Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Australian-Scottish-Renegade Beat-Trash Fashion-Peace

Things are revving up for the summer, yet I spent this afternoon watching the Australian film RABBIT-PROOF FENCE as if I had nothing else to do. Actually, I felt like I deserved a break, after all the hedge-trimming, lawn raking, and sidewalk sweeping I did this morning. And where is the rain, o where is that confounded highly-forecast rain?
Now, at the night job, I'm reading snippets from an anthology of contemporary Scottish writings. Fiction by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and James Kelman (post-colonial working class winner of the Booker Prize)whom I once had lunch with on the Drag, when he was in Austin teaching fiction writing as writer-in-residence. My friend and fellow poet, Nailah Sankofa, had snagged me on-campus, urging me to "Come have lunch with us--Kelman likes Black Americans and he wants me to introduce him to interesting people." I regret now that I wasn't more familiar with his work, his oevre, his reputation at that time.
I got a phone call yesterday from my old ranchera-crooning, cowboy boot-wearing, beat poet friend Kell Robertson aka Wild Dog of Poetry. He's almost 75, living in a tiny shack outside of Santa Fe. He made the craziest collage once, with photographs of burqua-clad Afghani women juxtaposed with porn mag pullout poses. He's just that complex and unpredictable. A rascal in love with Lydia Mendoza's songs. There's a European writer doing research on underground Texas musicians, and apparently, while interviewing her, he told Mendoza that a grey-haired old white guy (Kell) loves her more than anything and she broadly announced, "Well, bring him over. I want to meet him."

Kell's coming to FW next week (gigs at Black Dog and at Fred's Cafe), and it's gonna be wild. He writes book reviews for the Santa Fe New Mexican (periodical), and his book A HORSE CALLED DESPERATION is probably on my top 10 list (of books by poet-friends).
And I'm getting ready for my next performance: TRASHIN' FASHION. My friend Machete and I have created original anti-fashion garments made entirely of recycled materials (trash), household items, etc. We sprung this on the public last year (for Buy Nothing Day) and we'll do it again on Saturday, June 4th. Butt-ugly, hoot-silly, make-you-blink get-ups you'd never find on the red carpets of Hollywood. The show's at the Firehouse Gallery on Meadowbrook (E. Fort Worth), around 7pm.
I'm also starting a temporary position as co-coordinator of the upcoming NATIONAL CONVENTION of the VETERANS FOR PEACE. The convention is happening at the U of Dallas (Irving) in early August, coinciding (ironically) with the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I heard that two survivors of those bombings may be joining us at the convention--all the way from Japan. Should be intensely poignant.
Busy, flutter, busy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Austin nonprofit org seeks EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ALLGO (Austin Latina/o Lesbian/Gay/Transgendered Organization) --- a queer people of color organization

Job Announcement

To apply please submit a letter of interest, resume and three professional and two personal references to:

ATTN: Board Co-Chairs, 701 Tillery Street Box 4 Austin, Texas 78702.

Position will remain open until filled.

Executive Director –

Scope: Provide primary administrative, fiscal and programmatic leadership working closely with the Board of Directors and Staff to ensure the fullfillment of the organization's mission. Build local and national relationships to increase visibility of the organization, garner support, stay at the forefront of organizing related to the organization's mission and maximize the organization's reach and efforts. Duties and Responsibilities:

Ensure effective and efficient stewardship of the organization's resources.
Supervise Project Directors and fiscal and administrative personnel.
Ensure implementation of agency policies and procedures.
Develop performance measures for each position and ensure they are met through established supervisory processes.
Provide programmatic oversight of all program planning, implementation, measurement & evaluation, and documentation of progress in these areas.

Oversee the development of grassroots community organizing, coalition building and community action.
Oversee development and implementation of multi-tiered fundraising strategies to support organizational mission and growth.
Oversee implementation of health programming within a social justice framework and in compliance with agency standards of care.
Oversee implementation of cultural arts programming as central to social justice organizing.
Oversee management of agency contracts and ensure fulfillment of all contract requirements and timely reporting.
Provide increased visibility and serve as a spokesperson for ALLGO locally, nationally and internationally.
Serve as liaison between the Board of Directors and Staff of the Organization
Work closely with the Board of Directors and Board Committees.
Provide monthly reports to Board of Directors to include financial statements, cash flow projections, status of upcoming funding, and status of all programs.
Provide fiscal oversight of accounting, bookkeeping and auditing for the agency.
Ensure fulfillment of legal and ethical requirements related to maintaining non-profit status.

