Burroughs Adding Machine

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

I’m Voting for Obama. How about You?

I will be voting for Barack Obama on Tuesday. Despite my reservations about his centrist policies and his failures on Guantanamo and drone usage, I believe that President Obama has still led us on a path to economic recovery and social justice. Especially in the last 12 months, he has used his executive office to effectively grant protection to children of undocumented immigrants and to influence public attitudes about gay marriage. In contrast to Romney, I believe that Obama will make a difference over the next four years for all Americans and not just the oligarchs, the wealthy, and the religious right.

I remember that feeling I had four years ago, when President-Elect Obama came on stage in Chicago. Seriously, I was amazed and tearful seeing a person of color elected President of our nation. As a brown kid growing up in Iowa, I never imagined this could happen. Admittedly I’ve lost some enthusiasm for the compromises he has had to make over the last four years but I still support him overall. I’m excited to cast my vote for him in a few days.

President Obama is fighting for the American Dream because he’s lived it. http://OFA.BO/kV8SNu
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Filed under: obama, politics, social justice, , , , ,

Prestigious TED Prize Goes to Graffiti Artist

"Women Are Heroes in Kibera Slum," J R's sprawling installation in Nairobi, Kenya, in early 2009.

$100,000 to a street artist?

The celebrated TED Prize, previously awarded to humanitarians like Bill Clinton and Bono, was awarded to Parisian artist J R, who paints elaborate, king-sized murals of local people in the world’s poorest slums. Like many street artists, J R remains anonymous because of the illegal nature of his work.

According to the New York Times, the award is prized just as much for the publicity it raises as the cash:

For most recipients, the value of the six-year-old award has less to do with the money than with the opportunity it grants the winner to make a “wish”: to devote the funds to a humanitarian project that will almost inevitably draw donations and other help from the organization’s corporate partners and influential supporters. The chef Jamie Oliver, the 2010 prize winner, recently proposed setting up an international effort to further his campaign against obesity; Mr. Clinton’s wish has channeled significant resources toward the creation of a rural health system in Rwanda.

"Portrait of a generation," Paris, 2006.

Banksy and Shepard Fairey are household names, with commercial work and museum retrospectives. Now, J R joins Bill Clinton in an award for humanitarian work.

Is mainstream acceptance toward street artists changing, or are the artists themselves forcing change?

Filed under: africa, art, politics, racism, social justice, world, , , , , , , , , , ,

Jon Stewart & A Ridiculous Glenn Beck

Nice to know that you can be off the grid for a month, and things remain relatively the same.

Take the ridiculousness of Glenn Beck, for example.

In the clip below, Jon Stewart skewers the bombastic, offensive, and completely inappropriate plans of conservative nitwit Glenn Beck to deliver a “Restoring Honor” speech on the same date and the same place as Dr. Martin Luther King. Beck, of course, claims that any echoes of King’s historic speech were pure coincidence.

Stewart ain’t buying it, and neither should anyone with common sense. The entire idea of Beck delivering a speech about equality, civil rights, or social justice is laughable. And the audacity to appropriate King’s moment? Can you say “bad idea”?

“Glenn Beck does have a dream,” Stewart says. “Unfortunately, it’s the kind of dream you have when you eat four pepperoni Hot Pockets right before bed.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Filed under: black history, comedy, race, republican, social justice, united states of america, , , ,

Raging Grannies Raging at BP

Even the Raging Grannies are giving BP and Halliburton a piece of their mind.

Filed under: age, environmentalism, oil spill, social justice, , , , ,

Rounding Up the Illegal (European) Immigrants

Cops: Racial Profiling Edition.

The provocateurs at Joshonthestreet.com created this mockumentary to arrest illegal immigrants, in what looks like a suburban shopping mall somewhere in southern Cali. Props to these folks, and let’s hope the satire goes viral.

What do you think? Send all the Europeans, who are here illegally, back to their native land?

Filed under: history, immigration, social justice, , , , , , ,

Publications

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)
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Pics from Africa 2010

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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