Mixed Media Blog Feed | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013/10 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en WATCH: Will George W. Bush's Art Show Be a Reflection of His Presidency? [Fiore Cartoon] http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/watch-george-w-bush-art-show-fiore-cartoon <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p></p> <div align="center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/92212448?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=c96134" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></div> <p>Mark Fiore is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and animator whose work has appeared in the <em>Washington Post, </em>the <em>Los Angeles Times, </em>the <em>San Francisco Examiner, </em>and dozens of other publications. He is an active member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and has a <a href="http://www.markfiore.com/" target="_newWindow">website</a> featuring his work.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Cartoons Bush Media Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:55:35 +0000 Mark Fiore 250051 at http://www.motherjones.com "House of Cards" Veteran Wants To Make a Reality TV Show Starring Capitol Hill Staffers http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/house-cards-reality-tv-show-washington-dc-capitol-hill-staffers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Oh, boy.</p> <p>On Thursday, the <em>Washington Examiner</em>'s Betsy Woodruff <a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/reality-show-starring-capitol-hill-staffers-in-the-works/article/2547349" target="_blank">reported</a> that a veteran of the Netflix political drama <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/house-of-cards-season-2-molly-parker-jacqueline-sharp-war-crimes" target="_blank"><em>House of Cards</em></a> is working to produce a reality TV show based in Washington, DC. The show would star local "up-and-comers," including Capitol Hill staffers ("the best and brightest on the hill") between the ages of 19 and 29.</p> <p>A casting session is set to be held on April 26. One source told the <em>Examiner</em> that the first round of casting has already occurred. (It's unclear how many Hill staffers would actually be up for this, since most Senate and House offices probably wouldn't allow employees to take part in a potentially revealing reality series.)</p> <p><em>Mother Jones </em>obtained the casting call, which is dated April 14. Check it out:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="House of Cards reality tv show casting call" class="image" height="790" src="/files/house-of-cards-reality-tv-show-casting-call.jpg" width="589"></div> <p>Sharon "Rocky" Roggio, who's apparently behind the project, was the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2008867/" target="_blank">assistant property master</a> on this year's season of <em>House of Cards</em> and worked on <em>A Very Harold &amp; Kumar 3D Christmas</em> and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/11/red-dawn-remake-north-korea-foreign-policy-experts-reactions" target="_blank"><em>Red Dawn</em></a> remake. Jena Serbu served as a <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1672561/" target="_blank">production designer</a> on <a href="http://blog.pennlive.com/go/2012/12/amish_mafia_is_it_real_or_fake.html" target="_blank"><em>Amish Mafia</em></a> and <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/02/entertainment/la-et-st-matt-bristol-of-breaking-amish-los-angeles-talks-20130731" target="_blank"><em>Breaking Amish: LA</em></a>.</p> <p>Other attempts at reality TV in Washington include MTV's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_World:_D.C." target="_blank"><em>The Real World: D.C.</em></a> and Bravo's <em>The Real Housewives of DC</em>. In 2011, <a href="http://www.wtop.com/41/2611711/Jersey-Shore-mastermind-casting-reality-show-for-politicos-" target="_blank">Doron Ofir Casting</a> (the company behind such reality-TV hits as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2011/09/chris-christie-vetoes-snooki-subsidy-jersey-shore" target="_blank"><em>Jersey Shore</em></a>) put out a <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70854.html" target="_blank">casting call for</a> "young hot politicos who care about America [and] follow the heated debates, rallies, protests and scandals!" Last month, the <em>Washington Post </em><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2014/03/18/a-new-reality-show-could-be-on-its-way-to-d-c/" target="_blank">reported</a> that Leftfield Pictures, the Manhattan production company behind Bravo's hit show, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b0Wq4AB4Gg" target="_blank"><em>Blood, Sweat and Heels</em></a>, is considering launching a DC version of the series. TV dramas and comedies set in Washington, DC, include <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/09/funny-or-die-obamacare-jennifer-hudson-scandal-spoof" target="_blank"><em>Scandal</em></a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/armando-iannucci-interview-veep-hbo-joe-biden" target="_blank"><em>Veep</em></a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/03/americans-fx-joe-weisberg-joel-fields-contra-war-sandinistas-afghanistan-soviets" target="_blank"><em>The Americans</em></a>, and the attempted sitcom <a href="http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2012/07/09/h-street-sitcom-creator-its-not-about-h-street/" target="_blank"><em>H Street</em></a>.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Congress Film and TV Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:21:58 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 249981 at http://www.motherjones.com Daffy Duck, Glorious Archetype of Selfishness, Is 77. Here Is His First Cartoon. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/daffy-duck-77-years-old-porkys-duck-hunt-chuck-jones <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x874v" width="630"></iframe><br> Daffy Duck, one of America's preeminent ducks, is 77 today.</p> <p>If Bugs Bunny is the brightest star in the Looney Tunes sky, surely Daffy Duck is second. But it wasn't always that way! Before either of them, a pig named Porky occupied the top spot and on April 17, 1937 the sensational swine starred in "Porky's Duck Hunt." The Warner Brothers short featured the curly-tailed stutterer loading up his shotgun and setting out to hunt his way into America's heart, like you do. But then things don't go as planned&mdash;they can't, you see; <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetics_%28Aristotle%29" target="_blank">Aristotle said so</a>&mdash;and Porky comes upon a duck who isn't like the others. This duck's got a white ring around his neck and he doesn't conform, man. He won't go gently into that good night. He does what he wants. He's wacky. He flies around the frame in a very un-medicated way. Watch it. (The colorized version is embedded above. <a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq5ipw_porky-s-duck-hunt-4-17-37_shortfilms" target="_blank">Here's the original black &amp; white.</a>) It's pretty funny!</p> <p>Daffy is nameless in this first appearance, but a rose by any other name&mdash;or no name at all, a nameless rose&mdash;is still a rose. And this duck is still Daffy. Aside from his trademark white ring and lisp&mdash;voiced as he would be for 52 years by Mel Blanc&mdash;what makes him so essentially Daffy is that he's, well, nuts. This was his defining characteristic in the beginning. Created by Tex Avery, Daffy was a minor lunatic the established characters could play the foil to.</p> <p>Over the course of the next decade, however, Daffy grew from being just some prop prey in hunting sketches to a full-blown star. As he became more prominent, his character became more complex. Still wacky, Daffy matured into his most famous role, as Bugs Bunny's arch-nemesis. (Bugs, the Betty to Daffy's Veronica, the White Swan to his Black, had been introduced in 1940.) Daffy became the crafty, scheming, plotting back-stabber who, motivated by unrestrained selfishness, will do anything to get what he wants, but in the end always comes up short. His every attempt is foiled, most often by the more moral Bugs, because in Looney Tunes' moral universe, unrestrained selfishness is a killer.</p> <p>Part of us empathizes with Daffy because though his defining characteristic is selfishness, his fatal flaw is recklessness. Everyone is a little bit selfish. Selfishness is very banal and very human, and at some age most everyone learns to rein it in. At 77, Daffy still hasn't reined it in.</p> <p>Chuck Jones, who created Bugs, drew Daffy from 1951 to 1964 and was responsible for some of his most famous films. In his memoir, <em><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=NJzAdheaSc0C&amp;pg=" target="_blank">Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist</a></em>, Jones describes the first time he encountered within himself the voice he would one day associate with Daffy. The moment came at his sixth birthday party. After Chuck blew out the candles on his cake, his father handed him a knife and told him to cut as large a piece for himself as he wanted.</p> <blockquote> <p>At this point Daffy Duck must have had, for me, his earliest beginnings, because I found to my surprise and pleasure that I had no desire to share my cake with anyone. I courteously returned the knife to my mother. I had no need for it, I explained; I would simplify the whole matter by taking the entire cake for myself. Not knowing she had an incipient duck on her hands, she laughed gently and tried to return the knife to my reluctant grasp. I again explained that the knife was superfluous. It was impossible, I pointed out with incontrovertible logic, to cut a cake and still leave it entire for its rightful owner. I had no need and no desire to share.&nbsp;</p> <p>My father thereupon mounted the hustings (he was nine feet tall and looked like a moose without antlers) and escorted me to my room to contemplate in cakeless solitude the meaning of a word new to me: "selfish." To me then, and to Daffy Duck now, "selfish" means "honest but antisocial"; "unselfish" means "socially acceptable but often dishonest." We all <em>want</em> the whole cake, but, unlike Daffy and at least one six-year-old boy, the coward in the rest of us keeps the Daffy Duck, the small boy in us, under control.</p> <p>"You may cut as large a piece as you want" is a dangerous euphemism. There is a prescribed wedge on every birthday cake that is completely and exactly surrounded by corporal punishment. Exceeding these limits by even a thousandth of an inch brands one as "selfish." From my seventh birthday on, I learned to approach with judgment sharper than a razor's edge this line, without cutting the "un" from "unselfish" to "selfish." I learned very little about social morality but a great deal about survival, and this, after all, is what Daffy Duck is all about.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, happy birthday, Daffy, America's most famous animated cautionary tale of avarice!</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:16:31 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 249971 at http://www.motherjones.com Film Review: "Burt's Buzz" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/film-review-burts-buzz-bees <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6rdhPyM2IJ0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Burt's Buzz</strong></p> <p>EVERYDAY PICTURES/FILMBUFF</p> <p>Jody Shapiro's documentary profiles Burt Shavitz, the thick-bearded, staunchly frugal, middle-aged Maine beekeeper who cofounded Burt's Bees, following his rise from hip 1960s photographer to the unlikely brand ambassador for a multimillion-dollar skin and body care empire. As a portrait of the compelling curmudgeon, <em>Burt's Buzz</em> isn't quite as penetrating as one might hope for. But it's an oddly charming peek into the world of corporate celebrity through the lens of a guy who apparently wants nothing to do with it. "No one has ever accused me of being ambitious," Shavitz says. And, of his intrusive fans: "I'd like to point the shotgun at them and tell them to be good or be gone."</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Corporations Health Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 248956 at http://www.motherjones.com The 2,000-Year History of GPS Tracking http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/you-are-here-book-hiawatha-bray-gps-navigation <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><em>Boston Globe</em> technology writer <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/staff/bray" target="_blank">Hiawatha Bray</a> recalls&nbsp;the&nbsp;moment that&nbsp;inspired him to write his new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Here-Compass-Ourselves/dp/0465032850" target="_blank"><em>You</em> <em>Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves</em></a>. "I got a phone around 2003 or so," he says.&nbsp;"And when&nbsp;you&nbsp;turned the phone on&mdash;it was a Verizon dumb phone, it wasn't anything fancy&mdash;it said, 'GPS'. And I said, 'GPS? There's GPS in my phone?'" He asked around and discovered that yes, there was GPS in his phone, due&nbsp;to a <a href="http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Notices/1994/ntcc4002.txt" target="_blank">1994 FCC ruling</a>. At the time, cellphone usage was increasing rapidly, but 911 and other emergency responders could only accurately&nbsp;track the location of land line callers. So the FCC decided that cellphone providers like Verizon must be able to give emergency responders a more accurate location of cellphone users calling 911. After discovering this, "It hit me," Bray says.&nbsp;"We were about to enter a world in which&hellip;everybody had a cellphone, and that would also mean that we would know where everybody was.&nbsp;Somebody ought to write about that!"</p> <p>So he began researching transformative events that lead to our new ability to&nbsp;navigate (almost) anywhere. In addition, he&nbsp;discovered the military-led GPS and government-led mapping technologies that helped create new digital&nbsp;industries.