Perform other duties as required.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience for position:

Bilingual (English-Spanish) prefered.
Bachelor's Degree in related field required.
Master's Degree in related field preferred, may be substituted by experience.
Strong oral/written communication, and organizational skills.
Strong management and program development skills.
Personal computer experience required (Word, Excel, E-mail, Internet)
Excellent supervisory skills required; 5 years supervision experience preferred.
Experience working with queer communities of color.
Experience in fundraising, including development of individual donors, monthly donors, capital campaign, fundraising events, and proposal writing.
Proven success in fundraising efforts preferred.
Experience in community cultural arts programming.
Experience in community health programming, including health areas such as HIV/AIDS, Breast Cancer, and Domestic Violence.
Experience in grass roots community organizing and coalition building.
Proven success providing fiscal oversight for organizational and program budgets.
Experience in management & implementation of government contracts preferred.
Experience with compliance of standards of care, ethical and legal requirements related to social work and health care provision to people with HIV/AIDS preferred.

Supervisory relationships:

The Executive Director is directly supervised by ALLGO's Board of Directors, with evaluations provided through its Personnel Committee.

Amount of travel and any other special conditions or requirements:

Position requires local and national travel, as well as evening and weekend duties.

Salary range: $40,000/year, plus benefits

Hours per day or week: Exempt employee: 40-plus hours a week including weekends.

Friday, May 20, 2005

FREE Summer Theatre Camp for Youth - act now!

[Eliberto Gonzalez, co-founder of Cara Mia Theatre Company in Dallas, passed along the following info. ]

Still have some spaces left in our FREE Summer Theatre Camp
Cara Mía Theatre Company will continue to serve the Latino theater-loving community and its families with this summer's FREE theater camp for youth. In existence since 1997, the Chicano Academy for Summer Theatre (CAST) will take on Carpa (Tent) Theatre - Mexican vaudeville - with kids aged 9 to 13 for a six-week summer session that culminates in an entirely youth-produced performance. CAST: Carpa Theatre for Youth will be from June 6 to July 15, 2005 at the Ice House Cultural Center. Daily weekday sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon.

Cara Mía's artists will assist the youth in reflecting on their lives to find material for their own "actos". Participants will write, design and perform original scenes in the style of traditional Carpa Theatre. Participants will also learn about elements that are commonly used in Cara Mía's own professional productions - the theatre clown, Mexican folk theatre and masks.

Limited number of spaces available. Applications being taken now. Please contact 214.946.9499 or for an application or additional information.

Here's the Cara Mia website.

Note: The Camp takes place at the Ice House Cultural Center in Oak Cliff (South) Dallas.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Halliburton protest in FW happened yesterday, May 18

[Thanks to Diane Wood for allowing me to share her report. ]

"The wind turned our umbrellas inside and out, untied our ribbons, flapped our banners, ruined our hair, and blew our literature. The fifteen of us (men and women), mighty warriors that we are, withstood the elements and obstacles at the Fort Worth Halliburton protest on May 18th. Blanca was awesome on the bullhorn!

The security guard came out and told us we couldn't be there, "Because, even if it seemed like it, the sidewalk is private property and therefore not public property." We had to call the police to help us out, which they did, and stationed a friendly policewoman with us the entire

I tried to go up to the 11th floor to deliver documents, but was told by the security guard that that was not possible. The policewoman said I would be arrested if did that, since they didn't want us on their property (quite definitely obvious).

Lots of people now know where Halliburton is in Fort Worth and what they do. Lots of traffic on 7th street - we got lots of "honks". Got a new member for our Peaceful Vocations group.

The media was noticeably absent, even after the Star Telegram said they would send someone. Halliburton is powerful! (so are we) I did interview with Amber Brown, the Metroplex News, and with the LaVida News, even though they didn't come.

