Thursday, June 6, 2013

A perspective from Istanbul, Turkey

From Shabnam Mojtahedi:


Dear friends and family,

I have gotten relatively few emails and fb messages from you all and I only assume that it's because the media is underreporting the events unfolding in Turkey.  Since many of you have visited me or have planned to visit me in the future, I thought I would give you an explanation on what is happening. 

Since I arrived 9 months ago and even much earlier than that, the AKP government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been passing a series of laws that are Islamic in nature. The AKP is an Islamist party with slightly over 50% of the vote, but Turkey is historically and constitutionally secular, so this has stirred some feathers (to put it mildly).  The most recent law passed was a sweeping regulation that would drastically limit the sale and marketing of alcohol. It seems to me that the AKP has been pushing these types of laws more aggressively in the last few months.  In addition, AKP has been accused of crony capitalism, whereby development in the country goes unchecked with big contracts going to companies that are AKP supporters.  Well, the list of complaints doesn't end there but I don't want this email to turn into a book. 

About a week ago a small group of protesters gathered in Gezi Park which is in Taksim Square. If you've been to Istanbul you've probably seen it.  The protesters opposed a government plan to cut down trees and build a shopping mall at the site of the park.  Let me say now, Istanbul/Constantinople is a really old city and its green spaces are few and far between.  However, the number of shopping malls is currently at 87 with 25 more under construction (including the biggest in the world supposedly).  This is what makes Istanbul such a popular tourist destination for Iranians and Arabs, but it's a bit much, even for a city this size.  No other large city comes close in shopping malls per capita (this is me ranting, I can never find a park to picnic at here!)  

Police reacted fairly harshly to the group of protesters who initially were a scattering of environmentalist types.  As the news spread on twitter, the protest increased in number over the course of 3 days, until tens of thousands had gathered on Friday. By that point, the protest was no longer just about Gezi Park but what the park represents: AKP's abuse of power and the suffocating level of development in the city. 

Police have been bombarding protests with tear gas and shooting canisters directly at people instead of at the ground.  They have beaten people with batons and have shot water mixed with pepper spray from cannons. Over one thousand people have been arrested and hundreds injured (more than 400 injuries in Ankara alone).  Amnesty reports 2 deaths. The media outlets here are probably on a gag order with only one station seeming to be reporting what's happening in full, but they have a CHP slant (the opposition party), so their coverage is CHP focused.  Since international media have cut back on their foreign correspondents, it feels like twitter is the only place to get good information on what's happening throughout the day. 

On Saturday the police withdrew from Taksim on President Gul's request, and so far Taksim has been peaceful. I am cynical and think that this is because the government realized that too many tourists and foreign journalists were around the Taksim area.  However, police brutality continued in other areas of Istanbul and other cities of Turkey.  The worst hit seems to be Ankara where I have some friends involved in the protests giving me updates.  It's bad.  They say the main parks and squares look like war zones. 

Despite what some protesters are saying, Erdoğan is not a dictator. His government has been voted into power legitimately due to his charisma and ability to force Turkey through some really tough problems. And Turkey has gone through dramatic changes, both good and bad, under his leadership.  The problem is not him being a dictator, but what his view on democracy is. He calls the protests anti-democratic because he thinks that once the people have voted him into power, he can do as he likes. According to him, any and all opposition needs to be expressed solely at the polls.  His view means that his government is writing a new constitution behind closed doors, the AKP passed the alcohol bill in the middle of the night to avoid controversy, and he is agreeing to this brutality in order to silence opposition.  

I am telling you this because Turkey is a regional power with close ties to US and European countries. Also, Turkey's economy is based on tourism.  Please spread the news about what is happening on twitter and facebook.  This is a huge turning point in Turkey's democracy.  This can't be called a Turkish Spring or whatever else reporters have been saying, but it 1. exposes Erdoğan's tactics in dealing with opposition (which is to jail or sue) and 2. shows that people can try to change the policies of their government without the possibility of a military coup (ironically enough because Erdoğan neutered the military's ability to do so).  So many groups that normally hate each other (including rival football clubs) have joined forces. I'm not a Turkey expert but according to my Turkish friends here, they have never seen or heard of anything like this before happening in their country. 

