I began this blog in the first month of 2012 but have filled it with original content dating thirty years back, to the 1980’s. Please do peruse content:
* by month in the archive list
* with category cloud to select by most populated categories
* by searching with the site search tool up top
I’ve been retrieving text files from past decades and scanning old photos and photographing objects, and posting it all here unedited, because I want the work to be arranged chronologically all in one place on the net. This blog’s an actively-updated, net-based archive of the most lucid of my work of the past 30 years, but I’ve also been blogging contemporaneous posts which include:
film and book reviews; photography of landscapes, flora and fauna of California; poetry, essays, tweets and other writing; and video coverage of events like the Space Shuttle Endeavor passing through the Golden Gate, concerts, performances at various venue around the Bay, and coverage of Bay Area professional baseball.
Between now and the end of the year, I’ll be adding more material from the past and posting less contemporaneously, because:
at the end of this year I’m ending this blog
by producing it into a single book made from the content on this site. I’m going to make a single e-book of all of this material and then tie-off this blog as the place to find it.
As it stands, there’s a lot of half-complete content on this site. I will be adding the full texts and additional material that ties the work together in the completed work.
This text, image and video “book” will be produced as an e-object, but I hope to make it available as a paper object as well that includes cd’s and dvd’s of the audio and video material. This work is as yet untitled, but I’m thinking of it as mid-career review.
Thanks for your support,
[Postscript authored one month later]
P.S. None of you will read this while I’m alive.
but this is the best of who I was from fifteen to forty-five.
apparently there was a machine they sold in the 70’s that allowed one to cut into wood to create layers. Craft machines for hobbyists were popular in those days: rock tumblers, plasticizing half-dome machines and etc.
I’ve never seen the wood carving one, but this guy in the neighborhood of McGee’s in Oakland made a pretty good rendering of the bar from across the street, saw it last week, my first time in this Oakland neighborhood spot.
These three pieces of paper fell together on my desk and with just a few nudges of my tweezers ended up looking ike this.
“Hammernegger” – the name of which has a racist tinge to it, also has a weird socio-contextual vibe.
Northern California’s native, black entertainer turned entrepreneur MC Hammer and Southern California’s immigrant Austrian bodybuilder turned actor, turned Governor, side-by-side on printed stock with red, blue and thin yellow stripes.
It’s like nothing and everything. It’s racist and not. It represents California and doesn’t. It’s a totally unique object … I have no idea what it is, except to say it doesn’t exist anymore, cause I am using each of these in different pieces.
file under funny things that happen round the studio while working on collage.
my full interview with Ziad Abbas, quoted above, is the second interview in the clip linked to below:
If you care at all about Palestine, please listen to these stories told to me by Palestinians in Bethlehem and Nazareth, and hear people being illegally taken from their land in East Jerusalem, stopped by the presence of myself and International media, briefly … this was 2003 … what eventually happened?
a.p., airport, Balas, Brooks, consuelo, dangle, dj, earle, ferrara, fiction, film, Francisco, inside, James, jason, JFR, Karthik, Kevin, KoKo's, lloyd, Lounge, m.t., manning, mtk, narrative, OAK, oakland, outsider, Raj, Robert, rosencrantz, San, sf, short, tanner, the, Walt
“The Academy and the Government are always the last, the very last, to state the truth.”
– Dr. Robert Brooks
a narrative short fiction about two academics, one an invited guest of the other, who meet in the SF Bay and discuss aspects of the state of the world, briefly, but disagree.
produced and directed by M.T. Karthik
camera/lighting by Jason F. Rosencrantz
edited by MTK (with JFR); written by MTK (with JFR and Lloyd Dangle)
starring: James Earle as Dr. Robert Brooks, MTK as Dr. Raj Balas
and acting as “the students”: Lloyd Dangle, Walt Tanner and A.P. Ferrara
with Chris as the bartender and DJ Consuelo on decks
music: Alma de cera by Abel Duêrê, undercooled by Ryuichi Sakamoto, zigga zigga bite off 3 Feet High and Rising by de la soul, piano track by Vijay Iyer
thanks to OAK airport and KoKo’s Lounge
I watched Barry McGee paint this in the Redstone Building back in the Spring of 1997. Stopped by to snap it a few weeks ago – for some reason was reminded of it today.
