Sunday, June 26, 2005

more chavez

even tho "the divine mister c" doesn't want any more chavez references, john passed along this article on ry cooder's new album, with an in-depth interview with the artist. what is striking is how resonant cooder's points are with today's political landscape:
'It was after the war,' explains Cooder. 'FDR was gone, the New Deal was crumbling and the Republicans set about dismantling all the social programmes. And the first thing they wanted to do was public housing. They didn't start with social security, you wouldn't do that, that's bad politics. But it was easy to say that the federal government shouldn't be building houses for poor people. It was asked in the LA Times: why are the taxpayers supposed to subsidise housing for poor Mexicans?'

the album's release also coincides with a landmark decision on eminent domain by the Supreme Court, with one of the worst rulings in its history, (despite the nytimes's somewhat bewildering defense of the decision.) the problem with the ruling, as the history of chavez ravine teaches, is that this type of property expropriation always seem to affect those who are disenfranchised and lack influence. no one is seizing property in brentwood to build a walmart.


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