Archive for the culture Category

Grace Lee Boggs on #OWS and the 99% Move

Posted in anthropology, culture, politics, social movements on April 10, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

reblogged from the Mariposa Co-op’s Food Justice and Anti-Racism blog

Grace Lee Boggs OWS


Happy Birthday to Bayard Rustin, Jorge Ben, and… to Me!!! (Sunshine Superboy!)

Posted in art & music, celebrities, culture, politics, race, racism, video with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

rustin march on washington

Its Mid-March! There are a couple truly stupendous March babies* (not babies anymore!) whom we ought to pause for a moment and appreciate. Lets get to it..!

Bayard Rustin was born 100 years ago, on March 17th! He is one of the dopest organizers, not just of American History, but of the entire 20th century, the world-over (IMHO).

His most visible achievement was organizing- as deputy director of mobilization and logistics- the 1963 March on Washington (in which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the hallowed “I have a Dream Speech”, and at which a multi-racial coalition of singers performed- from Bob Dylan, to Joan Baez, and Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson- cuz thats how he rolled!) bayard rustinIt was Bayard Rustin who visited Gandhi in India, and cross-pollinated the Sattyagraha and Nonviolent precepts, bringing them to the US south and working closely with King among others. Rustin was a quaker, a singer, a socialist, and…wait for it… unapologetically the gay! (Hooray!)

It was for this homophobia latter identity that King was counciled to throw Bayard Rustin under the bus (in the parlance of our times), which is why he has been largely written out of mainstream and much African American history.

As our culture starts to warm to the idea of gender justice and queer liberation (we’re getting there…) Rustin is slowly being woven back into narratives and history of Civil Rights organizing in the 20th century.

On the deeply regarded Bayard Rustin:

Another force of brilliance I’d like to celebrate this week is the very much alive and kicking-ass, Brazilian Samba-Rock Godfather, Jorge Ben who marks his 70th birthday on March 22nd! Jorge Ben Jorge Ben makes me smile, move, shuffle my feet, and sometimes sigh in melancholy (see “Gabriela” where he openly weeps on the recording!) with his genius fusion of samba, bossa nova, soul and rock n roll. The execution is something you just have to listen to in full to appreciate.

As with most artists who where on their A game in the 70s, there are some awkward albums and singles that followed the apogee of their songwriting, but most of his albums are slam dunks from start to finish. Perfect for cooking brunch (a favorite pastime of yours truly), doing dishes, playtime with toddlers, or drinking on your back porch in the evening. Impress your date with your refined musical taste!

His lyrics “blend humor and satire with often esoteric subject matter” including politics of Black Liberation, and post-colonial dreams for Africa (again think 60s and 70s composer here). He intersected with the Tropicalia movement of Brazil, and his song “Mas Que Nada” (song/ video below), which was his first big hit in Brazil, remains to this day ‘the most played song in the USA sung entirely in Portuguese’. I seriously heart this dude.

Enjoy the song and slide show with some rando pictures of the 1960s (??!)

oh, and I’m not that important, but I just celebrated my birthday on March 16th so I just wanted to dredge up some homies of mine who I happen to think about or listen to every day because they are badass.

You look like a Rock Star and you shred like one too!!!

(…and many more!)
Sunshine Superboy

*ps- we also welcomed some amazing babies to our spinning planet this month (and more to come!) and I wanna holler to them too (especially you baby Marlowe xoxoxo)

Worker Co-ops Support the 99% Movement

Posted in culture, maps, politics, video with tags , , , , on November 8, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

Just to add to some of the smart things people are saying about the 99% Movement, for example perspectives from New Orleans, Detroit and Oakland.

#OWS map

Worker Cooperatives support Occupy Wall Street…
The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street
movement, and the Occupy movements around the world.
As a national grassroots membership organization of
worker cooperatives—businesses owned and democratically controlled by our worker members — we support
and are honored to join you in this call for an economy organized to meet human needs.
We are heartened to see the beginnings of a genuine discussion and debate about different economic models —
models that value fairness at their core. As many of us come together for the first time to discuss the problems
that face us, and as we begin to collectively reimagine our economy and society, we believe it is critical to
actively make space for all voices to be heard. We urge this new movement to remain open and plural.

…and we invite you to join us in occupying Main Street

Cooperatives are the fastest growing socioeconomic movement in the world, with close to one billion members.
Worker cooperative businesses are in all sorts of industries: engineering, importing coffee,
baking bread, doing web development, cleaning houses, nursing and home health care, running
grocery stores, driving taxis, and more. But worker cooperatives are part of a much larger cooperative
economy that includes credit unions, consumer coops, housing coops, agricultural producer coops, and rural
electric coops — in the US, nearly 30,000 cooperative enterprises own over $3 trillion in shared assets.

Cooperatives are based on values.

Worker cooperatives are businesses that are owned and operated on democratic principles by the people
who work in them. Because they are organized around the will, talents and needs of the human
beings who work in them rather than the imperative of growth and ever-increasing profit margins,
worker cooperatives have the capacity to promote and extend new, humane and imaginative ways of
meeting the material needs of people by producing and distributing goods and services in society.
When dozens, hundreds and thousands of these enterprises pool resources and cooperate with
each other based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and
solidarity, a fundamental transformation of culture and society occurs. This has taken place most notably
and enduringly in Mondragon, Spain, and the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, where worker coops drive
the economy and fund and control social services, health care, retirement and education.

