“Well in art certainly, contemporary art’s job is to wreck whatever came before it. And from the very beginning after the Old Masters, from then on, each generation wrecked that. That something that’s pretty and beautiful is probably the worst thing that you could say today in contemporary art about something, unless it’s so pretty it’s nauseating.”—John Waters, filmmaker (Big Think)
Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you every where like a shadow or a friend.
from her book, Words Under the Words: Selected Poems
Featuring an image of Andy Warhol’s “Rorschach” on the cover, the fully-illustrated book decodes 36 songs from Jay-Z’s extensive catalog, offering an intimate, first-hand account of the rapper’s most famous raps.
There are no statistics about how many Afghan girls masquerade as boys. But when asked, Afghans of several generations can often tell a story of a female relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker who grew up disguised as a boy. To those who know, these children are often referred to as neither “daughter” nor “son” in conversation, but as “bacha posh,” which literally means “dressed up as a boy” in Dari.
“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. This is what I’ve always thought it meant to be a writer. Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.”—Edwidge Danticat on her new book, Create Dangerously
Over time this mass relocation would come to dwarf the California Gold Rush of the 1850s with its one hundred thousand participants and the Dust Bowl migration of some three hundred thousand people from Oklahoma and Arkansas to California in the 1930s. But more remarkably, it was the first mass act of independence by a people who were in bondage in this country for far longer than they have been free.
Mary Anne Hobbs, host of the influential dead-of-night BBC Radio 1 programme Experimental dedicated to unearthing the best electronic music from all corners of the globe, bid the radio world farewell last night. Hobbs’ goodbye was aided by Burial and Kode9, who collaborated to make a terrific mix for the clearly emotional DJ.
If you were to ask me about the things that I am most proud of, I would have to say this programme’s role in Burial’s success. I remember the very first time I heard him. Kode 9 closed his dubstep show with a Burial track and it absolutely blew me away. To see his music, so devastatingly beautiful and totally uncompromising, now touching the lives of millions around the planet, that just makes my heart burst.
"It seemed that overnight, things stopped being so bad. The same things were happening, but they didn’t hurt me as much. I didn’t feel like I was a failure. I felt victorious because I made it through the day." -Jefferson Thomas, one of nine black teenagers to integrate Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas.
The Man Booker Prize committee has announced its short list and the much ballyhooed The Slap by Christos Tsolkias isn’t on it. I read it, and while mildly entertaining, it was also crass and underwritten. Andrea Levy’s The Long Song did make the list, however, which has given me even greater incentive to read it. The Guardian has an interesting dissection of how the committee arrived at the shortlist, which also excluded the much loved David Mitchell, author of the acclaimed The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.