ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

On SF, From London

I had plans to write an epic post about the Google bus situation and the social divides and false meritocracy of the tech economy (titled “Class: Warfare, Bus Fare, & What is Fair?”) – but then Rebecca Solnit beat me to it.  Her essay reaches beyond the typical technocratic solutioneering on the topic that has populated my Facebook feed (Change zoning laws! Eliminate rent control!) to meditate on what cities and society actually.. Read More

Duly Noted

The last few weeks have entered into a period of crazy-busyness, kicked off with my move from the existential hell I’ve written of before.  Though there is a lot going on, I will make efforts to update more regularly – as it is I’ve accumulated quite a backlog of links to share:   – Firstly, for those who haven’t yet read it, Russell Brand’s essay on Margaret Thatcher is empathetic, intelligent, and generally.. Read More

Duly Noted

To keep you occupied over the holiday weekend:   – A fascinating (and vitally important) detailing of the process by which laws are actually enacted.  It’s not short, but then, it is a complicated process, and one in which significant pieces of publicly supported legislation endure dramatic alterations in often-underreported fashion.   – Who has two thumbs and is super amped for the S3 “Game of Thrones” premiere?  LOTS OF PEOPLE!  Including this.. Read More

Duly Noted

Lots of interesting things have been making their way through my browser lately:   – Retirement as Ratzinger’s most progressive legacy.   – Reconceptualizing the way we think and talk about sex… with a metaphor which actually implies – nay, requires! – the agency and consent of all participants.   – As a comedian, I find it enormously tiresome when people claim “BUT IT’S COMEDY!” as a way to excuse all kinds of.. Read More

Lies New Urbanism Told Me

Type “Main Street Disneyland” into a web browser and the Google results are quick and stunning – four and a half million instant electronic reports.  "Hollywood" is often used as a dismissive catchall of the improbably fantastic, but it is – Disney: The American Mecca – that is the more persistently insidious purveyor of cultural myth, the narrative engine driving exurban fantasy and the hypocrisy of the anti-urban “New Urbanism”.  Hollywood, after all,.. Read More

Blasts From the Past

I’ve been going through past writing and trying to put things where they need to go.  What follows are two pieces that I wrote almost five years ago, before this blog even existed – the specifics, of Prop 8 or the Obama/McCain election, are no longer relevant, but the broader political themes are still very much at issue.  The latter two entries are on the matter of theoretical architecture, the most enduring of.. Read More

Oddments

When cultural gatekeepers turn on one another, things can get ugly… or kind of interesting, as in this piece from n+1 on the history of Pitchfork.  (Is elitism additive, or multiplicative?)  I freely admit that my interest in the essay is motivated largely by selfishness, as I have tried for over a year to learn to like Grizzly Bear, and still find them mind-numbingly boring – not bad, just boring – so an.. Read More

Internet famous!

I have been meaning for several weeks now to post my final piece about “Buffy” (which I finished re-watching), but I was sick over the holidays and, since my return to Oakland, I have been busy BLOWING UP ALL OVER THE INTERWEBS.   (Well, sort of.)   I wrote this piece about Cleveland for RustWire, which turned into this piece about second-tier cities for Grist, which got picked up by the Internet’s most.. Read More

Beauty in Disorder

“Designing a dream city is easy; rebuilding a living one takes imagination.”   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jane Jacobs is the shit, y’all.