Everything posted by richardmurray
george lucas's wife, right, congrats, I should had read your title more closely, I was thinking she bought a nfl team which is very expensive for one person to do. but she is a part owner and the first black woman part owner. congrats to her, it is what she wants.
My issue with this question like many is the unwillingness to be concise in the original poster or later by the poster. You have to first define how you rank peoples? Are you saying blacks in the USA as compared to other peoples in the USA? Well, from white statistics the native american has worse statistics than black americans. so from a white statistical view, blacks aren't behind everyone else if you view native americans as part of everyone else. Now if you are going into geopolitics, the white european american has kin in powerful european countries. the asian american whether white or black has kin in powerful asian countries. Countries in africa or in the americas south of the usa have no member like a china/russia/india who are nuclear powers thus command a respect that non nuclear powers do not warrant. The question is how do you define the status of groups.
@Delano not everybody can be bought, some communication si the truth, not most, not all, but some
I wonder how many Black women have reached orgasm before 30 while interacting with a black man. The only way is to ask all black women and no one has done that for any question. all polls are merely averages. But I bet most black women have never reached an orgasm in their entire life time side any man and that includes sadly, my fellow Black men.
The article below deals with a film that is a fiction about a woman on a quest to have an orgasm who never did before and is a mother of adult children and the wife of a deceased man.
But I think the topic is true. Many of my fellow males, including me, can be insensitive to women in intimate scenarios and that leads to women not being pleased. I know for sure, through offline talks that many men, not all but many, believe all every woman needs is a thick penis in them to be aroused and that simply is a lie.
But it is a lie that many men have been taught to be truth by other men, especially their elders in their homes.
But I wonder, I think if every black woman can say by her third intimate experience with a black man she had an orgams, regardless of when that will be a nice communal achievement of change.
Emma Thompson and the Challenge of Baring All Onscreen at 63
The actress made the choice to disrobe. Still, she says, it was the most difficult thing she’s ever done in her four-decade career.
By Nicole Sperling
June 15, 2022
It’s the shock of white hair you notice first on Emma Thompson, a hue far more chic than anything your average 63-year-old would dare choose but one that doesn’t ignore her age either. It’s accompanied by that big, wide smile and that knowing look, suggesting both a wry wit and a willingness to banter.
And yet, Thompson begins our video call by MacGyvering her computer monitor with a piece of paper and some tape so she can’t see herself. “The one thing I can’t bear about Zoom is having to look at my face,” she said. “I’m just going to cover myself up.”
We are here across two computer screens to discuss what is arguably her most revealing role yet. In the new movie “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” directed by Sophie Hyde, Thompson is emotionally wrought and physically naked, and not in a lowlight, sexy kind of way.
Thompson plays Nancy, a recently widowed, former religious schoolteacher who has never had an orgasm. At once a devoted wife and a dutiful mother harboring volumes of regret for the life she didn’t live and the dull, needy children she raised, Nancy hires a sex worker — a much younger man played by relative newcomer Daryl McCormack (“Peaky Blinders”) — to bring her the pleasure she’s long craved. The audience gets to follow along as this very relatable woman — she could have been your teacher, your mother, you — who in Thompson’s words “has crossed every boundary she’s ever recognized in her life,” grapples with this monumental act of rebellion.
“Yes, she’s made the most extraordinary decision to do something very unusual, brave and revolutionary,” Thompson said from her office in North London. “Then she makes at least two or three decisions not to do it. But she’s lucky because she has chosen someone who happens to be rather wise and instinctive, with an unusual level of insight into the human condition, and he understands her, what she’s going through, and is able gently to suggest that there might be a reason behind this.”
Thompson met the challenge with what she calls “a healthy terror.” She knew this character at a cellular level — same age, same background, same drive to do the right thing. “Just a little sliver of paper and chance separates me from her,” she quipped.
Yet the role required her to reveal an emotional and physical level of vulnerability she wasn’t accustomed to. (To ready themselves for this intimate, sex-positive two-hander that primarily takes place in a hotel room, Thompson, McCormack and Hyde have said they spent one of their rehearsal days working in the nude.) Despite a four-decade career that has been lauded for both its quality and its irreverence and has earned her two Academy Awards, one for acting (“Howards End”) and one for writing (“Sense and Sensibility”), Thompson has appeared naked on camera only once: in the 1990 comedy “The Tall Guy,” opposite Jeff Goldblum.
She said she wasn’t thin enough to command those types of skin-baring roles, and though for a while she tried conquering the dieting industrial complex, starving herself like all the other young women clamoring for parts on the big screen, soon enough she realized it was “absurd.”
“It’s not fair to say, ‘No, I’m just this shape naturally.’ It’s dishonest and it makes other women feel like [expletive],” she said. “So if you want the world to change, and you want the iconography of the female body to change, then you better be part of the change. You better be different.”
For “Leo Grande,” the choice to disrobe was hers, and though she made it with trepidation, Thompson said she believes “the film would not be the same without it.” Still, the moment she had to stand stark naked in front of a mirror with a serene, accepting look on her face, as the scene called for, was the most difficult thing she’s ever done.
“To be truly honest, I will never ever be happy with my body. It will never happen,” she said. “I was brainwashed too early on. I cannot undo those neural pathways.”
She can, however, talk about sex. Both the absurdities of it and the intricacies of female pleasure. “I can’t just have an orgasm. I need time. I need affection. You can’t just rush to the clitoris and flap at it and hope for the best. That’s not going to work, guys. They think if I touch this little button, she’s going to go off like a Catherine wheel, and it will be marvelous.”
There is a moment in the movie when Nancy and Leo start dancing in the hotel room to “Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes. The two are meeting for a second time — an encounter that comes with a checklist of sexual acts Nancy is determined to plow through (pun intended). The dance is supposed to relieve all her type-A, organized-teacher stress that’s threatening to derail the session. Leo has his arms around her neck, and he’s swaying with his eyes closed when a look crosses Nancy’s face, one of gratitude and wistfulness coupled with a dash of concern.
To the screenwriter, Katy Brand, who acted opposite Thompson in the second “Nanny McPhee” movie and who imagined Thompson as Nancy while writing the first draft, that look is the point of the whole movie.
“It’s just everything,” Brand said. “She feels her lost youth and the sort of organic, natural sexual development she might have had, if she hadn’t met her husband. There is a tingling sense, too, not only of what might have been but what could be from now on.”
Brand is not the first young woman to pen a script specifically for Thompson. Mindy Kaling did it for her on “Late Night,” attesting that she had loved Thompson since she was 11. The writer Jemima Khan told Thompson that she had always wanted the actress to be her mother, so she wrote her a role in the upcoming film “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
“I think the thing that Emma gives everybody and what she does in person to people, and also via the screen, is that she always somehow feels like she’s on your side,” Brand said. “And I think people really respond to that. She will meet you at a very human level.”
The producer Lindsay Doran has known Thompson for decades. Doran hired her to write “Sense and Sensibility” after watching her short-lived BBC television show “Thompson” that she wrote and starred in. The two collaborated on the “Nanny McPhee” movies, and are working on the musical version, with Thompson handling the book and co-writing the songs with Gary Clark (“Sing Street”).
To the producer, the film is the encapsulation of a writer really understanding her actress.
“It felt to me like Katy knew the instrument, and she knew what the instrument was capable of within a few seconds,” Doran said. “It isn’t just, over here I’m going to be dramatic. And over here, I’m going to be funny, and over here I’m going to be emotional. It can all go over her face so quickly, and you can literally say there’s this feeling, there’s this emotion.”
Reviewing “Leo Grande,” for The New York Times, Lisa Kennedy called Thompson “terrifically agile with the script’s zingers and revelations,” while Harper’s Bazaar said Thompson was “an ageless treasure urgently overdue for her next Oscar nomination.”
The obvious trajectory for a film like this should be an awards circuit jaunt that would probably result in Thompson nabbing her fifth Oscar nomination. But the film, set to debut on Hulu on Friday, will not have a theatrical release in the United States.
Thompson doesn’t mind. “It is a small film with no guns in it, so I don’t know how many people in America would actually want to come see it,” she said with a wink.
That may be true. But more consequently, because of a rule change by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that reverts to prepandemic requirement of a seven-day theatrical release, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” is not eligible for Oscar consideration, a reality that the director Sophie Hyde is not pleased with.
