Mixed Media Blog Feed | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2012/01 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en British Army Officially Withdrew From Northern Ireland 7 years Ago [Photos] http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/british-army-ends-operation-banner-july-31-photo <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After 38 years, Operation Banner&ndash;Britian's operation in Northern Ireland&ndash;officially came to an end on July 31st, 2007. It was initially sold in 1969 as a "limited operation" by British Home Secretary Jim Callaghan but wound up being the longest continuously running operation by the British military.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/AP890714010.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A female catholic screams at a British soldier in Belfast on August, 14, 1989. </strong>AP</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/AP05091204525-630.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A burnt out digger blocks a road near the Albertbridge Road in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 12, 2005. Protestant extremists attacked police and British troops into a third day Monday, littering streets with rubble and burned-out vehicles in an orgy of violence sparked by anger over a restricted parade. Crowds of masked men and youths confronted police backed by British troops in dozens of hard-line Protestant districts in Belfast and several other towns. Gunmen opened fire on police and soldiers in at least two parts of the capital Sunday night, but nobody was hit. </strong>Peter Morrison/AP</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/AP720201046-630.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A young child, resting on a man's shoulders, holds a hanging effigy of a British soldier during a march in Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, Feb. 1972. The rally follows the deadly shooting of 13 demonstrators by British paratroopers during the civil rights march on Jan. 30, known as Bloody Sunday. </strong>Michel Laurent/AP</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/AP05080101256-630.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A British soldier begins work on taking down a British Army watchtower in South Armagh, Northern Ireland, Monday, Aug. 1, 2005. Security is being downgraded and spying watch posts on hills are being removed after the recent statement by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that they were giving up the armed struggle for a united Ireland. </strong>Peter Morrison/AP</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Military Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Mark Murrmann 257266 at http://www.motherjones.com Film Review: "15 to Life" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/film-review-15-life-kenneths-story-prison-juveline-parole <!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/px3RemdmyqI" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://15tolifethefilm.com/" target="_blank">15 to Life</a></p> <p>HITPLAY PRODUCTIONS</p> <p>"Are you the same person that you were at age 14?" one of Kenneth Young's lawyers asks in <em>15 to Life</em>, a documentary challenging the ethics of sentencing kids to life in prison&mdash;a routine punishment only in America. Filmmaker Nadine Pequeneza follows Young, charged with four armed robberies as a teen, as he seeks release in the wake of a 2010 Supreme Court decision limiting juvenile life sentences to kids convicted of murder. She weaves interviews with Young and his family, lawyers, and crime victims together with harrowing photographs of youthful inmates to depict a justice system that only perpetuates the sort of violence it was intended to keep in check.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in the </em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/07" target="_blank">July/August 2014 Issue</a> <em>of </em>Mother Jones.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Film and TV Human Rights Prisons Supreme Court Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Nina Liss-Schultz 252776 at http://www.motherjones.com Jimmy Hoffa Went Missing 39 Years Ago Today [Photo] http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/history-photo-jimmy-hoffa-july-30 <!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-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/AP7301010398.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa, left, stands with Anthony Provenzano, right, and fellow union members during Hoffa's visit to New Jersey. </strong>AP</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>On this date in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa was last seen around 2:45 p.m. outside a Detroit area restaurant. His unlocked car was found at the restaurant, but there were no other signs of his whereabouts. Hoffa's disappearance sparked numerous theories as to what might have happened to him, and where he might be buried. In 1982, on the seventh anniversary of his disappearance, Hoffa was legally declared dead.<br> &nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/20060617_zaf_m67_001-630.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Jimmy Hoffa poses for a photo on July 24, 1975, just six days before his disappearance.&nbsp; </strong>Tony Spina/MCT/ZUMA Press</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Mark Murrmann 257226 at http://www.motherjones.com "Confused Cats Against Feminism" Is the Purrfect Response to "Women Against Feminism" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/confused-cats-against-feminism-purrfect-anti-feminist-women <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Tumblr <a href="http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Women Against Feminism</a> has inspired <a href="http://www.salon.com/2014/07/24/hey_women_against_feminism_feminism_still_has_your_back_so_youre_welcome/" target="_blank">scores</a> <a href="http://mic.com/articles/94328/9-photos-that-prove-these-women-against-feminism-still-need-feminism" target="_blank">of</a> <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/24/you-don-t-hate-feminism-you-just-don-t-understand-it.html" target="_blank">think</a> <a href="http://www.bustle.com/articles/32612-we-respond-to-women-against-feminism-because-this-is-what-feminists-look-like" target="_blank">pieces</a> decrying its misuse of the term "feminist." Yet when David Futrelle saw the collection of photos of women holding handwritten signs like "<a href="http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/post/93071219775/i-dont-need-feminism-i-dont-need-feminism" target="_blank">I don't need feminism because I am not a victim,</a>" it reminded him of his cats.</p> <p>"It just seems like cats never know what's going on," Futrelle says. "If anyone would get really confused about feminism and announce their opposition to it, it would be cats. They have the right combination of myopicness and solipsism."</p> <p>So last Thursday, Futrelle posed his felines next to Women Against Feminism-style signs, snapped a picture, and launched his own Tumblr: <a href="http://confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Confused Cats Against Feminism</a>. The cats, he said, were reluctant participants. "They did not want to cooperate at all when I started coming at them with this little sign that I'd drawn on with a very smelly Sharpie."</p> <p>Almost immediately, readers began sending Futrelle photos of their own cats. Now the Tumblr has 11,000 followers, and as of Tuesday morning, Futrelle was sorting through hundred of submissions.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Cats against equal pay" class="image" src="/files/huggingcats_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cats against equal pay. </strong><a href="http://confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/post/93140034269/editors-note-you-make-a-good-point-about-cookie" target="_blank">confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com</a></div> </div> <p>The Chicago resident thinks his project taps a deep vein of exasperation among feminists that goes beyond the outrage over Women Against Feminism. "A lot of women and feminists are frustrated at trying to respond to arguments that are disingenuous or just weird and silly," he says. "Part of what's fun about the blog is to say, Look, we're just gonna respond with cats."