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By Michael Dirda

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Tag: Chain Reaction


The Restoration of a Mural Is the Resurrection of Lost History

Noni Olabisi’s painting “To Protect and Serve”—perhaps the most controversial mural in Los Angeles in the past 80 years—features a positive depiction of the Black Panther Party and its contributions to the African-American community. Such information about the party’s constructive role is nowhere to be found in school textbooks.

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 READ MORE


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Truthdiggers of the Week: The Missouri U. Football Team and Those Who Saved ‘Chain Reaction’

These two groups have taken a step against racism in one case and for an important sculpture in the other. Their disparate actions help to revive national faith in the power of the people.

Posted on Nov 15, 2015 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Chain Linked

On Feb. 25 the Santa Monica City Council votes on whether Paul Conrad’s peace sculpture should be knocked over and replaced with retail development. Because nothing says we should work to prevent nuclear self-annihilation like a Tommy Bahama, a food court and a lighted fountain full of pennies tossed by shoppers wishing for world peace with their eyes closed.

Posted on Jan 11, 2014 READ MORE    


Why Is the President Fighting for a War He Doesn’t Believe In?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the president didn’t buy into his own strategy. Also, what’s up with Dennis Rodman? Saving public art. And we remember Amiri Baraka.

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 READ MORE


Why Is the President Fighting for a War He Doesn’t Believe In?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the president didn’t buy into his own strategy. Also, what’s up with Dennis Rodman? Saving public art. And we remember Amiri Baraka.

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN



AP/Nick Ut

Another Casualty of L.A.’s Cultural Indifference?

The artistic record in a region that aspires to world-class status has been problematic when it comes to censorship and preservation.

Posted on Dec 9, 2013 READ MORE


‘Goliath’: How Israel Became the Third Rail of Journalism

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Three Jews talk about Israel. Also: The human error of Typhoon Yolanda, and a rap to save public art.

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 READ MORE


‘Goliath’: How Israel Became the Third Rail of Journalism

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Three Jews talk about Israel. Also: The human error of Typhoon Yolanda, and a rap to save public art.

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN



Mr. Fish

‘Chain Reaction’ Is a Threat, but Not to the Public Interest

The first structural engineer hired by Santa Monica officials to assess the safety of former L.A. Times cartoonist Paul Conrad’s anti-nuclear war sculpture declared that the work “is not an imminent hazard nor should it be considered dangerous.” But officials still want to tear it down.

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons/Cbl62 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Saving Paul Conrad’s ‘Chain Reaction’

For the past 22 years, the city of Santa Monica has had one of the most significant public political artworks in the nation, installed adjacent to the Santa Monica Civic Center in the tourism hub of this beachside town.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Shizuo Kambayashi

A Statement of Peace, or an Epitaph

August 6 marks 68 years since the United States committed what is arguably the single gravest act of terrorism that the world has ever known.

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 READ MORE


Mr. Fish and Robert Scheer Debate Obama Ennui

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Russian homophobia, reinventing Los Angeles, racism in Florida, and a cartoonist and editor deal with the great Obama letdown.

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

Mr. Fish and Robert Scheer Debate Obama Ennui

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Russian homophobia, reinventing Los Angeles, racism in Florida, and a cartoonist and editor deal with the great Obama letdown.

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/waltarrrrr

Why ‘Chain Reaction’ Must Be Preserved

The sculpture towers 26 feet above the Civic Center lawn in the Southern California coastal city of Santa Monica, a disturbing warning about the danger of nuclear arms. Now the artwork is in peril.

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 READ MORE



Brian English

Ed Asner for Peace and ‘Chain Reaction’ on the Fourth of July

On Independence Day in Santa Monica, Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner played the role he comes to most naturally: the engaged citizen taking a principled stand for what is right, in this case preserving Paul Conrad’s compelling reminder of the ever-present danger of a nuclear holocaust.

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 READ MORE



Poster by Mr. Fish

On His Birthday, a Famed Artist’s Masterpiece Faces the Bulldozer

The late political cartoonist Paul Conrad won the Pulitzer Prize so many times it was deemed unseemly to give him any more. Now, on the Thursday he would have turned 89, one of his masterpieces faces oblivion.

Posted on Jun 26, 2013 READ MORE


Pentagon Whistle-Blower Karen Kwiatkowski’s Secret History of the Iraq War

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Iraq whistle-blower reminds us that Bush lied. Plus: Obama in the Holy Land, antagonizing fat people and fighting to save a great work of political art.

Posted on Mar 22, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

Pentagon Whistle-Blower Karen Kwiatkowski’s Secret History of the Iraq War

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Iraq whistle-blower reminds us that Bush lied. Plus: Obama in the Holy Land, antagonizing fat people and fighting to save a great work of political art.

Posted on Mar 22, 2013 READ MORE


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