1065 posts tagged with America.
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The Forgotten Politics Behind Contra's Name by Matt Morey [Kill Screen]
Do a quick Google search of “contra.” Browsing the first few pages, you should see a saturation of links about the videogame—the now-primary version of the word—sprinkled with other definitions. Next in the deck is contra as preposition: “against, contrary, or opposed to,” suitingly enough. Then, a “contemporary New York cuisine” restaurant; contra-dancing, a folksy flirty form adaptable to many musical styles; the second album by Vampire Weekend; and eventually, peeking through before being closed out again, you’ll stumble upon the elephant in the room.
posted by Fizz on Mar 7, 2016 - 69 comments

My images investigate America.

"Coming from a background in Political Science, I find the rapid changes in social structure unique to this country an abundant source for creating pictures that stand as visually and historically interesting." [more inside]
posted by entropone on Feb 25, 2016 - 4 comments

"Single Women Are Our Most Potent Political Force"

Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
posted by zarq on Feb 22, 2016 - 53 comments

It must be nice to have Washington's hairdresser at your side

National Geographic's Robert Krulwich discusses George Washington’s Oh-So-Mysterious Hair (which was red, and not a wig!). Includes a set of delightfully-illustrated instructions for replicating Washington's signature look, just in case you want to look like a dollar bill.
posted by schmod on Feb 14, 2016 - 30 comments

Snack Check

Last year Regal Cinema started checking bags and backpacks in their theaters. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Feb 12, 2016 - 195 comments

[E]verything I have done will be held against me and spun by my accuser

Zoë Quinn explains “why [she] just dropped the harassment charges [against] the man who started GamerGate.” (via Ellen Pao’s Twitter.)
posted by Going To Maine on Feb 10, 2016 - 67 comments

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican?

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican? You are presented with a bill from 2005-2014, and have to decide if that bill was sponsored by a Democrat or a Republican. Some are obvious, some are tricky, and some are really surprising! [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Jan 25, 2016 - 19 comments

Meet Ted Cruz’s Secretive $11 Million Donor

Critics warned that Citizens United would bring about a new era of corporate influence in politics, with companies and businesspeople buying elections to promote their financial interests. So far, that hasn’t happened much… Instead, a small group of billionaires has flooded races with ideologically tinged contributions. Zachary Mider profiles the enigmatic Bob Mercer, the single biggest donor of the current campaign, for Bloomberg: “What Kind of Man Spends Millions to Elect Ted Cruz?” [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jan 24, 2016 - 62 comments

The Death of the Midwestern Church

Rural neighborhood churches, once the heart of many Iowan communities, are disappearing along with local schools. The result is a tear in the social fabric of life in the Midwest. “There is no glue holding these communities together ... and it’s making us forget how to neighbor. ... If someone is working all the time and has less disposable income, where can they go for help? It used to be church. Now?” ... “you can’t survive unless you become a neighbor and then let other people neighbor you in turn.”
posted by jillithd on Jan 20, 2016 - 45 comments

The Likely Persistence of a White Majority

In The American Prospect, Sociologist Richard Alba discusses two reasons why the Census-projected relative demographic decline of White Americans may prove illusory.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Jan 19, 2016 - 52 comments

“A tear in this fabric is all it takes for a story to begin.”

Why the British Tell Better Children’s Stories by Colleen Gillard [The Atlantic] Their history informs fantastical myths and legends, while American tales tend to focus on moral realism.
If Harry Potter and Huckleberry Finn were each to represent British versus American children’s literature, a curious dynamic would emerge: In a literary duel for the hearts and minds of children, one is a wizard-in-training at a boarding school in the Scottish Highlands, while the other is a barefoot boy drifting down the Mississippi, beset by con artists, slave hunters, and thieves. One defeats evil with a wand, the other takes to a raft to right a social wrong. Both orphans took over the world of English-language children’s literature, but their stories unfold in noticeably different ways.
posted by Fizz on Jan 10, 2016 - 89 comments

The Forgotten Plague.

By the dawn of the 19th century, the deadliest killer in human history, tuberculosis, had killed one in seven of all the people who had ever lived. The disease struck America with a vengeance, ravaging communities and touching the lives of almost every family. The battle against the deadly bacteria had a profound and lasting impact on the country. It shaped medical and scientific pursuits, social habits, economic development, western expansion, and government policy. Yet both the disease and its impact are poorly understood: in the words of one writer, tuberculosis is our "forgotten plague." [54:11]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 1, 2016 - 28 comments

We settled in Astoria and it was here that I met Christopher Walken

Lidia Celebrates America: Home for the Holidays "This special features Lidia and six celebrity guests—Christopher Walken, Ann Curry, Padma Lakshmi, Rita Moreno, Marcus Samuelson and Carlo Ponti, Jr. as they share their immigrant experiences and holiday traditions."
posted by kliuless on Dec 24, 2015 - 1 comment