</p> <p>The most successful posts, he says, "manage to tap into cat logic" or "capture the cats' desire to be pampered and protected, which is the complaint that some people have about the Women Against Feminism blog." His favorite submission so far is a cat sprawling on its back, exposing a patch of fur the size and color of a chocolate chip cookie on its stomach. "I DON'T NEED FEMINISM BECAUSE...COOKIE BELLY," <a href="http://confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/post/93140034269/editors-note-you-make-a-good-point-about-cookie" target="_blank">the text reads</a>.</p> <p>Futrelle says the joke wouldn't be as funny if it were Confused Dogs Against Feminism, because cats tend to be culturally coded as female. Also, "Dogs aren't as self-absorbed as cats. If you tried to do it with a dog I think the only thing you could go with is they're too stupid."</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Another confused cat" class="image" src="/files/indooroutdoor.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>"I don't need feminism because I like it when a man opens the door for me to enter a room. And then leave it again. And enter. And leave. And&hellip; enter. No wait, leave, definitely leave. Wait, I mean enter&hellip;" </strong><a href="http://confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/post/93039022509/i-dont-need-feminism-because-i-like-it-when-a-man" target="_blank">confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com</a></div> </div> <p>This isn't Futrelle's first attempt to push back against antifeminist rhetoric. On his other blog, <a href="http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/" target="_blank">We Hunted the Mammoth</a>, he's been chronicling the foibles of the men's rights movement for four years. Over time he's shifted from seeing the movement as merely misguided to realizing that it's driven by misogyny, he says. He hopes his blogging will encourage other people to respond to antifeminist overtures with humor.</p> <p>"Men's rights activists have a quote that's supposedly from Gandhi that they like to recite constantly: 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,'" Futrelle says. "As they see it, they've gotten to the point where people are fighting them. I'd like to knock them back to the point where people are laughing at them."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Interview Sex and Gender Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:26:59 +0000 Rebecca Cohen 257211 at http://www.motherjones.com Jim Carrey Movies, Ranked http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/jim-carrey-movies-ranked <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>The Mask</em> came out on July 29 1994. It was Jim Carrey's second blockbuster. (<em>Ace Ventura: Pet Detective </em>had hit theaters that February.<em>)</em> But where does it stand in the Jim Carrey canon? Here are all the Jim Carrey films*, ranked.</p> <p>1.<em> Liar Liar</em><br> 2. <em>The Truman Show</em><br> 3. <em>Man on the Moon</em><br> 4.<em> Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind</em><br> 5. <em>Yes Man</em><br> 6. <em>Bruce Almighty</em><br> 7. <em>Fun With Dick And Jane</em><br> 8. <em>Dumb &amp; Dumber</em><br> 9. <em>The Mask</em><br> 10. <em>A Christmas Carol</em><br> 11. <em>I Love You Philip Morris</em><br> 12. <em>Kick-Ass 2</em><br> 13. <em>Simon Birch</em><br> 14. <em>Me, Myself, &amp; Irene</em><br> 15. <em>Batman Forever</em><br> 16. <em>Ace Ventura: Pet Detective</em><br> 17. <em>Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events</em><br> 18. <em>The Cable Guy</em><br> 19. <em>Mr. Popper&rsquo;s Penguins</em><br> 20. <em>How The Grinch Stole Christmas</em><br> 21. <em>The Incredible Burt Wonderstone</em><br> 22. <em>The Number 23</em><br> 23. <em>Anchorman 2</em><br> 24.<em> Horton Hears a Who!</em><br> 25. <em>The Majestic</em><br> 26. <em>Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls</em></p> <p>(*Note: This is a ranking of "Jim Carrey movies," <em>a la </em>feature-length movies in which Jim Carrey appears beginning with <em>Ace Ventura: Pet Detective</em>. Movies that feature Jim Carrey from before <em>Ace Ventura: Pet Detective</em> are not "Jim Carrey movies." They are just movies that Jim Carrey happened to appear in.)</p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:45:23 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 257216 at http://www.motherjones.com Today Is International Tiger Day http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/international-tiger-day <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Established in <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/nov/24/tiger-summit-vladimir-putin" target="_blank">2010</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://tigerday.org" target="_blank">International Tiger Day</a>! aims to raise awareness of the fact that tigers are <a href="http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/international-tiger-day-heres-everything-you-need-to-know--xkl1xSMfMl" target="_blank">facing extinction</a>. "A hundred years ago 100,000 tigers roamed in Asia," explains <em><a href="http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/international-tiger-day-heres-everything-you-need-to-know--xkl1xSMfMl" target="_blank">The Independent</a></em>. "But now only 3,000 survive in the wild." The culprit? <a href="http://www.independent.ie/incoming/tigers-at-risk-of-extinction-from-poaching-30464598.html" target="_blank">Poachers</a>, mostly.</p> <p>Tigers are marvelous creatures. Have a look at some of these stunning photos to celebrate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/5590652478_e1bb9e8e80_b.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A tiger cub in Chiang Mai, Thailand. </strong><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/beestunglips/5590652478" target="_blank">lejaclyn</a>/Flickr</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/6340731249_4477ee8281_o.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Sumatran tiger cub at the World Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent, UK.</strong> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiny_packages/6340731249" target="_blank">Tiny_Packages</a>/Flickr</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/11016214955_2f5a546afe_o.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Two tiger cubs. Washington D.C. </strong><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnsonderman/11016214955" target="_blank">Sonderman</a>/Flickr</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/6789552275_76aeaf4897_b.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Two Siberian tigers in the snow.</strong> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/vikas-garg/6789552275" target="_blank">Garg</a>/Flickr<br> &nbsp;</div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/4575837040_e665e83c5a_o.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Mother gives cub piggy back ride.</strong> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/woaw/4575837040" target="_blank">WOAW</a>/Flickr</div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/6279148974_60e78e4ce1_o.jpg"></p> <div class="caption"> <p><strong>Two Amur tigers snuggle in Switzerland.</strong> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/6279148974" target="_blank">Tambako</a>/Flickr</p> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/5455672660_92573421f6_o.jpg"></p> <div class="caption"> <p><strong>A Sumatra tiger in profile.</strong> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pe_ha45/5455672660/" target="_blank">pe_ha45</a>/Flickr</p> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/6984925505_9b04776aa6_o.jpg"></p> <div class="caption"> <p><strong>Snow snuggling in Zurich.</strong> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/6984925505" target="_blank">Tambako</a>/Flickr</p> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/3833556477_8b1585ffa3_o.jpg"></p> <div class="caption"> <p><strong>A cub by its mother's side. Amn&eacute;ville, Lorraine, France. </strong><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/3833556477/in/faves-26640267@N02/" target="_blank">Tambako</a>/Flickr</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div></body></html> Mixed Media Animals Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:24:15 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 257106 at http://www.motherjones.com The Best "Dear John Letter" Ever Sent http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/best-dear-john-letter-ever-sent <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In 1947, years before she met John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier sent her high school boyfriend what is maybe <a href="http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/books-manuscripts/kennedy-onassis-jacqueline-bouvier-twenty-two-5436595-details.aspx" target="_blank">my favorite Dear John letter of all time.