PMMJ
19 December 2014 @ 03:14 pm
"But the real pull of the show wasn't the promise of solving the mystery, it was seeing just how thick and convoluted the mystery became. Listening to the last episode, I found myself strangely enthralled by Don, Hae's last boyfriend, and Josh, an associate of Jay's so tenuous that his big rhetorical question is to wonder why Jay would have shared any personal information with him whatsoever — characters who didn't shed light so much as provide shading. 'Serial' was driven by plot, but like any good mystery, was taken over by atmosphere. Don’s LensCrafters punch card, the porn store where Jay and Josh talked their teenage shit, the sad nobility of the park streaker, Mr. S.: By the end of a story so engrossing, even these small things took on the magical air of significance, regardless of how insignificant they actually were. In my most fevered moments, even the Mailkimp girl seemed to glow.

"Which gets us further from the story of 'Serial' and closer to the world in which it unfolded. Over the course of the show, we pass through a hall of quiet American evils: the shifty prosecutor who seems annoyed that a witness didn't make his target look worse, the suburban drug-dealer who isn't as big as the game he talks, drunk janitors, vaguely racist schoolteachers, empty Best Buy parking lots in the middle of the afternoon, and lots of people who can’t be bothered to even try and pronounce the name Adnan correctly. This is a mean and Kafka-esque place, one that those who inhabit it don't seem to understand fully."

 
 
PMMJ
18 December 2014 @ 12:08 pm
In case you missed it, the president has had a pretty good month.

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PMMJ
17 December 2014 @ 02:06 pm
"I don't know what to do with good white people."

 
 
PMMJ
13 December 2014 @ 04:02 pm
* "The 7 psychological reasons that are stopping us from acting on climate change."
* "10 appalling findings in the Senate's torture report"
* "Project Goliath: Inside Hollywood's secret war against Google"

 
 
PMMJ
11 December 2014 @ 04:41 pm
"The way Sarah Koenig tells it, Serial is a story about our system of justice working pretty much as it should, and failing miserably at providing anything that looks like justice. I think in the last episode, she's going to point out that Adnan Syed was convicted in a few hours — beyond a reasonable doubt — for the murder of Hae-Min Lee. I think she's going to say that if the concept of 'beyond a reasonable doubt' meant anything, this podcast wouldn't exist, there wouldn't be a subreddit devoted to analyzing every shred of available evidence, and Adnan Syed wouldn't be in jail right now."

 
 
PMMJ
10 December 2014 @ 08:30 am
 
"Among other appalling details, the report states that at least seven of the tortured detainees provided no intelligence at all. Many of those tortured unsurprisingly provided faulty intelligence, and none provided any intelligence that could not have been obtained through other methods. It prevented no terrorist attacks, and didn't contribute to finding any terrorists. Even when judged on its supporters' own terms, the program was a total failure. Dozens of people were tortured over a period of several years for nothing. In addition to being evil and illegal, it was all completely useless."

 
 
PMMJ
04 December 2014 @ 09:23 am
"This fundamental bias marks the central thread that runs through the coverage of everything from Bill Cosby to Ferguson to the US drone strike program. Stripping away each of those storylines’ unique details reveals the same flawed core: a media that grants the benefit of the doubt to the establishment and that saves its cynicism for the voiceless. In a way, this bias acts as a kind broad enabler of all prejudice, allowing whatever latent inequalities exist in the status quo to go unchallenged, if not outright defended. Thus, institutionalized sexism, racism and militarism enjoy a sympathetic ear in the press precisely because they are institutionalized."

 
 
PMMJ
03 December 2014 @ 03:43 pm
"The Dark Power of Fraternities": the hold that fraternities hold over colleges, the history of how they got it, and the crimes that are being covered up.

 
 
PMMJ
01 December 2014 @ 07:08 pm
 
"I've just spent nearly a week back home in exurban Atlanta, and I regret to report that the events in and in reaction to Ferguson have brought back (at least in some of the older white folks I talked with) nasty and openly racist attitudes I haven't heard expressed in so unguarded a manner since the 1970s. The polling we've all seen about divergent perceptions of Ferguson doesn't even begin to reflect the intensity of the hostility I heard towards 'the blacks' (an inhibition against free use of the n-word, at least in semi-public, seems to be the only post-civil-rights taboo left), who have the outrageous temerity to protest an obvious act of self-defense by a police officer."

 
 
PMMJ
29 November 2014 @ 12:06 pm
"After six months of declining oil prices, we suddenly got plunging oil prices. Why? Not so much because of the shale oil revolution in the US. For all the attention it gets, fracking has increased global oil production by only a few percent and would normally have only a moderate effect on prices. Unfortunately, these aren't normal times: in addition to a small increase in the oil supply, the global economic slowdown has depressed demand. That's a bigger factor than fracking, and with European and Asian economies looking increasingly fragile, not one that seems likely to be corrected anytime soon."

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