Month: November 2017

A place for unfinished things and Forty-some-odd on by Joe Amato

Cars are vehicles of memory. This inaugural installment of “Car Poems” features two poems by Joe Amato, written roughly forty years apart. Amato considers the gifts that others passed on to him by means of cars, and ponders the future of such transmissions. *** A place for unfinished things c. 1974 If looks could kill that day would have killed me. It was cold out our refrigerator was half empty and as full as it had been in months and my fingers were numb. The garbage can was singed around the outside my fingers were numb and nearly black...

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Nothing Says Cluelessness Quite Like Joking About Gentrification

Gentrification is a topic I have written a lot about here (for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and, finally, here).  And, of course, I wrote a book about Griffintown, Montreal. In other words, I think about gentrification a lot, occasionally curious about it, occasionally appalled by it. Last week, a Denver coffee chain found itself in the midst of a firestorm over a really stupid sandwich board sign outside of its outlet in Five Points neighbourhood.  Of course, the name Five Points carries with it various derogatory ideas, largely connected...

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What is Trumpism?

I know almost nothing about Ellen Degeneres. I know that to some she is a modern American hero, I know that she recently ruled out ever inviting Trump onto her show and I know that she likes to dance. This last thing I know because I watched her dance to millions of viewers with George W Bush. She had him on her show shortly after Trump’s inauguration: “I love your whole family,” she crooned, and the timing was not accidental. As respectable imaginations shivered at the thought of an orange bull raging through the Oval Office, here was a...

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Car Poems: A Collective Vehicle

Call for Poetry “For nearly all of the first century of automobile travel, getting your license meant liberation from parental control, a passport to the open road. Today, only half of millennials bother to get their driver’s licenses by age 18. Car culture, the 20th-century engine of the American Dream, is an old guy’s game.” –Marc Fisher, “Cruising Toward Oblivion.” “I’ve never seen myself as a ‘girl driver.’ I’m just a driver.” –Danica Patrick “I wasn’t reaching for it.” –Last words of Philando Castile, 1983-2016 Like the intersections implicit in Politics/Letters, cars perform at the crossroads of America’s aesthetic,...

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Who Built The Moon?

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Who Built the Moon? Sour Mash Records If you’ve paid any attention to rock’n’roll for the past three decades, you will know that Liam and Noel Gallagher do not like each other much.  Liam is the ex-frontman of Oasis.  Noel is the ex-lead guitarist and main songwriter of Oasis.  They are, of course, brothers.  Liam just put out his own solo album, As You Were.  Much to my surprise, it’s excellent.  Noel is a little more experimental than his brother and is, on the whole, the much more accomplished musician. Who Built the Moon? is not...

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