</a></p> <blockquote> <p>"I&rsquo;ve always thought of being in love as being willing to do anything for the other person&mdash;starve to buy them bread and not mind living in Siberia with them&mdash;and I&rsquo;ve always thought that every minute away from them would be hell&mdash;so looking at it that [way] I guess I&rsquo;m not in love with you."</p> </blockquote> <p>Jackie O. would have been 85 Monday. RIP.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:57:30 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 257131 at http://www.motherjones.com Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens' "Cold World" Brings the Spirit http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/naomi-shelton-and-gospel-queens-cold-world <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens<br><em>Cold World</em><br> Daptone</strong></p> <p><img alt="Naomi Shelton Cold War" class="image" src="https://www.motherjones.com/files/DAP%20033%20Cover%20Art%20Hi%20Res-228x228.jpg" style="float: right;">If you pick up <em>Cold World</em>, get ready to do some foot-stomping. Like her more secular labelmate <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2011/04/sharon-jones-interview-dap-kings" target="_blank">Sharon Jones</a>, Naomi Shelton sings with a gritty warmth that will rouse believers and nonbelievers alike, while her Gospel Queens serve as a stirring foil, locating that sweet spot where church music and old-school R&amp;B intersect. This isn't a mere exercise in nostalgia for purists, however: Exciting tracks like "Get Up, Child" and "Bound for the Promised Land" boast propulsive grooves that will keep any party cooking with funky grace.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CsCEx9qKeDg" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Jon Young 256856 at http://www.motherjones.com Fast Tracks: Imelda May's "Tribal" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/fast-tracks-imelda-mays-tribal <!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/rq2YUEFELLc" width="629"></iframe></p> <p><strong>TRACK 3</strong></p> <p>"It's Good to Be Alive"</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/tribal-300x300.jpg"></div> <p>From Imelda May's <em>Tribal</em></p> <p>VERVE</p> <p><strong>Liner notes:</strong> Riding an exuberant rockabilly groove, the Irish shouter delivers a message of hope.</p> <p><strong>Behind the music:</strong> A veteran of Jeff Beck's guitar sessions, May wrote this exhilarating tune the day after giving birth to her first child.</p> <p><strong>Check it out if you like:</strong> Big, confident voices, from Wanda Jackson to Connie Smith to Neko Case.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in the </em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/07" target="_blank">July/August 2014</a> Issue <em>of </em>Mother Jones.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Music Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Jon Young 252791 at http://www.motherjones.com Photos: The World's Largest Church Is in the Middle of an African Coconut Plantation http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/worlds-largest-church--yamoussoukro-basilica-our-lady-of-peace <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Central-West&nbsp;<span class="st">C&ocirc;te</span><span class="st"> d'Ivoire</span> is a lush agricultural landscape, stuffed with rich banana, rice, and cocoa fields. The region is this West African nation's equivalent of the corn belt of Iowa and Illinois. A long drive down stretches of road left pockmarked by the ongoing rainy season yields endless repetitions of the same scene: Tiny villages&mdash;each home to only a few dozen farmers living in thatched-roof huts&mdash;quietly tending to crops and livestock. Things are even more&nbsp;peaceful than usual now, as the Muslims that make up this area's dominant religious affiliation celebrate Ramadan.</p> <p>But as you arrive in&nbsp;Yamoussoukro, the nation's capital, a strange monument can be seen towering over the horizon: An enormous gilded cross that adorns the top of what is, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2004/jun/17/architecture" target="_blank">by</a> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/23/AR2006012301724.html" target="_blank">many</a> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/17/nyregion/landmark-just-wait-till-it-s-done-unfinished-st-john-divine-set-make-history.html" target="_blank">accounts</a>, the world's <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/30/the-largest-church-in-the-world-has-the-fewest-worshippers.html" target="_blank">largest&nbsp;church</a>.</p> <p>Topping St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by more than 80 feet, Basilica Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, sometimes called the "basilica in the bush," is a jaw-dropping and bizarre monument to the end of a period only a few decades ago when <span class="st">C&ocirc;te d'Ivoire was&nbsp;competing against other&nbsp;newly-independent African nations</span> to become the cultural and economic powerhouse of the continent.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica columns" class="image" src="/files/basilica1.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The basilica is supported by 84 pillars, each one 112 feet tall. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <p>The raw numbers are stunning: Between July 1986 and September 1989, 1,100 workers cleared 178 acres of coconut grove, coated the space with 13 football fields-worth of European marble, and erected a 520-foot-tall structure, supported by 128 towering Doric columns, that can accommodate 200,000 worshippers. Inside are 24 stained-glass windows. The organ can reach volumes that lead to <a href="http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html" target="_blank">permanent hearing loss</a>. The&nbsp;building is estimated to weigh 98,000 metric tons.</p> <p>But probably the most interesting figure&mdash;how much it all cost&mdash;is shrouded in mystery: Although independent estimates pegged the price tag at about $300 million, then-President&nbsp;<span class="st">F&eacute;lix Houphou&euml;t-Boigny was notoriously tight-lipped, preferring to refer to the construction as a gift from God (with help from his massive personal cocoa fortune).</span></p> <p><span class="st" style="line-height: 2em;">"Most people think it also mostly came out of the treasury," says Tom Bassett, a geographer and </span>C&ocirc;te<span style="line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;</span>d'Ivoire&acirc;&#128;&#139; historian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. For that reason, Bassett says, it got a second nickname: "Our Lady of the Treasury."<span class="st" style="line-height: 2em;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica stained glass" class="image" src="/files/basilica3.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The basilica contains 24 massive stained-glass windows, each featuring a biblical scene. In this one, which depicts Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem, former Ivorian president F&eacute;lix Houphou&euml;t-Boigny is shown kneeling in front of Jesus. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <p><span style="line-height: 24px;">The wealthy heir to one of the country's largest cocoa operations,&nbsp;Houphou&euml;t-Boigny didn't exactly choose the most opportune moment to publicly drain his nation's cash reserves on what quickly came to be seen as </span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">less a glorification of God and more a vanity project straight from the "dictator handbook," as the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/30/the-largest-church-in-the-world-has-the-fewest-worshippers.html" style="line-height: 24px;" target="_blank"><em>Daily Beast</em></a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;recently put it.