24 February 2011

dead pile: play re factory farms @chicago

Dead Pile cast members;  Justin James Farmer (center) plays Jeremy, the investigator
photo by Michael Litchfield
Dead Pile, a play about factory farms, is currently running in Chicago @XIII Pocket at Stage 773. 

what it is:
Jeremy, played by Justin James Farmer, is an investigator "who goes undercover at factory farms to film the often-horrific abuses committed within. But when he’s sent to do an expose on a dairy farm in southern Indiana, he runs up against some difficult questions about his chosen line of work. A play that forces us to look at what we eat, and what we’re willing to sacrifice."

for how long:
You have four days left to see the play.  It ends on 27 February.  You can get tickets here.

what the writer & producer say:
Here's an interview with Laura Jacqmin & Megan Schuchman @vegansaurus. Here's another interview @Vegan Mainstream.

Has anyone already seen Dead Pile?  I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

22 February 2011

♫ we're walking, we're walking, we're walking ♫

Mara and I are loudly singing Mary, Mary's, "I'm Walking," and we're walking!


Mara and I regularly walk the 8 blocks from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth metro station to our house.  And both of us do it without complaints now.

We were spoiled before.  We used to live a mere leap and skip from the subway.  So 8 blocks felt like another country.  I wrote about that transition here.  But now it feels like it's around the corner.

I realize, too, that it marks a milestone in Mara's mad march toward independence. 

i love it!

21 February 2011

black history month & assassinations

Malcolm X, 1964 (wiki)
On this day, 46 years ago, Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) was assassinated.  Though occurring during Black History Month, neither Malcolm X's death (nor life) is standard fare, particularly within early elementary education.  And, perhaps, you are thinking that he shouldn't be.

Martin & Malcolm waiting 4 press conference re Civil Rights Act of 1964 (wiki)
Yet, children annually learn about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  And I think that's a problem.  Read my dear martin letter re my conversation about King being a good neighbor prompting my 4 yr old to ask how he died.  A question I was not expecting and awkwardly dodged.

Why did I dodge it?  Because she is too young to understand the complexities of the answer.

Apparently, many educators disagree with me.  At one private school in DC, the head of the school matter-of-factly explained during an admissions visit (not prompted by a query from me) that K & 1st grade students learn about King and are told that he was assassinated "because he was black."

Aaaarrrggghhh!  Exit complexity and enter white privilege & the power of language. 

King's (self-identified, culturally imposed & legally sanctioned) blackness was NOT the cause or the problem.  He was assassinated because the white murderer(s), supported by an entrenched system of white power & privilege, was racist and afraid.

At another private school, 1st graders are shown photos of King laying in blood on a balcony @Lorraine Motel.  NO! NO! NO!  A friend's son had nightmares for weeks.  When she complained, she was told that most other children watch television and see blood regularly so it wasn't a big deal.  But the white administrator failed to understand what it means for a historically and primarily white school focused on divers#!% (yes, this is a 4-letter word for me) for whites (let's be honest) to so casually equate black history month with death for 5-7 year olds.

But, of course, this is part of the commercialized King package which has become standard educational fare.

So, I think that I'm happy that Malcolm X is absent from the divers#!% deluxe pack for Black History Month.  I would hate to see him revamped and disfigured for white consumption.

04 February 2011

zipcar tests plug-in hybrids

Zipcar has added eight Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs) into its car fleet. The Prius PHVS are available in Boston, Portland and San Francisco.

For more on this story, click here.