We decided to change the courthouse vigils to Halliburton, at 7th and Main, from 4 to 7 PM each Wednesday for a while. See you next Wednesday WITH MIGHT & GUSTO."

[BTW--Peaceful Vocations has a meeting scheduled for this coming Saturday, May 21st, at 1pm, at 1919 Hemphill St. ]

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Write about the new Latino mayor of L.A., if you want

[Thanks to Daniel Olivas for the following announcement, a publishing opportunity.]


From Daniel's website:

"I am editing an anthology of short fiction by Latinos/as in which the City of Los Angeles plays an integral role.  I am interested in provocative stories on virtually any subject by both established and new writers.  Stories may range from social realism to cuentos de fantasma and anything in between.  Los Angeles may be a major "character" or merely lurking in the background.  I'd like to see characters who represent diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, profession, age, sexual orientation, etc.

Please e-mail your story, using standard submission formatting, as a Word document to  In the e-mail, include your contact information, list of previous publications (if any), and the ethnicity(ies) with which you identify.  Feel free to visit my website at:"

DEADLINE: September 1, 2005.

Daniel's site also features an extensive lista of literature-related websites and blogs, including some of my favorites (Maud Newton and Boing Boing).


And now, for more on that L.A. mayoral election, just read this.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What the BLEEP kinda name is "What the BLEEP Do We Know?" ?

For all you bleeping bleepers who loved the BLEEP of all metaphysical, mind-twisting, gut-instinct-affirming film experiences otherwise known as the film "What the Bleep Do We Know?", there's a conference with your bleeping name on it:

May 30–June 3, 2005 ------- in Austin, Texas

"What the BLEEP?" Conference: Experience the Possibilities...
Based on the sleeper hit movie, "What The Bleep Do We Know?," The Crossings presents this unique event bringing together innovators in film, biochemistry, and physics to share seeds of inspiration and create a community of open-minded thinkers.

Join us to explore how science and spirituality meet in this groundbreaking conference bridging quantum physics and human consciousness. Experience for yourself the workings of these astounding revelations in small group sessions. Evenings offer Q & A with the experts, as well as ample opportunity for community co-creation and fun. See this website for more info.

Sounds bleeping cool........

Reminder: don't cuss at your drinking water.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Youth Liberation Network to host 4th Annual Media Youth Camp

Great opportunity!!!!! ----there's going to be a Summer Media Camp for h.s. students from June 13-19th, 2005 - in Austin. It's FREE (free meals, free lodging in the dorms at the University of Texas)! I know the organizers of this Camp and they are amazing people. The focus is on gathering youth of color (Latino, African-American, etc.) to make videos, radio, murals, teatro projects together. Here's the website: Deadline to apply is looming near (end of May), so get on this now, folks.

If you have a sibling or friend who is also interested, maybe you can carpool together or take the Greyhound Bus, Amtrak Train, or something like that. My friend, Haldun, who is in charge of video for the Camp told me that you just have to get there. It's a great chance to try your hand at audio production, making videos, learning about theater, and more. Young people from all over Central Texas attend this Camp, so you can meet cool kids and work on projects together.

Anyway, I really hope you consider this, as it's a rare opportunity to do something really cool with MEDIA PRODUCTION in Texas, and it's FREE!! For more information go here.

Please send completed applications to: Youth Liberation Network
c/o Bianca Flores
5307 Martin Ave
Austin, TX 78751

To request an application by email : call 512-293-6582 or email

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Let's NOT legislate homophobia in the Lone Star state

[Thanks to Amanda in Austin for sending the following information.]


Please take action to stop HJR 6 which would deny thousands of gay and lesbian Texans the ability to protect their families from harm. There's no question that many Texans disagree about marriage for gay and lesbian couples, but those disagreements do not belong in our Constitution.