According to Wikipedia “The market value of his work rose considerably after 2001 as a result of his being included in the Venice Biennale and other major exhibitions. As a result, much of his San Francisco street art has been scavenged or stolen.”
1934, 1985, 5th, An, art, bloody, Bordoise, contract, Injury, July, Longshoremen, memorial, Mission, one, public, san francisco, sculpture, sf, Sperry, Steuart, Steuert, street, strike, Thursday, to, union
Public art to commemorate “Bloody Thursday” at the corner of Mission and Steuart Streets in San Francisco. The four-day general strike in SF in the summer of 1934 led to unionization of all the West Coast ports of the United States:
Painted in 1985 by an artist’s collective, this mural-sculpture was placed by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union near the previous memorial, this plaque:
When the Hotel Vitale was built in 2004, the sculpture and plaque were moved a short distance and re-erected, with the plaque now mounted on the wall of the hotel. (Source)
The strike began on May 9, 1934 as longshoremen in every West Coast port walked out; sailors joined them several days later. The employers recruited strikebreakers, housing them on moored ships or in walled compounds and bringing them to and from work under police protection.
Strikers attacked the stockade housing strikebreakers in San Pedro on May 15; two strikers were shot and killed by the employers’ private guards. Similar battles broke out in San Francisco and Oakland, California, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Strikers also succeeded in slowing down or stopping the movement of goods by rail out of the ports.
The Roosevelt administration tried again to broker a deal to end the strike, but the membership twice rejected the agreements their leadership brought to them. The employers then decided to make a show of force to reopen the port in San Francisco.
On Tuesday, July 3, fights broke out along the Embarcadero in San Francisco between police and strikers while a handful of trucks driven by young businessmen made it through the picket line.
After a quiet Fourth of July the employers’ organization, the Industrial Association, tried to open the port even further on Thursday, July 5.
As spectators watched from Rincon Hill, the police shot tear gas canisters into the crowd, then followed with a charge by mounted police. Picketers threw the canisters and rocks back at the police, who charged again, sending the picketers into retreat after a third assault. Each side then refortified and took stock.
The events took a violent turn that afternoon, as hostilities resumed outside of the ILA the kitchen. Eyewitness accounts differ on the exact events that transpired next. Some witnesses saw a group of strikers first surround a police car and attempt to tip it over, prompting the police to fire shotguns in the air, and then revolvers at the crowd.
One of the policemen then fired a shotgun into the crowd, striking three men in intersection of Steuart and Mission streets. One of the men, Howard Sperry, a striking longshoreman, later died of his wounds. Another man, Charles Olsen, was also shot but later recovered from his wounds. A third man, Nick Bordoise—an out of work cook who had been volunteering at the ILA strike kitchen—was shot but managed to make his way around the corner onto Spear Street, where he was found several hours later. Like Sperry, he died at the hospital.
Strikers immediately cordoned off the area where the two picketers had been shot, laying flowers and wreaths around it. Police arrived to remove the flowers and drive off the picketers minutes later. Once the police left, the strikers returned, replaced the flowers and stood guard over the spot. Though Sperry and Bordoise had been shot several blocks apart, this spot became synonymous with the memory of the two slain men and “Bloody Thursday.”
As strikers carried wounded picketers into the ILA union hall police fired on the hall and lobbed tear gas canisters at nearby hotels. At this point someone reportedly called the union hall to ask “Are you willing to arbitrate now?” (Source for text: wikipedia)
“An Injury to One is an Injury to All”
5, accords, actions, agenda, antiwar, Bush, cabinet, change, Clinton, close, Democratic, Dennis, department, drone, electorate, end, five, free, geneva, GOP, Guantanamo, Hilary, hope, Iran, iraq, Kucinich, leonard, moves, Nate, obama, pakistan, party, peace, peltier, president, progressive, rebirth, safe, Silver, things, treaty, war, warsaw
The re-election of President Obama has opened a door for believers who bought into the President’s original message of hope and change when he was elected in 2008.
