I’ve mentioned before in this column that I grew up listening to hip-hop, which is something that characterizes my generational cohort. I remember hearing rap for the first time at summer camp in 1986 as an 11-year-old (“Girls Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) and getting hooked on the form at school a year later (Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back).
“Well, pick up your feet, we’ve got a deadline to meet, and I’m gonna see you make it on time,” sings Roy Orbison in “Working for the Man,” one of those classic American inversion stories where a guy on the line has dreams of replacing his boss and winning his daughter. Americans and work go together like PB&J.
Last month two Charlottesville men, George Huguely V and Barry Bowles, were convicted of second degree murder for killing their sexual partners. Huguely’s trial was national news and Bowles’ was an afterthought, but they were shockingly similar cases. Both men had convictions for violence and alcohol abuse, both had choked their victims in incidents prior […]
Those words are part of Marcel Proust’s famous description his encounter with a madeleine cookie from Remembrance of Things Past and crystallize his notion of ‘involuntary memory,’ a concept that made it all the way from his literature into the canon of modern psychology.
Jinx Kern (Photo by Cramer Photo) “There have been few culinary experiences in my life that have quieted, humbled, and thrilled me with [their] utter perfection, but Jinx’s pork did all of those things,” wrote New York food blogger, Chichi Wang, somewhat hyperbolically, after a trip to Jinx’s Pit’s-Top Barbecue in 2010. “Like true love, […]
A local Occupy protest of the Verizon store in Pantops, planned as part of a national day to “Shut Down the Corporations,” turned into a police exercise Wednesday, thanks in part to a federal initiative to share information between law enforcement agencies.
For the first time in weeks, my bike ride to work through Court Square didn’t take me past a row of satellite trucks. The Huguely trial is over and the verdict is in. In this week’s issue, J. Tobias Beard takes a crack at answering the question he set out to explore when he began his coverage: Why did we watch this particular tragedy so closely, when there are so many others playing out around us right now?
Prior to the trial of George Huguely, I said the University would withhold any comments until the trial had concluded. The jury now has rendered its verdict and a young man – a former member of our community – has been found guilty for the death of fellow student Yeardley Love.
I’m still relatively new to town. Most of the week I sit at a computer, like a carp sifting passively through a river of news and information, so I need weekends like this last one to remind me why I came here in the first place.
Real estate developer, City Council candidate, and man about town, Paul Beyer announced last week that he and a business partner are launching the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival, a month-long creative happening focused on music, art, and innovation. The events will begin on Founder’s Day (April 13) and culminate with a three-day music festival May […]
There’s a big trial happening up the street, a so-called media event, but life is still going on all around us. It makes you stop and think a little bit about what the news is. Should we write stories because we know people will read them or because they won’t ever get read unless we write them?
When Belmont resident Brian Wimer saw Norfolk-based MMM Design Group’s proposal for a new bridge connecting his neighborhood to the Downtown Mall, he wasn’t impressed.
We were standing in the Boston Common by the Park Street subway stop on a Saturday, and my friend, an old hippie, looked out at the green hill sloping up towards the State House and said, “I remember when you’d look up there and see people getting it on under blankets.”
For most Americans, Monticello is the home of Thomas Jefferson, an icon of American architectural expression, a treasured National Historic Landmark and the only American residence on UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List. But it’s also the best documented and best preserved early American plantation, and for that reason, a window into the obscure institution of slavery.
I have a distinct memory of being a 14-year-old boy in 1989 watching an MTV video for the Public Enemy song “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” and having my father sit down next to me. I didn’t change the channel, because for some reason I wanted him to see it. He grew up in north Alabama in the ‘50s and eventually worked as a press secretary for a prominent Democratic member of Congress. When the video was over, he looked at me like the ground had ripped open between us and said something like, “Tough stuff.”
Not too long ago, I was sitting at a dinner table with a friend of my mother’s on her 60th birthday when she announced that she planned to live to 120. Turning 60, she said, was kind of like turning 40 used to be.
As a 21-year-old in 1963, Dylan sang “The Times They Are a A-Changin’” with Baez from the podium during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and later in that same year, receiving a civil rights award from the ACLU a month after Kennedy was assassinated, he thumbed his nose at the progressive establishment.
Moments after his City Council peers chose him to serve as Charlottesville’s next mayor, Satyendra Huja departed briefly from his pragmatic tone to reflect on the larger significance of the occasion. Nearing his fourth decade in Charlottesville, Satyendra Huja will try to put years of service as an elected official and planner to the task […]
We are all acting out roles we’ve inherited, and we are all evaluated by an audience that understands us incompletely–– that’s the message Shakespeare taunts us with…
Last week we took a bit of a beating for running an issue about the future and featuring a number of young people, all of whom happened to be white. A couple of indignant readers pointed out that painting an all-white future of this city amounts to racism, and they demanded a response from the editor.
I usually write these columns on Monday mornings, the day we put the paper out, but because of the holiday I’m writing this one on Friday, which means it will be four days before you read it, with all of the events of the weekend between. I’m writing into the future.
On the shortest day of the year, cultures in northern latitudes from Japan to Finland celebrate the return of light. It makes sense to recognize a thing so elemental in its absence, another paradox of human perception. Like you can’t have your cake and eat it too…
Is Thomas Jefferson’s life as a slave owner a personal contradiction that tarnishes his political and moral legacy, or is it more correct to view his plantation life as a reflection of the American social materiel from which he formulated his much-vaunted ideals?
Americans put a huge emphasis on sports. When I was 11, I missed a free throw to lose the Police Boys Club city championship game in Washington D.C. and cried my eyes out in front of 1,500 or so people.
I knew a political operative in Chicago, since moved on to D.C., who used to get upset by the way people misunderstood and then misused O’Neill’s analect. For this guy, the advice wasn’t a warning to limit the scope of campaign messages, it was a simple reminder that to win elections, you have to start with a base at home and build out from there.
When I was a kid growing up in D.C. in the mid-80s, there were bumper stickers around that read, “Don’t Fairfax Loudoun.” If you’ve spent any time in Northern Virginia over the past two decades, you’ll understand the futility of the position.
This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to say thanks. No, really. Because with the planes, trains, and automobiles on Wednesday, the turkey and football on Thursday, and the dawn frenzy of Black Friday, it may be hard to get a quiet minute, much less make the connection that we are celebrating the bounty of the American continent.