“It’s really disappointing,” Hyde said. “I understand the desire to sort of protect cinema, but I also think the world has changed so much. Last year, a streaming film won best picture.” She argued that her film and others on streaming services aren’t made for TV. They are cinematic, she said, adding, “That’s what the academy should be protecting, not what screen it’s on.”
Thompson, for one, seems rather sanguine about the whole matter. “I think that, given the fact that you might have a slightly more puritanical undercurrent to life where you are, that it might be easier for people to share something as intimate as this at home and then be able to turn it off and make themselves a nice cup of really bad tea,” said Thompson, laughing. “None of you Americans can make good tea.”
Nicole Sperling is a media and entertainment reporter, covering Hollywood and the burgeoning streaming business. She joined The New York Times in 2019. She previously worked for Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly and The Los Angeles Times. @nicsperling
Again, the problem with Black people is we talk about finance in such a legal way, White people make money based on whatever it takes, not within a system. and the reality is, black people's leaders in the usa have chosen to lead the legal way for their own agenda , which doesn't help black people en large.
Lavish Money Laundering Schemes Exposed in Canada
Government officials in the province of British Columbia were aware that suspicious money was entering their revenue stream, but took insufficient steps to stop it.
By Catherine Porter, Vjosa Isai and Tracy Sherlock
Published June 15, 2022
Updated June 17, 2022
VANCOUVER — Self-professed students were buying multimillion-dollar homes in the Vancouver area, with dubious sources of income, or none at all.
A family of modest means transferred at least 114 million Canadian dollars to British Columbia.
Loan sharks cleaned their dirty money by giving garbage bags and hockey bags full of illicit Canadian 20 dollar bills to gamblers who took it onto casino floors.
Those were just some of the findings from a long-awaited report into money laundering in Canada’s western province of British Columbia, which after two years of testimony was finally released by a special commission on Wednesday.
Canada is a “major money laundering country,” with weak law enforcement and gaps in its laws, that put it on a list of countries that included Afghanistan, China and Colombia, according to a 2019 report by the State Department.
Few places in Canada launder as much money as the province of British Columbia, specifically the region around Vancouver, which has one of the country’s biggest underground economies. The province has earned an international reputation as a haven for “snow washing” — a term for money laundering in Canada, according to government officials.
Billions of dollars a year have been laundered there by criminals, using tactics such as gambling in casinos, buying and selling luxury goods and taking out residential mortgages that are paid off in cash installments small enough not to trigger any alarm bells.
British Columbia’s gambling industry is a cash cow for the provincial government. At its height in 2015-2016, gambling generated a record 3.1 billion Canadian dollars in revenue, about one-third of which went to the government and was used to finance hospitals and health care, community organizations and other projects.
The commission was tasked to delve deeply into how bad money laundering in the province had gotten, and whether regulatory organizations, as well as the government itself, had failed to stem it, or even worse, turned a blind eye to it. While the report found no evidence of corruption, some elected officials were aware that suspicious funds from the gambling industry were entering the provincial revenue stream, but took insufficient action to stop it. One official, the minister then responsible for gaming, took no action.
The report, more than 1,800 pages long, lays out the staggering scope of money laundering in the province and sets out more than 100 recommendations for addressing it.
The province should create an anti-money laundering commissioner and a dedicated money laundering investigation and intelligence police unit to address this “corrosive form of criminality,” the report says.
“Money laundering is fundamentally destabilizing to the society and the economy that we all want for the province,” Austin Cullen, the head of the commission and a former British Columbia Supreme Court Justice, told reporters on Wednesday. “Sophisticated money launderers have used British Columbia as a clearing house or a terminus for laundering an astounding amount of dirty money.”
The provincial government announced the inquiry in May 2019 after a series of government-sponsored reports found what the commission called “extraordinary” levels of money laundering in the real estate, casino, horse racing and luxury car sectors, fueled in part by the illegal drug trade.
Books, podcasts and news reports had raised the alarm across the country, accusing gangs in China of importing fentanyl to the Western province, and then laundering the proceeds through casinos and high end real estate, helping to further inflate housing prices in a city already deemed the most expensive for housing in the country.
A 2019 report to the province estimated that in the prior year, up to 5.3 billion Canadian dollars in laundered money flowed through real estate investments in British Columbia, inflating housing prices by as high as 7.5 percent because they were purchased with the proceeds of crime as a way to clean — or legitimize — that money.
The commission, headed by Mr. Cullen, a well-respected judge, has been a constant drum beat across the country throughout the pandemic, hearing from almost 200 witnesses, including a former premier, a government minister accused of ignoring warnings about money laundering in casinos because they offered huge revenue for the government, and police officers alleging their investigations into illicit gambling were shut down for similar political reasons.
Witnesses told the commission how one scheme worked. Rich gamblers from China flew in, wheeling hockey bags stuffed with tens of thousands of Canadian 20 dollar bills to play baccarat at private salons inside Vancouver-area casinos. The money was suspected to come from loan sharks connected to Chinese criminal gangs and drug traffickers. The loan sharks laundered their drug money by lending it to the gamblers, who would in turn repay them with clean money deposited to bank accounts in China or Hong Kong. This became known as the “Vancouver Model.”
Specialized gambling police and lottery investigators raised an alarm but found their investigations shut down or blocked, or even worse, they were fired, the commission heard. The betting limits in casinos were hiked to 100,000 Canadian dollars per hand, allowing even more money to be laundered.
British Columbia’s Attorney General David Eby, who has been campaigning against money laundering for many years, told reporters earlier this month he hoped the report would offer his government a road map for turning the province and Vancouver, “into a model for fighting money laundering instead of a center where it takes place.”
Already, the British Columbia government has taken some steps to combat the problem. It has tightened the rules at casinos, requiring gamblers to declare their source of funds and in 2019, launched a public land ownership registry, requiring certain real estate holders in the province to disclose their owners, particularly those hidden behind shell companies, trusts, partnerships and other “beneficial owners.”
Correction: June 16, 2022
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the actions that the Cullen commission report said provincial government officials in British Columbia took to address money laundering in the gaming industry. The report said that some officials took actions that were insufficient and that one official took no action, not that all officials took no action.
Catherine Porter, a foreign correspondent based in Toronto, has reported from Haiti more than two dozen times. She is the author of a book about the country, “A Girl Named Lovely.” @porterthereport
@Mel Hopkins I oppose your historical statement, business enterprise and job creation wasn't the only path that could had led to a better tomorrow or for black survival. If we had a child, and you told our child that I would say to our child, that is a lie. But that is what a lot of black people in key roles in the black populace chose to do. I do not say it to desire a change in the past but I oppose that black people had only one path to survival in the commonly called antebellum south. NYC is fortunate, local news comes in many forms. If you know where to look in nyc local news can give rare views. It was local news that allowed me to hear what sean bell's father said which black newspapers in nyc didn't even state. Yes, your 100% correct all shows have an audience they are reaching for. but, from shows like Like IT Is, which is gone, to black news outlets in NYC, to shows like democracy now. I find alot of truth in these venues. but most places, cities or towns, in the USA don't have the internal media that NYC does.
