At the end of a lecture at Pratt Institute for Black History Month, Spike Lee had a few choice words when it came to the subject of gentrification. You know, that process that happens when “artists” and other creative types start moving into poor or ethnic neighborhoods and then all the hip white people come in and take it over, causing rent and property values to go up, which essentially displaces all the people who were there first. Yes, that gentrification. I’ve lived in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle since 2005 (what would be known as the “hip” area) and I’m watching it all happen first hand. It’s fascinating, to say the least, minus my rent increases over the years (not fascinating, that’s rather infuriating).
Anyway, back to Spike Lee. At the end of his lecture, he was asked about “the other side of gentrification,” which essentially means that good that gentrification can do when it comes to improving certain parts of the city. Well, Spike Lee was having none of it and raised valid points about why it takes a bunch of wealthy and/or white people to move into a city to make the services and area better.
Here’s the entire seven minute rant:
And if you can’t listen for seven minutes, here’s a few highlights from New York Magazine:
Here’s the thing: I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the south Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? The garbage wasn’t picked up every motherfuckin’ day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. P.S. 20 was not good. P.S. 11. Rothschild 294. The police weren’t around. When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.
Nah. You can’t do that. You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re motherfuckin’ Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.
And then! [to audience member] Whoa whoa whoa. And then! So you’re talking about the people’s property change? But what about the people who are renting? They can’t afford it anymore! You can’t afford it. People want live in Fort Greene. People wanna live in Clinton Hill. The Lower East Side, they move to Williamsburg, they can’t even afford fuckin’, motherfuckin’ Williamsburg now because of motherfuckin’ hipsters. What do they call Bushwick now? What’s the word? [Audience: East Williamsburg]
That’s another thing: Motherfuckin’… These real estate motherfuckers are changing names! Stuyvestant Heights? 110th to 125th, there’s another name for Harlem. What is it? What? What is it? No, no, not Morningside Heights. There’s a new one. [Audience: SpaHa] What the fuck is that? How you changin’ names?
I can’t wait to move to Beacon Hill so that I can gentrify another area of Seattle. Yes, I am part of the problem. But I’m also poor, so I don’t feel as bad when I do it, because that’s as close to the city I can live now without giving up my firstborn child to pay my rent.
If you ever wondered what what your favorite director’s favorite films are, it probably has a Scorsese film on it. Most likely it’s going to be Raging Bull.
Film Junk put together a list of various directors’ top ten films. Filmmakers such as Tarantino, Scorsese, Bela Tarr, and even Richard Ayoade’s choices are listed.
As I said, Martin Scorsese’s films are quite popular. The much overrated (in my opinion) Citizen Kane also shows up, along with plenty of other classics. I’m also happy to see David Fincher’s Zodiac show up. It’s nice seeing more recent films being held in high regards.
I’m a big movie fanatic and am curious to see what you guys have to say about the list of choices, or even your own top ten lists. If you’re someone like me, however, then writing down that list will probably take you some time.
Last night at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to THRIVE conference in Las Vegas, dedicated to LGBT youth, actress Ellen Page came out as gay.
In a great speech that shows the difficulties of being yourself and having to deal with the scrutiny of the media, Page talks about her own issues she’s had throughout the years. She talks about the fear and worry that others in similar situations have to deal with, and also mentions how websites focus too much on the wrong idea of beauty:
“I try not to read gossip as a rule, but the other day a website ran an article with a picture of me wearing sweatpants on the way to the gym. The writer asked, “Why does (this) petite beauty insist upon dressing like a massive man?”
“Because I like to be comfortable. There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we are all supposed to act, dress and speak. They serve no one. Anyone who defies these so-called ‘norms’ becomes worthy of comment and scrutiny. The LGBT community knows this all too well.”
As redditor /u/NoPantsOClock points out, the site she mentions is E! Online and they’ve already removed the article post to cover up their guilt while already praising Page’s bravery.
Personally, I’m happy that Page has done this, and hopefully it gives some strength to people who are still struggling with their LGBT identity. At times, it may seem like the whole world is against you, but if you look around, you’ll find someone who will stand with you and respect you.
The man behind YouCanPlayThis.com, a site dedicated to showing gamers how to buy and play imported consoles and video games, committed suicide this Thursday. He was 42.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if not many readers of NitK knew who was. Most who did know him, however, probably know him from his days at Channel Awesome, or the That Guy With The Glasses site. Justin Carmical, or JewWario as he was affectionately called by his fans, was a very big and knowledgeable guy who dealt with imported video games. He’d teach gamers like me and so many others about gaming treasures that we most likely knew nothing of. Having import video gaming as a hobby can be quite difficult, and before JewWario, it was hard to even know where to begin, at least for me. He got me interested in Famicoms, Japanese games that were never released in North America, and lots more when it came to such a niche section of gaming.
I drifted away from the Channel Awesome site a few years ago, but the news of his death still shocked me. My sympathies are with his family and friends, and I hope the work he’s done to teach gamers all sorts of great stuff, his humor, and he himself will never be forgotten. Sometimes the people who bring us the most joy leave us much too soon.
Rest In Peace, JewWario.
