Where My Raccoon Dogs At?

It's probably silly of me to point out this and other ethics issues in the mainstream hip-hop community, but I feel like someone has to point a finger back at the finger-pointers once in a while. Which brings me to today's post:

Jay-Z's RocaWear* is made with dog fur.

The Humane Society of the United States tested the "faux fur" and found that it is from raccoon dogs, which may have been skinned alive for their coats (as seen in this WMV).

I'm not against wearing fur or leather per se. But I do think this is more evidence that pop culture's beloved hip-hop moguls are not beyond exploiting third-world production in an effort to glamorize the first-world's ghetto-chic. People look up to you, Jay-Z... and what an example you set for them. Selling dog-fur coats to your people kinda takes the piss out of any otherwise sentimental and poignant lyrics you might have on Kingdom Come, eh Sean Corey Carter? (Or should we call you DogFur Hovito now)?

* WARNING: The Wikipedia entry for RocaWear seems heavily biased and laced with BS.



Robert Anton Wilson has gone off the grid for good.

Author of the longest book I ever read cover-to-cover, RAW was a unique individual who quite optimistically tied the worlds of philosophy, religion, folklore, paranoia, conspiracy and counter-culture together with remarkable wit. A self-described "model agnostic", RAW did a lot more of influence than I can begin to detail here... check his Wikipedia entry for more.

From his site:

January 11, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson Defies Medical Experts and leaves his body @4:50 AM on binary date 01/11.

All Hail Eris!

On behalf of his children and those who cared for him, deepest love and gratitude for the tremendous support and lovingness bestowed upon us.

(that's it from Bob's bedside at his fnord by the sea)

RAW Memorial February 07
date to be announced

I've gleaned a lot from the works of RAW, and while I'm sad to hear of his passing I'm also glad to know his influential mix of optimism and anger will live on for years and years to come. In fact, my interest in his favorite subjects is renewed with his passing. For those of you who don't know who RAW is, check this video.

Hail Eris, all hail Discordia.


The Elvis Taxon & Taxonomy's Comeback?

Paleontology meets rock and roll: The Elvis Taxon. [via Kottke]

Maybe this is too soon to answer, but is taxonomy making a comeback? The term originally applied only to living organisms, but there are folks who will argue what constitutes or closely mimicks a living organism's behavior (social networks, information, perhaps anything that can be categorized).

Last year, Tortoise named a boxed set after A Lazarus Taxon, now we have the Elvis Taxon. With the increasing attention paid to user experience and information architecture, especially in terms of interactive media, I think we're going to see more references to taxa (plural of taxon) in general.