</span><span style="line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 24px;">Houphou&euml;t-Boigny became&nbsp;</span>C&ocirc;te<span style="line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;</span>d'Ivoire&acirc;&#128;&#139;'s first president after the country gained independence from France in 1960 and ruled as a more or less benevolent dictator until his death 1993, overseeing what became known as a "miracle" period of economic prosperity in the 1960s and 70s. In 1983, he named his home village Yamoussoukro the new administrative capital and shortly thereafter set about planning the city's crown jewel, the basilica. In keeping with a request from Pope John Paul II, who said he wouldn't consecrate the building otherwise, the dome was made slightly shorter than St. Peter's. But the addition&nbsp;of a towering cross atop the dome pushed the church above its counterpart in Rome.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica dome" class="image" src="/files/basilica4.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The dove at the center of the basilica's dome is 23 feet wide. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <p>But meanwhile, by the late 80s the country had fallen to economic&nbsp;ruin, hit simultaneously by a nosedive in cocoa and coffee prices, climbing oil prices, and disastrous mismanagement of state-owned businesses. Midway&nbsp;through the basilica's construction, C&ocirc;te<span style="line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">d'Ivoire declared itself insolvent. At the same time, budget-resuscitation measures mandated by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank slashed basic services and key agricultural subsidies, drastically lowering the standard of living for most Ivorians&mdash;including those living on farms in the shadow of the basilica.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">All this left </span><span style="line-height: 24px;">Houphou&euml;t-Boigny</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">&nbsp;wide open to scathing criticism for the unseemly contrast between the church's opulence and the decay of the surrounding countryside; his public image wasn't helped by&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">a large stained-glass window just inside the dome that depicts&nbsp;</span>him<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;kneeling before Jesus on his entrance to Jerusalem</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">. An unnamed Vatican official&nbsp;<a href="http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,152145,00.html" target="_blank">told <em>Time</em></a><em>&nbsp;</em>th</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">at "the size and expense of the building in such a poor country make it a delicate matter." Still, t</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">he Pope consecrated the basilica in September 1990,&nbsp;the only time&nbsp;the thousands of seats here have been full (and the only time a grandiose papal residence on the grounds has been occupied).</span></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica interior" class="image" src="/files/basilica5.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The interior of the basilica can seat 7,000 worshippers; altogether, the compound can accommodate 200,000. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <p>Since then, the basilica has been little more than a tourist destination; services are held weekly but are sparsely&nbsp;attended. In late 2002, while then-President Laurent Gbagbo was out of the country, disgruntled military leaders staged a coup that threw the nation into a bloody, two-year civil war. The basilica briefly came back into the limelight during this period, as Yamoussoukro became the heart of a UN-enforced buffer zone between rebel forces in the north and Gbagbo supporters in the south, where the country's largest city, Abidjan, lies. Political leaders on both sides, aided by the national media, portrayed the conflict in part as one between a Christian south and Muslim north, with the basilica in the middle.&nbsp;</p> <p>But in reality, Bassett says, demographic data never supported the existence of such a division&mdash;there are likely to be just as many Muslims in the south as in the north. And in any case, he says, "I don't think the basilica really fits into that narrative." So sorry, there are no heart-wrenching, <em>The&nbsp;</em><em>Sound of </em><em>Music</em>-esque scenes of embattled families taking refuge inside from machine-gun toting soldiers. It's a ghost town, a highly-visible tombstone for a&nbsp;C&ocirc;te<span style="line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">d'Ivoire that died before it could be born.&nbsp;</span></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica yamoussoukro" class="image" src="/files/basilica6.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The basilica is situated on the outskirts of Yamoussoukro, former president F&eacute;lix Houphou&euml;t-Boigny's hometown. It was a tiny village before he designated it the nation's administrative capitol in 1983; today it has about 240,000 residents. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica walkup" class="image" src="/files/basilica7.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The compound is spread across 17 acres (equivalent to 13 football fields) of marble imported from Portugal, Spain, and Italy. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="basilica interior" class="image" src="/files/basilica8.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The world's largest church rarely sees more than a couple hundred worshippers. </strong>Tim McDonnell</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Photo Essays International Religion Top Stories Infrastructure Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Tim McDonnell 256021 at http://www.motherjones.com The NFL Was Harder on These 6 Players for Smoking Pot Than It Was on Ray Rice for His Assault Arrest http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/ray-rice-suspension-marijuana <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The National Football League handed Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice an <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/ravens/2014/07/24/ray-rice-suspension-baltimore-janay-palmer/12783281/" target="_blank">unexpectedly lenient punishment</a> Thursday following his offseason arrest for assaulting his fianc&eacute;e back in February: a two-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Rice allegedly hit Janay Palmer (now his wife) so hard she lost consciousness&mdash;and then <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2014/02/19/ray-rice-unconscious-fiancee-atlantic-city-video-arrest/" target="_blank">security cameras caught him</a> dragging her out of an elevator in Atlantic City. Aggravated assault charges eventually were dropped against both of them (Palmer allegedly hit Rice, too), and the two later held a bizarre <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/ray-rice-apologizes-alleged-assault-then-fiancee-article-1.1803771" target="_blank">joint press conference</a> addressing the whole incident.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mixed-media/2014/07/ray-rice-suspension-marijuana"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Sports Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:52:39 +0000 Sam Brodey 256941 at http://www.motherjones.com Let's Watch Stephen Colbert Make Fun Of Tim Draper's Stupid Plan To Split California Into 6 States http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/stephen-colbert-six-californias-tim-draper <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In 2016, Californians will vote on stupid Tim Draper's stupid initiative to turn America's greatest state into <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/tim-draper-six-californias-stripping-youtube-riskmaster" target="_blank">six stupid</a> (and <a href="http://www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5901437/six-californias-explained" target="_blank">deeply unequal</a>) little states. The initiative will fail, and even if it somehow passes, the state legislature will never approve it, and even if it somehow did, Congress will never agree to it. So, this whole thing is stupid. Fitting then that famed ridiculer of stupid things Stephen Colbert had Draper on his show last night.