Music

Now, finding my daughter hula-hooping or wearing wigs (even a man-wig) isn’t surprising. She scours thrift and costume stores for groovy wigs and is building a nice collection. She’s got a Liz Taylor wig, two Amelia Earhart wigs, a Paula Dean wig. Her Roger Daltrey wig is her only man-wig. It’s the combination of the wig and The Who and what those things meant to me in my own identity-formation that took me back a bit, equally as much as hearing my guileless pre-teen daughter belt out “we’re all wasted.”

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After reading Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Bruce Springsteen sat down, wrote, and recorded “Nebraska,” perhaps his best social and political work. Zinn once said he decided to write A People’s History after listening to Woody Guthrie’s lyrics about Colorado’s Ludlow Massacre. Guthrie goosed Bob Dylan towards political consciousness who in turn moved Springsteen to consider writing stories “from below” — stories against the grain of the “great men” theory of history.

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iggy

iggy

Chakhala Village, Mchinji District, Malawi


So much of the news from Africa is depressing: famine, aids, wars, orphans, despots, you name it. It’s not just the mainstream media; I’ve been hit recently by a kind of “year-end giving blitz” when relief agencies scramble for your 2009 tax planning largesse. Lots of hungry kids with flies in their eyes. I’m told by my non-profit friends that this is because people only give to tragedy not joy.

I understand this. I don’t blame them, and I don’t think they overstate or outright lie just to raise money, at least as far as I can tell.

What’s lost in that reportage, and in mainstream imagery, is how crazy wonderful the people and place is. Since mid-July, I’ve spent a month in Africa, enmeshed in a couple of pretty serious issues but there’s a great deal of joy.

I don’t want to downplay the problems or fetishize smiling kids. But I get a little tired of how we often fetishize starving kids with flies in their eyes.

This video is just some videographic ballast. Continue reading Turning Around | Mr. Ignacious Mwambola

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He was arrested on August 21 at a police checkpoint under Terrorism Act No 83 which allowed the government to detain any citizen for an indefinite period of time without trial and without the requirement to release any detainee’s name.

He was beaten repeatedly for 20 days until September 11th when, close to death, he was stripped naked and tossed into the back of a Land Rover and driven 1500km to a prison with hospital facilities.

He died on September 12.

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