@Mel Hopkins I wish you had quoted the question above what you did. I will I was not speaking on the black populace standalone. I was speaking in context of collective actions or individual actions that can be summed collectively concerning juneteenth that black people suggest. I have said in this very community that black people have always owned businesses. I am certain of that based on my bloodline, whose business ownership goes into the 1800s. You may know this Mel but I want it clear to anyone beside you who may read this comment. I was not suggesting the black populace of the usa has nothing but in the context of Juneteenth, not it aside, the black populace seems to only utter voting as a collective action, and I think that is a negative. @Pioneer1 @ProfDyour comments to greg made me laugh thank you:) IN AMENDMENT ProfD , history books aren't being white washed, history books have always been half truths. Always. From scrolls of the time of Kemet to photonic memory systems on mars, history books are always half truths. to tell the truth means you have to break through the lies that maintain the system or way of things. If you are a native american child, what history book can really tell the truth. The truth is that the entire american continent is populated by governments founded by people who killed your forebears and took the land they lived on for their own purposes. Its not just white wash, its the truth is hard. The truth doesn't forgive negative actions. Every single native american is historically honest should have one reply from canada to argentina, from montreal to buenos aires, get some explosive and blow up everything that isn't a reservation which is very little. Native americans didn't want to make the usa, they didn't want to make brasil. they didn't want to make canada, or mexico or jamaica or haiti or any of these countries. but they were living on those lands before those countries or their predecessors was made. Its not just white wash, it is fear of the truth. @Cynique when i was kid my parents plus other elders made sure by the time i was halfway through elementary i knew all key moments of black history in the usa. I have said in this community in the past and I repeat it, no black child raised by black parents in this country from the time of the war between the states to now should had any ignorance to key black moments in history. The only reason they do is a failure of black parents, and a failure that doesn't stem from ignorance, it stems from, again, what they want. I don't know how many black people offline I heard say, they were enlightened later. but I always try to instill among black people, all of our great great grand parents knew about slavery, the usa before the war between the states, during the war, after the war. They didn't need a book, why didn't they tell their children, your great grandparents? and then if they did why didn't your great grandparents tell their children, your grandparents? and if they did, why didn't your grand parents tell their children, your parents? Books aren't needed if people are willing to simply tell the next generation the truth. I know from many elders offline, ho defend that position. They speak of trying to not influence the child. You want the truth to influence children. That is why the truth is vital. Just cause black peoples truth in the usa isn't pretty or convenient or non violent, didn't mean it warranted being unspoken, but that is what went on in our community and the consequence of that near beyond repair. And goes to my core question about how black people think of juneteenth.
@Greg do you have any thoughts concerning juneteenth?
as a fellow truth telling writer, I realize it takes time for us to learn how to be commercial writers, a finesse must be learned that I haven't, that Rod Serling was able to learn on the go so to speak, that I think most of the most profitable writers today comprehend
An Early Run-In With Censors Led Rod Serling to ‘The Twilight Zone’
His failed attempts to bring the Emmett Till tragedy to television forced him to get creative
April 1, 2019
In August of 1955, Emmett Till, an African-American boy from Chicago was abducted, beaten, and shot while visiting family in Mississippi. A nation divided by race dug in its feet in the aftermath. While Jet magazine disseminated photographs from the open-casket funeral, showing the full mutilation of the 14-year-old’s corpse, another story played out in the courtroom. That fall, an all-white jury acquitted the two killers, both white, of all charges.
The miscarriage of justice proved a galvanizing point in the Civil Rights Movement. Rod Serling, a 30-year-old rising star in a golden age of dramatic television, watched the events play out in the news. He believed firmly in the burgeoning medium’s power for social justice. “The writer’s role is to be a menacer of the public’s conscience,” Serling later said. “He must have a position, a point of view. He must see the arts as a vehicle of social criticism and he must focus the issues of his time.”
Soon after the trial concluded, Serling, riding off the success of his most well-received teleplay to date, felt compelled write a teleplay around the racism that led to Till’s murder. But the censorship that followed by advertisers and networks, fearful of blowback from white, Southern audiences, forced Serling to rethink his approach. His response, ultimately, was “The Twilight Zone,” the iconic anthology series that spoke truth to the era’s social ills and tackled themes of prejudice, bigotry, nuclear fears, war, among so many others.
Tonight, “The Twilight Zone” enters another dimension led by Jordan Peele. Peele has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most interesting auteurs, using a toolbelt of humor, horror and specificity to explore the human experience, especially through the construct of race. That through line can be found throughout his body of work from the witty sketch-comedy episodes of “Key & Peele” to his latest offering, the box-office record-setting Us. His perspective makes him a natural choice to step in as host and executive producer of the buzzy reboot coming to CBS All Access.
But unlike Serling, Peele will also be able to take the franchise in a direction that the dramatic writer wanted to go but was never able to get past the Cold War censors during the original show’s run from 1959-1964. For all that his Oscar-winning directorial debut Get Out, for instance, shares the DNA of “The Twilight Zone,” Peele’s allegory about black people in white spaces is direct in a way that Serling could never have been. To get on air, the story would have been forced to compromise in some way—camouflaging its intent by setting the story on a distant planet or another time period. Peele commented on that in a recent interview < https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/arts/television/jordan-peele-twilight-zone.html > with Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times: “It felt like, if Serling were here, he’d have a lot to say and a lot of new episodes he couldn’t have written back in his time,” he said.
Few examples tell Serling’s struggles better than his attempt to bring the Till tragedy to television. Already, when he first pitched the idea to the advertising agency representing the U.S. Steel Hour, an hour-long anthology series on ABC, Serling was pre-censoring himself. Aware that he’d have to make concessions to get the script on screen, he sold the representatives on a story of a Jewish pawnbroker’s lynching in the South. When the idea was greenlit, Serling worked on that script as well as an adaptation for Broadway, where he knew he would have the freedom to tell Till’s story more directly, centering that plot around a black victim.
But Serling misjudged just how restrictive 1950s television could be. After he mentioned that his script-in-progress was based on the Till murder trial in an interview with the Daily Variety, papers around the country picked up the scoop. Thousands of angry letters and wires from the likes of white supremacist organizations followed, threatening both Steel Hour and ABC, who quickly capitulated and ordered changes to Serling's script. Recounting the incident several years later during an interview < https://books.google.com/books?id=C_Z1DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA137&lpg=PA137&dq=to+suggest+an+unnamed+foreigner,+then+the+locale+was+changed+from+the+South+to+New+England,+and+Im+convinced+they+would+have+gone+up+to+Alaska+or+the+North+Pole+using+Eskimos…except+I+suppose+the+costume+problem+was+of+sufficient+severity+not+to+attempt+it.&source=bl&ots=HUvHNRKWDW&sig=ACfU3U0-tiDUmMXyHM37Ig7rlkS6entsrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjoxrPwkKbhAhUGj1kKHT0zBAcQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false ;
“Station owners and advertising agencies were afraid to offend any segment of their white audiences, even racists, for fear of losing income,” explains < https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/20/arts/television-radio-battling-the-bottom-line-in-tv-s-earliest-days.html > journalist Jeff Kisseloff, author of The Box: An Oral History of Television, 1920-1961. As television gained a national audience in the 1950s, the creative freedoms that permeated the earliest days of the medium were quickly being pushed out in an attempt to sell to a white consumer market. Black purchasing power wasn't taken into account. “[A]s late as 1966, one study indicated that black performers constituted 2 percent of the casts of commercials,” according to research < https://books.google.com/books?id=PP1tHJN8h6AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=james+l+baughman&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjoxsr8o6fhAhUMxVkKHdQhAdMQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=james l baughman&f=false> by media theorist James L. Baughman. The great Nat King Cole surmised the situation at hand succinctly, “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.”
When Serling's teleplay,“Noon on Doomsday,” finally aired on April 25, 1956, any hint of the South was removed from the plot; not even a Coca-Cola bottle could appear, lest viewers invoke the idea of the region. Instead, the opening crawl made clear that the story was set in New England. (Really, all that mattered was that it was set far away from the South: “I’m convinced,” Serling said in the Wallace interview, “they would have gone up to Alaska or the North Pole…except I suppose the costume problem was of sufficient severity not to attempt it.). The victim was now depicted as an unknown foreigner. “Further,” Serling fumed, “it was suggested that the killer in the case was not a psychopathic malcontent but just a good, decent, American boy momentarily gone wrong…”
It should be noted that some details of this ordeal might be exaggerations on Serling’s part or conflations of the two scripts he was working on simultaneously for stage and screen; Rod Serling Memorial Foundation board member Nicholas Parisi cautions in his recent biography of Serling that “a good deal of myth has crept into the narrative surrounding the production of ‘Noon on Doomsday.’” For instance, the Jewish Southerner that Serling said was initially cast as the victim, he writes, actually appeared in a draft of the theatrical script, instead. The unknown foreigner was already in Serling’s initial teleplay draft.)
Whatever the case, by the time everything was said and done, the message that aired in the teleplay of “Noon on Doomsday” was thin and garbled. When Serling read the New York Times’ review of it, he realized just how so. In a letter to a friend, he wrote: “I felt like I got run over by a truck and then it back[ed] up to finish the job.” Meanwhile, his relationship with the Theater Guild, whom he’d sold an option of the Broadway script and also produced the teleplay, had soured. Despite attempts to salvage it, the theatrical version of the story was not performed or published in his lifetime.
