The Story of Stuff

So I showed the video “The Story of Stuff” to my rhetoric and writing class this past week. We’re doing the basics in this class—learning how to argue by learning how to analyze others’ arguments. Made by a woman named Annie Leonard, the 20-minute half-animated video details the history of our post-World War II consumer economy.

Campaign rhetoric of yore

1900 Republican campaign poster

During this campaign season it's enlightening to recall a little history.

Killer of Sheep

girl in dog mask

Charles Burnett’s little known and nearly plotless masterpiece, Killer of Sheep, offers a tender yet realistic vision of life in 1970s Watts, the racially segregated suburb of Los Angeles where poverty, racism, and riots doomed the area to generations of social and economic oblivion. Inspired by Italian neo-realism, Burnett’s camera lingers on characters—many played by non-actors—to reveal situations of familial intimacy and communal identification.

Game On!

I couldn’t be happier. After years of watching new versions of one of my favorite commercials

Microsoft finally took up the challenge and came back with a counter-ad.

Rene Alvarado

Mexican-American artist Rene Alvarado currently has an exhibit at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts through November 12.

Rene Alvarado painting Madonna and two horses
"Madonna and Two Horses"

Is this stuff cool, or what?

Rene Alvarado painting Songbird
"Songbird"

The Simplicity of a Line

three-panel comic strip, the first panel shows two frogs shivering as they hop across a snowy hill

Cartoons—your everyday, old-fashioned ones—are one of my true loves. I haven’t studied graphic art theory, I don’t get into manga, I have no idea who the radical artists are out there. I think it’s a great medium, full of possibilities for telling stories, presenting viewpoints, making people laugh and think. Heck, I learned most of my Vietnam-era US political history from reading old Doonesbury books. Graphic novels? I’ve read two (V for Vendetta and Fun Home) and loved them. But let’s just say I’m a casual but enthusiastic lover of the comics.

Responsibility Project

Century 21

century 21 sign

Jeremy Blake’s Century 21 (2004)—the final installment in a trilogy inspired by the narrative of eccentric firearm heir, Sarah Winchester—digs into the psychic tableau of the American West. It’s gorgeous—and horrific.

Inherit the Wind

movie still of courtroom scene

Made in 1960, Inherit the Wind is a closely rendered version of the "Scopes Monkey Trial" of 1925, with most of the courtroom arguments being taken straight from the trial transcripts.

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