Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Linh Dinh

Over at counterpunch, I stumbled upon a familiar name, that of Philadelphia's own Linh Dinh.

I remember that in the early nineties, my early twenties, he was already recognized as a new and important voice in town. I believe he was understood to be a poet, then. One night at McGlinchey's, I'm pretty sure we met, and we talked a bit over famously inexpensive drafts. I didn't have any literary accomplishments, so I imagine that I would have been impressed with whatever he had to say.

McGlinchey's is the kind of place where the hipper Temple and University of the Arts professors mingle with everyone else although I began to indulge in sobriety and never had time to go there once I started teaching all around town. (I've never been a party type, but you could say the adjunct overloads kept me off the streets.) My understanding is that the bar might not be the extreme bargain it once was, or that even the bargains don't seem so these days. In fact, I'm having trouble picturing it at all with the smoking ban now firmly in place although the comments at yelp suggest smoking inside is alive and well at the "dive-y" bar and grill.

Anyway, Linh Dinh's current project includes photographs from Occupy Wall Street and, if I'm not mistaken, dozens of other occupations. And he is accepting donations, perhaps because he needs them: "Speaking of solidarity, I wouldn’t have been able to observe the protest if a dozen readers of my blog hadn’t sent me hundreds of dollars this past month alone. Part of this cash was used to fix my broken camera. With a poisoned media, untrained citizens must anoint themselves journalists."

Well, I suspect that most of the "poisoned media" are just trying to survive like the rest of us, and even many writers considered mainstream are freelance and hustling to make ends meet. But Linh Dinh's photographs are certainly not indicative of an "untrained" eye.

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