1. DON’T SMOKE CIGARETTES.
2. DRIVE OLD JAPANESE CARS. EASY AND CHEAP TO FIX & THEY RUN FOR FUCKING EVER.
3. BUY MOST OF YOUR GROCERIES FROM THE PRODUCE SECTION. MOST OF THAT OTHER SHIT IS NOT ACTUALLY FOOD. YOU DON’T NEED IT.
4. RIDE YOUR BIKE INSTEAD OF DRIVING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. YOU NEED THE EXERCISE AND GAS IS EXPENSIVE.
5. DON’T HAVE KIDS. THEY’RE NOT MIRACLES, THEY’RE PEOPLE. 7 BILLION IS TOO FUCKING MANY. FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO GIVE YOUR DULL EXISTENCE SOME MEANING. BTW THEY’RE EXPENSIVE.
6. GET YOUR CLOTHES FROM THRIFT STORES. WITH THE PHYSIQUE YOU’LL HAVE FROM RIDING YOUR BIKE, YOU’LL LOOK HOT WEARING ANYTHING.
7. LEARN TO FIX THINGS. TONS OF GREAT BOOKS AND YOUTUBE VIDS ON FIXING ANYTHING. OR ASK AN OLD DUDE. PEOPLE USED TO FIX THINGS. NO SHIT.
8. LEARN A TRADE – CARPENTRY, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, AUTO MECHANICS, TAILORING, COMPUTER/ELECTRONICS REPAIR, SOMETHING THEY CAN’T FUCKING OUTSOURCE. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR MASTERS IN DOSTOYEVSKY…. FIX SOMETHING, DUMBASS, FIX SOMETHING!
9. IF YOU LIKE BOOZE, DRINK AT HOME WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS. DRUNK DRIVING IS FOR ASSHOLES, RICH ONES WITH LAWYERS.
10. DO PEOPLE FAVORS. IT’S CALLED COOPERATION. IT’S HOW THE WORLD WORKED BEFORE MONEY. THEY WILL RETURN THE FAVOR, OR SOMEONE WILL. NO SHIT. THIS REALLY WORKS.
11. MAKE THINGS – LOOK AROUND YOU. WHAT DO YOU SEE? YAH, SHITTY STUFF MADE BY IMPOVERISHED ENSLAVED PEOPLE FAR AWAY. PICK ANYTHING. MAKE A BETTER ONE. PEOPLE WANT GOOD SHIT. YOU WON’T GET RICH, BUT YOU’LL GET BY.
12. IF YOU LIVE IN AMERICA – DON’T GET SICK AND AVOID INJURY. WEAR YOUR FUCKING HELMET AND PUT LIGHTS ON YOUR BIKE.
13. FIND WORK YOU LOVE. IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THEN FIND A JOB WHERE YOU LOVE THE PEOPLE.
14. JUNKIES AND ADDICTS ARE LIKE TODDLERS. THEY JUST WANT TO SHIT ALL OVER YOU AND EVERYTHING. THE MESSES THEY MAKE CAN GET EXPENSIVE. AVOID THEM IF YOU CAN.
15. DON’T BUY SHIT ON CREDIT, REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA? CASH ONLY, FUCKERS. CAN’T AFFORD IT? DON’T FUCKING BUY IT!
16. PREVENTABLE EXPENSES – STD’S, ABORTIONS, DWI’S, LUNG CANCER, HEAD INJURIES, SPEEDING TICKETS, CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER.
17. DON’T GO ON FANCY DATES IF YOU’RE NOT FANCY. MOST PEOPLE KIND OF DESPISE THE RICH ANYWAY.
18. WHEN YOU GO SEE SHOWS, BRING A FLASK IN. THAT WAY YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A RECORD.
19. IF YOU HAD TOLD ME 15 YEARS AGO THAT COCA COLA WOULD PUT TAP WATER IN PLASTIC BOTTLES AND MOTHERFUCKERS WOULD BUY IT …… NO FUCKIN WAY.
20. DON’T GET CABLE. ASSHOLE. THERE IS NOTHING ON. I PROMISE. $100 A MONTH ? FUCK NO!
THIS LIST WAS EDITED BY STACEY YATES WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM JHEREK BISHOFF, CHAD RAINES & AMANDA PALMER. WE LIVE IN A WASTEFUL SOCIETY. LIVE WELL. IT DON’T TAKE MUCH. REALLY.
About Thor Harris: Known internationally for his work with Shearwater, Smog/Bill Callahan, the Angels of Light, the Swans, and Devendra Banhart, Thor Harris is also a legendary local craftsman whose woodworking skills are apparent in the handcrafted percussive instruments he employs on recordings such as his ambient record, Fields of Innards, which Monofonus re-released as part of IF07.
No. No. No. No. NO.
With media speaking about not gifting pets for Christmas due to people neglecting them post-holiday season, I do not see anything magical, or even creative about sending a child home with a stocking.
Well, I am also a member of the “Not Gonna Have a Child” fan club.
If you find babies adorable, click this link and see a heartwarming story of how Long Beach Memorial Medical Center wraps babies born on the week of Christmas in cutesy stockings at the nursery. (I thought these days newborns were kept in the same room as mother, unless there were complications?)