Much of Obama’s support then was a direct result of his vote against the Iraq War. Democrats chose Senator Obama over Senator Clinton for many reasons, but the “Iraq War vote” was an important one that has been wrongly dismissed – it’s what tens of millions with many other differences were agreeing about.
The Iraq War vote was a symbolic difference between Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama, but with so few opportunities to truly understand our candidates in modern Presidential elections, it became a significant statistic for a large demographic of US voters who have been dismissed and reduced by mainstream media and the two major parties for more than a decade.
There is an anti-war electorate, and it’s a sleeping dragon in the USA.
Millions came out on February 15, 2003, in opposition to George W. Bush’s plans for War on Iraq. The vast majority of these then came out for Barack Obama five years later seeking an anti-war candidate, only to be disappointed by the last four years of capitulation, centrism and even rightist approaches to foreign policy by the President.
Now Obama has been re-elected by the exact same margin that George W. Bush was and the political obligation for standing up for the anti-war and progressive electorate that helped put and keep him in the White House must be addressed.
Here are five simple yet powerful moves Obama can and should make right now – while the political capital exists and the GOP is reeling from the smack in the face of the demographic and ideological realities of the election.
1. Close Guantanamo Bay Prison
2. End the Drone attacks on sovereign Pakistan and elsewhere.
3. Take a strong, open and progressive stand to approach Iran intellectually through discourse rather than via military options.
4. Create a Department of Peace, as first proposed by Representative Dennis Kucinich: taking just .001% of the defense/military budget to finance the creation of a cabinet position dedicated to peaceful outcomes to conflict. Appoint Mr. Kucinich as the first Secretary of Peace in U.S. history.
5. Pardon and Release Leonard Peltier – do it now ,Mr. Obama, at the beginning, rather than at the end of your term. Take a stand for prison reform.
I will not defend these points here, because I’m proposing them for purpose of discussion. Please read, consider, forward and comment.
Rather, I defend the idea that there would be very little or even NO political cost for taking these steps and that the benefits politically, socially and culturally would be immense.
Nate Silver has already pointed out that Obama’s margin of victory in the popular vote is almost exactly the same as Bush’s over Kerry in 2004.
Bush claimed a mandate and bombed and obliterated Fallujah! The triumphalism of the Republicans in 2004 was intensely exaggerated by FOX and the rest of television media. This is what contributed to the views of an ever-shrinking minority being allowed to dominate policy.
This is Obama’s chance to start the clean-break from the policies of Bush/Cheney and in particular the Foreign Policy, which was dominated by aggression, war and violations of every major peace treaty signed in the 21st Century: The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, The Geneva Peace Accords, The Warsaw Accords – Putin said, on the morning that Shock and Awe began in Baghdad, “It violates the U.N. Charter.”
Millions of Americans were the ones in Shock and Awe.
If Obama stood up for peace in the 21st century, tens of millions of voters and hundreds of representatives at all levels of government would support him.
It would also set a tone for his ability to work on topics which Republicans have rigidly blocked for the past four years. Obama could put the GOP way back on its heels.
Progressives would rise to support Obama for being a strong leader and taking steps to better our national character. The Democrats would gain millions who have felt left out by the centrism of the party over the last 20 years.
That is the point of this post: to create a huge groundswell of public support for these five ideas as a part of a National consciousness. That we, the 21st Century Americans, the Digital Generation, the new Americans, stand for a more peaceful relationship with the world.
It’d be easy to sell. The race between Obama and Romney was only close because so many millions did not participate. Many who did vote for Obama before left in disgust, but weren’t willing to cast a vote for the Republicans who do not share their values. These are the one Obama would attract. People longing to believe again.
Less than half the electorate votes. Obama could make huge strides among the disenchanted with principled action.