We need your help to show the Senate State Affairs Committee that Texans oppose writing discrimination into our Constitution. Please:
1. Call your own State Senator AND the members of the Senate State Affairs Committee RIGHT NOW! Let them know you OPPOSE HJR6.
2. Fax the Senate. The Texas Senate has the power to stop unequal treatment from being written into our Constitution. As of Tuesday, May 17th you have helped send over 30,000 faxes in opposition to HJR6! But, we need more! We have reset the counter, so you can send again. Go to this website. Click the "Fax the Senate" link.
3. Come to the Capitol on Thursday, May 19th at 5:00 pm to sign a Witness Affirmation Form. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for Austinites not to come to the Capitol and fill out a Witness Affirmation Form against HJR 6. It's incredibly powerful and it
3. Testify against HJR 6. Sign up to speak against HJR6! ALL testimony must be submitted in person. For talking points, please visit our HJR 6 Fact Sheet below.

Call the Senate State Affairs Committee
Let them know you OPPOSE HJR 6, the Anti-Gay Texas Marriage Amendment
Chairman Robert Duncan (512) 463-0128
Vice-Chairman Tommy Williams (512) 463-0104
Sen. Ken Armbrister (512) 463-0118
Sen. Rodney Ellis (512) 463-0113
Sen. Troy Fraser (512) 463-0124
Sen. Chris Harris (512) 463-0109
Sen. Mike Jackson (512) 463-0111
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (512) 463-0127
Sen. Frank Madla (512) 463-0119

The Anti-Gay Texas Marriage Amendment
Bill Number: House Joint Resolution 6
Unofficial Name: Anti-Gay Texas Marriage Amendment
Bill Author: Representative Warren Chisum (R-Pampa)
Bill Sponsor: Senator Todd Staples is the Senate sponsor of HJR 6.
Joint Authors: Representatives Chuck Hopson, Charlie Howard, and Jim McReynolds
Co-Authors: Representatives Allen (Ray), Berman, Bohac, Bonnen, Branch, Brown (Betty), Callegari, Campbell, Casteel, Cook (Byron), Cook (Robby), Crabb, Davis (John), Delisi, Denny, Driver, Eissler, Flynn, Gattis, Geren, Goodman, Hamilton, Hardcastle, Harper-Brown, Hegar, Hope, Hughes, Isett, Jackson (jim) Jones (Delwin), Keffer (Jim), King (Phil), Kolkhosrt, Krusee, Laubenberg, Nixon, Orr, Otto, Paxton, Smith (Todd), Smith (Wayne), Solomons, Talton, Taylor, Truitt, van Arsdale, West (George), Zedler
Short description: HJR 6 would write unequal treatment for gay and lesbian Texans into our Constitution by banning marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
Committee Assignment: House Committee on State Affairs


The Texas Marriage Amendment hurts Texas families. It would deny thousands of families access to healthcare, fair inheritance and survivor rights, and the ability to make life-saving medical decisions for loved ones.

Our Constitution should be used to protect people, not hurt them. But that is just what the Texas Marriage Amendment would do. Our Constitution is for protecting our most basic and important rights. It should never be used to settle partisan, religious or ideological disputes. There is no question that many Texans disagree about marriage for gay and lesbian couples, but those disagreements do not belong in our Constitution.

Changing the Constitution is never simple. There are over 1000 protections, rights and responsibilities that go along with civil marriage. Many, like immigration rights and veterans death benefits, cannot be covered by contracts or legal planning. The Texas Marriage Amendment would permanently deny access to each of these family protections to gay and lesbian couples and their families.

This bill DOES NOT "reinforce" heterosexual marriages. The typical reason legislators give for supporting this legislation is that it reinforces traditional marriages. However, they have provided no reasoning to support the idea that barring same-sex marriages in any way contributes positively to heterosexual marriages, or that recognition of same-sex marriages threatens existing opposite-sex marriages. It seems the real motivation behind such legislation is homophobia.

Friday, May 13, 2005

"The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror" - screens on Sunday, May 15th

As part of the "Fasci$t Watch" film series at 1919 Hemphill, the 90-minute documentary "The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror" will screen at 7pm. Open and free to all.

The following descriptive blurb is from the "Oil Factor"website:

According to O.E.C.D. data, the Middle-East holds 70% of the world oil reserves while North America and Europe will run out of oil in 2010 at their current rate of production. Emerging technologies might provide alternatives to oil used for energy but these innovations will do nothing to remedy the need for oil used in plastics which accounts for about half of oil's uses.

