Welcome to the Terror Zone

I spent the better part of the Spring and Summer in the Pacific Northwest. I got back to New Jersey the day after the Orange Alert was declared, and was quite unprepared for the level of security. In fact, I wound up getting stopped by the Union County Police and detained for several hours for taking photographs in my own neighborhood.
Union County, New Jersey is about 20 miles Southeast of Manhattan. The western part is wealthy, green suburban. The eastern part is blue-collar, industrial, part of the Elizabeth/Newark urban sprawl. I've lived in Roselle, a working-class, mostly black/Hispanic town for most of my life. more

Dumb and Dumber: From Ann Coulter to Little Green Skinheads

In Thomas Frank's article "Shrill and Shriller" published in Issue 16 of The Baffler, he examines the far-right-wing writer and pinup girl Ann Coulter's refusal to face the economic realities of the post tech bubble recession and her obsessive attempts to shift the debate from unemployment, corporate corruption and a growing deficit onto the cultural sins of an imaginary liberal elite.
oe Lunchpail's major grip, Coulter seems to argue, is not that he's out of a job, his gas costs over $2.00 a gallon, or that the bank is about to foreclose on his mortgage. No, his major gripe is that some unnamed Columbia grad student on the upper West side of Manhattan with his subscription to the Nation and his girlfriend with dyed black hair and body piercings might just be laughing at him...more

It's Always the Economy Stupid

On Tuesday, the morning of 9/11/2001, I was at work doing tech support for a small DSL company in downtown Manhattan, a few hundred yards from the New York City Stock Exchange.
Normally, I would have gotten on the D-Train in the North Bronx at about 8 o'clock, switched to the A-Train at Washington Square, and emerged at Fulton Street at about 8:55. I would have been right on the scene just between the the time the first and second planes hit. ...more

Memorial Service

A year ago tomorrow, "we" (in quotes) invaded Iraq. I started going to anti-war rallies not because I was a committed anti-war activist (I wasn't exactly pro-war, just a rather cynically detached observer of both sides.) but because I had just purchased a Sony DSC-S85 and simply wanted something to take pictures of....
On Tuesday, the morning of 9/11/2001, I was at work doing tech support for a small DSL company in downtown Manhattan, a few hundred yards from the New York City Stock Exchange. Normally, I would have gotten on the D-Train in the North Bronx at about 8 o'clock, switched to the A-Train at Washington Square, and emerged at Fulton Street at about 8:55. I would have been right on the scene just between the the time the first and second planes hit. Chances are I wouldn't have done anything particularly heroic. Most likely, I would have been herded north by the cops, gone back home, and spent the day in the Bronx watching the whole terrible day unfold on TV. That Tuesday, however, I had gotten up at 6 AM in order to fill in for a coworker, and had been in the office since 7AM.more