Friday, August 29, 2003
More than three quarters of a century ago, Bill Spencer founded [Alliance] to bring order to the chaos of newspapers blowing down America's streets. From there, he tamed teams of lobster claws into gentle submission and wrangled fields of broccoli and green onions into tidy bundles for the greengrocer's shelves. Office workers watched in awe as he harnessed their flooding files. Cabdrivers praised him as he snapped scattered maps and receipts to their visors. And finally, his daughters smiled as he made delicate pigtails of their unruly hair. All this with his simple and humble device, the rubber band.
>> 11:37 AM
Or maybe I just need some lunch.
>> 10:41 AM
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
In an epic, no-holds-barred showdown between Psyduck and Stitch, who would win?
>> 10:58 AM
Sunday, August 24, 2003["The Forgotten Revolution" by Gordon Lee]:
Born in this era of social change, "Asian American" was a radical political identity, not merely an ethnic label. Asian American consciousness manifested itself through vocal opposition and organizing against the Vietnam War, against racist hiring practices, against urban renewal projects. We fought for the development of affordable housing, accessible health care and self-determination in our communities. Soon, we became a movement, and gradually, more people began to use the term "Asian American." It took about seven to eight years for most people in the community to adopt its usage. Eventually, the term "Oriental" was no longer acceptableI love the revolutionary ethos of the late '60s and '70s. But I hate the way the radicals from that time seem so entrenched in that time, unable to deal with the new developments in global migration, national political culture, and other factors that have changed the way we understand and negotiate social structures. I see a strong continuity between the radicalism of that time and the exciting work (albeit, mostly theorized in the academy) done today on race, class, gender, and sexuality. As the work of the radicals in the past have changed the very terms of debate, we have had to move on to different modes of understanding the social world. Taking on an oppositional political consciousness in claiming the category "Asian American" is, as Lee argues, not enough today; but it it only because in some senses the work of radical resignification of Asian-raced bodies as "Asian American" rather than "Oriental" was successful. "Asian American" is now a viable political category -- one that mobilizes and authorizes action and understanding. Benefits accrue to "Asian Americans" as much as discriminatory practices unevenly affect members of the category.
>> 9:09 AM
Saturday, August 23, 2003[International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championship]... Sounds like fun, despite the prohibitions:
"No nudity and no water balloons," said Casey Cheung, 30, one of the event's organizers. "And please, no feather boas, because that could get right into the plumbing system."
>> 5:28 PM
Since the courts had to articulate rationales for their rulings in the prerequisite cases and determine the criteria by which racial categories would be codified in law, they "were responsible for deciding not only who was White, but why someone was White." After a period of vacillation on the racial classification of South Asians, the boundary of whiteness came to be drawn west of the subcontinent, including most West Asians and excluding all other Asians (that division is still in place today, in that West Asians are officially classified as "white" and not as "Asian American"). South Asians came to be seen as nonwhites by law by shifting the determining criteria from anthropological theory to the "common understanding" of the term white person. In a unanimous decision rejecting the petition of the Indian appellant [Bhagat Singh Thind], the Supreme Court opined: "It may be true that the blond Scandinavian and the brown Hindu have a common ancestor in the dim reaches of antiquity, but the average man knows perfectly well that there are unmistakable and profound differences between them today." The gradual shift in the courts to a reliance on popular opinion sharply restricted the constituency of those who were legally recognized as "whites" and thereby broadened the exclusionary range of whiteness. The petitions of Asians for citizenship as whites produced a category crisis that was resolved by bringing its meaning to rest on a tautology -- whiteness means what white people think it means. In the law, however, this racially inflected truth-claim was inscribed as the "common" understanding of whiteness. (Susan Koshy, "Morphing Race into Ethnicity: Asian Americans and Critical Transformations of Whiteness," boundary 2 28:1)It's fascinating reading up on how the law (legislation and judicial rulings) managed the racialization of Asian Americans (and other races) through immigration. What interests me about the law is how a system based on precendence has to negotiate earlier rulings, sometimes upholding prior understandings of race (and other categories), but at other times revising those earlier rulings through alternate readings of extra-judicial evidence. It's also interesting that science, especially biological and anthropological, have played such prominent roles in articulating legal understandings of race.
>> 5:15 PM
Friday, August 22, 2003[F-Secure]? It's so exciting and ominous.
>> 2:02 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2003
>> 2:41 PM
>> 2:04 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
-- Emily Dickinson
>> 8:24 PM
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Beautiful yet scary.
Front door of my apartment building.
>> 12:07 AM
Monday, August 18, 2003
>> 3:25 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2003[Reading the dinosaurs as Woman (and recall that all the dinosaurs were cloned female) it appears that the message of the film is that femininity is dangerous and must be repressed!]
>> 8:05 PM
>> 1:28 PM
Friday, August 15, 2003
In Manhattan, the sun came up, but the [lights] were still out. (AP, NY Times)
Isn't it fascinating how the photos that newspapers seem drawn to in this blackout depict the Manhattan skyline at dusk or dawn without lighted buildings? It's so serenely beautiful, and yet disconcerting in its difference from the usual swath of lights. It's as if photographers are capturing what they think the apocalypse looks like...
>> 12:43 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2003
>> 2:56 PM
I don't know why I'm so fascinated by the street at night.
Sunflowers at night.
By the Ohio River, Louisville, night.
Building at Falls of the Ohio River Park.
On the el in Chicago late at night.
An Alexander Calder sculpture in downtown Chicago.
>> 2:51 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Sunflower in Louisville. Picture now my desktop.
Another shot of the sunflower.
The sun beginning to set at the amusement park.
>> 10:51 PM
Thanks for shopping with Bjork merchandise
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>> 11:55 AM
Monday, August 11, 2003[Anarchy rules!] Sounds like fun. I find it fascinating that the article (and participants?) splits the world into fun/political and associates spontaneity with childhood as if these things were steadfast truths. The best part of these flash mobs, as the article suggests, is the ever-increasing interpenetrations between on-line/mobile technologies and "off-line" life. As much as the interviewed participants might want to think of their flash mobs as frivolous, fun, and apolitical, though, there is nothing inherently non-goal-oriented nor apolitical about these gatherings.
>> 3:59 PM
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
>> 7:03 PM
Sunday, August 03, 2003[Holy sh*t.] I don't know if I can say anything about this....
>> 3:32 PM
>> 3:30 PM
Rob and I are here in KY for a little over a week on vacation. We're visiting his long-time friend here. This place is quite okay, but it has a strange vibe that doesn't quite jibe with me. The place is walkable, though -- at least the part where Rob's friend lives (off Bardstown Rd). There seem to be coffee shops on every block. There are a number of bookstores as well, though I've only visited one so far. Rob's friend said he knew some guy who had once bought a Hemingway book at that store and had the store clerk chew him out for being a misogynist. Yay! My kind of store.
I haven't been keeping up with the news the last few days since we've been traveling and I've been away from the computer. It is a little eerie how much this little machine keeps me connected to a larger world outside.
Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to a week of more rest and reading. I think I'll be doing a lot of reading while Rob and his friends play this massively bloody shoot-em-up game. (As I type, they're at the game store now.)
>> 3:08 PM
atom site feed
asian american writers' workshop
the new york times
jon carroll @ sfgate
the village voice
let bygones be...
the old stuff