Police Shootings of the Mentally Ill: The Washington Post

from their series on killings by police: ...“I want to shoot the cops,” Page slurred to the dispatcher, prodding his stepdaughter to confirm that, yes, he had a gun. “I want them to shoot me.”Minutes later, Page’s death wish was granted. Two Clay County sheriff’s deputies arrived to find that he had taken a neighbor hostage. They opened fire, striking him five times in the torso and once in the head. Page’s gun later turned out to be a starter pistol, loaded only with blanks. His threats of … [Read more...]

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“Army of Moms” On Patrol After Killing: DNAInfo

reports: ENGLEWOOD — An army of mothers started patrolling Englewood on Monday, gathering on corners after a shooting.Mothers Against Senseless Killings volunteers in pink shirts were sitting in folding chairs and leaning against a mailbox at 75th Street and Harvard Avenue on Monday, hoping to prevent a violent retaliation after the death of Lucille Barnes a week ago.“People are very emotional about it, and we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Tamar Manasseh. “If people say there … [Read more...]

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From Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “The Idiot”

tr Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky--letter written by a terminally-ill teenager, so Dostoyevsky is fully on-trend: First of all, there is a strange thought here: who, in the name of what right, in the name of what motive, would now take it into his head to dispute my right to these two or three weeks of my term? What court has any business here? Who precisely needs that I should not only be sentenced, but should graciously keep to the term of my sentence? Can it really be that anyone … [Read more...]

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“The Truth Without Reconciliation Committee”: I review “The Look of Silence”

for AmCon: For the extraordinary 2012 documentary “The Act of Killing“, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer encouraged participants in the Indonesian death-squad killings of 1965 to reenact their murders of suspected or fabricated Communists. The killers, who have reaped material and political success from their violence, were for the most part happy to oblige. Their reenactments became increasingly baroque and Hollywoodized; they expressed the self-image which made them feel powerful and free, and all … [Read more...]

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Video Killed the Video Star: Short Movie Reviews

Blonde Venus: This is a severely odd movie. Dir. Josef von Sternberg. Cabaret star Marlene Dietrich is wooed, won, and whisked off to America by Herbert Marshall... but when she has to return to her nightclub job and Cary Grant starts tiptoeing around, all bets are off. Going in I only knew this as "the one where Dietrich sings in a gorilla suit" but maybe the most memorable part of it is the extended passage in which she tries to avoid losing custody of her child due to homelessness. The ending … [Read more...]

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“Punk Rocker Rescues Ancient Christian Music”

I keep forgetting to post this: ...He quickly began to focus on Aleppo, the largest city in Syria and home to many of its Jews, as well as its Syriac Orthodox and Armenian Christians. The city, which may be one of the oldest continuously settled places in the world, has also seen the most destruction of any Syrian city in the present conflict.The music he documented has, in many cases, never been written down, much less recorded with professional equipment. Some of the hymns date back … [Read more...]

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The Butcher Birds: Lloyd Alexander, “The Kestrel”

I recently read a q&a with two authors in which one of them, Rachel Manija Brown, was asked for recommendations of books on post-traumatic stress. She's written some really clear & useful posts on the subject, so I was interested in what she'd say--and especially intrigued when she cited a children's fantasy novel as "one of my favorite depictions of how war can make people completely lose their minds, and how some of them come back from that and some don't."I'd read a couple of the … [Read more...]

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