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Muskrat Love: "Every time I sing this song, I think of Henry Kissinger"

Toni Tennille informed an audience that she and the Captain performed Muskrat Love at the dinner in honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (PDF) as part of the Bicentennial celebrations at the White House, much to the intrigue and/or confusion of Henry Kissinger. Though there doesn't seem to be any video of the performance, there is some photographic evidence (description of photos (PDF)). The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum tumblr has a post on the event, with a higher quality image of Captain and Tennillee in action. For better or worse, there aren't any people in muskrat-type costumes to be seen.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 5, 2014 - 31 comments

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals By Adolph Reed Jr.

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals "The left has no particular place it wants to go. And, to rehash an old quip, if you have no destination, any direction can seem as good as any other." (Originally in Harpers)
posted by mecran01 on Feb 26, 2014 - 135 comments

The past guides us; the future needs us.

Whenever I look around me, I wonder what old things are about to bear fruit, what seemingly solid institutions might soon rupture, and what seeds we might now be planting whose harvest will come at some unpredictable moment in the future. The most magnificent person I met in 2013 quoted a line from Michel Foucault to me: "People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does." Someone saves a life or educates a person or tells her a story that upends everything she assumed. The transformation may be subtle or crucial or world changing, next year or in 100 years, or maybe in a millennium. You can’t always trace it but everything, everyone has a genealogy. Rebecca Solnit in TomDispatch: The Arc of Justice and the Long Run: Hope, History, and Unpredictability [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 23, 2013 - 8 comments

The Other Election

Australia has just had an election and the new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has pledged himself to be the first Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs. But has he properly consulted?
'The Other Election', run by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), features over 600 Indigenous kids from around Australia in years 10-12 putting themselves into the hypothetical role of delivering a speech as Australia's first Indigenous prime minister.
Ten finalists were announced today. Voting for the top 3 closes 29 January, 2013. The three best are then headed to Canberra to deliver their speeches in parliament. [more inside]
posted by de on Sep 22, 2013 - 6 comments

Mazzy Star: It's True, We're Still Together (and we have a new album)

Mazzy Star are best known for their hazy, shoegazer album So Tonight I Might See (Grooveshark stream), which contained the single Fade Into You (YouTube). That album was released in 1993, and went platinum in 1995, providing an odd counter-point to the popular grunge sounds of the day. As a band, they made three albums in the 1990s, though neither hit the peak of their sophomore album. They disbanded (as far as the public was concerned*) in 1997, though there were a series of reunion tours in 2000. Eleven years later, they released a new single, Common Burn b/w Lay Myself Down, and the group toured in 2012. This week, they release their fourth album, Seasons of Your Day, and they aren't any cheerier (in responding to interview questions). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 22, 2013 - 30 comments

$100 Invested in 100 $1 Lottery Tickets

The thrill and rush of possibly winning started to wear off after about the twentieth losing ticket. Each card had a couple of “Life” symbols on them, and every time you got a second you just dreamed of seeing the third one under the remaining graphite. However it never appeared and never will and it just kind of turned depressing. How could people put themselves through this humiliation and teasing every day of their lives?
The classic criticism of the lottery is that the people who play are the ones who can least afford to lose; that the lottery is a sink of money, draining wealth from those who most need it. Some lottery advocates . . . have tried to defend lottery-ticket buying as a rational purchase of fantasy—paying a dollar for a day's worth of pleasant anticipation, imagining yourself as a millionaire. But consider exactly what this implies. It would mean that you're occupying your valuable brain with a fantasy whose real probability is nearly zero—a tiny line of likelihood which you, yourself, can do nothing to realize. . . . Which makes the lottery another kind of sink: a sink of emotional energy. [via]

posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on May 18, 2013 - 154 comments

...and, er...meeting someone special, maybe?

Children from around the world share their hopes for 2013.
posted by ossian on Jan 10, 2013 - 1 comment

DJ Focus

DJ Focus couldn't wait to get back to Sierra Leone. AKA Kelvin Doe, this young man makes beautiful, functional and very useful electronic devices out of trash found in his native Sierra Leone. It's not clear whether he or M.I.T. was more impressed after his visit there.
posted by not_that_epiphanius on Nov 22, 2012 - 6 comments

Obama's Friendly FIRE

In 2008 the late Robert Fitch, author of "The Assassination of New York", was asked to foretell an Obama presidency before the Harlem Tenants Association:
If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs... Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.

posted by ennui.bz on May 8, 2012 - 41 comments

Not an Obit, an Epistle

Ernest Callenbach, author of the classic environmental novel Ecotopia among other works, died of cancer at 83 on April 16th, leaving behind this document on his computer.
posted by oneswellfoop on May 6, 2012 - 37 comments

Gloomy Negative Automatic Thoughts PWND

"SPARX is an effective resource for adolescents with depressive symptoms. It is at least as good as treatment as usual, would be cheaper and easier to disseminate, and could be used to increase access to therapy. It could provide access to treatment for young people who may be reluctant to have more conventional therapy."

