World Stories

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:25 pm

Jedno prijatno iznenađenje, jer stvarno nisam očekivao da je moguće sjesti sa jednim igračem i imati ovako dobar intervju. Zbog toga sam malo krenuo traziti i brzo sam naletio na zanimljivu stranicu u kojoj sportisti pisu o svom zivotu, profesiji, iskustvima i mnogim drugim stvarima. Izdvojio sam dva clanka. U jednom je Ryan Shazier za jednog svog saigraca napisao, da ne poznaje osobju koja ima veci pobjednicki mentalitet. U drugom, bivsi igrac Quentin Richardson pise o svom jako dramaticnom zivotu.

Jaylen Brown: 'Sport is a mechanism of control in America'

As the Boston Celtics star prepares to play in London, he talks to Donald McRae about race, the NBA and the death of his best friend

Donald McRae

@donaldgmcrae
Tue 9 Jan 2018 12.00 GMT Last modified on Wed 10 Jan 2018 18.05 GMT


https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... -interview

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Jaylen Brown: ‘We’re having some of the same problems we had 50 years ago. Some things have changed a lot but other factors are deeply embedded in our society.’ Photograph: Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images


THE PLAYERS TRIBUNE

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/

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THE 5 TOUGHEST GUYS I'VE EVER FACED
Jul 20 2017
Ryan Shazier
Linebacker / Pittsburgh Steelers


https://www.theplayerstribune.com/ryan- ... ver-faced/

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We got a problem that we need to address off the top. I’m a big fan of the Five Toughest series, and I’ve wanted to do one of these for a while now, but there’s a small issue with me doing it.

I play for the Steelers. I have two Top 5 guys on my own squad. It’s not even up for debate. Antonio Brown: best receiver I’ve ever faced. Le’Veon Bell: best running back I’ve ever faced. That’s not me gassing them up. That’s just facts.

Now, I already know everybody on the Internet is going to come after me for doing them. So we’ll make a deal here. You gotta let me include my guys. But I’ll give you two trade-offs.

I promise you I’m going to give you some real nitty-gritty football insight.
I’m also going to include a Cowboy and a Raven. A Raven, man. That’s how serious I am.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s roll.

LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF
Jan 7 2018
Quentin Richardson
Retired / NBA


https://www.theplayerstribune.com/lette ... ichardson/

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Dear 12-year-old Q,

They’re gonna kill your brother. They’re gonna kill Bernard. Over nothing. Just a random robbery.

Your grandma is gonna pass away from old age.

Your mother is gonna die from breast cancer. You’ll have to watch her fade away. No more honey-tops and The Young and the Restless after school.

And I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s all going to happen this year. ’92.

Now, I got a question for you. Do you know what DNA is? You probably don’t. DNA goes deeper than blood, man. It’s your makeup. It’s what you’re built from. It’s the cut of your cloth, you know what I’m saying?

You are from the South Side of Chicago.

You are from the “Wild Hunneds.”

You are the son of Lee Richardson, driving that L train up and down the Green Line for 38 years.

So lucky for you, even though you’re about to go through some real shit, you got the DNA of some motherfucking go-getters.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:33 pm

STRANGER STILL

Kamel Daoud and Algeria, caught between Islamist fervor and cultural flowering.

By ADAM SHATZ
APRIL 1, 2015


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/m ... e&referer=

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Kamel Daoud Credit Ferhat Bouda/Agence Vu, for The New York Times

I first heard about the writer Kamel Daoud a few years ago, when an Algerian friend of mine told me I should read him if I wanted to understand how her country had changed in recent years. “If Algeria can produce a Kamel Daoud,” she said, “I still have hope for Algeria.” Reading his columns in Le Quotidien d’Oran, a French-language newspaper, I saw what she meant. Daoud had an original, epigrammatic style: playful, lyrical, brash. I could also see why he’d been accused of racism, even “self-hatred.” After Sept. 11, for example, he wrote that the Arabs had been “crashing” for centuries and that they would continue crashing so long as they were better known for hijacking planes than for making them. But this struck me as the glib provocation of an otherwise intelligent writer carried away by his metaphors.

