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Strip Mall Mentality

March 3rd, 2007 · Written by · No Comments

Sprawl Kite

The underground comic godfather R. Crumb, drew a twelve-paneled comic in 1979 entitled “A Short History of America.” The first panel shows a forest on the edge of a field, green and lush with a flock of birds across a blue sky. By the last panel the forest is gone and the field obliterated. In its place are metal lamp poles, multilayered telephone wires and posts, a crowd of street signs and billboards, cement sidewalks, asphalt paved streets and parking lots, a traffic jam of hulking cars, TV antennas, apartment complexes, one exceedingly small patch of token greenery, and a question in the bottom right corner asking “What Next?” [...]

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The Best of Intentions

January 3rd, 2007 · Written by · No Comments

Once in a while a friend or relative will inform me, enthusiastically ecstatic, that they are headed off to some foreign land for missionary work. Unassailable on their moral high ground and armed with benevolent yet insidious weaponry – you know, peachy platitudes like vaccines, schools, modernization – their eyes twinkle with altruistic intentions as they expect me to share in their “doing the right thing” intoxication.

Righteous delusions aside, the reality of the situation is that each of these potential mouthpieces for Judeo-Christian cosmology are complicit in an ongoing catastrophe. [...]

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Sam I Am

November 4th, 2006 · Written by · No Comments

“Wal-Mart,” a proponent of nuclear armaments and state-sanctioned torture told me recently, “is the embodiment of everything good about America.”

To his credit, this was a former employee of the company who appreciated their diverse hiring practices. He touted the standard mantra of any big-business apologist. Low prices. Job opportunities. Convenience.

Maybe years of watching that bouncing yellow smiley face spout peppy PR BS impeded his ability to notice the irony in selecting this blue behemoth as a metaphor for American life. For beneath the glossy façade of corporate accountability and exemplary capital gain lurks the true face of brand USA. [...]

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Forty-one Shirts

November 3rd, 2006 · Written by · No Comments

In a recent survey, conducted exclusively in my closet and laundry hamper, I discovered I am the “proud” owner of forty-one tee shirts. The breakdown of these forty-one tee-shirts is as follows: Ten blue, five black, five white, four gray, three red, two orange, two yellow, one green, one tan, one taupe, one brown, and seven ring-collared and sleeved shirts of various color combinations. Garnered through unforeseeable osmosis the last seven years, I now find myself at the mercy of these inanimate objects. [...]

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The Melting Pot Calling the Kettle Black

July 4th, 2006 · Written by · No Comments

We’re all of us squatting on stolen land. Recipients and beneficiaries of an economic tour de force first made possible by the forced labor of imported Africans. Today, we have sweatshops building our consumer goods, and immigrants working for next-to-nothing manning our fields.

When slavery is illegal, cheap labor becomes the name of the game.

This is gated community USA, we’ll militarize and erect fences on our borders, keep out all those nonwhite undesirables — that is, unless they’ve come to clean our floors or pick our strawberries. All this rampant xenophobia made possible through the forced forgetting of our own history. [...]

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