It's a video game that teaches cognitive behavior theraputic techniques.
posted by MrVisible on Apr 20, 2012 - 17 comments

Sarah and the Seed

Sarah and the Seed - a 5-part comic about hope and babies by Ryan A.
posted by heatherann on Jan 29, 2012 - 20 comments

sorry we torched the world and now you have to live like saints and suffer

Now the future is a kind of attenuating peninsula; as we move out on it, one side drops off to catastrophe; the other side, nowhere near as steep, moves down into various kinds of utopian futures. In other words, we have come to a moment of utopia or catastrophe; there is no middle ground, mediocrity will no longer succeed. So utopia is no longer a nice idea, but a survival necessity. "Remarks on Utopia in the Age of Climate Change," from Kim Stanley Robinson. Previously.
posted by gerryblog on Dec 22, 2011 - 15 comments

RIP, Erik Martin

Seattle mourns the passing of Electron Boy, otherwise known as Erik Martin. Erik died at home on Friday, from a rare form of cancer called paraganglioma. He was 14. Previously on Metafilter.
posted by Sublimity on Sep 18, 2011 - 34 comments

mama put my guns in the ground -- I can't use them anymore

...after enrolling in public school and moving to Montana — a predominantly white state, albeit one with a decidedly hippie-ish vibe — Lamb and Lynx decided they simply no longer believed what they’d been taught. Prussian Blue, five years later. Previously, previously.
posted by gerryblog on Jul 17, 2011 - 105 comments

"It is better to live for one day as a tiger, than to live for a thousand years as a sheep."

Amnesty International, 50 Years: Standing Up For Freedom (Vimeo. YouTube.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2011 - 18 comments

I believe we can be better.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. Barack Obama speaks in Tucson, Arizona.
posted by gerryblog on Jan 12, 2011 - 262 comments

90 Days

She agreed to be filmed for 90 days. A woman with AIDS is filmed briefly, every day, for 90 days, and the changes she undergoes are dramatic. The very end may make you weep, but perhaps not for the reasons you expect... [Link is a single video hosted on Vimeo.]
posted by Slap*Happy on Aug 27, 2010 - 51 comments

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens.
The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2010 - 105 comments

Does Fairey have a posse?

Shepard Fairey's Fight for Appropriation, Fair Use and Free Culture Evelyn McDonnell ponders his career and quotes Fairey's reasoning about the Obama "Hope" poster that got AP angry.
posted by dabitch on Jan 21, 2010 - 7 comments

Obey the Law

Anthony Falzone and the Fair Use Project have dropped Shepard Fairey's case after he admitted he lied and submitted false evidence in his suit against the Associated Press. (Previously).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Oct 17, 2009 - 50 comments

GivesMeHope: For Those "Exhausted by the Negativity of the Mainstream Media"

GivesMeHope (RSS), a site for those "completely exhausted by the negativity of the mainstream media." Modeled after their polar opposite, Fuck My Life, the site serves as a source for sometimes glurgy, but much more often touching, 350-character stories that can serve to remind that "the world is a fine place and worth fighting for." The Top 10, as voted by readers, are enough to melt hearts of stone. Oh, and The Office's Dwight thinks it's "awesome". [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Sep 19, 2009 - 64 comments

Always look on the bright side of blight

"Ah, the mythical $100 home. We hear about these low-priced “opportunities” in down-on-their-luck cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland, but we never meet anyone who has taken the plunge. Understandable really, for if they were actually worth anything then they would cost real money, right? Who would do such a preposterous thing?" Amongst others, artists who have hope for the future and money to invest. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 12, 2009 - 35 comments

The Forgotten People

What if you were one of the Rohingya people, and you faced death in trying to escape, or were expelled from your Homeland. Would you wait for others to help, or would you try and do it yourself...
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 28, 2009 - 6 comments

Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues is a terrific piece of writing by Zadie Smith. It's a little bit about Barack Obama. Mostly, though, it's about "world"-traveling and polyvocality. (pdf)
The first stage in the evolution is contingent and cannot be contrived. In this first stage, the voice, by no fault of its own, finds itself trapped between two poles, two competing belief systems. And so this first stage necessitates the second: the voice learns to be flexible between these two fixed points, even to the point of equivocation. Then the third stage: this native flexibility leads to a sense of being able to "see a thing from both sides." And then the final stage, which I think of as the mark of a certain kind of genius: the voice relinquishes ownership of itself, develops a creative sense of disassociation in which the claims that are particular to it seem no stronger than anyone else's. There it is, my little theory—I'd rather call it a story. It is a story about a wonderful voice, occasionally used by citizens, rarely by men of power.

