Monday, November 30, 2015
Greenwash: They Profit, We Drown
Proclaiming "a rebellion against the visual assault of media giants (with) a stranglehold over messages and meaning in our public spaces," dozens of artists have reclaimed the streets of Paris during the climate summit with 600 potent ad takeovers aimed at calling out the hypocrisy of corporate sponsors who are, in fact, part of the problem. Their furious message: Climate change "is not somewhere else" and "This country was not built by men in suits."
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Friday, November 27, 2015
Rev. Billy: Blessed Are You Who Rise From Your Chairs and Face the World
In this fraught holiday season, Rev. Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping return to New York to preach against our shoot-and-buy, state-sanctioned retail religion and those who've become "not witnesses to the world (but) consumers of it." Arguing "Norman Rockwell is dead at the easel," he urges us to turn our inward-facing chairs away from piled-high meals and gifts, recognize the storm brewing - Trump, ISIS, Exxon, Chicago, 60 million immigrants seeking shelter - and take action.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Defiant Belgian Cats to Supposed Terror Threat : We Got This
Bravo Belgium. After terrorism threats prompted a security lockdown and call for social media silence on police actions, gleeful Belgians chose to get on with their lives not with fear but....cats. Admittedly, even for the dog-lovers among us, hilarious cats. Under the hashtag #BrussellsLockdown, scores posted memes of chill cats as Darth Vader and Superman, wielding swords and waffles and Hovercats. "What did you do in the war, Daddy? I posted cat pictures on Twitter, son."
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Killer Mike Feels the Bern
Wow. Gotta hear the fiery introduction at an Atlanta rally by rapper/activist Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, who declared that, "In my heart of hearts, I truly believe Senator Bernie Sanders is the right man to lead this country." Citing the legacy of "the revolutionary Martin King," Mike went on talk voting rights, drug laws, health care, education and all the reasons he "doesn't want to see us elect our own Margaret Thatcher." Talk about truth to power.
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Sunday, November 22, 2015
Sleeping Outside Is Not Voluntary Conduct: The Homeless Fight Back
Fighting back against clueless city officials who believe homelessness should be even more difficult so it won't seem so enticing to so many, several homeless men are suing Manteca, CA. for passing ordinances last year banning encampments, sleeping outside or urination in public. Arguing poor doesn't equal criminal, one homeless man explains what shouldn't need explaining: “Sometimes things happen and people fall off their feet (but) I shouldn’t be arrested and dragged off."
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Friday, November 20, 2015
I Will Not Give You the Gift of My Hatred: On Guns Vs. Flowers
Tough week. The devastation was swiftly followed by a flood of racist venom, victim-blaming and sheer stupidity as deeply unsettling as the violence that sparked it. Still, amidst the bile - Muslims as rabid dogs, refugees as murderous sand n*ggers, camps and databases and nice yellow badges - came moments of uncommon grace: Muslims declaring "Not in our name," Parisians refusing to live in fear, a husband grieving his exceptional wife, a father teaching his frightened son. Humanity, onward.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
The Story of When the Night Comes: Where Syrian Children Sleep
As a rabid right and fear-mongering corporate media foment hysteria over ravaged refugees from a war we helped create, Swedish photographer Magnus Wennman documents the grim reality faced each night by thousands of Syrian children camped - on asphalt, in forests, beset by nightmares - across Europe. Then see what they're fleeing in video of air strikes in Aleppo taken by the head of Shahba Press; he was killed "trying to tell the story of his country to the world."
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015
If We Get Out There and Really Lead To Create Enthusiasm and Arabs and Take Back the Land Also Special Ops: Ben Carson Is A Moron
Amidst the laugh-or-cry news these days - see the cognitive dissonance of conservatives punishing refugees for the violence they're fleeing - we have a "presidential candidate" who, asked what he "plans" to "do" about ISIS, stammers lunatic word salad on a deranged par with grain-storing Pyramids and slavery-like health care. Now his "advisers" are on record saying “nobody has been able (to) have him get one iota of intelligent information (so) we can make him smart.” Jesus on a dinosaur.
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Monday, November 16, 2015
Born to Foreign Lands Preside: Seeking Freedom In A Hard New World
With the dismal news that states and likely countries will seek to block Syrian refugees - thus responding to the Paris attacks with the same blind fear, hatred and unreason that fueled them - comes a telling look at an earlier time when we did the right thing. The interactive graphic novel "The Boat" captures the harrowing journey of the Vietnamese across likewise hazardous seas. The grievous lesson: "Refugees haven't changed. What has changed is the heart of the free world."
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Saturday, November 14, 2015
Imagine All the People
Paris left many of us speechless, often hopeless. Amidst the awful "stillness of the news," some revisit what we sorrowfully know doesn't work - airplanes, soldiers, venting, scapegoating, hapless whack-a-mole wars of revenge - and what might - ceasing to arm and condone the oligarchs who fund the mayhem. And still and all, there were small, often musical notes of grace: a crowd singing, a guy biking his piano there to play 'Imagine.' So. Maybe there's hope. May there be hope.
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