Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome to the Terrordome- Dave Zirin & Chuck D

Welcome to the Terrordome! It's a title that invokes images of rebellion, intellectual wordplay and raw lyrical energy. In today's criticism of Hip Hop, many forget that the culture has many times previously been embroiled in the turbulent atmosphere of race and politics that is America. But this was controversy of a different kind, that pitted an emcee named Chuck D and a group called Public Enemy against a "nation of millions," to be exact. This month Chuck D has teamed up to help promote a book by political sportswriter Dave Zirin named in his honor--Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports. Author of What's My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States, and owner of the site Edge of Sports, Zirin describes his new work as "a look at how corporate interests have taken something beautiful -- sports -- and turned it into the 'athletic industrial complex' -- a sprawling, overly influential industry that has impacted all of our lives." And thanks to the power of YouTube, we can see excerpts of this duo's appearance, speaking on the state of sports, American politics, race, Hip Hop and more.

The title is a reference to the Louisiana Superdome, the homeless shelter of last resort in New Orleans: which was perhaps the most gruesome collision of the sports world and the real world that I have ever seen. It's also a song by Public Enemy (Chuck D writes the intro) a hip hop group that has proven to be prophetic in its view that popular culture was careening out of control. The book is not just about the "pain and politics" of sports, but the promise.

---Dave Zirin, ZNet Interview

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