posted by anotherpanacea on Feb 26, 2009 - 16 comments

The first hundred days, in poetry

Everyone and his or her uncle has griped about the mediocre official inaugural poems heralding recent new U.S. presidencies. Meanwhile, poets Arielle Greenberg & Rachel Zucker have put together a blog, STARTING TODAY, commissioning a poem a day from many of those they consider the best contemporary poets writing today, documenting in verse life under the new ruling paradigm.
posted by aught on Feb 6, 2009 - 16 comments

Christmas cards for a little girl with cancer

You know what to do. In case of doubt, click this link.
posted by jefeweiss on Dec 20, 2008 - 35 comments

Immigrant Workers Occupy Chicago Factory

"You got bailed out. We got sold out." Chicago workers respond to a factory closing by occupying the factory. A flickr set of photos from the site.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 8, 2008 - 77 comments

A House Built on Hope

In 1972, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were convicted of murdering a prison guard in Louisiana's notorious maximum-security prison, Angola. The warden sentenced them to solitary confinement, where they remained for the next 36 years. Until March 2008, the men had spent at least 23 hours per day in cells that measured only 6 x 9 feet. Woodfox's conviction was recently overturned, evidently through a federal habeus proceeding, and he is awaiting a new trial. NPR did an outstanding job of tracking down people involved and telling a riveting story: Part I, Part II, Part III. No doubt that much of the attention brought to the case is due to the efforts of Jackie Sumell and her Herman's House project. [more inside]
posted by ajr on Nov 9, 2008 - 8 comments

The Typography of Change

Vote for Hope [more inside]
posted by clearly on Oct 20, 2008 - 43 comments

Help

A photo-essay of life in a Cambodian Aids Ward. [images are distressing] [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Sep 23, 2008 - 7 comments

It's not dead, it's just resting

Privacy is dead - get over it [part 2] is a talk by private investigator Steve Rambam. It's a talk he has been giving for a number of years where he shows how privacy is being taken away, not by sinister plots but because people are giving it away. With people putting up everything and nothing on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and so on, as well as a growing quantity of data held in private databases, he shows how easy it is to find out enormous amounts of data on just about anyone. [more inside]
posted by bjrn on Sep 2, 2008 - 65 comments

Fascination with the Dodo Bird, by Adam Savage

Adam Savage's talk at The Last HOPE: Fascination with the Dodo Bird
parts:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  A  B  C
(YouTubeFilter with a great audience Q&A session) [more inside]
posted by Chuckles on Aug 29, 2008 - 37 comments

George, you old dog, you...

Meet Lonesome George. George is the last known remaining Pinta Island Tortoise. That's pretty lonely. He's also, according to some, the most famous reptile in the world. via. But there's good news: George might be a dad!
posted by allkindsoftime on Jul 23, 2008 - 25 comments

Good dance moves for two right feet

Obama votes to grant telecom companies immunity for illegal wiretapping and "refines" his stance against Iraq to consider indefinite, undefined or vaguely defined occupation. One remarks about Obama's recent move to the right with a new campaign logo. Obama denies any change in policy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 9, 2008 - 356 comments

Dear God. Prayers for the modern world.

Dear God is a global project for people around the world to share their innermost hopes - and fears - through prayer. Some photos NSFW.
posted by ColdChef on Apr 13, 2008 - 39 comments

Cities of God

Slum (youtube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Dwellers (mp3): how the other billion lives.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 28, 2008 - 60 comments

Sciuscià

The Shoe Shine Boys (1,2,3,4,5), and Girls (1,2,3) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 21, 2008 - 3 comments

Ripeness is All: Lustmord Portrayed in Oil

New York artist Ashley Hope's Ripeness is All exhibit at the Tilton Gallery recreates crime scene photographs of murdered women from the 1910s through the 1990s as oil paintings on huge 4' x 6' canvasses. [some nsfw art] [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Nov 30, 2007 - 48 comments

We finally really did it.

