Thursday, March 22, 2012

SXSW Post-Op: Sapphire Slows

I discovered a few great new bands and made a few great new friends at SXSW this year, and sometimes they were the SAME PEOPLE.  For example in this case - Sapphire Slows puts on an awesome show and makes awesome music and also simply is awesome, for good measure.  She played the Not Not Fun house party at Hounds of Love, and also the fantastic Impose magazine party at the Longbranch.

Steampunk Magazine #8: Late Twice.

I can't believe I didn't post anything about this already, but I guess I've been pretty lax with the blogging in general lately.  Three or four weeks ago saw the release of Steampunk Magazine #8 . . . which contains the first piece of fiction I've published in almost a decade, along with an essay about the ideological relationship between Occupy and Steampunk.  The issue is available online, but if you have the means and interest, I highly recommend you pick up the print version - it's a truly beautiful thing, full of illustrations that deserve to be appreciated in full size on good paper.  We actually have copies with the Occupy Tampa Mobile infoshop, so if you happen to run into us, you can get one without paying for shipping.  In fact, the Infoshop will be out in Gainesville this weekend at the Southeast Regional Convergence of Occupations, so keep an eye out.

Steampunk Magazine is a shockingly awesome radical science-fiction magazine.  Members of its writing and editorial staff have been heavily involved in Occupy, and long before Occupy were doing the godly work of understanding the radical past.  The deep interest in history that the magazine displays is really powerful.  Please check it out.

Dropbox REVOLUTION: Mixes and MP3s galore

I've just set up a Dropbox account, and there's this really cool feature to the free cloud hosting service . . . a public folder.  So, I'm going to be able to re-post a lot of things, specifically mixes, that I've put up over the last few months/years but couldn't host long term using the services I had access to at the time.  I'm hoping this actually works . . . to try it out, here's the link to the re-upload of the only file I had on hand today:

International Transport Volume 1

A nice snapshot of the dub/noise I was listening to a year and a half ago.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Usher: Climax

From the classic car imagery to the vocal desperation to the simple, warm beat, it's hard not to read this as heavily influenced by Frank Ocean's "Swim Good."  Usher's song is solid, but I can't say I prefer it.


Post-Fukushima Japan: Civil Society Rising

A quick writeup here from Daniel P. Aldritch, which is light on specifics but with a good overview of recent substantial shifts in the role of civil society in Japan.  For decades, sociologists and political scientists mourned the seeming near-absence of a civil society in Japan, but that has, at least for the moment, all changed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why You SHOULD Go to Graduate School

Hey, so a couple of years after writing this, I'm out of academia!  Temporarily! Maybe!  Check out my new blog, focused on my interests in weird fiction, experimental music, and generally all things so post-academic that they're not academic at all, over at

I spent a good chunk of last night strolling through the excellent blog, 100 Reasons NOT to Go to Grad School.  I'm reading it from a particular perspective - about a year and a half after finishing grad school, now with a couple of years of good employment under my belt and a slow, tentative sense that everything might actually work out okay.  I think the blog is great because much of what it highlights is simply facts about graduate school that, apparently, people don't necessarily enter into it fully aware of - the amount of work, the need to be truly fanatical about your intellectual interests, the difficulty of writing a dissertation.  But particularly in reading the comments, it strikes me that as factual as it may be, it's obviously set up to emphasize negative possibilities, and encourages a tendency of certain people to generalize their own experience to an entire institution.  So I just want to take a second to say one thing:

I spent six years getting my PhD, and it was the best decision I possibly could have made.  Therefore, GRADUATE SCHOOL IS OBJECTIVELY AWESOME and everyone should do it.

I'll show you the life of the mind.
Okay, kidding aside. I had a great time in grad school, and I knew many other people who did as well.  There's no denying there are a larger number of people who have a negative, or just a more complicated, experience - but I think it's just as important to attract the right people as it is to warn off the wrong people. Maybe if I present where I came from to have such a positive experience (and what I'm beginning to suspect might become a good career, but who the hell knows) it'll help people make the right decision at least as much as having a list of warnings about potential negatives.