Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Away from Blogging + FISA Mess + Cauleen Smith's The Fullness of Time TONIGHT!

It's been a while, I know. I've been recuperating, writing, reading, wending my way to the library, wrangling with grant applications and budgets, trying to wrap up lingering threads from the school year, and so forth, and while my interest in blogging never wanes, my ability to do so often dwindles to intent without action. (I have some stubs from the last week I'll try to fill in.)

I do browse others' blogs, though, and continue to be inspired by the rich range of voices, thoughts and ideas, approaches, and skills out in the blogosphere. The media like to portray blogs as nothing more than digital diaries, and bloggers (still-sigh!) as unwashed narcissists, but the reality is that some of the freshest, most interesting writing I come across across a range of topics, but especially on the political front, exists on blogs. The establishment media, especially the people who are affiliated with print publications and TV, long ago ceded the sharpest critical acumen to netizens, though you'd never guess that if you took the mainstream punditocracy appraisal of blogging at face value. I don't, and ceased to long ago. And I know I'm not the only one.


The FISA bill shenanigans aren't over yet. The Democratic-led Senate, after giving George W. Bush all he hoped for and more with this horrible excuse for a bill, has postponed a vote on the bill until after July 4, 2008.

As I wrote before and also posted on the CC list, anyone and everyone can contact the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign directly at:

1 (866) 675-2008 [Dial 6, then 0, on the menu] (They do pick up quickly.)

I've called and I urge others to do so as well. If you have or intend to support him, please call his campaign, let it know you are or will be a supporter and then register your strong disapproval against his position that this horrible bill is a "compromise" deserving of his vote. If you do not support him but also do not support the Republican Party's delight that this bill is on the verge of being passed, please let his campaign know this as well.

There is no reason for him to support this bill unless he believes it's a good idea. He has previously said he does not support telecom amnesty, and he's said that he does not support warrantless wiretapping of Americans. The former would kill pending civil lawsuits, while the latter, which is likely illegal, would be quashed So why is he supporting this bill? Tell him that you think it's a bad idea.

If you're an Illinois resident, you can contact his Senate offices at:

1 (202) 224-2854 / Fax: (202) 228-4260

And if you can contact all the other Senators at the following Congressional toll-free numbers. You just ask to be connected to your Senator:

1 (800) 828-0498
1 (800) 459-1887
1 (800) 614-2803
1 (866) 340-9281
1 (866) 338-1015
1 (877) 851 - 6437

Several Senators, including New York's senior Senator, Chuck Schumer, have now stated that they'll oppose this horrible legislation. Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold has called it "capitulation" to Bush. Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, who'd previously promised to filibuster it, has said he'll again consider filibustering it. But Barack Obama is now the leader of the Democratic Party, and he could quash this monster if he dared. So he needs more pressure. Apply it, please.


Cauleen Smith's The Fullness of Time is at screening tonight at The Kitchen in NYC.

Tisa says:
You must try to come see Cauleen Smith's new film, Tuesday, July 1,
at the Kitchen, for FREE.

I met Cauleen while she was filming DRYLONGSO in Oakland, CA, back of the day, and realize now that certain folks in her creative community at that point became the nexus for some of my most enduring Bay Area friendships.

Anyway, I'm so down with the Afrofuturists (bump postmodernity), and supporting Cauleen's work...

Audiologo writes:

This coming Tuesday, July 1st, Cauleen Smith, one of my favorite filmmakers is coming to town to premier her latest work THE FULLNESS OF TIME at the Kitchen in NYC at 8pm. Afterwards there will be a discussion with Cauleen and Executive Producer Paul Chan.

I got to program Cauleen's work back in the day when I was running the Women of Color Film and Video Festival in Santa Cruz. She was brilliant and singularly visioned even back then. Having started out as a visual artist and set designer, filmmaker/writer Smith has a wonderful sense of story, and an amazing eye for color and light.

She has a feature film to her credit, DRYLONGSO, that starred Will Power and a number of artists from the Oakland, California area. It's one of the rare films to present an intelligent portrayal of young black people, and a black female artist, that also deals with questions of race, gender, cultural access, violence, class, and intergenerational dynamics, and even budding romance. The casting and acting is spot on, and similar to the complex issue-filled work of Charles Burnett, the film excels as a piece of cinema. Since then she's returned to her roots in more experimental narrative fare, and has continued to make compelling art.

This latest work concerns Cauleen's ongoing futurist explorations (she's a founding member of Carbonism, a post-Afrofuturism arts ethos) with the story of "sister-from-another-planet" who has traveled to Earth to learn about its way and lands in post-Katrina New Orleans. Smith shot the work in New Orleans and collaborated worked with New Orleans resident poet/educator Kalamu ya Salaam and the Students At the Center group.

I would go a long way to see a film by Smith even if it was just about snaking a drain, so I'm definitely going to see this. If you're in the area I hope to see you there. For more info, see the attached flyer.

These are two folks to listen to. I won't be able to catch it, but I hope it'll be screening again in NYC. (Or Chicago.) Soon.

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