The more I read Daoud, the more I sensed he was driven not by self-hatred but by disappointed love. Here was a writer in his early 40s, a man my age, who believed that people in Algeria and the wider Muslim world deserved a great deal better than military rule or Islamism, the two-entree menu they had been offered since the end of colonialism, and who said so with force and brio. Nothing, however, prepared me for his first novel, “The Meursault Investigation,” a thrilling retelling of Albert Camus’s 1942 classic, “The Stranger,” from the perspective of the brother of the Arab killed by Meursault, Camus’s antihero. The novel, which was first published in Algeria in 2013, and which will be published in English by Other Press in June, not only breathes new life into “The Stranger”; it also offers a bracing critique of postcolonial Algeria — a new country that Camus, a poor Frenchman born in Algiers, did not live to see.

What impressed me about Daoud’s writing, both his journalism and his novel, was the fearlessness with which he defended the cause of individual liberty — a fearlessness that, it seemed to me, bordered on recklessness in a country where collectivist passions of nation and faith run high. I wondered whether his experience might provide clues as to the state of intellectual freedom in Algeria, a peculiar hybrid of electoral democracy and police state. Late last year, I had an answer of sorts. Daoud was no longer merely a writer. He was now someone you had to take a side on, in Algeria and in France.

His ordeal began on Dec. 13, during a book tour in France, where “Meursault” received rapturous reviews, sold more than 100,000 copies and came two votes shy of winning the Prix Goncourt, the nation’s most prestigious literary prize. He was on a popular late-night talk show called “On n’est pas Couché” (“We’re Not Asleep”), and he felt, he would tell me later, “as if I had all of Algeria on my shoulders.” He insisted to the French-Lebanese journalist Léa Salamé, one of the panelists on the program, that he considered himself an Algerian, not an Arab — a view that’s not uncommon in Algeria, but that is opposed by Arab nationalists. He said that he spoke a distinct language called “Algerian,” not Arabic. He said that he preferred to meet with God on foot, by himself, rather than in an “organized trip” to a mosque, and that religious orthodoxy had become an obstacle to progress in the Muslim world. Daoud said nothing on the program that he hadn’t said in his columns or his novel. But saying it in France, the country that ruled Algeria from 1830 to 1962, got him noticed by people back home who tend to ignore the French-language press.

One of them was an obscure imam named Abdelfattah Hamadache, who had reportedly been an informer for the security services. Three days after Daoud’s appearance on French television, Hamadache wrote on his Facebook page that Daoud — an “apostate” and “Zionized criminal” — should be put on trial for insulting Islam and publicly executed. It was not quite a call for Daoud’s assassination: Hamadache was appealing to the state, not to freelance jihadists. But Algeria is a country in which more than 70 journalists were murdered by Islamist rebels during the civil war of the 1990s, the so-called Black Decade. Those murders were often preceded by anonymous threats in letters, leaflets or graffiti scrawled on the walls of mosques. Hamadache’s “Facebook fatwa,” as it became known, was something new, and uniquely brazen, for being signed in his own name. It provoked an outcry, and not only among liberals. Ali Belhadj, leader of the banned Islamic Salvation Front (F.I.S.), harshly criticized Hamadache, asserting that he had no authority to call Daoud an apostate and that only God had the right to decide who was or wasn’t a Muslim: a message, some said, that the F.I.S. saw Hamadache as a tool of the state. Indeed, although the minister of religious affairs, Mohamed Aïssa, a mild-mannered man of Sufi leanings, came to Daoud’s defense, the government otherwise maintained a strange neutrality, declining to respond when Daoud filed a complaint against Hamadache for incitement.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by medvjed23 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:16 pm


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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:06 pm

LINCOLN TELLS A STORY

By Loius P. Masur January 27, 2012 9:00 PM

https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2 ... s-a-story/

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On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1862, George Templeton Strong, New York lawyer and philanthropist, and Henry Ward Bellows, Unitarian minister and president of the United States Sanitary Commission, called on the president to discuss reform of the Army medical bureau. The next day, Strong, an inveterate diarist, wrote at length about the meeting, and included a Lincoln story in dialect so as to capture the president’s diction. The elitist Strong described the backwoods president as “a barbarian, Scythian, yahoo, or gorilla, in respect to outside polish (for example, he uses “humans” as English for homines), but a most sensible, straightforward, honest old codger.”

