Speaking of Iraq…
Summer in New York City and its environs is always festive, a reminder of why it’s worth living in a place where four ounces of cold coffee can run you three bucks. What is more distant from our collective mind these pleasant summer days is the fact that the disastrous war in Iraq continues unimpeded, our tax dollars subsidizing the folly every step of the way. I’m not trying to be the guy who gets heavy on you at the bbq, but at the very, very least, revivifying local discussion of the war is way, way overdue.
In an ideal world, such talk would flow upwards from the grassroots to influence our elected leaders. Yet one local elected official who clearly hasn’t been listening to the vast majority of New Yorkers against the war is Mike Bloomberg. Though hailed by pundits far and wide as a new breed of “non-partisan” politician and embraced by many in progressive policy circles for promoting an eco-friendly agenda, the mayor’s stance on the war has been anything but nonpartisan or progressive. A month prior to the U.S. invasion, the mayor’s denial of a permit left New York as the only major city without an antiwar march during a worldwide day of protest. During that little gathering he hosted for the Republicans at the end of August, 2004, Bloomberg prevented the Great Lawn in Central Park from being used for an antiwar rally. Meanwhile, he partied hard with all of the GOP scoundrels while the NYPD illegally detained anti-Bush activists.
After helping re-elect Bush, the mayor’s next foray into national politics came just last year, when he vigorously campaigned for Joe Lieberman, whose rabid stance on the war makes Hillary Clinton look like a peacenik. The war is without an end, costing U.S. taxpayers $275 million a day. Just imagine if one of the government’s domestic programs operated with even a small fraction of such inefficiency. Would someone with such sound business sense as Bloomberg support it? His pals at the New York Post/Wall Street Journal wouldn’t let him. As Ed Koch famously observed, New York is the only city in the U.S. where the mayor is expected to have a foreign policy. It is the capital of world, after all. And on the not-insignificant issue of Iraq, Mayor Mike has shown anything but leadership, flying with the hawks every step of the way.
With this issue, we bid a fond farewell to Kiu Yi, whose stellar design work helped keep the Rail rolling over the past two years. We wish Kiu many good tidings. We are also very pleased to welcome some very talented new designers to our layout crew: Nadia Chaudhury, Anna Hurley, and Graham Misenheimer.
It will take Rail readers a while to make it through this issue, so we’ll back in September. Meantime, have a good summer—and don’t forget about Iraq!
margins…By Lubbock Scapes Collective
DEC 22–JAN 23 | Editor's Message
The Lubbock Scapes Collective is an interdisciplinary group of university faculty from programs in cultural studies, media and communications, poetry and translation, linguistics, Spanish literature, landscape, art, and architecture. Its purpose is to break through the boundaries of disciplines by creating holistic projects that problematize questions of landscapes through scholarly collaborations that seek to understand, define, evaluate, and represent spaces people inhabit.
Barbara Hammer: Tell me there is a lesbian forever…By Ksenia Soboleva
NOV 2021 | ArtSeen
Centered in the gallery rests a motorcycle, a relic of someone whose absence has been palpable since she left the realm of the living in 2019. Barbara Hammer is the subject of a museum-quality show, albeit in a gallery, curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden.
Ambrose Rhapsody Murray: Within Listening Distance of the Sea…By Charles Moore
DEC 21-JAN 22 | ArtSeen
Ambrose Rhapsody Murrays solo exhibition Within Listening Distance of the Sea at Fridman Gallery features several of the artists sewn and painted textiles, as well as a short film made with Logan Lynette and Heather Lee, culminating in an unparalleled depth of experience.
Yerra Sugarman with Tony Leuzzi
FEB 2023 | Books
Earlier in our discussion, printed below, Sugarman noted a moral risk of representing the Holocaust in literature in domesticating the unspeakable horrors of the Shoah using aesthetic conventions to grasp the ungraspable.