"I need my community to understand your message directly impacts them"

Killer Mike interviews Senator Bernie Sanders at The SWAG Shop for about an hour, in six parts:
  1. Economic Freedom
  2. Social Justice
  3. Rigged
  4. Free Health Care: It Ain’t A Big Deal
  5. This Country Was Started AS An Act Of Political Protest
  6. Democrats Win When People Vote

posted by Going To Maine on Dec 15, 2015 - 112 comments

“America represents wilderness and freedom, and also a big house,”

Living a Frontier Dream on the Outskirts of China’s Capital by Andrew Jacobs [New York Times]
Welcome to “Hometown America,” as Jackson Hole is called in Chinese, a mammoth real-estate venture that is an exacting pastiche of an American frontier town, albeit one with a wine-tasting pavilion, a spa and security guards dressed as park rangers, who salute every passing car. Modest entry-level homes sell for $625,000. Larger abodes — described by Jackson Hole’s developers as castles — have an attached vineyard and fetch nearly $8 million. The developer, Ju Yi International, says that more than 90 percent of the 1,500 homes have already been sold. Occupying more than a square mile of arid land in northeast Hebei Province, Jackson Hole has plenty of room to expand.
posted by Fizz on Dec 11, 2015 - 25 comments

the tenuous blue wall

"There’s no question that recent demographic trends have aided Democrats enormously. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56 percent of all white voters and won election in a 44-state landslide. In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried 59 percent of all white voters yet lost decisively. What happened? African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and other non-whites — all overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning groups — rose from 12 percent of voters in 1980 to 28 percent in 2012.

It’s true that if every demographic group were to carry its 2012 levels of turnout and party support into 2016, Democrats’ lead in the national popular vote would expand from 3.9 percentage points to 5.1 points based on population trends alone. But, as FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver and others have argued, Democrats’ advantage in the Electoral College is much more tenuous than it’s often portrayed
." Run your own simulation with 538's Swing Tracker.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 4, 2015 - 34 comments

The Hatemonger

Donald Trump isn't funny anymore. Currently leading the polls in part due to a reaction to the Paris attacks that saw him inciting hatred against Muslim Americans with defamatory lies, Trump has eased off calls for a database of Muslims in favor of a new target, Black Americans, retweeting fake crime statistics provided by neo-nazis and supporting the beating of black protestors at his rallies. Let’s be clear, millions of Americans love Trump and are perfectly fine with him advancing racist lies. writes activist Shaun King, It’s ugly, but this, ladies and gentlemen, is America. 2015.
posted by Artw on Nov 23, 2015 - 789 comments

What happens when America's food banks embrace free-market economics?

Feeding America is a network of food banks that feeds more than 46 million people. In 2005, four professors at the University of Chicago helped replace their centralized distribution system with an auction-based one, allocating "shares" to each bank to bid on donated food. The Week reports on a more detailed paper describing the transition to the new system and its overall success. [via] [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Nov 4, 2015 - 21 comments

“I tell my son: be safe, don’t be just sleeping around with girls.”

26-year-old radio producer Ana Adlerstein was walking in Oakland when she was catcalled by 51-year-old Jerome. She pulled a microphone and her, Jerome, and Jerome’s son’s mother had a short conversation.
After some wrangling, Ana got Jerome into the studio and the conversation continued. Love + Radio presents: “An Old Lion, or a Lover’s Lute”
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 26, 2015 - 17 comments

What America’s immigrants looked like when they arrived on Ellis Island.

What America’s immigrants looked like when they arrived on Ellis Island.
posted by chunking express on Oct 26, 2015 - 35 comments

“She was brave enough to talk with me on tape, & I respect her for that”

Welcome to Home of the Brave. I’m [Peabody-winning journalist and sometime This American Life and NPR correspondent] Scott Carrier. A couple weeks ago I was watching Donald Trump on television wondering how and why anyone would want him to be President of the United States. He’s a rude, arrogant condescending, chauvanistic egomaniac. What if he were president and got angry and had a fit? But then I realized I don’t actually know any Trump supporters, so I decided I should drive around Nevada and find some. (He also drives around a little bit of California.)
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 23, 2015 - 76 comments

Egregious case of market failure

The Federal Communications Commission is putting caps on the rates that inmates pay for phone calls, after a 14-year campaign by advocates for prisoners and their families. The order caps per-minute fees at 11¢ in state or federal prisons, and up to 22¢ a minute in local jails, depending on the size of the facility, while also capping the various fees that have been common on inmate calls to this point. [more inside]
posted by almostmanda on Oct 23, 2015 - 51 comments

“We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans.”