These are important stands for getting back our dignity as a nation. I firmly believe they would have very little political cost.
One way to measure if I am right is by memes, so if you’ve read this far and agree, I am asking all producers and hype-masters and friends and like-minded thinkers to tweet these five points and use the hashtags #Peace and #FreeLeonardPeltierNOW respectively as means of creating a measure of support.
Please do blog and produce work that promotes these ideals of peace that we all share.
Let’s push this country back on track by letting President Obama know he can be far more progressive without concern for political liability.
Start talking peace and Free Leonard Peltier Immediately – it’s the right thing to do.
2000, 2004, barack, Bush, chief, City, count, editor, F.Kennedy, fiasco, Filippacchi, Florida, frank, George, Hachette, in, Jeb, John, Jr., Karl, kerry, Lalli, lawsuits, loss, magazine, manhattan, new, obama, publisher, Rove, swiftboat, vote, W., york
In Spring of 2000, Hachette-Filippacchi Inc.,hired me and a half-dozen others to work as independently-contracted temporary employees to fact-check and conduct research for George magazine – whose founder and editor-in-chief John F. Kennedy, Jr. had been killed in a light-plane crash amidst fog off the coast of Maine eight months before. They hired us to ensure George remained, in the wake of its founder’s passing, an audible element of the political discourse during the Election of 2000.
As a national magazine which was read by hundreds of thousands of voters in many states, particular focus was paid to the Presidential Election between Vice President Al Gore and George W. Bush, the Governor of Texas.
My fellow employees, under Editor-in-Chief Frank Lalli, were a tight-knit, smart and savvy crew. In fact, on Election Night we were all together at Mr. Lalli’s beautiful upper westside home where he had invited us to watch returns. But Karl Rove’s fat face and a flipped state later, many of us were back in the office. A few of us stayed up most of the night and by 10 a.m. I was not alone in the office when I was posting coverage of Florida on the George website.
Though admittedly not a heavy-hitter politically, George was engaged throughout the Election and maintained an immense audience of voting readers before the magazine was finally brought to an end in 2001.
In 2003 I covered Schwarzenegger’s Election via Recall of Davis for KPFK, 90.7fm Los Angeles.
I also covered The Election of 2004 and the Presidential Race between George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry for KPFK, 90.7fm Los Angeles and in part for Pacifica Radio. Some of that 2004 Election work exists here and online at Pacifica’s Audioport and in the Pacifica Radio Archives, but I have complete digital copies of everything I did for KPFK and Pacifica between 2003 and 2005 backed up on disc in my studio as well.
In 2008, I was no longer working as a journalist, but did cover Obama’s Victory in Iowa for KPFK and produced short Audio-Visual Installments for Freshjive on the Internet. These were amateurish and clunky by design, yet carried considerable data for anyone who had tuned in to the broadcasts I produced for KPFK four years before.
When Obama won in ’08, I was with Lloyd Dangle, who hosted a book signing and Election Night Returns Party at the Riptide in San Francisco. Earlier in the day I had a drink with former SF Mayor Willie Brown at the St. Regis – we discussed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s plans for appointing a Senator to replace disgraced Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, forced to retire.
This year,I did not work as a journalist, but rather observed as a reader of the news media and a regular Californian voter.
The biggest single predictor of the elections of the 21st century has to be the margin of difference in registrations for the two major parties.
There are many reasons for this: smaller parties are being absorbed and disappearing for lack of membership, corporate interests fund the two major parties only, people threatened by one of the two parties runs to join the other and the demography of the nation is changing.
I have successfully predicted the last two elections as a result of my study of data and my knowledge of voting history. I think I see the electorate again.
Some points on 21st Century US Elections:
It’s impossible to write a blog about all my experiences voting and covering General Elections in the United States in the 21st Century, but suffice it to say there is a distinct difference between these and the Elections of the latter half of the 20th century, in which I also participated.
Much of this is discussed in my talk Political Media, Messages and More.
2003 was the Recall Election and spawned recalls in the 21st Century because of Schwarzenegger’s success.