Erdoğan's twitter handle is @RT_Erdogan. Send him a message if you'd like. Maybe even tell him you won't support tourism in Turkey unless he listens to the demands of his people instead of allowing blood to be spilled. 

Thank you for reading through this email. Please don't worry about me, I am far from the centers of protest.  And I won't go join the protesters because this isn't my fight, so this is the least I thought I could do to help my friends and students here.


Shabnam 

Friday, April 26, 2013

SLAUGHTERAMA TEEEEEEEEEEHN!


Cycle Slaughterama is a sight to behold. It's participation level is amazing
It has come a long way. Yet has always been fresh and strong.
Check out mutant bike clubs tearing up the FUN Movement under the orange and black banner on the cusp of the dirty south:
http://vimeo.com/63413286

SlaughteramaX-720 from dennis throckmorton on Vimeo.

Big ups to Throckmorton Golden Boy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Vote for Bunnie Reiss Jan. 13th Alameda, CA


Sunday, January 13, 2013
1:00 pm
Alameda Hospital (2nd Floor, Conf rm A)
2070 Clinton Ave.
Alameda CA 94501


Bunnie Reiss is an artist who never rests. Her new effort to improve the lives of Oaklanders will be a big fight. She needs us, and especially Democratic registered voters in Oakland to vote this Jan. 13th in Alameda for Assembly District Delegate.

Bring a friend!
Here is the Facebook invite:
https://www.facebook.com/events/494753117230444/


Bunnie Reiss' Platform:

After School Arts: break from strict academics, supports youth finding their voice.Benifits youth to discover their talents, and stay out of trouble
  • Benefits working parents by taking care of kids while their busy at work. Creates an afterschool/daycare program where parents will have knowledge of where thier kids are and can pick them up directly from the center.
  • Reduces Oakland Unemployment, creates jobs for artists
 Affordable Studios as Entrprenuer/Business Incubator Spaces..
  • Lowers the cost of studio/craft/business spaces
  • creates communities of interest for peer mentorship
  • Possible Allies & Examples

Murals as Public Art Create Strong Community, 

Only an Artists can advocate for Artists, artists deserve a seat at the table, politics needs them at the table. 
  • This month, Bunnie has a solo show at Redux Studios and Gallery in Alameda. Redux is a Social Enterprise of Saint Vincent De Paul, that's main focus in on recology and education of waste management. https://www.facebook.com/ReduxStudiosandGallery

Saturday, May 5, 2012

More from the UK Bicycle Ballet

This is new to me, but not new. 2010 is the date on the bottom.
It's a different performance than the one I have seen in a roadway (supposedly for the Queen!)

Utopian Bike City Love Song

2007 in Hawaii some girls get it.

WTF? Indoor Cycling Gymnastics?

WTF?
I found this and am thoroughly blown away.




New Bikedance team spotted in Bushwick

More information PLEASE!!
Lia Macpherson's Bushwick Synchronized Cycling.
I just saw a few stills and not the whole magic.
Will someone get me in contact with this woman?!
For the love of Bikedance!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bobby Joe Ebola Videos!

Waking up is Hard to Do (NEW!):



Sweet Shit of Christ:


The Only Difference:


Time is Crawling:


Poly:




Jornaderos:


Lake of Flies:



and of course, Freaky Baby!:


Welcome Back TV presents "Add Me on Flyspace":

Lost!? and Found in Space:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 has been in TENTS!

Occupy Wall Street started it.
Tents in the face of Investment Bankers. 24-7 reminders of income disparity.
Then it became a Meme.
Here are my three favorites.


UC Berkely received an order for no tents at their strike and fought back with their new loan-infested minds.





On Lake Merritt in Oakland, folks rented a couple boats and pitched their duress:



Occupy Melbourne (#omel) wins the prize for funniest and most controversial usage of tents:


Australians were up in arms about this woman being stripped of her clothes by the police:

Friday, November 18, 2011

I just got back from Twitter

Whew! (Out of breath)

I just got back from Twitter.
Some of you have expressed an interest in knowing what goes on more in-depth, so here is what my frenetic thumbs found on the way through a tunnel on BART in the past 72 hrs.

