Posted tagged ‘the United States’

There’s No Tim in Team: A Modest Proposal for the Political Influence of Entertainers

2012/02/27

While growing up in a country that relentlessly bombards youth with the social conditioning to be obsessed with ice hockey, it’s not surprising that I spent a large chunk of my allowance collecting hockey cards (the rest was spent, of course, on comic books and 5 cent candies). I had a lot of great ones – a card commemorating Wayne Gretzky’s “1000th point,” heck, I think I had the card of every Edmonton Oiler that was later sold off or traded for a profit at a loss to the community. Yep, I had a pretty big collection. Also, I think I have bitterness issues still resonating from the late 1980s and early 90s.

This card is tucked up under my 50 mission Cap

(more…)

Dropping the Iron Curtain

2010/12/29

Nowadays, American bands don’t just influence American bands. American bands also influence British bands, Canadian bands, Australian bands, heck, American bands influence at the very least bands all over the world, if not also in places that aren’t even planets, like Pluto. (sorry Pluto)

The same was the case during the Cold War. Despite the USSR’s official rejection of western culture, all things American were slipping through the Iron Curtain. Music was no stranger to this transmission into Eastern Europe and the USSR. Musicians picked up from acts like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, and of course later punk bands like the Talking Heads. I know this to be true because I read about it in a fanzine called Flagpole Magazine, from Athens, Georgia.

BIX

In 1991, a band called BIX came across the Atlantic to perform across the United States. They were from Lithuania, a country that had just declared independence from the Soviet Union. Already veterans of playing throughout Europe, and at a short 1990 US tour including a stop at the New Music Seminar in NYC, BIX was back for their second tour of America.

(more…)

WikiLeaks in the 1970s

2010/12/12

Hear all about it: United States President Richard Nixon kept secret recordings of his conversations in the Oval Office. This is, of course, until the Watergate committee found out about them. Recently those tapes have been released by the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and a new batch came out last week. They shed a lot of light onto Nixon’s personality and more candid opinions on American foreign policy, Vietnam  draft dodgers, and the circumstances of Jews in the Soviet Union.

Not to mention blacks, Italians, and the drinking prowess of the Irish.  
(more…)

Recycling in America

2010/11/07

Why do something new when you can just reuse what’s worked before?


Multiple Choice Exam to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

2010/11/01

Lindsay Sidders Hodgins is from Edmonton and is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto (but don’t hold that against her). She is also the Rally Correspondent for The Past Is Unwritten, and as such she went trippin’ on down to The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear held this past weekend in Washington, D.C.

I sat down with Lindsay in Internetland to ask her about her experience at the rally. I then took that interview and turned it into a multiple choice exam.  You’ve been to the rally/watched it online. You’ve read about the rally on Fox News/Al Jazeera. Now take the test.

(more…)

The Revolution will not be Blogged

2010/10/03

In 1970, Gil Scott-Heron proclaimed that “you will not be able to plug in, turn on, and cop out,” because the “revolution will not be televised..it will be live.”

A song that is more a poem and political declaration than a piece of music, “the Revolution will not be Televised” was written in the middle of the Nixon era – as the war in Vietnam, a conflict with a disproportionate number of African-Americans fighting,  still raged – and the counterculture of the 1960s had either burnt out or faded away.

It weaves together popular culture, civil rights, and the rumblings going on in the underground…and makes a statement for an entire generation.

(more…)