Britain's biggest exam board
has removed a poem
by Carol Ann Duffy
from the GCSE syllabus and asked schools to destroy the anthology it is contained in because it makes a reference to knife crime
. This followed a complaint made by Pat Schofield, an exam invigilator. Duffy responded
with the poem: Mrs Schofield's GCSE
. [more inside]
The horrifying crimes of Joseph Fritzl shocked Austria and the world. Recently two essays explored Austrian literature in an attempt to understand what cultural conditions could foster such monstrosity. Nicholas Spice, in Up from the Cellar
, explores the work of Nobel Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek and her dissection of male violence. Ritchie Robertson searches for antecedents in Josef Fritzl's fictive forebears
. [via The New Yorker's Book Bench]
The Rebellion Within:
An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism.
Xenophobic violence breaks out in Johannesburg and around South Africa.
The victims of these attacks have been primarily poor foreigners living in townships and shack settlements. Durban-based shack dwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo (previously
) have posted an incisive and informative response
. More coverage of the events here
. Photo galleries here
Ultraviolence chic again in Justice video Stress
. NSFW [more inside]
Blocking the Transmission of Violence.
"If gang violence was an infectious disease, how would you stop it? A Chicago epidemiologist
thinks he has the answer
Commando Performance: (Toy) Guns on Campus Post-Virginia Tech
- A fun game of tag for campus geeks? Or a celebration of immaturity and glorification of war and violence? Playing Humans v. Zombies after the Virginia Tech Massacre. [more inside]
"It's ethnic cleansing happening."
Fully ten days after elections that most are speculating were indeed won by the opposition party (Movement for Democratic Change), Robert Mugabe still clings to power in Zimbabwe. The voting results have still
not been released, and 5 election officials have been arrested, "accused of tampering with the vote to the detriment of Mugabe's tally." Its been a tense time for Zim, and now the violence and land seizures have started again. [more inside]
Like hockey fights
? Like the movie Slapshot
? Want to see the real
Chiefs? Les Chiefs
is a documentary
on the toughest team in the Quebec Semi-Pro Hockey League. There can be 10 fights in a single period. Goalies fight. Coaches fight. Some fans fight in the stands with the players who live just yards away, in a ramshackle apartment in the stadium (formerly a ramshackle storage closet).
Other fans lovingly craft belts in the belief that hockey is a religion and The Chiefs are its avatars. And players
players question, even as they sign up for underground boxing matches and run up 100 to 1 penalty minute to goal ratios, whether they’re hockey players or circus side shows.
(some links may be NSFW for violence) [more inside]
Saved from a lynching
: Enrico Dangino, friend of Vigilante Journalist
photographs a man seized by a mob and about to be set ablaze, then, with the help of his compatriot, frees him. More
photographs and blogging from the ground in Kenya's current political crisis from Vigilante Journalist. via
The Return of a Clockwork Orange
- Writers, artists, directors, UK film censors and starring actor Malcolm McDowell discuss Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange
kickoff of the New York Times' penetrating new series investigating the violence that comes home when our soldiers do.
A recent article
in the The New York Times depicts the violence in Iten, a village 18 miles outside of Elderot that has somehow managed
to produce most of Kenya's best athletes. Famous for its high altitude, forgiving clay roads, and dirt track
, elite runner Lorhah Kiplagat
chose to base her charitable foundation for women
and her training center
here. The camp is now under siege. Fellow humanitarian
and former world record holder in the marathon, Paul Tergat
, is missing. Former Olympian Lucas Sang
is dead, and countless others are injured or missing.
Progress for Children: A World Fit for Children Statistical Review
"reports on how well the world is doing in meeting its commitments for the world’s children. This UNICEF
special edition analyses progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in four priority areas for children: promoting healthy lives, providing a quality education, combating HIV and AIDS, and protecting against abuse, exploitation and violence." [more inside]
Armed guards in church?
Colorado's New Life Church: "The church's undercover security force is made up of an undisclosed number of volunteers with military or law-enforcement backgrounds, who carry radios and concealed weapons when they attend services." One of these guards recently shot a deranged gunman. [more inside]
Like a YouTube for soldiers in the Middle East,
this site boasts lots of large explosions, night vision footage, dawn raids, night-time firefights, desert shootouts, and convoy ambushes. There is one film of a failed IED that is breathtaking. Astonishing movies, whether you're for or against the war. [more inside]
At least eight people are dead
in a shooting at a school in Finland
. Apparently some are blaming Youtube
, as the killer posted some videos of himself shortly before the attack.
How to get inside the mind of kids who do these terrible things? Are they just "bad seeds" or are these killers created?
Clearly marginalization and alienation
play a role. Many would-be -killers
seem to share these fantasies of grandiose mass spectacles , many psychologists think are inspired by their immersion in violent video games and movies
. There's still controversy over the idea that watching violent TV/video games/etc
can make kids more aggressive, and if that translates to violent behavior.
I'm curious how often nationalist and racist rhetoric is also often deployed by these kids and wonder why that is:
The Finland shooter, Auvinen called himself a "social Darwinist" who would "eliminate all who I see unfit".
African American Holocaust
[Warning: contains graphic material] Nearly 5,000 black Americans were lynched between 1890 and 1960. In her new book, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-First Century
, University of Maryland School of Law Associate Professor Sherrilyn Ifill
traces the ongoing impact of these crimes
. While the lynchings were devastating, Professor Ifill argues that the little-known contemporary consequences, such as the marginalization of political and economic development for blacks, are equally pernicious, and that there's still a great deal of education
and reconciliation that still needs to happen
. [Previous Links
Plus ça change...
