Friday, May 30, 2014

A Semi-Open Thread Friday: Refreshing Our Mental Palate After the Elliot Rodger Saga and Sharing Found News Items

This has been a long week. My analysis of Elliot Rodger's relationship to whiteness and white masculinity has gotten much attention from both supporters and detractors across the ideological spectrum. To my eyes, that is a good thing--if white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, "mainstream conservatives" and some liberals are upset that you stated an obvious truth then you did good.

I also spoke with a racial chauvinist on his radio show. The experience was tedious. It was also good practice. By comparison, I had a great conversation with graphic novelist Box Brown. Our chat will be one of the last podcasts for Season 2 of the series.

This week was one of the busiest traffic wise since WARN began with several posts going viral on Facebook (20k plus hits and thousands of total comments online). I would like to thank those of you who commented, shared, or otherwise helped to circulate my work on the Elliot Rodger's mass murder.

Next week, I have one more post to share--actually the first podcast for season 2.5--on Elliot Rodger in the form of an interview about the topic of white masculinity, violence, and aggrieved entitlement. June will also be our fundraising month here on WARN. I do not advertise on the site, which would have brought some decent money this week given the spike in traffic, but instead do a twice a year fundraiser. If you can, and are able, please do throw a few pennies in the collection bowl.

It is time to cleanse our palate from the sick taste created by the Elliot Rodger saga. Ginger does this in Japanese cuisine. Likewise, a nice sparkling water or Pellegrino soda is a natural pairing with Italian food. For me, when I need to cleanse my mental palate I go to the casino, feed the birds and squirrels, take a long walk on the lake, or watch a mindless movie (or three) at the cinema.

What is your preferred way of hitting the mental "reset" button?

The media's fixation and fascination with the Elliot Rodger murder has sucked up time and energy that could have been spent elsewhere. What matters of significant and long-term public concern have been overlooked and/or under discussed this week? Any news items of finds that you would like to share?

The V.A. scandal? The combat in Ukraine? The admission by the Pentagon that the war in Afghanistan was lost years ago?

As is our habit on Fridays do treat this as a semi-open thread.


Buddy H said...

One news event that flew under the radar... Ras Baraka is the new mayor of Newark, NJ. This makes me glad in a million ways, because he was the Central High School principal, and ran against the powerful charter school schemers. He defeated their asses, despite all their Zuckerberg money.

I haven't seen much about him in the news. He was crowded out by more grotesque headlines about virgin mass murderers.

You can hear him on Lauryn Hill's 1998 The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

He published a collection of poems Black Girls Learn Love Hard.

A poet and a public high school educator. Again, this makes me glad in a million ways.

His father wrote the play Dutchman under the name LeRoi Jones. You can see the film version on youtube.

I am rooting for Ras against all the privateers and profiteers who want to turn our public schools into McDonalds and Burger Kings.

Craig said...

Did you get a chance to read That Evening Sun? I'm wondering what you think of it. I have the story as a pdf if you need it.

chauncey devega said...

Not yet. On the list though.

chauncey devega said...

I didn't know that he won. I saw Amiri Baraka get into a fight with one of his old school enemies years back about a woman they both slept with. Funny story.

Craig said...

For events unfolding in the Ukraine I go to this blog:
Probably the most up-to-date, informative and thoughtful resource on the subject around.

The Sanity Inspector said...

A bit of Civil War sesquicentennial African-American trivia:

This summer will mark General Sherman's march through north Georgia, the fall of Atlanta, the March to the Sea and then the fall of Savannah. The battlefield parks in north Georgia are holding various anniversary events & etc., and crowds are hiking their grounds.

On the northwest shoulder of Atlanta, in the Kennesaw Mountain area, there are remnants of the Confederate fortifications: zigzag trenches, rifle pits, cannon revetments, all overgrown but still recognizable. They were dug by rebel soldiers as they fell back under Sherman's onslaught.

But down close to the Chattahoochee River there are some unique fortifications called shoupades, after the Confederate general Francis Shoup, who designed them. They were arrowhead-shaped pits, with platforms for riflemen to fire over the rims. They saw no action as the fighting did not come that way, and some still remain, overgrown and partially filled in.

According to the historical markers, these earthworks were not built by the soldiers, but by slaves from nearby plantations, dragooned by General Johnston. The riverside plantations are long gone, but many of the family cemeteries remain, nestled in between lots, behind factories, and etc. And so, remarkably, we know the names of the slaves who built the shoupades, the surnames at least. The slaves who built these structures, which you can still see today, would have been surnamed McWilliams, Hooper, Sewell, Turner, Green, Howell, maybe Ferguson if they came from plantations that far south. I don't offhand know of any other structures which survive today, which were built by slaves, who we can at least partially identify. This strikes me as remarkable, & I hope you find it interesting.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

The Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram have been located but cannot be rescued yet.

Far-right parties in Europe have gotten stronger.

16 year old transgender girl is in prison

A woman arrested on drug charges gave birth to a baby while in solitary confinement. Her baby died.

A story came out of Miami of a man killed in prison by guards when he was sprayed with scalding hot water until his skin came off as discipline back in 2012.

Planned demonstration in Chicago aimed at curbing violence by getting people out in the most dangerous neighborhoods.

House of Representatives cut funding for urban summer food programs while creating a new summer food program for rural kids.

SabrinaBee said...

Florida dearly loves sloughing the skin off of human beings.

Monsters executing monsters.

SabrinaBee said...

I certainly hope he knows how to keep his nose clean, second guesses all the he does and any "advice" he may receive. If there is anything that will reveal the weakness of a person it is the den of temptation that is politics.

SabrinaBee said...

I just saw an article on spooky underground cities and nestled in the was a sketching of people entering a tunnel in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The caption reads;

"For 47 days in 1863, Vicksburg in
Mississippi was laid siege by Yankee forces, with 16,000 artillery
rounds fired into the town. Residents dug a complex network of caves,
and only around a dozen people were killed. Photograph: Alamy"

My first thought was that they most likely has the slaves, not residents, dig out those underground networks.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I forgot my favorite piece of new.

Obama decided to address sports related injuries in American youth. He said we have a "culture that needs to stop telling their kids to 'suck it up.'"

He is trying to give white American men heart attacks, it's one of their secret missions.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

"you can kill a murderer, but you can't kill murder." MLK


chauncey devega said...

Any doubt? There are underground cities all over Europe too. Apparently, in this ruined economy people are reclaiming them. I have read about that occurring in the U.S. too, where people who have lost their jobs and homes have been living underground--not just the sewers--but digging out compounds.

chauncey devega said...

And folks laugh when I say that the White Right wants to kill the "useless eaters", i.e. poor black and brown people.

Gable1111 said...

That is good news and evidence that money doesn't always have to win, if people turn out for a cause.

Gable1111 said...


Gable1111 said...

Its stories like this that help cleanse my mental palate after the bad taste of the Elliot Rodger and the excuses from his cultural bosom buddies:

This story brought tears to my eyes.

Gable1111 said...

As for the rest of it, the VA scandal, Ukraine, the Afghan captive being released, all of it tends to be of a piece, a stream of electronic media conscious of "news" as propaganda, whereas not much in terms of what happens day to day, week in and week out changes; nor are the reactions of our institutions and those who run them are any different. Its S.O.S.

From the outside looking in its easy to see these stories as of a piece that in the end makes it all "business as usual."

chauncey devega said...

My smile-cry of the week was about the goat and burrow who were separated after being rescued from an animal hoarder and how the goat became horribly depressed. Solution? Reunite the pair! Their reunion reminded me that animals are once more better than people.

Buddy H said...

Tears on my face after watching the video.