But Serling wasn’t done with the Till tragedy. Once again, this time for CBS’ “Playhouse 90” series, he attempted to tell the story of a lynching in a small town, this time setting the plot in the Southwest. After haranguing from CBS executives, Serling had to move the story back 100 years, erase any direct allusion to Till, as well any black and white racial dynamics in the script. Unlike “Doomsday,” however, this production, titled “A Town Has Turned to Dust,” still communicated, if more universally, Serling’s desired message on prejudice and hatred. The closing soliloquy, delivered by a journalist signing off a telegram to his editor, already had the feel of the best of the “Twilight Zone” epilogues Serling himself would go on to deliver:
Dempseyville got rain tonight for the first time in four months. But it came too late. The town had already turned to dust. It had taken a look at itself, crumbled and disintegrated. Because what it saw was the ugly picture of prejudice and violence. Two men died within five minutes and fifty feet of each other only because human beings have that perverse and strange way of not knowing how to live side by side, until they do, this story that I am writing now will have no end but must go on and on.
Scholar Lester H. Hunt argues that the lessons Serling took from the experiences of “Doomsday” and “Dust” laid the groundwork for what was to come in “The Twilight Zone.” Based on the censors, Hunt writes in an essay < https://books.google.com/books?id=qOfuslNpHE4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=twilight+zone+rod+serling&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA7ILt0KLhAhXpx1kKHQe8C_oQ6AEIWDAI#v=onepage&q=twilight zone rod serling&f=false > , “[Serling] changed, rather abruptly and driven by the pressure of circumstance, from an artist who thought it was his highest calling to comment on the problems of the day by depicting them directly to one who commented on principles and universals involved, not merely in the problems of the moment, but of human life itself.”
Or, as Serling himself later put it, “If you want to do a piece about prejudice against [black people], you go instead with Mexicans and set it in 1890 instead of 1959.”
Serling had also learned his lesson from his earlier dust-up with the Daily Variety. In his interview with Wallace, he demurred about whether or not his new show would explore controversial themes. “…[W]e're dealing with a half-hour show which cannot probe like a [Playhouse 90 production], which doesn't use scripts as vehicles of social criticism. These are strictly for entertainment,” he claimed. After Wallace followed up, accusing him of giving up “on writing anything important for television,” Serling easily agreed. “If by important you mean I'm not going to try to delve into current social problems dramatically, you're quite right. I'm not,” he said.
Of course, that couldn’t have been further from the case. His missteps with adapting the Till tragedy for television forced him to realize that to confront issues of race, prejudice, war, politics and human nature on television he had to do so through a filter.
The Twilight Zone is actually a term Serling borrowed from the U.S. military. Serling, who served as a U.S. Army paratrooper in World War II, an experience that marked many of the stories he went on to write, knew it referred to the moment a plane comes down and cannot view the horizon. As the title of the anthology drama, it spoke to his mission for the show: to be able to tell bold stories about the human conditions on screen by obscuring the view somehow.
As Peele steps into Serling's iconic role, he does so knowing he has a chance to speak more directly to those concerns. The veil that held Serling, who died in 1975, back has lifted somewhat, opening up the narrative for bolder stories to now enter “The Twilight Zone.”
to see some pretty photos, I wish my underater train design could had been implemented , fortunate engineers
China completes Rail Line around Taklamakan Desert on the old Silk Road
China has finished the new Hotan-Ruoqiang rail line and completed the circle around the huge Taklamakan Desert on the old Silk Road.
Ancient Silk Road travelers cursed China’s largest desert as Takla Makan, an ominous Persian-Turkic expression that translates as “Enter and you may never Return.”
Undeterred by its sandstorms and merciless terrain in the oblong basin north of Tibet’s glacier-packed peaks, China has announced the completion of the final section of a Taklamakan Desert railway loop line, the world’s first to encircle a desert.
Elsewhere, China is constructing Maglev train systems capable of hurtling passengers and freight hundreds of miles per hour, including an underwater route near Shanghai to reach tiny offshore islands.
These latest railways increase China’s military, industrial, agricultural and political prowess, amid escalating rivalry with the USA over each nation’s capabilities.
The Taklamakan Desert railway loop also allows Beijing greater access to rebellious Xinjiang province’s Kashgar, a distant southwestern city near vulnerable borders with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Kashgar and elsewhere in Xinjiang comprise a large population of restive Muslim Uighurs of ethnic Turkic origin.
The railway loop also enables exploitation of the Tarim Basin oilfield, estimated to cover 350,000 square miles, or 560,000 square kilometers, under the Taklamakan’s huge dunes and shifting sands.
According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, workers tighten the screw of the rail and finished the final Hotan-Ruoqiang link on September 27, 2021. From the oasis town of Hotan, an existing line continues to Kashgar.
This railway line runs through the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert,” said Yang Baorong, chief designer of the final 513-mile section. Sandstorms pose a serious threat to railway construction and operation, as tracks can be buried underneath.
Tickets to use this newest link are expected to go on sale in June 2022, allowing travelers to ride the entire loop to encircle the Germany-sized Taklamakan, which is second only to the Sahara Desert in size.
The Taklamakan loop is hailed by Beijing as a way to help the region, especially Xinjiang’s impoverished southern edge near northern Tibet.
That edge includes an existing Golmud-Korla Railway which now joins the new loop. Other trains already go south from Golmud to Lhasa in Tibet, and future plans envision continuing those tracks south from Lhasa to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.
More than 2,000 years ago, Bronze Age inhabitants buried mummies in the Taklamakan, according to a French-funded excavation. As the desert expanded southward, ancient kingdoms crumbled into ruins or were buried.
These included the flourishing Loulan kingdom on vast Lake Lop Nur, before its water evaporated in the 5th century.
By constructing a railway around the desert, Chinese engineers have recreated Silk Road caravan routes that linked China and Europe by skirting the Taklamakan’s rim.
Buddhist monks also trudged those routes spreading their religion east, until medieval sea routes replaced hazardous overland treks to East Asia.
The Taklamakan Desert parches 124,000 square miles and is about 600 miles east to west.
It bulges up to 260 miles across, flanked by the snow-capped Tian Shan range on the desert’s north and the Kunlun Mountains along its southern curve. Rugged Pamir peaks form its western ridge.
The railway had to cross, or route around, elevations up to 5,000 feet. Grass grids were laid across 165 million square feet of dunes which were virtually devoid of plant life, officials said.
Anti-desertification programs planted 13 million seedlings. In the harshest, most unpredictable zones – battered by sandstorms and smothered by swollen dunes – engineers designed lengthy bridges above chaotic sand.
Closer to Beijing meanwhile, a Maglev train project is starting in Shanxi, a north-central province. Magnets allow Maglev train carriages to float without wheels.
The high-speed train uses superconducting magnetic levitation technology to disengage from the ground to eliminate frictional drag.
This Maglev uses “a near-vacuum internal duct line to dramatically reduce air resistance, to achieve travel speeds of more than 1,000 kilometers-per-hour.
China already boasts the world’s fastest commercial Maglev on a 19-mile route in Shanghai, linking Pudong Airport to an urban metro system on the city’s edge within seven minutes, at up to 268 mph.
Nearby, a bullet train is preparing to zip under the sea at 155 miles-per-hour. Construction is well underway,” the UK-based website IFL Science reported in May 2021.
It would be “the world’s first underwater bullet train, which would extend nationally from Ningbo, a port city near Shanghai, to Zhoushan, an archipelago of islands off the east coast.
Covering a 47.8-mile stretch of almost entirely newly-built railway, the new route will include a 10-mile underwater section.