</p> <p>Colbert began by introducing Draper (a "Silicon Valley billionaire and evil stepdad in a <em>Lifetime</em> movie") and his stupid plan to the uninitiated:</p> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:640px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="354" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:colbertnation.com:15b62723-dfdf-4c4c-bb54-d901c4bdcc73" width="630"></iframe></div> </div> <p>Then "the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/tim-draper-six-californias-stripping-youtube-riskmaster" target="_blank">riskmaster"</a> himself <a href="http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/rmgh1u/six-californias---tim-draper" target="_blank">came on</a>. Watching Draper come off like a weirdo is entertaining enough, but the real money shot is when Colbert responds to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/tim-draper-six-californias-stripping-youtube-riskmaster" target="_blank">Draper's</a> promise that he has no future in politics: "so, you're just going to set the charges, blow it apart, and then say 'not my fucking problem'?"</p> <p><a href="http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/rmgh1u/six-californias---tim-draper" target="_blank">Watch</a>:</p> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:640px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="354" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:colbertnation.com:0c245c53-4e2a-4b1f-ad80-a3ca47cb3452" width="630"></iframe></div> </div> <p><em>(h/t <a href="http://valleywag.gawker.com/stephen-colbert-asks-tim-draper-why-he-wants-to-destroy-1610186000?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_twitter&amp;utm_source=gawker_twitter&amp;utm_medium=socialflow" target="_blank">Valleywag</a></em>)</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:24:40 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256901 at http://www.motherjones.com Be Still, My Heart: Beyoncé As Rosie the Riveter http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/beyonce-rosie-the-riveter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, Beyonc&eacute;, a whisper of perfection in an otherwise cruel and inhumane world, posted this photo of her as Rosie the Riveter to <a href="http://instagram.com/p/qwWCsgPw7N/?modal=true" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="710" scrolling="no" src="//instagram.com/p/qwWCsgPw7N/embed/" width="612"></iframe></p> <p>Beyonc&eacute; has become somewhat of a feminist hero recently, putting overtly feminist lyrics into her songs, and making genuinely heartfelt public statements about women's rights. In January, she wrote an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/01/beyonce-gender-inequality-essay-shriver-report-center-american-progress" target="_blank">essay about income inequality.</a> On the other side of the pop star aisle there is Lana del Rey who is more interested <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/06/lana-del-rey-feminism-spacex-tesla-intergalactic-possibilities" target="_blank">in Tesla and "intergalactic possibilities."</a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:54:46 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256766 at http://www.motherjones.com Quick Reads: "Do Not Sell at Any Price" by Amanda Petrusich http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/quick-reads-do-not-sell-any-price-amanda-petrusich <!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="Do Not Sell at Any Price" class="image" src="/files/do-not-sell-at-any-price-270.jpg"></div> <p><strong>Do Not Sell at Any Price</strong></p> <p>By Amanda Petrusich</p> <p>SCRIBNER</p> <p>Once you get past the overexplaining of vinyl-era terms (gatefold album cover, etc.), Amanda Petrusich's first-person foray into the weird world of 78 rpm collectors is an engrossing romp that illuminates this cartoonish slice of nerddom so aptly portrayed in the movie <em>Crumb</em>. She catches the bug, too, embarking on a quest for 100-year-old Paramount blues 78s that takes her to flea markets and record swaps, although not, like one of her sources, to the bottom of the Milwaukee River. This obsession, Petrusich ultimately divines, is rooted as much in the (perhaps unattainable) sense of authenticity and passion crackling up from those vinyl grooves as in the earthly desire to own something rare.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/07" target="_blank">July/August issue</a> of</em> Mother Jones.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Books Music Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Mark Murrmann 253011 at http://www.motherjones.com The Way We Live Now http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/way-we-live-now <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Methinks someone on the EPA's social team is logged into the department's brand account on their iPhone...</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-21%20at%2010.48.30%20PM.png"></p> <p>If someone gets fired over this harmless mistake I will be genuinely outraged but I think it's ok for all of us to have a harmless chuckle.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Tue, 22 Jul 2014 03:05:21 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256686 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch John Oliver Explain the Insanity of Our Prison System With Puppets http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/john-oliver-prison-system-sesame-street-puppets <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The United States imprisons too many people for too long for too many things. As <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pz3syET3DY&amp;app=desktop" target="_blank">John Oliver summed it up</a> last night, "We are doing a terrible job taking care of people that it is very easy for all of us not to care about."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_Pz3syET3DY" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Oliver outlines a few of the prison system's flagrant injustices:</p> <ul><li>African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at <a href="http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet" target="_blank">10 times the rate of white people</a>, despite similar levels of drug use.</li> <li>Solitary confinement, which <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/solitary-confinement-shane-bauer" target="_blank"><em>Mother Jones </em>has covered</a> extensively, is "one of the most mentally excruciating things prisoners can be subjected to." Yet when&nbsp;a senator asked the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons about <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/solitary-cell-graphic" target="_blank">the size of the average isolation cell</a> during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this past February, the prison official had no idea, stalling awkwardly before <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/bop-director-prison-cell-size_n_4855865.html" target="_blank">making a wildly incorrect guess</a>.</li> <li>One in 25 prison inmates <a href="http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&amp;iid=4654" target="_blank">reported being sexually victimized</a> in the past year, yet prison rape is culturally-acceptable joke material that crops up in pop culture regularly: from <em>SpongeBob</em> to <em>Friends </em>to <em>Puss in Boots</em>.</li> <li>In an effort to cut costs, many states outsource food, health care, and even prison operations to private contractors. These cost-saving techniques have lead to <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140713/NEWS06/307130099/aramark-prison-food-privatization-michigan" target="_blank">maggot-infested food</a> in Michigan prisons and <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/5/27/whistleblower-arizonainmatesaredyingfrominadequatehealthcare.html" target="_blank">50 inmates dying in one 8-month stretch</a> in Arizona.</li> <li>Prisoner rehabilitation isn't exactly the system's focal point: Publicly-traded private prison giant Corporate Corrections of America (CCA) <a href="http://file:///Users/hlevintova/Downloads/CCA%20Q1%202011%20Investor%20Presentation%20(1).pdf" target="_blank">actually touted</a> "high recidivism" as a reason private prisons are a "unique investment opportunity."</li> </ul><p>He closes the segment by recapping the horrors of the US prison system with mock Sesame Street puppets: The PBS show has recently made <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/05/watch-amazing-sesame-street-video-about-having-parent-prison" target="_blank">efforts to reach out</a> to the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/mothers-day-visit-prison-incarcerated-distance" target="_blank">1 in 28 US children</a> growing up with a parent behind bars.