On MLK day, there’s always subtle pressure ...
... to come up with some anecdote, some uniquely rare observation about Mr King to boost one’s own brand/credibility. I’ll just say, once again, I’m terribly sad he was assassinated, and that the world lost his voice forever. And quietly point you to a list of past and current civil rights activists, and urge you to take a listen.
AP/Bigstory: Pope’s climate-change stand deepens conservatives’ distrust.
“What they’re worried about is the solution. [snip] Climate change is the ultimate collective-action problem. It’s going to require local, state and national policy change, and it’s going to require international cooperation, which means the United Nations.”
Random Thought: Could any male actor have a successful career ...
... without picking up a weapon in any of their movie roles?
The Fully Intended: Photoshop your personality.
Mollie ponders Photoshop. I fear that auto-retouching will become a default, rather than a backlash against retouching. Even photojournalists have the habit of photographing really hideous places and making them look aesthetically gorgeous, often totally obviating the need for aid. I argue with myself about this ... what do we say when we beautifully render something tragic? I lean towards a more ‘real’ interpretation, when facing the challenge. Everyone loves a pretty Santa Fe photo, but Santa Fe is also grit and dirt, heat and prickly cactus, crumbling adobe, unstuccoed cinder block walls, dying cottonwoods ...
Dazed: Miami police use mugshots of black teens for target practice.
Yep, signs of a post-racial society. *NOT.*
Time: How Religion Can Move Us to Do Terrible Things.
“Them.” When we stop them-ing, we’ll have a civilization worthy of the name.
Here’s a thought. Post-Ferguson, post-NYC, what of ‘cop shows’?
Hollywood has to find another theme for cheap-to-film predictable evening entertainment. Zombies?
AskReddit: What do insanely poor people buy, that ordinary people know nothing about?
This should be read by every politician.
The Economist: Security - Return of the hired gun.
“The author fears that the world is entering an era of ‘neomedievalism’ in which the state loses its monopoly of legal force and instead other wealthy groups or individuals fund private military adventures.” Hah. Justified. If The Economist can bandy “neomedievalism” around, then I’m allowed to as well. Screwed-up times. Previously.
In These Times: Agent Carter’s ‘Feminism’ Is More About Money Than Gender Equality
Funny. Not the article, but In These Times. This article appeared in my feeds yesterday, and I was going to link it, but it was pulled and rewritten. More Disney-as-enemy yesterday, in my quick read. Women have been screaming for strong lead roles for a while now, and here ITT decides to try to cut Agent Carter off at the knees. Lord knows why. Take a chill pill, ITT, and stop loading the woes of entertainment industry corporate strategy on Peggy’s shoulders.
JunkCulture: Photographer Immortalizes Demonstrators with pic that Resembles a Delacroix.
Yet, the painting feels less staged. I’ve noticed that protestors of today are keenly aware they’re being chronicled; many striking poses.
Dissent: Islamism and the Left.
“The Christian Crusades have sometimes been described as the first example of Islamophobia in the history of the West. The crusaders were driven by an irrational fear of Islam. I suppose that’s right; they were also driven by an even more irrational fear of Judaism. They were fierce and frightening religious “extremists,” and that assertion is not anti-Christian.” Good.
Telegraph.UK: Bletchley - the women’s story.
RedFlag: Charlie Hebdo and the hypocrisy of pencils.
“Of course the pen has played its role as well. The pens that signed the endless Patriot Acts, anti-terror laws and other bills that entrenched police harassment and curtailed civil rights. The pens of the newspaper editorialists who whip up round after round of hysteria, entrenching anti-Muslim prejudice and making people foreigners in their own country. But the pens of newspaper editors were strong not by virtue of their wit or reason, but insofar as they were servants of the powerful and their guns.”
Well, you may not agree. But it does mention Algeria, and these events are inextricably linked with the history of France/Algeria. If someone starts calling out Muslim extremism in general as a result of these attacks, without referencing Algeria ... time for you to call BS. A whole mess of opinion out there right now, and 1% of 1% is worth the electricity you’re using to read it ...
Later: Note, some are making hay from Charlie Hebdo merch.
France 24 [Article from 2011]: Govt targets Marseille’s AK47-wielding gangsters.
I was wondering how easy it was to obtain AK-47s in France. Very easy, apparently.
Then there’s America.
The Register: Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments.
“The take-away from politicians on both sides of the pond today, once you set aside the posturing about freedom of expression: demands for greater surveillance of citizens’ movements online are back on the agenda in a big way.” Hmmm. Blogging via postcard?
Slate: AP “Piss Christ” - Image apparently self-censored after Charlie Hebdo-related complaints.
I have a terrible feeling, between The Interview, Charlie Hebdo and this, that a new wave of ‘shock and offense’ is going to hit the art world.
Widening out a bit: I was discussing the other day, “Is nothing sacred?” As Plato argues, are some acts impious because the Gods say they are, or are Gods saying those acts are impious because they are so by their very nature? Religious texts are pretty quiet on necrophilia, for instance. Plato’s argument may be missing the forest for a couple of trees. There seem to be taboos that religions have missed completely. Makes one wonder what ‘sacreds’ they’ve also missed. The smell of rain in the desert, after a long dry spell, comes to mind.
MSNBC: Warren - ‘The GOP is inventing a Social Security crisis’.
Amazing, the damage a handful of humans can do in such short order.
The Economist: Blasphemy - Dangerous words.
“The belief that casual, satirical or profane mention of the divine is a grievous sin belongs to prehistory. It has roots in all three Abrahamic religions. But to live in 2015 requires bringing ancient beliefs into consonance with modern values.”
Kottke.org: Healthcare - America’s Bitter Pill.
Hear, hear. My own options are dreadful, and the great coverage I had has gone stratospheric to meet ACA demands.
codelitt: How will we ever get back our casual web browsing experience?
“Sure, I and others with solid technology backgrounds can connect through the TOR network, encrypt every single email with PGP, keep our drives encrypted with Truecrypt, and use OTR protocols for our IMs - but what about the billions of casual web browsers? Do they no longer deserve their right to privacy because they didn’t have these skills?”
Ghost in the Machine: America’s Moral Collapse.
Nobody says it better. Any form of torture is unacceptable, no matter the rationalizations or ‘creative legal definitions’. Close Guantanamo. Prosecute those who came up with this concept. I accept nothing less. O has been a grave disappointment here. America leads by example, and what an example we’ve set. Preemptive war, torture ... the list goes on.
ArtDaily: Disgruntled Italian entrepreneur Marcello Di Finizio climbs St Peter’s Basilica - again.
TG’s Political Wire: Obama Should Prosecute the Torturers.
“The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.” This is arguably the most important article in the news today, and many can’t read it because of the paywall. The impact is therefore limited. Important news should be free; how we structure that, I don’t know. Perhaps front page access should be free, but viewing by section is all pay-for?
Telegraph.UK: Female codebreakers reunited at Bletchley Park.
What more can I do, than get a tear in my eye and clap for these ladies? We owe them almost as much as we owe Churchill.