Monday, September 12, 2005

If you ain't about the ghetto, than fuck U2

- Capitalism’s Desire to “Get Rid of the Poor”: You absolutely must read this somewhat obvious yet strikingly-insightful-through-its-
obviousness piece
over on k-punk about “the desire to 'get rid of the poor'…a garbled utopian impulse which exposes one of capitalism's fundamental fantasies.” Go read it. It’s short. So much realness in less than 100 words.

- The Constant Gardener: I saw “The Constant Gardener” (by Fernando Meirelles, the director of “City of God”) with my girlfriend this weekend and I loved it (summary). It’s a pretty conventional thriller dressed-up with some stylish visuals and a touching, heart-breaking backdrop attempting to expose the amoral nature of pharmaceutical companies in particular and, by extension, capitalism in general (notice I said “amoral” and not “immoral”). Perhaps I was only so touched by the movie because the recent events of Katrina have put me in a hyper-sensitive emotional state, but whatever the case, after I left the movie, I found myself feeling especially guilty about my inevitable complicity in our capitalist system. Of course, guilt isn’t a terribly productive emotional state, but I haven’t seen a movie in recent memory that drives home the point more sincerely and effectively that poverty is a systematic problem that we are all, to a very large degree, responsible for. This isn’t just a movie about drug companies using Africans as guinea-pigs because they’re expendable. This is also a movie about us—our reliance on poverty, how we contribute to it, and how we benefit from it. Of course, the movie isn’t terribly good at suggesting “what can and/or should be done,” but—as my man Rocco Chappelle suggested recently here--perhaps movies aren’t capable of being as precisely didactic as some of us expect them to be. Whatever the case, I thought the movie was great and it’s definitely worth a gander.

- Fuck a Fucking Cop: If you feel like hating cops more than you already should do, watch this. Fuck a cop.

- Mind Wide Open: I’m currently reading Steven Johnson’s Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life. It’s got some really interesting little tidbits especially the chapter about laughing. The basic argument is that laughing isn’t so much a reaction to something humorous as it is an instinctive social ritual (i.e. laughing isn’t “learned” but is actually programmed into us as a way for us to form social bonds). Did you know you’re 30 times less likely to laugh at something when you’re by yourself?

- Odd Behavior and its Relationship to “Creativity”: We all suspected this anyway, right:
    New research on individuals with schizotypal personalities – people characterized by odd behavior and language but who are not psychotic or schizophrenic – offers the first neurological evidence that they are more creative than either normal or fully schizophrenic individuals, and rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the general population to access their creativity

- Victims vs Refugees: It’s worth asking: if this shit happened to primarily white folks if they’d be calling them “refugees”? Perhaps… but also, perhaps not.



At 2:57 PM, Blogger kc said...

that book is right, i laugh much less when i am by myself...except if i am home alone on a friday night, then i usually laugh real loud, trying to convince myself that i am having fun watching Coneheads and eating pizza.

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

E, im with you on that refugee tip. Refugees are displaced from one country to another. These people are victims that happened to find shelter where they could.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Drew said...

I saw that cop video on "Maximum Exposure" or one of those clip shows. They tried to make it funny with stupid narration, but there was no way that shit could ever be humorous. Fucked up! I was so angry.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous illwafer said...

The Sixers are planning to add a new dance team, the Broad Street Beefcakes. (Gee, and we happened to think the previous dance team was just fine.) The Beefcakes are described as "an all-male performance squad." The Sixers say, "though previous dance training is not required, hopefuls must like to dance and interact with people."


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