LIVE! Livestreaming from today’s Anti-Fracking Rally at St John the Divine in NYC!

1pm-3pm Eastern Time, TODAY

Cross your fingers it all works with the Cathedral’s connectivity (theirs is more divine than electronic, shall we say?) and we get to broadcast live. Otherwise, it will be recorded and broadcast after.

Here’s hoping!


Anti-Fracking Rally today 1pm NYC

This anti-fracking rally is happening today!

Have you seen St. John the Divine? It’s the largest cathedral in the world, breathtaking, beautiful.

1-3pm at St John the Divine, 110th St & Amsterdam, NYC!

Hop on the 1 train, 110th st stop

(or you can take the B/C trains to 110th & Central Park West, and walk a few blocks west)

I hope to see you there!


Daisey chain of thought

 I read the New York Times review of Mike Daisey‘s show at The Public Theater that basically gave it a “meh.” But my friend Eric Jordan told me “GO SEE THIS SHOW Sara. You MUST go see this show. YOU, Sara Karl, MUST GO SEE THIS SHOW, period.”

So I did.  And after having seen The Agony & The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, I will say this to you; “GO SEE THIS SHOW. You MUST go see this show. YOU must go see this show, period.”

Daisey is an engaging, extemporaneous storyteller from the Spalding Gray school, and big and and funny in a larger-than-life Chris Farley kind of way. He sits at a table like the former, and does rubber-face gymnastics, using his booming voice to drive home the humor like the latter. With these he rides robustly into a double helix tale with one thread describing his geekdom (starting with the fortuitous entry of the brand-new Macintosh SE into his home as a teenager) twisting around the thread of Steve Jobs’ journey from college dropout to Apple founder and changer of the world, until the two tales arrive at the same place, in China, where Daisey goes to see the place where his beloved gadgets are made.

His findings are even more horrifying than you imagine they will be, with the now-infamous monstrous factories, serial suicides, mangled limbs, inhuman working conditions.  He pretends to be an American businessman so he can be taken inside and shown things the Chinese government won’t allow the press to see.

Even though we know, on some level, about these atrocities; the twelve-year old girls making our iPhones, Androids, iPads by hand, the endless assembly lines and long hours (while Daisey was there, a man dropped dead on the factory floor after working a 34-hour shift), his telling, especially when he drops the funny-fat-man faces and gives it to us straight, is chilling.  He meets with workers who can’t wait to tell him their stories, and this personal transmission of their experience, from them to him to us, is uncomfortably close. We can’t ignore these truths now, any more than he can.

Knowing the obsessive attention to detail that Steve Jobs is famous for, Daisey concludes that there is no way Jobs didn’t know about these factories. Being an industry leader, he believes Jobs could have had another kind of game-changing impact on the world — to stand up for humane working conditions of the people manufacturing his products. But he didn’t. And now it’s too late for Steve Jobs to make that kind of impact.

But we can.

Mike Daisey shows us that with all the talk currently in fashion about having handmade products, that never in the history of the world has there been more products made by hand, than right now. Each time you pick up your cel phone, laptop, iPod, or any electronic device, remember it was handmade, by the tiny hands of a twelve-year old girl.

Maybe you don’t need to be first in line to buy the newest version.


What to do? At the end of the show, we are handed a paper listing ideas of what you can do, including writing to Apple**, think differently about upgrading, educating yourself and perhaps most importantly, tell others.

**from Mike Daisey’s post-show handout:

“Talking about it, thinking about it when making purchasing decisions, and understanding it is not just symbolic. In a world of silence, speaking itself is action. It can be the first seeds of actual change. Do not be afraid to plant them.

Spread the virus.

Apple’s new CEO is Tim Cook, and his email address is He receives email sent here, and he and others at Apple sometimes respond. Don’t abuse this email address. Be firm, polite, resolute and clear-headed. Cook made his name, at Apple by establishing Apple’s supply chain in Southern China as it exists today…You can expect him to tell you about Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report, a document written without independent verification or oversight and whose accuracy has been contested by a number of human rights organizations. Ask Cook to take the lead–Apple could be the first electronics manufacturer to allow independent, outside verification of working conditions in factories.” — Mike Daisey

Occupy Oakland: Kittens vs. Teargas

this is reposted from Washington’s CityPaper, a good view of the difference between what’s going on in the street and what has been much of the mainstream media’s reporting of it, although I was surprised and happy to see that The New York Times has some great coverage of the Occupy Oakland’s clash with police on Tuesday night as well as the arrests at Occupy Atlanta, and they do the commendably thorough job we expect from the Times; thank you NYT, for doing your job!

