Montréal: Expo Dream

One of the Montreal things that I’d read about obsessively before going was Expo 67, the great World’s Fair that took place here on Canada’s Centennial. It’s a multilayered megaevent that’s still seen as Canada’s cultural “Camelot” or even “last good year,” and there’s a lot to say about it, but during our stay at the In-Terminal Hotel, one thing of that era stood out: I couldn’t help but imagine the excitement that people must have felt as the world and even cosmos seemed to be getting smaller and smaller. You can’t really think of that decade without thinking of … Continue reading “Montréal: Expo Dream”

Let Us Compare Mythologies

Leonard Cohen’s first publication was a book called “Let Us Compare Mythologies,” a phrase that kept nagging me as significant to my trip to Montreal. What if we compared mythologies? Settler versus indigenous; English versus French; Expo 67 versus FLQ 70—what would we find at the other end of that trigonometry? That line comes from the slim volume’s second poem, I would learn, one with a most elusive title of its own: FOR WILF AND HIS HOUSE. The poem itself is a touching testament to the harsh contrasts of Jewish agency within Christian structuration. You can find it online read … Continue reading “Let Us Compare Mythologies”

Doomers in the Metaverse

It’s weird how the internet has made so many people think more highly of the Unabomber, as was evidenced by his recent passing. It’s weird and it’s ironic, given his whole off-the-grid anti-tech thing. What’s weirder than overly-online young people cleaning up the image of a self-important terrorist wackjob, however, is that you’d think they’d choose an anti-hero that speaks more to their actual lives. A person like Nasim Najafi Aghdam, for example, who in 2018 walked into YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, CA, and committed arguably the first act of terrorism against the creative economy. Nasim’s hatred of YouTube … Continue reading “Doomers in the Metaverse”

Montréal from Seattle

Christine and I are going to Montréal in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be my first international trip since becoming a U.S. citizen and the first time back on an airplane since getting my green card and landing here. There are a half dozen reasons to be excited about visiting this oddball part of North America, but our primary impetus for wanting to go in the first place was to visit a Mohawk Catholic shrine as part of‘s ongoing book project based on her series of mirror saint paintings. I’ve been reading a lot about the history of … Continue reading “Montréal from Seattle”

Seattle: City of the Future

Just came back from the phantasmagoric and fairly dystopian « #SEATTLE: CITY OF THE FUTURE » immersive art event at The Teal Building in #CapitolHill, organized by Third Place Technologies and Occupying the former site of R Place bar and nightclub, the exhibit played with and lampooned the futurist vernaculars of the space-age and cyberpunk eras to make dark commentary on the Seattle of today, in a bewildering array of interactive and augmented gizmos and doodads (I’m pretty sure that’s the technical terminology). I’m usually a little cynical about “activating” “vacant” “spaces,” but this was intelligent, insightful, and fun! x


Another set of photos from Beirut that I found as old attachments is this series I’d apparently taken for the long-defunct outlet “” It depicts GREEN THE GREY, a “public intervention” in June 2011 meant to celebrate green spaces in a city in desperate need of them, or what @beirutgreenproject‘s co-founder Dima Boulad would later call a “peaceful protest” to coincide with World Environment Day. Patches of grass were laid out in car-centric Sassine Square and we spent the afternoon hanging out. It was as simple as that. It pains me to reflect on just how utterly prosaic the politic instantiated … Continue reading “GEO+NAFSIYA: GREENING THE GREY”

Nakba Day 2023

Yesterday, a rally and march was held in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in commemoration of 75 years of resistance in Palestine. The event was organized by @falastiniyat & @samidounseattle, with support from @ilps.seattle.tacoma, @gabrielaseattle, @anakbayanseattle, @resist.seattle & @jvpseattle. It was an inspiring day with many moving speeches and moments; I can only share a couple here. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. x x x

May Day 2023

By chance and circumstance, I ended up marching alongside the PNW People Over Profit / Anti-APEC contingent in last Monday’s May Day demo. They’re a lively and highly organized coalition of young activists affiliated with @ilps.seattle.tacoma, @anakbayanseattle, @gabriela.usa, @resist.seattle, and @internationalwomensalliance, and carried themselves with infectious energy and what felt like a very real ethic of care. I’ve seen BAYAN and ILPS flags in protests before, but I must admit that I wasn’t aware of the breadth of this transpacific movement beyond the little I’d gathered from Bambu’s lyrics. Listening to their speeches and reading their flyers clued me in; this is a whole antipode … Continue reading “May Day 2023”

Seattle: “It’s a City”

The other day was the second time in a row that I’ve heard a dig made at Seattle by a band on tour, and the first time was pretty direct: “if you’re born and raised in Seattle, that sucks for you.” That time, I laughed and waved my middle fingers in the air as the crowd cheered. This second time, the frontwoman was actually starting to say something nice, recalling how they’d recorded two albums and lived here for a month each time: “Seattle’s nice,” she offered, but voices in the back started to jeer and say “it’s alright…” Everyone … Continue reading “Seattle: “It’s a City””