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Cooking Up Change

They looked so young, the four college students who sat down and ordered coffee at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., on Feb. 1, 1960.

Legal challenges and demonstrations were cracking the foundations of segregation, but a black person still couldn’t sit down and eat a hamburger or a piece of pie in a store that was all too willing to take his money for a tube of toothpaste.

Those four freshmen at North Carolina A&T College — Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond — sat until the store closed, but they still didn’t get their coffee.

But that day helped spark other sit-in protests — led by young people like themselves — that spread throughout the South in 1960, energizing the civil rights movement. And the Greensboro Woolworth desegregated its lunch counter later that year.

It wasn’t the first time that food, or the lack thereof, figured large in the movement.

Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction

Occupy Portland stumbled on a way to use the tactical superiority of the local police department, and by extension, the fluidity of the crowd, against them.

On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.

The tactical evolution that evolved relies on two military tactics that are thousands of years old — the tactical superiority of light infantry over heavy infantry, and the tactical superiority of the retreat over the advance.

The whole article is worth a read, and nicely summarizes Occupy Portland’s serendipitous tactical breakthrough.

(thanks, Joel)

Tim Tebow & Why Faith Makes Us Nervous

If you all haven’t already happened upon it, Chuck Klosterman wrote an absolutely fascinating essay for Grantland describing the significance of Tim Tebow and why he seems to be so polarizing as a professional football player. It’s mostly about Tebow and football, except that it’s not – it’s about so much more than that:

I doubt many Christians believe that God is unfairly helping Tebow win games in the AFC West. I’m sure a few hardcores might, but not many. However, I get the impression that especially antagonistic secularists assume this assumption infiltrates every aspect of Tebow’s celebrity, and that explains why he’s so beloved by strangers they cannot relate to. Their negative belief is that penitent, conservative Americans look at Tebow and see a man being “rewarded” for his faith, which validates the idea that believing in something abstract is more important than understanding something real. And this makes them worried about the future, because they see that thinking everywhere. It seems like the thinking that ran this country into the ground.

I don’t think I’ve read such a straight-forward and correct explanation for why I get so nervous in a culture preoccupied more with feeling something than knowing anything. Also, I’m fairly convinced that some of the best writing happening today is on Grantland, the little sports website that could.

Phil Ochs: “I’m Going to Say It Now”

Achingly brief clip of Ochs in performance. Said to have been filmed at a Free Speech rally held in the spring of 1965 on The Oval at The Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio.

photo out of context

headline of the day

Ohio Elections Board Says Worker Bit Voter’s Nose

photo out of context


(Im)possible Chicagos is a series of hallucinatory joyrides through one hundred and twenty five asynchronous Chicagos.

Alexander Trevi‘s first joyride through (Im)possible Chicago traversed Acer Necropolis.

Trevi recently completed his nineteenth, wherein:

At night when you’re out driving, you can tell which neighborhood you’re in by the light of the streetlamps, because each ward basks in its own different hue. For instance, if the streets are all aglow in azurite, you’re definitely joy riding around Marquette Park.

Zoning codes require that windows are tinted according to the neighborhood’s chromatic identity, so no matter how the interiors are lighted, houses, skyscrapers and 7-Elevens do not give off wayward wavelengths.

Even your car lights beam out the same color. But when you cross over into another ward, they instantaneously switch filter to match that ward’s assigned spectrum.

(Im)possible Chicago #19

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