Monthly Archives: January 2010

Runaways Movie: Powerful, Problematic, Important

I saw the Runaways movie yesterday. I’m going to save detailed discussion for the pieces I’m writing about it, but in short, while it’s problematic historically, it’s also powerful and important. Here’s a pretty good review of it.

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Joan Jett Rocks Sundance

JoanJoan Jett is the hardest working woman in rock ‘n’ roll. Last night she and her longstanding buddies the Blackhearts performed for a Sundance Film Festival crowd at a packed Harry O’s, playing those songs she’s played thousands of times — “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah),” “Crimson and Clover,” “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” etc. — but never sounding tired. There was a lot of buzz about some film and the young actresses who star in it, but Joan, looking lithe and lean in a black and gold catsuit, owned the night. She’s been doing this for decades, interest in her comes and goes, but she is always Joan Jett.

She did bring out Cherie Currie, Kristen Stewart, and Dakota Fanning. Cherie looked almost as hot as Joan, a pretty impressive accomplishment. Unfortunately, she didn’t sing. But Joan did sprinkle her standard set list with a few unexpected old Runaways gems: “I Love Playin’ With Fire,” “You Drive Me Wild,” “School Days.” Worth the price of admission, which for me was a plane ticket and a car rental, i.e. not cheap.

I’ve seen Joan a dozen times in two decades, and while this was definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen her do, I’ve never seen her just phone a performance in either. Last night she was particularly fierce, winking those big eyes at every hot body in the crowd (or so it seemed to me). The girl (I know she’s 50, but she’s so Peter Pan youthful looking, I call her girl out of respect) really does love rock’n’roll.

Set List:

Bad Reputation

Cherry Bomb

Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)

Change the World


You Drive Me Wild

Love Is Pain

I Love Playin’ With Fire

School Days

I Love Rock’n’Roll

Crimson and Clover

I Hate Myself for Loving You


Everyday People

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Maggie Steber in Haiti

My thoughts are with my friend and former boss Maggie Steber, who is in Haiti shooting for the New York Times. No word or images from her yet, but the Times has posted some of her historic photos of the country, and a brief essay.

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Henry Jenkins and Shepard Fairey

Studying with fan studies pioneer and author Henry Jenkins has been a highlight of my fellowship at USC. If I had known people like Henry were going to knock cultural studies off of its podium pedantry, I might have stayed with academia (probably not). His New Media Literacies course exposed me to ideas about digital culture that have inspired my own research projects. So I’m extremely honored that he is posting my final paper on his blog, It’s about Shepard Fairey, punk rock, fair use, free culture, Obam, hope, and appropriative art. Let us know what you think. First part today, second Friday.

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Help Haiti

My heart goes out to Haiti. This is a country that had hardship enough. I hope that all the loved ones of my Haitian friends are safe, and that my journalist friends that are working there are helping to spread the word of need. I urge everyone to donate. Here is a list of services I received from Like Mind – Miami.

I have not vetted all organizations, however, if you decide you would like to help, here is a list of organizations.

• UNICEF is seeking donations to the ongoing emergency relief efforts in Haiti and the Caribbean region through or call 1-800-4UNICEF.
• Operation Helping Hands, a joint community project of The Miami Herald and United Way-Miami, will be collecting donations to support the relief effort in Haiti. To make a contribution, go
• Mercy Corps established a Haiti Earthquake Fund, PO Box 2669,Portland, OR 97208,, 1-888-256-1900
• The Archdiocese of Miami is accepting financial donations to assist with recovery efforts for the earthquake victims in Haiti. People may send their donations to Catholic Charities, 1505 NE 26th St. Wilton Manors, FL 33305, Attention Earthquake Victims.
• The Pan American Development Foundation(PADF) — the natural disaster relief arm of the OAS — was asking people who want to donate to visit its special relief website
• The Red Cross is taking donations via text messages. Text the word HAITI to the number 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts. It’ll show up on your phone bill. Or donate online
• Catholic Relief Services is responding to the aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck near the capital of Port au Prince.
• Doctors Without Borders is asking for donations to help the emergency response teams in Haiti. Donate with a debit or credit card at
•Project Medishare, Miami, brings medical care to northeast Haiti. Make a donation at; 305-762-6448.
•Hope for Haiti, Naples, Fla., is an education and relief charity that will send supplies by private plane. Donate at; 239-434-7183.
•Agape Flights, Venice, Fla., services American missionaries throughout the Caribbean with supply flights, the next scheduled for Thursday. Donate at; 941-584-8078.
•American Jewish World Service is a New York-based worldwide relief organization with a Haitian disaster fund. Donate at; 212-792-2900.
•Haitian Education Project, St. Leo University, north of Tampa, is organizing relief efforts to support people on the ground. For information:; 800-334-5532 or 352-588-8331.
•World Vision, a worldwide Christian nonprofit, has been providing humanitarian services in Haiti for decades. Donate to the disaster relief fund at; 866-280-6587. P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716.
• The Salvation Army, a Christian nonprofit, has been operating in Haiti since 1950, with schools, medical facilities, schools, feeding and economic development programs. Donate to its disaster relief fund at; 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Checks to Salvation Army, 61 NW 67 St., Miami, FL 33150.
•Missing people: U.S. citizens wondering about family in Haiti can ring the U.S. State Department’s American Citizen Services line at 1-888-407-4747.

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Pop Goes MOCA

The news that MOCA has hired Jeffrey Deitch is fascinating on several levels. It’s an unusual move for a gallerist and museum to meet up. But more significantly, it’s evidence of just how important LA’s art scene has become, that the city could lure first one of New York’s top museum directors (Michael Govan), and then one of its merchants. (I wrote a big feature on the LA art scene for the Art Basel Miami Beach magazine, though I have yet to see a copy of it so can’t post it here.) I think it’s a good move, though I find Deitch to be a bit of a puzzle. He champions Pop Artists, but only if they work in fine art media. I find some of his taste atrocious. He always brought the best music to Miami during Art Basel — but then made his parties super exclusive, so not many heard it. Still, I say, bring the noise.

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Girl Power Redux

I don’t like nostalgia. I always try to look forward. But I can’t help but be cheered by what I sense as snowballing interest in ’90s Feminism. Kathleen Hanna just donated her Riot Grrrl collection to NYU and has a blog. FSG is publishing Marisa Meltzer’s Girl Power: The ’90s Revolution in Music in February (she interviewed me for it). Marisa’s cowriter on the Sassy book, Kara Jesella, and Ada Calhoun have a cool new blog called ’90s Woman. And in Henry Jenkins’s class today on “Fans, Participatory Culture, and Web 2.0,” he talked about Third Wave Feminism. As someone whose life was very much changed by WAC, Riot Grrrl, SWIM, etc., this is one part of my past I’m happy to revisit. Expect more blogs as I read Marisa’s book, and keep studying with Henry.

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