be a few MLG people there, so it should be fun. I am, however, slightly worried about the presentation I have to give, the main reason for which is the fact that the presentation has yet to be written (and in a way that doesn’t make me look like an idiot). Well, I guess I have a longish flight and one more night at the hotel for that. It’s more a matter of copying and pasting anyway. The talk will essentially consist of an abbreviated version of an article that should be coming out as part of an edited collection sometime soon. I’ll advertise here it when I know specifics.

Oh, and in the same spirit, for those read German: check out Sebastian Domsch’s Amerikanisches Erzaehlen Nach 2000. Muenchen: Edition Text + Kritik, April/May 2008. It’s not quite out yet but should be within the next few days–you can pre-order it. Yours truly has a chapter in that as well.

I’ll be back next week with reports from the Western frontier (of the culture industry).

Day 426: No Rest for the Wicked

I saw New Model Army in concert at a tiny place in Wicker Park here in Chicago last Saturday night and I am still smiling. What a fantastic concert and what a fantastic band! They still stick to their shit, still rock, still stir up trouble and still have really bad teeth. I haven’t had a case of goosebumps as bad as this one at a concert in a long long time. “Here Comes the War” may just be the perfect opening song, especially considering that US customs seized not only ALL of their CDs upon entering the US from Canada (threatening to the homeland, evidently–probably for the same reason that anti-imperialist band were denied visas for their last tour a few months ago) along with a lot of other merchandise, including all buttons that said “I’m not at war.” Apparently, one has to be at war these days in order to enter the US–somewhat perplexing, really (“Put out the lights of the Age of Reason!”). To sum up, there is really not much more to this post than this: I love this band! (But apparently not as much as my friend–she briefly considered jumping the bass player.)

The movers move, the shakers shake // the winners rewrite history // but from high on the high hills // it all looks like nothing

old-school but contemporary:

and about two weeks ago–shitty quality, too big of a venue, but otherwise represents their present state (unchanged) state quite well:

Day 423: The Last Lecture

Here Randy Pausch’s by now famous “Last Lecture:” “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” This may be difficult to critique, but let’s try. I’d be interested in hearing how people actually read this phenomenon–the book just came out a few days ago.

Day 384: World Pillow Fight Day 2008–Chicago Event

March 22, 2008 is World Pillow Fight Day. A number of cities around the globe are organizing events you should definitely attend. Pillow fighting is a recent phenomenon that emerged out of flash mob culture and has become increasingly popular. Most major cities have local “Pillow Fight Clubs” and organize events regularly. Some of the most popular events are the annual Valentine’s Day pillow fight in San Francisco (video below), or the biannual pillow fight organized by Columba University as a means to relieve stress before finals week.

On World Pillow Fight Day all events are synchronized and should start at the exact same time. Here the website and a list of events in major cities:  http://www.pillowfightday.com/index.php.

Join me and many others at the Chicago event:

March 22, 2008 @ 2 p.m. in front of the Art Institute of Chicago (Monroe & Michigan)

Bring a feather pillow, a trash bag, and lots of peace and love. Spread the word (without using paper).

If there need to be wars in the world, this is what they should look like!

Here the 2008 SF Valentine’s Day pillow fight:

and one of the early ones in SF: