For the benefit of all sentient beings
Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem
May I hold them dear at all times.
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Posted by JColeThomas
So, I drive around in a van a couple days a week for a couple hours and generally I listen to NPR cause I'm a Socialist, and that's the sorta thing we do. A few stories struck me today. One was based on the recent release of U.S. Census data regarding poverty in this country.
New Census data reveals that poverty in America is at its worst level in three decades. We asked you, does America still care about its poor? We received many responses, including this one, from Seth in New Jersey: "The United States government does not care about its poor, and that's because they don't make campaign contributions."Jon Stewart's thoughts on employing the nation's unemployed nurses, firefighters, and teachers was to have them stand behind politicians to make them look good during campaigning. Not a bad idea. Bottom line is, it's hard to understand something when you've never come face to face with it. I don't care how grass-roots and for the people you think you are, if you're a politician you are not impoverished and never will be. You have no idea what it's like to be unemployed or even underemployed. It's just not possible.
Posted by JColeThomas
The bottom line is, part of the reason this country is doing so poorly economically is that the rich are only concerned about getting richer, or at least staying as rich as they are. And the government is owned by the rich and powerful. Any efforts by anyone to actually "help" anyone is considered to be Socialism or at the least, "Big Government".
Since April 24th, 2011 I've been one of the millions of people in the U.S. who are collecting un-employment becase of losing their job. I worked for a start-business that was funded and subsequently mismanaged by a collective of, by all accounts, uber-rich white guys. This company Right By Nature was so horribly mismanaged and ultimately run into the ground by a consultant team from the West Coast headed by a true psychopath.
I'm actually not kidding, this guy was text book. Sadly, he's taken everything he learned while running Right By Nature into the ground and applied it to a new business back in Seattle. I'm sad for anyone who has to work for him and I bid them a word of caution, this man is not to be trusted.
This is the only thing I've seen in a while that was actually nice. It's so nice that I'm putting it here and on the side bar under Can You Dig it. It's not very often that you see something that involves fixed gear bicycles and its culture and is not completely cliche. The film is artfully done, tells a nice little story, and doesn't over embellish it's content or try to be "cool". My favorite part is the Japanese dude's drop handlebars, they're outta control.
Shed Rolltop Messenger Bag / Paris
Started thinking about a theme to develop throughout this blog, since its never quite had one. The notion of culture and philosophy led me to popularcultureandphilosophy.com what a snooze fest! Who knew popular culture could be so boring. I guess that what makes things culture or philosophy also makes them, well, dead. It takes so long for things to develop into culture, that by the time they're actually cultural they're certainly not popular anymore, nor are they trending. How does something get from trending, to popular to culture? Is it inherent in the philosphy of culture to ask this question? Is there a difference between popular culture and culture? When does it become history? Well at least there is always a wiki for this sort of thing.
Revaluation of mass culture in the 1970s and 1980s has revealed significant problems with the traditional view of mass culture as degraded and elite culture as uplifting. Divisions between high and low culture have been increasingly seen as political distinctions rather than defensible aesthetic or intellectual ones.
I really like the line that mass culture is degraded and elite culture is uplifting. You might actually be able to argure the opposite. I'd say elite culture tends to be a bunch of crap, but I certainly agree that these are political distinctions rather that aesthetic or intellectual. America is devoid of intellectualism. When is the last time there was a coherent arguement on television. Oh, wait there's the Daily Show , which may be the last bastien of hope for Americans with brains (Side Note: Can we enact the American's With Brains Bill?). Unfortunately, the only actual intellectualism that takes place on the airwaves these days is seen as satire. Oh the irony! Americans are so stuck on being brainwashed that the only thing that might make them think about anything is perceived as a joke.
This is my son. His name is Ridley Swift Thomas, and he is my first. I'm trying to get back into posting to this blog after many years of not paying any attention to it. This blog has no theme, although when I was regularly posting it seemed to be a bit more cohesive. I have not posted any photos of Ridley on the internet, at least not for the public. I am not a social butterfly, but there are probably some photos of me on the internet. I never really considered it to be much of an issue, but when you have a child everything changes. You begin to realize that every cliche is right, and everything that everyone tells you is correct and yet a terrific lie all at the same time. You'll hear, "It goes so fast", and "Just wait til you get to 'that' phase". You quickly begin to piece all of these sound bites together, and it becomes culture. Culture is terrifying! It makes you want to move far far away into the mountains, never to be seen or heard from again. It's the belly of the beast, but it only becomes important, it only exists for you when it suddenly has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your child. Your child is what you become, and he becomes the inheritence of your culture. So, here is my son, for the public to see, as a reminder that what people say and do matters. The blog may not have a theme, but it may develop an impact.
Posted by JColeThomas
Thought I'd add a new section to ye olde sidebar. Commodities galore! Also, I've gotta give a big shout out to my girl Heidi for Can you Dig It. She's like a jedi warrior of all things hip and pleasing to the eye. And most of these links are gonna be coming from her. I can dig it, can you?
Over at Cadence Collection you'll find some great designer stuff. They keep it fresh, without getting trendy. Cycling focused, but not a pre-requisite.This is the only thing I've seen in a while that was actually nice. It's a nice little movie that MissionWorkshop in SF did for their Shed Messenger Bag. Definitely worth taking a look at.
I used to think that snow globes were just boring souveniers from business trips. but these are morbidly excellent.
Currently, my most coveted item can be found here at Chicago WIG . They're completley customizable, and come with lots of strappies!
Here's a groovy little site with lots of plushy things, plastic things, and some pretty nice t-shirts. It's called My Plastic Heart and I likes it!
So Johnny Cupcakes is my current favorite apparel company. Not only cause my girlfriend is a pastry chef, but I just really dig there logo.
How could I talk about cool commodities and not mention Neighborhoodies. Be the first one on your block to rock one. It's fitty dollars that'll make you holla.
Here's a little something for everyone. I know it's a bit outta season, but if you live in Pittsburgh, we're always a bit outta season.
"I love these so much I almost passed out!" -- Heidi Mamula, June 2005. If that's not an endorsement for alex and chloe I don't know what is.
here's a good one if your looking for a card for that special someone. and they'll have to be real special.
another gem from a friend. and all i can say is holy fucking shit i love my guys.
i know threadless has a lot of cool shirts, but i really dig this one
yeah, i know what you guys are thinking...why does this guy have so much girlie shit on his blog. Well because I do. Now, piss off! Here's a couple of more links... good toghether is a link i found on small things designs So, go on, check it out and think what you will. And bring these sites your business, the man already has enough of your money.
I'm just putting this here for the sake of adding something to the Extra Extra. You should follow me on Twitter @jcolethomas. I say some interesting shit sometimes, and hardly post any pictures of my cats.
Just for the record. If you own an X-Terra, I probably hate you.
Also, Tokyo Plastic Is the greatest website ever!
I know there's a lot of street art out there, glad to see that Pittsburgh is well represented.
I thought I'd add this right in middle as it pertains directly the Wooster Collective. Take a look at Banksy He's doing some real nice quasi-politcal, anti-capitalist stuff. And I like it!
So, here's a bunch of stuff I wish I woulda thought of.
I did think this article was pretty interesting.
another little slice of lies oh...and here's another slice.
if you think the government doesn't conrtrol what we see think again.you wanna hear some shit. yeah...this is what the mayor of new orleans has to say about what went down. Now tell me that
ain't some serious bullshit going on. Not to mention this shit