In the wake of Vice-President Dick Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force, is it a coincidence if George Bush targeted Iraq in its so called "war-on-terror", a country known to possess the second largest oil reserves in the world?

Is it another coincidence if U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Central Asia are based near Central Asian oil and natural gas?

Was invading Iraq and Afghanistan really meant to reduce terrorist threats against the United States or was it a ploy to guarantee that the average American can continue consuming 4 times more energy than the average European or 32 times more energy than the average African?

After a year and a half of investigation and a three month trip covering Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, THE OIL FACTOR looks at both the human cost and the greater geo-strategic picture of George Bush's "war-on-terror". Along with solid facts & figures, clear, illustrative maps and graphics and original footage shot on location, THE OIL FACTOR features such personalities as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Noam Chomsky, The Project for the New American Century Director Gary Schmitt, best-seller "Taliban" author Ahmed Rashid and the Pentagon's Karen Kwiatkowski.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

"The Art of War" in FW Weekly

This article, just released yesterday, May 11th, is a pretty good encapsulation (as an alt-weekly cover story) of the myriad threads in an ever-growing network of progressive activism in my original hood, Fort Worth, Texas.

Reading this might answer the questions: "Why is Tammy still in Fort Worth" and "Why kind of comunidad is she finding/creating there?"

As poet Sekou Sundiata says, "People be talking revolution in these hard times..." Let's keep (wo)manifesting a liberation movement here in "Funkytown 817", my friends.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blood for Oil? Blood for Money? No!

You can join the masses who are going to converge on Houston to protest the Wednesday morning, May 18th, Halliburton Annual Shareholders Meeting. Many North Texans will be traveling to Houston on Tuesday to join others for a scheduled march and rally. These actions will draw attention to Halliburton’s shameful actions in Iraq and demand that the company cease operations there. For more information, please go here or here.

Stop the war profiteers! Who wants blood on their money?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

And XX Communicator makes 8,000,001

During the first weekend of May, Nashville, Tennessee, was host to a Bloggers Conference attended by more than 300 bloggers or "Internet-based writers without rules".

According to Bob Cox, Media Bloggers Association president, as quoted in this article, over 8 million writers are blogging.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Guess what today's theme is?

Due to a last-minute cancellation (because of foreboding weather forecasts) of a highly-anticipated camping trip, I was in a temporary funk this morning trying to come up with an unusual consolation activity for the first part of the day. And then, somehow, some way (can't remember now), I found out that today was being celebrated as FREE COMIC BOOK DAY--not only in Fort Worth, but everywhere!

Of course, I ended up leaving this for the last minute, as I went off to see an afternoon matinee screening of "CRASH" (thumbs up, more on this later, maybe); did some Mother's Day gift-shopping; and hung out with my brother for a while. Thanks to the hardcore of the comic bookstores, Y2Komics, which stayed open beyond the posted "Closes at 8pm", I was able to waltz in and partake of the free comic bookness. You couldn't just grab anything from the shelves as your freebie; no, there was a designated table strewn with an assortment of styles and sub-genres to choose from. Extending the range of the stretch that my being in a comic book shop already presented, I opted for a copy of a BETTY AND VERONICA (Archie comics, remember them?) and an issue of SHOJO BEAT, a manga magazine.

Speaking of comics, I am the unlikely fan of FANBOY RADIO, a locally-produced (TCU's KTCU-FM) program which is so infectiously fun and informative. Even the FORT WORTH WEEKLY appreciates the show, which maintains a website with program information as well as downloadable audio files of archived shows.

Earlier this week, new New Yorker Randy Gentile was interviewed on FANBOY RADIO, talking about his new project NYComics, a series of black-and-white comics which detail very simple but striking characteristics and situations which Gentile is experiencing as a newbie in the Big Apple. It's pretty obvious that he is greatly influenced by comic book writer Harvey Pekar, and Gentile admitted this during the radio interview. I'm always excited when somebody in comics cares about the writing (the story, the poetry of a moment) as much as the drawing.

Lastly, to close this very-extended treatise on a theme: I recently heard a great episode of FRESH AIR, wherein Terry Gross interviewed the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for political cartooning, Nick Anderson, whose prize-winning portfolio is very amusing and smartly-rendered. My favorite quote from the radio interview: “..there’s nothing more American than dissent, in my opinion.” Anderson has been drawing political cartoons for the Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky since 1991.

