(the quote above come from Elvira Kurt’s Kitten with a Wit Comedy CD in which she talks about her mother making her a polyester pantsuit in the middle of the summer)
Obama’s plan to ride the wave of queer gratitude in California during his two-day fundraiser timed to the pop 8 decision backfired. For a President who remained largely silent about Prop 8 as it unfolded, it is unclear how gullable he thought queer Californians (a major part of his election base in the state) were when he imagined that some of the shine off of a prop 8 defeat would engulf him. If the surprising decision did not clue him in to how his indifference is read by conservatives looking to legislate inequality, reality smacked him in the face outside of the Beverely Hills fundraising dinner where protestors demanded he make good on his promises about ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the wars. One person held up a telling sign that read: I want my vote back.
Me and the Books
During the past regime, our admin liked to open up my desk copy orders before bringing them to my office. Often, the more provocative titles would go missing and then later resurface on Dr. Crackhead’s bookshelf, prominently displayed for our majors as proof she was doing intersectionality on the “cutting edge.” It hasn’t happened since she left. However, today one of the boxes arrived open and sorted through. Instead of something missing, something was actually added in . . . Evil Paradises by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk was stuffed inside and I must admit, I am intrigued by more than its shiny heft. Here is the description:
“Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single lifetime.”
“In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as ‘The World’ is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellín and Kabul, drug lords—in many ways textbook capitalists—are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces. In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over his bison in 2 million acres of private parkland.”
I’m fairly certain this book belongs to one of our summer adjuncts who is teaching a course on urban anthropology. She has no office of her own and her teaching load is such that her books are likely scattered all over the campus, showing up like little gems in the wrong offices. So as I sit here fingering the cover of this intriguing book, I find myself fighting the urge to follow in the footsteps of the previous regime to my own edification.