January 10, 2012
I’m starting a new publishing project: I’m going to create video dispatches for a local blog, The OB Rag. The rag, which prides itself as a grassroots, citizen-journalist gathering of “freaks, politicos & uppity women” has a history of print journalism in San Diego and now maintains a blog.
My first piece for The OB Rag is a dispatch about a new ‘gateway’ project near my home– a project that promised a nice space & entryway to a park–but seems to have been compromised by budgetary or management issues (or both!).
Here it is:
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January 03, 2012
I can’t claim to be the first kid on the block to tap my toe to Jeffrey Lewis–I think I first heard a track of his on a show on NPR Music back in 2008 or so. What caught my attention was that he was a comic book artist turned musician– or musician turned comic book artist– who often pulls out large comic books to accompany his songs. He self-accompanies with a cassette recorder, including a dialogue with the ‘taped Jeffrey’ and a count-in.
A little over a year later I found out he was playing at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn, where I was living at the time. A free show! And I had a new little FlipCam HD checked out from work, so I took it down and captured this video–a new song he was working on without a title.
So his tunes are an acquired taste, I know–often attributed to the ‘anti folk’ genre but not exclusively (after all, it’s folk music called anti folk, confusion is bound to ensue). At the show he also played an abridged version of the history of Communist China, which brings me to the point of this post. It’s a fun curve ball to throw at an audience out to hear your tunes; they already like your guitar licks and lyrics, so you’ve got it–but then, wait, he’s pulling out a giant comic book? And he’s playing a tape of himself playing guitar so he can flip pages with both hands, like a youth librarian.
When I started developing the ideas that grew into Talk Nukes! Jeffrey Lewis was constantly in the back of my mind–challenging me to innovate, to be creative about how I tell a story–how to have fun with it and leave some sharp, honest teeth on it. Some of his comics are just silly or absurd, but most of the ones you can find easily online are focused on telling the stories of communist countries, or, in this sample I wanted to share in this post, a nuke crisis.
When Talk Nukes! is up an running completely I hope to get in touch with Jeffrey Lewis and see if he can lend some advice..or a story or two.
Comments (0) | Tags: antifolk, comic books, comics, Jeffrey Lewis, kamishibai, music | More: blog, learning, video, writing
January 01, 2012
” A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intelectually & spiritually.
One must fight for a life of action not reaction. ”
Enough with the long hours mulling over admirable New Year’s resolutions: what I’ll eat/not eat, what I’ll do/not do… and , in my experience, things I’ll likely stop doing by Valentine’s day (if it’s anything like last year’s resolution to exercise or meditate each morning before work). So it’s time to focus on what I must do, rather than what I would like to tell people I’ve done as a set of resolutions.
What it’s time to do is start spending at least 30 minutes a day writing, creating, editing & designing–what must be done at that point in time.
From those writings & rough edits I plan to make at least a post a week on one of the publishing outlets active at that time; Talk Nukes!, this blog, or Go Await! That’s it. Taking time. Saying that each day I’ll honor the craft of writing & visual expression enough to sit down and push myself to try something, for 30 minutes or so. It’d be awesome if I matched it with 30 minutes of reading, too. And I mean something beyond One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
I’m going to walk more, bike lots & eat less sugar, caffeine & such. Read daily with Maya & Japhy.
Also, I’m going to keep my thoughts, words & actions positive.
This week I’ll begin by reviewing the following 5 exciting pieces of media & responding with different media:
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August 17, 2011
About TALK NUKES!
Talk Nukes is a storytelling project using Kamishibai [paper theater] on a bicycle to talk about nuclear energy and living in a post-Fukushima world. Kamishibai dates back to 1920′s Japan and was a precursor to comic books and television.
We are concerned parents dreaming of a nuke-free world?At this point, the way we can best take action is to TALK NUKES! We plan to develop 3 stories. 2 of them we’ll write and illustrate on our own–but the third story will be dynamic, ongoing and collaboratively-created by international artists & activists. We hope you’ll help us!
In a hyper-connected world with smart phones, facebook walls, and twitter followers accessible 24/7? it’s increasingly difficult to broach the subject of the potential and risk of nuclear energy in open, hearty dialogue. With a kamishibai bicycle and a bunch of fun stories looking into living with nuclear energy, we hope to transcend the simple “like” button or comment thread.
OUR GOAL: 50 bike-based performances across the 50-mile radius around San Onofre Nuclear Station, CA by the 1-year anniversary of Fukushima (3/11)
For more info please visit the TALK NUKES site
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August 16, 2011
Talk Nukes! is a storytelling project initiated by concerned parents living within a 50-mile radius of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). With experience living in Japan and a fondness for analog storytelling, Talk Nukes! is our response to the current nuclear disaster taking place in Fukushima, Japan.
Talk Nukes! will head out into the streets of the 50-mile radius evacuation zone surrounding SONGS to tell stories: stories of energy production in California, stories of survivors of past nuclear disasters, and stories submitted by the community on our website and with tagging in Flickr. and Twitter.
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August 05, 2011
Tuned into facebook this morning and via a colleague’s post read about Rawesome foods in Venice Beach–and the ‘multi-agency raid’ that came in and treated their raw milk and gojii berries as though they were meth and heroin. They went as far as dumping product out in the garbage! There was entertaining coverage by The Colbert Report. It brought to mind the article I enjoyed reading recently:Nature’s Spoiles article in the new yorker last fall.
Though I haven’t made good on my personal goal to make my own sauerkraut I developed a new sense of urgency to shift further towards growing and knowing my food. And not in the Portlandia sense of it but just by starting small; growing a small vegetable patch, trying to WWOOF more often and, hopefully, living on our own sustainable urban/peri-urban farm.
We’d dreamed of doing this one day in Japan, though that option may have completely changed since the last time we were there.
For now I’m just sitting back and taking all of this in with wonder: how can cops with guns come in and dump people’s milk? What about the pursuit of happiness that involves preparing, selling and buying raw foods? Are people with raw food preferences living above the law somehow and am I just dense for not realizing it? Does anyone else see this as extreme and a bit odd?
Signing out with a little help from Cibo Matto–you better know your chicken.
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July 17, 2011
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Does it still make sense to drive every kid towards matriculating to a 4-year, liberal arts college program? And if we shift to suggesting (or lauding?) vocational and associate degree programs (called ‘CTE: career and technical education), are we backpedaling and regressing to classist ways of tracking and sorting like previous generations of educational policy makers?
In other words, are we saying: “You don’t deserve to go to ‘COLLEGE-college’ because of the neighborhood you were born in, your families financial status, or skin color?”
These are excellent, timely questions being tackled by academics and journalists–and as a public school teacher of ‘visual arts’ but also skills I consider to be potentially vocational and applicable to the global information economy, I’m glad to see this debate fired up.
The Nation put out a great article mentioning a recent Harvard GSE study, called Pathways to Prosperity, discussing these questions. This article covers a few more topics, including student loan debt, job markets of the future, and the philosophical roots of our current education system a la Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois.
Related: Text the President (2009)
(more related articles and my thoughts after the jump)