Recommended daily reading – 24 November (pre-Thanksgiving edition)

Here are a few items as I wonder if anyone will show up to my evening class:

Two pieces from Mother Jones with reference to Tea Partiers. One points to the results of a survey which shows, among other things, that 61% of self-identified Tea Party members believe that discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against African-Americans and the members of other minority populations. I think this is an interesting follow-up to Justin Smith’s 3QD piece on ‘whiteness’ and the Tea Party, which I highlighted earlier.

The other MoJo entry looks at Tom Ricks’s proposal for national service, which includes a “libertarian opt out”. Under that option, anyone who wants to keep their time to themselves can, only they should also expect government workers to do the same in return. This part of the proposal is appealing, because I have often thought that libertarians can afford to rail against taxes, government regulation, public schools, etc. because in the back of their heads, most know that there is very little risk that they will ever actually have to live in the fully privatized and market-driven world of their ideals (although, as I have seen suggested by others, anyone who is serious about living that way is welcome to move to a place like Somalia where there is no effective public sector or government and see how they like it).

I’m a little late in recommending this interview with Martin Scorsese at The Guardian (link via Slash Film). The article covers a number of topics, including Scorsese’s current project, shooting in 3-D, which has been getting most of the attention, and working in TV:

As somebody with such a profound sense of cinema, it’s surprising that some of Scorsese’s recent successes have been on television, a medium which he has credited with providing “what we had hoped for in the mid-60s… this kind of freedom and ability to create another world” with the luxury of “the long form of developing character in a story”.

Finally, on Juxtapoz is a the documentary short “Skateistan”, which looks at a co-ed skateboarding school in Afghanistan. Running just under ten minutes, the film effectively places what it means to skateboard in conditions of war and deprivation, especially for girls in a harshly patriarchal place.

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.