Post-Demon Stress Syndrome: Some horror-flick reviews

Stake Land: A teenage boy and his grizzled mentor travel north through a vampire-ridden, devastated America, picking up vulnerable people, encountering security cordons and emptied towns, and seeking a haven they've heard all about on the radio. They forge a found family by killin' the dead. Also there's quite lush cinematography and big sweeping shots. If this is starting to sound familiar, you are correct, this is basically 28 States Later. Even the "vampires" are actually zombies with big … [Read more...]

Settling Accounts With Torturers

I recently finished A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers, Lawrence Wechsler's 1990 reports on post-dictatorship attempts at truth-telling and justice-seeking in Brazil and Uruguay. Wechsler is mostly an excellent writer; the book is really well-paced and there are sharp little descriptions ("his commanding wreck of a voice") and insightful uses of poetry. The afterword is overwritten but mostly Wechsler restrains the ego-driven need to assure his readers that he knows what … [Read more...]

“Christmas and Resistance to Slavery in the Americas”: Yesenia Barragan

for the African-American Intellectual History Society: The Christmas season also gave way to the largest slave rebellion in the history of the British Caribbean known as the Christmas Rebellion (or the Baptist War). During ten days in late December 1831 into January 1832, nearly 60,000 slaves (about 20% of the enslaved population of 300,000) led by the black Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe went on strike and rebelled against plantation owners, demanding freedom and higher wages. According to … [Read more...]

“Net Worth of White Households in DC Region is 81 Times That of Black Households”: Washington Post

basically runs a press release from the Urban Institute, but since I wanted to read that press release I won't complain: The Urban Institute report, “The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital,” said the Great Recession and housing crisis of 2007 to 2009 exacerbated long-persistent disparities, with black and Hispanic households losing about half of their wealth. In 2013 and 2014, white households in the D.C. area had a net worth of $284,000 while black households had a net worth of $3,500, the … [Read more...]

Why I’m Voting for DC Statehood Tomorrow

It's not because I think DC should be a state."I don't even think that's the real point, frankly," D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton says, in the very first quote of this depressing piece. My ballot tomorrow is going to be a fractal of civic helplessness. Let's explore!So first of all, even if the statehood proposal wins in a landslide, it will not happen. It is a pure protest vote. For some people it's a protest vote for left-wing and especially socially progressive politics--cf. the role … [Read more...]

Tomorrow’s Other Elections: Your District Attorney Races

some thoughts, from the Marshall Project, on the complexity and importance of the DA position: Sklansky, the Stanford professor, agrees that there is “something uncomfortable” about how individual cases can drive an election campaign, and that this underscores the need to find better ways to measure how prosecutors do their jobs, including more data on charging and convictions. But overall he sees the current competitiveness as a sign that people are paying attention to how the criminal justice … [Read more...]

The American Conservative Election Symposium–I’m in This

In a sense, we're all in this: A good magazine presents a robust discussion of the national life, and The American Conservative has aimed since the beginning to show that conservatism cannot be reduced to a checklist or mere partisan formula. To that end, we have always encouraged a wide-ranging examination of the choices our political system offers—and fails to offer.This symposium is not an endorsement and is not necessarily representative of TAC‘s editors or contributors a whole: rather, … [Read more...]