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Friday, November 18, 2016
Gaza Trip: A Collaboration of Israeli Musicians, Palestinian Parkour Athletes and Just Humans
Marking the 28th anniversary of Palestinian Independence Day, the Israeli indie punk group MALOX this week released a stunning music video for their song "Gaza Trip" featuring a parkour troupe soaring through a still-ravaged Gaza, where for many young men the sport offers a rare sense of liberation. Arguing "it is part of our role as artists to talk about the Occupation," the band sought to "celebrate freedom of creation (and) movement" to help foster "a better human future."
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Thursday, November 17, 2016
More Small Good Things: Do Not Talk To Other People That Way
Amidst our national nightmare, good people are scrambling to find ways to do good and support those feeling threatened. Efforts range from the kinda lame donning of safety pins to the generous signing up of thousands of New Yorkers to accompany fearful subway riders to the bravery of Muslims reaching out to their haters to explain, "This is both our homes." And sometimes, it just takes speaking. See a good guy confront a racist jerk at a Miami Starbucks, and be like him.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Turning the Bow of the Boat of Justice: Philando Castile Killer Cop Charged
The St. Anthony cop who shot and killed Philando Castile as he sat in his car last July has been charged with three criminal counts, including manslaughter - the first officer to be charged in over 150 police-involved deaths in Minnesota since 2000. The news comes as a chilling BLM Mannequin Challenge video highlighting the decimation of so many black bodies urges us to remember that those deaths "have been going on forever" - and will likely continue to.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016
We Make America Great: Immigrants, Cities and Colleges Fight Back
Your daily sliver of good news: Despite the Pumpkinführer's vow to deport millions of undocumented people, many of them, with the support of cities, campuses and even police, insist they're #HereToStay. Joining some of the country's largest cities that pledge to continue offering sanctuary, thousands of students at over 80 colleges will walk out Wednesday in the name of a growing Campus Sanctuary movement urging "education not deportation."
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Monday, November 14, 2016
Water Protectors Stand Firm, Army Corps Delays Easement
Hours before Tuesday's Day of Action to support indigenous peoples and protest the Dakota Access Pipeline at Army Corps of Engineer offices around the country, the Corps announced they will delay any decision on an easement for the project until it consults further with Standing Rock's Great Sioux. Their call to “to engage in discussion" with tribal leaders, said one, means, "Not all of our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.”
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Sunday, November 13, 2016
Hallelujah: Not Giving Up
As anti-moronic-bigot protests continue and Clinton's popular vote margin climbs toward two million, Saturday Night Live's cold open at the end of a tough week got it hauntingly right. Hear a tearful Kate McKinnon, as Clinton, sing the newly departed Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah” at the piano. Even though it all went wrong, she ends, "I'm not giving up, and neither should you." Many of us are trying.
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Friday, November 11, 2016
Algeria In Iowa: "Because You Can't Be 'The Other' When You're A Part Of Us"
To ease this week's pain, a glimpse of the America that should be - the one we hoped we lived in, still out there in small, shining pockets. Elkader, Iowa, pop. 1,200-ish, is named for a 19th-century Algerian Muslim scholar/soldier/statesman and his struggle against the colonial French. Its popular Algerian-American restaurant is run by two gay guys - one Muslim - who believe in "the Statue of Liberty narrative." And this week it saw nearby anti-Trump protests arguing, "This is not our America."
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Thursday, November 10, 2016
Like Falling Ashes: Leonard Cohen Dies
Like we weren't feeling bereft enough, poet, singer and Buddhist monk Leonard Cohen has died at 82 after decades of writing, touring and praise as the "songwriter's songwriter." His final album last month was titled, "You Want It Darker." Now it is. One mournful fan quoted his lyric, "'Everybody knows that the good guys lost.' We really did. Trump is president and Leonard is dead." But Cohen never stopped seeking. "There is a crack in everything," he wrote. "That's how the light gets in."
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Keeping the Flame Alight
Dark day. And lots more coming. But amidst the tears and rage and shame we live in a country where hate, for now, has won, there's a resolve to move past the heartsickness, invoke our better angels, and keep fighting for what's right - per Joe Hill 's "Don't mourn - organize." Among the few glimpses of light - Arpaio, Duckworth, our own Pious Ali - the brightest may be the startlingly blue electoral map of America's young. "This," notes one hopeful observer, "is how the future voted."
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Sunday, November 6, 2016
This Is Your World
Thank God, almost done. Some final video nudges, elegant to profane, to remind you what's needed here and now: A gentle Three Pigs and Wolf metaphor from Stanley Tucci and Funny Or Die - "You got to come out, take a stand, stop the wolf" - a passionate, obscene, hilarious "Holy Sh*t You've Got To Vote" plea to stop the "orange talking STD" and "sentient septic tank" in our midst, and a revisit to Woody Guthrie's stubbornly patriotic avowal, "This is your world."
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