&nbsp;The result of his curiosity is&nbsp;<em style="line-height: 2em;">You Are Here,</em> an&nbsp;entertaining, detailed history of how we evolved from primitive navigation tools to our current state of instant digital&nbsp;mapping&mdash;and, of course, governments' subsequent ability to track us. The book was finished prior to the recent disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, but Bray says gaps in navigation and communication like that are now "few and far between."</p> <p>Here are 13&nbsp;pivotal moments in the history of GPS tracking and digital mapping&nbsp;that Bray points out in <em>You Are Here</em>:</p> <p><strong>1st century:</strong> The Chinese begin writing about mysterious ladles made of lodestone. The ladle handles always point south when used during future-telling rituals. In the following centuries, lodestone's magnetic abilities lead&nbsp;to the development of the first compasses.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Image: ladle" class="image" src="/files/Compass-Ladel_0.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Model of a Han Dynasty south-indicating ladle </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Model_Si_Nan_of_Han_Dynasty.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a> </div> </div> <p><strong>2nd century:</strong>&nbsp;Ptolemy's&nbsp;<em>Geography</em>&nbsp;is published and sets the standard for maps that use latitude and&nbsp;longitude.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Image: Ptolemy map" class="image" src="/files/PtolemyWorldMap_0.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Ptolemy's 2nd-century world map (redrawn in the 15th century) </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PtolemyWorldMap.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a> </div> </div> <p><strong>1473:</strong>&nbsp;Abraham Zacuto begins working on solar declination tables. They <span style="line-height: 2em;">take him five years, but once finished, the tables allow sailors to determine their latitude on any ocean.</span></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Image: declination tables" class="image" src="/files/DeclinationTable_0.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong><em>The Great Composition</em> by Abraham Zacuto. (A 17th-century copy of the manuscript originally written by Zacuto in 1491.) </strong>Courtesy of <a href="http://www.jtsa.edu/The_Library.xml" target="_blank">The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary</a> </div> </div> <p><strong>1887:</strong> German physicist Heinrich Hertz creates electromagnetic waves, proof that electricity, magnetism, and light are related. His discovery inspires other inventors&nbsp;to experiment with radio and wireless transmissions.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Image: Hertz" class="image" src="/files/Hertz.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>The Hertz resonator </strong>John Jenkins. <a href="http://sparkmuseum.com/RADIOS.HTM" target="_blank">Sparkmuseum.com</a> </div> </div> <p><strong>1895:</strong> Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, one of those inventors&nbsp;inspired by Hertz's experiment, attaches his radio transmitter antennae&nbsp;to the earth and sends telegraph messages miles away. Bray notes&nbsp;that there were many people before Marconi&nbsp;who had developed means of wireless communication.&nbsp;"Saying that Marconi invented the radio is like saying that Columbus discovered America," he writes. But sending messages over long distances was&nbsp;Marconi's great breakthrough.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Image: Marconi" class="image" src="/files/Marconi_1901.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Inventor Guglielmo Marconi in 1901, operating an apparatus similar to the one he used to transmit the first wireless signal across Atlantic </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Guglielmo_Marconi_1901_wireless_signal.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a> </div> </div> <p><strong>1958:</strong> Approximately six months after the Soviets launched Sputnik, Frank McLure, the research director at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, calls physicists William Guier and George Weiffenbach into his office. Guier and Weiffenbach used radio receivers to listen to Sputnik's consistent electronic beeping and calculate the Soviet satellite's location; McLure wants to know if the process could work in reverse, allowing a satellite to location their position on earth. The foundation for&nbsp;GPS tracking is born.</p> <p><strong>&acirc;&#128;&#139;1969:&nbsp;</strong>A pair of Bell Labs scientists named William Boyle and George Smith create a silicon chip that records light and coverts it into digital data. It is called a charge-coupled device, or CCD, and serves as the basis for digital photography used in spy and mapping satellites.</p> <p><strong>1976:</strong> The top-secret,&nbsp;school-bus-size KH-11 satellite is launched. It uses Boyle and Smith's CCD technology to take the first digital spy photographs. Prior to this digital technology, actual film was used for making spy photographs. It was a risky and dangerous venture for&nbsp;pilots like Francis Gary Powers, who was shot down while flying a U-2 spy plane and taking film photographs&nbsp;over the Soviet Union in 1960.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Image: KH-11 image" class="image" src="/files/KH-11-best-SHIPYARD.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>KH-11 satellite photo showing construction of a Kiev-class aircraft carrier </strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KH-11-best-SHIPYARD.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a> </div> </div> <p><strong>1983:</strong> Korean Air Lines flight 007 is shot down after leaving Anchorage, Alaska, and veering into Soviet airspace. All&nbsp;269 passengers are killed, including Georgia Democratic Rep. Larry McDonald. Two weeks after the attack,&nbsp;President Ronald Reagan <a href="http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=41856" target="_blank">directs</a> the military's GPS technology to be made available for civilian use so that similar tragedies would not be repeated. Bray notes, however, that GPS technology had always been intended to be&nbsp;made public eventually. Here's Reagan's address to the nation following the attack:&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9VA4W1wDMAk" width="629"></iframe></p> <p><strong>1989: </strong>The US Census Bureau releases (<a href="http://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/pdfs/tiger/tgrshp2013/TGRSHP2013_TechDoc_Ch1.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>) TIGER&nbsp;(Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) into the public domain. The digital map data allows any individual or company to create virtual maps.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1994:</strong> The FCC declares that wireless carriers must find ways for emergency services to locate mobile 911 callers. Cellphone companies choose to use&nbsp;their cellphone towers to comply. However,&nbsp;entrepreneurs begin to see the potential for GPS-integrated phones, as well. Bray highlights SnapTrack, a company that figures out early on how to squeeze GPS systems into phones&mdash;and is purchased by Qualcomm in 2000 for $1 billion.</p> <p><strong>1996:&nbsp;</strong>GeoSystems&nbsp;launches&nbsp;an internet-based mapping service called MapQuest, which uses&nbsp;the Census Bureau's public-domain mapping data. It attracts hundreds of thousands of users and is purchased by AOL four years later for $1.1 billion.</p> <p><strong>2004: </strong>Google buys Australian&nbsp;mapping startup&nbsp;Where 2 Technologies and American satellite photography&nbsp;company Keyhole for undisclosed amounts. The next year, they launch&nbsp;Google Maps, which is now the <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/08/05/most-used-smartphone-apps/" target="_blank">most-used</a> mobile app in the world.</p> <p><strong>2012:</strong>&nbsp;The Supreme Court ruling in <em>United States v. Jones</em> (<a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-1259.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>) restricts police usage of GPS to track suspected criminals. Bray tells the story of Antoine Jones, who was convicted of dealing cocaine after police placed a GPS device on his wife's Jeep to track his movements. The court's decision in his case is unanimous: The GPS device had been placed without a valid search warrant. Despite the unanimous decision, just five justices signed off on the majority opinion. Others wanted further privacy protections in such cases&mdash;a mixed&nbsp;decision that leaves future&nbsp;battles for privacy&nbsp;open to interpretation.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Books Media Tech Top Stories Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Brett Brownell 249281 at http://www.motherjones.com Pop on Steroids and Blistering Punk in EMA's and Screaming Females' New Releases http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/new-album-ema-futures-void-screaming-females-live-hideout <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="Screaming Females" class="image" src="/files/ScreamingFemales630_0.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Screaming Females </strong>Don Giovanni Records</div> </div> <p><strong>EMA</strong><br><strong><em>The Future's Void</em></strong><br><strong>Matador</strong></p> <p><strong>Screaming Females<br><em>Live at the Hideout</em><br> Don Giovanni</strong></p> <p>In pop music, there's plain old noise, which can be plenty of fun, and then there's smart noise, which can be even more fun. On <em>The Future\'s Void</em>, her stunning s<em>equel to Past Life Martyred Saints</em>, EMA (Erika M. Anderson) unleashes a thrilling sonic firestorm that defies simple categories. Think Kate Bush's luminous chamber pop on steroids, turned inside-out by a healthy dose of punk aggression and filtered through damaged electronic effects. Howling, snarling and sometimes singing, the South Dakota-bred Anderson rails against cultural norms ("So Blonde"), takes a cue from cyber-prophet William Gibson ("Neuromancer") and embraces the bizarre ("Cthulu"), with consistently riveting results.</p> <p>Staking out more familiar turf, Screaming Females' blazing <em>Live at the Hideout</em> finds fleet-fingered guitar goddess Marissa Paternoster, the New Jersey band's only female member, in stellar form at a Chicago club. Screaming Females' furious attack suggests an old-fashioned power trio tempered by a less heavyhanded indie-rock sensibility, often recalling the late, great <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/riff/2010/03/interview-carrie-brownstein-sleater-kinney" target="_blank">Sleater-Kinney</a>. As a singer, Paternoster shouts with engaging flair, but when she rips off a series of blistering licks&mdash;check out "It All Means Nothing" or "Baby Jesus"&mdash;she's flat-out amazing.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:00:10 +0000 Jon Young 249536 at http://www.motherjones.com Exclusive Video: Kithkin's Soundtrack for the Apocalypse: http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/exclusive-video-kifkin-premiere-altered-beast <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/t-gx65Esb1Y?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Civilization as we know it is going to collapse&mdash;someday at least. Judging by what climate scientists are saying&mdash;or what some are <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/604242-yellowstone-supervolcano-volcano-fleeing-bison-rumors-persist-park-fighting-them/" target="_blank">gleaning</a> from the buffalo running around Yellowstone&mdash;it could be a lot sooner than we&rsquo;d like.</p> <p><a href="http://kithkin.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">The band Kithkin</a>, hailing from the frigid (and fictitious), tree-worshiping Northwestern nation of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_%28independence_movement%29" target="_blank">Cascadia</a> (consisting of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia), plans to make the most of it by offering audiences the chance to go down dancing.</p> <p>With their aptly named debut album,<em> Rituals, Trances &amp; Ecstasies for Humans in the Face of Collapse</em> coming May 20, the (actually) Seattle band is hoping to highlight the role of humans in our own demise&mdash;and help us think about how we can prevent it.</p> <p>Kithkin was inspired by <em>Ishmael, </em>a philosophical novel by <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhUz9guvrno" target="_blank">Daniel Quinn</a> that reframes civilization and its end by means of a Socratic dialogue between the narrator and a telepathic gorilla. "It talks about climate change, sustainability, resource distribution, food, and all these big, kind of hard-to-digest topics in a really engaging and streamlined way," explains Kelton Sears, one of the band's lead singers.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/KithTotem.jpg" style="width: 330px; height: 452px;"><div class="caption">by Hayley Young</div> </div> <p>Though Kithkin was founded on a mutual affinity for drums and rhythmic music shared by Sears (who also plays bass) and his fellow frontman Ian McCutcheon, Quinn's ideas shaped the band's identity and moved its members to make positive music about negative things. "It is a very apocalyptic book that's kind about how the way that humans live isn't working anymore, and that things are going to crumble," Sears says. "You don&rsquo;t pay attention to because it is sort of hard to comprehend and think about."</p> <p>At Seattle University, the two met up with Alex Barr (guitar) and Bob Martin (keys and theremin), and Kithkin was born. Every member plays the drums as well as their other instruments, which explains the complex layers of rhythms that give their charged lyrics an upbeat quality.</p> <p>But the bandmates aren't all serious and earnest. They are self-proclaimed "fantasy nerds," and Sears says a lot of the tree-centric Cascadia imagery is just for fun. Still, Kithkin hopes to get listeners thinking. "Singing about that stuff just makes us as honest with ourselves as possible," Sears says. "You are naturally more passionate about it if it has that deeper meaning to you."</p> <p>The exclusive video at the top of this post, titled "W (Upturned Moon)," is set to Kithkin's single "Altered Beast" and depicts a coven of women in a forest attacking a pile of trashed consumer goods&mdash;one metric ton of it, if you want to get specific.</p> <p>"Thinking about the video, we were also interested in this idea of the witch," Sears explains. "This archetype is interesting to us, and this idea of women as agents of change, breaking all this stuff that is symbolic of all the stuff humans are doing that is contributing to the demise of civilization. And in a way, making it a celebratory thing instead of a scary thing."</p> <p>Check out the video and catch the band on its first official <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/838736062819895/?ref=5" target="_blank">tour</a> this spring. Who knows when civilization will collapse? In the meantime&nbsp;Kithkin has created an album of great songs, laced with ideas all need to ponder. If the Apocalypse is coming, at least it won't sound that bad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 249496 at http://www.motherjones.com Quiz: Who's More Metal, the Cat or the Owner? http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/quiz-whos-more-metal-cats-or-their-owners <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Metal-Cats-Alexandra-Crockett/dp/1576876772" target="_blank"><em>Metal Cats</em></a>, a new book that compiles photos of headbangers with their felines, made us wonder: Who's more metal, cat or owner? Take the quiz below, featuring some of the book's photos, to find out.</p> <script src="http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/plugins/jquery/v1.7.1/jquery-1.7.1.min.js"></script><script src="http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/plugins/tabletop/tabletop.js"></script><script>(function($) { function make_default_how_you_did_html(nCorrect, nQuestions) { var answersWord = nCorrect === 1 ? 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He is an active member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and has a <a href="http://www.markfiore.com/" target="_newWindow">website</a> featuring his work.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Cartoons Money in Politics The Right Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:59:22 +0000 Mark Fiore 249591 at http://www.motherjones.com Stephen Colbert Is Replacing Letterman. Here Are His Best—and Worst—Political Moments http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/stephen-colbert-best-worst-political-moments-replacing-letterman-cbs-late-show <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Thursday, CBS <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/stephen-colbert-replaces-david-letterman" target="_blank">announced</a> that Stephen Colbert will replace the retiring David Letterman as host of <em>Late Show</em>. (<em>Mashable </em>reported last week that Colbert was the network's <a href="http://mashable.com/2014/04/04/stephen-colbert-replace-david-letterman-late-night/" target="_blank">top choice</a> to take over for Letterman.) When Colbert leaves for CBS, he'll be leaving behind <em>The Colbert Report</em> at Comedy Central, where he has played the part of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/03/patrick-stewart-obamacare-horror-story-stephen-colbert" target="_blank">fake conservative cable-TV commentator</a> since 2005.</p> <p>We're assuming that once he starts his gig at <em>Late Show </em>he'll be doing less left-leaning political satire than he's used to. So here's a look back at his very best&mdash;and very worst&mdash;political moments over the past few years. And no, <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/03/28/stephen_colbert_versus_the_hashtag_activists.html" target="_blank">#CancelColbert</a> does not make either list:</p> <p><em><strong>THE BEST:</strong></em></p> <p><strong>1. Colbert slams the Obama administration's legal <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/eric-holder-targeted-killing" target="_blank">justification</a> for killing American citizens abroad suspected of terrorism: </strong>"Trial by jury, trial by fire, rock, paper scissors, who cares? Due process just means that there is a process that you do," Colbert <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/colbert-targeted-killing-due-process-just-means-theres-process-you-do" target="_blank">said</a> in March 2012. "The current process is, apparently, first the president meets with his advisers and decides who he can kill. Then he kills them."</p> <p>"Due process just means that there is a process that you do" is pretty dead-on:</p> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:520px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="288" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:410085" width="512"></iframe> <p style="text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;"><b><a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/410085/march-06-2012/the-word---due-or-die">The Colbert Report</a></b><br> Get More: <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/">Colbert Report Full Episodes</a>,<a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/video">Video Archive</a></p> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2. <em>The Colbert Report</em>'s incredibly moving, stereotype-smashing segment on the openly gay mayor of Vicco, Kentucky: </strong>"To get your point across, sometimes you just gotta laugh," Mayor Johnny Cummings <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/mayor-johnny-cummings-vicco-kentucky-interview-colbert-report" target="_blank">told <em>Mother Jones</em></a>, after the segment aired. "That's how I look at it. So I thought, OK, <em>The Colbert Report </em>would be perfect." <strong> </strong></p> <p>"If God makes 'em born gay, then why is he against it?" a Vicco resident asks in the clip's moving final moments. "I can't understand that. I've tried and tried and tried to understand that, and I can't."</p> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:520px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="288" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:comedycentral.com:b36b1cd5-8d5a-4388-aac5-67d8308630c6" width="512"></iframe> <p style="text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;"><b><a href="http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/">The Colbert Report</a></b><br> Get More: <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/">Colbert Report Full Episodes</a>,<a href="http://www.comedycentral.com/indecision">Indecision Political Humor</a>,<a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/video">Video Archive</a></p> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3. Colbert on <em>The O'Reilly Factor</em>: </strong>Bill O'Reilly still seems to think that Colbert, the satirist, is doing <a href="http://www.mediaite.com/tv/oreilly-fires-back-at-colbert-he%E2%80%99s-a-deceiver-who-does-damage-to-the-country/" target="_blank">great damage to this country</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QquTUR9nbC4" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. Colbert's roasting of President George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner:&nbsp; </strong>"Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32 percent approval rating," Colbert said. "But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in 'reality.' And reality has a well-known liberal bias."</p> <p>For a transcript, <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/04/30/206303/-Re-Improved-Colbert-transcript-now-with-complete-text-of-Colbert-Thomas-video#" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/U7FTF4Oz4dI" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>5. Colbert's surreal congressional testimony: </strong>He testified (<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2010/09/stephen-colbert-surreal-congressional-testimony-video" target="_blank">in character</a>) before a House hearing in 2010 on immigrant farm workers. He offered to submit video of his colonoscopy into the congressional record:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/t39uqg6e4so" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>6. Colbert was a two-time <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2007/10/stephen-colbert-president-really-maybe-sorta" target="_blank">presidential</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/13/stephen-colbert-preps-2012_n_1203657.html" target="_blank">candidate</a> who used comedy to highlight the absurdity of the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/stephen-colbert-citizens-united-super-pac" target="_blank">post-<em>Citizens United</em></a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/01/stephen-colbert-super-pac-videos" target="_blank">election landscape</a>. </strong>Here's his recent letter to the IRS, in which he requests the opportunity to testify at a public hearing:</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/209873758" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Stephen Colbert Comment to IRS on Scribd">Stephen Colbert Comment to IRS</a></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_94827" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/209873758/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>THE WORST</em>:</strong></p> <p><strong>1. That time he used Henry Kissinger as a dance partner: </strong>The former secretary of state and national security advisor has been accused by <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/AMR22/004/2002/fr/ffdec456-d852-11dd-9df8-936c90684588/amr220042002en.html" target="_blank">human rights groups</a> and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpMuH0FYmCk" target="_blank">journalists</a> of complicity in major human rights violations and war crimes around the globe: In <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB255/" target="_blank">Chile</a> (murder and subversion of democracy), <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/jon-huntsman-glosses-over-genocide-bangladesh-pakistan" target="_blank">Bangladesh</a> (genocide), <a href="http://www.yale.edu/gsp/east_timor/" target="_blank">East Timor</a> (yet more genocide), <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/new-memo-kissinger-gave-green-light-argentina-dirty-war" target="_blank">Argentina</a>, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/10/08/reviews/001008.08hitchet.html" target="_blank">Vietnam</a>, and <a href="http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/cambodia/tl02.html" target="_blank">Cambodia</a>, to name a few.</p> <p>So it's odd that Colbert would feature him in a lighthearted dance-party segment last August. The video (set to Daft Punk's hit "Get Lucky") also includes famous people whom no one has ever accused of war crimes, such as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/05/review-behind-candelabra-soderbergh-hbo-liberace-gay-sex" target="_blank">Matt Damon</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2011/09/jeff-bridges-interview-crazy-heart-album" target="_blank">Jeff Bridges</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/godzilla-bryan-cranston-remake-trailer-us-nuclear-testing-operation-castle" target="_blank">Bryan Cranston</a>, and Hugh Laurie:</p> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:520px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="288" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:comedycentral.com:e15c030e-791e-4341-a1fc-557e839dd668" width="512"></iframe> <p style="text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;"><b><a href="http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/">The Colbert Report</a></b><br> Get More: <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/">Colbert Report Full Episodes</a>,<a href="http://www.comedycentral.com/indecision">Indecision Political Humor</a>,<a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/video">Video Archive</a></p> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2. The <em>other </em>time he made Kissinger seem like a lovable, aging teddy bear: </strong>Kissinger was also on <em>The Colbert Report </em>in 2006 during the Colbert guitar "ShredDown." The following clip also features <a href="http://gawker.com/5246264/i-have-complete-contempt-for-henry-kissinger-says-kissingers-protege" target="_blank">Eliot Spitzer and guitarist Peter Frampton</a>:</p> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:520px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="288" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:colbertnation.com:a0acdd1e-ed00-11e0-aca6-0026b9414f30" width="512"></iframe> <p style="text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;"><b><a href="http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/">The Colbert Report</a></b><br> Get More: <a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/">Colbert Report Full Episodes</a>,<a href="http://www.comedycentral.com/indecision">Indecision Political Humor</a>,<a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/video">Video Archive</a></p> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Colbert's apparent coziness with Kissinger is even stranger when you consider how Colbert has blasted "<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/03/8492875/stephen-colbert-surprises-slate-crowd-talks-about-nixons-selfish-ev" target="_blank">the war crimes of Nixon</a>," and has said that he "despair[s] that people forget those." Perhaps he forgot that "the war crimes" he spoke of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bFOhAAYfqk" target="_blank">were as much Kissinger's</a> as they were President Nixon's.</p> <p>Anyway, viewers can hope that when he's hosting on CBS, there will be fewer musical numbers featuring war criminals.