Corb Lund
Things That Can't Be Undone
New West

With his flexible, high-lonesome voice and witty songs, Corb Lund makes records that have real staying power. On Things That Can't Be Undone, his first studio outing in three years, the Canadian country-rocker and his nimble supporting trio, the Hurtin' Albertans, dispatch sizzling boogie rave-ups and heart-tugging ballads equally well, uncorking a batch of snappy tunes bigger names would be smart to cover. Among the high points: "Weight of the Gun," a loping tale of regret in the spirit of vintage Johnny Cash, "Washed-Up Rock Star Factory Blues," a hilarious unofficial sequel to Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It," and the haunting war story "Sadr City." Then again, there's not a dull or false note to be found on this remarkable and rewarding album.

Without question, British photographer Don McCullin is one of the best and most influential photojournalists of the 20th century. With his visceral frontline images, he brought intense, gut wrenching moments of combat into the homes of millions. A regular photographer for London's Sunday Times Magazine, McCullin's work ran in all the major magazines and newspapers. He unflinchingly showed readers exactly what was happening in the wars being fought in their names.

Don McCullin sitting for a portrait
Photojournalist Don McCullin CBE at the Oxford Union, Oxfordshire, Britain, 2014. Roger Askew/REX/AP

McCullin spent decades in the thick of some of the most hellish wars: from Vietnam to Biafra, Czechoslovakia, then Northern Ireland, the genocide of Brazilian Indians. He was one of the few photojournalists to cover the Khmer Rouge's take over of Cambodia (where he was badly wounded). In Uganda he was captured and held in the cell right next to where executions were taking place. He covered Beirut off and on for years. In between those wars, he didn't let up, photographing the homeless in London, the Bangladeshi monsoon of 1971 and the Consett steel works in Northern U.K. Later McCullin began shifting away from wars to photographing less damaging subjects. He made trips to India and Indonesia, photographing quieter moments.

This retrospective, first published by Random House UK in 2001, is being re-released to coincide with McCullin's 80th birthday on October 9th, 2015. Since this book's original publication, McCullin's still been at it–this edition is updated with newer images shot since 2001, photos that flow incongruously with the classics. The new edition includes an entire new section on African work from 2004, a handful of new photos from India. And it should be noted that McCullin covered the war in Iraq and the early days of the Syrian conflict, shooting Aleppo in 2012.

Though it should go without saying, this is not a book for the squeamish. As with most books of war photography, there are some very graphic pictures. But it's also not just a collection of war photos and it's nothing compared to his earlier photobooks that really pulled back the curtain on the violent, bloody reality of war.

 

Don McCullin (Aperture, 2015) Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
 
Outside Buckingham Palace, 1960 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
 
Fishermen playing during their lunch break, Scarborough, Yorkshire, 1967 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
 
Vietnamese family after a grenade-attack on their bunker, Hue, 1968 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
 
The battlefields of the Somme, France, 2000 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
 
Consett, County Durham, 1974 Don McCullin/Contact Press Images

 

Despite the strides made by the transgender community in recent years, the lives of transgender people remain largely out of sight, even taboo, for most people.

With all the misinformation, and often hateful noise, still present in society over the issue, one British documentary series is telling the real life stories of transgender youth in hopes to shed an empathetic light on what life is actually like for people making the incredibly challenging, but brave journey.

Take the story of 7-year-old Paddy from Leicester, England and her father, also named Paddy. The two engage in a simple, remarkable conversation about Paddy's decision to transition into a girl. Watch below:

But as told by Paddy's mother, Lorna, the transition hasn't exactly been easy for many family members. No matter how supportive of their children's decision, the experience for everyone involved can still be a difficult one. In the clip below, Lorna reads aloud a poem to Paddy describing a caterpillar's choice to become a butterfly to help describe her complex feelings,

"I loved and supported still wondering why, till the day my boy said goodbye," she reads. "Sometimes I miss my caterpillar boy, but my butterfly girl fills my heart with joy."

"My Transgender Kid" is a part of Channel 4 in Britain's "Born in the Wrong Body" series, which will continue in the coming weeks with different personal stories. Next up is "Girls to Men" and it will feature 21-year-old Jamie Raines' stunning, three-year photo project in which he took a selfie everyday of his transition. That video has already catapulted to the number one viewed video on YouTube.

This morning, medial mogul and News Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch was forced to retreat from a tweet he sent out last night addressing his notion of who does and does not qualify as a "real black president." That tweet, which also appeared to endorse Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, looked like this:

The message sparked a wave of backlash on social media condemning Murdoch for inappropriately criticizing President Barack Obama—the first black president of the United States—and his work to address racial issues. In an attempt to justify his offensive remarks, he referred to a recent New York magazine profile looking back at the president's legacy in the African American community. But, to no one's surprise except perhaps Murdoch's, the explanation did nothing to lessen the ridicule and the outrage.

