[Epilogue from Timothy Mayer’s production of Aristophanes’ “Peace” ]
Tune: A Day in the Life (Beatles)
A knowledgeable hiphop lover’s list of the best rap artists would not include Eminem
Kanan Makiya–author of “Republic of Fear” and “Cruelty and Silence”–spoke about the future of Iraq on a panel organized by NYU’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program and the Center for War, Peace and the News Media on November 22, 2002. Arguing against other speakers at the forum, Makiya made a moral case for American intervention in the course of explaining recent developments in the relationship between the Bush administration and Iraqi dissidents. An edited version of his remarks follows along with an exchange between Makiya and Mansour Farhang (who was Iranian ambassador to the UN until he was forced to flee Iran after the fall of the Bani-Sadir government in 1981).
Remarks delivered by Kurt Vonnegut at St. Marks on the Bowery on the night of September Eleventh, 2002.
Drive-By Truckers’ new double CD Southern Rock Opera is the most daring and developed expression of rock and roll attitude since the Clash’s Sandinista. The subject of the Truckers’ Opera is the “duality” – their word – of life in the land where blues began.
One of the greatest treasures in my memory is the night Billie Holiday introduced me to Miles Davis and I introduced Billie Holiday to the Beat Generation.
The following thought experiment was inspired, or provoked, by this year’s art scandale, the “Mirroring Evil” exhibit that opened at the Jewish Museum in March; and in particular by Roee Rosen’s installation, which invites us to imagine that we are Eva Braun having a last night of sex with Adolf Hitler:
The James Allen exhibit “Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America,” which opened in New York in 2000 and is now touring the country, deserves more than the pious attention it has received to date.
We asked George Lakey – a longtime proponent of nonviolent direct action – to interview Mubarak Awad – a Palestinian Christian psychologist who organized a nonviolent resistance movement against occupation of Palestinian lands at the end of the 1980’s. Israel expelled him to the United States where he currently runs an NGO based in Washington D.C. – Nonviolence International.
I came here tonight to talk about the response of American intellectuals to the events of September 11—and I use the neutral, meaningless term “events” to start off right where any intellectual response begins, with an attempt to name what took place, or to avoid naming it.
Sidney Poitier won his Lilies of the Field Academy Award just before my 11th birthday. That event was part of the world opening up to me and changing for everyone.
A couple of days after the attacks on the World Trade Center, a number of NYU students were wearing white ribbons in solidarity with the dead firemen. A friend who teaches there was fascinated to see undergraduates singing “God Bless America” in Washington Square Park, a spectacle she could not have imagined forty-eight hours before. Maybe it helped to be able to smell the fires that were still consuming the dead – you could do this from Washington Square Park. At approximately the same time, at a college a bit over the city line, where the dead could neither be smelt nor, perhaps, fully imagined, white ribbons instead signaled solidarity with those “faculty and students of color” who felt unsafe in the face of American racist violence.
The author was in NYC from Sept. 9th to Sept. 15th and this piece was written in the week after the attack.
‘Harlem is the last great frontier of Manhattan real estate,’ gushes Barbara Corcoran, manager of an elite New York real estate brokerage. ‘There are many wonderful things happening in this historic and beautiful area.’ Others are calling it the new Harlem Renaissance.
Wonderful things do happen in Harlem but gentrification isn’t one of them. Since the city’s real estate market exploded in 1996, Harlem has had a bull’s eye on its back as brokers and developers have made fortunes buying and selling brownstones for renovation. Victorian mansions have been gutted, and refitted with intricate wooden staircases and period chandeliers; black professionals, white gays, students and many others have followed the developers, desperate to find a place to live in a borough where last year the average apartment price was recorded at $770,000. 125th Street (which no-one calls Martin Luther King Boulevard) has been reinvented as a suburban mall. Gone are many of the street vendors and small shop owners, replaced by the large logo stores such as Disney and Old Navy. The jewel in the crown is the mall, ‘Harlem USA.’ And a new first run movie theater, thanks to Magic Johnson’s real estate company.
I’ve been studying social movements for about 35 years and the more I study, the more I feel a distance between what I think I know and what is generally thought to be the essence of politics in this culture. And that distance keeps growing.