Okay, I've more than exhausted this theme.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Visual artists, take note: Cover Art Contest

Vistas Film Festival Program Cover Art Contest

Each year, the festival's organizers host an art contest for the cover of the official program of the Vistas Film Festival. A call for cover art designs has just been announced for this year's festival, which will happen in September.

Submissions are being accepted through July 26th. The winner will receive two All-Events festival passes, a congratulatory ad in the program and will be introduced at Opening Night of the festival. For more information or to obtain a submission form and guidelines, contact César J. García at or visit the Vistas website here.

The Vistas Film Festival, which takes place in Dallas, is dedicated to highlighting Latino culture and involvement in the film arts by providing public exposure for Latino artists and their work.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Big Noise Film "Zapatista!" to be screened on Sunday, May 8th

It's almost the end of another Cinco de Mayo day. And what's left to say, in the few minutes before the clock strikes twelve and it becomes seis de Mayo? How 'bout this? Mexico may have defeated France in 1862, or whenever that was, but indigenous Mexico is still struggling against the big monster of neo-liberalism and corporate globalism.

On Sunday, May 8th, at 7pm, you can check out Big Noise Productions' 1998 film "Zapatista", which gives a discerning view of NAFTA's impact on the peasant/campesino class of Mexico.

Here's a short blurb from a promotional website:
"ZAPATISTA! is an inspiring first-hand account of a struggle that will challenge the way you think about the world. Armed with sticks and words against a First World military, eight thousand Zapatistas have fought 75,000 Federal troops to a stand-still. Ignored by a mainstream press that cannot and will not cover them, the Zapatistas have used poems and children's stories smuggled on horseback and distributed on the internet, to permanently transform the political imagination of a nation. ZAPATISTA! offers us a new way of thinking about political struggle and about what it means to live as a human being."

w/ Darryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos, Rage Against the Machine, and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Highly recommended.

"Zapatista!" screens on Sunday, May 8th, 7pm, at 1919 Hemphill. Open to all--Free admission. FMI: 817.920.9665

Gemini Ink in San Anto offers a seminar w/ Sandra Cisneros

This is the message that I got from Gemini Ink offices, down in San Antonio:

"Our final offering this spring is A House of Her Own: Advice to Young Latina Writers, a seminar/discussion presented by novelist and poet Sandra Cisneros. Although the discussion will focus on the Latina/o experience, anyone interested is more than welcome to attend. Date: Saturday, May 14, 2-4 pm. Registration Deadline: May 10."

Gemini Ink - A Center for Literary Arts and Ideas.
513 S. Presa
San Antonio, TX 78205
210.734.WORD (9673)
fax: 210.737.0688
toll-free: 877.734.WORD (9673)

Inventing a new character for my bicycle love story

Inventing a new character for my bicycle love story was so easy, as I sat behind the wheel of my car, listening to a really good interview on "Fan Boy Radio" (locally-produced show about comic books/characters/authors/inkers/letterers, etc.) while parked in my driveway this morning. The light was just perfect and the windshield so clear--as happens right after a nice rainfall--so I was enjoying the view. A particularly loud little bird--I could hear him over the radio--was twittering and teetering on a high thin branch, and it seemed indecisive. It clung to the branch and to a bit of white yarn or straw (I couldn't quite tell which) within its beak, and I tried to ascertain its plotting. Through the windshield, I also saw a neighborhood stray cat, whom I've dubbed "Make-Up Cat" pounce onto the hood of the car, as if from nowhere. And a few seconds later, another pounce, this time by Grace--my own pet stray cat--as she landed on top of the recycling bin to the right of the car.

I imagined that a custom-tailored drive-in movie was unfolding especially for me, and I started wishing that I had a camcorder on me to document this stunning visual display. In perfect light. After a rain.

So then, it occurred to me that I should create a character--for my play about bicycle love--a character who spends way too much time allured by the views through his/her car windshield. This character would reminisce loquaciously about bygone days of drive-in movies and would only interact with people who would join him/her in the front seat of the car. Upon doing so, they begin to see the most splendorous visions--sharing the mindset and perspective of the forever-fascinated front seat freak. The windshield would not be rose-colored, but it would offer glimpses of the mundane made unforgettable.

