This category contains 9 posts

Xi Jinping Meets Che Meeting Mao

While the Chinese media featured a photo of Xi Jinping meeting a geriatric and ancient-looking Casto—the Chinese leader in a dark business suit clashing with the revolutionary’s casual retirement whites—Venezuela’s newspaper El Universal offered an entirely different image. It featured a photo of Xi face-to-face with an image of Mao meeting Che Guevara. One can … Continue reading

Fashion is Most Glorious!

Walking on Chunxi Lu in Chengdu I passed a full sized advertisement which draws upon the imagery and language of the Cultural Revolution. Featuring a worker, peasant, soldier trio the text plays on slogans common during the CR. The CR slogans I’m familiar with, but I’m a bit unsure about the exact translation of the … Continue reading

Mystery Object #11: Lung Money

The other day, as I was paying for a cup of coffee in Greenville, Ohio, I looked down to see a most unbelievable thing—a massage raffle for a lung transplant. Let me write that again just in case you missed it the first time: A massage raffle for a lung transplant. Had I been in … Continue reading

Mystery Object #7: Day Glo Watergate Poster

If he were still alive, today would have been Richard Nixon’s 100th birthday. No doubt because anniversaries make for easy news stories, I have already heard more than a few mentions in the media of Nixon’s legacy. The Vietnam War. The rapprochement with Mao’s China. Was he a war time president? What was his legacy? … Continue reading

Would the Authentic University Please Speak Up!

What does it mean when a university faculty takes a symbolic vote, but the administration “won’t take an official position?” What does it mean when so many universities’ advertising, their senior officials’ speeches, and their mission statements are filled with words like “community,” “responsibility,” “integrity,” “morality,” “truth” or “service”, but then their institutions appear to … Continue reading

How the Auggies Schooled Minnesota Higher Education on the Marriage Amendment

Higher education in Minnesota has been schooled by the Auggies. Last Wednesday, Augsburg College publicly took a stand stating its opposition to the amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would only recognize marriage as “between one man and one woman.” Their university president, Paul Pribbenow, took the book on “best practices of ‘playing it safe’ in university … Continue reading

“Take Up Arms and Get Rid of the Guy”: Tom Head and the Conspiracy of Opinions

I’m not even sure what to do with this video clip. The first time I watched it I was just stunned. When it ended, I promptly watched it again three or four times. There was no Onion watermark in the corner. It didn’t appear to be a hoax. It appears to be real and valuable … Continue reading

Occupy Student Debt

**This is a repost of the original Facebook image and accompanying text. I have been meaning to archive a copy here. A sociology student at Hamline interviewed me about this image for her blog shorty after I posted it. It offers some useful context and explanation. Occupy Wall Street sure seems like a long time ago. Sadly, … Continue reading

Performing Cultural Revolution Nostalgia

I have been mulling over and trying to make sense of what exactly took place at the Cultural Revolution theme restaurant that I visited last week. I have photos, video, and some notes I wrote after returning to my hotel room that night, but none of them help very much. I thought maybe some time … Continue reading


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