Monthly Archives: June 2007

Support Critical Moment This Summer

Fresh from the excitement of this year’s Allied Media Conference, we’re coming to you with an appeal to help Critical Moment keep doing what it does best.

Last December we asked for your help in publishing Critical Moment. We were facing a financial crisis and needed $1000 to publish our next issue. We appealed to you, and were amazed by your generosity. We raised nearly $3000 and were able to continue publishing.

That campaign made us realize that it is you, our readers, who are our biggest supporters. We are a community project. Our content is created by the activists, writers, poets, photographers, and others of Southeast Michigan. Critical Moment is one of the most important independent media voices in Southeast Michigan. Our all-volunteer editorial collective works tirelessly to grow this locally-rooted movement publication. We constantly receive inquiries from readers who want to connect with individuals and organizations featured in the magazine. We are helping link people and organizations.

Last December, we asked you to help us get back on our feet. Now, six months later, we’re asking for your help again in staying there.

We’d like to share with you what some inspiring local activists have to say about Critical Moment:

Critical Moment provides a valuable resource by showing the organizing efforts, the challenges, and the victories taking place in Southeastern Michigan. How many conversations have I been in about major crises facing communities in Michigan where someone said “I didn’t even know this was happening!” If only they had read the penetrating analysis and on-the-ground coverage of local issues and their international impact that CM provides! Definitely it should be required reading in today’s schools and throughout the state.
-Will Copeland, Detroit Artist/Activist Leader

When I moved here four years ago there was a gap in terms of media. And once Critical Moment was published, I felt like finally there was something to read that’s actually saying something about something. I highly respect Critical Moment and really value the work that you’re doing, and I feel like it’s important to our communities here.
-U of M professor and INCITE! co-founder Nadine Naber

Critical Moment is a vital instrument of communication for our area. Stories which would otherwise be silenced are told through CM. As a transmitter of these stories, CM breaks up the hopeless and sensationalized surface constructed by corporate media, and offers a more honest, compelling view of life in SE Michigan.
-Jenny Lee, coordinator, Detroit Summer Live Arts Media Project

Over the last three and a half years, Critical Moment has become one of the premier progressive media outlets in Southeast Michigan. With your support, we hope to further increase our role as an important community resource in connecting people and organizations.

One way you can help support Critical Moment is by becoming an issue sponsor today. You will be helping Critical Moment continue publishing by donating a certain amount for each issue. This is the most valuable type of donation for us because it provides us with a regular income. You can select your level of sponsorship. We publish 6 issues per year, and if you become an issue sponsor at any level you automatically get a subscription.

Today, more than ever, it’s important to support independent media at whatever level you are able. As many independent media institutions have gone under and as Congress considers increasing postal rates for small publications by 44%, we can use all the help we can get.

If you become an issue sponsor today, you can receive items from new Southeast Michigan Mediashop including the Live Arts Media Project CD, the Army of None poster, and books like Detroit: I Do Mind Dying, Abandon Automobile, and Negroes with Guns.

Visit for more information. You can also get a regular subscription there.

Support independent media today! Without you it is not possible.

In gratitude and solidarity,

Critical Moment editorial collective


How Far We’ve Come

AMC2007It wasn’t very long ago when I was convinced that the open publishing websites known as Indymedia were the ultimate radical media tool for social change. Of course, there was tons of other ‘media’ activism that did not fit as neatly into that category, but the (relatively privileged) communities of activists that came out of the anti-globalization movement did not necessarily recognize them as such. The definition of radical media as conceived by the Indymedia activists was in need a serious update, and we got it with this year’s Allied Media Conference.

This year’s Allied Media Conference broke new ground. The areas of independent media, media justice, and movement media were connected in ways that I have never seen before. I managed to attend some great sessions and I know from talking to other people that there were many other excellent ones that I missed. I caught a few minutes of D. Blair’s “History of Black American Through Music.” I learned a lot even in the brief period that I was there. He explained about the deeper meanings of the lyrics of slave songs and how his academic research in that area made him able to connect to an elderly group who knew the songs, but not their meanings. Of course he also sang the songs in his awesome booming voice.

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to that much of the Pop Ed Symposium because I was ensnared in helping set up the Youth Media Lab. Not that I can complain about that. I didn’t quite know what it was beforehand and wasn’t down there the whole time, but from what I gathered I think it might have been one of the most under-appreciated aspects of the AMC. (One piece of feedback I have for next year is to promote the Media Lab more so that people besides the participating organizations know more about it). Basically it was a hands-on workshop for different youth organizations. So, some of went on there included Detroit Summer, the Prometheus Project, and other organizations building an educational FM transmitter. Elementz ran an audio studio and by the end of the weekend had produced five full tracks were produced (hope to hear these on the AMC website soon). They even used the tables and sheets that were already in the room to make a makeshift sound-proof booth to record lyrics.

On Saturday we had the Print Caucus (workshop/caucus/meeting, whatever you want to call it). It was interesting but not quite as productive as I thought it could have been. Of course as a co-facilitator I take some responsibility for this. I was pretty tired and out of it and Jen did most of the actual facilitating during the meeting. But the meeting made me more aware of the significant differences between projects with national distribution like Bitch and Left Turn and projects with local distribution like Critical Moment and Fault Lines. We definitely can learn from each other’s experiences but there are also going to be huge parts of our operations that don’t apply to each other. One cool idea that came out of this was Jordan Flaherty’s suggestion of a national print media tour. So local and national projects would go on tour to get people hyped up about print. Yeah, whatever, you think it’s boring, but I want to go on tour. Plus we need creative ideas to keep print alive (for example becoming a Critical Moment issue sponsor).

On Sunday was the presentation on Political Murals in the North of Ireland. Damn we didn’t record this one! Had no idea how this was going to turn out, but Eoin Ó Broin most definitely rocked it. Mike mentioned that the look on everyone’s faces was, “This is so incredible and how did I not know all of this stuff before!?” I’m going to post the pictures Eoin used in his presentation and will maybe write about that presentation a little more then.

I first came to the AMC because of my involvement in media. But independent media is not revolutionary unless it is intimately tied to movements and movement building. I don’t think that a lot of projects are aware of this, and even if they are, it’s hard to actually incorporate this into your work. Many of the projects featured at the AMC were on the cutting edge of this kind of community based, community empowering media work. Congrats to the AMC organizers and see you next year if not sooner.

25 Years of Blade Runner


You have to remember, Blade Runner was made years before digital effects became common. Today, CGI [computer-generated imagery] is becoming a mature art form, but even now there are times you just can’t beat doing some effects like these “in camera.” Most of these cityscapes are a combination of models and traditional matte paintings. For the aerial shots they used a set about 12 ft. wide, and those towers you see belching fire are about 12 in. high. They’re made of etched brass and model parts and use thousands of tiny, grain-of-wheat light bulbs like you’d find in a dollhouse. They filmed some of the fireballs in the parking lot behind the studio, and for others they used stock footage from the 1970 Antonioni film, Zabriskie Point.


Here’s some mostly minimal techno for anyone who’s into that. I feel pretty good about this one. I also just made a website only for DJ stuff, so check that. It’s pretty empty right now, but hopefully as I move further down the path of international super-stardom it will fill in.

Download here.

Purple Kraut

I’ve never made an all purple cabbage sauerkraut before. I expect it will taste basically the same but look way more…um…purple I guess. If you’ve never made sauerkraut before I highly recommend it. Basically shred some cabbage, add salt, press, and wait a week or so. It will be totally raw unlike most store-bought fermented products, so it will have all the living bacteria and health benefits that pasteurization destroys.

See also: making pickles