</p> <p>The segment's bottom line: Prisoners are not treated humanely in the United States. They're viewed as a nuisance, a problem to be tucked away in a cell and never thought of again. But when nearly <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/28cnd-prison.html?_r=0" target="_blank">1 in 100 American adults is behind bars</a>, our broken system of mass incarceration is a human rights abuse that should not be ignored.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Crime and Justice Human Rights Media Prisons Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:45:25 +0000 Katie Rose Quandt 256571 at http://www.motherjones.com "Country Funk Volume II" Is the Perfect Summer Soundtrack http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/country-funk-volume-ii-1967-1974-summer-soundtrack-review <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Various Artists<br><em>Country Funk Volume II 1967-1974</em><br> Light in the Attic</strong></p> <p><img alt="Country Funk" class="image" src="/files/LITA116_Highres_Cover_thumb_325.jpg" style="height: 230px; width: 230px; float: right;">Like its predecessor, the beguiling <em>Country Funk Volume II, 1967-1974</em> is a collection of rebels, reprobates and other outsiders blurring genres and donning different guises. Ranging from big names to cult favorites, this dud-free, 17-track romp captures Kenny Rogers in his pre-crooner, almost-psychedelic phase and the chameleon-like Bobby Darin (here billed as Bob) in his down-home hippie groove. R&amp;B greats Larry Williams and Johnny Watson team up for freaky rock and roll, while Willie Nelson tries out his outlaw persona&mdash;and likes it. Elsewhere, former Byrd Gene Clark puts a rootsy spin on the Beatles, and sleepy JJ Cale mines a deep, soulful groove. And there's plenty more to dig on this scruffy, lovably offbeat set, which makes a perfect summer soundtrack.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eCMZIA5dK4c" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:19 +0000 Jon Young 256231 at http://www.motherjones.com Fast Tracks: Reigning Sound's "You Did Wrong" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/fast-tracks-reigning-sounds-you-did-wrong <!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/cQaZ4hhghQo" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>TRACK 5</strong></p> <p>"You Did Wrong"</p> <p>From Reigning Sound's <em>Shattered</em></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/shattered-300x300.gif"></div> <p>MERGE</p> <p><strong>Liner notes:</strong> "Where have you been, my friend? I've been calling you for days," croons Greg Cartwright, comforting a heartbroken pal in this bracing garage-soul lament.</p> <p><strong>Behind the music:</strong> The Memphis multitasker has a slew of other bands on his r&eacute;sum&eacute;, such as the Oblivians and Compulsive Gamblers.</p> <p><strong>Check it out if you like:</strong> Retro floor-shakers like the Deadly Snakes and King Khan &amp; the Shrines.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in the </em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/07" target="_blank">July/August 2014 Issue</a> <em>of </em>Mother Jones.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Music Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:18 +0000 Jon Young 252796 at http://www.motherjones.com Armed With a Backpack Studio and a Plane Ticket, Beat Making Lab Sows Global Activism http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/premiere-pbs-digital-studios-beat-making-lab-sets-diy-studios-around-world <!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/TnKSXkUtKW0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>In Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, fences as far as the eye could see were topped with barbed wire. Glass bottle shards protruded from concrete walls so that no one could scale them. Some buildings were even corralled by electric barriers. They resembled fortresses&mdash;all but one. "At Yole!Africa, the walls were completely bare. Students were sitting on them," recalls Pierce Freelon, one of the founders of <a href="http://www.beatmakinglab.com/" target="_blank">Beat Making Lab</a>.</p> <p>Beat Making Lab, a project that began in 2011 as a music production and entrepreneurship class at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, had morphed into an international expedition to teach kids how to make beats and set up makeshift studios for around the world. Yole!Africa, a Congolese Center for Art and Cultural Exchange, was their first stop. "When you came in, there were two concrete slabs where artists are dancing," Freelon adds. "You don't need a dance studio with hardwood floors, with windows and a ballet bar, to put in work and do dance. You can do it in the dirt."</p> <p>They had come to lend that DIY mentality to an art-form not yet represented at Yole!Africa. With just a backpack full of gear&mdash;USB microphone, keyboard, laptop, MIDI controllers, headphones, and software&mdash;Freelon and BML cofounder, the producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (who has worked with the likes of Azealia Banks, Camp Lo, Mos Def, and Wale) set up shop in a storage room and launched their first two-week workshop. "In terms of where [art] can happen?" Freelon says, "the answer is anywhere and everywhere."</p> <p>In 2013, the duo helped produce songs from a prison in Panama. They brought beat-making tools to the beaches of Fiji. They held sessions on the streets of Senegal and Ethiopia. Along the way, they documented their experiences and created videos for the songs their students created. Here's one from Ethiopia:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4SfwcYVUYyA" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Before long, the project caught the attention of PBS, which signed on to help produce a web series. Season 2, which launches today, kicks off in Nairobi with the video at the top of this post. The beatmakers have taken a more political turn this time around. In Kenya, they partner with <a href="https://www.therules.org/en/actions/movement--2" target="_blank">/The Rules</a> (a "global movement to bring power back to people, and change the rules that create inequality and poverty around the world"), interweaving recording sessions with spoken word workshops led by Jamaican poet Staceyann Chin, and digital power-mapping workshops led by Ann Daramola (a.k.a. Afrolicious). The goal: to encourage participants to deploy art in the cause of activism.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was the ill-est thing ever," Freelon says. "Those same students who have been thinking about tax havens and queerness and patriarchy are now coming into our Beat Making Lab and making beats."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/L_Nq5FCbd0E" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Freelon and Levitin hope to keep expanding into new territory. Up next on their wish list are Palestine, Israel, India, and China. "We left Kenya saying we need not ever go back to what we were doing in 2013," Freelon says. "From this time forward we are going to have a deeper, more intentional process."</p> <p><em>Subscribe to BML's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/beatmakinglab" target="_blank">YouTube channel</a> to see the story unfold.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media International Music Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:18 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 255306 at http://www.motherjones.com Film Review: "The Newburgh Sting" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/film-review-newburgh-sting <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dLzPn-YvXXs" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/the-newburgh-sting" target="_blank"><strong>The Newburgh Sting</strong></a></p> <p>HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS<a href="#correction">*</a></p> <p>Drawing on a trove of covert FBI video footage, this well-argued doc offers a spirited defense of four men charged in 2009 with plotting to blow up Air National Guard planes and set off bombs outside Jewish community centers in the Bronx&mdash;a story first detailed in our 2011 investigation "The Informants." The men, occasionally observant Muslims from impoverished Newburgh, New York, some with prior convictions for drug dealing, thought they would make $250,000 for the job&mdash;a life-changing sum. But it was a setup. An FBI informant provided everything: the plan, the bombs and missiles, even a car to get them to the scene of the would-be crime. Like the defendants in similar stings, the men cried entrapment but were convicted anyway. Many viewers won't sympathize with men who seemed willing to kill civilians for a price, and fair enough. But footage of the Boston Marathon bombing near the end of the film begs the question: What kinds of threats are slipping through the cracks while the FBI spends millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours setting up a crew of street hustlers in the Newburgh ghetto?