A few nights ago, I caught on television Brian Lehrer’s interview with DJ Spooky from a year ago. The timing coincided with Spooky’s book and CD of collected essays - Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture published by MIT Press. This very notion of sampling culture makes for a fascinating and timely discussion.

Particularly because I was born in The City of Brotherly Love, I am with all of my heart absolutely ashamed with Philadelphia today. It is an atrocity and an insult to Ben Franklin’s legacy of founding the first American library in Philly that the cities politicians would allow their public libraries to close. Perhaps I don’t know the political climate in the state of Pennsylvania well enough, but I do know that it is simply unacceptable to allow the greatest record of our culture and past to be treated as though it were so disposable.

As a New Yorker, I’ve become very comfortable with the idea of living in a small space. Adapting to this kind of environmental restraint leads to creative thinking, and a sort of practical living in which one must consider what and how much they consume. The notion of building a home 1,000 square feet or less, like those in the coffee table book, Tiny Houses is quite intriguing. I’ll gladly take the house in image #2.

I hate to admit it but I have a short attention span when it comes to reading. While I am surrounded by people who ravage their way through one large volume after another, I tend to do much better with short stories and articles. I wanted to recommend a fast read which is also one of the most profound books I’ve had the pleasure to take in - Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee (2003 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature). The story is devastatingly powerful.

Stephen Colbert will be guest editing the June 8th issue of Newsweek. This kind of reminds me of the time that Jon Stewart went onto Crossfire to tell the “journalists” that they were hurting our country (this event spelled the end of the program) or the fact that ex-SNL funny man Al Franken is still embattled over a Senatorial seat in Minnesota. Perhaps comedians have some of the best perspectives on news and politics because they also have a sense of humor.

 

With the devastation our interconnected global economy here, it may be time to start considering salvagepunk and use cinema as a guide of what to be wary of.

The promise beneath this? Keep the technology, keep consumption, but make it “thoughtful”, make it conscious, make it responsible. Gild your laptop, hammer some bronze, and think of the slow dance of the new wind-turbines on the horizon.

Michael Winterbottom is one of the most unique and prolific filmmakers in cinema today. With each project he ventures into new territory sliding in and out of genres with ease. What I have found to be so particularly alluring about his work, is that there is a clear voice that is always looking for new ways to use the medium of film. In the last few years, he has experimented with blurring documentary into more traditional forms of story telling, resulting in a seemingly new language. Now, he has taken on Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine as a point of departure. The pairing of Winterbottom and Klein is sure to make for an intense film.