Tuesday, October 28, 2008

sir, no sir

i've just been watching the trailer for "sir, no sir"-- a film about the resistance movement inside the military that grew up during the vietnam war. its not a new film-- it was produced a few years ago. but its still important (and its not a bore to watch!) and, because i'm thinking a lot these days about the "lessons of vietnam," i'm going to link to it here.

oh and Lisa Guido reminded me that i should mention contemporary parallels (instead of just suggesting them): see, for instance, the film project Soldiers Speak Out, here.

critically important. now that we have a 2nd winter soldier, i want a 2nd coffeehouse movement!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


the thing is, why do all articles about homeschooling have to focus on either extremely wealthy white new yorkers or christian fundamentalists? the more time i spend inside public schools and studying the policy debates and curriculum debates that orbit around public schooling, the more i long for an alternative that might let ALL young people (not just the fantastically rich ones) develop their capacities as creative and curious humans. (as opposed to as future cogs-in-the-machine.) homeschooling offers so many totally fundamentally DIFFERENT ideas about what education could be, that in theory i think it could be useful as a counterpoint to the standard elements of the current conversation about public schooling-- except that its so completely privatized and not-publicly minded, that its insights are barely transferable. alas.

which brings me to this: there's one of the latter kind of article --the kind that focuses on wealthy new yorkers-- in the New York Times today. its problematic. but like many problematic things, its also thought-provoking. so i'm going to link to it, here.

remind me that soon i have to ask my friend, killer sideburns, to tell me more about her experience with the un-schooling movement.

today's NYT article provoked me to remember (as if i was having trouble remembering; actually, i'm not--i'm having trouble forgetting) just how fervently i wish we would just throw over the whole system and start again-- with art at the center of our educational efforts.

and while we're on THAT subject, here's another site about arts education that caught my eye recently: its called Art Education 2.0.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

angel island hit by wildfires

i got a note from a reader about this. apparently they saved the historic buildings but the island was really hit hard and it could have been very bad. See the SF Gate article here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

a plug for me

i'm really excited to have an article in the latest edition of the Radical History Review-- its a special issue entitled "history and critical pedagogies: transforming consciousness, classrooms, communities." a very solid collection of writings on what i think is a very important topic. my essay is certainly not the only reason to check the volume out-- there are a number of really smart pieces therein. but if you do get a chance to read my essay, i'd love to hear what you think. its entitled "theater of the assessed: drama-based pedagogies in the history classroom."

you can read the full table of contents here.

it doesn't solve our financial crisis or get rid of NCLB or make the political craziness stop, but-- its there. what to do.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

angel island immigration center

I am researching Angel Island Immigration Station for another chapter of this book i'm writing, and just found the very interesting site of a photographer who apparently took pictures of the historic site. the historic site appears to use mannequins, and reconstructions of the detention station, and his photos have an eerie awkward quality to them that is pretty affecting. (the image at the top of this post is one of them.) his name is Thomas Chang.

Check some of them out here. Another batch is here.

there are also tons of maps floating around on the internets of angel island, many of which highlight its attractiveness as a tourist site-- apparently you can go biking and boating near the the old detention center. See this one for instance.

woah. what to say? except that oh, history sometimes feels really really troubling.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

sometimes performed collective memory is awesome

credit: Pawan Kumar/Reuters
thanks to the chapati mystery for bringing this to my attention.

the lawsuits begin

the first of what will undoubtedly be many lawsuits against the St. Paul cops for their behavior during this year's RNC has been filed. by a guy who was hit in the stomach with a "high velocity projectile" (a tear gas cannister? a stun grenade?)and then falsely arrested on september 4. he seeks $250,000 in damages.

see the pioneer press's report about this lawsuit here.

i'm working on writing a piece about my experience at the RNC; keep your eyes peeled. it may be a while before i finally post it. but perhaps in the meanwhile i'll start posting links to news reports and stuff as they develop.

Friday, October 03, 2008

General McClellan responds to Sarah Palin.

this is history as dumb post-Veep-debate blogosphere scorn. but it is also just really funny.

the joke, in case you're not paying as much attention to this political circus as some people are, is that Palin referred to the General leading US troops in Afghanistan right now as General McClellan instead of General McKiernan. General McClellan was actually a Civil War General. And the kids over at Pinko magazine have spoofed this. Check it out here.