Let's start off slow and easy.
Denver man pulled over and ticketed for honking 2-3 times in support of Occupy.
Election cycle honking is allowed though.
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/11/occupy_denver_honk_support_ticket.php

Politicians are getting their speeches pre-empted with resonant Mic Check's.
Gov. Scott Walker was the first of the trend. Just look at the senile clapping and sound confusion of suits so used to having silence when desired, unable to attain it this time.

For more, SEE ALSO:
Pres. Candidate Michele Bachmann: http://youtu.be/Q9e34kHANHs
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: http://youtu.be/7i-nCqINfAI
Carl Rove chanting "No You're not!": http://youtu.be/nlko7nweb4k

The Chamber of Commerce is the funniest one because the security guard gets real personal but these ladies are not going to stop until the message is out! Watch the laps the last lady does!



Now it's old news, but Seattle Police pepper sprayed an 84 year-old woman.
Your homework is to watch all nine minutes because this is your new role model and inspiration. Dorli Rainey. Say it again and commit to memory.

OccupyCAL students used their brain power to occupy the third dimension: SPACE!

A police tank was sighted in Tampa,FL.
Wait, WHAT?!! a Police TANK?!
To see the surreptitious Declaration of War:

The two month-aversary was Nov. 17th. 48 hours earlier at 1am the NYPD gave protestors ten minutes to get out of the park. Then came in an piled all of Liberty Plaza in a bulldozable pile.
All media was kettled far away and the CBS news helicopter was told to ground as the "sanitation" began. Reporters with NYPD press passes were denied access AND arrested.
Confirmed reports of press returning from jail and their phone and video have been erased.

A friend of mine was arrested for reaching for her ID when a cop asked. Her infraction was standing on a sidewalk. http://vimeo.com/32286840

A man was kicking barricades and lost some teeth and blood over it. WARNING: BLOOD and SUFFERING. *On a serious note, you can see the blood trickling and his eyes rolling back and confused. This is a head trauma that shouldn't be treated in a handcuffed, dragged-by-police type of way. http://youtu.be/chTPpWj8w6E

On a lighter note, NYC City Council was outraged by the attacks of freedom. See this letter:

100 people were arrested in San Francisco for setting up a tent in the Bank of America.
In my mind they sang songs around a campfire of money in perfect harmony. I didn't see any guitars in the pictures, and I think that any songs sung would sound like a drunk frat choir, but alas, my mind can wander. http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/11/bank-of-america-occupy-sf

And, since all of this is happening minute by minute, I must be quick. I am missing out on other developments. I will leave you on the most confusing note of all. Hot cop on cop action.
Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis in his clean blues: http://twitter.com/?photo_id=1#!/OccupyWallStNYC/status/137140064651198465/photo/1
Why ever would he be detained? For screening? To launder him for money?
The crowd makes me feel uncomfortable. If only they knew what was going on at the time. I can imagine how it must look to FINALLY see a cop pulled away for some sort of heinous grievance. I think they call that justice. I would have cheered too.
But this is actually the opposite where they pull this man through a cattle run and tag his ears for monitoring and other invasive scare tactics.
His disappointment on his face just hurts me. He is one of the few brave to stand up in uniform and be counted with the rest, and his arrest is cheered. I think the Twitterverse is supporting him now, not speaking of this faux-pas that has come to pass.

He is on Twitter. Maybe I should go apologize for NYC protestors. It's in the next tab.
I got some snooping to do.
Hope you enjoyed this update of choice news.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The second generation in BIKEDANCE!!!!

It has always been a goal of bikedance teams to pass on the torch to the younger generations. Well the bikedance mavens, THE SPROCKETTES, did just that. Last weekend they help their girls bikedance camp and here is their official performance.
YOU GO GIRLS!!
Revo-fucking-lutionary!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Featured in Mission Loc@l

My Buddy Keith and I were featured in a Mission Loc@l piece.
Summertime Bike Portraits:
http://missionlocal.org/2010/09/mission-bike-portraits/

On Bikedance

I wish! Should I contact them?

