— Field Notes

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world

From Mike Davis’s crucial book (2006)

shape of the city:
“the cities of the future, rather than being made out of glass and steel as envisioned by earlier generations of Urbanists, are instead largely constructed out of crude brick, straw, recycled plastic, cement blocks, and scrap wood. Instead of cities of light soaring toward heaven, much of the twenty-first-century urban world squats in squalor, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay.”

 

informal workers:

“a billion people currently live in slums and more than a billion people are informal workers, struggling for survival…the entire future growth of humanity will occur in cities, overwhelmingly poor cities, and the majority of it in slums.”

"The informal sector generates jobs not by elaborating new divisions of labour, but by fragmenting existing work, and thus subdividing incomes." 

Benefits of density:

“Urban density can translate into great efficiencies in land, energy and resource use, while democratic public spaces and cultural institutions likewise provide qualitatively higher standards of enjoyment than individualized consumption and commodified leisure.”

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Music has a long history of effecting the emotions; soothing the savage beast etc. A few weeks ago I was at a local club {Nectar Lounge} and was lucky to see Gui Boratto; his music was soothing but powerful, it was more exciting than soothing to tell the truth.  The volume was loud, the bass reverberating through my chest, the crowd was large the dance floor full. People were bouncing, dancing and in the end screaming for joy. It was marvelous. Gui’s music is labeled with different monikers, House, Progressive House, Minimal House, or just techno, I am sure it is ecstatic.

Gui Boratto has been an architect, a advertising man, a record producer and composer, he certainly knows how to build momentum and musical structures that are deeply effecting. I can testify that the crowd I was part of was soaring on the sonic waves Gui produced in his live show.

photo from Boxcar Kyla

His second album,  Take My Breath Away,  is now available on the Kompakt Label from Germany

This is a taste of his work :
No Turning Back
Album Title : Take My Breath Away
Vocals: Luciana Villanova
Date : 2009
Composer : Gui Boratto

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In the sprawling grandiose novel by Roberto Bolaño, 2666 the town of Santa Teresa is a stand in for Ciudad Juárez. The NPR radio show Day to Day is doing a series about the problem of violence in Ciudad Juárez. It is a three part series, I have heard the first two.

The focus of the radio segments is the gang violence, but the deaths of the 400+  and disappearance of over 4000 women over the last ten years predates the gang violence and might be considered the opening act. These are gritty  realistic reports of a horrendous situation.

Anyone who has read 2666 should listen to the series, Bolaño  has taken the facts and made them the  integral to the novel.   I have written more about 2666 at Text By NorthWest

The dark core of the novel focuses on Saint Teresa which is a fictional representation of Ciudad Juárez, the border town, site of many grisly murders of women and girls. These murders are fictionalized and documented by Bolaño and make for difficult reading. 2666 is both linear and a non-linear in style. It consists of stories within stories, many of the characters tell stories to each other or relate dreams to the reader. It makes for a complex plot.

The center of the novel called The Part About The Crimes is more realistic less poetic more like reportage. The real Ciudad Juárez is a part of a vast “Metroplex” of more than 2 million people. It is in the juncture of three states Texas, New Mexico and Chilhuahua Mexico. It is the largest border community in the world and is growing at an astounding 5% a year. In 2666 Ciudad Juárez is a nightmare world.

I would be very interested in what others think about an Bolaño  intentions and how well the novel conveys those intentions.

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2666 published posthumously in Spain in 2004 one year after the death of Mr. Bolaño, the now famous and celebrated Chilean author, is a complex and convoluted tale with a grand and dark cast of characters.

“ I conceive, in a very humble way, the totality of my oeuvre in prose, and even some of my poetry, as a whole. A whole not only stylistic, but also narrative. The characters are continously dialoging among them and they are appearing and dissapearing. “ – Robert Bolaño

If Mr. Bolaño is describing his complete body of work in the above quote, 2666 must be considered the Mother Lode. 2666 and Bolaño other work can be consider a break from the cliched “Magic Realism” popular in Latin American Fiction. Bolaño and authors like Ignacio Padilla have choosen to leave the magic behind and focus more on character and plot ala Julio Cortázar and Jorge Luis Borges.

2666 is broken into multiple sections or novellas that placed together make a whole. The dark core of the novel focuses on Saint Teresa which is a fictional representation of Ciudad Juárez, the border town, site of many grisly murders of women and girls. These murders are fictionalized and documented by Bolaño and make for difficult reading. 2666 is both linear and a non-linear in style. It consists of stories within stories, many of the characters tell stories to each other or relate dreams to the reader. It makes for a complex plot.

The center of the novel called The Part About The Crimes is more realistic less poetic more like reportage. The real Ciudad Juárez is a part of a vast “Metroplex” of more than 2 million people. It is in the junture of three states Texas, New Mexico and Chilhuahua Mexico. It is the largest border community in the world and is growing at an astounding 5% a year. In 2666 Ciudad Juárez is a nightmare world.

I can’t conclude this brief review with out a few words of praise for the translator Natasha Wimmer. She has done a herculean job and done it well.

Reprinted from Text Northwest

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How to Save or the World and One Man, One Cow, One Planet!

There is a battle going on between farmers and  global agro business. The life of our society may be at stake. This is a important issue ignored by main stream press. This movie shines a needed light on these issues.

How To Save The World is a film that takes us into the heart of theworld’smost important renaissance – something that few of us are aware is even happening. Hoes rather than swords are at the frontline of a battle for agricultural control that is being fought over Indian soil. Its outcome could well determine the future of the entire earth. Using biodynamic-organic methods, farmers of India are reclaiming their lands and livelihood. At the same time they’re exposing the corporate mantra of infinite growth in a finite world for the environmental and human disaster that it really is.

My favorite line from the promo, “you are the world, and if you change the world changes”.

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The  new book about the world’s fisheries, Bottomfeeder is a practical guide to eating fish in with an eye on the environment and conservation ethics, the book  provides readers with a clear explanation of how to choose the best fish for our environment and our bodies.

Author Taras Grescoe  stresses how important it is to eat from the bottom of the oceans food chain. Sardines, mackerel, anchovies are  all high in omega-3, they are also found toward the bottom of the food chain.  I find them all very tasty!

GF

Sardines are a small, plankton-feeding fish, they  reproduces rapidly and prolifically. Pacific sardines supported the United States’ largest and most lucrative commercial fishery from the 1910s through the 1940s. The U.S. sardine fishery collapsed in the 1950s and commercial fishing ceased altogether in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the Pacific sardine  rebounded, and is now considered to have recovered.  Pacific sardines are usually taken with
purse-seines, a method that, in this fishery, produces negligible habitat damage or secondary fish catch . The fish  known as sardines are closely related to and sometimes confused with , sprats, brisling,herring, and pilchard, small fish.

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