@Troy I said it years ago, and I repeat, the problem with crime <actions to harm another whether legal or not> is the goal from most people. if the goal of people is to have 100% no violent actions, no thefts, no illegalities <meaning actions against the law>or crimes whatsoever, then kill yourself, cause a country of 300 million people, the usa or a humanity of billions, i think six billion, will have crimes/thefts/illegalities/violence. Most in this community have said or will say, we all know this. But the problem isn't ignorance , again it is the goal. I know it is a broken record from me, but again, the black populace in the usa is complicit in this. Before the internet, in the 1970s, whether black people want to admit ir or not, many black people joined in on white media and started this modern media criminalization. Every crime is a symbol of rampant violence, rampant illegal action is a symbol of deterioration. This problem stems before the internet. NEws papers and cable networks in the 1970s were already doing what the internet amplifies. So, modern media continuing with more vigor the media approach of the past is a problem, but the approach started in the past. I repeat, My bloodline has been in nyc for near over 100 years before my birth and what I gather from my elders is NYC was never the dangerous place movies/newspapers/cable network/ and the internet media venues have always suggested. Yes, babies get killed, mothers get raped, elders get exploited. But if you think about it, this has always been a very small percentage. NYC was at its most violent in the heyday of the prohibition. Ever since then nyc has never been as bad. But, when you have the religious communities who make every action seem like the rapture. when you have the media parading mourners whose sadness is deemed common in media, you get this narrative. the modern internet merely gives no respite, but the problem is long before the internet.
I Will say this, nyc media admits that statistics the white controlled system collects states that violent acts against blacks is over 100% or white jews is over 100% but violent acts against asians was into the negative. so, in nyc, a downtrend has occured by statistics whites keep.
@Troy I saw excerpts on pbs, how much is the visual record? I will not pay for the theater, though that is the best place to see it
@ProfD My focus was on juneteenth. As you said, this group has talked to death about the relationship of the black populace in the usa to the government of the usa. But the issue is juneteenth. how black people celebrate or honor it.
I saw on local news , black people talking about Juneteenth , and voting was mentioned as an action, besides the ever common mentioning of Black folk in the past. I will not repeat the details , but all the representatives of my district from the city to the congress are black and donkeys. Now, they haven't done anything brilliant but I don't know what more can a black populace in a district in the usa do then choose a candidate that says they will do better. Voters don't have a gun to anyone's head. They can't force anything. But a question occurred to me. if 100% of black people, who were eligible to vote, voted in the USA, what action will be uttered by the people who talk about voting this juneteenth? If voting is the only action Black people in the usa in recent memory seem to support then what happens if 100% of black people voted? what would be the next action? It seems to me like most black people or black groups don't have anything. I wonder what the AALBC community members think on this?
@KENNETH two of those issues will never happen at the federal level and the why I will not repeat. but law enforcement reform side voting reform will not occur through any legislation of the congress, and with the makeup of the supreme court , any executive order applied to the states can be shot down with a lawsuit from a state/county/city. executive orders are not laws for a reason. The equal employment opportunity commission may get expanded but the current financial situation isn't over from being settled and until then, nothing
enjoy two articles and snippets Single Status Update from 06/13/2022 by richardmurray - AALBC.com’s Discussion Forums
Makes sense, a few days ago someone in my gaming group shared a video of all the video game remakes being made. The one thing the author misses is the idea of the consumer. Consumer freedom aside a market with industrial tools for anyone to market themselves means consumers have to learn to be daring, more open minded and not as convenient. The good news is, in the USA alone during the sars cov 2 it was revealed how many homes didn't have an internet connection. what does this mean? Many children are actually growing up not as immersed as some thought in the mass advertised media storm. Thus space exists for the content at the bottom of the pyramid to be viewed and it does get viewed. For artists this means nothing new. If you have another way to make income or pay rent while be an artists, keep it. And while the odds your living imagination will be accessed is daunting in some media spaces, the potential always exists cause to those who have the full fledged media capability they can access you
Pop Culture Has Become an Oligopoly
A cartel of superstars has conquered culture. How did it happen, and what should we do about it?
You may have noticed that every popular movie these days is a remake, reboot, sequel, spinoff, or cinematic universe expansion. In 2021, only one of the ten top-grossing films––the Ryan Reynolds vehicle Free Guy––was an original. There were only two originals in 2020’s top 10, and none at all in 2019.
People blame this trend on greedy movie studios or dumb moviegoers or competition from Netflix or humanity running out of ideas. Some say it’s a sign of the end of movies. Others claim there’s nothing new about this at all.
Some of these explanations are flat-out wrong; others may contain a nugget of truth. But all of them are incomplete, because this isn’t just happening in movies. In every corner of pop culture––movies, TV, music, books, and video games––a smaller and smaller cartel of superstars is claiming a larger and larger share of the market. What used to be winners-take-some has grown into winners-take-most and is now verging on winners-take-all. The (very silly) word for this oligopoly, like a monopoly but with a few players instead of just one.
I’m inherently skeptical of big claims about historical shifts. I recently published a paper showing that people overestimate how much public opinion has changed over the past 50 years, so naturally I’m on the lookout for similar biases here. But this shift is not an illusion. It’s big, it’s been going on for decades, and it’s happening everywhere you look. So let’s get to the bottom of it.
(Data and code available here.) < https://osf.io/8k23f/ >
At the top of the box office charts, original films have gone extinct.
I looked at the 20 top-grossing movies going all the way back to 1977 (source), and I coded whether each was part of what film scholars call a “multiplicity”—sequels, prequels, franchises, spin-offs, cinematic universe expansions, etc. This required some judgment calls. Lots of movies are based on books and TV shows, but I only counted them as multiplicities if they were related to a previous movie. So 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn’t get coded as a multiplicity, but 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze does, and so does the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake. I also probably missed a few multiplicities, especially in earlier decades, since sometimes it’s not obvious that a movie has some connection to an earlier movie.
Regardless, the shift is gigantic. Until the year 2000, about 25% of top-grossing movies were prequels, sequels, spinoffs, remakes, reboots, or cinematic universe expansions. Since 2010, it’s been over 50% ever year. In recent years, it’s been close to 100%.
Original movies just aren’t popular anymore, if they even get made in the first place.
Top movies have also recently started taking a larger chunk of the market. I extracted the revenue of the top 20 movies and divided it by the total revenue of the top 200 movies, going all the way back to 1986 (source). The top 20 movies captured about 40% of all revenue until 2015, when they started gobbling up even more.
Thanks to cable and streaming, there's way more stuff on TV today than there was 50 years ago. So it would make sense if a few shows ruled the early decades of TV, and now new shows constantly displace each other at the top of the viewership charts.
Instead, the opposite has happened. I pulled the top 30 most-viewed TV shows from 1950 to 2019 (source) and found that fewer and fewer franchises rule a larger and larger share of the airwaves. In fact, since 2000, about a third of the top 30 most-viewed shows are either spinoffs of other shows in the top 30 (e.g., CSI and CSI: Miami) or multiple broadcasts of the same show (e.g., American Idol on Monday and American Idol on Wednesday).
Two caveats to this data. First, I’m probably slightly undercounting multiplicities from earlier decades, where the connections between shows might be harder for a modern viewer like me to understand––maybe one guy hosted multiple different shows, for example. And second, the Nielsen ratings I’m using only recently started accurately measuring viewership on streaming platforms. But even in 2019, only 14% of viewing time was spent on streaming, so this data isn’t missing much.
It used to be that a few hitmakers ruled the charts––The Beatles, The Eagles, Michael Jackson––while today it’s a free-for-all, right?
Nope. A data scientist named Azhad Syed has done the analysis < https://towardsdatascience.com/hot-or-not-analyzing-60-years-of-billboard-hot-100-data-21e1a02cf304 > , and he finds that the number of artists on the Billboard Hot 100 has been decreasing for decades.
And since 2000, the number of hits per artist on the Hot 100 has been increasing.
(Azhad says he’s looking for a job––you should hire him!)
A smaller group of artists tops the charts, and they produce more of the chart-toppers. Music, too, has become an oligopoly.
Literature feels like a different world than movies, TV, and music, and yet the trend is the same.
Using LiteraryHub's list of the top 10 bestselling books for every year from 1919 to 2017 < https://lithub.com/here-are-the-biggest-fiction-bestsellers-of-the-last-100-years/10/?single=true > , I found that the oligopoly has come to book publishing as well. There are a couple ways we can look at this. First, we can look at the percentage of repeat authors in the top 10––that is, the number of books in the top 10 that were written by an author with another book in the top 10.
It used to be pretty rare for one author to have multiple books in the top 10 in the same year. Since 1990, it’s happened almost every year. No author ever had three top 10 books in one year until Danielle Steel did it 1998. In 2011, John Grisham, Kathryn Stockett, and Stieg Larsson all had two chart-topping books each.
We can also look at the percentage of authors in the top 10 were already famous––say, they had a top 10 book within the past 10 years. That has increased over time, too.
