Frann Michel's blog

ethnic studies week


For the Old Mole Variety Hour September 27, 2010

flooding in Pakistan


For the Old Mole Variety Hour August 23, 2010.

The well-read red has been reading about the floods in Pakistan, which UN officials have called the worst disaster in decades. But as is usual these days, this purportedly natural disaster has some very human causes, and the politics of global and governmental response suggest there will be more suffering to come.

Imagining the (climate) future


Imagining the future of the climate: Old Mole Variety Hour July 19, 2010: Today's show is about climate change and science fiction, and science fiction about climate change, but it is not about the illusion that climate change is itself science fiction.

Toy Story 3


Jan Haaken and I reviewed Toy Story 3 on the Old Mole Variety Hour July 5, 2010: a story of job loss and collective solidarity.

Capitalist Realism

[For the Old Mole Variety Hour June 28, 2010].      The British blogger and theorist Mark Fisher recently published a slim little volume from Zer0 books titled Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? By "Capitalist Realism" he means, roughly, the notion that, as Margaret Thatcher famously asserted, there is no alternative to capitalism. But Fisher is also interested in questioning and exploring the implications of this view that, as it is sometimes put, it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.

Robin Hood (2010)


Today on the Old Mole, Denise Morris and I discussed Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott. We went hoping to see some stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, but this version is more about defending the nation-state and the rule of law. Or something.

Mothers and Others: Alloparents and Commoning


For the Old Mole Variety Hour May 10, 2010.

The well-read red likes to consider histories and holidays: Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Easter , Queer Pride and International Women's Day.

So, we've noted before, on the Old Mole, that Mother's Day, which began in the 19th century as a grassroots call for peace and collective action, was quickly co-opted as a celebration of nationalism and militarism, and became a hook for capitalist marketing.



For the Old Mole Variety Hour May 3, 2010

I've been thinking about volcanoes and air travel. Last month, I was scheduled to attend a conference in London, and stopped on the way to visit an old friend now living in Ireland. Of course I never made it to the conference, because, well, you might have heard there was this volcano that erupted in Iceland, and, because humanity's limited experience of the interaction between jet engines and volcanic ash suggests that the latter causes the former to fall out of the sky, European airspace was closed.

against work


The well-read Red has been reading about working and about not working.

With unemployment rates in the US hovering around 16 percent, we might take to heart comments from French activists  protesting changes in unemployment law some years ago. Taking a page from the Situationists, they protested that

The best way to abolish unemployment is to abolish the work and the money that are linked with it.

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