(that's a 15941x261 pixel, NSFW-ish jpg).
about rape in the Eastern Congo, (nytimes, bugmenot here
) makes for hard and disturbing, yet important, reading. [more inside]
takes photos of Greek riot police who beat him up
say he wasn't allowed to photograph them without accreditation.
European filmmaker is in the midst of remaking one of his most controversial films
for an American audience. Funny Games
is a film that may be difficult to watch for many. Here
is the trailer from the original 1997 version of the film. Micheael Haneke wants audiences to think about their own beliefs regarding violence
(insightful spoilers inside). Can Haneke find success with an American audience with a "shot by shot"
remake? Haneke discussed previously on mefi here
. [more inside]
, the Bangladeshi writer
who was manhandled
on Thursday, has been threatened with an issue of a Fatwa
today, by the followers of the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen
(MIM) party, while other muslims
have come to her defence.
The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness.
"Investigating the impact of the war on Iraqi civilians, Chris Hedges
and Laila Al-Arian reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by US troops in Iraq--brutal acts that often go unreported and almost always go unpunished." [Via No Quarter.]
Go skateboarding Day
didn't end well for a bunch of teenagers in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Youtube Video.
Unreasonable/Excessive force by the police? You decide.
On November 25th, 2006, Valentin Elizalde was killed in the city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Elizalde, a singer of a style of song known as the narcocorrido
, was warned not to step foot in Tamaulipas because of a video for his song “A mis Enemigos," which showed footage of
(WaPo article) the deaths of drug traffickers from the Gulf Cartel
. In December of 2006, Javier Morales Gómez was killed in Huetamo, Michoacán
while talking on his cell phone. Morales Gómez was the singer for Los Implacables del Norte, another group closely associated with narcocorridos
. The most famous death of a narcocorrido writer/singer has to be Chalino Sanchez
, killed in 1992, and spawning several imitators known as Los Chalinillos
that are still prevalent 15 years after Sanchez's death. (previously
) [more inside]
Under the ole shade tree...
Welcome to Jena, LA -- mix high school segregation, racism, nooses, fights, ineffective school administration, attempted-murder charges, shotguns, and a town in upheaval--a "racial powder keg"
. Much more here,
including links to help.
Too much Rambo?
Looks a little different
than the other movies. Will this level of violence make the theaters?
exploded outside the Mecca Masjid
today as people were offering their Friday Prayers. Out of the more than 8,000 worshippers present, a total of 12 have been reported dead, and 50 injured. Also, this comes in the wake of the violence that has been taking place in the State of Punjab
The Green Scare: Rod Coronado
gave a talk in San Diego and the feds called his words ‘terrorism.’ How new laws are equating environmentalists with Al Qaeda
. [Via Gristmill.]
40 lie dead
, as General Pervez Musharraf tries to quash
of Pakistan, before the elections
(pdf) to be held this year.
The David Lynch Foundation
via the man himself will announce, on May 1st, at 12 noon (EDT), the foundation's plan to stop school violence. Their plan? Teaching students how to meditate
In sixteenth-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to historian Norman Davies, "[T]he spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized." Today, such sadism would be unthinkable in most of the world. This change in sensibilities is just one example of perhaps the most important and most underappreciated trend in the human saga: Violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species' time on earth.
[pdf] via NPR
Increased violence linked to scriptures. University of Michigan psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues suggest that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression, especially in believers.
Human Rights Watch indepth report on male rape in US prisons.
"I've been sentenced for a D.U.I. offense. My 3rd one. When I first came to prison, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly none of this. I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. And very shy. These characteristics have got me raped so many times I have no more feelings physically. "
Boy chimp meets Girl chimp
boy chimp beats girl chimp to keep her from having sex with his buddies. New scientific study.
Jewcy asks The Big Question--
Why Are Atheists So Angry? with Sam Harris and Dennis Prager. Email exchanges on the topic--and if you can get past the incredibly loaded and one-sided question, really interesting.
In Long Beach, CA
on Halloween, some twenty-five young men surrounded and attacked
three women on the street while yelling racial epithets. The women were hospitalized with "severe injuries." This is not a hate crime
. Nor is it newsworthy?
Operation enduring chaos: ... the death squads are the result of US policy.
At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". ... From killing everyone named Omar (a Sunni name) who passes thru the wrong checkpoint, to simply marking businesses (and their owners) they want gone with red crosses, how various squads and militias and "armies" and "brigades" are running Iraq.
America's worst school violence ever
was not a recent event
, but the Bath School disaster
of 1927. Andrew Kehoe
, a school board member upset with his tax bill, used dynamite and some pyrotol
from WWI-era military surplus to blow himself up along with the elementary school of Bath Township
, Michigan, leaving 45 dead and 58 injured. See a 1927 book
on the disaster, a list of victims
, the coroner's inquest
, a historical marker
, a memorial park
, an oral history from a witness
, and a 1920s KKK rant
denouncing Kehoe as an agent of the Roman Catholic conspiracy.
Coup leaders urge Thai soldiers to smile
Military coup leaders in Thailand — often called the "Land of Smiles" — apparently don't want to ruin that image. They've ordered soldiers to smile. Army radio broadcasts are reminding soldiers to be friendly and courteous, especially to children. Many Thais have described this as the friendliest coup ever seen in a land with a history of violent coups.