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, , , , ,

Can a Book Save Your Life?

The folks behind Electric Literature go to a shooting range to find out.

Filed under: books, , ,

The Richest New Voice in Music

I’m a fan of Adele. Her new single says it all.

Adele’s music also keeps me sane–distracts me from other frustrations like Obama’s tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of Americans.

Filed under: music, ,

So You Want to Write a Novel

“I assume you’ve used a steak knife, right?”

“Of course.”

“Do you think that makes you qualified to perform neurosurgery?”

The use of silence in this video is its crowning achievement. More talking bears here.

Filed under: books, humor, , ,

What It’s Like to Be A Christian Artist

I told myself I’d write about Waste Land, the incredible documentary my partner and I saw last night. However, I’ll hold off on that blog post, as it needs more reflection than I’m capable of now.

What does interest me is the band Danielson. Mostly because I just read Rick Moody’s thoughtful tribute/wrangling/personal symbiosis with the Christian band.

Here’s a sampling of the group’s eerie, completely entrancing music:

Here’s how Rick describes an extended “truly magnificent instrumental coda” from a song by Danielson called, (dubiously, at first glance), “Can We Camp at Your Feet”:

there is a beautiful overdubbed exhalation, by the vocal chorus, and this exhalation, the breath of God, I guess, recurs through the chord progression…and the song threatens to end three times, always with these exhalations, the breath of God, the thing worshipped brought near, away from the history of a religion, away from the religious controversies of the moment, away from the history of a religion, away from the religious controversies of the moment…

Now I’m not a faithful man. But I do view those with true faith with a kind of awe. Awe at their faith, but also in their security with doubt.

Daniel Danielson, lead singer and songwriter, performing in a tree costume.

Seems like Rick and the Danielson band live with both. It’s also clear that Rick’s affinity for the Danielson Famile (the band consists not only of songwriter and leader Daniel Danielson, but also siblings Rachel, Megan, David and Andrew on everything from vocals and percussion to flute, organ, and drums) lies not only in the hypnotic, Yo La Tengo-esque soundscape, but in the group’s unwavering devotion to a generous God, a difficult, larger-than-body spirituality. Rick was one of my mentors in grad school, and in this essay he again reminded me of his mastery, subtly structuring/moving the essay from a straightforward magazine feature to something that works as a subtle meditation on his own faith.

And the Danielson music he’s writing about is damn good.

Filed under: literature, music, religion, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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About Me

https://rsiasoco.wordpress.com/about/

About Me

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

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