Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture

PRESS RELEASE for Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture
Wakdjunkaga Press
Seattle, Washington
Media and events contact:

A history of disruptive play,and a manual for tricking power into committing acts of love.

Disruptive Play connects knowledge from mythology, folklore, popular culture, art, politics, and play theory to make its case that to be playful means not taking power seriously. At critical mass, power collapses and leaves us swimming about in the waters of the amoral Trickster. New values emerge and could lead to some version of the dystopia that currently drenches popular culture. Or, if people can discern between the authentic contact and exhilaration of play, and branded, mediated, alienated pleasure, then we just might stumble and frolic our way to the Play Society.

356 pages, 5.83 x 8.27 (A5), paperback, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-7322948-4-4 (ebook 978-1-7322948-0-6).
Release date, September 10, 2018: available wherever books are sold.

Available for excerpt, book review
and/or author interview.

Praise for Shepherd Siegel’s Disruptive Play
The Trickster in Politics and Culture

“Sometimes play can disrupt how people see the world.”
—Jackson Fackler, 8 years old

“Shepherd Siegel is looking at play in a very serious way. This book may tell us more about how to break down limitations and open creativity than all the gobbledygook self-help tomes of the past decade.”
—Tom Long, The Detroit News

“From the anti-war art of dada to the wit, wisdom and shenanigans of Lisa and Bart Simpson, Dr. Siegel reminds us that the play of art is always a play against power. This book is a timely and irresistible story about what play is and why artistically, politically and culturally, we should play more.”
—Dr. Michael Vicente Perez, Assistant Professor of Anthropology,
The University of Memphis

“Somebody once said, “The beginnings of wisdom is a firm grasp of the obvious.” That’s what came to mind as I learned about Shepherd Siegel’s Disruptive Play, an in-depth look at the power of play. Or maybe this work should be viewed, not as an historical review, but more as a DIY on play as an antidote to domination. Check it out, you might just see the forest.”
—Daniel Barrett, Co-Creator and founder of Navigation 101,
a high school guidance and counseling program

“I was in a better mood after I finished reading about the possibilities of play. I remembered there was a way to approach life that was based around joy and pleasure, rather than fear and drudgery. And that’s a good thing!”
—Alex Marshall, author of How Cities Work, The Surprising Design of Market Economies and Beneath the Metropolis; columnist for Governing magazine

When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake.
attributed to Plato, and to Allen Ginsberg

…they celebrated the jagged moment of experience, which is intuitive rather than rational; it moves on as soon as reason catches up.
John Leland in hip: the history

Dr. Shepherd “Dogfriend” Siegel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the midst of that whole utopian Sixties thing. He was a professional rock and jazz musician who switched it out for his career as an educator (in music, career + technical, and special education). His first teaching assignment was with youth in lockup in the County Juvenile Detention Center (the only un-mellow job in bucolic Santa Cruz). Striving to make the greatest positive impact, he earned his doctorate from UC Berkeley while inventing innovative internship programs for troubled and troubling youth (with and without disabilities). He has over thirty publications in the education field. He and his book—Career Ladders: Transition from School to Adult Life—have received numerous awards, including one from the US Department of Labor. From 1996-2012 he led Career + Technical Education for Seattle Public Schools, and then worked with the STEM-education organization Project Lead the Way until 2015. The KAPPAN published his article about a meaningful high school diploma. Somewhere in there he played with the jazz trio Swingmatism and the power pop band Thin Ice. While more active as a writer, Dr. Siegel sustains a wide-ranging knowledge of music and can show you how to have fun with that. He has returned to his countercultural roots to write Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture” and to spread its message of playfulness and progressive change. Shepherd Siegel is gonna work pretty hard to make you laugh, gonna make you wonder. His favorite hobby is to be with groups of people large and small, suss out the energy, find the funny bone, and see if he can’t help get the group rhythm to swing.