2008 was the Youtube Election.
2012 was the Twitter Election.
Money and media are the driving forces of what has become a political system mired in divided, brutal contests between two immense parties which are financed primarily by corporations and special interest groups that define their policies.
We are in desperate need of a new Federal Elections Reform Act, as was passed in the early 1970’s.
Our democracy is sick. Hardly half the people with the right to vote even participate.
We need to update, nationalize and standardize voting procedures and make them more secure. We need to increase registration and participation. We need to subsidize the creation and maintenance of additional parties in the face of the massive expenditures made by Republicans and Democrats that have taken elections out of the reach of the common person. We need proportional representation in Congress.
Have been saying all of this for years, and it has only gotten worse. Here’s hoping the young people who are increasing in numbers at the polls pull off what my generation couldn’t.
I’ve voted in every election since 1984, eight times for President. I’ve voted for a handful of Senators, and dozens of Representatives, Propositions and candidates for lower office, including judges.
I have voted in Texas, New York and California and once voted absentee from Taiwan – when I cast possibly the most distant vote for Ann Richards for Governor of Texas.
I covered elections for George magazine, Pacifica Radio and local newspapers and went through the Florida Fiasco of 2000 with writers and colleagues in New York City who were also covering the Election.
I covered Bush vs. Kerry for Pacifica and particularly KPFK radio 90.7fm, Los Angeles.
Today, it doesn’t feel good to vote. Not pointless, because the propositions here in California are a strong form of democracy and represent the political will of our State, but basically I feel as though most of the votes I ever cast did nothing to progress our nation on what I consider to be the best path.
At 45, I grow more isolated in my worldview.
Well, off to vote.
Yes on Propositions 30, 34, 37, B1
No on Propositions 32, 38, A1
Incumbents President Barack Obama and Representative Barbara Lee
Ranked Choices, Oakland City Council District One: 1.Raya, 2.Kalb 3.MacCleay
Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Council
Mary London, School Board
Barbara Parker, City Attorney
Rebecca Saltzman, BART Board
ask, baseball, bolt, Darren, draft, Ford, Francisco, freelance, get, giants, home, jackie, karthikm.t., Mays, mlb, mtk, pinch, play, robinson, rookie, runner, San, series, speed, squeeze, steal, usain, Willie, world
After listening to fans of Usain Bolt talk during the Olympics about using him as a wide receiver or kickoff returner in American Football, it suddenly struck me there may be a better fit for his crossover to commercial US sports:
The San Francisco Giants should hire Usain Bolt to pinch run.
He would never bat, never face a pitch. Why not teach the Jamaican how to position himself, when to run, how to turn the corner and how to slide?
He’d be used in the exact way Bochy used Darren Ford in ’10 and ’11: to manufacture runs in key innings, in late innings and extra-inning games on the road, for our generally run-depleted squad.
Darren Ford’s exploits, which gained him the nickname The Bullet, are well remembered by fans of the current two-time World Series Champion SF Giants.
Most famous was his game-winning run in the 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies in September during our run to the division lead in 2010.
“With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth, Mike Fontenot drew a walk. Fontenot runs fine. Ford, however, might be one of the fastest guys on any big league roster. Ford ran for Fontenot and broke for second, and was standing on the bag, when Colorado‘s Ubaldo Jimenez fielded Tim Lincecum‘s quite average sacrifice bunt.” reads this b/r piece on the play.
Usain Bolt might be a very effective pinch runner if he can be taught the mechanics of base-running. Willie Mays stole home 5 times, Jackie Robinson 9 times … how many do you think Bolt could take if he could be put in position? Think squeeze play.
Bay Area Sports Guy hosted a piece on how important base-running is to the SF Giants just before this season started, but anybody who understands baseball and what just happened with the Giants versus the Tigers will get it, so please comment and spread the discourse.
Here’s the man, doin it:
Usain Bolt as solely a pinch runner – a specialist position. Inexpensive, but possibly very effective in tight games, when you have great pitching and defense. Discuss amongst yourselves.