Freeps in the News: Jim Bliesner, Barbara Zaragoza, Jeeni Criscenzo

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By Anna Daniels

San Diego Free Press contributors are a diverse and talented group of individuals. It will be a busy weekend for three of them with the unveiling of Jim Bliesner‘s sculpture Cultural Fusion, Casa Familiar’s Abrazo Award for Barbara Zaragoza and An Evening of Provocative Poetry with Jeeni Criscenzo. These events follow upon last week’s screening of SDFP video- journalist Horacio Jones‘ short film “Wingin’ It” at the 48 Hour Film Project in San Diego.   [Read more…]

Checkmate

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Mr Trump
This is for Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly and all the women verbally abused by Donald Trump and other bullies like him.

Mr. Trump
We used to call people like you, “Know-it-alls”.
You know, those teenagers who just heard something on TV
and repeat it,
as if they personally did the lab experiment to prove it.
Or worse,
the ones who tell you this is the way it is,
and then quote chapter and verse from a book
written by men whose perspective of reality
was that the earth is flat. …   [Read more…]

Ta-Nehisi Coates Speaks to all of Us in ‘Between the World and Me’

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By Susan Grigsby / Daily Kos

Over 50 years before I had ever heard the term white privilege, I sat out in the backyard of our middle-class suburban home and finished The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. I can still see the bright green grass and the blond wicker furniture, and the curling corner of the paperback book.

And I remember thinking that even though we lived in the same nation, we occupied different countries, James Baldwin and I. He lived in a world that I had never known existed even though it occupied the same city streets. His book’s impact on me was profound, as the kaleidoscope of my reality shifted and never again returned to its original angle.

The following year was personally tumultuous for myself and my family, which may be another reason that I remember that afternoon so vividly. In later years I thought that 14 was too young to be grappling alone with issues so complex. And perhaps it was, but the unfiltered result of that reading was that I could no longer accept that the reality I perceived was the only one that existed. And while I suffered from the same absolutism common to any teenager, always in the back of my mind lingered the knowledge that maybe everything I thought I knew was wrong.

Please join me for a look at the writing of the man considered by Toni Morrison to be the one to fill the intellectual void left by James Baldwin’s passing.   [Read more…]

Summer Chronicles #7: Ten Moments in Places that No Longer Exist in Downtown San Diego

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The maps of our memories fray like fine gauze

By Jim Miller

We are where we are from. Place, our place or “home,” gives us a sense of rootedness and identity, but it is also transient, always moving and changing as we ride the river of time and space.

Some places are fundamentally grounded in a central idea of what “home” is, of what defines a locality—the people in such places hold fast, perhaps futilely, to some notion of what it means to be there.

Not us though, not here in San Diego where history and tradition outside of empty tourist spectacles are cast off like a snakeskin and our sense of place is transformed by the whims of boosters and marketing schemes, sometimes erasing whole communities in the service of civic marketing.   [Read more…]

Summer Chronicles #5: A Field Guide for Getting Lost in San Diego

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By Jim Miller

Back in 2011, over at the OB Rag, I did a column where I had some fun applying the idea of psychogeography to our fair city and played with the notion of the dérive observing that, “The purpose of dérive is to detourn the calculated space of the city, to turn it around and reclaim its lost meanings. The Situationists wanted to see how certain neighborhoods, streets, buildings, or other spaces ‘resonated’ with states of mind or desires. They wanted, as Sadie Plant reminds us, to ‘seek out reasons for movement other than those for which an environment was designed.’”

I then offered “A few general principles to remember…”   [Read more…]

Logan Library to Host Women of Color in Comics Panel

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An interview with panel moderator and comic book writer/publisher Regine Sawyer

By Brent E. Beltrán

Comic-Con is here and, as usual, Barrio Logan has been left out of the official fun stuff. But we don’t fret around here. We do things for ourselves, like Chicano-Con and MARVEL vs DC.

But there is also something else taking place in San Diego’s favorite barrio. On Sunday, July 12 from 12:30pm to 1:45pm there will be a panel discussion at the Logan Heights Library called Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium.

The panel is free to all and will be moderated by Lockett Down Productions Publications owner Regine Sawyer. There will also be some free giveaways to audience members from the panelists as well as free superhero comics for kids and parents donated by an anonymous friend of mine.   [Read more…]

Poetry at a Budget Meeting

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By Ernie McCray

I had the honor of spending a day with a room full of progressive School Board Members from around San Diego County.

I wasn’t so sure, at first, as the subject was: Budgets. Whenever I got my budget sheets at my schools, it might as well have been expressed in hieroglyphics – I just can’t relate to language like “Total Available Funds minus Total Outgo.” Gives me vertigo.

I was there, though, to kick things off. And in doing that I shared three poems and one went like this:

Our schools now,
at this stage
of a rapidly aging New Century,
are about to introduce
our kids
to the realm of Ethnic Studies…   [Read more…]

Summer Chronicles #2: That Music You Are Hearing

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By Jim Miller

Gary Snyder is a courage teacher. His fine new book of poems, This Present Moment, is a meditation on wonder and impermanence. In it, for instance, we learn to value our laptops “Because whole worlds of writing can be boldly laid out and then highlighted/and vanish in the flash at ‘delete,’/so it teaches of impermanence and pain.”

And it’s true, the miracle of creation that comes out of “a formless face/which is our Original Face,” but as soon as the words are formed the self who made them is no longer there.

Still there is beauty, and moments of grace are there to be found and cherished in “the morning and night coming together,” the “glacier scrapes across the bedrock,” and “the deep dense woods.” You just need to follow “the shining way of the wild” and “hang in, work it out, watch for the moment.”   [Read more…]