symploke ¯ M. T. Kato. From Kung Fu to Hip Hop: Globalization, Revolution and Popular Culture. New York: SUNY P, 2007. 265 pp. The title of M. T. Kato's critical text From Kung Fu to Hip Hop is not a self-diagnosis of its own sweeping account of popular culture in the post-contemporary world. Rather, this text interweaves a series of conceptual strands between Kung Fu and Hip Hop aesthetics, reading, seeing, and hearing them as simultaneously radical and popular contestations to the hegemonic forces of global capital. This mode of critique does, of course, seem contradictory. How can something that is "popular," i.e., commercially congruous with a certain consensus, be "radical" or "revolutionary," i.e., commercially viable yet incongruous with the logic of global capital? This possibility is Kato's foundation for the text, beautifully allegorized in the introduction, telling the story behind a now famous quotation from the anarchist and activist Emma Goldman, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution," which allows Kato to draw conceptual intersections between the aesthetics of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do or the music of Lauren Hill and the Zapatista movement, the "Battle of Seattle," or struggles against Japanese
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jul 30, 2009
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