A Japanese Holocaust rescuer
, it is estimated that Chiune Sugihara
, a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania in WWII, facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. The profoundly moving story is now on YouTube: 1
. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Jan 4, 2014 -
In 1986, Sandra Clarke was working as a staff nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, OR when a dying man asked her to sit with him. She agreed but first needed to make her rounds and the man died alone in his room before she was able to return. Troubled, and feeling that she had failed a patient, she resolved to gather volunteers to stay with those who were alone and close to death. Ms. Clarke enlisted her entire hospital for a bedside vigil system
to help ensure that patients would not be alone when they died. In 2001, Sacred Heart formalized the program as No One Dies Alone
(NODA) and over the last decade, it has spread to hospitals across the US. "Susan Cox Is No Longer Here"
offers us a glimpse into the NODA experience in Indianapolis. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 7, 2013 -
"Between the Bars
is a weblog platform for prisoners, through which the 1% of America which is behind bars can tell their stories. Since prisoners are routinely denied access to the Internet, we enable them to blog by scanning letters. We aim to provide a positive outlet for creativity, a tool to assist in the maintenance of social safety nets, an opportunity to forge connections between prisoners and non-prisoners, and a means to promote non-criminal identities and personal expression. We hope to improve prisoner's lives, and help to reduce recidivism." [more inside]
posted by gman
on Nov 6, 2010 -
Love Thy Neighbor: Why Have We Become So Suspicious Of Kindness? Most people, as they grow up now, secretly believe that kindness is a virtue of losers. But agreeing to talk about winners and losers is part and parcel of the phobic avoidance, the contemporary terror, of kindness. Because one of the things the enemies of kindness never ask themselves - and this is now an enemy within all of us - is why we feel it at all. Why are we ever, in any way, moved to be kind to other people, not to mention to ourselves? Why does kindness matter to us?
posted by jason's_planet
on Jan 3, 2009 -
"I couldn't face the prospect of my child growing up and asking me, years later, what I had done, and having to say: 'Nothing.'"
Last spring Leslie Thomas, a Chicago-based architect, read a story detailing the fallout of hostilities between the Sudanese government and the rebels -- more than 200,000 dead, 2.5 million made homeless -- and decided to put together DARFUR/DARFUR
: a traveling exhibit
of digitally-projected changing images. The goal: to raise $1m with at least 24 venues in 24 months.
The photographs have been taken in Darfur
by photojournalists Lynsey Addario
, Mark Brecke
, VII's Ron Haviv
, Magnum Photos's Paolo Pellegrin
, Ryan Spencer Reed
, Michal Safdie, and former U.S. Marine Brian Steidle
. On a sidenote, Pellegrin has just been awarded the W. Eugene Smith Grant.
posted by matteo
on Nov 2, 2006 -
The Mercy Seat.
Described in the book of Exodus, the throne of mercy has quite a variety of meanings. Some contemporary Christians are interested in "reconstructing
" an image based on Egyptian and Phoenician culture. In Judaism, the kisei rachamim
is part of the narrative of Yom Kippur, as God moves from the seat of justice to the seat of compassion. In medieval Europe, and especially in Germany, the Gnadenstuhl
was a perfect representation
of the trinity, combining the cruxification, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit (usually a bird), into one image of mournful compassion. Nick Cave used the idea of the mercy seat as the frame for a song about murder, sin, capital punishment, and atonement/redemption
, which was later covered by Johnny Cash (mp3 clip
). The chair of mercy is even visually alluded to Jodorowsky's Montana Sacra
, aka Holy Mountain
. (Which have been inspired in part by the Ascended Masters of Mount Shasta, but that's technically another story - the bizarro California cultists story.)
posted by jann
on Mar 3, 2006 -
"Hubert Selby died often. But he always came back, smiling that beautiful smile of his, and those blue eyes of his... This time he will not be back. My saints have always come from hell, and now, with his passing, there are no more saints".
is the author of Last Exit to Brooklyn
, (tried for obscenity in England
and supported by, among many others, Samuel Beckett and Anthony Burgess), Requiem For a Dream
, Song of the Silent Snow
. He is being eulogized in the USA and UK
, but also, massively (I've just watched a fantastic TV special) in France, where he is much more popular than in his native land (Selby's death was the cover story -- plus pages 2, 3 and 4 -- in the daily Libération today -- .pdf file
): Dernière sortie vers la rédemption
, L'extase de la dévastation
. What makes all this kind of ironic -- in a very Selbyesque way -- is that Selby himself used to say, "I started to die 36 hours before I was born..." (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Apr 28, 2004 -