in Paris, and the apartment here has Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, which is good, since i wanted to blog its memorable opening yesterday (the holiday of Columbus Day in America):

…When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:

They willingly traded everything they owned. . . . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. . . . They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane. . . . They would make fine servants. . . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.


And so it began. “We could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”


Mexico. Texas.

The reason our borders are so policed is because they don’t exist at all.

thank you, Austin!! big shout to Turntable Records, where I picked up some fine sounds. Clearly one of the great American music stores. On the counter they have Screwed & Chopped DVDs, Mariachi flicks, and Harmony Korine’s Gummo for sale.

the first of these 3 songs is a classic from Colombia. The second two are AV8-style cumbia-booty mixes emerging out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texamexico.

Armando Hernandez y su Cunjunto – La Zenaida (from Cumbia Cumbia)


? – Tocando Palmas RMX (from Lucky Kumbias vol. 1)


Funk E (aka El Buki) – Tussle (from Super Cumbia Bros. vol. 1)




77Klash, the man behind the beat on Turbulence’s Notorious, has a new riddim out — The Swarm. Released on his Klash City Records and served in 7″ form by Tuff Gong. Vybz Kartel & a bunch of others have versioned it, here’s a hometown one by Brooklyn’s Noble Society:

Noble Society – The Swarm (buyable on itunes

9-year-old Makonnen designed the Swarm cover with a little help from Marcus of RockersNYC.


in other newz, the U.S. dollar keeps dropping in value. Or, as the BBC phrases it today, “Euro bursts to fresh dollar high“. Something sinks, something else rises up. Makes me think of Bruce Sterling’s Distraction:

Yes, it was true that the nation was broke, but other countries had seen their currencies annihilated and their major industries rendered irrelevant… In many ways, Oscar had to give the Chinese credit for their cleverness in making all English-language intellectual property available on their nets at no charge. The Chinese hadn’t even needed to leave their own borders in order to kick the blocks out from under the American economy.

In some ways, this brutal collision with Chinese analog reality could be seen as a blessing. As far as Oscar had it figured, America hadn’t really been suited for its long and tiresome role as the Last Superpower, the World’s Policeman. As a patriotic American, Oscar was quite content to watch other people’s military coming home in boxes for awhile. The American national character really wasn’t suited for global police duties. It never had been. Tidy and meticulous people such as the Swiss and Swedes were the types who made good cops. America was far better suited to be the World’s Movie Star. The world’s tequila-addled pro-league bowler. The world’s acerbic, bipolar stand-up comedian. Anything but a somber and tedious nation of socially responsible centurions.