Four gunmen attacked during early morning prayer services
This is one of many news stories we’ve had to share, without really knowing how to begin. I’ll start by saying that I finally watched the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief the other day and—perhaps more than anything else—I was struck by how many parallels I saw between the belief system (made up or otherwise) of Scientology, and other major belief systems that we’ve come to accept and/or embrace over time. I grew up as a Christian, and still embrace much of what I learned, even though I no longer participate in organized religion. I also studied Islam for a short time in school, and came to understand and embrace many of its principals. But when I hear stories like this, I’m reminded of why religious institutions can be downright frightening, especially when their believers are taught to kill for a god. So, my thoughts are with the 147 Kenyans killed by Islamic extremists, and my thoughts are also with the four gunmen who died as well. Click inside for more.
"They tried to make it about race. I don’t think that’s fair"
One thing that’s always interesting about race relations and conversations about race is the fact that most people believe that if they’re not an active member of the KKK, and they’ve never used the word “nigger” as a racial slur (and even if they have, but it was just an honest mistake… or whatever), then they are not racist, nor have they ever practiced racism. I’m sure the Ferguson mayor, James Wallace Knowles III, doesn’t think he’s a racist. But when you refuse to acknowledge or see racism in the very city you’re supposed to be running (or in any city, anywhere), you are a racist. Or a coward. Probably both. So here’s racist/coawrdice Ferguson mayor saying more racist ish, without even wearing a white hood over his head.
"It systematically was biased against African-Americans"
Thursday night, the Ferguson-inspired Scandal episode had everyone and their mama talking. Just last night my BFF and I were still rehashing the events of the episode—and lamenting about what we felt went wrong. In my recap I talked about my immense disappointment in the fairytale ending, and PITNBrs ella and Karen both brought up excellent points about how the episode vilified one cop as opposed to the entire police force, and/or the greater systems that play a part in all of this. One thing that I did think about, is the fact that an episode on a show as huge as Scandal can—at least—keep the dialogue about these issues going. And it aired at the right time—just as the Department of Justice is releasing its report on corruption and racism in the Ferguson Police Department. Click inside for more.
Season 4, Episode 14
I just finished watching Thursday night’s Scandal, and I’m in a glass case of emotion. I feel almost literally torn over “The Lawn Chair” and the messages it sent out about America and the justice system. It was SO good, and I also have to admit that I’m incredibly disappointed in the final moments of the show. The “happy ending” made me think of another show that’s known for ripping stories straight from the headlines—Law & Order: SVU. But what’s great about SVU is how often the writers are willing to end an episode on a devastating note. They don’t always win; the bad guys don’t always get arrested, and some victims do not find closure. I love that about SVU, and I honestly wish Scandal had gone that route last night. Click inside for more.
It's going to be huge.
I read this headline on Complex, and had to keep re-reading it, because I knew I had to be wrong: Plantation Where “Django Unchained” Was Filmed Is Now the First Slavery Museum in America. Wait. What? It’s 2015, and this is the first slavery museum in the United States of America? But then I thought about the African American history museums I’d visited, and all the art museums, and that awesome King Tut exhibit, and all the art museums, and the Children’s Museum (my favorite one being in Boston—ohhh the field trips!), and the Salem Witch Trials exhibits, and, well. I’ve been to a lot of museums, and I’ve even been on former plantations in the South, but no—no slavery museums. In AMERICA! But that’s all going to change now, and The New York Times wrote a big story about it. Click inside for more.
The print run has been expanded to 5 million copies
Legions of people lined up for hours at newsstands and stores all around France this morning in an effort to buy this week’s issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine, exactly one week after terrorists launched an attack on the Parisian offices of the satirical magazine. Charlie Hebdo usually goes to print with a weekly run of 60,000 copies but this week’s print run was expanded to 1 million copies, then 3 million copies and now 5 million copies. The issues of Charlie Hebdo that went on sale at newsstands and stores in France today sold out completely in minutes. Click through the gallery presented here to see photos of the people of France snapping up every single copy of Charlie Hebdo that went on sale today. Then, click below to watch video of Renald Luzier, the cartoon artist who drew the cover of this week’s issue of Charlie Hebdo. He is a cartoonist for the magazine who overslept last week and failed to go in to work on the day that the terrorist attack claimed the lives of 12 people. The video is, just, wow. More »
Contract re-negotiations FTW
This is a really interesting story, and I’m very curious to see if we’ll be hearing similar reports for other movies. Before the Sony hack, some of us may have actually believed that the people running things in Hollywood weren’t racist and/or sexist, but those e-mails spoke volumes about the true state of affairs over there. We learned that, even though Jennifer Lawrence was the highest grossing actor of the year, she made less money than some of her male co-stars. And now we’re learning that Academy Award winner Charlize Theron was in a similar boat. However, she just re-negotiated her contract for the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman sequel and is now getting an equal salary to Chris Hemsworth. Click inside for more!
Totally terrifying... and pretty cool.
I just read a really cool essay on The New York Times, and I have to share with all of you. We don’t get into too much on the blog (unless our minds are boggled by a particular celebrity relationship), but sometimes the question of love comes up and it’s always interesting to hear what you all think. Mandy Len Catron’s essay on modern love is titled, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” and damn, I just could not resist reading it. While I do consider myself to be romantic, I also believe we choose who we love and I guess I also think that if you put just about any two people together, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, feelings could develop. Apparently, there’s been a whole psychological study devoted to this very idea, and some interesting things have happened. Click inside for more!
Posted under: The New York Times
Double hostage standoffs
Two hostage standoffs took place in France earlier today that resulted in the killing of the men who carried out the terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France earlier this week. Hours ago, brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi were tracked to a print shop near Charles de Gaulle Airport where they reportedly took a hostage in an effort to fend off police. Elsewhere, a second hostage standoff took place at a kosher deli that was orchestrated by a man named Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of the Kouachi brothers, who is accused of killing a policewoman yesterday and who is now believed to have been a possible third gunman in the Charlie Hebdo attack. Police were able to successfully storm both hostage standoffs and have killed both the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly. All of this took place just moments ago in France and it all unfolded live on TV. Wow. More »
1 suspect has turned himself in, 2 remain at large
The world was horrified yesterday by the shocking news of the terrorist attack on the offices of the French publication Charlie Hebdo which left 12 people dead. As the day unfolded, lots of information came out of Paris that seemingly told the story of what transpired yesterday when armed gunman stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo in what looks to be a well-planned terrorist assault. Last night, the information got murky when it was initially reported that the gunman had been apprehended (they weren’t) and one of the suspects was killed (he wasn’t). As the reported settled down a bit, actual facts began to emerge. At this point, two of the suspects (the armed gunman who carried out the attack) are still at large and have been identified as brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi. The third suspect (believed to be the getaway driver) is an 18-year old who turned himself in to police. As the search for the murders was carried out by authorities, the brave and resilient people of France gathered together in public spaces to unify in solidarity against the atrocity that was carried out in Paris. People gathered together all over the world last night to stand with France. The world was Charlie Hebdo last night. More »