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Human Rights Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:27:30 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 249551 at http://www.motherjones.com Meet the Artists Behind the Giant Poster Targeting Drone Pilots http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/drone-art-poster-girl-installation-pakistan <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On the night of August 23, 2010, an American drone destroyed a home in&nbsp;Danda Darpakhel, a village in North Waziristan, Pakistan. The strike was meant to target a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haqqani_network" target="_blank">Haqqani network</a> compound, but also killed Bismillah Khan, his wife, and two of their sons, aged 8 and 10 years old. The family's two young sons and daughter, whose names and ages are unknown, survived.</p> <p>Now Khan's daughter's face has become part of the first-ever art installation aimed at an audience watching from the sky: American drone pilots.&nbsp; Two weeks ago, artists spread out a large poster of the girl in Khyber Pakhtunkwwa, the Pakistani province that neighbors North Waziristan. The image on the sprawling poster comes from a photo (below) taken by Pakistani photographer Noor Behram a few hours after the strike on the girl's home.&nbsp;</p> <p>The artists call their project <a href="http://notabugsplat.com/" target="_blank">#NotABugSplat</a>, a reference to "bug splat," <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-rise-of-the-killer-drones-how-america-goes-to-war-in-secret-20120416?page=2" target="_blank">drone-pilot lingo</a> for kills.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/orphans21.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>A girl and her two brothers after surviving a drone strike in August 2010&nbsp; </strong>Noor<strong> </strong>Behram/ Reprieve</div> </div> <p>The artist collective, which includes artists from France, Pakistan, and the United States, set up the poster with the help of the British charity <a href="http://www.reprieve.org.uk/" target="_blank">Reprieve</a>&nbsp; and a Pakistani NGO, the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/world/meet-shahzad-akbar-lawyer-pursuing-justice-pakistani-drone-strike-victims" target="_blank">Foundation for Fundamental Rights</a>. They hope that the poster will make drone operators empathize with the people who live under their gaze. "We were considering whether to put words in the poster, but decided against it, since the photograph already speaks a thousand words," one of the members of the collective, who asked to remain anonymous, told <em>Mother Jones</em>, "Her eyes say everything."</p> <p>When the artists arrived in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, they were greeted by "warm, welcoming" villagers, who helped them unfold the gigantic image. The 90-foot by 60-foot poster took an hour and a half to unfurl. At ground level it looked like a bunch of pixels. But once the villagers saw a photo of the image taken by the artists' own remote-controlled mini-drone, they were ecstatic.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/setting_up_1.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Unfolding the image </strong>#NotABugSplat</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/crowd_with_poster21.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Villagers with the poster </strong>#NotABugSplat.com</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/drone%20master.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>The poster as seen from the artists' own drone </strong>#NotABugSplat</div> </div> <p>To get a sense of the scale of the poster, it helps to look at the road winding besides it, dotted by miniscule people who are "about the size of bugs", says one of the artists.</p> <p>The strike that killed most of the girl's family also destroyed or badly damaged five other houses, killing at least nine civilians who were part of a community of Afghan refugees that had been there for two decades. The girl and her brothers were taken in by family members on the other side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.</p> <p>More than <a href="http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/04/07/bureau-pakistan-drones-cia-data-used-in-pitch-interactive-graphic/" target="_blank">100 days</a> have passed since the last American drone strike in Pakistan. The #NotABugSplat artists hope there they won't have to make any more such posters. "But if the need is there, we will do more," says the collective.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Civil Liberties Foreign Policy International Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:21:27 +0000 H.F. Bhojani 249371 at http://www.motherjones.com Dear Hollywood: Please Don't Make the New "Battlestar Galactica" Movie About Drones http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/battlestar-galactica-movie-reboot-universal-not-drones-please <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Universal is planning a major film reboot of the sci-fi franchise <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407362/" target="_blank"><em>Battlestar Galactica</em></a>, according to a report in <a href="http://variety.com/2014/film/news/battlestar-galactica-movie-gets-new-life-at-universal-exclusive-1201153687/" target="_blank"><em>Variety</em></a>. Jack Paglen (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCTen3-B8GU" target="_blank"><em>Transcendence</em></a>) has reportedly signed on to write the screenplay, and original series creator <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/knight-rider-producer-glen-larson-210168" target="_blank">Glen Larson</a> is set to produce.</p> <p>I have one modest request: Don't make it a movie about Obama's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/obama-targeted-killing-white-paper-drone-strikes" target="_blank">killer drones</a>. Please. Don't do that. It's super zeitgeist-y, but please, just don't.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.syfy.com/battlestar/" target="_blank">rebooted Sci-Fi Channel series</a>, which ran from 2003 to 2009, garnered much critical acclaim, in large part because it was smartly topical and political. That&nbsp;reboot focused on war between human civilization and the cybernetic&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylon_%28Battlestar_Galactica%29" target="_blank">Cylon</a> race. The series worked as an allegory of the War on Terror, and incorporated themes of religious extremism, suicide bombing, and state-sanctioned <a href="http://io9.com/359679/law-and-torture-in-battlestar-galactica" target="_blank">torture</a>. Many images <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/jan/13/tvandradio.broadcasting" target="_blank">called to mind</a> the Iraq War, Nazi occupation, and the Vietnam War.</p> <p>So it would only make sense if an upcoming film version of <em>Battlestar Galactica </em>were also deeply political. And with the Bush years in the rearview, Hollywood has frequently (almost relentlessly) turned to drone warfare as a go-to subject for big-budget political critique in the Obama era.</p> <p>Here are a few examples of drones in big Hollywood fare released in the past year or so:</p> <p><strong>1. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/captain-america-winter-soldier-obama-kill-list-politics-drones-nsa" target="_blank"><em>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</em></a></strong>, which is about "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/06/obama-bad-civil-liberties-shouldnt-surprise-anyone" target="_blank">civil liberties issues</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/obama-drone-deaths-pakistan-discrepancy" target="_blank">drone strikes</a>, the president's kill list, [and] preemptive technology," according to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/captain-america-winter-soldier-obama-kill-list-politics-drones-nsa" target="_blank">its directors</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/robocop-remake-samuel-l-jackson-bill-oreilly-politics" target="_blank"><em>RoboCop</em></a> (2014)</strong>, which features autonomous <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/campaign-stop-killer-robots-military-drones" target="_blank">killer robots</a> called "drones" that are prominently used in an American invasion and occupation of Iran ("<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/robocop-remake-samuel-l-jackson-bill-oreilly-politics" target="_blank">Operation Freedom Tehran</a>," it's called). OmniCorp, which designs and manufactures these military robots, wants to put this technology to use in law enforcement in the United States. Thus kicks off a national debate on civil liberties and so forth.</p> <p><strong>3.<em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/03/film-review-gi-joe-retaliation-so-much-political-trolling-the-rock-channing-tatum" target="_blank">G.I. Joe: Retaliation</a></em></strong>, in which the d<a href="http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Barack_Obama_a_Republican_or_a_Democrat" target="_blank">emocratic</a> President of the United States is a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/chart-obama-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank">foreign-born</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/chart-obama-conspiracy-theories" target="_blank">imposter</a> who uses <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/why-obama-wont-give-straight-answer-drones" target="_blank">killer drones</a> on <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/07/aclu-sues-awlaki-khan-death" target="_blank">American citizens overseas</a>, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/nuclear-weapons-reduction-obama" target="_blank">desires a world rid of nuclear weapons</a>. (REMIND YOU OF ANYONE<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/09/tv-review-revolution-nbc-jj-abrams-jon-favreau-barack-obama" target="_blank">???)</a></p> <p><strong>4. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/07/film-review-pacific-rim-pollution" target="_blank"><em>Pacific Rim</em></a></strong>, which has drones in the form of gargantuan robots called <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/07/film-review-pacific-rim-pollution" target="_blank">Jaegers</a> (the robots fight amphibious monsters called Kaiju).</p> <p><strong>5. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/05/film-review-iron-man-3-politics" target="_blank"><em>Iron Man 3</em></a></strong>, which fits in <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/05/03/1960711/iron-man-3-takes-on-drone-strikes-media-manipulation-and-the-war-on-terror/" target="_blank">snugly with</a> the rest of the <em>Iron Man </em>franchise <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPgM5WCUNE8" target="_blank">drone imagery</a>.</p> <p><strong>6. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/05/star-trek-into-darkness-jj-abrams-iraq-war-veterans" target="_blank"><em>Star Trek Into Darkness</em></a></strong>, which covers the ethical question of extrajudicial and <a href="http://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/war-machines-summer-blockbusters-drones-and-the-future-of-the-action-hero-in-an-age-of-robot-warfare" target="_blank">targeted killing</a> of terror suspects operating outside American borders.</p> <p>(And it appears <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/us-drone-program-movie-works-568381" target="_blank">this drone warfare movie</a> is in the works, too.)</p> <p>This seems like it's on the verge of being played out. If Jack Paglen is looking for something fresher to weave into his script, maybe he can go with <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/us-military-africa-mission-presence" target="_blank">US special operations</a> <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/07/world/la-fg-usmil-africa-20140308" target="_blank">in Africa</a>.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Civil Liberties Film and TV Foreign Policy Tue, 08 Apr 2014 23:07:15 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 249316 at http://www.motherjones.com Chupacabra Spotted! News at 11! How Local News Created a Monster http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/chupacabra-origin-story-1995-species <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Arlen "Bubba" Parma of Ratcliffe, Texas, was minding his property last weekend when he came upon something he&rsquo;d never seen before. Four-legged. Hairless. Making an otherworldly noise. Naturally, <a href="http://www.wjbf.com/story/25142160/a-live-chupacabra-caught" target="_blank">he brought it home</a> to his wife.</p> <p>"I said, 'Bubba, that looks like a baby chupacabra,'" his wife, Jackie Stock, told the local ABC affiliate.</p> <p>Jackie and Bubba believed they'd stumbled upon a Latin American vampire beast that guzzles the blood of livestock. They decided to take it as a pet. The myth of the chupacabra, the ABC station reported, "has been around for decades."</p> <p>On further examination, there are a lot of Bubba Parmas out there. Although the wildlife experts who invariably weigh in on alleged chupacabra sightings say there is a simple explanation&mdash;a skin disease called mange that cause quadrupeds' skin to fall off&mdash;dozens of local news outlets have reported sightings over the past three years. But this rash of reporting on chupacabras isn't just entertaining journalism&mdash;it's also bad journalism. With just a handful of exceptions, none of these news outlets ever tell it straight: The legend of the chupacabra is barely old enough to buy cigarettes. It's not mysterious. It's not a legend. It's not "decades old"&mdash;not even two.