In the 1950s, a little over half of the authors in the top 10 had been there before. These days, it’s closer to 75%.
I tracked down the top 20 bestselling video games for each year from 1995 to 2021 (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and coded whether each belongs to a preexisting video game franchise. (Some games, like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, belong to franchises outside of video games. For these, I coded the first installment as originals and any subsequent installments as franchise games.)
The oligopoly rules video games too:
In the late 1990s, 75% or less of bestselling video games were franchise installments. Since 2005, it’s been above 75% every year, and sometimes it’s 100%. At the top of the charts, it’s all Mario, Zelda, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto.
Why is this happening?
Any explanation for the rise of the pop oligopoly has to answer two questions: why have producers started producing more of the same thing, and why are consumers consuming it? I think the answers to the first question are invasion, consolidation, and innovation. I think the answer to the second question is proliferation.
Software and the internet have made it easier than ever to create and publish content. Most of the stuff that random amateurs make is crap and nobody looks at it, but a tiny proportion gets really successful. This might make media giants choose to produce and promote stuff that independent weirdos never could, like an Avengers movie. This can’t explain why oligopolization started decades ago––YouTube only launched in 2005, for example, and most Americans didn’t have broadband until 2007––but it might explain why it’s accelerated and stuck around.
Big things like to eat, defeat, and outcompete smaller things. So over time, big things should get bigger and small things should die off. Indeed, movie studios, music labels, TV stations, and publishers of books and video games have all consolidated. Maybe it’s inevitable that major producers of culture will suck up or destroy everybody else, leaving nothing but superstars and blockbusters. Indeed, maybe cultural oligopoly is merely a transition state before we reach cultural monopoly.
You may think there’s nothing left to discover in art forms as old as literature and music, and that they simply iterate as fashions change. But it took humans thousands of years to figure out how to create the illusion of depth in paintings. Novelists used to think that sentences had to be long and complicated until Hemingway came along, wrote some snappy prose, and changed everything. Even very old art forms, then, may have secrets left to discover. Maybe the biggest players in culture discovered some innovations that won them a permanent, first-mover chunk of market share. I can think of a few:
In books: lightning-quick plots and chapter-ending cliffhangers. Nobody thinks The Da Vinci Code is high literature, but it’s a book that really really wants you to read it. And a lot of people did!
In music: sampling. Musicians seem to sample more often these days. Now we not only remake songs; we franchise them too.
In movies, TV, and video games: cinematic universes. Studios have finally figured out that once audiences fall in love with fictional worlds, they want to spend lots of time in them. Marvel, DC, and Star Wars are the most famous, but there are also smaller universe expansions like Better Call Saul and El Camino from Breaking Bad and The Many Saints of Newark from The Sopranos. Video game developers have understood this for even longer, which is why Mario does everything from playing tennis to driving go-karts to, you know, being a piece of paper.
Invasion, consolidation, and innovation can, I think, explain the pop oligopoly from the supply side. But all three require a willing audience. So why might people be more open to experiencing the same thing over and over again?
As options multiply, choosing gets harder. You can’t possibly evaluate everything, so you start relying on cues like “this movie has Tom Hanks in it” or “I liked Red Dead Redemption, so I’ll probably like Red Dead Redemption II,” which makes you less and less likely to pick something unfamiliar.
Another way to think about it: more opportunities means higher opportunity costs, which could lead to lower risk tolerance. When the only way to watch a movie is to go pick one of the seven playing at your local AMC, you might take a chance on something new. But when you’ve got a million movies to pick from, picking a safe, familiar option seems more sensible than gambling on an original.
This could be happening across all of culture at once. Movies don’t just compete with other movies. They compete with every other way of spending your time, and those ways are both infinite and increasing. There are now 60,000 free books on Project Gutenberg, Spotify says it has 78 million songs and 4 million podcast episodes, and humanity uploads 500 hours of video to YouTube every minute. So uh, yeah, the Tom Hanks movie sounds good.
What do we do about it?
Some may think that the rise of the pop oligopoly means the decline of quality. But the oligopoly can still make art: Red Dead Redemption II is a terrific game, “Blinding Lights” is a great song, and Toy Story 4 is a pretty good movie. And when you look back at popular stuff from a generation ago, there was plenty of dreck. We’ve forgotten the pulpy Westerns and insipid romances that made the bestseller lists while books like The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, and Animal Farm did not. American Idol is not so different from the televised talent shows of the 1950s. Popular culture has always been a mix of the brilliant and the banal, and nothing I’ve shown you suggests that the ratio has changed.
The problem isn’t that the mean has decreased. It’s that the variance has shrunk. Movies, TV, music, books, and video games should expand our consciousness, jumpstart our imaginations, and introduce us to new worlds and stories and feelings. They should alienate us sometimes, or make us mad, or make us think. But they can’t do any of that if they only feed us sequels and spinoffs. It’s like eating macaroni and cheese every single night forever: it may be comfortable, but eventually you’re going to get scurvy.
We haven’t fully reckoned with what the cultural oligopoly might be doing to us. How much does it stunt our imaginations to play the same video games we were playing 30 years ago? What message does it send that one of the most popular songs in the 2010s was about how a 1970s rock star was really cool? How much does it dull our ambitions to watch 2021’s The Matrix: Resurrections, where the most interesting scene is just Neo watching the original Matrix from 1999? How inspiring is it to watch tiny variations on the same police procedurals and reality shows year after year? My parents grew up with the first Star Wars movie, which had the audacity to create an entire universe. My niece and nephews are growing up with the ninth Star Wars movie, which aspires to move merchandise. Subsisting entirely on cultural comfort food cannot make us thoughtful, creative, or courageous.
Fortunately, there’s a cure for our cultural anemia. While the top of the charts has been oligopolized, the bottom remains a vibrant anarchy. There are weird books and funky movies and bangers from across the sea. Two of the most interesting video games of the past decade put you in the role of an immigration officer and an insurance claims adjuster. Every strange thing, wonderful and terrible, is available to you, but they’ll die out if you don’t nourish them with your attention. Finding them takes some foraging and digging, and then you’ll have to stomach some very odd, unfamiliar flavors. That’s good. Learning to like unfamiliar things is one of the noblest human pursuits; it builds our empathy for unfamiliar people. And it kindles that delicate, precious fire inside us––without it, we might as well be algorithms. Humankind does not live on bread alone, nor can our spirits long survive on a diet of reruns.
ARTICLE LINK- graphics are present
This article suggest one in three women in prison is lesbian. If true, with black women in prison over the percentage of the total population in general that means, many Black women are lesbian in the USA. But when you look at within the black populace in the usa it doesn't seem recognized or visible or...
Why we didn't celebrate Gay Pride Month in women's prison
Opinion by Keri Blakinger
When I was in prison, we relished things we could celebrate. There were the obvious ones — like releases and legal victories. And the traditional ones — like New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. We also celebrated Labor Day and birthdays and the Super Bowl and holidays for religions we didn’t even believe in.
But we did not so much as acknowledge Gay Pride Month.
The presence of homophobia in men’s prisons is a known problem. But in the women’s lockups, it was completely different. In fact, women’s prison was the queerest place I’ve ever been — we just didn’t celebrate it. That’s because queerness, like a lot of things behind bars, carried extra risks.
That realization was a surprise for me, too. It was just a few weeks after I’d been arrested in December 2010 with a Tupperware container full of heroin. I was awaiting sentencing in an upstate New York county jail when the facility’s one openly lesbian guard pulled me aside to warn me: The higher-ups thought I was “too close” to my cellmate, who had become a good friend. Don’t sit next to each other on the bunk, the guard advised. Otherwise, we might get separated or transferred to another jail. We were annoyed at the assumption that any strong bond between women was somehow a cover for sex. But we were both scared enough to take the advice without asking questions.
A few weeks later, I was sentenced to 2.5 years behind bars, and eventually went to state prison where the staff seemed even more invested in “catching” people being gay — which was not that difficult because so many people were. Research shows that 1 in 3 women in prison identify as lesbian or bisexual. But in New York women’s prisons, it seemed like the real numbers were much higher.
