Danny Schechter, The News Dissector 1942–2015

DannySchechterIt really is sad to imagine the world henceforth without the great journalist, activist, thinker, teacher, filmmaker, writer, blogger, TV producer — on and on.

He was brilliant, fearless, kind, funny, generous. A man in full — devoted father and reliable friend. I had the privilege of being interviewed by him a couple of times, mostly in connection with Free South Africa work. But I remember his early days back to WBCN in Boston.

He was a force for integrity, fairness, human rights, and justice every moment of his life. And he had a lot more living, working and dancing to do.

Domestic Terror

I have a hard time getting beyond the awful fear Martese Johnson must have endured. How many of us have said “Thank God they didn’t kill him”?

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He was guilty of nothing. He was across the way from his campus, but from the moment they smashed his face into the pavement, he knew with certainty that his life could end there. And that the officers could make up any story they wanted to explain why they had to kill him — or how he brought about his own death.

It appears to me that this picture shows his ankles shackled:

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Maria W. Stewart: Innovative Woman

Fascinating list; delighted to have my work included!

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http://www.bustle.com/articles/65610-10-books-about-innovative-women-you-should-know-more-about

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#SelmaIsNow

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http://www.vox.com/2015/2/22/8088909/oscars-2015-legend-common-glory-peformance

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Football: The Concussion Game

http://m.motherjones.com/media/2014/10/80-percent-former-football-players-traumatic-brain-injury

Scientists Dissected the Brains of 79 NFL Players. What They Found Is Disturbing.

The latest data from Boston University researchers is more bad news for the reeling league.—Sam Brodey, Mother Jones, Wed. October 1, 2014

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Considering the makeup of the pro teams, ending football as we know it should be a civil rights issue. Just heartbreaking that young boys (of all races, certainly) across the country are allowed to sign up for a sport that essentially guarantees concussions if played properly.

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Kara Walker & Her Sugar Sphinx

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I was delighted to be asked by Women = Books to write this blog entry on the brilliant artist, Kara Walker.

http://www.wcwonline.org/Women-=-Books-Blog/karawalker

SELMA Is A Film For The Ages

humsJust saw Selma, and it is a splendid and harrowing film. The Academy should be ashamed.

I think one issue is that it is such a fine mix of action and ideas. It is closer to a certain type of European movie that values the drama of intellectual, moral, and ethical dilemmas and decisions. Of the struggle of competing points of view/world views, of the dissonance of expedience in conflict with life and death decisions. And yet there is never a dull moment. And it includes a grown-up love story. And excellent acting throughout.

It’s an intelligent film. And let’s face it, the last thing a white American audience wants to see is a really strong film, made by a black woman, about a bunch of intellectually astute black people consciously making history.

I’d say much of the bizarre pushback against this film is because the story of this historic American confrontation is told in a way that does not conform to bland American norms of cinematic entertainment.

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Massacre at the Borghese Galleries  

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Figuring out how to post this. Phone won’t allow download of whole thing which does go on for a while.

Contemporary installation at the Borghese Galleries in Rome. First it is still and shadowy. Then, as it suddenly begins to spin, faster and faster, figures move. Slows down and stops for another 10 minutes when it suddenly begins to move again.

Hard to figure out what is depicted at first. I admit I thought it was an orgy, but realized it’s The Massacre of the Innocents, shame on me.

Standing watching when a group of Italian teenagers who spoke no English asked we what the scene was. Me? Launched into a Marx Brothers/Sid Caeser docent attempt. A little Italian. A little Spanish, “Does anyone here speak French who could translate into Italian?” We had quite a little crowd.

Young people don’t know the iconic Biblical stories, so I was trying to ‘splain how this was part of the Xmas story hence a seasonal installation in this historic gallery. Concluded nicely with smiles, thanks, and smattering of applause.

Here is background on the installation:

http://www.blainsouthern.com/news/2014/mat-collishaw-at-galleria-borghese

Mat Collishaw Zootropio Foto Andrea Simi