the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America, in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings and the ongoing congressional stalemate over federal gun legislation. An investigative report from
"29 students from 16 journalism schools, as well as an experienced staff of editors" for Carnegie-Knight News21. [more inside]
"In reconsidering the metrosexual, we must first distinguish between the metrosexual’s imagined and actual properties. Like hipsterism, metrosexuality is an insult more readily slung than substantiated. According to canon, David Beckham is the ur-metro. Although Beckham initially goes unmentioned in the word’s first printing (in 1994), the word’s progenitor, Mark Simpson, introduced American readers to metrosexuality through the British football star in 2002, when he called Beckham a "screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual…famous for wearing sarongs and pink nail polish and panties…and posing naked and oiled up on the cover of Esquire.
" " - Johannah King-Slutzky for The Awl on the 'Metrosexual' situation a decade later
Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome.
A father reflects on his son's search for employment.
"We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites."
-- War is Betrayal. Persistent Myths of Combat
, an essay by Chris Hedges
of Truthdig. Responses within. [more inside]
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica
, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment
. There are location challenges
, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons
. [more inside]
"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
The Other Redskins.
62 US high schools in 22 states currently use the name "Redskins" for one of their sports teams. 28 high schools in 18 states have dropped the mascot over the last 25 years. As public pressure
continues to intensify
on the Washington Redskins
football team to change their name -- one many consider a racial slur
that disparages Native Americans -- similar debates are being waged in towns across the country about their local high school teams.
"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths
" [more inside]
This past Thursday, Forbes Magazine published a pair of articles: The Most Stressful Jobs of 2013
and The Least Stressful Jobs of 2013
, the latter of which began with the sentence: "University professors have a lot less stress than most of us."
300+ outraged comments
(and thousands of sarcastic #RealForbesProfessor
tweets,) later they've added a retraction, and linked to a blog post that takes A Real Look at Being a Professor in the US
. [more inside]
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel
or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer
. It's Doomsday Preppers
, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
In the Shadow of Wounded Knee.
Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.
In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein
wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity
, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
In February, PBS and AOL launched Makers
, a video archive containing personal stories and anecdotes told in the first person by women, many of whom have sparked groundbreaking changes in American culture. [more inside]
The history of the Sikh Diaspora in USA and Canada
goes back to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897. Emerging as a casteless alternative
to the ongoing Hindu Muslim wars
in India, the Sikhs
have always been known
as a martial tribe, their prowess and courage
respected by the British
and others alike. Colloquially addressed respectfully as Sardarji, the men take Singh (lion)
as their middle name while the women bear the name
Kaur (princess). This custom further confirmed the equality of both genders as was the tradition set
by the founder of Sikhism
, Guru Nanak.
The first Sikh Organization
was The Pacific Coast Khalsa
Diwan Society organized in the spring of 1912. [more inside]
In 2002, Doug Monroe placed his parents in assisted living
. A decade later, he's looking back at "the weighty financial and emotional costs that come with a parent's immortality": The Long Goodbye
"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Tell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
For their 43rd anniversary issue, New York Magazine chose "to explore, across time, one of the things that has most defined New York life for centuries and has become a unit of measurement for our successes and failures: The Apartment: A History of Vertical Living"
/ Sardine Life: What a century and a half of piled-up housing reveals about us. [more inside]
Fareed Zakaria: Are America's Best Days Behind Us?
- "We have an Electoral College that no one understands and a Senate that doesn't work, with rules and traditions that allow a single Senator to obstruct democracy without even explaining why. We have a crazy-quilt patchwork of towns, municipalities and states with overlapping authority, bureaucracies and resulting waste. We have a political system geared toward ceaseless fundraising and pandering to the interests of the present with no ability to plan, invest or build for the future. And if one mentions any of this, why, one is being unpatriotic, because we have the perfect system of government, handed down to us by demigods who walked the earth in the late 18th century and who serve as models for us today and forever. America's founders would have been profoundly annoyed by this kind of unreflective ancestor worship." [for
Basicland vs. Sorrowland
A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin by Charles Munger
. For extra colour there's... [more inside]
"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York
, Los Angeles
, San Francisco
) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language
of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
"Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS
every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears?" At Conservapedia
, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust," you can learn that "faith" is a concept "exclusive to Christianity,"
and about how Wikipedia is biased
in matters such as its description of the Bell Trade Act of 1946, its gossipy treatment of the private life of NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, and its seeming acceptance of evolution. The Wikipedia bias entry also complains of a "rant" against the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group for which Conservapedia founder (and son of conservative gadfly Phyllis Schafly
) Andrew Schlafly
has worked. Signups are here
; its take on evolution is criticized here
The best American hamburgers?
The American Hamburger is one of those things that I truly miss about the US and one of those things that we Brits try to copy but, for some reason, just never seem to get right.
Forget the golden-arches, we need some proper
hamburger joints serving up half-pound burgers, real milkshakes and endless refills...
is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. [more inside]