Great things can happen on the NYC subway.
Artist Jay Shells channeled his love of hip hop music and his uncanny sign-making skills towards a brand new project: “Rap Quotes.” For this ongoing project, Shells created official-looking street signs quoting famous rap lyrics that shout out specific street corners and locations.
I love it
To pretend that there is not a profound intellectual component in creating good stories is ridiculous. I think often there is this idea that you are somehow a native talent, a primitive genius about the way that you work or that over thinking something will kill it of its energy. But I can promise you most people who read my work and like it – a smaller percentage than you imagine – would never at first glance think that I sit around and theorize about all this shit, but it requires an enormous amount of brain work to get any of this stuff down. It just does.
We are living under a stage of capitalism, which is spending trillions of dollars to eliminate any contemplative or deliberative spaces in your life. You are supposed to reel from one state of consumerism to the next with very little time for you to do shit. When do you do shit in a world where you’re not permitted or encouraged to have time that isn’t underwritten by Budweiser?
Part of the problem [of not getting things done] is that I’m lazy, but part of the problem is there’s a trillion dollars trying to get me on Facebook. And you’ve got to have straight up gangster fucking methods if you want to get shit done in this country. You have to say, ‘In X amount of time, I will do nothing but the thing that I am doing’ because if you don’t, I promise you those three trillion dollars are going to steal the time that you should be writing a poem, cutting the documentary, designing your clothes.
As always, it comes back to get off Facebook and just do the thing you need to do.
“There are hardly any jobs here,” said Orlando Ayaza, 29, who works occasionally at the dock. “Not ones with regular salary and benefits that we need here.” He has a two-inch scar on his face that he attributes to a policeman’s baton during unrest here last year. When asked why he does not move to Panama City, he touched the dark skin on his arm. “They see this, and you say you are from Colón, and they say, no way,” he said. “They think we are all thieves there.” Colón is predominantly black, whereas Panama City’s population is more of European descent, and many residents and analysts say they believe that racial discrimination has contributed to Colón’s stagnation.
All true. When I went as a kid Colón was bad, but manageable. Once all the U.S. bases closed, it really took a dive.
The bigger this empathy critique gets—the more it reaches beyond Portman and his son toward a grand theory of the GOP—the less it’s about empathy. At its core, empathy is one person’s feeling for another. That’s what gets lost in the political indictments. “Why must empathy among conservatives be tied so directly to their own personal interactions?” asks one writer. Another objects that Portman
“was only able to realize the error of his ways when his own flesh and blood bravely stood up and said ‘Hey, you’re talking about me too.’ That’s what it took. None of the studies, the rallies, the protests, the legal victories, the testimonials, the documentaries, articles, books, plays, movies, television shows or anything could sway him … To me that indicates that there’s a pretty thick wall separating his political convictions from the rest of the world.”
Really? To me it just confirms that flesh-and-blood relationships are more powerful than studies, rallies, or documentaries. That isn’t a conservative defect. It’s human psychology. In academic circles, it’s called contact theory. It’s how President Obama explained his conversion on gay marriage last May: “Over the course of several years, as I talk to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together …”
Where were all these critics then?
Saletan makes a good point here, but I do disagree with his point that many liberals have those views because of inertia. It seems to me that thinking about the interests of people you don’t know is just learned behavior.