Think globally, act locally. To help provide that global perspective, here is the United Nations’ retrospective on last year. 2017 : The United Nations Year in Review. [Read more…]
Editor Note: This is the final article in the four-part series Brother Martin: From Logan Heights to a Trappist Abbey
Brother Martin devoted his Wednesday morning to giving my companion José Goytia and me a tour of the grounds of the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oregon. This time he was dressed in his monk robes. He showed us the dining room with its beautiful wooden tables. [Read more…]
While he was readjusting to living in Logan Heights, Brother Martin was having a war inside himself about what he wanted to do with his life. He spoke with priests and nuns about his confusion. He taught catechism and led a Boy Scout troop for boys from Saint Augustine. He seemed to have one foot in the religious world and the other in regular everyday life. He was unsure if he wanted to follow a religious life or continue on the path he was on. [Read more…]
Brother Martin remembers that Australia of 1943 looked like America of the 1920s. He was assigned to the 1st Calvary Division in a camp located near a suburb called Strapfine. He was an assistant to the “BAR Man.” (BAR stands for Browning Automatic Rifle, which was a big gun which fired 20-round clips with 30-caliber ammunition.) The BAR Man, Dick Chase, was an Episcopalian from Minnesota. He says they had some interesting discussions about their two faiths.
He celebrated his nineteenth birthday on an LST (Landing Ship, Tank) going from Australia to Oro Bay, New Guinea, on the way to a planned invasion of the Admiralty Islands. [Read more…]
While I was collecting material for the book “La Neighbor: A Settlement House in Logan Heights”, my friend Emma Lopez recommended that I get in touch with a monk named Brother Martin, who grew up in Logan Heights. I wasn’t sure how much he would have to share, or, for that matter, how much he would remember, since he had been at an abbey for over 60 years. But I followed Emma’s advice and contacted Brother Martin via regular mail.
On one particular day, he asked when I was coming up to visit him. I promised I would go “next summer.” As “next summer” came to an end, I began preparations to meet Brother Martin. [Read more…]
By Valerie Vande Panne / Alternet
The fat old white man clad in red is a marketing gimmick. Let’s consider replacing him. When you see Santa today, all fat and jolly and rosy-cheeked, you’re seeing an image created for and promoted by the Coca-Cola Company for over 80 years. Michigan artist Haddon Sundblom created the Santa Claus we know so well in 1931, for Coke’s “Thirst Knows No Season” campaign.”
Sundblom modeled his Santa on “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” an 1822 poem by Clement C. Moore. While people often point to that poem as the defining element of Santa Claus’ style, or to Thomas Nast’s versions of Santa Claus for Harper’s, it wasn’t until Sundblom and Coke codified the Claus in mass advertising that the world adopted and accepted that version of Santa Claus. Prior to 1931, Santa Claus was depicted all sorts of ways, from an old Diogenes-type man to a bishop to a sprite-like troll. [Read more…]
Longtime San Diego resident, writer, educator, and activist Mel Freilicher was the editor of the regional literary journal Crawl Out Your Window for 15 years and taught at San Diego State and in UCSD’s literature department for several decades. In addition to this, Mel has published in a wide range of publications and anthologies including two chapbooks on Standing Stone Press and Obscure Publications.
His last two books on San Diego City Works Press, “The Unmaking of Americans: 7 Lives” and “The Encyclopedia of Rebels” engage radical American history in a way that brings together serious fiction, history, fantasy, memoir, humor, and political commentary in the service of excavating some of the lost stories of the American left and countercultures.
With “American Cream,” Freilicher gives us yet another unique window into the past as a way to cope with the dark present. As writer Stephen Paul Martin explains, “Within the nimble universe of Frelicher’s language, we see these people as we’ve never seen them—as people. But also as subversive signifiers in an unprecedented aesthetic design.” [Read more…]
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day here is “Our Life Under the Oaks”, a Kumeyaay story curated by the American Indian Studies program at SDSU. [Read more…]
Samantha Bee, with an assist from Javier Muñoz (and Donald Trump) presents a quick overview of the hundred-year history of Puerto Rico getting screwed with its pantalones on by the United States. After watching this video you will know more about the Jones Act than the Full Frontal Graphics department. [Read more…]
What is to be done with the monuments to Southern white supremacy? New Orleans has already begun the process of removing these symbols of white supremacy and New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu, revealed to the Atlantic, some of the issues raised by this project.
Then there’s Daily Kos blogger, Hunter, who weighed in recently with a post titled “Tear Them Down”. Pointing out that nearly all of the monuments nationwide were erected long after the end of the Civil War, most were less an attempt to honor the exploits of those fighting to preserve slavery than a demonstration of the continued dominance of white power and privilege. Putting them in historical context he says: [Read more…]
Filmmaker Isaac Artenstein likes to tell good stories, especially unknown ones, and if those stories inform and entertain others, even better.
He feels that the Jews of the Southwest have an untold story as the narrative has been mostly about the Anglo westward expansion; whereas, other immigrants are also part of the history. He wants to show one of the missing pieces of the puzzle.
To that end, he’s working on a four-part series of documentaries, “Frontier Jews,” which covers Jews of the Southwest, including New Mexico, San Diego, Arizona (specificially, Tucson), and El Paso, Texas. The documentary on New Mexico, “Challah Rising in the Desert” has just been completed and the one on San Diego, “To the Ends of the Earth,” is near completion.
Artenstein was born in San Diego and grew up as a child of the border. He went to school in Tijuana and high school in Chula Vista. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he moves comfortably between both worlds. In addition, with an Ashkenazi father and Sephardic mother, he was also exposed to the different aspects of Judaism, which has served him well while making the documentaries. [Read more…]
Tough subjects seem always to end up with Greek or Latin roots. Alienation, bulimia, catastrophe, depression … just go through the alphabet and you’ll find them.
In our fragile democracies, maybe we assign concepts like these, wrestled over by so many psychoanalysts, social and clinical psychologists, political scientists, sociologists, historians, writers for large daily newspapers — even some politicians — that they’ve become contorted and distorted to the point that they are merely suggestive, symbolic, abstracted from the particular.
Many of them become the product of people who differ mightily over the causes and effects of our barely civilized mistakes; for example, the election of Donald Trump to presidency.
Historians have generally proved to be more reliable than other more scientific specialists active in the battle to explain how we wound up electing a blowhard to the nation’s highest office. Here are two words they’ve used, righteously, to explain our mad indifference to failure: Xenophobia and isolationism. [Read more…]