Music is a main weapon in the struggle against apathy and sloth and disinvestment. Poetry is another, but it's still pretty fringe. If poetry ever becomes mainstream again, maybe through hip-hop -- still currently a bit overdominated by ego and sex, like the early rock'n'roll scene -- that will be a good sign. In any event, the rhythm and imagination common to both of these forms of expression make them powerful media for putting new memes on the market, and when they're put to use in the service of Truth, good things tend to result.
Right now we've got a lot of musicians making alt.politix songs. Thank goodness for that, but they're not getting a lot of airplay thanks to the Patriotic Consensus which keeps the highly risk-averse music conglomorates in check, to say nothing of openly conservative elements like Clear Channel. However, artists are continuing to pump up the volume. The latest entry into the fray is former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha with his well-tuned DJ Shadow collaboration, March of Death. I used to spend some early-teen years grooving to the leftist mind-control sounds of Rage (fuck you I won't do what you tell me...), and so for me this is a welcome addition to the field.
On a slightly less serious, but maybe more personally satisfying note, some dance DJ has lifted quotes from Howard Dean's speech at the California Democratic Caucus and made a remix. As you may have gathered from the little banner on your left, I'm endorsing Dean at this time out of the Gang of 9 Democratic hopefuls. I plan on putting together a page explaining this and adding my polemic to the mix, but that's hasn't happened yet. Feel free to ask me questions though.
Finally, for more music (anti-war and otherwise) you won't hear on stations that are controlled by Bush donors, check out the listings at protest-recorts.com. There's also a lot of stuff coming out of international outlets. It seems that paradoxically (or not so), we radical Americans must look overseas for our inspiration, internal media crackdowns and chilling effects creating a real -- and I must admit at times exciting -- samizdat atmosphere. What's samizdat, you ask?
On the wonk end of things, I've been reading excerpts from The Unconquerable World in Harper's Magazine. Dense and academic, but really really good and real in a way that nothing I've read in a long time has been. This, the bus ride down from Boston, everything is giving me shivers of possibility.