The Us and Them Podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting is dedicated to exploring America’s cultural divides. It was partly driven by host Trey Kay’s friendship with Alice Moore (episode one), a major player in the 1974 West Virginia Textbook War that tore up the state in Trey's high-school years. (Episode two, which won a Peabody when originally aired on Studio 360.)
Alice made a reappearance in the podcast during the recent prolonged defeat of the Confederate Flag (episode nine). She also got a brief mention in episode ten, in which American foreign correspondents of color Roopa Gogineni and Mike Onyiego visited Louisiana to report on the flag war.
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 17, 2015 - 9 comments

Iran is opening up to foreign trade, but not to flagship US brands

The message he wants the developing world, especially the Islamic world, to receive from Iran is simple: you can be a safe, advanced and prosperous state without depending on America.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 13, 2015 - 14 comments

You can't spell America without Gay Cabal

Author and historian Bob Arnebeck writes about early American history and its Founding Fathers' "relationships with men beyond conventional propriety." Featured characters include war hero and Washington D.C planner Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the first inspector general of the US Army Baron Von Steuben , and Alexander Hamilton. Bonus: Revolutinary America's tolerance for homosexuality by Victoria A. Brownworth.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 7, 2015 - 25 comments

“I’d rather that everyone… could just stay obscure”

[T]here are immediate practical benefits to trolling. The way we’ve designed the Internet has made the old cliché “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” actually come true. It’s now possible to monetize any kind of attention, good or bad—and if your gift happens to be generating the bad kind of attention, then it’s well within reach to make trolling into a full-time career.
Arthur Chu writes about “The Big Business of Internet Bigotry” for The Daily Beast.
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 2, 2015 - 81 comments

Why Having Friends At Work Is So Important

Once, work was a major source of friendships. We took our families to company picnics and invited our colleagues over for dinner. Now, work is a more transactional place. We go to the office to be efficient, not to form bonds. We have plenty of productive conversations but fewer meaningful relationships.
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 23, 2015 - 123 comments

The Forgotten Battalion

In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another. The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment (2/7) was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008. During eight months of combat, the unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and suffered more casualties than any other Marine battalion that year. When its members returned, most left the military. Seven years later, at least 13 of the 1200 members of that battalion have killed themselves in the interim: two while on active duty, the rest after they left the military. That is nearly four times the rate for young male veterans as a whole and 14 times that for all Americans. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 21, 2015 - 9 comments

One doesnt build a safety net for a race of predators. One builds a cage

In his latest essay for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates (previously) examines "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration." [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 14, 2015 - 37 comments

“I defer to no one in my love for America and for Christianity.”

Fear by Marilynne Robinson [New York Review of Books]
“There is something I have felt the need to say, that I have spoken about in various settings, extemporaneously, because my thoughts on the subject have not been entirely formed, and because it is painful to me to have to express them. However, my thesis is always the same, and it is very simply stated, though it has two parts: first, contemporary America is full of fear. And second, fear is not a Christian habit of mind. As children we learn to say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” We learn that, after his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples, “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Christ is a gracious, abiding presence in all reality, and in him history will finally be resolved.”
posted by Fizz on Sep 9, 2015 - 23 comments

“The fanny pack is not just useful; it’s a unifying force.”

Letter of Recommendation: Fanny Packs by Jaime Lowe [New York Times]
“For too long, the fanny pack’s cultural baggage has prevented potential adoptees from embracing its sheer practicality. To the unenlightened, fanny packs are synony­mous with the ugly American: the perfect accessory for extra-large, convenience-obsessed people. But to me they promote the greatest of our nation’s ideals: freedom.”
posted by Fizz on Sep 4, 2015 - 125 comments

“And now you’re you."

Once a Pariah, Now a Judge: The Early Transgender Journey of Phyllis Frye.
Useful resources for participating in the discussion: Ohio U's Trans 101* : Primer and Vocabulary guide; and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 31, 2015 - 5 comments

Estimated American veteran suicides per day: 22

The staggering reality of America's post-9/11 era of perpetual war: For every active duty soldier killed in combat, twenty veterans died by their own hand. This is Daniel Wolfe's story. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 27, 2015 - 64 comments

Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight

The Japanese women who married the enemy — "American GIs were told not to fraternise with Japanese women, but they did." Within a few years after Imperial Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945 and subsequent occupation, over 30,000 Japanese war brides married American troops and returned to the United States with them (BBC News documentary broadcast schedule).
posted by cenoxo on Aug 17, 2015 - 15 comments

"If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, don’t have sex with them"

In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2015 - 45 comments

"A Piece of Meat and a Bun with Something On It."