The president was also good with a yarn. “He told us a lot of stories,” Strong reported. In response to a discussion about the pressure from abolitionists for the president to take action against slavery, Lincoln said:

Wa-al that reminds me of a party of Methodist parsons that was travelling in Illinois when I was a boy, and had a branch to cross that was pretty bad — ugly to cross, ye know, because the waters was up. And they got considerin’ and discussin’ how they should git across it, and they talked about it for two hours, and one on ’em thought they had ought to cross one way when they got there, and another another way, and they got quarrellin’ about it, till at last an old brother put in, and he says, says he, ‘Brethren, this here talk ain’t no use. I never cross a river until I come to it.’
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:10 pm

THE LOST GIANT OF AMERICAN LITERATURE

A major black novelist made a remarkable début. How did he disappear?

By Kathryn Schulz January 29, 2018 Issue

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018 ... literature

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William Melvin Kelley wrote about white people thinking about black people.

There were arrows, so we followed them. This was one afternoon last summer; my partner and I had spent the day at our local public library, working steadily through breakfast and lunch and what the British would call teatime, until suddenly hunger clobbered us both and we packed up and headed out to the car. Home was maybe four miles away. In my mind, I was already constructing enormous sandwiches. The arrows appeared two miles in, lining the side of the road where, that morning, there had been nothing but marsh grass. They were shin-high, wordless, red on a white background, pointing away from the sandwiches. My partner, who is usually more hungry than I am but always more curious, swung the car into the other lane and began to follow them.

The arrows led down a state highway, across an interchange, onto a smaller road, past a barn and some grain silos, then along one of the Chesapeake Bay’s countless tributaries. A sign warned us that we were in a flood zone. My partner, who grew up one county over, remembered the place from childhood—at seven or eight, she’d had a memorable encounter in the area with a trailer full of cockatiels—but she hadn’t been there since. The arrows ended at a large gray shed with a red roof. A spray-painted sign indicated that it was open twice a month, on Saturdays, in the summer only. We parked across the street, next to a boat, and headed for the door.

Inside: boxes of fishing tackle, cans of Rust-Oleum, a ceiling-high stack of interior/exterior paint. A half-dozen washboards, a cast-iron sewing machine, signs advertising fresh eggs and Guinness and speed limits in unknown locations. Doorframes, window frames, picture frames stripped of their pictures and stacked catawampus in a corner. A wall of old license plates, a box of old flashlights, Chock full o’Nuts cans chock-full of nails. Circular saws, gate weights, drill bits, jigging bait, oyster tongs, jumbles of other farming and fishing equipment that I, having grown up suburban and landlocked, could not identify. No cross-stitched pillows here; no clothes, unless you count waders; no discarded chinaware—not much, in short, of the usual junk-shop bric-a-brac. A few boxes of LPs. A few old sports pennants. And, near the cash register, a single bookshelf, with a handwritten sign taped to the top: “Paperbacks, 50¢. Hardbacks, $1.”

Books I can identify. I went to browse, and spotted, first thing, a slender volume that was shelved the wrong way round—binding in, pages out. I pulled it down, turned it over, and found myself holding a beautiful clothbound first edition of Langston Hughes’s “Ask Your Mama.” I flipped it open and there on the frontispiece it said:

Inscribed especially for William Kelley ~ on your first visit to my house ~ welcome!
Sincerely ~
Langston Hughes
New York
February 19, 1962

I gawped. Then I beckoned my partner over and we gawped together. After a short-lived and entirely silent moral crisis—resolved by remembering that half the point of visiting junk stores is the possibility of stumbling on unexpected treasures—I walked over to the cash register, handed the young man behind it a dollar, and bought the book. And then, because it, too, was an arrow, I followed it.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:14 pm

EMBRACING THE VOID

The ancients had pyramids to tame the sky’s mystery. We have Star Axis, a masterpiece forty years in the making

Ross Anderson is a senior editor at The Atlantic where he oversees the Science, Health and Technology sections.
He was formerly the deputy editor of Aeon.

