In two weeks of blood and fire, one of the greatest intellectual and cultural legacies the world had ever seen came to an end. Crushed under the hooves of a mighty foe (in one case literally), a dynasty, an empire, a city, and a library all disappeared. It was perhaps the swiftest and most complete collapse of a civilization ever, still felt to this day. Now, how about for some context? [more inside]
Fade Away: music by Vitalic (previously), directed by Romain Chassaing. Multiple assassins try to get their hands on an attaché case, and (briefly) they all succeed. NWS for action-movie gore.
For everyone who's thinking about assassins today, I offer up Sondheim and Weidman's take. [more inside]
The files of the God of Gamblers case can be read as a string of accidents, good and bad: Siu’s run at the baccarat table; Wong’s luck to be assigned an assassin with a conscience; Adelson’s misfortune that reporters noticed an obscure murder plot involving his casino. But the tale, viewed another way, depends as little on luck as a casino does. It is, rather, about the fierce collision of self-interests. If Las Vegas is a burlesque of America—the “ethos of our time run amok,” as Hal Rothman, the historian, put it—then Macau is a caricature of China’s boom, its opportunities and rackets, its erratic sorting of winners and losers.Evan Osnos on a real-life "God of Gamblers" and the rise of Macau, The New Yorker
Father Luis Barrios, Episcopalian priest, full professor and academic chair at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was sent to federal prison five weeks ago, after being convicted of trespassing. He was arrested in November for pushing a wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran about one mile past the gates of the Fort Benning military base in Georgia. Fort Benning is the home of The School of the Americas also known as "School for Dictators", "School of Assassins", and "Nursery of Death Squads". SOAW campaigns to close this School which has the distinction of providing murderers for Latin American Regimes.
They met on a train and fell in love. Then Jason P Howe discovered that his girlfriend Marylin was leading a secret double life – as an assassin for right-wing death squads in Colombia's brutal civil war.
Arthur Bremer was released from prison today, after serving a 35 years of a 53-year sentence for the attempted assassination of George Wallace. After Harper's Magazine published Arthur Bremer's diary in 1973, the manuscript inspired both the character of Travis Bickle in the film Taxi Driver and the Peter Gabriel song "Family Snapshot". After Bremer shot Wallace, Nixon obsessed about the shooting on his audio tapes and pestered FBI agent Mark Felt for information, which Felt a.k.a. "Deep Throat" leaked to cub reporter, Bob Woodward. Woodward's relationship with Felt would later crack the Watergate scandal wide open, but Nixon's plan to portray Bremer as a George McGovern supporter remains less well-known.
The Roundabout Theater postpones its Assassins revival. This was probably the right decision, though for those who know the show--and that might not be many--it happens to address better than most things all the issues our country is currently facing. Check out Sondheim.com where they've changed the page to simple text featuring perfectly fitting lyrics for the moment we're in.