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Posted on May 24, 2010

We’re all on Prozac, Stravinsky gets arrested for messing with the anthem, Twitter is taking over the world (and Larry’s List) and the Dalai Lama is introduced to the Green Party. Will the world survive today’s list? Not as we know it.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Some Really Good Advice for Obama and the Democrats
As the president’s job performance numbers and ratings on his handling of virtually every domestic issue have fallen below 50 percent, the Democratic base has become demoralized, and Independents have gone from his source of strength to his Achilles Heel, it’s time to reflect on why.

We’re all on Prozac now
For over a decade now environmental toxicologists have been doing chemical analyses on the water of lakes, streams and aquifers that are the sources of public drinking water, especially the waters that are downstream from wastewater treatment facilities. The results have been alarming.

Note to Dalai Lama: There Is a Green Party USA

On April 15, 1940, Stravinsky’s unconventional major seventh chord in his arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner led to his arrest by the Boston police for violating a federal law that prohibited the reharmonization of the National Anthem.

Note to the Media: It’s OK to Talk About Socialism
Socialism is back in the news with new evidence of its popularity, writes Alan Maass

Search for the ‘Most Beautiful Tweet’
This year’s Guardian Hay festival will include an award, judged by Stephen Fry, for ‘the most beautiful tweet’ ever written.

Is Twitter ruining reality television?
Spoilers for programs such as “Jersey Shore” are hitting social media before the episodes are broadcast.

Google is torn on the topic of face recognition: to roll out, or not?
You’re sitting on top of an innovation that would rock the world. This particular invention would change the entire make-up of both the virtual and real worlds—in fact, it would inexorably merge them together, for better or worse. I am of course talking about face recognition.

Slouching Towards Neofeudalism
The financial crisis that grips our nation’s states and cities has a malicious source, and Governor Tim Pawlenty recently named that source: public school teachers.

Being Muslim Is No Crime
How convenient that there are Muslims in America. How much harder it would be for the government to increase its power, while abridging more general liberties, if they didn’t exist. A radical Islamic preacher, who also happens to be an American citizen, is now hiding out somewhere in Yemen inciting violence against this country. What’s the solution? Simple: add him to the CIA’s “kill list,” send in the drones (though we are not at war with Yemen), and execute him. Better yet, call that act a “targeted killing” and you don’t have to worry about the legal niceties associated with the word “assassination.”

Opinion: Prop. 14 would weaken democracy, voter choice
When most Americans took high school civics, we were taught that the purpose of elections was to represent the people in government. Proposition 14’s advocates are trying to sell their electoral scheme by promising it will deliver representatives of a particular political bent. Since when did the purpose of elections change from representing the people — whatever their views — to socially engineering a specific result?


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