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

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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)

Secret Lair, NYC: Mapping Marvel’s Heroes and Villains

Posted in comics, maps, maps & mapping with tags , , on March 5, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

A good friend of mine once asked me what the main difference was between Marvel and DC comics.

Not wanting to completely nerd out on her, I highlighted the great distinction that the DC Universe has fantasy urban spaces, Gotham, Metropolis, Star City etc.

daredevil highline park

Matt Murdock aka Daredevil in the Highline Park of Manhattan

Meanwhile the Marvel Universe is situated in our own utterly realistic geography: the X-men now in San Francisco were based just north of New York City in the Hudson Valley, and as the map below shows, from Daredevil (above), to the Avengers to Captain America’s Brooklyn apartment so much of the Marvel U is not so hard to plot in the varied neighborhoods of New York.

So lets have a look, shall we?

Marvel Heroes NYC locations map

Now this is a fairly old map, but I still think it illustrates the spatial dimension of the Marvel Universe rather well, giving us a sense of the proximity of the Fantastic Four’s “Baxter Building” HQ, of Avengers’ Tower, and all the rest of it, and where they are in relation to frequent sites of battle and intrigue such as Times Square, the Empire State building, and all them bridges that connect Jersey and all the boroughs of my native islands.

Anyone wanna help me make an updated Marvel Comics Map of New York City?!

How ’bout THEM big apples?
Sunshine Superboy

Rad Men & Madmen: Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

Posted in anthropology, science with tags , , , , on March 2, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

mental health comicAn interesting bit on the social processes of mental health and the the disproportionate diagnoses of anarchist types and anti-authoritarians:

Bruce Levine, a clinical psychologist, has written on Mad in America about his colleagues’ propensity for diagnosing anti-authoritarians with mental illness. Levine says diagnoses like oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder and anxiety disorder are applied to people who question authority’s legitimacy by mental health practitioners who are, themselves, unconsciously deferential to authority.

Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians. Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance. Those with extended schooling have lived for many years in a world where one routinely conforms to the demands of authorities. Thus for many MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world—a diagnosable one.

I have found that most psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals are not only extraordinarily compliant with authorities but also unaware of the magnitude of their obedience. And it also has become clear to me that the anti-authoritarianism of their patients creates enormous anxiety for these professionals, and their anxiety fuels diagnoses and treatments.

beauty mask skull

In graduate school, I discovered that all it took to be labeled as having “issues with authority” was to not kiss up to a director of clinical training whose personality was a combination of Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Howard Cosell. When I was told by some faculty that I had “issues with authority,” I had mixed feelings about being so labeled. On the one hand, I found it quite amusing, because among the working-class kids whom I had grown up with, I was considered relatively compliant with authorities. After all, I had done my homework, studied, and received good grades. However, while my new “issues with authority” label made me grin because I was now being seen as a “bad boy,” it also very much concerned me about just what kind of a profession that I had entered. Specifically, if somebody such as myself was being labeled with “issues with authority,” what were they calling the kids I grew up with who paid attention to many things that they cared about but didn’t care enough about school to comply there? Well, the answer soon became clear.

I mean, its sort of like “duh” to hear it on my end, but its important to have this internally recognized and published within the Psych field.

The idea that queers, anarchists, non-conformists, and other anti-authoritarians might give their shrinks “anxiety” is not breaking news to most of you I imagine…

Up Up and Away,
Sunshine Superbad

Breaking Bright! D-I-Y Glowsticks for Science Nerds

Posted in science with tags , , on January 17, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

Chemist Nerds, use your powers for good and fabulousity!

breaking bad

Reposted from nerds far more diligent than I am, who say:

I stumbled across this randomly on YouTube today and had to share. The first 3/4 of the video are a chemistry experiment breakdown of what goes into a glow stick and what each of those ingredients is meant to do. But what makes me LOVE it is that, at the end, all of this coalesces into a fine explanation of the difference between light-absorbing dyes and fluorescent dyes. Come for the glow-stick “how to”, stay for the better understanding of how light works and how it influences what you see!

We show how to make glow sticks and go through all the chemicals needed as well as how to make different colors. We also talk about the chemistry and scientifically research a proposed mechanism.

To make the glow stick mix together the following:

10mL Diethyl Phthalate (solvent)
3mg of fluorescent dye (see below)
50mg TCPO (see below)
100mg sodium acetate
3mL 30% hydrogen peroxide (add last to start reaction)

The fluorescent dye can be 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene for green, Rubrene for yellow, 9,10-diphenylanthracene for blue, and rhodamine B for red.

TCPO is expensive to buy but can be made for much cheaper by following the directions in our previous video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViJknvEEEOA

The chemicals, including the ones to make TCPO were purchased from alfa aesar: http://www.alfa.com

The Rhodamine B and Rubrene dyes were instead purchased from sigma Aldrich: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/

The dyes and TCPO are carcinogenic and gloves should be worn when handling them.

The TCPO and sodium acetate amounts can be varied considerably and still obtain good light. Smaller quantities tend to be dimmer and decay faster, while larger quantities last longer.

So there you glow- I mean GO! Homeschoolers knock yourselves out (just not literally).

Up up and Away,
Sunshine Superboy

This Holiday Season, “Civil Unrest!” Brought to you by LEGO

Posted in humor, video with tags , , , , on December 24, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

Get me an Arab Spring set! Gimme Gimme Gimme!!!

Occupy my nightstick FTW!
SS

Decolonize BART!

Posted in anthropology, feminism, humor, maps, maps & mapping, politics, race with tags , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

Happy Fall Decolonization Fest part II!
What are you thankful for? Decentralized movements for social justice? The building up of a post-capitalist solidarity economy? Maybe just the sheer joy of public transit??

radical BART map

So many opportunities to reflect on the legacies of colonialism, slavery, genocide, and imperialism for those of us in the Western Hemisphere. Good tidings, and may this map of a reclaimed San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system keep good company to you and your people.

Thanks to my buddy Kenji for this cartographic gem!

If you’ve missed other awesome/ imaginative BART maps, you can click here and have your mind ravaged by BARTOR- the Transitator!!!

June Jordan bound train arriving at platform ONE in seven minutes…
Angela Davis International Airport bound Train is now boarding…

Sunshine Superboy