Monday, March 28, 2005

An Activist and a Moblogger on Poplar

I recently got a cameraphone, and so I recently created a moblog. The idea is that I can document interesting things I see during the regular course of a day and immediately upload them online.

So today, I'm driving along Poplar Avenue in Memphis, and I spot my first “interesting thing.” Actually, what I first saw was a TV camera filming from one corner of an intersection to the other. My eyes followed the direction in which the lens was pointing to a woman dressed in military fatigues, holding a sign that said, “Join the U.S. Army. Get Raped.” Quite a provocative sign to be holding, wouldn't you say?

After I finished my short errand in the next block, I turned the car around and readied my cameraphone. Sadly, the woman was facing the other direction when I got to the red light, so I couldn't take a picture. I decided to pull into the next entrance on the right and just ask if I could take her picture.

She was very pleasant and basically explained that she was a one-woman political action protesting the silencing of women in the military who are raped. She explained that the uniform she was wearing was her own and that she had been raped in the military, then suffered many negative consequences for trying to report the rape. She had been fighting the fight with the support of her husband. She said she was a performer and that she wanted to get herself heard. I wonder what got her inspired to go out there today.

I took two pictures, then got into my car to try and send them to my moblog. They weren't there! The cameraphone is new, and I haven't quite gotten the hang of using it. I got back out of the car to ask to take another picture, just as the woman and a man who she said was her bodyguard (but maybe was her husband, too – I'm not sure) were walking away. She graciously let me try again. (I learned I hadn't hit “Save” after taking each picture. It's hard to see that screen when it's bright out!) I got two successful pictures. The man with her handed me a postcard and a CD:

a.g. Blue, NEW ALBUM APRIL 2005

N-cluding the smash club hitmaps”50/50” featuring NOID

Listen live @!

a.g. blue

Not really what I was expecting! I listened to the CD. It's good, really political, in the hip-hop/dance/spoken word area. I'm not sure if she's doing the mixes or just the vocals, but I'm not surprised she's coming out with an album in April. You have to check out her web site. It's got a great main page graphic, and within the site are several downloadable MP3s and WMA files. She seems a fascinating combination of soldier/activist/performance artist/whistleblower. You have to see it for yourself. I can't believe the woman I saw on Poplar is the woman on this site, but that's her!

It seems that every day is more interesting than the next.