Oakland Police Love Kittens, Teargas

Posted by Shani Hilton on Oct. 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

Last night I was following along with the #occupyoakland tweets from some folks who were at the protest in Northern California. One attendee—a journo-cartoonist (yes, that is a thing, yes, it is awesome) I’ve edited in the past named Susie Cagle—even tweeted as she was being teargassed and later posted a short video:

Funny enough, this morning the Post’s print coverage of the events last night amounted to an AP picture of your friendly local Oakland police officer petting a kitten and a headline which read: “Protesters Wearing Out Their Welcome Nationwide.”

Note: The digital edition coverage is better.

Photo by Shani Hilton

Beautiful video of Alaskan Way viaduct demolition

Looks like science fiction…

3ric Johanson of Hackerbot Labs shot this beautiful video. He says it “shows the upper deck of the viaduct being demolished by massive jackhammers, while a brave construction worker sprays water to keep the dust down.”

Bye-bye Alaskan Way viaduct! It was a dinosaur, but one of the best routes through downtown Seattle, and definitely the most picturesque.

Sex, Power and Truth: Anita Hill 20 years later

Supreme Court Justice sans Coke-can
Looking happier now


I remember this event vividly and I know exactly what I was doing at the time. Watching the televised hearing in my apartment, I had to tear myself away to run to the laundry room in my building to put my clothes in the dryer – I ran because I didn’t want to miss a thing. But it didn’t matter because I could hear Anita Hill’s voice echoing all across the courtyard because every tv in the building was tuned to the Clarence Thomas hearing.

I remember thinking about my boss’ behavior at the job I’d recently left. I was the assistant to the Director of Film Acquisitions at Disney – a wholesome company! I was right out of college and couldn’t imagine a married man would flirt with his secretary – not in this day and age; it was the 90s, for godssakes!  It might seem like my boss was flirting with me when he hugged me tightly and at length, or asked me probing questions about my sex life. But he was my boss! Of course he wasn’t coming on to me, that would be so obviously inappropriate! (Yes, I really was that naive!)

Sexual harassment was rampant, overt and unchecked — and we didn’t even have a name for it. Anita Hill introduced this phrase to us. And even though it looked like an absolutely awful, humiliating experience for her, and it spawned a backlash of many in-office jokes about sexual  harassment and how touchy women were, it was truly groundbreaking. Her courage and integrity were apparent throughout that broadcast, and her choice to stand up and speak her truth affected us all, shedding light in the dark corners of an insidious kind of social oppression.  I use that word intentionally; I have interviewed psychiatrists and therapists about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and was shocked to learn that a large number of people currently being treated are women who are experiencing PTSD from sexual harassment in the workplace. Their words, not mine.

Thank you Anita!

reprinted from an article in Ms. magazine by Jennifer Williams

Photo courtesy of Jenny Warburg

Almost everyone has an Anita Hill story. Some of us remember exactly where we were when that theater of sex, race and gender called a “hearing” was broadcast in primetime. Others recall water-cooler and sidewalk conversations and debates about guilt and innocence, about sexual harassment as a “white lady’s problem,” about the effect of the hearings on the black community. For a number of women, Anita Hill’s testimony resonated with our own experiences–inappropriate comments and sexual innuendo, gropes in elevators and sidelong glances across conference tables, often coming from men in positions to undermine our economic livelihood. Hill’s testimony freed us from our silence.

If you weren’t around then, Anita Hill was called to testify in 1991 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. The nationally televised hearings became a media spectacle of sexual and racial shaming. At the same time, those spectacular scenes brought workplace sexual harassment into the homes and imaginations of Americans in an unprecedented way. Twenty years later, the hearings are still engraved in our public memory, and several thousand women and men packed a Hunter College auditorium last week to hear Hill once again bear witness. The conference sought to understand the meaning of what happened in 1991, to determine what (if anything) we have learned since then and to work toward a future free of sexual violence.