</p> <p id="correction"><em>*Correction: The original version of this review, which also ran in our 2014 July/August print issue, incorrectly identified the film distributor.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Film and TV Supreme Court Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:17 +0000 Nick Baumann 252771 at http://www.motherjones.com Quick Reads: "Unruly Places" by Alastair Bonnett http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/quick-reads-unruly-places-alastair-bonnett <!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="Unruly Places" class="image" src="/files/unruly-places-250.jpg"></div> <p><strong>Unruly Places</strong></p> <p>By Alastair Bonnett</p> <p>HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT</p> <p>By now, given the pace of technology, you'd think every square inch of the planet's surface had already been discovered, scrutinized, and made accessible online. In this catalog of the world's forgotten, ignored, and phantom places, British geographer Alastair Bonnett shows us that our maps still hold plenty of secrets. Take Wittenoom, an asbestos-mining center turned ghost town in Western Australia that vanished from official records&mdash;but not from the face of the earth. Or the no man's land between Senegal and Guinea that is host to entire nationless villages. There's also Sandy Island, a South Pacific sandbar that existed on Google Earth until 2012&mdash;when an Australian expedition discovered that it never actually existed. The geography of the unknown has never been so comprehensible.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/07" target="_blank">July/August issue</a> of</em> Mother Jones.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Alex Park 253021 at http://www.motherjones.com Conservatives Are Freaking Out Because Comic Books Are Getting Too Real http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/conservatives-archie-captain-america-freak-out <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Before the penultimate issue of "Life With Archie" had even hit newsstands Wednesday, conservatives were preparing their outrage. As had been <a href="http://www.archiecomics.com/Blogs/tabid/97/EntryId/1563/LEGENDARY-COMIC-BOOK-CHARACTER-ARCHIE-ANDREWS-DIES-IN-JULY.aspx" target="_blank">previously announced</a>, Archie met his maker in Issue #36, heroically taking a bullet meant for his friend Kevin Keller. Keller, the series' first gay character, has been a lighting rod for controversy since <a href="http://comicsalliance.com/archie-introduces-an-openly-gay-character-kevin-keller/" target="_blank">first being introduced in 2010</a>, prompting <a href="http://time.com/3000130/singapore-has-banned-an-archie-comic-for-depicting-a-gay-wedding/" target="_blank">Singapore to ban the series</a>. After his boyfriend was murdered in a mass shooting targeting gay people, Keller was prompted to run for political office on a strictly pro-gun control platform. Archie's death appears to be a heroic, selfless act at the end of the lighthearted redhead's saga, but conservatives are in an outrage&mdash;because his killer was a homophobe.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" height="632" src="/files/archiedeathcover.jpg" width="471"><div class="caption">Archie Comics/AP</div> </div> <p>Christian Toto of Breitbart News' <em>Big Hollywood</em> <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/theater-arts/archie-death-comic-book-angers-conservatives-article-1.1867785" target="_blank">doesn't want his kids exposed </a>to the issues Archie presents: "There's a sense in conservative circles that there are fewer and fewer places they can enjoy, stories their kids can read or movies they can see without being force-fed a message."</p> <p>Rod Dreher of the<em> American Conservative</em> r<a href="http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/archie-andrews-death-by-homophobia/" target="_blank">esponded to the news of Archie's death</a> by saying it "seems like everybody is gay in pop culture today," and expressing concern that just "2 percent" of the population is engulfing the media.</p> <p><em>Hot Air,</em> a conservative news blog, had <a href="http://hotair.com/archives/2014/07/14/archie-to-be-shot-dead-while-saving-gay-best-friend-who-called-for-gun-control/" target="_blank">this to say about Archie's last episode</a>: "Sticking Archie Andrews in the middle of an assassination narrative is like redoing 'Goofus and Gallant' so that Goofus is a meth head. When you lose the innocence, you lose part of the charm."</p> <p><em>Before It's News </em><a href="http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2014/07/archie-to-be-killed-off-saving-gay-best-friend-from-gunmans-bullet-2879932.html" target="_blank">weighed in</a> on the issue in an opinion piece: "The formerly healthy, all-American Archie Comics franchise has gone to extremes to corrupt children with a depraved liberal sexual/political agenda."</p> <p>The news swept Twitter and Facebook too, where conservatives even parodied Archie's final chapter with a cartoon featuring even more liberal agendas that could have replaced the ending:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Death with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Archie?src=hash">#Archie</a>? <a href="https://twitter.com/AUG_RickMcKee">@AUG_RickMcKee</a> nails the liberal spin in his latest editorial cartoon. <a href="http://t.co/bkBJgQOsk2">pic.twitter.com/bkBJgQOsk2</a></p> &mdash; AUG_Editorial Staff (@AUG_Editorial) <a href="https://twitter.com/AUG_Editorial/statuses/489394284286992385">July 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Homophobia killed Archie. I wish he had died defending the rights of artisanal cheesemakers vs the FDA: <a href="http://t.co/tg3AC8Bod6">http://t.co/tg3AC8Bod6</a></p> &mdash; Rod Dreher (@roddreher) <a href="https://twitter.com/roddreher/statuses/489436927913775104">July 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Archie Andrews' Liberal Brain Washing death <a href="http://t.co/9B2W4KKYkl">http://t.co/9B2W4KKYkl</a> Comics used to be funny and void of PC bull. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tcot?src=hash">#tcot</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SimpleLife?src=hash">#SimpleLife</a></p> &mdash; Richie Chin (@FxEpic) <a href="https://twitter.com/FxEpic/statuses/488835086444679168">July 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Will the Republicans blame Obama for the death of Archie? stay tuned...</p> &mdash; michael radowitz (@m_radowitz) <a href="https://twitter.com/m_radowitz/statuses/489501354701094912">July 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/archiereaction2.png"></div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/archiereaction.gif"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Though Archie Comics Publisher Jon Goldwater told the <em><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/theater-arts/archie-death-comic-book-angers-conservatives-article-1.1867785" target="_blank">New York Daily News </a></em>that the super-charged ending "had nothing to do with politics," this is not the first time <em>Archie's</em> political storylines have raised conservative ire. In Issue #10 of the Kevin Keller series, Keller confronts a woman upset about him kissing his boyfriend in public. "I don't mind promoting my work and talking about issues," writer and artist Dan Parent<a href="#correction">*</a>, who created Keller,<a href="http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&amp;id=47301" target="_blank"> told <em>Comic Book Resources</em></a>. Though he claims he doesn't want <em>Archie</em> to be a billboard for gay rights, he admits that "serious issues" sometimes come up in a quality storyline and that the kiss was an important part of a discussion about "tolerance and acceptance."