ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

The Folly of Knowing Too Well

I am not a radical. But more than anything the Iraq War taught me the folly of mocking radicalism. It seemed, back then, that every “sensible” and “serious” person you knew – left or right – was for the war. And they were all wrong. Never forget that they were all wrong. And never forget that the radicals with their drum circles and their wild hair were right.   –TNC   To read.. 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

Sasha Frere-Jones & the Problem of Criticism

The music critic for “The New Yorker” – one of my favorite magazines – hates, with a disdainful and fiery passion, the Foo Fighters.  Who are not one of my favorite bands, but my all-time favorite band.  It’s rather obnoxious, not only to put up with Sasha Frere-Jones’s occasional “witty” condescensions regarding the Davey Grohlton Band – but to endure his complete lack of justification.   As I discussed in this post about.. Read More

Dress for Success(ful Cultural Interrogation)

The western ideal of clothing is couture: One garment being made to fit one woman perfectly at one moment in her life. A more eastern approach to clothing is you have a big piece of fabric and you wrap it around you in some way. Therefore the whole concept of fit is completely different. Having a more open approach to fit allows things to be shared much more.   Amy Twigger Holroyd speaks.. 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

Further Thoughts

I’ve been recently meditating on a quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates, which I posted here before:   The problems of democracy, like the problems of monogamy, are very real. In championing both (one for myself, the other for my country) I’ve never done so out of sense of ultimate solutions, but out of a sense that each presents a better set of problems.   Life has thrown me some curveballs lately, and I’ve been contemplating.. Read More

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

Duly Noted

I experience this as a kind of violence against language.   -Ta-Nehisi Coates, dressing down David Mamet’s latest schlocktacular.   Also: this explains a very good deal about the (imperfect, non-egalitarian, embedded-patriarchy) world.

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

Art & Sexual Politics

Alyssa Rosenberg, reflecting on Salman Rushdie, offers some choice words about art & politics:   …quality conversations and political ones aren’t separate from each other. Falling into dreadful politics can also mean falling into cliche without transcending it. Ignoring the details and realities of life in your search for “what is the case, what is truth and untruth,” a failure to reckon with politics, can mean a failure to tell a truly engaging.. Read More