First cloning of monkey embryo raises hope of a great leap in medical science. A team at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (itself no stranger to controversy) cloned embryos from Semos — a nine-year-old rhesus macaque named after the ape overlord in Planet of the Apes — then extracted stem cells from the embryos. We've heard similar claims before and they turned out to be a hoax. But this time it looks like the real deal. [more inside]
posted by Camofrog on Nov 16, 2007 - 53 comments

More than fish wrapper

At rivertrout.com, the goal is to bring together people who nurture a passion for an old, and yet exquisite, form of literature: The writing of letters.
posted by netbros on Aug 28, 2007 - 12 comments

Shaken Baby Tale Sweeps MySpace

The most popular blog on Myspace isn't about sex, drugs, or white girl gang signs. It is the tale of 5-month old Kaleb Schwabe, who suffered serious injuries believed to be caused by abuse at the hands of a caregiver. 21-year-old mom Kristy details Kaleb's recovery with doses of faith, sadness, and hope, and MySpace users have rallied in a big way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 13, 2007 - 18 comments

Creation of Lung Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells

"Molecular scientists . . . have developed a new procedure for the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells, with which they have created the first transplantable source of lung epithelial cells."
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 1, 2007 - 30 comments

Salt Crisis

Salt: Not just a condiment, salt is a major force shaping our world. In Australia, what do you get when you combine ancient salt-pans with European farming practices? In one state alone, we're losing a football field an hour to the salinity crisis. What do you farm when all you have is salt?
posted by ninazer0 on Nov 25, 2006 - 33 comments

One youth saved

The Ballad of Big Mike. “Where are you going?” he asked. “To basketball practice,” Michael said. “Michael, you don’t have basketball practice,” Sean said. “I know,” the boy said. “But they got heat there.” Sean didn’t understand that one. “It’s nice and warm in that gym,” the boy said. As they drove off, Sean looked over and saw tears streaming down Leigh Anne’s face. And he thought, Uh-oh, my wife’s about to take over. ... “One night it wasn’t going so well, and I got frustrated,” Mitchell says, “and he said to me, ‘Miss Sue, you have to remember I’ve only been going to school for two years.”’
posted by caddis on Sep 24, 2006 - 40 comments

Lespwa has returned

On February 7th, 2006, Haiti had its first (nearly) bloodless, democratic election Two years since Aristide fled to South Africa (with the "help" of the US), and twenty since Baby Doc Duvalier was overthrown, and the bloody reign of the Duvaliers and the Tonton Macoute were ended.[more inside]
posted by kalimac on Feb 16, 2006 - 13 comments

Children of a Flirty God

xFamily Values. A collaborative work by former members documenting The Family/Children of God religion/cult. Uniquely reflecting the sexual revolution, they encouraged prostitution as a means of gaining converts and offerings (Flirty Fishing). Plus they had comic books for the kids. But in concordance with other cults, abuse, incest, mind-control, secrecy, charismatic leaders and leaderettes, insanity, and irreparable harm were in full swing. (No more inside. There may be PDFs involved. Please note that much of this material is not safe for work, or anywhere else.)
posted by cytherea on Feb 10, 2006 - 34 comments

Nobody told me there'd be days like these

Have you ever had one of those times where you lose your job, then your VA benefits are cut (even though you were wounded seven times in Vietnam), then your son dies in Iraq and homophobic protesters hold up a sign at his funeral that says “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” then just after Christmas the candle you light for your dead child burns your house down and your family (including your grandchildren) is homeless, and your wife needs surgery for gallstones?
Yeah, that’s tough when that happens.
But sometimes people come through for you.
posted by Smedleyman on Jan 31, 2006 - 154 comments

The Wannsee Conference

The conference at Wannsee occurred on January 20, 1942.
The Holocaust had been going on for at least one year; the camp at Dachau had been in operation for several years. The Final Solution was already underway. At issue at Wannsee, in the relaxed and distinctively upper middle-class atmosphere of that SS guest-house for the fifteen highly placed Nazis was the best strategy for genocide. Less than one year after the conference a little girl who had been hiding in Holland is sent to the Bergen camp in northern Germany. She spends more than six years looking for four perfect pebbles
posted by Smedleyman on Jan 18, 2006 - 16 comments

An Unlikely Friendship

Claiborne Paul Ellis, union organiser, born January 8 1927; died November 3 2005. He was Studs Terkel's favorite interviewee, and a former Exalted Grand Cyclops of the KKK. In 1971, he co-chaired a 10-day discussion group on school desegregation with Ann Atwater, a local civil rights activist who had once tried to stab him with a pocket knife during a city council meeting. Over the course of those ten days, the two former antagonists formed an unlikely bond. Their friendship became the subject of a prize-winning book, and a subsequent documentary film. (The "Curriculum and Video Guide" .pdf on the film web site is also interesting. Direct link to .pdf)
posted by halcyon_daze on Dec 6, 2005 - 17 comments

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