Frann Michel's blog

Rethinking the school-to-military pipeline

A version of this is part of the Old Mole Variety Hour  for 25 May 2015

Today is Memorial Day, so we're talking about memory, and the military, as well as about education and labor. All of those institutions arose in their modern disciplinary forms in the 18th century, along with the rise of capitalism. The process of disciplining bodies through the school, the army, the factory, were all parts of the process of extracting maximum surplus value from the populace. But what begins as a series of closed systems has now become an assemblage of techniques of control that interpenetrate and overlap. Take, for instance, education and the military.

On "Everyday Rebellion"

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On the May 11, 2015 Old Mole Variety Hour, Hyung Nam and I discuss Everyday Rebellion, a "cross-media documentary about creative forms of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience worldwide." 
 

WRR: Against Teach for America

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It has come to my attention that not everyone has heard the criticisms of Teach for America that have been raised in recent years. Since the end of this month marks one of their due dates for applications, I want to take this opportunity to advise those considering applying for the program, or considering writing recommendation letters for those who are applying, to think carefully about these critiques, which argue that the program is bad for those who teach in it, bad for the students they teach, and, most persuasively to my mind, bad for public education in the United States.

Gentrification and the Right to the City

 
The well-read red has been reading about gentrification, as well as seeing plenty of it. 
 

WRR Feast and Famine, or Culinary Capitalism

For the Old Mole Variety Hour September 15, 2014

Coming to Portland this week is the series of food and drink events called Feast Portland.  It starts Thursday with  something called a "sandwich invitational," for which tickets cost $95, and  the weekend includes tastings, classes, and dinners, with events ranging from 55 to 200 dollars. 
 

movie moles on Snowpiercer

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On the August 4 Old Mole, Iven Hale and I discuss Snowpiercer, currently playing in Portland at the not-for profit Hollywood theater, and available as video-on-demand for home viewing.

Loosely based on a French graphic novel of the same title, and co-written by Kelly Masterson and director Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer is the first (mostly) English-language film directed by South Korean Bong, whose earlier films include the 2006 monster movie The Host.

Happy Bastille Day

For the Old Mole Variety Hour, July 14, 2014. The fourteenth of July marks a key event of the French Revolution in 1789; and the French Revolution, in turn, is generally seen as a key turning point in the transition from feudalism to capitalism. The storming of the prison was both a symbol and an instance of people collectively claiming freedom.

More Orange


For the 23 June 2014 Old Mole Variety Hour, Iven Hale and I review season two of Orange is the New Black.

Alas, season two has the problems we noted in season one, and lacks some of the compensating virtues.

It continues downplaying the problem of sexual violence, for instance.

We agree with much of Yasmin Nair's season two review, "The Reign of Whitey is Never Over."
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