Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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May 28, 2004
art mistaken for terrorism

It seems as if news stories about such mistakes come along every couple months. Here are a few of them:

Steve Kurtz, Buffalo NY, May 2004 (thanks to Louise for bringing this latest one to my attention)

[6/7/04 follow-up story here]

[6/12/04 follow-up: Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund website here.]

Phil Teller, Bellevue WA, April 2004

Steve Hackett, Brooklyn NY, Jan. 2004

Antonio Rosano, Tucson AZ, Dec. 2003

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Oklahoma, March 2003

Olabayo Olaniyi and Reena Patel, Washington DC, March 2003

I could keep going, but you probably see what I mean. I am sure that the above list misses many incidents.

Then there are the cases of artists who, one could say, deliberately blur the line between their artworks and implements of terrorism. About this phenomenon, one could ask the question: "Is Art That Can Be Mistaken For Terrorism Protected by the First Amendment?"


The American Sociological Association publishes a journal called Contexts, which, for spring 2004, includes an article entitled "The Economy That Never Sleeps."

Forty percent of the American labor force works mostly during nonstandard times -- in the evenings, overnight, on rotating or variable shifts, or on weekends. These schedules challenge American families, particularly those with children.

Research suggests that such schedules undermine the stability of marriages, increase the amount of housework to be done, reduce family cohesiveness, and require elaborate childcare arrangements. . . .

We need to discuss whether employers and government can and should do more to ease the social and physical stresses that many families experience.

Is this above article on the web (yet)? No. Then what good am I to you? Why even direct your attention to it? Must you go walk to a newsstand, or mail away payment, to read this worthy article in full? Where's the instant gratification in that? How dare I?

To compensate, here are three fascinating articles from Contexts that you can find on-line immediately or sooner. They are about consumer culture in China, the influence of modern secularism on contemporary radical Islam, and an answer to the question, "Is it true that disasters drive groups of people into mass panic?" I trust now that all is forgiven.

my so-called "stream of consciousness"

Galen Strawson writes:

[I]t's not a very good metaphor. Streams have pools and falls, weeds and stones, not to mention waterboatmen and fish, and yet the suggestion of smooth, uninterrupted flow remains and is as inaccurate as Joyce's rendering of Stephen Dedalus's consciousness in Ulysses (1922) is accurate:

"Who watches me here? Who ever anywhere will read these written words? Signs on a white field. Somewhere to someone in your flutiest voice. The good bishop of Cloyne took the veil of the temple out of his shovel hat: veil of space with coloured emblems hatched on its field. Hold hard. Coloured on a flat: yes, that's right."


For most people, inner thought is broken and hiccupy. There are gaps and fadings and fugues. It seizes up, it flies off, it suddenly flashes with extraneous matter.

Is it not inappropriate, deceptive and cruel to you as the reader for me to say, above, "Galen Stawson writes," when he wrote the article over 18 months ago? My answer to this question, this evening, is, "That is a funny question."


Daniel Dennett said that.

Cover Stars

yawn epilogue (prologue?)
early modern caffeine dependencies