I found this in my inbox today.
I wonder if Vanilla Ice (Rob Vanwinkle) passed along my contact.
Should I call and get them to add MC Ponyland to the tour? LOL

Sir / Madam,

We have heard that you organize shows in Europe, so we have permitted ourselves
to contact you.
We are now working with well-known/ successful American rap artists.
ONYX (founder of the company), Styles P, M.O.P, Lords Of The Underground, Curtis Young aka Hood Surgeon (Dr Dre's son) and many more (please check out our websitehttp://onyxbookings.com for the full list)
The legendary rap group ONYX has been touring Europe a countless amount of times.
Drawing huge crowds of over +50,000 people, they are one of the most
popular rap band over there.
You can watch our live shows on Youtube to see what you can expect
from them and the rest of the artists.
As we are preparing for new tours in Russia/Ukraine/Europe, we are
looking on adding new date(s) or even planning (many/a new) tour(s) together.
And we would be glad to work with a booking agency such as yours.

We work with a good amount of artists, so let us know which artist you would like to book.



Thank you for your time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Mom Rules

If you are ever down, check this out and do it in front of the mirror.

Jessica's Daily Affirmation:



She made a response video:
http://youtu.be/TptRCn7C4rY

Monday, June 27, 2011

2011: Year of the Music Video

Thanks to Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits.
They introduced me to the fun of making music videos.
It all started with Freaky Baby. One of the funnest weekends of the year, or so I thought.
Then Real Cool, Time is Crawling, Lost? in Space (more of an acid trip than music.)
In May Derailleurs cameo'd in The Real numbers PSA "The Wiggle".
Friday I got the pleasure of working with MC SpandX on his newest, "Le Velo".

When can we get together and make a Derailleurs video?
This is FUN!

LE VELO:


REAL COOL:



FREAKY BABY:



Credit Reel:


LOST? and FOUND IN SPACE:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bikedance is on the way up!

I must tell you that we are making an International Bikedance Team Coloring Book!

There are many teams that have entered their flavor. All shall be represented.
It is a Movement yet you might not have heard of it.
For the first time ever, the female sport sweeping the nation is BIKEDANCE!
Generation X look out, we've got a fourthwave of all in kind of ladies and it's time they got their respect!
Teams all over Pangea have decided BIKEDANCE RULES and they are telling you why!

Check out their shows:
The Sprockettes
Different Spokes
The BCClettes
The Brakes
The VeloVixens
Chain Reaction
Vertical Momentum
The Derailleurs
Bicycle Belles
Gacharinko
Bottom Brackettes
Les Velobici
The Greasy Gears
Heelz on Wheelz
The Racketeers

Monday, March 21, 2011

walk it out fosse

This video keeps getting lost in digiland, but it's my favorite.
http://www.clipaday.com/videos/walk-it-out-fosse

My favorite dance yet.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Manifesto: The Album

Hey there.

After the second time of firewalking I realized that each time my intention for the future has been to write a manifesto. This communique aims to be a call to action for sanity and environmental sanctuary.
In order to do this proper, I am going to make a rap album.
KMEL beats with conscious ideas. Add a side of rage.

I see this album having two sides that melt together:
1. "Expand your mind, here's how" section that uses examples to live by. Awesome things to do, think about etc. Real life examples. see also RAD America, the Fun Movement, things that work for you.
*love songs!
*bikes!
*mutants!
*dance parties!
2. "I"m mad as hell and can't shut up!" Calling out bullshizzle and venting. Whew! Eff yeah.
*getting door'd/feeling squeezed/bike issues
*poor white artist vs gentrification
*class war
*etc. etc. etc.

I NEED YOU!!!
You want to say your piece too?
Join me. Let's make an album that is along the lines of Dead Prez and Anticon. Add the dirty down low like 'Lil Wayne or "in da club" jammers.
Sexy, angry, positive, future-centric civility.

I NEED BEATS!
I NEED GUEST MC'S!
I NEED LIVE ACTS FOR THE ALBUM RELEASE!
Let's do it.
Call me or email me.
Thanks for your time, imo go an write some rhymes.

Friday, January 28, 2011




Freak Bike Cabaret
Feb. 11th 2011 8pm $7
Bay Area Derailleurs
at Cyclecide Swearhouse 1660 Jerrold at 3rd
San Francisco

Bike Dance?
An International Phenomenon?

