“Grains of Attic salt”

12/18/2010

The “Ghost Villages” of Russia
(Luke Harding, The Guardian, 11/03/2008)
The average life expectancy for Russian males is 59. This excellent and necessary piece of journalism illustrates the causes (political, economic, cultural) behind a country’s demise. Why does a population drink itself to death?

Respect The Flow: From the Block to The Ivory Tower
(Kalefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 08/12/10)
A review of Jay z’s Decoded examines the effort of scholars to legitimize and raise up the stratus of rap lyrics to “poetry”. Is it taking away from, belittling, and sterilizing the work of brilliant MCs by the vain attempts of university professors to make it “scholarly”? But really, anything that provides the opportunity to speak of Sprung Rhythm and crack rocks in the same sentence is a positive.

The Land of Milk and Honey, It Is Not
(C., Spike Japan, 28/11/10)
A fascinating look at the origins and present day condition of a remote, and endlessly doomed, island of Japan. From samurai uprisings, prostitution, and Christian persecutions to today’s “underpopulation”, urban decay, and economic decline this is a mysterious and eerie place – a great, tragic story.

“The Past Is Not Dead. In Fact, It’s Not Even Past”
(Michaelangelo Matos, Resident Advisor, 23/11/10)
With all of history at our wired fingered tips, artists today are able to exploit, manipulate, and reinterpret our cultural history with a bold new approach and mindset. This article explores cultural theories of nostalgia and recontextualization and the how the internet/technology is changing our connection with the past. Seen through the lense of today’s electronic music.

Eat The Very, Very Rich
(Mark Enger, Dissent Magazine, 22/11/10)
How we define “rich” today illustrate the growing and extreme concentration of wealth in North America and the controversy over Obama’s tax reforms. How we distinguish between “LeBron James and LeBron James’ dentist” is more important than you may think.

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