That’s because a lot of the people in New York women’s lockups had prison girlfriends, even if they had identified as straight in the free world. The shift was so common we even had a catchy phrase for it: “Gay for the stay, straight at the gate.” Sometimes those prison relationships were in addition to a boyfriend or husband on the outside, and sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes they mostly resembled a close platonic friendship with a different label, and sometimes they turned into torrid affairs that led to sex in the rec yard port-a-potties. Most ended when one person got transferred, but some outlasted prison by years.
I didn’t consider myself gay for the stay because I already identified as queer before my arrest. But over the 21 months I was locked up, I dated two women. We went to the mess hall and gym together, passed notes when we couldn’t meet and sometimes made out in closets or bathroom stalls.
But even that kind of PG contact was a risk. Though sex with other prisoners was against the rules, so was hugging, holding hands or kissing. On some units, the staff made it a mission to zealously police any such activity, and we had to emphasize our supposed straightness lest we become targets for added scrutiny.
Not surprisingly, research shows queer people in women’s prisons are far more likely to spend time in solitary than straight prisoners. After all, if you got caught showing any sort of same-sex affection, you could get written up and punished with anything from a loss of phone privileges to weeks in isolation, and the sort of negative disciplinary record that left you less likely to make parole.
In theory those sorts of regulations were not inherently homophobic, and would just make it harder for prisoners to get away with sexually exploiting each other. But even the name both prisoners and staff used for the kind of disciplinary ticket you’d get reeked of stigma: Sexual transgressions were known as DGs — short for degenerate acts.
To some extent, I think we bought into that sort of institutional bigotry. Even though so many of us had girlfriends, being labeled “gay for the stay” carried a bad connotation. Some people who didn’t have girlfriends openly looked down on those who did — as if we were all just sex-starved deviants willing to risk our freedom for foolish things. (There’s probably a lengthy aside that could be made here in terms of the prevalence and stigma of biphobia in prison specifically.)
When I was writing this, I called one of my friends from prison to talk it through. Stacy pointed out that when women got caught having sex with male guards, they’d get isolated ostensibly for their own protection — and we’d all feel sorry for them. When they got written up for hooking up with a girlfriend, we had no such sympathy.
“There was no greater shame than getting a DG,” she confirmed. “You definitely internalize that.”
Even though we were gay, there was no pride.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. When I read about book bans and “Don’t Say Gay” laws, I wonder what the downstream effects of such institutionalized bigotry will be. Already, it seems, I’m beginning to see them.
Over the past few months, for instance, I’ve been hit with hundreds of homophobic slurs and insults online — a volume of internet bigotry I’ve never gotten before, almost all in response to social media posts. To be sure, I know that queer people of color and trans folks in my position would face far more vitriol. And so far none of it has been enough to make me fear for my safety. But lately I’ve found myself questioning whether I look too queer in certain settings — both online and where I live now, in Texas. And when I think about the last time I had to ask myself that question, it’s a quick answer: It’s when I was in prison.
Eklil hakimi as a government official is poor, one of the lowest. but as a survivor of usa imperialism is a legend.
QUOTES FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"U.S. property and company records show that
, the president’s longtime finance minister and ally, bought at least 10 properties in California, including during Mr. Hakimi’s time in office, and after leaving in 2018."
"After stepping down, Mr. Hakimi and his wife, Sultana Hakimi, transferred eight of those properties to a company called Zala Group in her name at their Laguna Niguel address. His wife is the owner of the company, company records show."
According to California property records, their property includes a five-bedroom home and pool, in a luxury Laguna Niguel community near the beach. It is worth $2.5 million, according to the real-estate company Zillow.
"In total, the 10 properties are worth more than $10 million. The couple’s latest acquisition, made early this year, was a $1.1 million beachfront South Cove condo in a new development in California, according to Orange County property records."
From Ukrainians in Ukraine who want unification between Ukraine side Russia which is the historic commonality, to Taiwanese who want Taiwan to unite side mainland china, which is the historic commonality, to Black descended of enslaved who despise whites in the usa, which is the historic commonality.
One of the big problems in modern humanity is the inability of communities or villages in this prose to functionalize that they have tribes. It isn't that people are ignorant. No one is ignorant. It isn't that people don't have plans or ideas. We all have plans or ideas. But the inability of individuals or groups to functionalize that their village has various tribes who don't want the same thing. I rephrase, who want things that can not coincide without splitting the village. If you are taiwanese and you want unification of all taiwan with mainland china, how can you get what you want while a taiwanese who wants total taiwanese independence from china get what they want? It is impossible, unless Taiwan split into two pieces, which oddly enough is the key point in the war between the states.
If you are black and you want a black state in the united states of america, if you are black and you want integration between phenotypes in the usa, if you are black and you want black people to find a new home outside the usa, how can all three get what they want with one village? It is impossible. Unless the village break up into three parts.
Same to ukraine, how does one part of ukraine join with russia while one part of ukraine go independent forever? same to the native american community in the usa. Some native americans want independence with reparations. Some native americans want to be part of the usa fabric. but how do you do both?
IReland is the key. Most in northern Ireland wanted to stay part of the UK. So that region stayed. But most in ireland wanted freedom from england and got it.
The question is how do tribes in any village learn to accept a split among parts with love/happiness... not what usually occurs. What usually occurs being, tribes telling each other their wrong or stupid or ignorant or lazy or dumb or some negative, for wanting what they want.
I know many Black people who love the USA. It is their home. They want integration. and they welcome the white neighbor and the white wife. I know many Black people who hate the USA. They want to kill all the whites in it. And have no caring for the government of the usa with its constitution at all.
But, neither group is right or wrong. Either group needs better guidance or management from their leaders or members. But better guidance or management is blockaded by the ugly thought , somewhat stemming from the usa's war between the states period , that it is better to knock down other tribes to hopefully have your tribe outlast them, as if any idea can be killed.
They Inhabited Separate Worlds in Taiwan. Decades Later, They Collided in a California Church.
David Chou and Pastor Billy Chang spent their whole lives forging parallel paths. They were born in early 1950s Taiwan, grew up just miles apart during martial law and later rebuilt their lives in the United States.
But over several decades, they carried with them vastly different memories — and views — of the island of their birth.
Mr. Chou was the son of parents who fled mainland China following the 1949 Communist revolution, part of a mass exodus of Chinese who established an authoritarian government-in-exile in Taiwan. Though he was born on the island, he and his parents were “mainlanders” devoted to the Chinese motherland and saw Taiwan as forever part of China.
Pastor Chang’s relatives were local Taiwanese who had spent centuries on the island. At home, he spoke Taiwanese Hokkien, a language that for decades was banned in public spaces. Pastor Chang grew to believe that despite Beijing’s longstanding claims, the self-ruled island had its own identity, separate from China.
In May, the lives of the two men collided in a quiet retirement community in Southern California. Authorities say that Mr. Chou, 68 — armed with two guns, four Molotov cocktails and a deep-seated rage against Taiwanese people — opened fire inside the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church as members gathered in honor of Pastor Chang, 67.
The mass shooting was part of a spate of violence that has stunned the nation in recent weeks. One day before, a white 18-year-old fueled by racist hate killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo grocery store. Less than two weeks later, an 18-year-old massacred 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
But the shooting in the church in Laguna Woods, Calif., stood out in its own way, a variation on American tragedy that seemed to show how faraway conflicts, even those in the distant past, can reverberate in the gun culture of the United States.
At the Southern California church, a crowded May 15 lunch celebration for Pastor Chang gave way to an eruption of gunfire. Mr. Chou fatally shot a doctor, John Cheng, 52, who tried to stop him, police said. Pastor Chang then threw a chair at the gunman, allowing others to subdue and tie him up with an extension cord. Five congregants, ranging in age from 66 to 92, were injured.
Mr. Chou is being held without bail on charges of murder and attempted murder pending an August arraignment.
As with internal tensions over the years in immigrant communities worldwide — California’s Little Saigon and Miami’s Cuban-American precincts are two U.S. examples — the crime has echoed across the Taiwanese diaspora and underscored divisions that remain frozen in time, even as younger generations have moved beyond them.
“How do we reconcile the views of these identities?” said Annie Wang, 42, a Northern California-based co-host of the podcast “Hearts in Taiwan,” noting that her parents spent years avoiding talk of the schisms related to Taiwanese independence. “It’s been so behind closed doors, but I can’t see a way around this anymore. Someone went and killed for this.”
