Last night I attended an excellent event put on by the Public Policy Forum called Social Media and Democracy: What Can Be Done? at which no less than 5 smart and highly informed guest speakers from journalism, government, academia, civil society and the tech sector discussed the state of the internet and the threat of 'surveillance... Continue Reading →
Meeting the Underdog: A Mingus Epitaph Memoir
On June 3,1989 I spent the better part of three hours onstage at Alice Tully Hall in New York's Lincoln Centre alongside Gunther Schuller, John Handy, Wynton Marsalis, John Abercrombie, George Adams and literally dozens of other legendary jazz musicians in what was called by the New York Times, “the jazz event of the decade.”... Continue Reading →
Nobel Prize for Literature? Come on, Bob Dylan is an Oralist.
In my book Digitopia Blues – Race, Technology and the American Voice, I described Dylan's impact this way: Dylan signaled the triumph of oral poetry for white America, the reconciliation of the word and the body, of the singer and the song, of the poet and the community. From here on in, it was a... Continue Reading →
Kim Dotcom’s Amnesia = Media Warfare (Dancefloor Style)
In New Zealand, electronic-bracelet-wearing Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has gone on the offensive again, launching a new dance video produced by Black Eyed Peas' musical director Printz Board that directly attacks John Banks, the NZ cabinet minister whom Dotcom claims asked for – and received – an anonymous and illegal $50,000 campaign donation from him.... Continue Reading →
Media Circus – revisiting radical TV criticism
In 1974, Ontario's public broadcaster (OECA) launched a unique experiment in live broadcasting and media criticism. Media Circus was 90-minutes of live commercial-free analysis of 'what is on TV right now'. Until recently it was believed that no recordings of this groundbreaking TV series existed, but recently a copy of the first episode came into... Continue Reading →
Everybody Say Hell Yeah!
One night in the early '80s I found myself at a club in Montreal called Cafe Campus, dancing furiously to the live scratching of a hiphop DJ from New York, Grandmixer DST, and his MC crew, The Infinity Rappers. It was en event I will never forget, my first exposure to live hiphop, and blindingly... Continue Reading →
Conversations – Che & Abe
This has been a busy time, with some long-term artistic projects coming to fruition and others popping up out of the blue. I like to track these on this blog, although it does seem like recently most of my writing here has been about various artistic projects and less about ideas and current events, which... Continue Reading →
No News Corp. is good news … or is it?
As regular readers of this blog will know, I believe we are living through a profound cultural crisis as digital culture (OS3) undermines and overthrows literate culture (OS2). My new book, You Are Your Media, tracks this conflict across many different social spheres, from food to architecture to business and beyond. Remarkably, we can see... Continue Reading →
Rethinking 7 Generations
You may have heard of the 7 generations idea or concept or phrase. It is typically understood as being derived from First Nations culture and to mean that when making decisions today we should consider the implications of those decisions on people living 7 generations in the future. As such, it is a useful and... Continue Reading →
A Better Way to Occupy
Yesterday I introduced the idea that the greatest transformative potential for any social initiative lies in creating feedback loops between OS1 and OS3. By OS1 I mean oral culture and technologies and by OS3 I mean digital culture and technologies. I also said that in order to effectively implement such strategies, which I refer to... Continue Reading →