Friday, November 10th, 2006

R.I.P. Ellen Willis

One of the pioneering feminist rock and cultural critics, Ellen Willis has passed. Another heroine I won’t meet in this lifetime.

Inspirational words:

“My education was dominated by modernist thinkers and artists who taught me that the supreme imperative was courage to face the awful truth, to scorn the soft-minded optimism of religious and secular romantics as well as the corrupt optimism of governments, advertisers, and mechanistic or manipulative revolutionaries,” Ms. Willis wrote in an essay collected in Beginning to See the Light (Knopf, 1981).

She continued:” Yet the modernists’ once-subversive refusal to be gulled or lulled has long since degenerated into a ritual despair at least as corrupt, soft-minded, and cowardly–not to say smug–as the false cheer it replaced. The terms of the dialectic have reversed: now the subversive task is to affirm an authentic post-modernist optimism that gives full weight to existent horror and possible (or probable) apocalyptic disaster, yet insists–credibly–that we can, well, overcome. The catch is that you have to be an optimist (an American?) in the first place not to dismiss such a project as insane.”

posted by @ 9:53 am | 1 Comment

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Apathy :: Dead

Youth turned out for the mid-term elections in the largest numbers in 20 years.

Joe Garofoli writes on the front page of today’s Chronicle:


18-to-29-year-olds were compelled to vote because of one of the oldest media tactics: Somebody asked them, often in person.

Of course, many were angry with the direction President Bush has taken the country and wanted change, according to a bipartisan exit poll from a youth voter organization. Put the two factors together — and add the growing influence of new media tools — and some analysts say a generation of young voters is solidifying into a Democratic voting bloc.

“The 2006 elections show that Republican campaigns must mobilize their base of young voters to win,” said GOP pollster Ed Goeas, who conducted the poll of 500 18-to-29-year-olds with Democratic pollster Celinda Lake for Young Voter Strategies in Washington, D.C. The nonpartisan organization is a project of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University.

Tuesday “proved that young voters can and will be a force in elections,” Goeas said. “Of the 28 seats in the House of Representatives that changed hands so far, 22 were won by less than 2 percent of the vote, 18 by 5,000 or less votes, and 4 by less than 1,000 votes.”

(Here’s a full list of related articles.)

You want to know how it happened? Just check the League of Young Voters site. In Ohio, they knocked on 50,000 doors. In Pennsylvania, they ran a massive registration and GOTV and election protection campaign, and backed up those efforts on the ground in Maryland, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Florida, Maine, Missouri, Connecticut, and California. Not a few of those states turned on very thin margins–all made by young voters.

The Dems did not do this. The Reeps did not do this. Young people did it for themselves.

The result? Evan Derkacz at WireTap Blog says that young people made up 13% of the vote the other day, yet another surge along the lines of what we saw in 2004. (Check the CNN exit polls here.)

I have to admit it’s wonderful to see all the old pundits and their brainwashed young followers (beginning with NPR and extending all the way to the alt-weeklies) who have been bemoaning the waste of “apathetic youth” eating a large serving of crow along with Rumsfeld and Bush.

Unrelated note for t-shirt junkies: you’ll see an ad at Wiretap for the very last Origin limited edition Can’t Stop Won’t Stop tees there too. Mike found a precious few in his garage and he’s selling them now.

posted by @ 8:06 am | 0 Comments

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Turning Tides


Shades of 1986: Sandinista!

A small slice of history: In Reagan’s second term, the Democrats swept back into control of Congress as dissent began to open up around Oliver North, the Iran-Contra scandal and a needless war made by Washington bullets.

There’s sure to be lots of fallout from last night’s results, whether or not the Senate races ultimately shift the balance of power to the Democrats. Tom Hayden writes today that Henry Waxman will almost certainly begin hearings into war profiteering. Against the backdrop of Bechtel in retreat, and other war contractors reconsidering their death-to-profit ratios, it should be a very interesting 2 years.

In local races, one of our favorite hip-hop candidates, Jane Kim, won BIG for the SF School Board. Could this be the beginning of a starry career?

Aimee Allison lost in Oakland by a mere 800 votes. Hope she runs again.

In South Carolina, our man Anton Gunn also lost, but keep an eye on him too. Big things in store for him.

We’ll be hearing back from on-the-ground races around the country as the day progresses.

And hey, guess who’s bizzack in Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega.

posted by @ 8:20 am | 0 Comments

Monday, November 6th, 2006

Youths and Post-Youths Do It In The Voting Booth

Your favorite post-young part-time DJ non-savior is back, just in time for the elections.

Pop & Politics has a new look, and a bunch of compelling reads for election season, including a pointer to a report that kills that myth of youth apathy once and for all.

Eye-opening factoid: Blacks and Asians are the most politically engaged young Americans, and Latinos are catching up quickly.

It’s a must-read, especially since you’re not likely to hear about this snapshot from the future through the old MSM or your average white hipster pseudo-liberal bloggeratist.

Pop & Politics also has a great guide to the top races.

If you’re looking for hip-hop certified local youth voting info, check the the League of Young Voters website, or go directly to their local voter guides. There are almost 90 guides now, and more are still being added.

Here’s where I’m at:

* Phil Ting for San Francisco Assessor/Recorder
* Jane Kim for San Francisco School Board
* Aimee Allison for Oakland City Council
* Karen Hemphill for Berkeley School Board

Propositions:

1A: No
1C, 1D, 1E: Yes
Prop 86, 87, 89: Yes
Prop 88: No

Remember: Voting is not the only form of politics, but it’s a crucial one.

posted by @ 11:09 am | 0 Comments



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