</p> <p>I'm familiar with this problem because, like many Americans, I receive a daily Google News alert for the word "chupacabra." It's a wonder I ever leave the house. If there's a four-legged creature afflicted with a skin condition, chances are an Area Man and a local news crew won't be far behind. In Falfurrias, Texas, a taxidermist nearly <a href="http://www.kztv10.com/news/chupacabra-sighting-/" target="_blank">broke down</a> in tears when he came upon a still-fresh corpse. In Picayune, Mississippi, residents <a href="http://www.wlox.com/story/23802669/mysterious-creature-in-picayune-resembles-el-chupacabra" target="_blank">hid in their cars</a> from a creature whose true identity they discovered after Googling "hairless coyote." A 13-year-old in Inez, Texas, <a href="http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2011/jul/18/jo_chupacabra_shot_071911_146253/" target="_blank">dropped</a> a suspected chupacabra with a .257 Weatherby rifle after spotting it outside his bedroom window.</p> <p>The beast can apparently swim. It was spotted in <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380836/Has-legendary-chupacabra-turned-Belarus-Local-vets-baffled-mystery-animal-farmers-killed-attacked-cows.html" target="_blank">Belarus</a>, and in Ukraine, where residents claimed it <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192561/Fabled-Chupacabra-mutant-fox-poisoned-radiation-Russian-hunters-baffled-dog-like-animal.html" target="_blank">killed their rabbits</a>. Russian farmers blamed it for the slaughter of 60 sheep, <a href="http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140125/186890180/Moscow-Region-Officials-Formally-Deny-Existence-of-Chupacabra.html" target="_blank">prompting</a> the government to issue a formal notice that "there are no fairytale creatures in the Lukhovitsky district." Last year, it was spotted in the savannahs of Namibia, where villagers reported a "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/05/chupacabra-dog-headed-pig-monster-stalks-namibian-villagers_n_1320634.html" target="_blank">dog-headed pig monster</a>" terrorizing the community.</p> <p>These stories would be terrific if they weren't so consistently misleading. In local news reports, chupacabra sightings are frequently presented as a handover from previous generations. "Chupacabra sightings have been rumored in North America, Mexico, and Puerto Rico for more than 50 years," an Arizona CBS affiliate <a href="http://www.kpho.com/story/16443114/could-it-be-another-chupacabra-sighting" target="_blank">explained</a> to its viewers, after a Tucson meteorologist reported spotting one on the way to work. "The legend of 'El Chupacabra' dates back to the 1970s," <a href="http://www.wlox.com/story/23802669/mysterious-creature-in-picayune-resembles-el-chupacabra" target="_blank">reported</a> Biloxi, Mississippi's WLOX after the sighting in Picayune. KLTV of Tyler, Texas, <a href="http://www.kltv.com/story/4390885/expert-identify-mysterious-east-texas-animal" target="_blank">identified</a> the chupacabra as "a bloodthirsty predator of Mexican lore." The Associated Press called it "folkloric legend," after another close call in Deer Creek, Oklahoma.</p> <p>The real story of the chupacabra is decidedly modern. Although myths of vampire creatures are longstanding, the first known reference and eyewitness account came just 19 years ago, from a Puerto Rican woman named Madelyne Tolentino. Researcher Ben Radford laid out the details in his 2011 book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tracking-Chupacabra-Vampire-Fiction-Folklore/dp/0826350151" target="_blank"><em>Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore</em></a>. Radford, who deserves a medal or something, tracked down Tolentino and identified the inspiration for her account&mdash;she had just seen the movie <em>Species</em>, which came out in 1995 and features an alien almost identical to the animal Tolentino spotted. Radford offered a <a href="http://news.discovery.com/human/making-monster-memories-are-chupacabra-recollections-real-or-false-110324.htm" target="_blank">$250 reward</a> for any earlier reference to the chupacabra and is still waiting.</p> <p>Every once in a while, a news outlet demonstrates its ability to procure homespun commentary from locals about hairless vampire demons without sacrificing its journalistic cred. <em>Good Morning America</em>, for instance, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/legend-chupacabra-mystery-solved/story?id=13187448" target="_blank">cited</a> Radford's work in a story about a retired wildlife biologist in Lake Jackson, Texas, who had whimsically reported a chupacabra sighting to the local press only to find himself the subject of a media frenzy.</p> <p>But the most common strategy is to teach the controversy. "Some people think it exists, others say it's just a mangy dog," <a href="http://www.kens5.com/news/Churpacabra-spotted-on-Bitters-212546701.html" target="_blank">reported</a> KENS of San Antonio, referring to a mangy coyote spotted inside the city limits. A Phoenix ABC affiliate offered that an unidentified creature might be a vampire beast or a badger. "What do you think?" the station <a href="http://www.abc15.com/homepage-showcase/was-a-chupacabra-discovered-in-minnesota" target="_blank">asked</a> readers.</p> <p>In the meantime, the flood of sightings seems to be increasing, no doubt buoyed by people who have seen local news clips about previous encounters. "I actually Google Imaged 'chupacabra' and it looks just like the other images," a San Antonio woman said last June, <a href="http://www.kens5.com/news/Churpacabra-spotted-on-Bitters-212546701.html" target="_blank">after spotting</a> what local biologists insisted was a coyote with mange. "They said it was one of them chupacabras or whatever," said Matthew Harrell, the Mississippi man who bagged a creature <a href="http://www.wjtv.com/story/23409418/lena-hunters-says-he-killed-chupacabra" target="_blank">in a place called Pigtown</a>. "That's what I'd call it because it looks just like it." The chupacabra isn't a Puerto Rican phenomenon anymore; it's a local TV one.</p> <p>The vampire dog isn't real. We're all just suckers.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Animals Media Science Top Stories Offbeat Tue, 08 Apr 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Tim Murphy 249246 at http://www.motherjones.com Read Ronald Reagan's Letter to the Late Mickey Rooney About the Time He Rescued a Dog http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/mickey-rooney-actor-dead-93-ronald-reagan-letter-saved-dog <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Sunday, Hollywood actor <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyUTK-Fu9j8" target="_blank">Mickey Rooney</a> died at the age of 93. He was with his family when he passed away at his North Hollywood home.</p> <p>"He was a tremendous talent, and someone at 5-foot-tall that everybody looked up to," actor Billy Crystal <a href="http://www.today.com/entertainment/billy-crystal-remembers-mickey-rooney-he-was-tremendous-talent-2D79492197" target="_blank">said</a> on Monday. Rooney had a long, successful career on stage and screen, one that included reigning as the <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/04/07/300101780/legendary-hollywood-star-mickey-rooney-dies-at-93" target="_blank">top moneymaking movie star</a> from 1939 to 1942 (his streak came to a halt when he enlisted <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Rooney#After_the_war" target="_blank">in the Army</a>). He starred in films such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZiwFOjEd8Y" target="_blank"><em>Love Finds Andy Hardy</em></a>, alongside Judy Garland, and <em>Breakfast at Tiffany's</em> (in which he&mdash;nowadays notoriously so&mdash;played a full-throttle <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Mr.+Yunioshi&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=Cor&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;channel=fflb&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=u7lCU9GVEuXt2wXbsoDQBA&amp;ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&amp;biw=1440&amp;bih=721" target="_blank">Japanese caricature</a>).</p> <p>Rooney was also a friend of actor-turned-most-powerful-man-in-the-world <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/republicans-wont-stop-trying-name-ocean-waters-after-ronald-reagan" target="_blank">Ronald Reagan</a>. Below is one of President Reagan's letters to Rooney and his wife Jan, written in 1985. The president invited the couple to a White House dinner. Rooney couldn't make it, and wrote back, "Damn it! It's always when I'm working, but thank goodness that I am." Here is Reagan's reply, in which he writes about the time <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=MAJGPGqOJ8oC&amp;pg=PA159&amp;lpg=PA159&amp;dq=mickey+rooney+ronald+reagan&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=HV6njpQYEo&amp;sig=0WgPs7GHTgoElG6Tn1q7XpPe99o&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=A7JCU4K5IaGr2QXSkoHIDg&amp;ved=0CHoQ6AEwDg#v=onepage&amp;q=mickey%20rooney%20ronald%20reagan&amp;f=false" target="_blank">he and Mickey Rooney met</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Dear Jan and Mickey,</em></p> <p><em>Sorry you can't make it June 12th but you have an ongoing rain check. While we'll miss you we're happy you are working 'cause that means pleasure for a lot of people.</em></p> <p><em>Mickey I'll bet you don't remember the first time we met. The year was 1937 or thereabouts. I was new in Hollywood living in the Montecito apartments. Someone had run over a dog in the street outside. You came in to look for a phone book so you could find the nearest veterinarian and take the dog to him. I figured this had to be a nice guy and I was right.</em></p> <p><em>Nancy sends her best and so do I.</em></p> <p><em>Sincerely, Ronald Reagan</em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=imbfla2Rpp4C&amp;pg=PA100&amp;lpg=PA100&amp;dq=mickey+rooney+ronald+reagan&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=GzaGp3YNxY&amp;sig=yc2AaYAWfQD1WjOUwYTTmkD0iTE&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=mRZCU4SeEajmsATO64CIAw&amp;ved=0CGwQ6AEwCw#v=onepage&amp;q=mickey%20rooney%20ronald%20reagan&amp;f=false" target="_blank">Click here</a> to read another one of President Reagan's letters to Rooney.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Animals Film and TV Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:00:16 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 249216 at http://www.motherjones.com Portraits of People Living on a Dollar a Day http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/living-on-a-dollar-a-day-photos-renee-byer-thomas-nazario <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Living in a wealthy nation, it's easy to forget that a whopping one-sixth of the world's population subsists without stable sources of food, medical care, or housing. More than a billion people around the world are believed to live on a dollar a day&mdash;and often less. While the circumstances leading to that sort of extreme poverty are varied and complicated, the situations faced by the planet's poorest are depressingly familiar. A new book out this week painstakingly documents the circumstances of some of them. Written by Thomas A. Nazario, the founder of a nonprofit called <a href="http://www.theforgottenintl.org/" target="_blank">The Forgotten International</a>, and vividly reported and photographed by Pulitzer Prize winner Ren&eacute;e C. Byer, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Living-Dollar-Day-Worlds-Edition/dp/1593720564" target="_blank">Living on a Dollar a Day: The Lives and Faces of the World's Poor</a> </em>offers a window into these people's everyday lives, and calls for action on their behalf. I spoke with Nazario about his motivations, global inequality, and how to avoid the savior complex.</p> <p><strong>Mother Jones</strong>: Tell me a little about why you created this book.</p> <p><strong>Thomas A. Nazario</strong>: It grew out of a foundation I established about seven years ago. I was tired of spending time with people on the street all over the world who had simply been forgotten&mdash;by their families, by their village, and by whatever communities they might be associated with. There seemed to be so many of them, particularly in developing countries. It hit me that something had to be done. I wanted to bring to the attention of the world community that every day these people exist on almost nothing. We spend an awful lot of time in malls and taking care of ourselves and our immediate needs, and these people never enter our consciousness. Why does it take a typhoon or an earthquake to wake up people to the truth that far more people die of poverty every day?</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/india_slum_0.png"><div class="caption"> <strong>In a New Delhi slum, six-year-old Vishal Singh cares for a baby while her mother is away. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: What was your selection process like?</p> <p><strong>TN</strong>: I wanted there to be some cultural and ethnic and racial diversity. I certainly didn't want to just focus on places like Africa, or those first places we think of when we think of extreme poverty. I also knew of circumstances that existed in given countries that were really quite compelling. So I came up with 10 countries and began to organize trips. That doesn't mean we caught every story we wanted to catch, but there were also stories we found along the way.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Ghana%20cow%20herding.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>A six-year-old herds cows for his father in Ghana. The family's economic circumstances make it unlikely he'll ever go to school. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: Which stories affected you the most?</p> <p><strong>TN</strong>: There are three. One was the kids who live on an e-waste dump in Ghana. That was quite compelling for a variety of reasons, but I think if you look at the book and see those photographs and read that piece, it'll hit you pretty hard.