First We Feast: An Illustrated History of Hamburgers in America. "The rise, fall, and resurgence of America's greatest cultural export." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 14, 2015 - 34 comments

Ferguson Remembers

One year later:
posted by Artw on Aug 9, 2015 - 159 comments

Just your everyday Nippon Kondate

Bismark, North Dakota, 1905: Typical menu for a ladies' church group luncheon: Tcha, kashi, sushi. Yes, that kind of sushi: Eccentric Culinary investigates the culinary history of America's love affair with Japan in Part 1 of The Great Sushi Craze of 1905.
posted by Diablevert on Aug 5, 2015 - 9 comments

“It’s not quite what it was... it’s more sophisticated now.”

A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act.
posted by zarq on Aug 4, 2015 - 17 comments

The Man Who Shot Michael Brown

This March, I spent several days at his home. Wilson, who is twenty-nine, started receiving death threats not long after the incident, in which Brown was killed in the street shortly after robbing a convenience store. Although Wilson recently bought the house, his name is not on the deed, and only a few friends know where he lives. He and his wife, Barb, who is thirty-seven, and also a former Ferguson cop, rarely linger in the front yard. Because of such precautions, Wilson has been leading a very quiet life. During the past year, a series of police killings of African-Americans across the country has inspired grief, outrage, protest, and acrimonious debate. For many Americans, this discussion, though painful, has been essential. Wilson has tried, with some success, to block it out.
posted by standardasparagus on Aug 3, 2015 - 73 comments

Stars in His Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Science Fiction grandmaster Samuel R. Delaney interviewed by SF Signal, with a very long answer in part 2, and by The New Yorker where he talks about race, recent Hugo controversies being nothing new, and the past and future of science fiction.
posted by Artw on Jul 30, 2015 - 26 comments

Mapping the United Swears of America

Hell, damn and bitch are especially popular in the south and southeast. Douche is relatively common in northern states. Bastard is beloved in Maine and New Hampshire, and those states – together with a band across southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – are the areas of particular motherfucker favour. Crap is more popular inland, fuck along the coasts. Fuckboy – a rising star* – is also mainly a coastal thing, so far. from Strong Language via Kottke [NSFW language, natch]
posted by chavenet on Jul 30, 2015 - 104 comments

Jamestown Rediscovery

Yesterday, the Jamestown Rediscovery and the Smithsonian Institution announced that they had identified the remains of Capt. Gabriel Archer, Rev. Robert Hunt, Sir Ferdinando Wainman and Capt. William West, four of the earliest leaders of the Jamestowne settlement. Among Archer's remnants was a small silver box that researchers have identified as a Roman Catholic reliquary. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 29, 2015 - 22 comments

finally letting go of the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride

"The Confederate flag didn't get hijacked. It took off from Defending Slavery Airport and landed, right on time, at Defending Segregation Terminal." Jay Smooth: 12 symbols of Southern pride actually worth celebrating. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jul 17, 2015 - 147 comments

Letter to My Son

Letter to My Son, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, July 4, 2015: "I came to understand that my country was a galaxy, and this galaxy stretched from the pandemonium of West Baltimore to the happy hunting grounds of Mr. Belvedere. I obsessed over the distance between that other sector of space and my own. I knew that my portion of the American galaxy, where bodies were enslaved by a tenacious gravity, was black and that the other, liberated portion was not... And I felt in this a cosmic injustice, a profound cruelty, which infused an abiding, irrepressible desire to unshackle my body and achieve the velocity of escape."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 5, 2015 - 31 comments

“I've been a boy for three years and I was a girl for six.”

Esteemed PBS series Frontline has produced a new documentary profiling a number of trans children and their families in the U.S. today: Growing Up Trans. There will be a Google Hangout with the producers and several of the film's subjects on July 1, at 3 PM EST. Inside, please find a number of articles released by Frontline to flesh out the film. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Jul 1, 2015 - 35 comments

Farewell to America

Foreign correspondents posted to America talk about the future, and the past.
posted by grubby on Jul 1, 2015 - 20 comments

Under cover of darkness, female janitors face rape and assault

Rape on the Night Shift: Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. On Tuesday, a PBS Frontline/Reveal investigation explored ways sexual violence against janitors is going unreported and unpunished. All content is SFW, but some may find descriptions in the links in this post disturbing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 26, 2015 - 10 comments

Espionnage Elysée

François Hollande calls emergency meeting after WikiLeaks claims US spied on three French presidents. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Jun 23, 2015 - 61 comments

A History of Failed Attraction

Just an hour North of NYC there's a nice little hike to be had up the Timp-Torne Trail to the top of Dunderberg Mountain. This is the best way to view the remains of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Viceroy on Jun 21, 2015 - 4 comments

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