Friday Inspiration – Getting excited for the long run

Milo and the Calf

Tomorrow, I’ll do my last really long run of this training cycle — 20 miles. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m looking forward to it being done. 

Whenever I want to post a video related to a long run, this Josh Cox / Ryan Hall video always comes to mind. Maybe it’s their graceful strides and the ease with which they click off sub six minute miles, or maybe its the gorgeous backdrop. Maybe its Johnny Cash. I don’t know, but there’s something about it that just get to me. Maybe it will inspire you too.

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Wall Drawing #3

Ghost Sol LeWitt typed with his index fingers. Click – Clack- Click – Click. I pulled out a chair at his table, the wrought iron legs scraping the floor, vibrating up into my hand, a tuning fork. He didn’t look up.

Wall Drawing #3

Exhume Sol LeWitt. Extract DNA from his remains. Locate a machine that can read the DNA. Assign musical notes to the various chemicals that join to make the double helix. Print out sheet music based on the conversion of Sol Lewitt’s DNA. Post the music online and solicit video responses of people playing the music. Project the collected material on a a square white wall.

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Wall Drawing #2

Ghost Sol LeWitt was hunched over a portable typewriter at a cafe in Barcelona. A white espresso cup smudged brown in it’s small bowl sat on a saucer next to a tin ashtray where an unfiltered Lucky Strike smoldered next to two bent buts.

Wall Drawing #2

Acquire a Robotic 3D Spacial Printer. Attach the printer to a construction boom arm. Bring apparatus to the empty brick wall on the Washington Avenue side of Bergen Bagels on the corner of Fulton Street in Brooklyn. Load the printer with brick red printing material. Program the apparatus to print at a 90 angle to the wall starting at the surface of the wall and extending out up two feet. Program the machine to repeat the printing at random distance intervals and placements across the wall 11,664 times.

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Inspiration Porn – the second best thing about the internet

The other day I threw my back out while visiting DC, a painful three hours of travel from my home in Brooklyn. After two days laid out on a friend’s bed, unable put on my own socks, I took a handful of Advil and got on a plane.

The trip was full of all sorts of scary problems: How would I take my shoes off at security? How would I get my luggage from the apartment to the cab? How would I walk to the gate? Etc. These once invisible challenges made me question a lot about my own assumptions about society and disability. With a the last week of very limited mobility I turned to the internet for some answers and inspiration.


The quote is from Olympic Figure skater Scott Hamilton, someone who is not disabled.

Stella Young, a comedian, a writer, an advocate, and a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer referrs to the above image as “inspiration porn” in her in her 2014 Ted Talk . Inspiration Porn is the objectification of disabled people and their experiences for the benefit of others. This objectification, according to Stella, dehumanizes disabled people turning them into objects to be admired for feats non-disabled people do often without thinking.

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Wall Drawing #1

I once chased Sol LeWitt across the walls of Europe. When I caught up to him in Barcelona he was a ghost.

Wall Drawing #1
Acquire a 3-D printer. Program the printer so that letters in the musical scale are plotted to positions along the x-axis, volume is plotted to the y axis, and length of note is plotted to the z axis. Attach a microphone to the printer. Turn printer and microphone on. Play “Church of the CLF Mixtape” through a computer speaker. When the music is over, spray paint the shape gold and hang on a wall at the exact vertical and horizontal center.

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Truth vs. Meaning – When rubber bullets aren’t rubber, or bullets

This piece was originally posted on Wednesday, November 19,  on the Center For Story Based Strategy blog, where I am currently a Worker Justice Fellow. 

Last Friday St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar went on live public radio  to fire the latest volley in the battle of truth vs. meaning, which started with the first protests in Ferguson when people took to the streets calling for #JusticeforMikeBrown.


Referring to the early days of protest in Ferguson, Belmar said, “We didn’t use rubber bullets. If they’re actually rubber bullets, they’ll kill you. We did use tear gas. We did use smoke. We did use pepper balls — different things such as that. We did use armored trucks. But you know what? We didn’t use those on peaceful protesters. We used that on unfortunate criminal activity that spun out of the protest.”

This statement is a doing a few things at once:

  • Distancing police from violence that leads to death.
  • Bullets = death, so they deny any type of bullet was used.
  • Replacing the idea of rubber bullets with weapons that are not automatically linked to death, such as pepper balls.
  • Advancing a core frame of criminals and criminal activity.
  • Police force is justified when dealing with criminals.

Read the rest of the post here.

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When stomping Nazis, no room for neutral

When I was growing up I could have been considered a thug. The short of it, I was a teenage punk rocker, I was smart, and I hated authority. And the only thing I hated more than authority were Nazis.

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Pretty simple

It wasn’t just me, it was the scene. In the 90’s Nazi skinheads were growing in organizational power and form. There was a story that passed around my high school. Once, a New York City hardcore band was playing a show in town. A bunch of Nazi skinheads flooded into the venue with baseball bats, cue balls in socks, and rolls of quarters in their fists, some real medieval stuff. And what did the punk and hardcore kids do? They fought them.

For me, and a bunch of my punk friends, it was a simple politic: Nazis are racist, racists are bad, if we allow racists at our shows then our shows are racist, we all loose (historical supported fact). Therefore you couldn’t sit out, there was one choice: we stomped Nazis.

Then things get complicated
Sometimes I long for those days when it was easy to just point to a skinhead and say, “See that bonehead right there? Let’s stomp ‘em” and know that I was fighting the good fight.

Of course, those days were only easy because my understanding of racism was simple. For my teenage punk rock self, racism was racial prejudice expressed physically or verbally.

But, as Michelle Alexander writes in The New Jim Crow, there is a “…widespread and mistaken belief that racial animus is necessary for the creation and maintenance of racialized systems of social control. The unfortunate reality we must face is that racism manifests itself not only in individual attitudes and stereotypes, but also in the basic structure of society.”

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