Edited by Brigid Hains 15. Oct, 2013


https://aeon.co/essays/the-one-place-wh ... -night-sky

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The stone cap and pyramid at Star Axis, as seen in profile. Photo courtesy of Charles Ross

On a hot afternoon in late June, I pulled to the side of a two-lane desert highway in eastern New Mexico, next to a specific mile marker. An hour earlier, a woman had told me to wait for her there at three o’clock, ‘sharp’. I edged as far off the shoulder as I could, to avoid being seen by passing traffic, and parked facing the wilderness. A sprawling, high desert plateau was set out before me, its terrain a maze of raised mesas, sandstone survivors of differential erosion. Beyond the plateau, the landscape stretched for miles, before dissolving into a thin strip of desert shimmer. The blurry line marked the boundary between the land and one of the biggest, bluest skies I’d ever seen.

I had just switched off the ignition when I spotted a station wagon roaring toward me from the plateau, towing a dust cloud that looked like a miniature sandstorm. Its driver was Jill O’Bryan, the wife and gatekeeper of Charles Ross, the renowned sculptor. Ross got his start in the Bay Area art world of the mid‑1960s, before moving to New York, where he helped found one of SoHo’s first artist co-ops. In the early 1970s, he began spending a lot of time here in the New Mexico desert. He had acquired a remote patch of land, a mesa he was slowly transforming into a massive work of land art, a naked-eye observatory called Star Axis. Ross rarely gives interviews about Star Axis, but when he does he describes it as a ‘perceptual instrument’. He says it is meant to offer an ‘intimate experience’ of how ‘the Earth’s environment extends into the space of the stars’. He has been working on it for more than 40 years, but still isn’t finished.

I knew Star Axis was out there on the plateau somewhere, but I didn’t know where. Its location is a closely guarded secret. Ross intends to keep it that way until construction is complete, but now that he’s finally in the homestretch he has started letting in a trickle of visitors. I knew, going in, that a few Hollywood celebrities had been out to Star Axis, and that Ross had personally showed it to Stewart Brand. After a few months of emails, and some pleading on my part, he had agreed to let me stay overnight in it.

Once O’Bryan was satisfied that I was who I said I was, she told me to follow her, away from the highway and into the desert. I hopped back into my car, and we caravanned down a dirt road, bouncing and churning up dust until, 30 minutes in, O’Bryan suddenly slowed and stuck her arm out her driver’s side window. She pointed toward a peculiar looking mesa in the distance, one that stood higher than the others around it. Notched into the centre of its roof was a granite pyramid, a structure whose symbolic power is as old as history.

Twenty minutes later, O’Bryan and I were parked on top of the mesa, right at the foot of the pyramid and she was giving me instructions. ‘Don’t take pictures,’ she said, ‘and please be vague about the location in your story.’ She also told me not to use headlights on the mesa top at night, lest their glow tip off unwanted visitors. There are artistic reasons for these cloak-and-dagger rituals. Like any ambitious artist, Ross wants to polish and perfect his opus before unveiling it. But there are practical reasons, too. For while Star Axis itself is nearly built, its safety features are not, and at night the pitch black of this place can disorient you, sending you stumbling into one of its chasms. There is even an internet rumour — Ross wouldn’t confirm it — that the actress Charlize Theron nearly fell to her death here.
Last edited by ejjus on Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:22 pm

Bill Belichick and Nick Saban's Friendship

A little more than 35 years ago, Bill Belichick was introduced to Nick Saban over dinner at the home of Belichick’s parents. How the two coaches—and their friendship—evolved as they conquered the highest levels of football

By JENNY VRENTAS January 18, 2018

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/01/18/bill- ... ama-browns

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They agreed to meet in West Point, N.Y., at a little hotel with a name neither can remember. For two men with deep connections to Navy, the locale was a surprising choice. All the better.

This was in the late 1980s, summertime; they were both a couple years away from turning 40, and neither man’s name meant then what it does today. Nick Saban flew in from Houston, where he coached the Oilers’ defensive backs. Bill Belichick, then the Giants’ defensive coordinator, drove up from New Jersey with 16-millimeter film canisters and a projector stashed in his car.

