A rainy day at the shop with Marlon and tacos.
A rainy day at the shop with Marlon and tacos.
About a half-hour ago I was sitting here in Beyond Repair with Steven and had a bit of a shock. Who stepped into the Midtown Global Market, looking around, confused, not sure where to go? None other than MPD Police Federation President, Bob Kroll. He soon walked off, looking for something. Intrigued, I left Steven in the shop and walked around the market looking for Bob. Was he searching for us? If not, was he hungry? Where would he eat?
It seems though, while I was gone, Bobby found his way to the shop. He came in, saw a stack of Sgt. Kroll Goes to the Office, took about four or five, and avoiding any eye contact or interaction with Steven of any kind, quickly walked out.
I’ve been extremely happy, and frankly somewhat surprised, at the overwhelmingly positive reception this action has elicited. Both from the public at large, as well as elected officials in MPLS city government. Furthermore, it seems the action has been effective enough to get back to Lt. Kroll, and drive him across town to what he refers to in the comic as our “shit-hole neighborhood!” But hey, art will compel you into worlds that, prior to exposure, one would never dare to venture. I congratulate Lt. Kroll for, once again, braving the wilds of South MPLS.
All this said, I feel it is important for me to make this public; after the release of Sgt. Kroll Goes to the Office many people have urged me to publicly state the fact that Kroll, MPD, and their allies could retaliate in some way. Maybe, maybe not. But I agree that it is important to state that this possibility is, in fact, logical to consider and on my mind.
As an example, after the production of the comic was made public, but not yet released, the car in the above photo parked directly outside our home one afternoon. Having constructed low-wattage radio stations in the past I was interested, but also confused, by the DIY antenna apparatus on the roof of the vehicle. Something was off with its construction and orientation. I took a photo and sent it to a friend who is far more knowledgeable in that area than I am. He stated that, while not definitive, his guess was that it was a “cell phone sniffer.” What’s that? Well, myself and the small group who organized the visit to Mayor Hodges house last November, on the night the police were cracking down at the 4th Precinct Shutdown, are well aware of what it is. Area journalists, through a FOIA request, were able to find out as well. It’s a device that can read your text messages and listen in to your phone calls. It’s a tactic that MPD used that night and what allowed them to meet us at the Mayor’s house in advance of our arrival. And who knows, maybe it’s what is on top of the van outside our home in this photo. Or maybe not.
All of this sounds terribly psychotic and paranoid. But paranoia often arises out of social landscapes that speak towards something larger than each singular, seemingly fantastical, worry or suspicion. A kernel of truth exists in each.
So, if I start getting pulled over a lot; if we suddenly have numerous coding violations on our home; if, god forbid, DHS and MPD knock down our door over alleged child abuse accusations (which happened not long ago to a friend here in town who is critical of the police and their tactics; if I happen to be walking home and have the shit beat out of me, well, we all know who’s hand is at play. (Hi, Bobby!)
And this goes for ALL the artists involved in its production, and everyone else helping with its distribution as well.
I was sad to miss Bob when he visited the shop. I genuinely would have liked to have talked to him about his actions and ours. I called the Police Union a short while after we missed one another, but he wasn’t there. So I left a message on his voicemail inviting him to call me back to talk about the work. Maybe even have a book signing at the shop?
So Bob, it’s apparent that you are, in fact, paying attention to all this. I invite you to talk about it, but please don’t hit me – or accuse me of anything, or fuck with my kids, or listen into my phone calls or read my emails – let’s just talk.
I’ll be at Beyond Repair noon tomorrow. See you here. I’ll buy you a coffee.
Join the folks who facilitate Beyond Repair, the 9th Ward publication experiment, for a day long festival of music, food, and more to benefit the refurbishment of a new piece of equipment for the shop: a mid-century record lathe able to produce vinyl records in real time. When up and running our lathe will, in just the same fashion that Beyond Repair publishes books, zines, and posters everyday, be able to lathe vinyl records. Moving around the ideas and desires, sounds and voices, of 9th Ward residents as well as compatriots further afield our lathe will assist in producing an ever expanding Anthology of 9th Ward Folkways! Noise! Mariachi! Cumbia! Dhaanto! Hip Hop! Voices and experiences that define our lives here in the ward together as neighbors.
Tiny Diner has generously donated the proceeds of food and drink to the fundraiser, and has opened their space for day long festivities. Among more to come, Eastlake Brewery has generously dontated beer for the occasion!
Current Beyond Repair resident Derek Maxwell will unveil and make use of his home-made sound system during Surround Sound, inspired by the early dub and hip-hop systems that brought neighbors far and wide together in celebration and resistance from Kingston to the South Bronx.
Long-time collaborator and neighbor Steven Matheson has organized a stellar and growing ensemble of performers, which so far include:
More news, ideas, and performers to come!
“Thanks for participating in “What’s Your Beauty and Will You Share it with the World”! I’m hoping you’ll write a few sentences about your object and its beauty. Even better if you include something about the neighborhood, e.g. if you have a special spot of beauty you look forward to walking by, how you’ve seen the neighborhood change, story or rumor…. I ran the Shoebox Gallery on the corner of Chicago and Lake for eleven years and am planning a book about it. Your input would be a great help towards a portrait of the neighborhood!
Session #3 of , Sean Smuda’s 9th Ward portrait project again will set up shop within Beyond Repair this Saturday, as it will each Saturday for the time being. Join us accompanied by an object you find beautiful. Sean, in time, will be compiling his portraits, and his questions about the changing tenor of Lake St. over the last decade, into a book to be published through Beyond Repair.
We all need a little help to pull ourselves together right? There’s no difference when it comes to our beloved paperback books that have split their spines, seemingly never to be read again. And yet… we can’t stand the idea of parting with them.
Well, come on down to the shop tonight so we can lend you a hand. Bring whatever damaged books you have and we’ll glue them back together for you.
Pens and markers on hand to draw your own covers. It’s family night. Bring your kids. Imagine what your copy of Crime and Punishment will look like when you have your 6 year old draw the cover. Imagine how they’ll spell Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Re-Bind = $4 per book
$2 “coupon” off your beer at Eastlake with every book purchase.
In celebration of Chris Martin (Poet / Co-Editor of Society) and his new book of poems, The Falling Down Dance (Coffeehouse Press) we invite you to join the authors below for a pint just down the way from the shop at Eastlake Craft Brewing, for a reading and conversation about verse and fatherhood. Readers will include:
We’ve produced a chapbook for the occasion, entitled of course, Rad Dads. It’s cheap. Like $5.