"Americans need to educate themselves, from elementary school onward, about what their country has done abroad. And they need to play a more active role in ensuring that what the United States does abroad is not merely in keeping with a foreign policy elite's sense of realpolitik but also with the American public's own sense of American values.
Because at their core, those values are sound. That is why, even in places where you'll find virulent anti-Americanism, you'll also find enormous affection for things American."
by Mohsin Hamid,
author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist
posted by A189Nut
on Jul 23, 2007 -
On the cusp of DEVO's first tour of Europe since 1990
, it's become clear that, though largely cast aside after their 1980 hit "Whip It", DEVO's influence is finally being felt on modern audiences, around the world. DEVO has inspired tribute bands, some traditional
, some not
. They've also spawned new bands, domestic
[MySpace link], and Foreign like Japan's POLYSICS
[YouTube], and Germany's Mutate Now
[YouTube]. With musical inspiration like this, can't we forgive such missteps as Devo 2.0
posted by SansPoint
on Jun 15, 2007 -
The Third View project
is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
posted by taz
on Jun 15, 2007 -
In 2008 Elect “Independent” Don Cordell
For President, of the “United States of America” our, “America the Beautiful”
OR, You “will be
” “Citizens” of The: UNITED NATION’S, “NEW WORLD ORDER”
posted by brett
on Jun 13, 2007 -
Aptitude Schmaptitude! While the state of mathematical incompetence in this country has been much lamented, most famously in Paulos's brilliant 1988 book Innumeracy, it is still tacitly accepted . . . Being incompetent in math has become not only acceptable in this widely innumerate culture, it has almost become a matter of pride. No one
goes around showing off that he is illiterate, or has no athletic ability, but declarations of innumeracy are constantly made without any embarrassment or shame.
posted by jason's_planet
on May 3, 2007 -
"As he has before, Bush told the story about how his first presidential decision was to pick a rug for the Oval Office..."
In a speech before Ohio High Schoolers and business leaders in a
Republican district outside of Dayton,
President made some interesting commentary
on marriage, chicken-plucking,
polling, his own legacy, comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, and of course,
loves the rug
like Ronald Reagan loved Jelly Beans,
, even on the whitehouse.gov's
. Shortly after a President takes office, they
their own imprint on the character of the Oval Office by redecorating
task usually taken by the First Lady. The rug, designed by Laura Bush is
as the President stated
wanted the room to convey a sense of optimism
, "because you can't make
decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a
better tomorrow." Hopefully the rug doesn't become a bookended anecdote to
posted by rzklkng
on Apr 24, 2007 -
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
- Jackie Robinson
This Sunday April 15, 2007, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the breaking of baseball's color barrier
. For one
and managers throughout
as well as entire teams
will be saluting his memory
Robinson's retired number 42
for his tremendous leadership
and off the field (previously),
he is remembered
for his determination
, and for his post-career activities as a civil rights advocate
. Perhaps the highest compliment is to say simply that Jackie Robinson
of the greatest players
to ever grace
a baseball diamond
, but his contribution to baseball, and to equality in America
was far greater than statistics and pennants.
, do you want a ballplayer who is afraid to fight back?" "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back!" See The Jackie Robinson Story
, starring the man himself. (1:16:29, Google video)
posted by edverb
on Apr 9, 2007 -
is an Iraqi-American who was born in Najaf
. He left Iraq in the late 70's to teach, first to the UAE, and then to Germany. In 1986, he moved to the US, where he eventually opened Sinbad's, a successful restaurant. In late 2003, he went back to Iraq after learning his mother had died. Upon his return to the US, he could not stop thinking about the country he left, and the state it was in, so in 2004, he sold his restaurant and moved back.
There, he founded the Muslim Peacemakers Team, based closely off of the Christian Peacemakers Team
(and in fact was a friend of Tom Fox
). He currently lives in Iraq, although comes back to visit the US every year or so, to raise awareness, visit friends, and to share news about what is really going on in Iraq. [Links to Articles, E-mails, and Interviews inside.]
posted by wander
on Mar 14, 2007 -
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander
on Mar 2, 2007 -
An interesting project
from the latest Vectors Journal. "Legend has it that Paglen, who has been called the Fox Mulder of cultural geography, was personally instrumental in provoking the military to extend the perimeter around Area 51 by several miles in an attempt to thwart one of his counter-surveillance efforts" [via]
posted by tellurian
on Feb 16, 2007 -
dlog is a new document visualization system that attempts to show writing not as a static document but a progression of frames over time.
I find the suspense of the process mesmerising/delightful. I'm surprised it hasn't been trashed.
posted by tellurian
on Feb 13, 2007 -
Through a Glass, Darkly
How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history--from Harpers. ...producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history. ...
posted by amberglow
on Jan 12, 2007 -
Are you annoyed with careless, rude, or stupid drivers? Instead of obscene gestures, obscenities, and aggressive tailgating, now you can snitch on them at PlateWire.com
, a site where you can enter the license plate, vehicle make & model, and a description of the offensive behavior. Members can search for repeat offenders' license plates and contribute to the blogs
posted by fandango_matt
on Dec 20, 2006 -
"A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me."
Goodbye to George W.S. Trow, one of the strangest, wisest, disturbingest writer ever to gape at, marvel at, and love his fellow Americans. His 1980 essay "Within the Context of No Context"
(which shared with J.D. Salinger's last published story
the distinction of taking up an entire issue of the New Yorker
) placed television, irony, and distance at the center of the new United States. He also wrote the less well-known (but equally beautiful) short story collection Bullies
, along with a novel and several screenplays
, helped found National Lampoon
, and was a staff writer at the New Yorker
from 1966 until 1994, when he quit in protest of Roseanne Barr's guest-editing stint. He died on November 24, in Naples, at the age of 63. Appreciations from the New York Observer
posted by escabeche
on Dec 12, 2006 -
A manual for electoral apocalypse
in America. Quite a bit's been written both on MeFi
and other places about how bad Diebold machines are. Rolling Stone wrote an article about election fraud in 2004 that was discussed here
on MeFi. Tonight, Ars posted a very
thorough, very clear article about how we are completely screwed if we do not enact expensive, fundamental changes in how we handle elections in America. It's too late to do anything about the elections in a couple weeks, but perhaps steps can be taken to fix things before 2008...
posted by sparkletone
on Oct 25, 2006 -
"They called it 'the American Century,' but the past hundred years actually saw a shift away
from Western dominance. Through the long lens of Edward Gibbon's history, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
, Rome 331 and America and Europe 2006 appear to have more than a few problems in common." By Niall Ferguson, whose views on the American hegemony have been discussed previously
posted by homunculus
on Oct 25, 2006 -
Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman.
The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone
and The Village Voice
. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian
on Oct 1, 2006 -