I got so caught up with my character development process, that I neglected to wonder what my neighbors might think about me sitting in the car in my driveway for five minutes. They probably wouldn't have guessed that I was watching a movie, the one of my imagination. It was a simple, happy moment, after the rain this morning.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Home Girls, Make Some Noise! - Call for submissions to a hip hop anthology

[Thanks to Kym Keeton for passing along the following anuncio. Girlfriends, fire up those pens and laptops!]

Call For Submissions --- Submission Deadline: July 30, 2005

Feminism, rap music, and Hip Hop culture, at first glance, do not appear to be likely cohorts. In the male-driven, testosterone filled world of Hip Hop culture and rap music labeling oneself a feminist is not a political stance easily taken. Thus, many women involved with Hip Hop culture do not take on the label of feminist even as their actions imply feminist beliefs and leanings. Much of the strong criticisms of rap music have been about the music's sexism and misogyny. And much of the attention focused on sex and gender have been in terms of constructions of Black masculinity, and rap music as a vehicle for Black male posturing. A lot of attention has been paid to the impact rap music and the masculine space of Hip Hop culture has on the development of Black male identities.

In this volume, the editors strive to understand constructions of Hip Hop feminism, gender, and sexuality in Hip Hop culture, rap music and these in transnational contexts.

We take the stance that Hip Hop is a cultural phenomenon that expands farther than rap music. Hip Hop has been defined by many as a way of life that encompasses everything from way of dress to manner of speech. Hip Hop as a culture originally included graffiti writing, d-jaying, break dancing, and rap music. It has recently expanded to include genres such as film, spoken word, autobiographies, literature, journalism, and activism. It has also expanded enough to include its own brand of feminism. The work of Hip Hop feminist writers such as Ayana Byrd, Denise Cooper, Eisa Davis, Eisa Nefertari Ulen, shani jamilla, dream hampton, Joan Morgan, Tara Roberts, Kristal Brent-Zook, and Angela Ards is expanding black feminist theory and black women 's intellectual traditions in fascinating ways. What started out as a few young black feminist women who loved Hip Hop and who tried to mesh that love with their feminist/womanist consciousness is now a rich body of articles, essays, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

We seek to complicate understandings of Hip Hop as a male space by including and identifying the women who were always involved with the culture and offering Hip Hop feminist critiques of the music and the culture. We seek to explore Hip Hop as a worldview, as an epistemology grounded in the experiences of communities of color under advanced capitalism, as a cultural site for rearticulating identity and sexual politics. We are particularly interested in seeing submissions of critical essays and cultural critiques, interviews, creative non-fiction and personal narratives, fiction, poetry, and artwork. We also encourage submissions from women working within the Hip Hop sphere, Hip Hop feminists and activists "on the ground," as well as scholars, writers, and journalists. We do not wish to reify the scholar/activist dichotomy, but we want to encourage as broad a discussion of the possibilities of Hip Hop Feminism as possible and we want to be sure multiple voices and perspectives are represented in the anthology. All work submitted must be original and should not have been published elsewhere.

Word Count/Page Limits:
Critical Essays and Cultural Critiques - 25 pages (including bibliography) 6500 words
Interviews - 10 pages/2500 words
Creative Non-Fiction and Personal Narratives - 20 pages/5000 words
Fiction - 20 pages/5000 words
Poetry/Rhymes - No more than 3 pages per poem/rhyme and 3 poems per poet/mc
Artwork - Up to three pieces per artist

Gwendolyn Pough is an Associate Professor of Women's Studies, Writing, and Rhetoric at Syracuse University and the author of Check It While I Wreck It; Black Womanhood, Hip- Hop Culture and the Public Sphere, Northeastern University Press 2004.

Elaine Richardson is an Associate Professor of English at Penn State University and the author of African American Literacies (2003) and the forthcoming Hip Hop Literacies both from Routledge Press.

Rachel Raimist is a Hip Hop feminist filmmaker, scholar and activist. Her film credits include the award-winning feature length documentaries Freestyle, Nobody Knows My Name, and Garbage, Gangsters, and Greed. She is a doctoral student in Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities.

