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Recently I had the opportunity to interview viral video creators JibJab. Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis started JibJab in their garage, and grew to be one of the most recognized online video brands in the short history of Web 2.0.

To watch my ten-minute interview, click HERE and scroll down to the video thumbnail entitled "JibJab Brothers".
It's about damned time that we stop jabbering about what various "supporters" or "endorsers" or pastors or former teachers, roommates, friends, associates, well wishers, and anyone else that might back this candidate or that. The Jeremiah Wright business was probably the biggest waste of time since Bill Clinton's blowjob. What the man said wasn't even terribly controversial, if you ask me. More importantly, he's not the one running for office. Now McCain has his own problems and though I loathe to take sides with a mouthpiece for the right wing conservatives in this country, I can empathize.

One of the greatest parts of the zine community at large is the zine fest. They can be large or small, one day or five, three tables or three hundred. Zine fests come in all forms and are still one of the best ways to not only pick up tons of great self published ephemera in one location, but meet tons of fantastic people.

If you're into traveling to get your zines, there's no better time than the spring and summer. Every year seems to bring more amazing zine events all over the country. Even if you don't have time or money to road trip it to all of them, you should at least get to two - or at the very least, one that's closest to wherever you call home.

My dad likes to keep pointing out that there are some great condos back in Tinley Park (my hometown). I'm pretty sure he's not a fan of me living in the city - or renting, because according to people who understand economics, it's a waste of money. When you rent you're not building equity, which is what American life is apparently all about. I would probably understand the housing crisis better if I did have some kind of condo or home or mortgage, but when you're counting change for gas money or deciding how long you can let the phone bill go before it gets shut off - equity is something foreign. The only thing I'm building equity on is a small collection of records and Simpsons memorabelia, which I've started selling on ebay.

Click the album art to download the mp3
or click here to get it on iTunes!

This episode features our good friend Mitchell Szczepanczyk of Chicago Media Action reading two pieces originally published on Flow TV about HDTV and the digital divide. Hosted by Aaron Cynic, music by Anti-Flag.

Our Attack on the "Creative Class."

View the full article here in PDF format

Richard Florida's ill-deserved celebrity in the past decade suggests that the marketplace of ideas, although ostensibly far removed from that of base commodities, is no less susceptible to gimmicks and shysters. To wit, Florida has simply repackaged established economic models, albeit with a new-- and problematic-- veneer of novelty. Several valid social and economic arguments have been articulated in opposition to his 'Creative Class' model, but none have yet challenged Florida on aesthetic grounds. The following article sketches the contours of that argument, which is predicated on a fundamental antipathy between aestheticism and economic rationality.

Precarity: Chicago presents Centering the Margin: Chicago Theory and Practice in Action

Thursday, May 1st at 1300 N. Western Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60622

What is precarity? Can Chicago activism benefit from it? - a new and irregularly held series that will explore and crystallize the Chicago progressive/radical community?s formulation of theory, strategy, and application. A central theoretical idea or topic will guide the discussion, with the intent of exploring what that idea/topic means to Chicago activism and whether there is a strategic usefulness to it. A social and friendly atmosphere will be stressed, where the intent is to foster non-hierarchical forms of debate and organization. Co-sponsored by Finding Our Roots, the Chicago Anarchist Film Festival, and the 49th Street Underground.

Recently, thanks to the micro social networking site, twitter - a journalist freed himself from an Egyptian prison. Unfortunately, his translator who was also arrested, has since disappeared in the Egyptian prison system. Americans, I think - would find this pretty common. Often when we think of places like Egypt or China or anywhere in Latin America, not to mention the Middle East - we think of people unjustly imprisoned or disappearing for their political beliefs. We think of dictatorships and lost liberties. We like to believe that we're the shining beacon of freedom in an otherwise harsh undemocratic world.

Click the album art to download the mp3
or click here to get it on iTunes!

This week's podcast features Gabriel Darling of the Crappie Indie Music Blog reading a piece about time pieces. Also included are instructions on how to submit your very own zinester podcast by phone. Hosted by Aaron Cynic. Music by Minus the Bear and The Wanderers.
Hey everyone - just a heads up. As you might have noticed, our messageboard is currently down. If you were wondering, this is because it costs us alot of money to host and we haven't paid our dues. Basically, we had to pull it right now for lack of funds. We're debating here, at FOA about what to do regarding this matter and really would love your input.

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