courtesy photo

Wichita has a proud history of entrepreneurship. Companies founded here — such as Pizza Hut, Rent-A-Center, Beechcraft, Learjet, Cessna, and Koch Industries — have created thousands of jobs over the years. Yet, notwithstanding past accomplishments, analysts such as James Chung contend that contemporary business growth in Wichita is anemic.

Recent debate over removing Confederate statuary from public spaces illuminates the intersection of words and other forms of expression.

The civil rights activists who have succeeded in getting Confederate statues removed from public places argue that these works celebrate America’s racist past and romanticize the history of slavery.

Their defenders say they represent the reality of American history and to remove them is to deny that history.

I reviewed Bryan Stevenson’s well-known book Just Mercy on this station in March of 2015. I explained that Just Mercy is a gripping and painful narrative of challenging the judicial system in an Alabama that’s very deeply entrenched in court-sanctioned prejudice. What I didn’t focus on is Stevenson’s hope and the extensive lesson in civics he delivers.

Trevor Stewart is a frequent performer in Wichita. His latest project is a collection called In The Hearts of Others and features Andrew Feldman and Mark Thorstenberg. Stewart’s primary instrument is the Chapman Stick.

“A Chapman Stick is an instrument that comes from California, invented in the late ‘60s. You play it just by tapping the strings. You don’t have to strum or pick the strings. You just tap right on ‘em. It has two six-string guitars on one big fretboard. There’s no body like on an electric guitar.

In her political thriller Vox, author Christina Dalcher used her work in linguistics to inform the imagined society in which a political regime silenced women with word counters. And not just grown women, baby girls as young as three months were being fitted with these bracelet word counters on their small wrists.

Each female was allotted 100 words a day. The counters reset at midnight. And each infraction was met with negative reinforcement… an electrical charge.

I don’t know anything about the 1973 novel the new movie The House With A Clock In Its Walls is based on, but the movie hints at a story that’s much more melancholy and emotionally complex than what we actually get. It seems like it could have been a tale about dealing with grief and loss, set against the wonder and whimsy of magic and wizards and witches.

If an artist is influenced by other artists, and I believe we all are, I would say that my biggest influences over the last decade have been painters and sculptors who happen to be women. 

Marginalia: Hank Green

Sep 25, 2018
Ashe Walker

For the last 11 years, Hank Green and his brother, John, have been making videos back and forth to each other on a YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers, which has over 3 million subscribers. 

Fall has just begun, so this is a good time to talk about a certain song - a pop tune from a forgotten French movie that became one of the most-played jazz songs. The many recordings of the 1945 song “Autumn Leaves” show how obscure tunes can become jazz standards.

(Music: YVES MONTAND - Les Feuilles Mortes 2001: Inédits, rares & indispensables (Mercury, 4-CD boxset) (first release 1950)

The philosopher Timothy Morton has observed that poetic imagery, like light, is delivered in discrete, quantized packets, one after the other after the other. There are convenient coincidences along with this: our eyes see at a certain number of frames per second, our ears can only hear so much at any given moment. There are both limitations to our perception of reality, and to the communication of reality itself.