Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

A Return

LispectorI’m not sure if it’s abandonment or neglect: I have not maintained this blog. It’s a funny thing, when and how we’re motivated to revisit things of the past. There was a time that I was extremely active here (I estimate in 2010, maybe, as I was nearing the end of my tenure teaching at Boston College, and fairly laissez-faire about my daily affairs and purpose). I found myself, then, posting my thoughts freely, sharing the particular nooks and crannies of my days, seeking solace where solace could be found in virtual, real time publishing. After I moved to New York this impulse to connect dissipated.

Perhaps it’s that enough time has passed, people come and gone, work life and daily life less crowded with diversions and preoccupations, that I am now desirous of this form. Blogging simply feels more substantial than Facebook. Think it, write it, publish it. Bam! Surely, Facebook has only contribute to my short attention span, fragmented thinking: FB posts have served as a poor cousin to the intermediary work of blogging, which strikes me as half-writing and half-entertaining. It may be that after three years in New York and the beginning of yet another stage of my life, I’m ready to return.

One closing thought, from Clarice Lispector, individualist and iconoclast. I’m reading her last book now, “A Hora de Estrela.” A real writer’s writer:

“My truest life is unrecognizable, extremely interior and there is not a single word to describe it. My heart has emptied itself of every desire and and been reduced to its own final or primary beat.”

Filed under: media, technology, writing

Dan Savage to CNN: Stop the Hate

“We need a cultural reckoning.”

This is Dan Savage’s response to a CNN reporter’s question of how mainstream society can increase acceptance for gays and lesbians. Savage goes on to make his point even more unequivocally: Stop providing hate groups like the Family Research Council to spew hate under the guise of impartial journalism. Said Savage:

“There are no ‘two sides’ to the issue of LGBT rights. Right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on CNN.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently added 13 virulently anti-gay organizations to its list of “hate groups”–a designation based on each group’s propagation of lies against the minorities it wishes to demonize.

Savage lambasts CNN for its seemingly innocuous journalism. Why shouldn’t the cable network question the anti-gay–now officially categorized as hate-mongering–“experts” that it regularly provides a megaphone for?

Filed under: hate, media, , , , , , , , , ,

Another Example of Fox as Infotainment, Not Journalism

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade sums up his philosophy–not an impartial one, to say the least–that “there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

One wonders if, in Kilmeade’s one-sided view of terrorism, he includes men like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers.

President Obama has derided Fox News’ lack of impartial journalism, calling it “destructive.” Kilmeade, O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck are all shucksters–far-right politicos masquerading as journalists.

In terms of infotainment, Fox News can’t be beat.

Filed under: entertainment, media, obama, , , ,

Father and Son Launch Homemade Camera into Space

Vodpod videos no longer available.

God, I love (and am addicted to) the Internet. Found this cool video made by a father-and-son team of their home science project: a weather balloon-powered spacecraft capturing spectacular images of the earth at 100,000 feet.

An ordinary weather balloon, foam insulation, an iPhone and HD video camera. Luke Geissbühler, the father, said that the project did not require FAA approval. Pretty darn cool.

Filed under: media, science, technology, , , ,

Arcade Fire Needs Your Home Address

Whaaa…?

For the music video to their new song “The Wilderness Downtown,” Arcade Fire chose to work with filmmaker Chris Milk and to integrate Google interactive maps. Billed as an “interactive film,” you enter your home address and witness the coolness. This really pushes the envelope in combining an interactive experience, creepy Google streetview technology (when did they capture those images of my house?), and a surprisingly effective array of browser windows in all shapes and sizes, containing streaming video. The whole process takes a couple minutes, and you’ve gotta download Google’s new Chrome Experiment, but it’s worth it.

If anything, Arcade Fire provides the excellent soundtrack. Reminds me of the way Radiohead embraced Web 2.0 to release In Rainbows. Or how Jonsi totally socked it to me with his one-of-a-kind, aesthetically mind-blowing concert and film experience for go. (If you still have a chance to see Jonsi live, you’d do well to get yerself a ticket before he’s gone.)

Why aren’t more of us taking advantage of the technology at our fingertips?

Filed under: media, music, technology, web 2.0, , , , , , ,

Writing

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
May 2017
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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