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I Wanna Be Literated! #121
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On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures by Noam Chomsky   I have been fascinated with the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua ever since learning about it from the Clash and reading Stephen Kinzer’s book Blood of Brothers. Can I admit that I really enjoyed the book and saw the Sandinista revolution with mixed feelings? Sure I can. Then, I happened to Google the author and Noam Chomsky (because I couldn’t calm the doubting beast) and found out that Chomsky has...

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498
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Friday, 26 August 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 119
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A critical evaluation of Trouble Boys – The True Story of The Replacements by Bob Mehr. Maybe it has something to do with the sort of “Little Rascals” image that The Replacements have always given off as a lateral by-product of the band’s popular “loveable loser” image and mythos, but even just reading the words “The True Story of The Replacements” – specifically that nagging word “True” included up front – can get a mind percolating. This is a band...

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Monday, 01 August 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 117
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A critical evaluation of Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution by Michael Denning. A blurb on the back of Noise Uprising states “Any future attempt to analyze the sounds and politics of international music industry will need to reckon with this powerful book.” I think that such a claim might be a fantastic over-estimation. There is no doubt that Noise Uprising deals with some interesting and important aspects regarding the birth of recorded music, but it’s almost...

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582
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Monday, 04 July 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 116
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A critical evaluation of ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times by Andrew MacLean. I know ApocalyptiGirl has gotten some very positive feedback, and I love Dark Horse comics (maybe the biggest comics publisher right now still putting out good titles), but is it OK to say that I was simply unimpressed by this comic? It certainly has lots going for it: cool setting (post-apocalypse survival), cool art (crude-like character designs, and dim colors make for a perfect way to...

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597
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Monday, 04 July 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 115
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A critical evaluation of The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa by Evan Eisenberg. See if you can process this statement: the Recording Angel reads like I wished I would sound when I talk about music. In other words, this book is a complete nerd-out on music but at an in-depth academic level. We never find out just what Eisenberg’s background is in music (is he just a fan?), but he sure knows how to put...

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582
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Monday, 04 July 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 114
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A critical evaluation of Apocrypha Now! by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler. The folks over at Top Shelf Comix know what the comics-reading public wants, and that’s a witty retelling of the Apocryphal writings of the bible. You know these Apocrypha and Gnostic books? They were the stories of the bible that history deemed unworthy to include in the official cannon, for some reason. They were considered redundant, or false, or their authorship doubted. Whatever the case may be, they’re...

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471
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Thursday, 16 June 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 113
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A critical evaluation of Bacchus Omnibus Edition Volume 1 by Eddie Campbell. Like most of you, I only knew Eddie Campbell from his excellent work in Alan Moore’s From Hell; one of the most thematically rich comics ever written. But, not surprisingly of course, the man is at the helm of other remarkable works. Not least of which is Bacchus. I had never heard of Bacchus, so I’m not here to be Mr. I-Told-You-So, but what I will say is...

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Thursday, 16 June 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 112
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A critical evaluation of Empowered Volume 9 by Adam Warren. I have to say, the only thing that’s gotten worse about the Empowered series is that they don’t come out as often as they used to. Is it a superhero comic? A parody of superheroes? A manga? A sci-fi story? It’s really all of those things. Adam Warren has been able to grow and mature his little baby which started out as short “sketches” of a damsel in distress into...

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Thursday, 16 June 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 111
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A critical evaluation of Freedom and Organization by Bertrand Russell. If you’re going to learn about history, why not learn from the best? I have to hand it to Bertrand Russell (because the man hasn’t been praised enough) for these inventive books which are both unique in their content and style. Freedom and Organization has an odd content which is to analyze the main influences of 1814-1914 that shaped the world. Maybe this century is of such importance because with...

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 110
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A critical evaluation of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. It’s funny how the American Revolutionary War is taking America by storm now – much like the revolutionary war actually did back when it happened. I’m sure this is mostly due to the Hamilton musical which I observe with a very suspicious eye. I might not know much about books, but I know a thing or two about music and Hamilton sounds like amateur-ish rap sung by...

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016