Aisha S. Durham is an essayist and Editorial Assistant for several cultural studies journals, including Qualitative Inquiry where her performance work is featured. Durham's dissertation research examining Hip Hop feminism will be featured in an upcoming anthology and documentary about Hip Hop culture. She is a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Additional themes to be explored:
· Has Hip Hop feminism moved beyond the conflicted stance of loving Hip Hop, being a feminist, and meshing the two? What is next? What should Hip Hop feminism be doing? · Now that we have at least two generations of women who identify as Hip Hop feminist, can we talk about multiple Hip Hop feminism(s), multiple Hip Hop feminist agendas? · On that generational note, how then does the Hip Hop feminist agenda mesh with the Black feminist agenda or womanist agenda of our predecessors and contemporaries who do not claim a Hip Hop sensibility?

· We know that there are dedicated educators out there who are working in the trenches with no institutional support to bring feminist education and issues of sexuality, sexual health, and emotional well-being to our youth, but how can Hip Hop feminists work to ensure that feminist education is centered in the curricula of America's schools, elementary through college for both male and female students? · What are the defining contours of Hip Hop Feminism? If we are of the understanding that a Hip Hop feminist is more than just a woman who loves Hip Hop and feels conflicted about it, what does a Hip Hop feminism look like?

· The continued sexual labor of women of color in a global market place now depending on virtual "mass mediated" sex labor (e.g. music video and pornography) as well as other forms of sex and gendered labor performed by women of color still policed. · Is Hip Hop feminism simply a US phenomenon? Should Hip Hop feminism have a global agenda? And how should Hip Hop feminism participate in the agendas of transnational feminism(s)? · What roles can Hip Hop feminism play in combating growing rate of incarcerated woman of color and the expanding prison industrial complex?

Please send four copies of the submission by July 30, 2005 to:

Gwendolyn D. Pough, Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Writing Syracuse University Women's Studies Program Syracuse University 208 Bowne Hall Syracuse, New York 13244
For more info:

Hip Hop Feminism Anthology:
Elaine Richardson
Associate Professor of English, Penn State University

The Hip-Hop Association:
Rolando Brown
Director of Brand Development

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mamas wanna rock and roll

[Thanks to Connie Kallenberg for sharing the following info!]

Mamapalooza Dallas!
1 PM - 5 PM

Bring your mom, the kids and a picnic for a nice day in the park. Enjoy music, a craft fair, crafts for the kids, Pilates demos and more!


Frump: The All-Mom Garage Band - loud, mom-centric rock
The Ackermans - Texas Originals
Annie Benjamin - Irreverent, poignant and homespun
The Velvet Sirens - Passionate and playful guitar and vocal duo
Lisa Mickelsen & Drake Rogers - Harmonies and heartfelt vocals

@ The Magnolia Lounge at Fair Park
1121 First Ave.
Inside Fair Park, DALLAS
Directions may be found at
Thanks to the Video Association of Dallas!

for more information contact: Suzie Riddle,

You can check out the Dallas Mamapalooza website or to learn about this mammoth mama movement, go to the national organizing website. Dallas is the only city in Texas doing Mamapalooza this year.

Speaking of rock and roll mothers, there's a community of punk rock moms in Austin too. My friend, Diana Garcia, is a bilingual ed teacher, and her rad daughter Lulu is a fearless and amazing kid. Diana has played with bands Coz the Shroom and the Girl Robots, hangs out with other punk rock moms, and is one of Texas' major purveyors of mail art.

Love your mama extra-special this Sunday!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Yesterday was May Day

I was so busy NOT working yesterday, May 1st, which is commemorated worldwide as the "International Day of Worker's Struggle," that I didn't bother to come online to remind you about it.

Okay, it's the day after, but why not: here's the link to Rosa Luxemburg's spirited essay "The Idea of May Day on the March." One line from this piece (circa 1913) bears highlighting, given our current world situation:

"In this moment of armament lunacy and war orgies, only the resolute will to struggle of the working masses, their capacity and readiness for powerful mass actions, can maintain world peace and push away the menacing world conflagration."