Still struggling with this cold or whatever it is — definitely feeling kinda sickly today. Drinking lots of fluids & the usual. It’s always extra hard to string words together when I feel like my whole brain is wrapped in cotton. But they come anyway, with enough patience and persistence.
Here’s some classic 80s Leonard Cohen for your listening pleasure.
How has your week been? Mine has been enjoyable except for the fact that I can hardly breathe. I’m in that in-between state where you aren’t sure if there’s something in bloom and your allergies are kicking up or if you are getting sick, but you hope like hell it’s the former. Excuse me while I go get my neti pot again — there’s something I resisted doing for years until someone finally made me try. But it really works, at least for a little while.
Tell me what’s on your mind. This is tonight’s open thread.
It’s a unique category, but it makes sense for this winner: Occupy might well be described as a permanent ”march or rally” against economic injustice and in support of basic democratic rights. Since its beginnings as Occupy Wall Street and as it spread nationwide and into Austin, Occupy has turned the national discussion to questions of social justice and equity, and also generated reconsideration of police power and public engagement. Austin’s Occupiers are small in number but large in persistence and public impact – as Chronicle readers enthusiastically confirm.
I’ll be attending the awards party tonight at Emo’s (2015 East Riverside in Austin, Texas). Say hello if you see me there!
This is the latest open thread. What’s on your mind?
Tomorrow I’ll have an update on the Austin Overpass Light Brigade which returned successfully Monday night. Tonight I’m attending a community meeting about recent hate crimes in Austin. I took a step back from activism for a couple weeks to sort out some non-Occupy things I needed to do, but now I’m back and glad to be there.
It’s Thursday. How’s your week going? This is our latest open thread.
One of the high points of both my Art Outside experiences were sets by Hobotech, a highly eclectic electronic musician. His website describes the music as:
Hobotech is boxcar funk, deisel dub and badass bluegrass crunk, a creation of Producer/DJ Jon Margulies.
Hobotech in the Deco Dome, Art Outside 2012 (Photo: Kit O'Connell)
Hobotech combines danceable beats with the sounds of America’s musical roots. Like electroswing, another recent innovation in electronic music, it avoids the monotony of repetition by tapping into a creative, rich vein of history. In many ways it exemplifies the eclectic nature of Art Outside and the Burning Man culture from which the event grew, where raver kids in neon fake fur hob-nob with neo-1920s flappers and scruffy outsider artists to the sounds of ‘Vaudeville Gypsy Rock‘ at the Folk Stage.
HoboTech Show at the Deco Dome (Kit O'Connell)
Hobotech’s set was at the Deco Dome, a dance space which was alive with sounds, people, and the lights of bright, entrancing projections until dawn. Every moment at Art Outside is a collaboration: much of the projection equipment is donated in return for admission to the event, and a large staff of volunteers and crew bring the festival together from stage hands to cooks.
Bethany, an aerial performer at the Deco Dome (Photo: Kit O'Connell)
A Hobo-Slide Guitar Made from a Shovel (Photo: Kit O'Connell)
Each set under the dome was diverse, with aerial dancers and fire spinners on a small side performance stage. At one point, Hobotech included a guitarist with a unique instrument made from a shovel.
At Art Outside last weekend one of the acts which most impressed me was Wino Vino, who call themselves ‘Vaudeville Gypsy Rock Cabaret.’ They appeared just before midnight at the gorgeous folk stage.
Wino Vino on the Folk Stage at Art Outside 2012 (Photo: Kit O'Connell)
This raucous band gives an unforgettable live performance, but even their CD gets your feet tapping. This show was especially memorable, however, because it was the first time I’ve ever seen a mosh pit pillow fight, at an acoustic act, no less. They said it was a traditional Italian pillow fight song, and who am I to disagree?
Pillow Fight at Art Outside 2012 (Photo: Kit O'Connell)
Today Occupy Austin OccuKripz mic-checked the Texas State Capitol in solidarity with ADAPT who completed five days of intensive direct action in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania today. Activists there faced police brutality as they tried to force meetings with government officials to protest cuts to Medicaid. The potential cost of Medicaid cuts is very high — cuts would force disabled people now living independently into virtual imprisonment in nursing homes. 86 activists were arrested yesterday, but only 50 were processed before Harrisburg police gave up and sent the rest home. Occupy Harrisburg also joined the protests.
This is tonight’s myFDL open thread. What’s on your mind?
A few years ago, the New York Times published a five-sentence brief about a man who “intentionally ran over five people” with an SUV after a fight in North Bellmore, Long Island. The driver, the Times reported, “fled the scene of the accident.” The police later located the vehicle that “they believed was involved in the accident.” One of the victims was in critical condition.
Ho hum. News briefs about the previous day’s car crashes are as routine as box scores and the weather forecast. Yet, in this case, the Times’ (and, presumably, the Nassau County cops’) choice of one particular word stood out: If a man intentionally ran over five people, how could that possibly be considered an accident? If, instead of car keys, the man had picked up a gun and shot five people, would the press and police have called that an “accident” too? No. They’d have called it “attempted homicide.” Yet, for some reason when the weapon is a car, when the violence on our streets is done with a motor vehicle, it’s always just an “accident.”
I’ve been following the developments in the Texas Tarsands Blockade and earlier one of the related tweets suggested “climate change” is a bad term because change can be positive, or imply growth; the alternate suggestion was “climate crisis.”
Food for thought. What’s on your mind tonight? What are your weekend plans?
The journalist behind a popular activism site is facing 21 years in prison for publishing conversations with law enforcement officials that he says were on-the-record while investigating a police brutality case in the state of New Hampshire.
By running CopBlock, Mueller has created an online outlet to release information about law enforcement officers that may not make it to the mainstream media. His attempt at showcasing what incident in particular he found a problem with his put the next two decades of his life in question, though.
Mueller was indicted following a report he filed in response to an incident at a Manchester, NH high school last year that ended with 17-year-old Frank W. Harrington being slammed face-first into a table and detained for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Video footage of a school police officer picking up Harrington and assaulting him were leaked to Mueller, who followed up on his own and attempted to interview a Manchester police captain, the Manchester High School West principal and a school secretary as part of his investigation into the incident. Mueller later used samples of those recorded phone interviews in a video report of the incident that he published to his website, and although he says he identified himself as a member of the media when approaching those officials for comment, he has been charged with felony wiretapping for allegedly putting those conversations on tape without expressed permission.
Reports on Twitter say that he was found guilty today and was sentenced to spend about 90 days in prison.
Living in the future: they watch us. We get in trouble for watching them. Upside: Ubiquitous availability of Big Mama Thornton videos.
What’s on your mind? This is our latest open thread.
I had something else to write until I discovered this powerful new Tom Waits video, “Hell Broke Luce.” The song isn’t that new, but the video was published on Youtube just a couple days ago. An anti-war song with a definite military cadence, he explained the title in an interview with Slate magazine:
There was a prisoner in Alcatraz during a prison riot—this goes back to the ’40s. And during the riot, of course, everyone was nervous, and he scratched on the wall with a knife. And he wrote “hell broke luce,” and that’s how he spelled it. Alcatraz—they have an amazing bookstore. But I got separated from everyone else on the tour. After a while something happened with my headset, and I was out of step and I didn’t know where the rest of the people were, so I just sat in one of the cells for a while.
MyFDL is the community site of progressive political blog Firedoglake. Anyone can participate by writing a diary, commenting on others’ diaries, or joining groups to find other people in your area. Content posted to MyFDL is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to Firedoglake.