Incisive social critic, novelist, poet, sculptor, and inspiration to such trenchant fabulists as John Irving and Salman Rushdie, German writer Günter Grass passed away this week with a well-defined legacy as “his country’s moral conscience.[...]
For more than a decade, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has remained locked up in Guantánamo, despite never being charged with a crime. He’s just one of many prisoners trapped in a Kafkian state of legal limbo. Confined to a single cell, Slahi has written a haunting, 466 page account of his experience.[...]
Humorist David Sedaris has become something of a local hero in his adopted home of West Sussex, England. And for fairly unexpected reasons. Repulsed by the litter problem in England, Sedaris began spending 3-8 hours each day picking up trash along the side of various roads. Day in, day out.[...]
A week ago, Charlie Hebdo was anything but a household name. On Wednesday, after the appalling terrorist attacks in Paris, all of that changed.
We all now have Charlie Hebdo on the tip of our tongues. We’ve seen samples of their satirical cartoons. And we’ve read about the news outlets too afraid to print them.
The United States has two important cultural means of self-examination—the work of foreign observers and of domestic satirists. In the former category, we have the longstanding example of political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville and the much bleaker, contemporary vision of Werner Herzog.[...]
Over on the ImaginePeace website, Yoko Ono invites you to download and share a poster declaring “War is Over (If You Want It)” in over 100 languages — everything from Arabic and Afrikaans to German, Hindi, Tibetan and Yiddish.[...]
Yes, North Korea won yesterday. Threatening 9/11-like violence, the DPRK scared Sony and America’s four largest theater chains into pulling the plug on the release of The Interview. And, just like that, Americans lost their right to watch their own propaganda films — even dumb funny ones — in their own theaters.[...]
I once asked a friend based in Seoul, South Korea who used to write for a prestigious news magazine what that magazine wanted to hear from the Korea beat. “Let’s see… North Korea, North Korea, and more North Korea,” he replied.[...]
Back in August, Colin Marshall remarked that drones “have drawn bad press in recent years: as the intrusive tools of the coming surveillance state, as deliverers of death from above in a host of war zones, as the purchase-delivering harbingers of world domination by Amazon.com.[...]