Hours later, and with a heavy meditation on the space key, Murdoch apologized.

Looks like Murdoch, a noted Donald Trump detractor, is going to have to rethink how he attempts to advance Carson's presidential aspirations. It might also be helpful to remember who the sitting president actually is.

People magazine, one of the country's largest publications, with a circulation of more than 3.5 million readers, just threw its weight behind the push for increased gun control by publishing contacts for every member of Congress, and urging their readers to lobby for action.

In an editorial on Wednesday, the magazine's editorial director Jess Cagle explained the unprecedented decision to enter the gun debate after the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

As President Obama said, our responses to these incidents—from politicians, from the media, from nearly everyone—have become "routine." We all ask ourselves the same questions: How could it happen again? What are we doing about gun violence in America? There are no easy answers, of course. Some argue for stricter gun laws, others say we should focus on mental health issues, some point to a culture that celebrates violence.

But this much we know: As a country we clearly aren't doing enough, and our elected officials' conversations about solutions usually end in political spin.

In this issue we pay tribute to the nine Oregon victims, as well as 22 other men, women and children who've lost their lives in mass shootings—incidents where a murderer has opened fire on a crowd—in the U.S. during the past 12 months.

The move by People is remarkable considering the magazine—a staple at every newsstand and doctor's office in America—is traditionally associated with celebrity gossip and general human interest stories that carry little risk of being offensive or overtly political, meaning its message could reach many more Americans outside the DC echo chamber, in which action on gun violence has completely stalled.

Read People's entire announcement here.

Former President Bill Clinton appeared on the Late Show on Tuesday night, where he was asked by host Stephen Colbert to explain the meteoric rises of both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

While he was quick to tout Sanders' appeal as resonating with voter frustration that the system is "rigged against them," Clinton actually had far more to say about his former friend Trump than he did about his wife's increasingly formidable challenger from Vermont.

"He's a master brander and he's the most interesting character out there," Clinton said of Trump. "And because he said something that overrides the ideological differences."

"There is a macho appeal to saying, 'I'm just sick of nothing happening. I'm going to make things happen. Vote for me,'" he added.

This is the second time Clinton has called out Trump for running a political campaign based on branding. Just last week, he hit back at Trump's insults describing his wife's tenure as secretary of state as the very "worst in history."

"Well the thing about branding is, you don't have to be—you can be fact-free," Clinton told CNN's Erin Burnett.

On Tuesday, Clinton also shut down a previous report citing his influence on Trump making a run for the White House. Watch above.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has officially launched an investigation looking into the lack of female directors working in Hollywood.

The LA Times reports government officials have already requested interviews from some 50 women working in the industry and will start interviews as soon as next week to ultimately determine if Hollywood is violating federal law.

"I hope they force people to change the way they do business because Hollywood is not exempt from the law," Lori Precious said in response to Monday's news. Precious is one of the women the EEOC requested to talk to as a part of the formal probe.

The inquiry comes as an increasing number of women in Hollywood, both directors and actresses, come forward with personal stories alleging a disturbing pattern of discrimination, including high profile women such as Ava DuVernay and Meryl Streep. In May, the American Civil Liberties Union urged the government to formally investigate the persistant claims.

"Blatant and extreme gender inequality in this large and important industry is shameful and unacceptable,” director of the the ACLU Southern California Project Melissa Goodman wrote in a press release back in May. "The time has come for new solutions to this serious civil rights problem."

Earlier this year, a staggering gender bias study found only 30.2 of all speaking characters in 2014 were played by women.

"For every 2.3 male characters who say 'Dude,' there is just woman saying, 'Hello?!" the Times Manhola Dargis wrote.

After moving to New York City in 2010, the French photographer Sophie Gamand has made her living taking pictures of dogs—not a bad strategy in the internet era. Strays, purse-sized pups draped in jewels, Hairless Mexican dogs, flower-bedecked pit bulls, shelter dogs, and, yes, wet ones. It's been two years since Gamand found a viral audience for her portraits of canines pulled straight from the bath, eyes full of reproach, water streaming from whiskers.

The wet dog series won her a Sony World Photography Award in 2014 and a book deal from Grand Central Publishing. Wet Dog, out October 13, is gloriously uncomplicated: It consists of 144 pages of scruffy, soaked canines and sentimental commentary on the bond between the dogs and their owners. "Elevating dog photography to the status of art," Gamand's website boasts, "these expressive portraits of our canine friends mirror our very own human emotions." You know, like the frustration of getting shampoo in your eye. Or the indignity of shower caps.

Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand

The funders behind Silicon Valley's hottest companies tend to look a lot like the people they invest in: white and male.

Of the 551 senior venture capitalists* examined in a new three-month study by the tech news site the Information and the VC firm SocialCapital, less than 1 percent (precisely four executives) were black, and another 1.3 percent were Hispanic. Twenty percent, or 110 people, were Asian.

