On September 17th, the day Occupy Wall Street commenced, I spent my morning in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, completing the last step of the naturalization process: the oath of citizenship. This oath is not especially poetic, but it is important. Immigrants are repeatedly told that they will not become Americans until they have collectively uttered the oath, which includes pledging to take up arms if asked to do so. (More…)
Campaigns to reinforce public morality solidify weakening structures of oppression. Their existence is sufficient evidence of this point. Were public morals to meet the approbation of of the so-called authorities, there would be no need for such corrective efforts. But prescriptive morality is by nature a political tool, meaning that supposed general moral inadequacy is a function of its usefulness. (More…)
Because we didn’t want our two-year-old daughter’s head to be filled with disturbing images, we had avoided them ourselves. When I headed out to pick up a video for her to watch, it had been hours since the first attack. Walking into Blockbuster, I expected to see what I always saw, with new movie releases playing on its many television screens. But every single one of them was tuned to CNN. They were showing the footage of the second plane’s strike that had just become available. (More…)
Walking across a college campus these days, one is constantly reminded how important personal technology has become for today’s students. From the sorority sister texting while her beach cruiser wobbles through the crowd, to the nerds sharing a portable videogame console, the scene is reminiscent of yesterday’s science fiction. The degree of collective distraction is truly stunning. Everyone seems to be tuning into their devices as a way of tuning out the world around them. (More…)
We met Elvis in a mini-mart in Winkelman, Arizona last May. This one chance encounter changed the way we think about photographing people and opened our eyes to parts of the mining landscape we’ve been exploring as part of our Copper Belt Project that we hadn’t much considered before even though they were all around us. In this one afternoon, Elvis, bars and booze all came together to make us see things differently. (More…)
For over a month now, protesters have been flooding the streets of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities, demanding economic reform. In Israel, it’s a political tidal wave, but one would hardly know it from the relatively scant coverage the so-called ‘J14’ protests (thus named for the July 14 date of the protests’ inception) have gotten in the United States. At least when compared to most matters Israeli. (More…)
It was the 19th Annual San Francisco Dyke March. Dolores Park, otherwise known as “hipster hill,” was completely packed. I was guilty of going, not out of solidarity or allegiance, but because a friend had asked me to come along with her. As for how I feel about gays, I feel nothing. True tolerance is when you detach yourself from the narrative entirely, judgeless.
The rally was a spectacle. The once green park now the color of flesh, bodies everywhere, most of them hosting some substance, illegal or not, dancing to the faint pulse of a PA system. (More…)
Making my way through the vastness of my local Costco, trying to avoid the urge to buy large quantities of things for which I have small need, I was surprised to catch a glimpse of huge plastic barrels of flour out of the corner of my eye.
“Wait,” I thought, “Didn’t I just see a row of flour sacks two aisles back?” As I turned my head to ponder this riddle, I saw that the flour was grouped next to huge containers of dried strawberries and, a little farther to the right, such staples as powdered milk and eggs. (More…)
One giant scar runs through the otherwise pristine Arizona Highways landscape that spreads in all directions around desolate Arizona Highway 177. In between the towering rock walls, desert mountains, and tree-filled river beds, the Ray Mine sits like its own kind of toxic canyon carved into the landscape. (More…)
Florence, Arizona isn’t really the kind of town people think of going to for a vacation. Home of the Arizona State Prison complex — a sprawling mass of electric fence, surveillance towers, and cell blocks, Florence is the kind of town you drive through on your way to somewhere else. (More…)
I still see a lot of these Ron Paul bumper-stickers on the highway. Introduced prior to the 2008 Presidential election in the United States, they were the most visible manifestation of the grassroots support that garnered him huge campaign contributions in spite of the fact that he never came close to winning the Republican nomination. (More…)