The Detroit Blackout
Power without Power
Our backyard bonfire crackles, dimly lighting the faces of neighbors and their dogs emerging from the shadows. Secure with our bottled water, red wine and campfire grill, over a dozen of us trade clumsily barbecued chicken, whitefish, and green peppers, along with vignettes of the worst power outage in American history.
Nov 8, 2017
From Angels Leaving Sepsis
It is time you knew
I am guilty of the following charges:
Attempting to lead an unarmed insurrection,
33 unpaid parking tickets (to date)
second helpings with my fingers,
embezzlement of milk money for 45-rpm records,
passing on sensitive information,
Nov 18, 2017
Stumbling Upon Public School Utopias
Tales from two front lines
February 1999: I’m pivoting on my desk, basking in a student-led discussion, momentarily featuring a couple of black-clad teenagers contrasting the ideological differences between Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid with Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
The twenty alert faces of the elective “Russian Social Anarchism,” stretch about the carpeted room, where Pilot pens race across lined paper as if there are only seconds left to write before our CD musical segue into Chumbawamba, while a girl with cropped pink hair raises her hand, eager for the previous student to call upon her.
May 31, 2016
Francisco Ferrer & the Free Education Movement
Today, the concept of a free school has many connotations. It can mean the freedom to choose what to learn or whether to learn at all. But whatever we mean by free, we can’t really discuss the free schools of today without some background in the Modern School movement that began more than a century ago.
Jun 6, 2016
The Film More Horror Story Than History
a review of
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
The misnamed film “Detroit” is more about a triple slaying by police than the city’s 1967 Rebellion. It first opened in the Motor City in July, and then nationwide 50 years to the day of the final riot fatality, a firefighter electrocuted trying to put out one of the last of the smoldering fires.
Dec 20, 2017
Don’t Look Sideways
As a comet approaches, the masses make light of their impending demise
a review of
Don’t Look Up, Dir: Adam McKay, 2021
Planet of the Humans Dir: Jeff Gibbs 2019
“You guys. The truth is way more depressing. They are not even smart enough to be as evil as you’re giving them credit for.”
—Kate Dibiasky (fictional astronomer in Don’t Look Up)
So, what to make of an unusual film about a streaking, earth-bound comet colliding with present-day distractions? Does it shake up the entertainment cycle only to disappear like a fairly close asteroid missing our orbital self-importance?
Jun 16, 2022