Cultural memory is political work. And it is a kind of work that is most often done by women. Paula Gunn Allen’s statement about the work of memory in indigenous culture, a statement that Gloria Steinem referenced when she took the stage, speaks to the historical significance of unpacking the meaning of the Hill-Thomas hearings in our contemporary moment:

The root of oppression is the loss of memory.

Yale Law professor Judith Resnick, paraphrasing Toni Morrison, told the audience that, “Focus must be on the history ignored, played down, or unknown.” Other speakers, including Lani GuinierCharles OgletreeKimberlé Crenshaw (who was part of Hill’s legal team in 1991), Emily MayAi-jen PooJamia WilsonMelissa Harris-Perryand Catherine MacKinnon, echoed this sentiment.

Throughout the conference, activists and scholars “extended one another’s memory,” as Steinem put it. Speakers foregrounded the pivotal roles black women played in the movement to end sexual harassment. Crenshaw said it was the “erasure of black women’s political agency across time” that led to the bifurcation of black women’s involvement in antiracist activism and their mobilization against sexual harassment. Crenshaw credited works likeDanielle L. McGuire’s The Dark End of the Street with extending our memory of the civil rights movement by reminding us that Rosa Parks’s “first act of courage was not sitting on that bus” but rather “refusing to accept the likely acquittal of a gang of white men who raped a black woman with impunity.”

The extension of memory also enabled panelists to connect Hill’s act of speaking out to contemporary struggles that immigrant women and domestic workers have with workplace harassment and other forms of sexual violence. Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance revealed that the two-and-a-half million women who are domestic workers are excluded from most labor protections, including sexual harassment in the workplace. New York State is an exception because domestic workers organized for six years to pass the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights that was signed into law last year.

Further, the memory of Anita Hill’s testimony has inspired a new generation of feminists to speak out against sex discrimination. Jamia Wilson of Women’s Media Center remembered hearing about Anita Hill as a “tween.” The case helped her come to the realization that, “I am not Anita Hill, but I could be, and that scares the crap out of me.” Similarly Emily May, executor director of Hollaback!, drew inspiration from the workplace harassment movement to co-found what has become an international movement against street harassment. “What’s the difference between harassment that happens on the street and that happens in the workplace, other than the location?” May asked rhetorically.

Anita Hill’s entrance to the stage was met with a standing ovation. Her talkback with Columbia law professor Patricia J. Williams introduced the audience to a woman who is more than a symbol of a movement and icon of a moment. Hill told the audience that while her testimony of 20 years ago is still “very much a part of who [she] is,” she’s also a teacher and a writer. Her current book, Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home, brings together family history and personal history, and uses the lenses of gender and race to connect issues of equality such as sexual harassment and the housing crisis. Hill said:

What I try to do in this book is give voice to the people who have not been heard from during this crisis. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do with the issue of sexual harassment for the past 20 years. To help people find their voices. To talk about the issues that keep them from living lives fully and as equals.

Making these connections between the housing crisis, sex discrimination and Occupy Wall Street helps us to “reimagine equality,” said Hill. “We must imagine for a new generation what equality’s going to be like.” She also suggested that, although we have made significant gains in challenging sexual harassment, “we also should imagine a workplace where it no longer exists.”

Our struggles for equality in the 21st century are shaped by courageous acts like Hill’s, and they encourage us to envision a better world for the next generation. She told the audience she could not be more proud of that.

OUT with Duckie Brown

Okay, Steven Cox and Daniel Silver may be amazing designers, but their real talent is being the cutest couple EVER. Seriously. They should have their own show. We shot this interview backstage after their Duckie Brown show at Fall Fashion Week NYC. I’m voting for a Duckie Brown reality show – for real!

OUT magazine’s photo and article below (click on the pic):


We caught-up with Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, the playfully quarrelsome team behind Duckie Brown explain the inspirations behind their spring 2012 show. Check out the madcap duo in action below.

OUT in bed with Alejandro Ingelmo

Alejandro Ingelmo is a Cuban-American shoe designer, and did I mention he’s supercute? Very charming too, and great taste in shoes.  During Fall Fashion Week in NYC he climbed in bed at Manhattan’s Jumeirah Essex House with OUT Magazine editors Grant Woolhead and Brent Coover to talk about this year’s lineup and I got it all on video….

Read the OUT magazine coverage here (click on picture):

Shoe designer Alejandro Ingelmo