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Anthony Heilbut on MaryBeth Hamilton’s ‘In Search of the Blues’

What accounts for the strange need of some white scholars—from the plantation nostalgists of the late 1890s to the “Blues Mafia” of the 1960s—to honor African-American culture by trying to save black people from themselves?

Posted on Mar 21, 2008 READ MORE


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Sean Penn
AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

Penn: ‘End Is Near’ for Fox Pundits

Filming one of his last scenes as Harvey Milk, San Francisco’s first openly gay politician, who was assassinated by City Hall colleague Dan White in 1978, Sean Penn got all Method on the crowd of extras assembled to reenact the scene of an important speech Milk made on Gay Freedom Day 30 years ago.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE


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Mark Dowie on Michael Shnayerson’s ‘Coal River’

How a few brave Americans took on a powerful company and the federal government to save the land they love.

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 READ MORE


Björk
theplugg.com

Chinese Official:  Björk ‘Hurt Chinese People’s Feelings’

Pixieish provocateur Björk sparked the ire of Chinese officials by voicing her support for an independent Tibet at the close of her concert in Shanghai last Sunday. According to China’s Culture Ministry, the Icelandic chanteuse broke “Chinese law and hurt Chinese people’s feelings” by chanting “Tibet, Tibet” at the end of her protest song “Declare Independence.”

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 READ MORE


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Warren Cohen on the Rise (and Fall) of the Neocons

Just who are the “neocons,” where did they come from and how was it they came to wield so profound an influence among the highest circles of America’s policy elites? These are some of the questions asked by Jacob Heilbrunn in his new book, “They Knew They Were Right.”

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Yxta Maya Murray on ‘Love and Consequences’ Hoax

The author who reviewed Margaret Seltzer’s phony memoir for Truthdig responds to the hoax and answers the singular question raised by such a deception.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE



Truth or Consequences

We got snookered. Motoko Rich of The New York Times reports in her article posted March 4 that the just-published “memoir” by Margaret B. Jones, called “Love and Consequences,” about Jones’ “life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods,” is a fabrication.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


Jolie in Iraq
AP photo / U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lorie Jewell

Angelina Jolie: Now’s the Time to Help Iraqis

For those inclined to ask “who cares?” every time a celebrity-and-politics news item makes the rounds, consider it asked already. For everyone else, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by actress Angelina Jolie on Thursday about the problem of Iraqi refugees fleeing to Syria, Jordan and “a vast and very dangerous no-man’s land” within their own borders. Now, Jolie says, is the time for Americans to “do some of the good we always stated we intended to do.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


Anne Frank musical
AP photo / Victor R. Caivano

Anne Frank: The Musical

There’s an adage that cautions against making jokes about such categorically unfunny topics as the Holocaust ... but how about making musicals? This just in: The BBC brings word from Spain of the staging of a new musical, “Anne Frank: A Song to Life,” which at times features “Kitty,” a perhaps unwisely (and too literally) conceived character.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


Larry Blumenfeld on New Orleans’ Refusal to Vanish

Ned Sublette’s remarkable new book tells an inspiring story of resilience and resistance by ordinary men and women who won’t cooperate in their own erasure.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


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