"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come," proclaims the video, which was uploaded yesterday and already has over four million views on YouTube. That idea is to make Kony, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, into a household name. The video profiles Jacob, a Ugandan boy whose brother was killed by Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, which routinely abducts children and turns them into soldiers — but it also cuts away from his story to scenes of non-profit members showing adorable blonde kids photos of "the bad guy" to make sure Americans don't get too bored with the facts. … [Read more...] about Think Twice Before Donating to Kony 2012, the Charitable Meme du Jour
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Funny how that happens. Out of all the movies I’ve watched for non-work-related reasons in the past few weeks, the two I thought were the most interesting both used the deadliness of firearms as an important metaphor. The first of these was The Profession Of Arms—a demanding, persuasive, very smart Italian historical film about 16th-century European warfare, made in 2001 by Ermanno Olmi (The Tree Of Wooden Clogs, Il Posto), a post-neorealist whose name recognition in the United States probably exceeds his viewership. I have a nagging suspicion that I myself have never given the man his proper due. In watching The Profession Of Arms, the first things a viewer learns about political life in the Europe of the early 1500s is that it was inhospitable—drafty rooms, muddy landscapes barely visible through fog and snow—and that everyone involved is long dead. Olmi, whenever he has to introduce a new historical character, will superimpose their name and approximate birth … [Read more...] about Movies vs. guns
Voxtrot, “Kid Gloves” (May 2007) Of all the acts sacrificed at the altar of the Hype Machine in the mid-to-late ’00s, the loss of Voxtrot was one of the most tragic. Signed to a Beggars Group subsidiary on the strengths of singles and EPs that garnered apt comparisons to label alumni The Smiths and Belle & Sebastian, the Austin band struggled to recapture the urgency and vulnerability of those releases on its sole, self-titled LP. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying: Second track “Kid Gloves,” brims with ideas, layering marimba upon organ drone upon guitar peal upon string swell. It’s the most refined example of the Voxtrot composition method, writing songs by way of swiveling between several winning melodic components until it’s time for the next track. Frontman Ramesh Srivastava is an open wound on the mic, turning self-deprecation (“Cheer me up, cheer me up / I’m a miserable fuck / Cheer me up, cheer me up / … [Read more...] about St. Vincent, No Age, and Yeasayer were the next wave of 2007
“Lamb To The Slaughter” (season three, episode 28): This is the most popularly remembered Hitchcock episode that actually is a Hitchcock episode. Hitchcock directed, and Roald Dahl adapted his own story about a housewife who does in her husband with a frozen leg of lamb. The whacking happens only a few minutes into the episode, and there’s not much in the way of suspense or plot twists after that. What makes “Lamb” so delicious is the lead performance by Barbara Bel Geddes—similar to her plucky, resourceful character in Hitchcock’s Vertigo, filmed almost simultaneously—and the way the audience completely identifies with her as she covers her tracks and deals with the police who are stymied by the absence of a murder weapon. The episode ends with a zoom-in on Bel Geddes’ satisfied face that foreshadows the ending of Hitchcock’s Psycho a few years later. … [Read more...] about Alfred Hitchcock Presents
I think one of them will, and my money would be on Pinot. For once, he has a strong team around him, as young David Gaudu is one of the strongest mountain lieutenants in the peloton. Ineos’s vulnerability gives Pinot the space to make his searing attacks count, since they don’t seem to have the firepower to shoot them down. This dynamic has made the 2019 Tour more entertaining than every previous race since the 2011 battle between Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck. … [Read more...] about Could This Finally Be The Year A French Rider Wins The Tour de France?
If you’re a native, local or lover of New Orleans suddenly envisioning us standing in a two-block line for beignets and coffee at Café du Monde, think again (though I highly recommend the 24-hour New Orleans institution for a midnight snack, to soak up the alcohol—or so I’ve been told). Instead, our incredible guide Laila (more on her later) walked us down a few blocks to the French Market’s Farmer’s Market, where Tonja and I ordered up mimosas as we waited for our first taste of the day: Praline beignets from the renowned, black female-owned Loretta’s Pralines. … [Read more...] about The Glow Up Goes to NOLA, Day 2: How to Eat Your Way Through New Orleans