Recommended daily reading – 18 January

An eclectic list of items from my feeds:

At OregonLive, Shawn Levy covers the Portland premiere of IFC’s Portlandia, which airs this Friday on the channel.

Meanwhile, via Publisher’s Weekly on Twitter, is news of India’s first comic convention.

From Spacing Magazine on Twitter is a pointer to a study that suggests that bicycling infrastructure contributes more to economic development than does similar building for cars.

Another Twitter link, this one to Foreign Policy from ed bice (via ProgGrrl), and to an article by Marc Lynch taking an early look at social media and the current political situation in Tunisia. As a high school student I worked on an Amnesty International campaign to free a political prisoner in Tunisia, an individual who was eventually released, which does not happen most of the time. So, I have a slight personal connection to issues of freedom and democracy in that country that has raised my interest in what’s happening now.

Finally, Torontoist has this neat work of graffiti.

Recommended daily reading – 10 November (been awhile edition)

Taking note of a few items from my recent reading:

Ylajali Hansen at Generation Bubble remembers the mixtape (a common enough theme following Sony’s discontinuation of the Walkman). Hers is my favorite reflection, in part for passages like this:

There’s one mix tape, given to me by an alcoholic second cousin, that I keep in the top drawer of my desk. It’s a white tape, a generic brand, and written across the top in tremulous cursive is “Ylajali’s Songs.” It boasts a motley mix, everything from Style Council (she dated the band’s drummer Steve White) to The New York Dolls (she dated David Johansen as well) and The Ramones (she sold Joey Ramone a saxophone). She was pretty good at making mix tapes. But between Wire’s “Dot Dash” and Love Tractor’s “I Broke My Saw” she apparently pressed the wrong button, and for thirty seconds I can hear faint curses, the barking of a nervous greyhound, and the creaky complaint of buttons half pushed as she attempts to set the machinery right again — a thirty-second audio document of well-intentioned clumsiness on a tape now fifteen years old from a person I once thought wonderful and with whom I’ve since fallen out of touch. It’s my favorite mix tape.

At 3quarksdaily, Justin Smith writes about the construction/fiction of ‘whiteness’ and the Tea Party from the perspective of his own family history and biography. Worth reading just to get to this brilliant summary:

My take on the Tea Party movement is this: Tea Partiers are Americans who have been made to believe that they are ‘white’; have been made to believe, furthermore, that this status carries with it some natural privilege; and who therefore wonder why, in spite of the fact that they are white, they have nonetheless been given the shaft.

Finally, this, via Inhabitat, is cool; and the potential for monkeywrenching makes it even more so.

Recommended daily reading – 23 September

From today’s feeds (why I always end up with three, I don’t know):

From the Torontoist is a story about public space activists in Toronto seeking to claim bike lane space on a street that seems as if it should have more than it does. These kinds of creative responses to urban planning and design where formal institutions seem to fail are heartening and delightful.

On MoJo Wire, Jen Phillips points to a trailer for a documentary by model Sara Ziff that looks at the industry from the model’s perspective. It’s easy to make fun of or look down on models, what they do seems superficial and the compensation seems out of proportion to the work, especially given that the basic requirements for the job are all essentially genetic, but I have a sister in-law who modeled until fairly recently and I have always thought that the work is harder than it seems on the surface. In particular, the way that models are dehumanized as human clothes hangers bears critical consideration. It looks like Ziff’s film will shed light on this aspect of the work. taking models seriously as labor.

And lastly is a perfect little dog from renee french.

Recommended daily reading – 15 September

A few short items today:

First, the Arsenal.com match report on the Gunners 6-0 thrashing of Sporting Braga in the Champions League today.

Next, a nice feature on Metric by Jer Fairall in PopMatters. An excerpt from the conversation with Emily Haines:

“[New Wave] was just where we were at. That’s what we heard, that’s what we wanted: my synth dreams that will one day come true of truly expressing my inner synth geek one day will happen. It’s not like you make a strategic move, it’s like you do what you wanna do and what feels right to you. I love the garage rock stuff but I wasn’t gonna suddenly just drop what Jimmy and I have been developing, which is this total love of electro and dance music and trying to bring those New Wave sounds and the songwriting and the energy of rock and roll all together. Dance rock is not a new idea now, but it’s hard to try and express that in front of 20 people, it feels kinda stupid, but that’s part of the test. You just keep doing it. I’m glad we didn’t give up. It was hard to make a synth look rock and roll for a minute, but it worked out.”

The article provides a condensed history of the band, with a particular look at Metric’s place in the world of digital music and their recent Hollywood entanglements.

Finally, this from Inhabitat is just cool.