Headline, What It Means to Be American »

How Prince Introduced Us to the “Minneapolis Sound”

By | September 7, 2017

The pop music genius Prince Rogers Nelson, better known to most of us as Prince, made his national television debut on American Bandstand in 1980. Performing “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” his first big hit in the United States, he gave the country its first taste of the Minneapolis Sound, an infectious blend of rock, R&B, funk, and New Wave that would become a significant …

Headline, Nexus »

How the South Uses Its ‘Anti-Union Arsenal’ to Keep Workers From Organizing

By | September 6, 2017

The crushing rejection on August 5 of a United Auto Workers bid to organize a 6,500-worker Nissan assembly plant near Canton, Mississippi seemed to present the proverbial déjà vu all over again for organized labor’s ancient and oft-thwarted crusade to gain a serious foothold among Southern workers.
This time, however, we are not talking about textile and apparel plants in the 1920s or ‘30s, …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

In California, Pro Football Is for Losers

By | September 5, 2017

No one can know for sure whether any of California’s four National Football League teams—the 49ers, Raiders, Rams, and Chargers—will emerge as big winners in the new season.
But we already know who the losers will be: California cities foolish enough to host NFL teams.
In the rest of America, major cities try to attract the NFL by building costly new stadiums, because they see football franchises …

Headline, Poetry »

Lucifer often leads/ in the first verse #poem

By | September 1, 2017

It’s not as thin as one might think, though
there is only one version, and each copy
features only the words—no music.
In a brief moment of inspiration, Lucifer
himself penned “God is Dead” watching
Golgotha from afar. It was popular
for a few days. Notable titles include “Backslidin’
Away,” “Every Sin’s a Deadly Sin,” “Babylon
on my Mind,” and “You Don’t Need Our Help.”
At command, the shedim and mazzikim
gather, …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

How Colleges Migrated Into Cities And Democratized Higher Education

By | August 31, 2017

Since the end of World War II, most American college students have attended schools in cities and metropolitan areas. Mirroring the rapid urbanization of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this trend reflects the democratization of college access and the enormous growth in the numbers of commuter students who live at home while attending college.
Going to college in the …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

Connect the World? The Bay Area Can’t Even Connect Its Trains

By | August 28, 2017

The northern terminus of SMART, the new light rail system officially opening this weekend in the North Bay, is the Sonoma County Airport Station in Santa Rosa. But after my 8-year-old son and I disembarked from an Alaska Airlines flight, we learned that the airport is more than a mile away from the train.
We didn’t know how to bridge this transportation gap. My son wasn’t …

Headline, Poetry »

In heaven, the clouds slip #poem

By | August 25, 2017

Shayla Lawson is the author of the forthcoming I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean (Saturnalia Books, 2018). She is a 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow and a member of The Affrilachian Poets.

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

Capturing the Architecture of American Agriculture—and a Passing Way of Life

By | August 24, 2017

“Why would anyone want to take pictures of a place like this?”
That’s the question I often get when I enter the office of a feed mill or grain elevator, asking permission to make photographs on the property or inside the buildings.
Showing other photos that I’ve taken usually satisfies the operator that I’m not working for the local tax assessor or real estate agent, …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

Take Me Out to the California League

By | August 21, 2017

Take me out to the ballgame this summer? Sure, as long as you’re taking me to San Jose or Visalia or Lake Elsinore.
Yep, I know those cities don’t have major league teams—that’s the point. In California these days, Major League Baseball is miserable. But the California League—our very own minor league—is a little-known jewel, binding together our most challenged cities and regions with wholesome and …

Headline, Poetry »

You will face loss, but you will survive #poem

By | August 18, 2017

The traveler came to a meeting of roads.
Each was marked with prophesy,
marked with loss.
The traveler chose the middle road.
First road: you will give up from hunger and cold.
Second road: your horse will die, but you will survive.
Third road: you will die, but your horse will survive.
What is kindness, what is sacrifice, what does the world ask of us.
You will face loss, but you will survive.
In …