</p> <p>Another piece was a family in Peru that lives on recycling. That, in and of itself, is not a big deal. Recycling is probably the second-largest occupation of the poor. But [the mother's] personal story, about how she had been abused by two different husbands, how her boys were taken away because they were needed to farm, and she was given all the girls&mdash;and how her kids will probably not ever go to school. She gets constantly evicted from one place or another because she can't find enough recycling to pay the rent. When we left her&mdash;we gave everybody a gift of at least some kind for giving us their time and telling us their story&mdash;we gave her $80, which is about as much money as she makes in two months. She fell to her knees and started crying. Not only did I learn that 25 percent of garbage produced in developing countries is picked up by individuals like her, but that one of the biggest drivers of global poverty is domestic violence, and how women and children are thrown into poverty largely for that reason.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/E-waste%20Dump%20Ghana_2.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Eight-year-old Fati scavenges scrap metal in an e-waste dump in Accra, Ghana, and carries it in a bucket on her head. She is crying from pain caused by malaria. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p>The third story that really touched me was about a woman and her family in Bangladesh. She works in a sewing factory about 8 to 12 hours a day, six and a half days a week, and makes 17 cents an hour. Of course we've heard about these sweatshops. They fall apart, they kill people, the working conditions are terrible; people sleep on the floor. But instead of finding someone who was beaten up emotionally, we found someone who was smiling most of the time because she was getting a regular salary, her husband was working, and she actually had a husband who was a kind and gentle fellow. That made it possible for her to keep her kids in school, to educate them properly, to have some hopes and dreams for them in the future, and to probably break out of poverty&mdash;if not in this generation, then the next. That meant the world to her. The truth of the matter is that, even though we hear terrible things about sweatshops and phone centers, in many ways they've done more to lift people out of poverty in the last 20 years than almost anything else. That was a realization that I didn't expect<strong>.</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Bucharest%20Underground.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Hora Florin, who grew up in Romanian orphanages, spends his nights near underground heating vents to keep warm. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: There are many contributing factors to poverty, and gender can be a huge one. Can you elaborate?</p> <p><strong>TN:</strong> It's one of the biggest reasons why women and children live in poverty. Not only do they make far less than men doing the same kind of work&mdash;even if they get the same kind of work&mdash;but often they're saddled with raising the children, and that keeps them at home. So they have a limited number of hours and they usually work in labor markets that are informal at best. If you couple that with the fact that they are often required to get water for the family&mdash;which in many cases takes three to four hours a day&mdash;and that they have to get the food and so forth. Many families think of women as a liability rather than an asset, which is why they're often sold as children into prostitution or trafficking.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Ghana%20Yam%20Farming.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>The women of Nkwanta, Ghana, carry cassava, an edible root that they farm. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Climate change plays a big role, too. People on the financial margins are more likely to be affected. Did you see that playing out at all?</p> <p><strong>TN:</strong> We met a woman in Bolivia. She's over 80 years old. She works her own little farm. She grows wheat and beans. And she frankly didn't like us&mdash; largely because we were from the US. Over the past 20 years, she says, her wheat no longer grows, there's not enough rain, there's too much heat, and her beans are almost worthless. She says the biggest reason for this is countries like the United States putting so much carbon in the air. Her climate has changed and made it impossible for her to live. She lives on a mountainside where there used to be quite a bit of rain, snow, and fresh water. Climate change is affecting an awful lot of the poorest of the poor. When you think that subsistence farming is the largest job of the world's poor, it's no wonder they're the first to feel the effects when there's not enough rain or there's more drought or flooding.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Bolivia%20Farming_0.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Nine-year-old Alvaro helps out with the family's alpacas and llamas since his father died. He was one of the few children in the book who attends school. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: According to <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-in-the-world-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-3-5-billion-poorest/" target="_blank">Oxfam</a>, the 85 richest people have as much money as the poorest half of the world, and 70 percent of people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last three decades.</p> <p><strong>TN</strong>: It seems to be getting worse and worse and worse. When we talk about poverty, we talk about how that is associated with lifespan. If you live in a very, very poor country, you'll probably live about half the time that you' live in a rich country.</p> <p>The other thing that's troubling is that we have a number of billionaires in this country, and they control an amount of wealth so disproportionate that it's frankly immoral. I think the more people learn about that, the more I think we're looking at conflict resolution in parts of the world where these kinds of wealth disparities exist. The more it becomes obvious and the more it becomes troubling, the more people will rally around that and the more it will seem unfair. That's one of the reasons we had the 99 percent movement not long ago.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%;"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Porter%20Girls%20Ghana_1.jpg"><strong>The Kayayo Girls of Accra collect waste or serve as porters for wealthier residents. They often live in communal settings near or atop the city dump. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> We often hear that a disproportionate number of the poor are in the Global South&mdash;with one-third in India alone. Why is that?</p> <p><strong>TN:</strong> I think there are some historical reasons&mdash;certainly imperialism, and totalitarian systems, and government structures that have used the masses to build wealth have played a part. A country like the US really began to build wealth during the time of industrial revolution&mdash;once that happens and you build universities and provide young people with education. Then it kind of snowballs: Countries get richer largely because they have the infrastructure, the education, and the kinds of benefits that you'll find in a wealthy country. Two hundred, maybe 250 years ago, there really wasn't a big difference between rich countries and poor countries, rich people and poor people. We were pretty much all poor. Now we have enormous wealth in some countries and very little wealth in other countries.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Delhi%20Blind_1.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Hunupa Begum, 13, and Hajimudin Sheikh, six, beg for food in New Delhi. Begum is blind and Sheikh suffers from abnormal fluid build-up in his head. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> There's a concern in the international development sphere about people acting out of a so-called savior complex. How do we separate this from genuine concern?</p> <p><strong>TN</strong>: One of the mistakes we often make is we go in on our white horse and try to dictate what might be best for other people instead of being far more inclusive and spending time with indigenous communities and really asking them. My experience is that most poor people actually have a pretty good sense of what would improve their lives and the lives of their children. They just don't have the money or the means to get there. It's that top-down thing that's a problem, particularly if you have a white face and you're in a community that sees no white faces. You really do have to work with people and come in with translators and get a sense of what the real needs are and help from the bottom up.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Bucharest%20Eviction.jpg"><div class="caption"> <strong>Ana-Marie Tudor in the Bucharest, Romania, home from which her family faces eviction. </strong>Ren&eacute;e C. Byer</div> </div> <p>There are some things that almost always help alleviate poverty, and one is, of course, education. There's almost nothing terribly political or ugly about providing decent schools in villages that have none&mdash;or clean water, or things that are so basic that no one's going to argue with.</p> <p>One message in the book is that you don't have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet to go out and help. Everybody&mdash;particularly those in the middle class&mdash;are people who have enough money to go out once a week and buy a nice dinner. All of those people need to make a concerted effort to once a week or once a month really carve out a little of the funds that they don't need and help somebody, whether it's an individual or a family or a village somewhere or a school. We all have a duty to make the world a better place.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Photo Essays Books Human Rights Income Inequality International Top Stories Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Eric Wuestewald 249061 at http://www.motherjones.com The Best R&B Group You've Never Heard Of http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/the-5-royales-soul-swagger-collection <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SEL4BNITIDc?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The "5" Royales<br><em>Soul &amp; Swagger: The Complete "5" Royales 1951-1967</em><br> RockBeat</strong><br> &nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="the 5 royales soul and swagger" class="image" src="/files/The5RoyalesSoulSwagger300.jpg"></div> <p>Their songs were covered by everybody from James Brown and Ray Charles to Mick Jagger and the Mamas and Papas. Steve Cropper, the renowned Booker T and the MG's guitarist, recorded a tribute album celebrating the group, recruiting the likes of Steve Winwood and Sharon Jones to sing. Though highly regarded by R&amp;B connoisseurs, the "5" Royales have never received the widespread acclaim their hardcore fans believe they deserve, but a new collection intends to change that. Packed with raucous uptempo stompers and spine-tingling ballads, the essential five-disc, 141-track set Soul &amp; Swagger makes a persuasive case for the Winston-Salem, NC group's greatness. The key ingredients in the Royales' sound were the pleading, gospel-tinged tenor vocals of Johnny Tanner and the stinging, bluesy guitar of Lowman Pauling, and while "Dedicated to the One I Love" or "Think" might be the initial standouts, there are dozens of other equally exciting tracks here. Check out "Monkey Hips and Rice," "Catch That Teardrop" or "The Slummer the Slum" and prepare to be converted. Resistance is futile!</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Jon Young 248871 at http://www.motherjones.com San Fermin: From Classical Concept Album to "Orchestral Indie Rock" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/03/san-fermin-orchestral-indie-rock <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>San Fermin didn't start out as a band. In the summer of 2011, Ellis Ludwig-Leone took his newly earned degree in classical composition to a secluded artists retreat in Canada and returned with&nbsp;a 17-song score for 22 instruments, which he titled <em>San Fermin</em>. Even after recording it, with 22 musicians, "It didn't feel like a band yet," he recalls. "It felt like an album I had made."</p> <p>But Ludwig-Leone (a fitting surname) wanted to perform his composition, so he set about recruiting a smaller, core group to do it live. "The idea was to find players who could read music well, and who could also exist in a rock band setting," he says. As a result,<em> San Fermin </em>the concept album evolved into <a href="http://sanferminband.com/" target="_blank">San Fermin</a> the band, whose powerful sound matches the album's elaborate layers while upping the rock. The eight-member ensemble, which includes a trumpet, baritone sax, and violin, creates swelling climaxes and tight harmonies reminiscent of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/07/dirty-projectors-swing-lo-magellan-review-david-longstreth" target="_blank">The Dirty Projectors</a>, landing in a genre Ellis defines as "sort of orchestral indie rock." I caught up with Ludwig-Leone, who handles the band's keyboard duties, along with Stephen Chen (sax) and Mike Hanf (drums), in advance of a sold-out San Francisco show.</p> <p>The dynamic between concept album and rock band is just one of San Fermin's underlying contrasts. Ludwig-Leone loves "when a song has something in it, and also has the exact opposite in it, and they somehow coexist." Consider "Sonsick," written just months after his college graduation. It's about young adulthood and the realization that "your decisions have long-range consequences at that time in your life." The song "feels like a party, but it also feels like a panic attack. And those two things together have this weird friction."</p> <p>"It's not just candy," he adds. "It's got some salty aspects to it as well."