While there has been considerable focus on the diversity figures of major companies such as Facebook and Twitter recently, little attention has been paid to the racial and gender makeup of the decision-makers who invest millions of dollars in tech startups, hoping they succeed.

 
The Information

Ninety-two percent of top venture capital executives are men. According to the report, that's "way worse" than the gender disparity in tech companies, where 77 percent of leadership roles are occupied by men.

The Information

The striking numbers reinforce the narrative surrounding Silicon Valley's diversity problems, as companies and civic leaders alike push to improve the racial and gender balance of the companies that make the gadgets and apps we consume. Not all VCs are doing poorly—the 15-person senior investment team at Y Combinator*, the well-known startup accelerator firm, has "four Asian men, a black man, three white women, and an Asian woman," according to the report. Yet the report found that a quarter of firms have an all-white management crew.

As Mother Jones pointed out in July, the number of African Americans employees at Twitter, Facebook, and Google combined could fit on a single Airbus A830. Now we know the number of black venture capitalists, at least in this study, could fit in an Uber.

In an op-ed Tuesday titled "Bros Funding Bros: What's Wrong with Venture Capital," SocialCapital founder Chamath Palihapitiya criticized the backwards nature of the venture capitalist community and called for changes.

"The VC world is cloistered and often afraid of change—the type of change that would serve the world better," Palihapitiya wrote. "An industry that wields the power to change lives is failing to do just that. Ultimately, fund investors will wake up to this bleak reality. We must change before this happens."

You can check out the rest of the the Information's Future List here.

Correction: Following the publication of this story, Information and SocialCapital corrected several portions of their report, including their description of the racial and gender makeup of Y Combinator's investment team. The story has been updated to reflect those changes.

The best show on network television finally returned last night, but is this Good Wife still the Good Wife we all know and love? Kalinda and Finn have joined Will in that great big green room in the sky and last night's episode felt...different.

Let's talk about it.

Alicia's life sucks at the moment. She has no law firm. She has no male love interest. She has no friends. And where are her dumb kids anyway? She's a pariah! "I'm a pariah," she does not say as the episode begins, but she might as well have. She's whiling away her days in Shooter McGavin's bond court, fighting for pick-up cases with beleaguered unclean lawyers who probably went to a joke Ivy like Cornell unlike Alicia who went to Georgetown, which never pretended to be an Ivy in the first place. Poor good wife.

Governor Bad Husband promised his good wife last year that he wouldn't run for president if she didn't want him to and she didn't want him to so he isn't running for president. OK? Fine, Good. Whatever. But then the good wife changes her mind, because Peter running for president is going to be the plot line for this season—paralleling the plot line in America these days—so she needed to get with it. Peter's chief of staff, the Russian computer hacker from GoldenEye, is very pleased with this development and he celebrates by wooing Margo Martindale, a top-flight campaign consultant, the meth-making matriarch from the second season of Justified.

But Margo Martindale doesn't want to be just another campaign strategist. She wants to be the campaign manager and for reasons not entirely clear, Peter goes along with this and fires Alan Cumming. The good wife's bad husband is also a bad boss.

Meanwhile the attractive young man who used to be Alicia's rival before becoming her law partner before becoming superfluous to the main plot of the show is unhappy at the big fancy law firm that bears his name. Cary's few scenes in this episode are dedicated to him trying to be popular with the first year associates who think he's a stodgy old fart because he spends all of his time with his stodgy old fart partners in their stodgy old fart ivory tower.

Speaking of Cary's aged old partners: Diane and the lawyer who makes the divorces happen are facing off against Alicia in probate court over some meaningless bullshit about a painting that is worth a lot of money. Who will get the deceased's paining? No one cares. But this does provide a nice forum for the show to do what it does best: wink at the audience and acknowledge that the show isn't really about the cases. The Good Wife, more than any other legal drama, doesn't want you to care about the cases. The cases are just a thing for the characters to do. The marathon of random specialists testifying about post-it notes in this probate case are a great example of that. Not even the judge cares about what the post-it scientists have to say.

Anyway, Alicia covers for one of the bond court lawyers—because bond court lawyers stick together— and then the bond court lawyer covers for Alicia in the probate hearing for which she's totally unprepared. Diane and Divorce Attorney are going to school her so hard but then—shocker!—the bond court lawyer is good at law and wins the case. Bond court lawyer is apparently supposed to be Alicia's new friend.

Then Alicia hires Alan Cumming to be her chief of staff because the good wife is also a good friend. Alan Cumming tells Margo Martindale that he is going to destroy her.

Oh also Michael J Fox wants Alicia to work with him. And I think she sort of said yes at the end. (Or did she?) It wasn't entirely clear.

What is this show about now? It used to be about Alicia finding the courage, through crosses and losses, to become the person she wanted to be. Is it still about that? I guess we'll have to wait and see.