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]
posted by Kattullus
on Jun 8, 2008 -
"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]
posted by allkindsoftime
on Apr 9, 2008 -
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]
posted by Smedleyman
on Feb 21, 2008 -
kickoff of the New York Times' penetrating new series investigating the violence that comes home when our soldiers do.
posted by hermitosis
on Jan 14, 2008 -
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]
posted by CCBC
on Dec 21, 2007 -
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]
posted by zerobyproxy
on Sep 7, 2007 -
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]
posted by sleepy pete
on May 25, 2007 -
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.
posted by amberglow
on May 23, 2007 -
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
posted by hadjiboy
on May 18, 2007 -
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
posted by bigmusic
on Apr 14, 2007 -
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. "
posted by petsounds
on Feb 11, 2007 -
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.
posted by amberglow
on Nov 29, 2006 -
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.
posted by amberglow
on Oct 29, 2006 -
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.
posted by jonp72
on Oct 5, 2006 -
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.
posted by dwarfplanet
on Sep 25, 2006 -