Bicycles are infiltrating everything from t-shirt design to sports like bike polo. The bike has become such a part of our everyday life that it is becoming a part of our art. Yes folks, your local bikedance team, The Derailleurs, are a group of dangerous athletes combining bikes and dance in an internationally competitive setting. They are your key to the underground world of peg bruises and team colors. Street-style bikedance began in Portland ,OR in 2004 with The Sprockettes and that is where they are returning for a bikedance summit. Derailleurs will be meeting up with The Sprockettes, B.C.Clettes, as well as the new team from Chicago, The Racketeers. In fact there are 15 bikedance teams from Canada to England to Japan. Basically The Derailleurs are at the forefront of a new movement, and we might possibly be the best in the world. One of the founders of the Derailleurs was also a formative Sprockette. Team Teal is returning to the birthplace for an epic showdown. The competition is both sisterly and fierce. There is an amazing culture that is thriving right under your nose and you might not have known about it. San Francisco, we want to represent you and make sure the world knows that the Bay Area knows how to bikedance.

To arrange such a journey, The Derailleurs and Friends are throwing an epic warehouse cabaret party.

Come to our soire and see how our zeal for the wheel has true sex appeal.

The awesome line-up:

*The Nerv – driving femme agitpunk.
http://myspace.com/thenervband

*Thee Hobo Gobbelins – otherworldly steampunk porch jams
http://www.myspace.com/hobogobbelins

*Dj 0.000001 (aka Th’Mole)- quirky deep bass booty shakers
http://myspace.com/th'mole
*The Can Cannibals- grotesque burlesque
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Can-Cannibals-Dance-Troupe/159830554276

Wrestle-a-Derailleur

Kissing Booth

Sponsored by Bottom of the Hill, Ube’s Ice Cream Shop, Dying Vines Brewery, Ritual Coffee, Mission Bicycles, Box Dog Bikes, and more.

PRESALE TIX:

We started an IndieGoGo page, similar to Kickstarter, to complete our travels. Indigogo gives all of the money even if you don’t make the goal, minus some admin fees. You are able to prepay for tickets or send an in-kind donation towards our journey.
http://tinyurl.com/derailleursgogo

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Hologram

The Hologram: A useful tool for communication and guidance.

The Hologram idea is simple. Every bit of the universe all exists in one point in space and time. If you cut off your finger, the DNA in the amputated part has your whole body's story encoded. The hologram is an information reception practice. Holographic data exist beyond timespace in what some like to call the noosphere, the subconscious, intuition, or even the negaverse.

The holographic universe is becoming more conspicuous to our culture through the use of the internet. Instant communications from far and wide. Knowledge available at the query. The Internet is training us to be able to understand this amount of data.
The Inca believe humanity has been subconscious and will gain full consciousness in the year 2012. This is a delightful thought!

Have you ever called a friend and they picked up as you were dialing because they just called you?
Play with it.

Think fondly of someone for a while, then send them a text. See if they could feel it. Think of a friend and what they are doing at the moment. Then call and ask.
Train yourself to allow the universal knowledge to download. See how many amazing obstacles devoured through the guidance of the hologram.

See what the travel time is from different points. For example, I felt the need to call my sister because she was talking well of me and inquiring how I was doing. So I gave her a call and mentioned my ears were burning. She confirmed that she and our mother were shopping at a store that reminded them of me. It was approximately 30 minutes prior. Sometimes I have received messages hours before the event happens, as it had already played out. A friend relayed to me how this has helped her through difficult discussions.
"I am getting fired? You already fired me and I am already over it."

Dreams. When you get to a point where you are aware of dreaming, have a preset mission you wanted to have happen. Maybe a meetup with another person. If you are both intent on meeting, see if you can achieve that in dream world. See if there are any similarities in dreams.

You will find that once you start playing with this, the effects multiply.
I recommend supplementing your hologram practice with a martial art or Qi Gong practice to attune your body to it's own story, before focusing out.

Send me a holographic ping if you get this. I will try to keep my senses open.

RAD America, RAD World.