Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged political

The Curious Case of the Communist Jell-O Box: The Execution of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg

What could possibly be the connection between imitation raspberry Jell-O, communism, and the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? I was intrigued. After all, what self-respecting leftist would not be interested in the case of the Rosenbergs, who at the height of the Red Scare were convicted of smuggling secrets to the Russians?

Raging Grannies: The Action League

If you’ve been to a demonstration during the last two decades you’ve likely seen them: Bold, sassy, elders calling themselves The Raging Grannies. Mixing street theatre with costuming, their zany hats, political buttons, and boisterous, if often off-key, singing sets them apart from other protesters. They’re fun—and they defy stereotypes about what old women can and should be doing.

Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood

In Universal Women, Professor Cooper launches a multidisciplinary investigation into the mystery of why it was that Universal Film Manufacturing Company broadly supported women directors during the 1910s before abruptly reversing the policy.

Pendant: Mr. President, How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty

Canadian artist Viki Ackland's handmade jewelry uses pop art, found art, and ransom-note style letters to create a visually appealing cut-and-paste aesthetic from 2-Mile Jewelry.

Who's to Say What's Obscene?: Politics, Culture, and Comedy in America Today

I've long been a fan of Paul Krassner's more illustrious friends like Lenny Bruce and Abbie Hoffman, but until now I'd never gotten around to reading Krassner's own work. Who's to Say What's Obscene? appears to be a collection of random essays. I say "appears to be" because for most of the book, I had no idea what was going on. The stories were interesting, but would just go from one to the next with seemingly no connection.


If you love poetry—scratch that—if you love powerfully articulate, passionate prose meant to stir up your inner emotions and inspire you to stand up and create change, then you’ll love the brilliance that queer poet/activist Andrea Gibson serves up aplenty in Swarm. Primarily recorded in a bedroom, Swarm also contains a handful of live tracks that allow the listener to taste the raw energy of her live performance. The self-released album came out in 2004, yet the poignant words, occasionally accompanied by a backdrop of acoustic guitar, cut into you like knives and remain just as rel

The Trucks

The Trucks’ self-titled album is a consciousness-raising, therapeutic jam session that sounds like the musical lovechild of riot grrrls Sleater-Kinney and gay glam-rockers Scissor Sisters. The foursome’s first outing makes the personal political by letting off steam about subjects as varied as emotionally distant lovers, the politics of neighborhood bullies, sexual assault and concepts of beauty.

Make Believe Not War Tank

My favorite new tank top comes from No Star Clothing. It is black with the slogan “Make Believe Not War” printed on a military helmet - a helmet that holds crayons. Swoon. All of my academically-inclined, left-leaning coffee-shop customers loved this tank top. One cynically suggested that the only way to make any sense of our current military endeavors is to, in fact, make believe. I think this tank top brought me bigger-than-usual tips and even bigger smiles. Certainly it doesn't hurt that it fits me perfectly, washes well and doesn't show stains.

Live at Club Europa (4/12/2007)

You're not fooling me, Panthers. Despite your new, more marketable album The Trick, I know you're still the kind of absurdist intellectual revolutionaries who want to think things over and then go fuck them up--just with a little more focus on style this time round. Front man Jayson Green's voice, more a hybrid of punk-50s, screamo-wail than a grating hardcore rasp, packs a whopping punch into a single verse.

The Butterfly Effect

While reading the first half of Susan Hawthorne’s newest collection of lesbian poems, The Butterfly Effect, I found myself lost in footnotes. Each poem reads on the right page, while footnotes to the poem fill up the left page. Most of the time, the footnotes are as long as, if not longer, than the actual poem. At first, I thought this was a brilliant idea. Then I started to get slightly annoyed by the footnotes and felt that they were a little pompous and unnecessary.

Aman Iman

In an age of over-produced, mass-marketed tripe, Tinariwen is a beacon shining from the Sahara. Their 2007 Aman Iman relies heavily on the rare sound of raw, straining human voices and features handclaps as primary percussion. Foremost, there is a voice singing against isolation and violence in favor of a solidarity so desperately needed to improve the station of the Touareg people.


Bamako is a largely unscripted political film which centers on a trial of the Malian people against the World Bank and IMF. Filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako chose to shoot the trial in a courtyard that represents his family home in a poorer neighborhood of Mali’s capital city, where he has memories of passionate discussions about Africa.

Despite Our Differences

Despite Our Differences is Emily Saliers’ and Amy Ray's first release on their new record label, and it shows on an album that feels like a new beginning for Decatur’s own. Taking a slight upward turn in sentiments from some heavy themes on All That We Let In and the acoustic, earthy Become You, fans should be advised not to live without this one.

The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser

Before there was Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, there was Muriel Rukeyser. Before there were the Beats, there was Muriel Rukeyser. As Anne Sexton once pointed out, Rukeyser was the “mother of us all.” This is why a collection of her work is so important. Despite Rukeyser’s stature, and her prodigious output, she is not as often read or taught as her better known literary progeny. Furthermore, some of Rukeyser’s prime writing years were during the era of New Criticism, when politically charged poetry was not in vogue.

Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism

The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past. –William Faulkner Michael Albert writes an in-depth political memoir, offering a formidable defense of the project to change global inequality. Albert is a veteran anti-capitalist and visionary leftist thinker. In his memoir, he retells his past of devotion, commitment and the struggle to bring forth social change, however difficult the journey, a small step at a time. Albert separates his memoir into five intriguing parts. He begins with his college years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).