Science Fiction grandmaster Samuel R. Delaney interviewed by SF Signal, with a very long answer in part 2, and by The New Yorker where he talks about race, recent Hugo controversies being nothing new, and the past and future of science fiction.
How Isis crippled al-Qaida - the rift within the jihadi movement.
Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote. - Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
Nightmare in Maryville - The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously) and anger on the internet. Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up.
I am chasing you like a drone
You have become al Qaida;
there’s no trace of you
The poetry of Afghan trucks.
You have become al Qaida;
there’s no trace of you
The poetry of Afghan trucks.
Iran has a new president, Hasan Rouhani, does that mean there might be hope for a thawing in diplomatic relations? In his inaugral speech Roughani urges an end to sanctions and promises a new era. While the White House response seems cautiously optimisitic US Senators have been pressing for tougher sanctions.
North Korea has warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it cannot guarantee their safety from the threat of conflict after 10 April, and has advised them to consider pulling their staff out of the capital. This follows North Korea blocking South Korean Workers from the Kaesong industrial complex - a sign that this might be more material than the usual posturing, warning that a 'moment of explosion' is nearing and moving missiles with "considerable range" to its east coast. Though the US is playing down the threat and the UK and Russia have no plans of moving their diplomats the possibility of an accident or miscalculation leading to war looms. North Korea has earned the reprobation of Russia and Fidel Castro in recent days and even longtime supporter China is beginning to lose patience with it - something some say is not before time.
Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
The Geography of Abortion Access - Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ushered in legal abortion for American women when it decided in Roe v. Wade. Today, states—particularly in the South and Midwest—are eroding that right by legislating hundreds of provisions intended to impede access with burdensome obstacles. To understand more fully the complex state of access to abortion services in America, The Daily Beast identified and confirmed the location of the country’s remaining 724 clinics and calculated the distance from every part of the country to its closest clinic. (more)
2012: The year in graphs - as picked by the Washington Post Wonkblog's favorite economists, political scientist, politicians and other wonkys.
Gaming made me - RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
After 65 Years The Hollywood Reporter addresses its role in the hollywood blacklist, including an apology from W.R. Wilkerson III, son of THR founder Billy Wilkerson whose "A Vote For Joe Stalin" editorial named writers such as Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Howard Koch and John Howard Lawson as communist sympathisers.
Not content with displacing the poor, menacing photographers and blocking ambulances the london olympics now wants ground-to-air missiles, presumably to shoot down rogue skywriters who might misuse it's brand.
The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
Is Newt Gingrich’s plan for a moon mine science fiction? The technology may be in place, but is there any reason to go?
Mariella Frostrup on International Women's Day, feminism and the emancipation of women in the developing world.
Gun show undercover - how dangerous people get guns.
A 3 hour podcast interview (part 2 here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law and numerous other comics. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton, being Irish-English, Sláine and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
Pulp's Common People - the great class-based song of the 90s?
The 99 (previously), the Islamic-inspired superheroes which have met both praise and somewhat batshit controversy, are crossing over with the DC Universe.
The Gray And The Brown - why the baby boom generation's concerns about race may mean that it's stabbing itself in the back as it moves into retirement.
In a "Triumph of Policy Over Politics" President Obama today signed most sweeping Wall Street reform bill since Great Depression. Obamas remarks at the signing. A piece-by-piece guide to th financial overhaul law. Timeline of the laws effects. 10 Ways New Wall Street Reform Law Will Help You.
The Special Relationship between the US and the UK is over... Perhaps it never really existed outside of the UK anyway.
ACORN, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
For quite some time, I’d wanted to make a screwball comedy. A fast-talking, wildly acclerating ensemble comedy that gets stupider and stupider. I never imagined it would be about a war, and inspired by a very recent war at that. But Simon, Jesse, Tony and I all felt that the more we found out about the dysfunction in Washington and the naivety in London leading up to the Iraq invasion, the more obvious it was that the only way to deal accurately and fairly with this topic was as a screwball comedy. - The Oscar nominated script for In The Loop, with an introduction by writer Armando Iannucci.
"We only went into Iraq because of oil, you know." "We only appease Saudi Arabia because of oil, you know." To hear people talk sometimes, you'd think they never used oil. - David Mitchell on hypocrisy and politics, and how we blame our leaders for making decisions based on what we want, not on what we say.
"The BNP represents Britain's workers? They don't even represent basic British craftsmanship" - a response to the recent political broadcast by the UKs far right extremists the BNP, who are currently trying to exploit expenses scandals hiting the larger parties. Weirdly despite demanding British jobs for British workers their advertising uses American models.
Is this end for the Tamil Tigers? The Sri Lankan army have captured Elephant Pass, the latest in a string of victories against the guerrilla outfit. The army has pledged to avoid civilian casualties (which have caused India and other countries to intervene in the past) but there are still concerns with reports of artillery strikes on civilian centers in Tharmapuram [graphic], and serious human rights concerns. Though the military battle may be all but over the country is sure to face armed political struggle for some time.
A christmas message from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mock the Vote: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert interviewed.
What was the mysterious green backdrop behind John McCain last night? Was it an attempt to restart the Colbert/McCain Green Screen Challenge? The lawn of one of his houses? Or possibly just a screw-up?
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