Category Archives: public sphere

#Jan25 Egypt – “Freedom Is the Answer”

Inspired by the resilience of Egyptian people during their recent uprising, several notable musicians from North America have teamed up to release a song of solidarity and empowerment. The track is fittingly titled “#Jan25” as a reference to both the date the protests officially began in Egypt, and its prominence as a trending topic on Twitter. Produced by Sami Matar, a Palestinian-American composer from Southern California, and featuring the likes of Freeway, The Narcicyst, Omar Offendum, HBO Def Poet Amir Sulaiman, and Canadian R&B vocalist Ayah – this track serves as a testament to the revolution’s effect on the hearts and minds of today’s youth, and the spirit of resistance it has come to symbolize for oppressed people worldwide. Continue reading






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Ronald Reagan at 100: Is He The “Rubber Bustier” of the Republican Party? His Son Thinks So!

Today is the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, an august occasion to be sure. So leave it to Beaver to upset the apple cart. Ron Reagan, irreverent son of the 40th President, says Republicans venerate his old man like a fetish. Ron still thinks of him fondly as “Dad” – the sunny 50s-60s type who could groan like Ward Cleaver when he caught the Beav smoking dope in the bedroom. Now Ron’s making the grand book tour to promote his piece of the legend, My Father at 100.






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Al Jazeera: The Media Battle for Egypt

via AlJazeeraEnglish: “Despite the best efforts of Hosni Mubarak’s government, images of millions of Egyptians protesting on the streets of Cairo, Alexandra and Suez have been beamed around the world. But while the clashes between anti- and pro-Mubarak protestors dominated the airwaves, the journalists covering the fighting became targets themselves. Many were harassed, arrested and beaten while others had their equipment confiscated, but they continued to cover the story. The government pulled the plug on the country’s internet connection, cut the phone lines for a time, poured propaganda out on state-controlled media but the momentum of the demonstrators was unstoppable. We trail the coverage of one of the biggest political protests in Arab history, one that came together online, dominated the headlines and sent tremors all the way from Sanaa to Washington.






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Locating A Public Sphere On The Arab Street

This week’s images from Tahrir Square in Cairo give a passionate urgency to the metaphor of the Arab street. Since 9/11, American media have used the phrase widely as shorthand for Arab public opinion. But a researcher at York University in Toronto says its meanings are more nuanced. As it’s used in American media, the term often is associated with Irrationality, volatility, and violence. In Arab media the usage is more affirmative, suggesting “main street” or the will of the people. Arab media also apply it globally, speaking in turn about the American street. Why don’t we say that? I hear it as a metaphor for the public sphere, and the free discourse that sustains it. Where else would a flaneur locate it?






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LBJ Needed A Little More Stride in the Crotch

What did we do for yucks before Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert? U.S. Presidents said the darnedest things and preserved it for posterity with secret tape recorders in the Oval Office. So now we can listen to Lyndon Johnson belch and kvetch about his crotch, from nuts to bung hole, thanks to Put This On. And the true beauty of it is this: it’s all in the public domain, available for Rabelaisian mashups, because we the people paid for the office and the tape recorders.






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