February 25, 2012
The weekend reading continues marching forward, with these links in this order:
An architectural history of Zuccotti Park and One Liberty Plaza.
Police use Twitter to fight crime in Kenya.
The Fire Next Time: The Comayagua Prison Fire and Khader Adnan
The conclusions should be clear. There are two kinds of non-violence. One is an ever-changing and ethereal rhetorical construct used largely to deligitimate popular struggles. The other is a practice that involves the risk of injury, death or imprisonment. In short, almost any simple political protest of the kind that are undertaken in the West without much forethought, is a non-violent act of civil disobedience when undertaken by people under despotic military rule like the West Bank. Real—not rhetorical—non-violence, is truly threatening to the established order of things. Incredibly self-less acts like those of Adnan are its ultimate, most devastating expression. And exactly why they can never be defined as such by the world’s governments or liberal non-violence proponents.
The undue weight of truth on Wikipedia.
Laura Seay takes a look at the damage Nick Kristof is doing in South Kordofan. Tom Murphy had this to add about South Kordofan and Darfur. Daniel Solomon, national director at STAND, agrees. All three are worth reading.
This obituary includes rowing across the Atlantic and the Pacific, shooting at Boy Scouts, killing jaguars, attempting to get killed by a jaguar, being a pirate, and running a mink farm.
On Jeremy Lin on ESPN’s Accidental Racism.
Opinions on what we should miss from the days when salad was a jello.
Dining After “Downton Abbey,” when British food culture was hit by austerity.
Students at UC Davis are suing their university over the pepper spray incident from last fall.
Every sentence Bart Simpson has written on the chalkboard.
More on how the culture war never ended, this time from Andrew Hartman at USIH.
Why do clicks in the English language sound different from those in Xhosa?
A despicable ad in Georgia shames fat children to “spark debate:”
I am so sick of this “at least we got people talking about it” and “the debate means we achieved our goal” defense of indefensible ads. We heard it with Pete Hoekstra’s racist political ad, too: It doesn’t matter what we say or how we say it, as long as people talk about it–even if that talk is, “Holy crap, this is inappropriate.”
Or if that talk is, “Honey, I had no idea that being fat was ruining your childhood. It’s time for you to stop eating so much.” Or if it’s, “I’m eating nothing and exercising all the time–why am I not skinny enough?” Or if it’s, “I’m so disgusting. I deserve everything that comes to me.” Being arresting at the expense of kids and starting a conversation at the expense of kids is worth the potential trauma.
To Children’s [the organization], it’s worth it to have ads that give kids ammo to hate themselves and give their classmates–and, hell, even their parents–ammo to bully them. It’s okay that the ads fall back on the standard trope that fat just comes from eating too much and “fat prevention … begins at the buffet line.” It doesn’t matter that the ads ostensibly target parents but put woebegone fat kids front and center, as long as it gets people talking.
Thoughts on a word: nappy.
There are morning people and night owls, but what do people do in the afternoon?
Before the Industrial Age, people used to be early birds and night owls.
A glossary of terms relating to the many types of Roman prostitutes.
Changes in French policy in Africa:
From the early days of independence many people said that France had been a more successful decoloniser than Britain because Francophone countries were more stable and prosperous. The fact was that France had never left. Behind every minister’s door would be a French official paid for by France making sure that the minister knew what he was supposed to be doing. And near every presidential palace would be a garrison of French soldiers or legionaires in case a mob (or the country’s own soldiers) decided to cause trouble. The currencies of the former French colonies were linked to and supported by the French franc and then the Euro. French companies treated Africa’s resources as their own and French presidents could summon votes at the UN with a simple phone call.
Thinking About Thinking About War.
What is a student loan?
United Citizens vs. Citizens United – a look at the effort to nullify the ruling via amendment.
This NBA player has no country.
And yet I fear that our children might not grow up in the same Margaritaville we’ve been able to enjoy. A Margaritaville where you can get shithoused on a quiet jetty and think about what it would be like to get a dolphin high. A Margaritaville where you can take a dump on a snow-white sand dune and swear at a baby pelican. A Margaritaville where college dropouts, irrespective of race or creed, can listen to Pink Floyd and dry-hump below a rainbow. These are the experiences I cherish, and I know that I am not alone.
Now, I realize what I’m about to say might not make me the most popular man in town, but I just want to pose a simple question to you all. Which human organ parties the hardest? A lot of you might say the genitals. Others, the face area. But I would argue that the hardiest party in the human body is in our hearts. And I’m asking you to use your hearts in securing a brighter future for our town.
Twitter connections are like air traffic.
Crooked Timber is holding a seminar on David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years:
- Chris Bertram’s introduction
- The Unmourned Death of the Double Coincidence
- The World Economy is not a Tribute System
- Debt Jubilee or Global Deleveraging?
- The End of Debt?
- The Return of Grand Narrative in the Human Sciences
- The Dangers of Pricing the Infinite
Why Studying Africa is Good for You.
Portrait of the Artist as a Rookie Cop.
What happens when you swap the audio for Lego commercials for boys and for girls?
This video installation blew my mind – a new twist on a camera facing a screen.