Set Adrift …


(RE: “Attrell ‘Prince Be’ Cordes, P.M. Dawn Rapper, Dead at 46” | Rolling Stone)

Visible light is only a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A huge part of that invisible real estate is occupied by cosmic rays, but only a small part of the history of hip hop is home to the truly cosmic.

Let’s be honest, what’s really the difference between 50 Cent and Ja Rule and The Game and any number of skipscaps and scallywags trying to rhyme these days? (Looking at you, Drake, if that is your real name.) It’s all just visible light.

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Real Hip-Hop Never Dies


RE: “Brooklyn Designates ‘Notorious B.I.G. Day’ to Honor Biggie” | TIME

Let me take you back:

The greatest hip-hop album ever, The Low End Theory, drops in ’91. Mecca And The Soul Brother follows in ’92, and Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in ’93, the same year as Here Come The Lords—to this day an unacknowledged classic. Then there’s Blowout Comb in ’94, and Liquid Swords in ’95.

This was the The Golden Age Of Hip Hop in its apotheosis, out of which Ready To Die appeared.

Right when I thought I was ready to live.

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Periods Always Matter (Notes On Ideology And Language)


RE: Stop. Using. Periods. Period. | The Washington Post

1) If the only reason to put “an end to the period” (get it?) is brevity or speed of communication, then no. Perhaps there’s too much speed, in the sense that speed should not be the logic of every process or practice birthed in this century. And if this is true, then there’s too much brevity, as well. Not enough time to consider all the chatter that can so easily be like static from a far away radio. Not enough time to consider what might be missing in addition to what’s right in front of us. This why I need periods, and will continue to do so. And if you’ve read this far, then this may be why you need periods, too. They are breaths taken to carve out time to consider how deeply things are connected.

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Playing For Empty Chairs (Notes On Trump Puppets, or “Trumpets”)


RE: “Pundits Achieve Cable-News Stardom After Converting Into Donald Trump Supporters | The Washington Post

Donald Trump isn’t the only one who’s benefited from essentially free media attentionThough nowhere near the estimated $2 billion he’s received, his supporters have made the most of newfound popularity and attention. Especially Kayleigh McEnany and Scottie Nell Hughes. Of them (as well as Adriana Cohen), Callum Borchers of The Washington Post writes:

[T]hey aren’t paid by the campaign or, with the exception McEnany and [Jeffrey] Lord, by the cable channels — but for fame that could eventually lead to a payday and in the meantime represents its own kind of currency.

There are several interesting dynamics here.

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Oil Age Wasteland


RE: Why Cheap Shale Gas Will End Soon |

While the grim, subsistence level material conditions in which post-apocalypse humanity survives throughout the Mad Max films are truly dystopian, humanity’s ideological conditions in these films are considerably worse.

In these movies, civilization is set back a thousand years by the very technological advances and social developments that had pushed it so far into a limitless future of perpetual growth. However, the characters in these movies are animated and propelled by ideologies that shape and are then reshaped by a dead world—as if humanity could resuscitate some semblance of the old days—instead of using the conditions of limited fossil fuels as an opportunity to build a different kind of world.

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Bangkok: The 22nd Century Los Angeles


RE: “Bangkok Noir: Crime Fiction in the City of Angels” | The Diplomat

Bangkok is “one of those cities” in my mind that’s both exotic and exogenous. Like Istanbul, Cairo, São Paulo, Nairobi—massive “Global South” metropolises where there’s not only a different way of doing, but a different way of “knowing,” as well.

This otherness makes them rich settings for crime fiction. (Baghdad used to be on that list, too, but, well …)

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Where Are Traditional Democrats? (Neoliberal Hillary, Socialist Bernie, and The Fuzzy Middle)


RE: “Clinton Breaks From Obama, Calls Orlando Attack ‘Radical Islamism’” | Politico

Hillary Clinton’s Republican-Lite shift towards “the middle” has begun before I would’ve expected. Previously I had thought that she’d wait until July at least before she’d start right-tracking.

Although terrorism is the dominant subject in Nick Gass’ Politico article, there’s something deeper at work in it that should worry Democrats about the present and the future of their party.

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Not Your Grandfather’s McCarthy (Notes On: “Trump: McCarthy 2.0”)


In the 50s, during Joe McCarthy’s time, people had an idea of what “too far” was. Because it was an age of ideological conformity, it took them a while to sack up about it, but they eventually did and sent McCarthy packing in disgrace. But we’ve spent at least a generation breaking down the barriers that define “too far.” Consequently, I’m not at all sure that anything that Trump says could derail him or his movement. (Yes, it’s more a movement than Bernie’s.)

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