The cooperative movement needs you. And the world needs the cooperative movement.

As the Occupy movements have made clear, and as the UN recognized in declaring 2012 the
International Year of Cooperatives
, we need a new way forward to a better world. Cooperatives can be
economic engines and laboratories for democracy — a powerful, practical part of building an economy
and society that works for all its members.

We are the 99.

Sunshine Superboy

Back to Skool? Procrastination Interlude- True Blood and itunes

Posted in celebrities, culture, humor, maps with tags , , , on September 27, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

Too much workies makes my head hurt!

Slide the maps aside. Take a break and listen to some tunes!
ipod commute map

then we can take a gander at the spatial arrangement of our favorite pulp Louisiana VampTown, Bon Temps!

but first! … oh fanfiction. how we love your imaginative airbrushing:
true blood eric bill gay

The merry land of True Bloodletting:
map of Bon Temps
(click the map for clarity)

have a bon temps!

Sunshine Supergarçon

Back to Skool: Kick-starting our Map-tastic Week from Art and Foreign Language, to Geography T-Shirts!!!

Posted in art & music, culture, humor, maps, Uncategorized, video with tags , , , , on September 22, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

We were on a little “summer” “break” there for a spell (I use both words in quote, cuz it was already September, San Francisco doesn’t have a summer, and I hardly had a moment’s rest!), but we are back with a compendium of maps to keep your trapper-keeper in engorged! Hooray for overcompensation!!

US T-shirt map

We’ll post at least a map a day for the next week, marching right through some of our least (?) favorite school subjects- further proof that you can use maps in whatever area of study. Hooray again! (Sorry, I get excited about September. Its really a spectacular month, isn’t it?!).

Lets start with Geography:
A hilarious, if at times scary personal US geography tee-shirt design from our buddy pals at Threadless (they’re not a Black Maps sponsor….). We’ll start with another T-shirt model, and skip along to a zoom on the map itself.

US Threadless T-shirt Map


Sorry New England… erm, and the “corn” states 😦
If it makes you feel any better, I’m from the Commonwealth of “Blah Blah History”

Threadless Map T-shirt

A tearful farewell to our last month of t-shirts. Come back for more Back to School Maps!

Sunshine Superboy

LOLZ. Can’t help myself…. Classic emo jam. Horrendous homemade video!

New York City, a “Little” League of Nations

Posted in culture, maps, maps & mapping, race with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

This crafty map portrays the home of the United Nations as a veritable “league of nations”, with pockets of diverse peoples splayed across New York’s five boroughs.

as always, click the map to zoom in. (this map has a double zoom, which is key to enjoying its awesomeness!)
"new york ethnic majorities"

As traditional ethnic neighborhoods like “Chinatown” and “Little Italy” divide and multiply, New York City in the 21st century has been a boon of a greater multi-ethnic populace- indeed, ethnic majority zipcodes, a hallmark of American Urbanism, give us a new sense of New York as a City of Nations.

This little ethno-graph maps these demographics, while poking fun at the iconographic architecture of many peoples’ countries of origin.

What would Woodrow Wilson think of this global mixing in everyday life?

Up Up and Away old boy,
Sunshine Superboy

I Wanna be David Blair Black! R.I.P. This Strong Voice from Detroit

Posted in art & music, culture, politics, race, racism, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

David Blair was a friend of mine, especially back when I was living in Michigan. Blair was a fierce soul, a talented crooner, a passionate poet, and a kindred black geek with deeply powerful politics.

This is a video from Blair’s performance at the 2009 Allied Media Conference. It took place mere days after Michael Jackson’s death.

What Kinda Black??!

“What interests me about [Jackson’s] life – and about writing about him – is that everything that he is calls to mind a discussion of race, gender, sexuality, poverty, stardom, rags-to-riches and age,” Blair told Between the Lines in 2009. “He’s a very American figure. I don’t think that all that Michael Jackson is could’ve been produced anywhere else in the world but right here.”

Over the weekend, renowned poet, singer and songwriter David Blair was found dead in his apartment. Blair, who was born in New Jersey but lived in Detroit since the 1990s, was a prolific artist. He earned a National Poetry Slam Champion title, performed with Urban Folk Collective and the Boyfriends, and taught poetry and songwriting in Detroit Public Schools. Performances took him throughout the U.S., Russia, Europe and South Africa.

Blair was also a 2010 Callaloo fellow, a 2009 Seattle Haiku Slam champion and the recipient of Seattle’s 2007 BENT Mentor Award for LGBT Writers. He was named best urban folk poet by Detroit’s Metro Times and best folk artist by Real Detroit Weekly.

His first book of poetry, Moonwalking, about the life of [Michael] Jackson, hit book shelves in April 2010. Although a cause of death has not been confirmed, Blair may have suffered heatstroke before he was found by a maid. No foul play is suspected. He was 41 years old.

He also made Emily Dickinson’s “Farewell” an African-American spiritual like Omigod. Here’s a link to the vimeo of it at Detroit’s Institute of Arts. And below is Blair’s performance at the TEDxDetroit fest last Fall.

Blair, buddy, we will miss you sorely…

Be at Peace,
Sunshine Superboy

Blair and the Boyfriends