Demolition of the House of Popular Culture

I have many pleasant and strange memories of the kit house at the corner of East Wooster and South College, but am not sad to learn after the fact of its demolition. Its creaky patchwork underflooring concerned me even back in the day. Still, it was weird to watch a giant claw rip into the old upstairs grad student bullpen and lay bare the “media closet.”

I hope that the Department of Popular Culture folk are enjoying their new home in the cultural studies sphere of Shatzel Hall, as well as their long-deserved psychic clean break into the future.

Read the rest of the story in the Wood County Sentinel-Tribune.

Seven Years Ago Today

Seven Years Ago Today

Infographic by Lance Vargas for Rising Tide NOLA
WHO: Rising Tide NOLA
WHAT: 7th Annual Rising Tide New Media Conference
WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 2012, 9am – 6pm
WHERE: University Center, Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, NOLA, 70125

Rising Tide NOLA, Inc. will present its 7th annual new media conference centered on the recovery and future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at the University Center of Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, in New Orleans.

This one day conference features keynotes by acclaimed local writer Lolis Eric Elie and Tulane University professor of history Lawrence Powell, as well as panel discussions on the status and future of local journalism, changes to the education system, environmental impacts of the oil spill, development of cultural economy, parenting, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood activism. Past speakers have included Treme and The Wire creator David Simon, geographer Richard Campanella, journalist Mac McClelland, entertainer Harry Shearer, and authors David Zirin, John Barry, Christopher Cooper, and Robert Block. The full conference schedule and list of panelists can be viewed on the Rising Tide website, as well as a list of participating vendors and non-profit organizations.

Conference registration is open at, and is only $28 until September 21, with a discount registration of $18 for students with valid ID. Registration at the door is $38. Lunch is included in the price of admission, and vegetarian options will be available. There will be a pre-conference party on Friday, September 21, from 9pm – until, hosted by Rising Tide NOLA, Inc., The Lens, and 3 Ring Circus Productions at the Big Top, 1638 Clio St., NOLA.  The TBC Brass Band will be the featured performers for that event. More information is available at the Rising Tide 7 website:; at the Rising Tide blog:; on the Rising Tide Facebook page:

Rising Tide 7 is sponsored by The Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Xavier University, The Gambit,,,, Cara Jougland Photography, WTUL 91.5 FM, 3 Ring Circus Productions, and The Lens.

Rising Tide NOLA, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed by New Orleans bloggers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federally built levees. After the disaster, the internet became a vital connection among dispersed New Orleanians, former New Orleanians, and friends of the city and the Gulf Coast region. A surge of new blogs were created, and combined with those that were already online, an online community with a shared interest in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast developed. In the summer of 2006, to mark the anniversary of the flood, the bloggers of New Orleans organized the first Rising Tide Conference, taking their shared interest in technology, the arts, the internet and social media and turning advocacy in the city into action.

If you plan to participate via the video livestream, please consider donating $10 via the online registration mechanism.

WATCH: Rising Tide 6 video archive
WATCH: Rising Tide 5 video archive

Site Unseen #CHA


Site Unseen
exhibition, #Chattanooga April 2012.

Download the Layar augmented reality browser app to your smartphone or pad (free). Search for the Site Unseen content via the Layar app (free) on your smartphone or pad. Locate pieces near you via the in-app map and go physically to those map points in Chattanooga, Tennessee to view the artworks through your camera screen via the Layar app. The Site Unseen exhibit is a collaboration of Public Art Chattanooga and Second Site, LLC.

While you’re out, you may also wish to deploy the other Public Art Chattanooga content accessible via Layar.

It is most rewarding to access augmented reality via camera view during low-glare moments.

POEM: “Chattanooga” by Ishmael Reed (1973)


by Ishmael Reed, 1973

Some say that Chattanooga is the
Old name for Lookout Mountain
To others it is an uncouth name
Used only by the uncivilized
Our a-historical period sees it
As merely a town in Tennessee
To old timers of the Volunteer State
Chattanooga is “The Pittsburgh of
The South”
According to the Cherokee
Chattanooga is a rock that
Comes to a point

They’re all right
Chattanooga is something you
Can have anyway you want it
The summit of what you are
I’ve paid my fare on that
Mountain Incline #2, Chattanooga
I want my ride up
I want Chattanooga

Like Nickajack a plucky Blood
I’ve escaped my battle near
Clover Bottom, braved the
Jolly Roger raising pirates
Had my near miss at Moccasin Bend
To reach your summit so
Give into me Chattanooga
I’ve dodged the Grey Confederate sharpshooters
Escaped my brother’s tomahawks with only
Some minor burns
Traversed a Chickamauga of my own
Making, so
You belong to me Chattanooga

I take your East Ninth Street to my
Heart, pay court on your Market
Street of rubboard players and organ
Grinders of Haitian colors rioting
And old Zip Coon Dancers
I want to hear Bessie Smith belt out
I’m wild about that thing in
Your Ivory Theatre
Coca-Cola’s homebase
City on my mind

My 6th grade teacher asked me to
Name the highest mountain in the world
I didn’t even hesitate, “Lookout Mountain”
I shouted. They laughed
Eastern nitpickers, putting on the
Ritz laughed at my Chattanooga ways
Which means you’re always up to it

To get to Chattanooga you must
Have your Tennessee
“She has as many lives as a
cat. As to killing her, even
the floods have failed
you may knock the breath out of
her that’s all. She will re-
fill her lungs and draw
a longer breath than ever”
From a Knoxville editorial –

Chattanooga is a woman to me too
I want to run my hands through her
Hair of New Jersey tea and redroot
Aint no harm in that
Be caressed and showered in
Her Ruby Falls
That’s only natural
Heal myself in her
Minnehaha Springs
58 degrees F. all year
Around. Climb all over her
Ridges and hills
I wear a sign on my chest
“Chattanooga or bust”

to Thomas

When I tasted your big juicy
Black berries ignoring the rattle-
Snakes they said come to Cameron
Hill after the rain, I knew I
Had to have you Chattanooga
When I swam in Lincoln Park
Listening to Fats Domino sing
I found my thrill on Blueberry
Hill on the loudspeaker
I knew you were mine Chattanooga
Chattanooga whose Howard Negro
School taught my mother Latin
Tennyson and Dunbar
Whose Miller Bros. Department
Store cheated my Uncle out of
What was coming to him
A pension, he only had 6
Months to go
Thomas to Grant

To get to Chattanooga you must
Go through your Tennessee
I’ve taken all the scotsboros
One state can dish out
Made Dr. Shockley’s “Monkey Trials”
The laughing stock of the Nation
Capt. Marvel Dr. Sylvanias shazam
Scientists running from light-
ning, so
Open your borders, Tennessee
Hide your TVA
DeSota determined, this
Serpent handler is coming

Are you ready Lookout Mountain?

“Give all of my Generals what he’s
drinking,” Lincoln said, when the
Potomac crowd called Grant a lush

I’m going to strut all over your
Point like Old Sam Grant did
My belly full of good Tennessee
Whiskey, puffing on
A.05 cigar
The campaign for Chattanooga
Behind me
Breathing a spell
Ponying up for



from Ishmael Reed: New and Collected Poems (1988)

Shared here in bold violation of copyright but in love and with all respect.

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