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Showing posts from December, 2008

Ten Best Albums of 2008

Like last year, I decided to list my top albums of the year. Also like last year, I only chose from albums I own, so I'm no doubt missing some great music. (Please, feel free to make recommendations!)


10. Coldplay- Viva la Vida

Coldplay sells a lot of records. After X&Y I wondered if they decided they had a good thing going and should be content making hummable bland music (the kind U2 makes now). Viva la Vida proved me wrong, at least for now. Death and all his friends, also the alternate title of the album, is one of the best songs of the year.


9. Sun Kil Moon- April

Every time I listen to Sun Kil Moon I tell myself I'm going to get hold of everything Mark Kozelek has done and spend a weekend listening to it. I haven't yet, but I will. April isn't as accessible as Ghosts of the Great Highway, but if you put in the effort you will be rewarded with a beautiful album. (I recommend checking out the lyrics as well.)


8. Erykah Badu- New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)

With…

Flower power

This past weekend I attended an immigrant rights coalition meeting. It was my first meeting, but friends have been there since it formed in 2006. Its formation was a direct result of the working class movement of immigrants, primarily Latinos, in the Twin Cities area. From what I could tell, the people at the meeting were a mixture of democratic party activists and socialists (although it was hard to tell the difference with some folks).

The reason I bring this up is to examine an exercise we did at the beginning of the meeting. The moderator, in all seriousness, had us draw a flower. Our flower needed at least four large petals, with a smaller petal drawn inside the outline of the larger one. We were then to label each petal. One should be race, one gender, one whether or not English is our mother tongue, and one marking our social class (which wasn't talked about much, if at all). If you are white, male, and speak English, then you were to fill in the outer layer of your flower …

"Life teaches."

News of the worker occupation in Chicago has spread across the web quite quickly and odds are readers of this blog already know the story. I think, however, it is important to point out this sort of action is most likely not ideological. I doubt too many workers at this factory are reading a whole lot of Marxist, Anarchist, or any other "radical" literature. Just like Marx and Engels didn't create the idea of a workers state, and Lenin didn't create Soviets (councils); theorists didn't tell these workers they should occupy their factory. It was their objective situation, i.e. the failure of capitalism, and their own ingenuity. The same goes for the worldwide factory occupation movement.

My point isn't to make this relatively small action in Chicago into something it isn't. My point also isn't to knock theorists and those with the knowledge and talent to play a leadership role in our struggle. My point is simply this: never underestimate the ability of …