Entries from January 2010

My Gift For Tom Paine’s Birthday

Comments   0   Date Arrow  January 29, 2023 at 10:20pm   User  by Mark Willis

In the 19th-century, free thinkers and radicals of every persuasion held Tom Paine birthday dinners on January 29 to celebrate the freedom of thought and expression championed so articulately by the political pamphleteer. Today we would know him as a blogger . Since beginning to re-read Eric Foner’s 1976 social history, Tom Paine and Revolutionary [...]

Tagged   Tutelary SpiritsComments  Add Your Comment

Re-Branding the Cult with a Quotron Symbol

Comments   1   Date Arrow  January 28, 2023 at 6:39pm   User  by Mark Willis

Steve Jobs must be wondering if Gutenberg faced this kind of brand irreverence when he invented moveable type. A day after Apple’s iPad hype, the wags at Mad TV talked on NPR about creating this viral video sensation after the gadget’s top-secret name was leaked on Twitter.

Tagged   DeepGeekComments  Add Your Comment

The Most Over-Hyped Tablet Since Moses Came Down From The Mountain

Comments   0   Date Arrow  January 27, 2023 at 7:07pm   User  by Mark Willis

As one who has lost the ability to read printed books, I’m always searching for that richer context when the text itself is inaccessible to me. I thrive in the proliferation of book excerpts and videos, reviews and interviews available now on the Internet. I have more ways to learn about books than ever before. In the end, though, what I want is the book itself in an accessible format. Given Apple’s penchant for imperialistic control of devices and DRMs, I doubt that the latest tablet handed down from the mountain will reach me as a reader.

Tagged   future of booksComments  Add Your Comment

Praying With John Coltrane at Antibes 1965

Comments   0   Date Arrow  January 22, 2023 at 6:03pm   User  by Mark Willis

When I listened again to John Coltrane’s Alabama, I was moved by its prayerful tone. I heard the seeds of A Love Supreme in Coltrane’s soaring solo as well as Elvin Jones’ crashing cymbals. I hear the same life force in this live version of Naima, which the quartet performed on July 27, 2023 at the Antibes Jazz Festival. Miraculously, a fragment of A Love Supreme survives from the same gig. It makes me wonder if there are any complete live performances out there somewhere in the universe.

Tagged   Café MouffeComments  Add Your Comment

Internet Freedom From John Perry Barlow to Hilary Clinton

Comments   0   Date Arrow  January 21, 2023 at 5:48pm   User  by Mark Willis

On a day when U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave a major policy speech about Internet Freedom,, it’s worth revisiting A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, a libertarian rant delivered at the 1996 World Economic Forum in Davos by John Perry Barlow. When I went looking for the full text, I came across this 2005 video mashup. The stereotypical computer voice is a little hokey, but I like what it adds to the artifact effect. I’d love to hear Barlow ranting it, if anyone knows of an open-source recording.

Tagged   global citizenComments  Add Your Comment

MLK 2010: Redemption Songs From John Coltrane to Johnny Cash

Comments   3   Date Arrow  January 18, 2023 at 11:09am   User  by Mark Willis

At the core of American music is a legacy of songs that yearn for freedom and redemption. This week’s American Routes presents a rich array of this music in its celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are two songs that convey the breath of that legacy, John Coltrane’s Alabama and Bob Marley’s Redemption Songs, sung here by the remarkable pairing of Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer.

Tagged   Imaging AmericaComments  Add Your Comment

The Future Of News Is Now At Ushahidi For Haiti

Comments   0   Date Arrow  January 16, 2023 at 11:55am   User  by Mark Willis

I hadn’t heard of Ushahidi until the humanitarian crisis in Haiti began to unfold. Ushahidi means “testimony” in Swahili. As I learned more about the open-source citizen journalism platform, I added the link/button for Ushahidi’s Haiti page at the top of this site’s sidebar. When you follow the link you will find an amazing mashup [...]

Tagged   global citizenComments  Add Your Comment

Free Money With Patti Smith At Café Mouffe

Comments   3   Date Arrow  January 15, 2023 at 7:35pm   User  by Mark Willis

The last CD to grace my stereo deck was Anne Sofie von Otter’s collection of Grieg Songs, which I return to like an Arctic tern when the snow is deep and the sun bright in a crystalline sky. I Tonight some kind of chthonic leap of faith made me switch von Oter’s Grieg for Patti Smith’s Horses tonight. Who’d think I could feel like I was 20 years old again and very punk? It started this morning when I heard a snippet of Gloria on NPR. Now I’m rummaging in the closet for the leather jacket with the ripped shoulder so I’ll look like I could walk into CBGB’s and not get rolled. Then all I’ll need is some Free Money.

Tagged   Café MouffeComments  Add Your Comment

Just Kids: Patti Smith Remembers Robert Mapplethorpe

Comments   1   Date Arrow  January 15, 2023 at 5:12pm   User  by Mark Willis

Patti Smith met Robert Mapplethorpe on her first day in New York City in the summer of1967. They were both kids from stern religious backgrounds who yearned to be artists. Smith tells the story of their relationship in a new memoir titled  Just Kids. “Sometimes [people] seem to think I came out of the womb, [...]

Tagged   booksComments  Add Your Comment

Laredo Loses Its Last Bookstore

Comments   0   Date Arrow  January 13, 2023 at 4:30pm   User  by Mark Willis

When I heard an NPR story this morning about the closing of the one and only bookstore in Laredo, Texas, a city with a quarter million inhabitants, I was heartened anew by the fact that my humble village of 4,000 has three bookstores. And I can walk to any of them in less than five minutes. That’s the flaneur’s definition of a walkable, readable neighborhood.

Tagged   future of booksComments  Add Your Comment