The shooting has also deepened fears about safety in a time of rising anti-Asian attacks in the United States and underscored debates about access to firearms and mental health services. Those who know Mr. Chou say he had been unraveling for years and was desperate in the face of eviction, a dying wife and financial troubles.
A Strong Taiwanese Identity
Growing up in the countryside of central Taiwan in the 1960s, Pastor Chang always felt at home at church. His father was a Presbyterian pastor, and the congregation members, mostly local Taiwanese farmers, would often bring the young family selections of their latest harvests: water spinach, cabbage and rice.
Outside of that community, Pastor Chang was not always shown such favor. He was a benshengren, a descendant of long-ago ethnic Chinese settlers. His classmates whose families had just fled the mainland, or waishengren, enjoyed certain advantages he did not have.
Under the authoritarian rule of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists, who lost the civil war to the Communists, mainlander families received preference for civil servant jobs and government positions. Schools were required to teach in Mandarin and promote a Chinese identity, while Taiwanese Hokkien was forbidden in public spaces. Over four decades, tens of thousands of people who dissented from the government’s policies were arrested, and at least 1,000 — more than half benshengren — were executed.
Pastor Chang said he went through a “late political awakening” in the 1980s while in seminary, devouring forbidden texts that discussed this political repression and pushed the idea of a distinct Taiwanese identity. He joined large protests to call for freedom of speech, the first buds of a movement that would eventually lead to democracy in Taiwan in the 1990s.
Pastor Chang emigrated to the United States in 1991 following his parents and siblings, assured in his own Taiwanese identity. He led a small church in Camarillo, Calif., before joining Irvine Presbyterian in 1999. Over time, the congregation grew beyond 150 people and became the largest of about 40 official Taiwanese Presbyterian congregations in the United States.
Immigrants from Taiwan joined waves of Chinese-speaking immigrants from mainland China and Hong Kong, and they included both benshengren and waishengren. By and large, they have all coexisted peacefully in their adopted country, and tensions over homeland politics have rarely risen to the surface.
In the United States, Taiwanese Presbyterian churches have become a social hub for older congregants to bond over their common language and shared experiences. At church bazaars, grandmothers and aunties cook beloved Taiwanese snacks, including sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, and oyster pancakes.
“That’s what I remember church being: celebration and remembrance of your culture,” said Peggy Huang, 51, a Yorba Linda city councilwoman whose parents are members of the Laguna Woods church.
While the church was not overtly political, the belief in a separate Taiwanese identity suffused the institution. Unlike some Taiwanese-led churches that offer services in Mandarin or English, most Taiwanese Presbyterian churches in the United States adhere to the Taiwanese language. Pastor Chang said it stemmed partly from their view of Mandarin as the “language of the oppressors.”
In addition to lectures on topics like combating dementia and estate planning, the Laguna Woods church has organized talks on the 2/28 Incident, during which the Nationalist government killed up to 28,000 people in Taiwan in the late 1940s. During services, members often pray for Taiwan’s safety in the face of China’s rising threats. Pastor Chang said his congregation had very little interaction with the waishengren in Laguna Woods, who mostly attend a Mandarin-language church.
“It would be an overstatement to call us a pro-independence church,” Pastor Chang said. “But we do not deny that we love Taiwan.”
Love for the Motherland
Mr. Chou grew up with the trappings of a middle-class life: He lived with his four siblings in a modest, two-story concrete house in the central city of Taichung. Because his father was an officer in the Nationalist army, his family was treated favorably and he attended one of the top high schools on the island.
But the waishengren community was also steeped in the pain of having to flee mainland China when Communists took over. And Mr. Chou decades later told friends he was bullied and hit by the children of longtime Taiwanese families. (The divide between the two communities still shapes politics in Taiwan, but political violence is rare.)
Friends and relatives of Mr. Chou have been trying to make sense of the mass shooting. But those familiar with his political leanings were less surprised.
David ChouCredit…Orange County Sheriff’s Department, via Associated Press
“Of course, we feel bad for the victims, but he did it for a reason,” said James Tsai, a friend of Mr. Chou’s in Las Vegas, pointing to resentment fueled by the childhood bullying.
Like many waishengren of his generation, Mr. Chou held on to a romanticized vision of China as a lost homeland even after he moved in 1980 to the United States, where he worked in the hospitality industry.
In the preface to a mixology book published in 1994, Mr. Chou called Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping “great leaders” for making China prosperous. He resented the emergence in Taiwan in recent decades of a Taiwanese identity separate from China and rooted in the island’s democratic values. In a 2018 book, Mr. Chou called benshengren “poisoned” rebels who had betrayed their Chinese ancestors with their pro-independence views.
Mr. Chou settled down in Las Vegas, where he and his wife bought property that they rented out to help put their two sons through dentistry school. But Mr. Chou soured on the United States in 2012 after he was assaulted by a tenant over a rent dispute, according to friends and his 2018 book. The attack fueled what would become an obsession with guns.
Several members of the local Taiwanese Presbyterian Church and a Taiwanese social club said Mr. Chou mingled occasionally with the benshengren community at their events. Most were unaware of his political views until 2019, when his photo appeared in an article about an event hosted by a pro-China group.
“Swiftly eliminate the monsters of Taiwanese independence,” read a banner that Mr. Chou brought to the event.
In a telephone interview, Jenny Koo, chairwoman of the organization, said she had met Mr. Chou only twice and that she remembered thinking his political views were “too radical.”
It remains unclear why Mr. Chou targeted the church in Laguna Woods. He has a brother who lives in the area, according to friends and his niece.
The police said last month that the gunman acted alone when he chained, nailed and super-glued shut the doors to a multipurpose room before he opened fire on congregants. Several days later, the Los Angeles office of the World Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper, said that it had received seven handwritten journals titled “Diary of an Independence-Destroying Angel” from Mr. Chou.
On Friday, Mr. Chou stood at the front of a cage, making fleeting eye contact with attendees at a hearing in a Santa Ana, Calif., courtroom. He wore a blue surgical mask and a lime green jumpsuit used for inmates in protective custody.
The Ripples of History
The Laguna Woods shooting came as a shock to many in the Taiwanese and Chinese diaspora, particularly those in the younger generation who grew up in the United States and felt little connection to decades-old grievances.
Ms. Wang, the podcast co-host, said that as a child, she struggled to understand why her mother identified as a Chinese American, even though she spoke Taiwanese and her family had been in Taiwan for generations.
It was not until Ms. Wang, and a cousin, Angela Yu, began learning more about Taiwan’s history that they understood the fraught nature of identity in the diaspora, and why their parents adhered to their Chinese American identity while friends’ parents emphasized being Taiwanese.
The cousins, who now identify as both Chinese American and Taiwanese American, started their podcast to discuss these thorny issues.
“The time that our parents immigrated was a freezing of identity, and they passed those ideas about identity on to their kids,” Ms. Wang said.
She added that she hoped the shooting would open the door for the diaspora to “speak more openly and honestly” about these struggles.
Reflecting on the church confrontation, Pastor Chang sounded a note of resignation.
“The gunman and I, our generation, had the misfortune of being born during a political era that forced our two groups to not get along,” he said. “That is the original sin of our generation.”
Amy Qin reported from Taipei, Taiwan. Jill Cowan reported from Laguna Woods, Calif. and Santa Ana, Calif. Shawn Hubler reported from Sacramento. Amy Chang Chien reported from Taichung, Taiwan.
Mississippi massala back in theaters
Mine are below
interesting... three parts to this story- misssissippi- a black man whose forebears were enslaved in the usa, a black woman who is a recent immigrant and has asian ancestry, not african.... HAs mississippi changed? I say no. Still the fiscally poorest state, still a state with no nonsense phenotypical lines. Black men in the usa today like all male phenotypical groups in the usa still marry mostly into their own community. but i think white asian women <chinese/korean/japanese> get more attention than black asian. Asian women in the usa today like all female geographic descendcy groups in the usa still marry mostly into their own community. but I think white non asian men get more attention than black non asian men. but in my personal experience I have found more indians of asia <female or male> that see their caste system as a guise for phenotypical bias. And have embraced black unity, not african , but black. and I have seen more black people of african descent in the usa realize that being black is also a native phenotype to asian or native american not merely africa. so, slow growth. Mississippi is mississippi so... the yojibwe word means big river sooo, it takes a long time to get from one place t another