ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

Duly Noted

I’ve been long away from the Internet.  Fear not; more posts are a-brewin’.   In the meantime, a couple points of interest:   1.  NPR takes on the notion that popular art and bad art are necessarily related. 2.  Rebecca Solnit observes the changing face of San Francisco. 3.  A fascinating look at a new potential application of eminent domain: a use in which it serves not the private sector (which has pressured.. Read More

Further Thoughts

On gun control, and America’s gun culture:   1.  A bit of history – for instance, did you know Ronald Reagan used to be pro-gun control? 2.  A bit of perspective – the falseness of using mass shootings as a guidepost for a sane gun policy. 3.  Thoughts from TNC and friends about the vast reach of the gun lobby, the complicated nature of a real solution, and the value of a life.. Read More

Summer Reading

Law enforcement: a land of thin accountability.   “Failing” schools: the narrow view of a single metric.   We are not post-racist; we are just a more sophisticated form of it.

The Power & Perils of Storytelling

…doing good is hard work. It’s humbling work, it’s a lifelong commitment, and it requires us to face hard questions about the way we live. And doing good, sometimes, requires us to wage war on sentimentality. -my friend Jialan Wang, on Kony2012 and this article in particular   In the wake of Kony2012, there’s a hot new story of activism gone awry: playwright and performer Mike Daisey’s fabrications in his one-man show, “The.. Read More

Activism, Revisited

When I talk about bad approaches to social issues, this is the kinda thing that fits the bill.   Many Internet commenters are saying things like “But hey! Homeless people are earning money!  WHERE’S THE PROBLEM?!”   The problem – like the problem with Kony2012 – is in thinking that this is actually accomplishing anything.  What we (whereby “we” means people with enough privilege to be hanging out reading this blog) might think.. Read More

On Activism

These campaigns don’t just lack scholarship or nuance. They are not bothered to seek it. -On Kony2012   Thursday, I woke up (from one of many naps, because my body imploded on itself like a dying star) to discover that the Internet had exploded.  (Again!)  This time, though, it was not owing to a Kardashian wedding or a baby sloth in pajamas, but to something of ostensible value: the Kony2012 campaign, a media.. Read More

Romney is in sort of a quantum superposition between winning and losing, still waiting for the Republican base to look at him just a little bit harder and collapse him into one or the other. -Kevin Drum, MoJo   …these are the metaphors which erupt when one-time Techers* become writers.   *Caltech, natch.  Lord only knows what those brutes in Massachusetts use for self-reference…

It’s Hard Out Here For A Non-Pimp

I have not been posting much lately.  Sometimes, the world is a difficult place, and I just want to sit around and watch “Cougar Town” and eat delicious sandwiches.  (Expect a future post on “Cougar Town,” btw.)   Raising my ire most recently has been the general state of affairs RE women in America, what with the whole “Susan G. Komen Foundation defunding Planned Parenthood”-“Contraceptive use is suddenly controversial and must be decided.. Read More

Occupy, Take Two

I know my last post was a lengthy rant against so much attention paid to Occupy, but I am going to devote one more piece to the matter, for two reasons: 1.  I hate to shut up; and more pressingly, 2.  In that last post my main charge against Occupy was that protest is not an answer, and complaint is insufficient solution-seeking.  But seeing as my words were all complaint, I wanted to.. Read More

In Which I Rant About Occupy

Today, I lost my patience with #OO.   Occupy Oakland is news enough to have its own acronymous hashtag – taking up more than three characters will only stifle the flow of news coming out of Frank Ogawa Plaza.  (Which I am tired of hearing called “Oscar Grant Plaza.”  Yes, Oscar Grant is a tragic symbol of runaway authority and the deadly effect of prejudice and police brutality on the lives of young.. Read More