America's gun problem is completely unique: Why is it that for all the outrage and mourning with every mass shooting, nothing seems to change? To understand that, it's important to grasp not just the stunning statistics about gun ownership and gun violence in the United States, but America's very unique relationship with guns — unlike that of any other developed country — and how it plays out in our politics to ensure, seemingly against all odds, that our culture and laws continue to drive the routine gun violence that marks American life. [more inside]
"When our donors met the actual people they were helping they often didn’t like them. During our Secret Santa drive, volunteers sometimes refused to drop gifts at houses with TVs inside. They got angry when clients had cell phones or in some other way didn’t match their expectations. Other times, the donations we got were too disgusting to pass along—soup cans that bulged with botulism and diapers so dry rotted they crumbled in our hands. One Thanksgiving, a board member called from the parking lot, requesting help carrying a frozen turkey from her trunk to our office. “Can you find a deserving family?” she asked. I lugged the bird up three flights of stairs. Somewhere near the top, I noticed the expiration date. It was seventeen years old." Anya Groner talks about working for Hudson Outreach in up-state New York and the sobering, chilling effect it had on her idealism.
The original story of Kitty Genovese’s death, first promulgated by the New York Times in a front-page article 50 years ago today—young single woman brutally murdered while 38 strangers watched and did nothing—was incorrect in almost every particular.
The only films from the BFI's list that you must watch are Some Like It Hot, The Godfather and Singin' in the Rain. Of 100 Greatest Novels, you can happily ignore all of them except Scoop and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I am assuming you've already read To Kill a Mockingbird for O-level. You must never swim with dolphins. If they ever want to swim with you, I'm sure they'll let you know.
Want to start your Monday with the sadness of ineffectual activism? (slHTML5) Apathy attempts to simulate social networking (not in a bad way) and activism in bicameral politics.
Homeless man Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed several times in the chest while saving a woman from a knife-wielding attacker in New York City. He then bled to death while dozens of people walked by -- one stopping to snap a picture of the dying man with his cameraphone before leaving the scene. [more inside]
Join the Apathy Party 08 campaign and make sure that nobody decides or makes a difference, because we couldn't care less. Americans everywhere will make their voices heard and their voices will say, "Whatever."
Alberta voted on March 3, 2008. Or did it? The record low turnout of 41.3% is causing questions to be asked. [more inside]
When students fail, and citizens are not allowed, to protest, maybe only actors can say what needs to be said. [WMV link here].
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win: SDS is reborn. Founded in 1959 and imploded ten tumultous years later, the Students for Democratic Society was one of the most dynamic and controversial forces at work in organizing a mass movement against the Vietnam war, particularly among draft-age kids. The group's original manifesto, Tom Hayden's Port Huron statement, still rings prophetic in Bush's America. Now SDS is relaunching and planning its first national convention since 1969, with a new crew of young radicals issuing calls to action to their own supposedly apathetic generation: "We seek liberation from the dominant business interests that have degraded our cities, paved over our communities, drowned out small business, and commodified our culture... Cooperative self-reliance is the only moral and material salvation of our nation, and the only release from a system that demands each of us be an accomplice to its heinous crimes."
Apathyology: Ten or twelve years ago, back when I was in high school, some friends of mine were gonna start something called the National Apathy Society. I say were cuz we never did. That was the joke. We were all members of a club about apathy but we were too apathetic to... well you get it don't you? You don't? Well I don't care. My point is, and I do have one, I am highly suspect of any organization which claims to be apathetic but they actually have a website. Especially since I didn't think of doing it first.