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ld81Y6Em3NM" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The album hinges on a back-and-forth dialog between characters with opposite ideologies. There are emotional, grandiose lyrics sung in Allen Tate's deep bass, countered by the down-to-earth responses of Rae Cassidy. (On the recorded version, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius share lead female vocals.) Ludwig-Leone establishes tension by "having the male and female voices sing very different things," a device he expects to continue in the future.</p> <p>San Fermin is noteworthy for its precise musicality. "A lot of people studied theory and composition in this band," drummer Hanf explains. "We read into it a bit to make it sound good." Several members boast a mixture of classical training and rock band experience.</p> <p>"They are bringing the creativity of people who actually write music to their parts," Ludwig-Leone says. "Probably 50 percent of Steve's notes at this point are embellishments of what I once wrote." Chen, the saxophonist, doesn't deny it, and adds that his bandleader "just discovered a new line that I've been playing."</p> <p>"It's well-balanced," Hanf chimes in. "It all goes back to Ellis to make sure everything's cool, but the people who want freedom to try new ideas, have it. I improvise a lot, pretty much every show. And if it sounds good, it sounds good. If it doesn't, it gets nixed. It's kind of nice to have one person be like, yes or no." He says the band's willingness to experiment gives the live shows a "state of tension" that's exciting for the performers as well as the crowd.</p> <p>Ellis agrees. "On the record, it's one thing, because that's a document. I want to control a lot more on that. But once you start playing live, if you're not using the talents you have, you're just being a stupid bandleader. And it gets boring."</p> <p>As San Fermin develops further, fans seem to like what they're hearing. "I'm doing taxes&mdash;oh my god, such a terrifying thing anyway," Ellis says. "I'm going through the receipts, and even from September it's crazy to see the number of people who were in the room. We've seen a lot of very explosive growth. The first time we played in Portland, there were 90 people. When we were back, there were 400, and there was a line out the door&mdash;it was oversold."</p> <p>"We always ask people at the merch table, 'How did you find out about our band?' It's useful for us," Chen says. They credit Sirius XMU and NPR, including a <a href="http://www.npr.org/event/music/240733267/san-fermin-tiny-desk-concert" target="_blank">Tiny Desk Concert</a> in October, with bringing in early fans.</p> <p>Hanf notes that they also benefited from the endorsement of "<a href="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/08/friday-night-music-san-fermin/" target="_blank">Paul Krugman, of all people</a>! That was the funniest one, I think. He was backstage [before their Bowery show] with Peter Sagal, just drinking beer on the couch."</p> <p>"Such a surreal backstage!" Ludwig-Leone exclaims. "I had to get out of there, it was too much. It was like every person my dad listens to on the radio!"</p> <p>The attention is paying off: San Fermin heads for Europe in April, returning to the United States in time for performances at Firefly, Summerfest, and Lollapalooza. Chen says the small stages they started out on "definitely constrained our ability to jump around and interact with each other physically. At festivals, we get a nice big stage. People are hearing the music in a cool new way, and also getting to experience our band visually."</p> <p>Watching San Fermin live in San Francisco, it's obvious they're having fun&mdash;coming to the front for solos, dancing around, and playing off one another and the audience.</p> <p>None of this was what Ludwig-Leone pictured when the band first came together. "I thought the prime place for us to play would be performing arts centers, because the album itself is really lush, and there are some songs that rock hard, but it's really this sort of introspective thing. And now I actually feel the opposite: When we play at seated venues, we're a little freaked out, because we're so used to revving up a crowd at a rock club...So there's this weird give and take, where you have to be able to do the chamber music sound, and also the rock band sound."</p> <p>Somehow, San Fermin makes it all work. "It feels greater than the sum of its parts to me," the bandleader says. "There's all sorts of stuff in there that wasn't there when I wrote it, and is very specific to our live show. I think 'The Count' is our favorite thing to play live. That's the song where we take it the furthest out&mdash;like totally off of the page."</p> <p>Hanf explains: "It goes straight from composed music to like eight bars of entropy, [then] right back into where we were before."</p> <p>Behold. (The entropy begins at 2:25:)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WIGtjPTTEgM" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Now, as Ludwig-Leone composes San Fermin's followup album, "I think of everyone as I write for their parts." Inspired by what the group has done with songs like "The Count," he says the upcoming album "feels like it's often very controlled. Small, small, small&hellip;<em>big crazy</em>&hellip;small, small, small. That's the energy you get from having a band doing their own thing. That's one of the many ways that touring has shaped the writing process."</p> <p>While writing <em>San Fermin</em>, he "didn't have the luxury of hearing songs until we recorded them, so I would bring people in one by one. But now I write the song, give people the music, we try it live, and then we can make adjustments. It's much more personalized to the players."</p> <p>The band members are busy with other projects, too. Ludwig-Leone recently <a href="http://www.joyce.org/performance/ballet-v6-0-balletcollective/#.UzxZf61dWM4" target="_blank">composed a score for a ballet</a>. Chen doubles as sax for <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcfmfaIYWRU" target="_blank">Great Caesar Band</a>. Hanf, who has put out solo records and serves as an "on-call, hired gun" drummer, says San Fermin marks "the first time I've actually drank the Kool-Aid" and spent months on the road with a single band.</p> <p>The side projects are helpful for San Fermin. "I think that's one of the things that really makes this band work," Ludwig-Leone explains. "There's so much creative energy in the band, but at the same time, the writing&mdash;it comes from me. I think we avoid some of the pitfalls of having a bunch of different cooks in the kitchen, because these guys all have their own creative outlets."</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the members of San Fermin draw their musical influences from a variety of sources. "I would say that <em>literally </em>every kind of music has been played in the tour van," says Ludwig-Leone.</p> <p>"We've gone everywhere from Whiskeytown B-sides to obscure classical music to Taylor Swift," Hanf adds. "And we love music. We're dorky about it; we really get excited when we listen to good records or when somebody throws on something new." Ellis draws inspiration from the "big, concept-y records" of Sufjan Stevens; the first time he heard <em>Illinoise </em>was "a very formative moment."</p> <p>"But being in the van is amazing, because I swear to God it's everything. Even things you wouldn't think would get in the van. Like, the most intense screamo music, it's there. At least 50 percent of the music Rae listens to was recorded before 1930. It's really all over the place."<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/70128708&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:00:05 +0000 Katie Rose Quandt 246951 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Is a Video of 25-Year-Old Jon Hamm Being Super Awkward on a Dating Show http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/here-video-25-year-old-jon-hamm-being-super-awkward-dating-show <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" height="350" id="flashObj" width="630"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"> <param name="flashVars" value="videoId=3430901851001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slate.com%2Fblogs%2Fbrowbeat%2F2014%2F04%2F04%2Fjon_hamm_dating_show_video_mad_men_star_was_a_contestant_and_lost.html&amp;playerID=58264559001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAASoY90~,_gW1ZHvKG_0UvBsh7aZU7MXZe77OcsGq&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"> <param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"> <param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> <param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"> <embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=3430901851001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slate.com%2Fblogs%2Fbrowbeat%2F2014%2F04%2F04%2Fjon_hamm_dating_show_video_mad_men_star_was_a_contestant_and_lost.html&amp;playerID=58264559001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAASoY90~,_gW1ZHvKG_0UvBsh7aZU7MXZe77OcsGq&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" height="350" name="flashObj" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" seamlesstabbing="false" src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="630"></embed></object> <p>So, you're walking down a street and you see a sign or a building or a landmark and it triggers some long forgotten memory from your past and you're swept up in it and a wistful smile crawls across your face and you look up to the sky and put your hands on your hips and then you look down to the ground, then finally straight ahead, and you chuckle and my God, you were so young and stupid&mdash;but wasn't it good to be young?&mdash;but then you stop chuckling because you think about the memory <em>more</em> and you remember it in detail and my God, what were you doing, did you really act like that, did you really say that, my God, did you really look like that, and <em>boom boom boom</em> is the sound of your heart pounding and your anxiety is rising and you recall vividly that you didn't think you looked ridiculous when you were on this street corner when you were young and now you worry all of a sudden that you actually thought at that time&mdash;gasp!&mdash;that you were cool and fun and neat and attractive, and people liked you, you thought, but they couldn't have liked this person you're remembering because this person you're remembering, young you, is objectively humiliating, and now you begin doubting everything&mdash;is north <em>north</em>?&mdash;but especially yourself, that is what you doubt the most, because if you thought you were cool then and you were wrong, maybe you're wrong about thinking you're cool now, and maybe it's all a lie, everything you tell yourself about yourself, maybe you're not really very cool, maybe you're not really very happy, maybe you'll never be very cool, maybe you'll never be very happy, maybe your hands still sweat, and your lip still quivers, and your hair still looks all a mess, and oh God, dear God, blessed God, it's true, you think: you're still the same silly shamefully awkward 25-year-old you never wanted to be in the first place.</p> <p>Don't worry. <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/04/04/jon_hamm_dating_show_video_mad_men_star_was_a_contestant_and_lost.html" target="_blank">Jon Hamm was a super awkward 25-year-old</a> as well and look at him! You're probably cool now, too.</p> <p>(via <em><a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/04/04/jon_hamm_dating_show_video_mad_men_star_was_a_contestant_and_lost.html" target="_blank">Slate</a></em>)</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:47:39 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 249166 at http://www.motherjones.com George W. Bush Is a Far Better Painter Than He Was a President. Here's His Portrait of Vladimir Putin. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/george-w-bush-continues-paint-his-way-americas-heart <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Friday, NBC aired <a href="http://www.today.com/news/bush-putin-dissed-our-pet-said-his-dog-was-bigger-2D79484676" target="_blank">an interview with former president and aspiring painter George W. Bush</a>. The president&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/nbc-george-w-bush-interview-jenna-hager" target="_blank">talking to his daughter Jenna Bush Hager on <em>Today</em></a>&mdash;unveiled 24 portraits of world leaders.</p> <p>It was only a little over a year ago that we learned of Bush's second act painting passion. Some people <a href="http://gawker.com/5982694/hacker-exposes-bush-family-emails-photos-and-george-w-bushs-amazing-self-portraits/all" target="_blank">hate the paintings.</a> Some people <a href="http://www.vulture.com/2013/02/jerry-saltz-george-w-bush-is-a-good-painter.html" target="_blank">love them</a>. Some people don't spend that much time thinking about them. Still others can't consider them without remembering that, you know, he was an awful president. I, for one, consider George W. Bush's public painting career to be endearing. He's not the best painter in the whole wide world, but he's not the worst. There's some skill on display, which is more than could be said for much of his presidency. Do I want to hang them in my house and look at them everyday? Of course not. But I've seen worse paintings. More than that, I've seen worse paintings painted by actual professional painters.&nbsp; I'm no expert, but Bush's Putin looks pretty not-the-worst-thing-in-the-world to me.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Putin_0.png"><div class="caption">NBC</div> </div> <p>The Tony Blair painting on the other hand is a little splotchy, but nobody can be perfect all the time.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-04%20at%209.56.43%20AM.png"><div class="caption">NBC</div> </div> <p><a href="http://icasualties.org/" target="_blank">4,486 American servicemen and women</a>, and <a href="https://www.iraqbodycount.org/" target="_blank">more than 100,00</a><a href="http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/better-stab-estimating-many-died-iraq-war-68419/" target="_blank"> Iraqis</a> lost their lives as a consequence of the war in Iraq. Here is a clip of the president who led us into that war <a href="http://www.today.com/news/bush-putin-dissed-our-pet-said-his-dog-was-bigger-2D79484676" target="_blank">talking about his painting career with his daughter on NBC.