</p> <p>The Archie death is not the only cartoon that's been criticized for its progressive qualities. Conservatives are also freaking out about Marvel Comics' decision to transform powerhouse hammer-wielder <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/07/15/thor-is-now-woman/" target="_blank">Thor into a woman</a>, and the Council of Conservative Citizens <a href="http://comicsalliance.com/racists-thor-idris-ebla-racism/" target="_blank">nearly imploded</a> when black actor Idris Elba was chosen to play a Norse God in Marvel Studios' <em>Thor</em>. Marvel's <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/17/us-books-captainamerica-idUSKBN0FM11020140717" target="_blank">recent decision</a> to make the next Captain America black is being described as "ridiculous" over Twitter, and Christian conservative groups <a href="http://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/59526/thor-captain-america-and-3-other-comic-diversity-shockers" target="_blank">threatened to boycott</a> a gay Green Lantern in 2012.</p> <p>The root of the Archie conservative ire appears to be the imposition of a political agenda. Maybe what they&rsquo;re really worried about, though, is that their lily-white heterosexual fantasyland is officially too unrealistic, even for comic books.</p> <p id="correction"><em>Correction: This post originally said that Dan Parent wrote "Life With Archie" #36. The writer was actually Paul Kupperberg.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:45:39 +0000 Jenna McLaughlin 256406 at http://www.motherjones.com Stuart Scott's Deeply Moving ESPYs Speech About Beating Cancer Will Leave You Speechless http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/stuart-scott-deeply-moving-espys-speech-about-beating-cancer-will-leave-you-spe <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>We have no words. Just watch:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0Y6hOb0c1yc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>(via <em><a href="http://digg.com/video/we-cant-write-a-headline-that-does-this-stuart-scott-speech-on-life-with-cancer-justice" target="_blank">Digg</a></em>)</p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Media Sports Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:46:10 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256351 at http://www.motherjones.com Weird Al's "Blurred Lines" Parody Song About Grammar Is Pretty Great http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/lingo-dead-weird-al-alive <!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/8Gv0H-vPoDc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>You know the song "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDUC1LUXSU" target="_blank">Blurred Lines</a>" by Robin Thicke? It's really catchy and you hear it on the radio and you get it stuck in your head and you hum it and bob your head back and forth a bit but then you listen to the lyrics a little closer and you realize <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/nov/13/blurred-lines-most-controversial-song-decade" target="_blank">it's maybe about date rape</a> and you get disgusted with yourself and you find the nearest mirror and point your finger in your face now and think, "Stop it! Get this date rape anthem out of your head!" but the beat is catchy and you can't just exorcise it immediately so you run desperately in search of another catchy song to take its place and you're poring over Spotify and flipping through old NOW CDs and what was that stupid song from the '90s that you used to get stuck in your head all the time? "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc" target="_blank">Chumbawumba</a>"? So, you listen to "Chumbawumba" and it works&mdash;ta-da! "Blurred Lines" be gone!&mdash;but now you're going around singing "He drinks a whiskey drink/He drinks a vodka drink/He drinks a lager drink/He drinks a cider drink/He sings the songs that remind him of the good times/He sings the songs that remind him of the better times" all week and no one likes you because you won't stop singing "Chumbawumba" and you lose your friends and you lose your family and you lose your job but you just keep on singing "I get knocked down but I get up again/You're never gonna keep me down" right up until the time you get knocked down and in fact don't get up and are kept down and die alone in a ditch&hellip;all because you listened to "Blurred Lines."</p> <p>Well, Weird Al Yankovic has a new parody of "Blurred Lines" called "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc" target="_blank">Word Crimes</a>" which is just as catchy but about grammar instead of date rape. So, lean back, relax, and let this impressive parody get stuck in your head.</p> <p>(<em>via <a href="http://gawker.com/you-know-you-want-weird-als-robin-thicke-parody-about-g-1605291119?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&amp;utm_source=gawker_facebook&amp;utm_medium=socialflow" target="_blank">Gawker</a></em>)</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:51:43 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256256 at http://www.motherjones.com The Billionaire Who Wants to Split California Into 6 States Has the Most Embarrassing YouTube Feed Ever http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/tim-draper-six-californias-stripping-youtube-riskmaster <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>This is a post about Tim Draper. Tim Draper is a billionaire tech investor of no particular importance who has decided that he wants to disrupt geography.&nbsp;</p> <p>Draper is the man behind the "Six Californias" initiative, which today announced that it had secured enough signatures to put a measure on the <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Six-Californias-backers-say-it-s-heading-for-5621377.php" target="_blank">2016 California ballot that would split the Golden State in to six golden states</a>. Should California be turned into six states? Maybe! I don't know. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/07/california-6-states_n_4890982.html" target="_blank">Probably not.</a> It probably doesn't make any sense. But maybe it does? Who knows! It<em> isn't </em>going to be turned into six states, that is certain, but should it in a perfect world of perfection where Tim Draper rides around on a golden steed shooting piercing laser beams of logic out of his eyes? Maybe! Leave that question to the poets, because we're here to talk about Tim Draper, "the riskmaster."</p> <p>Tim Draper is a partner in the VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which has invested in Hotmail, Skype, SpaceX, and a bunch of other tech companies. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/google-diversity-labor-gender-race-gap-workers-silicon-valley" target="_blank">Silicon Valley has a well-known women problem</a>. Tim Draper does not have a women problem, though! He loves ladies in tech! Can't get enough of them! He loves them so much that he uploaded a video to YouTube aptly titled <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-DV1Nrrow&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">"Tim Draper Shows His Appreciation for Women Entrepreneurs"</a> in which he removes one piece of clothing for every female-led company he has invested in. Because if you're Tim Draper, the way you relate to women is through the language of erotic dance. (Spoiler: He hasn't funded enough female-led companies to get naked.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/r1-DV1Nrrow" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Moving swiftly on, here is a video of Tim Draper wrapping up a keynote speech with a song about, well, how he, Tim Draper, is the "riskmaster." What is the riskmaster? The riskmaster is the name Tim Draper calls himself. Over and over. This song is one of the worst things I have ever heard in my entire life. I cannot stop listening to it.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1mI-LXcGQgE" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The chorus appears to be:</p> <p><em>He's the riskmaster.<br> Lives fast, and drives faster.<br> Skates on the edge of disaster.<br> He is the riskmaster.</em></p> <p>How many Grammys will Tim Draper win? One? Three? Six? Zero? Probably zero.</p> <p>But, Tim Draper, you do you! You have a better chance of winning six Grammys than you do of splitting California into six states.</p> <p>(<a href="https://twitter.com/tcarmody/status/488937503114530817?refsrc=email" target="_blank"><em>h/t Tim Carmody</em></a>)</p></body></html> Mixed Media 2016 Elections Tech Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:31:25 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256166 at http://www.motherjones.com