You should read this for 6/14/2020:
Art and Film
Black Lives Matter
H/T Jeff Carlson: I’m a cop. I won’t fight a ‘war’ on crime the way I fought the war on terror. “Patrick Skinner is a police officer in his hometown of Savannah, Ga. He is a former CIA operations officer and served in the United States Coast Guard.”
We need to change our mind-set about what it means to “police” in America. At this moment of maximal national tension and outrage, when national leaders are calling the streets of America a “battlespace,” with police officers as warriors who should “dominate” and give “no quarter,” I am telling whoever will listen: Police are not warriors — because we are not and must not be at war with our neighbors.
[Sean Monterrosa was] fatally shot by Vallejo police as the city erupted in chaos Tuesday was kneeling outside a Walgreens and not carrying a firearm when an officer opened fire — sending five bullets through his own windshield.
Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language
As a 20-year-old student I didn’t laugh very much. Then I read Tristram Shandy “I was a rookie standup when I came across Laurence Sterne’s classic, and it changed my view of not just comedy, but life”
But as the seminar progressed I learned that the book was packed with form-busting jokes and philosophical digressions, its catastrophically self-aware narrator (a thinly veiled alter ego for his creator) trying to set down his entire life’s experience and opinions, while shifting between self-congratulation and deprecation with each new chapter (of which there was one almost every page; ideal for an inattentive, quick-to-tire reader like me). It seemed, in short, to represent everything I had come to love about standup, everything I wanted my own act to be.
The court heard that Rosen, who owned the motion picture rights to Watership Down under his original 1976 contract, had entered into contracts worth more than $500,000 (£400,975) while claiming that he held all rights to the novel. Rosen also made $85,000 from an unauthorised licence for an audiobook adaptation, and also failed to pay the estate fees and merchandising royalties from the 2018 BBC/Netflix television adaptation, on which he served as an executive producer.
The Familial Language of Black Grief “Black people feel the pain and loss of black life as if it were our very own blood that had been brutalized—because it easily could have been.”
Language is part of the machinery of oppression – just look at how black deaths are described “From ‘underlying health conditions’ to ‘suicide by cop’, structural racism has a vocabulary”
But of course Floyd did die by asphyxiation. That much is so obvious that the medical examiner’s report reads like systemic bureaucratic corruption, indicating more than simply the lethal indifference of a single “rogue” officer. Blaming Floyd’s death on “underlying health conditions” is a remarkably determined deflection of Chauvin’s agency.
Coronavirus | COVID-19
The Guardian has since contacted five hospitals in Melbourne and two in Sydney, whose cooperation would have been essential for the Australian patient numbers in the database to be reached. All denied any role in such a database, and said they had never heard of Surgisphere. Desai did not respond to requests to comment on their statements.
Lancet editor Richard Horton told the Guardian: “Given the questions raised about the reliability of the data gathered by Surgisphere, we have today issued an Expression of Concern, pending further investigation. “An independent data audit is currently underway and we trust that this review, which should be completed within the next week, will tell us more about the status of the findings reported in the paper by Mandeep Mehra and colleagues.”
Data from MHA shows 42% of its staff members who recently tested positive were not displaying symptoms.
Nearly 45% of residents who had a positive test were also asymptomatic.
A Small Data Point about Masks Anecdotal, but interesting and persuasive.
Food and Drink
Ben and Jerry’s: We Must Dismantle White Supremacy: Silence Is Not An Option They have a four-part plan. It starts with:
First, we call upon President Trump, elected officials, and political parties to commit our nation to a formal process of healing and reconciliation. Instead of calling for the use of aggressive tactics on protestors, the President must take the first step by disavowing white supremacists and nationalist groups that overtly support him, and by not using his Twitter feed to promote and normalize their ideas and agendas. The world is watching America’s response.
The closer an apple is to rot, the more rot it spreads—one spoiling apple speeds the rot of every apple it touches, and even of ones it doesn’t touch.
History and Archaeology
A beautifully preserved wooden saddle from Mongolia estimated to be nearly 1700 years old has provided researchers with valuable insights into the people who lived in the area all those years ago.
The saddle was among a trove of items found in the Urd Ulaan Uneet cave burial, which was first investigated in 2015.
As well as a bath house, theatre, shops and several temples, the team from the universities of Cambridge and Ghent have discovered a large public monument of a kind never seen before, which may relate to the religious practices of the people who lived in the area before the Romans.
The detailed scanning of the town of Falerii Novi, just over 30 miles (50km) north of Rome, has uncovered the layout of the city’s water system, offering new clues to how it was planned and laid out.
Via The Smithsonian: the sogdians influencers on the silk roads
Meet the Sogdians, an ancient Silk Road people whose major influence on world art, culture, and trade has only in the last fifty years begun to be fully understood.
This site is about the current exhibit, but there’s a wealth of essays and images.
Buy me a Coffee! If you find this post or this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books to review.
The Red Lion is thought to have been built around 1567 and probably played host to travelling groups of players. Its precise location has been the subject of conjecture and debate for a number of years, but archaeologists are as certain as they can be that they have found its remains at a site in the East End of London where a self-storage facility once stood.
Science and Nature
Police have been spying on black reporters and activists for years. I know because I’m one of them. “I learned during a police surveillance trial that the Memphis Police Department spied on me and three other journalists.”
The Silence of the Never Facebookers “Even fed-up tech workers are paralyzed by Silicon Valley’s culture.”
The industry says it wants to improve the world, but its workers are so comfortable, and so entrenched, that they have a hard time finding a way out that doesn’t lead them right back in again.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ simulated paradise is said to have a dark capitalist underbelly. But a popular subreddit where players can donate items reveals the kindness – and generosity – of strangers
The Congresswoman Pepper-Sprayed by Police “In that moment, Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty said, she was just another black American attacked while protesting injustice.”
💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰
Pritzker Calls President Trump a ‘Racist, Misogynist Homophobe’ “Illinois’ governor on Friday criticized President 🤥🤥👖🔥 response to the controversial death of George Floyd”
Josh Marshall TPM: War on the Streets
Over almost four years, across board 💩🔥💰 has ground the government down to the most incompetent and reckless individuals. Whole sections of the governments are now run by people who never faced the constitutional advise and consent process in a Senate controlled by the President’s own party. Only the incompetent, obsequious and corrupt have survived the winnowing. And that’s the footing on which we confront the current moment.
Mike Mullen former cairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffI Cannot Remain Silent
It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent. Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.