</a></p> <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=10,0,0,0" height="346" id="msnbc829664" width="592"><param name="movie" value="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640"> <param name="FlashVars" value="launch=54864022&amp;width=592&amp;height=346"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"> <embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" flashvars="launch=54864022&amp;width=592&amp;height=346" height="346" name="msnbc829664" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="592" wmode="transparent"></embed></object> <p style="font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 592px;">Visit NBCNews.com for <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">breaking news</a>, <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032507" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">world news</a>, and <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032072" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">news about the economy</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Media Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:59:05 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 249106 at http://www.motherjones.com "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" Is About Obama's Terror-Suspect Kill List, Say the Film's Directors http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/captain-america-winter-soldier-obama-kill-list-politics-drones-nsa <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>There are currently no plans to screen <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/captain_america_the_winter_soldier_2014/" target="_blank"><em>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</em></a> at the White House, as far as the film's directors have heard. But if it makes it to the White House <a href="http://www.politico.com/click/stories/1008/the_white_house_movie_room.html" target="_blank">family theater</a>, President Obama would be watching one big-budget, action-packed, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/10/scarlett-johansson-aisha-tyler-gabrielle-union-planned-parenthood-obamacare" target="_blank">Scarlett Johansson</a>-starring critique of his controversial terror-suspect "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/eric-holder-targeted-killing" target="_blank">kill list</a>."</p> <p>This isn't me reading things into a mainstream comic-book movie. It's what the directors themselves will tell you.</p> <p>"[Marvel] said they wanted to make a political thriller," <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxaPABf3IC8" target="_blank">Joe Russo</a>, who directed the film with his brother <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0751577/" target="_blank">Anthony</a>, tells <em>Mother Jones</em>. "So we said if you want to make a political thriller, all the great political thrillers have very current issues in them that reflect the anxiety of the audience...That gives it an immediacy, it makes it relevant. So [Anthony] and I just looked at the issues that were causing anxiety for us, because we read a lot and are politically inclined. And a lot of that stuff had to do with <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/06/obama-bad-civil-liberties-shouldnt-surprise-anyone" target="_blank">civil liberties issues</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/obama-drone-deaths-pakistan-discrepancy" target="_blank">drone strikes</a>, the president's kill list, preemptive technology"&mdash;all themes they worked into the film, working closely with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.</p> </body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mixed-media/2014/04/captain-america-winter-soldier-obama-kill-list-politics-drones-nsa"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Mixed Media Civil Liberties Film and TV Foreign Policy Top Stories Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:23:16 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 249056 at http://www.motherjones.com WATCH: Republican Presidential Candidates Compete for Sheldon Adelson's Attention [Fiore Cartoon] http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/watch-republican-presidential-candidates-sheldon-adelson-fiore <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p></p> <div align="center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/90830835?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=c96134" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></div> <p>Mark Fiore is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and animator whose work has appeared in the <em>Washington Post, </em>the <em>Los Angeles Times, </em>the <em>San Francisco Examiner, </em>and dozens of other publications. He is an active member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and has a <a href="http://www.markfiore.com/" target="_newWindow">website</a> featuring his work.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Cartoons Elections International Money in Politics The Right Israel Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:45:26 +0000 Mark Fiore 249081 at http://www.motherjones.com Elton John Is Getting Married: "We're Living in Extraordinary Times." http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/03/elton-john-david-furnish-gay-marriage-legal-england-wedding <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Singer/songwriter <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/elton-john-moscow-russia-concert-denounce-anti-gay-law-video" target="_blank">Elton John</a> and filmmaker David Furnish are <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/elton-john-david-furnish-marry-692187" target="_blank">officially</a> getting hitched. The couple, who have been in a British civil partnership for nearly a decade, announced that they intend to marry in an English registry office in May, in an intimate ceremony, with their two young sons and a few friends.</p> <p>In an interview with the <a href="http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/entertainment/elton-john-and-david-furnish-wed-may" target="_blank"><em>Las Vegas Review-Journal</em></a>, Furnish referred to the recent <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/03/gay-marriage-now-legal-england-wales" target="_blank">legalization of gay marriage</a> in England and Wales (Saturday was the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/03/gay-marriage-now-legal-england-wales" target="_blank">first day</a> gay couples could&nbsp;legally marry in England):</p> <blockquote> <p>We don't feel the need to take an extra step legally. But since we're committed for life, we feel it's really important to take that step, and take advantage of that amazing change in legislation. We all live by example...We're living in extraordinary times. My god, 20 years ago, when I started seeing Elton, if you asked me if I'd be able to get married, if I'd be able to have children, it was unthinkable, literally unimaginable.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>You can <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/elton-john-moscow-russia-concert-denounce-anti-gay-law-video" target="_blank">click here to watch</a> Elton John denounce Russia's anti-gay law during a Moscow concert</em> <em>last December.</em></p> </body></html> Mixed Media Gay Rights International Music Mon, 31 Mar 2014 15:58:44 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 248641 at http://www.motherjones.com Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard Stand the Test of Time http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/03/johnny-cash-out-among-stars-merle-haggard-okie-muskogee-review <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><strong>Merle Haggard<br><em>Okie from Muskogee 45th Anniversary Edition</em><br> Capitol Nashville</strong></p> <p><strong>Johnny Cash<br><em>Out Among the Stars</em><br> Columbia/Legacy</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Merle Haggard album" class="image" src="/files/haggard300.jpg"></div> <p>Great singers sound better with time, regardless of genre, and country icons Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard hold up especially well, which makes these two vault-scouring projects noteworthy. Still, more than four decades on, it's impossible not to cringe at the small-minded, hippie-baiting sentiments of Haggard's signature hit, "Okie from Muskogee," but look past that unfortunate episode and rewards aplenty await on his reissue. (If it helps, Haggard later tried to distance himself from the song and embraced a more nuanced form of populism.)</p> <p>Captured in his prime, Hag is a magnificent singer, boasting a rich, supple and stirring voice that could embrace western swing, honky-tonk and softer, nearly countrypolitan sounds with equal expressiveness, while his nimble band never loses the groove. This '69 live set&mdash;which sounds like it's been "enhanced" by extra overdubbed audience noise&mdash;includes some of Haggard's most soulful efforts, including "Mama Tried," "White Line Fever," and "Sing Me Back Home." The second disc offers another, less-successful live outing, "The Fightin' Side of Me," intended to capitalize on the higher profile generated by "Okie from Muskogee" the year before.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Johnny Cash album" class="image" src="/files/Johnny_Cash_-_Out_Among_the_Stars_0.jpg"></div> <p>As for the man in black, <em>Out Among the Stars</em>, a collection of previously unreleased recordings from '81 and '84, finds craggy-voiced Johnny Cash on the verge of separating from Columbia Records, his longtime home, and entering a period of artistic uncertainty that would end in the '90s with the career-reviving intervention of producer Rick Rubin. If the songs don't add up to a coherent album, there are still moments that entice, among them the heartbroken "She Used to Love Me a Lot," a rollicking duet with Waylon Jennings on Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On" (also covered on Haggard's set), and "I Came to Believe," a moving statement of faith. Among the musicians recently recruited to fill out some of the originally uncompleted tracks are Buddy Miller and Cash's stepdaughter, Carlene Carter, who returns with an excellent new album of her own next week.</p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:17 +0000 Jon Young 248316 at http://www.motherjones.com Music Review: "SLC" from Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs' All Her Fault http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/02/slc-holly-golightly-and-the-brokeoffs-all-her-fault <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/slc-300x300.jpg"></div> <p>TRACK 1</p> <p><strong>"SLC"</strong></p> <p>from Holly Golightly &amp; the Brokeoffs'<em> All Her Fault</em></p> <p>TRANSDREAMER</p> <p><strong>Liner notes:</strong><strong> </strong>"Don't get your hopes up in Salt Lake City/'Cause you ain't gonna have a good time," sing Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave (a.k.a. the Brokeoffs) on this jaunty country-blues shuffle, adding that you "can't get fucked up, can't get shitty" there in the heart of Mormon country.</p> <p><strong>Behind the music:</strong><strong> </strong>The British-born Golightly, a former member of Thee Headcoatees and onetime Jack White duet partner, has 20 solo albums to her name. She recorded<em> </em><em>All Her Fault</em> at home outside Athens, Georgia, where she shelters rescue horses.</p> <p><strong>Check it out if you like:</strong><strong> </strong>Rootsy acts such as Pokey LaFarge and Alabama Shakes.</p> <p><em style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans; font-size: 12px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 24px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">This review originally appeared in our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/03" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans; font-size: 12px; color: black !important; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-color: black; text-decoration: none !important;">March/April 2014 issue</a> of</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 24px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none;"> Mother Jones.</span></p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:16 +0000 Jon Young 245841 at http://www.motherjones.com Music Review: "This is Anarchy" from Tacocat's NVM http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/03/music-review-tacocat-nvm-this-is-anarchy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/this-is-anarchy-300x300.jpg"></div> <p>TRACK 8</p> <p><strong>"This Is Anarchy"</strong></p> <p>from Tacocat's <em>NVM</em></p> <p>HARDLY ART</p> <p><strong>Liner notes:</strong> Fizzy punk-pop rules on this firecracker, an ironic look at entitled rebellion from singer Emily Nokes.</p> <p><strong>Behind the music:</strong> The quartet's past work includes "Death Fridge," about Anna Nicole Smith, and "Psychic Death Cat," about a feline that can foretell a person's demise.</p> <p><strong>Check it out if you like:</strong><strong> </strong>The Ramones, Bikini Kill, the Buzzcocks, and Green Day.</p> <p><em style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans; font-size: 12px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 24px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">This review originally appeared in our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/03" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans; font-size: 12px; color: black !important; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-color: black; text-decoration: none !important;">March/April 2014 issue</a> of</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 24px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none;"> Mother Jones.</span></p> </body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:15 +0000 Jon Young 245831 at http://www.motherjones.com