"What do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president? A surge of white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt."
"In my next conscious moment, I was dimly aware that I was facedown on the pavement. There was blood in my mouth."
"A Mugging on Lake Street" : John Conroy -- author and former staff writer of the Chicago Reader best known for his articles on police torture finds himself a victim of a "senseless" crime and is forced by circumstance to examine his own opinions about race, hate crimes, and violence. (last link is referenced in original article)
Debt: The first five thousand years. Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber (previously) writes about "debt and debt money in human history" in Eurozine. Lots of thought-provoking stuff here; I'll put a sample in the extended description. (Via wood s lot.) [more inside]
The National Coalition for the Homeless announces that anti-homeless attacks are up, while Maryland becomes the first state to expand hate crimes legislation to include attacks on the homeless. [more inside]
Alone Among the Ghosts is an essay from The Nation by Marcela Valdez about Roberto Bolaño's 2666. She interviews journalist Sergio González Rodríguez, who has written extensively about the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez which is the black hole Bolaño's novel orbits around. The journalist was Bolaño's correspondent and main source of information about the femicides. The best English language article about the epidemic of violence in Ciudad Juárez I have read is Max Blumenthal's 2002 Salon article. The website No Angel Came is a good resource for more info on the subject, including a continually updated section with links to articles about the killings. The site's most arresting section is the list of every woman killed in Ciudad Juárez from 1993 to 2006. The epidemic of violence against women in Ciudad Juárez continues.
It's shocking enough that 90 people have been killed in mass shootings in the US in the past 2 years. But it's even more shocking that 44 of those deaths have occurred within the month since March 10, 2009, when Michael McClendon touched off a firestorm of violence that ended with the deaths of 10 people in rural Alabama. This has been a month of grave infamy in the United States. [more inside]
"The monster inside my son" A moving testimonial of a mother's struggle w/ her son's autism and violence. [SALON]
No Nonsense Self Defense is a website that features many great essays about violence and self-defense, including “High Risk Behavior And Knowing Where You Are,”“Are Martial Arts Self-Defense?,”“The Best Way to Get Attacked,”“The Economy And Stress Violence,”and “Who's Going To Rob You?." But my absolute favorite section is "Psychology and Survival." If I can convince you to read only one of these links, please let it be that last one.
A Real Doll "doctor" gives an interview, describing the art of patching up the dolls and questioning their treatment by their owners.
Be a hero on your own time (VIDEO) When McDonald's employee Nigel Haskett interceded to stop a man who was beating a woman in the restaurant, the assailant went outside, retrieved a gun from his car and shot Haskett – “multiple times,” as the employee stood at the door to keep the assailant from re-entering the restaurant. $300,000 in medical bills later, McDonald's insurance says no dice: "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment."
Dr. Aric Sigman has told us that TV is literally killing us, that it makes children pregnant, that Batman makes our kids violent and that multitasking ruins children's attention span. Now he says that social networking can cause cancer, strokes, and dementia. (PDF of press release)
Iraq: "A woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame."
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. "
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. "
Israel + Palestine = Isratine? Or so it should be, Libyan leader Qaddafi argues, promoting the one-state solution. While he is not the first to raise the one-state solution, it is a bold proposal, particularly so soon after the widely-condemned Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
In 1977, Nolan Bushnell allowed Gene Landrum to bring Chuck E. Cheese [yt] to life as a family-friendly access point to Atari games. This, perhaps, explains the pizza. [more inside]
"At an age at which I should be putting on a wedding dress, I am asking for someone's eyes to be dripped with acid,"
Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over [Ameneh Bahrami's] head, leaving her blind and disfigured. Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.[more inside]
How to best show your love if you're a rockabilly singer in the 50's? First, claim you might cry. Or die. Or commit suicide. If that doesn't work, you can threaten her vaguely, threaten her with a baseball bat, or even threaten her with death. Oh, you're female? Try the gun/sex metaphor (NSFW images) or just go hog wild and claim you'll blow his head off with nitro. Touched on previously. [more inside]
Domestic violence comes to work, whether executives realize it or not. Instead of firing employees who are abusers’ targets, some corporations in the US and elsewhere have instituted formal policies and programs to mitigate the impact of domestic violence, or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), on workplaces. [more inside]
Violence, the RPG. In 1999, Greg Costikyan, designer of Toon, Paranoia, and the Star Wars RPG, released this satirical and profane take on violence in games anonymously. It's now available as a free download. [more inside]
Culture Of Fear. An interesting look at the security concerns National Football League players harbour in the wake of the death of Sean Taylor, who was robbed and shot within his own home. Previously. [more inside]
"I am not a violent person by nature. I do not enjoy the idea of walking up to strangers and punching them, even if they are fascists. It is just something that needs to be done."
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 and here. Photo galleries here and here.
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]
Kings of Power 4 Billion% [12 min AVI] - A new release from pixel artist Paul Robertson, known for such previous works as the video for "Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006" and Architecture in Helinski's "Do The Whirlwind."
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.
Reading the news, the violence in Kenya can feel distant. For Mission in Action/Nakuru Baby Orphanage, located in the heart of the Rift Valley, the violence is all to near, and extremely troubling. (the last link contains images that may be very disturbing) [more inside]
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
War Torn: 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).
This article, about rape in the Eastern Congo, (nytimes, bugmenot here) makes for hard and disturbing, yet important, reading. [more inside]
Teacher Dude takes photos of Greek riot police who beat him up. Police say he wasn't allowed to photograph them without accreditation.
This 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 and here. [more inside]