They were two assistants from opposing teams, planning to spend the weekend discussing the intricacies of the Cover-2 defense. The rendezvous might have gotten either man fired had their bosses found out about it, so it was conducted with a stealth more befitting of the military academy down the road. “We kind of had a secret mission,” says Saban, “to go where nobody would expect us to be.”

This was before they worked together; before they competed against one another; before they each built a program that became the only contemporary analog for success of the other. Saban has since won six national titles, one at LSU and five at Alabama; Belichick is trying for his sixth Super Bowl ring with the Patriots. Their secret mission turned into one of the most significant friendships in football, one based around the very thing that brought them to that hotel in West Point: the realization that they didn’t have all the answers, and a shared obsession to find them. “We are like we are because of that,” says Saban. “We’re always trying to learn, to improve the way we do things.”

The best NFL coach of this generation has been friends for more than 30 years with the best college football coach, a fact that is remarkable but not entirely surprising. This is the story of a friendship that has made a lasting impact on the sport.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:25 pm

The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool

Christopher Priest broke the color barrier at Marvel and reinvented a classic character. Why was he nearly written out of comics history?

By Abraham Riesman

January 22, 2018 8:00 am

http://www.vulture.com/2018/01/christop ... eared.html

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“I’m an asshole. I’m abrasive. I am so sure that I’m right about virtually everything. I can sing you an aria of reasons to not like me,” says comics writer Christopher Priest, his bass voice rising to the brink of anger but never quite tipping over. “Not liking me because I’m black is so juvenile and immature, because there’s many reasons to not like me.” He’s speaking, as he often does, about the racism — both overt and structural — that he’s faced in the comics industry over his 40-year career. But that set of attributes, seen from another angle, can apply to the reasons to like him, or at least admire him — he’s unwaveringly outspoken, endearingly opinionated, as well as a pioneer in the comics industry. He’s also likely the only comics writer to have taken breaks from his career at various times to toil as a musician, pastor, and bus driver.

Priest, who’s 56, is about to see some of his most influential work go wide in a major way. His turn-of-the-millennium run at Marvel Comics, when he was writing the character Black Panther, has served as an inspiration for this year’s feverishly anticipated Marvel Studios film Black Panther. Given the comics world’s self-image of liberal inclusivity, and the fact that Priest is the first black writer to work full time at either Marvel or DC, starting with his first regular writing gig back in 1983, you might think he is long established as an elder statesman of the industry.

But until recently, Priest had bounced from job to job (including the aforementioned bus driving) and was largely denied the recognition he deserves. Indeed, talk to comics historians and they’ll have to pause for a minute and think before they conclude that, yes, he probably was the first African-American writer to truly break that barrier in superhero comics. Even among fervent fans, his milestones are far from common knowledge. He’d worked in quasi-obscurity for three decades before angrily retiring in 2005, opting to pursue work as a man of God in Colorado.

During that period of self-imposed exile, though, something happened, something Priest himself finds curious: He not only became recognized; he became a kind of icon. His run on Black Panther now merits its own multivolume reprint, Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection. He has reentered the spotlight, returning to Marvel — a place with which he has had a contentious relationship, to say the least — to write a new title, as well as taking on DC’s flagship team-up series, Justice League. To his surprise, he finds that crowds now pack convention halls to see him speak.

At a moment when Marvel Studios is making a self-consciously bold statement on inclusivity with Black Panther, Priest’s breaking of a color line deserves to finally be acknowledged. While Priest did not invent the Black Panther character — a superhero and king of a fictional African nation who had been kicking around Marvel for decades — in many ways he revolutionized it.

“He had the classic run on Black Panther, period, and that’s gonna be true for a long time,” says Ta-Nehisi Coates, who currently writes Black Panther for Marvel. “People had not put as much thought into who and what Black Panther was before Christopher started writing the book.” While previously the Panther had been written as a superhero, Coates notes, “[Priest] thought that Black Panther was a king.” It seems doubtful there’d even be a movie about him today if not for Priest’s refurbishing. Yet Priest himself has been chronically underappreciated.

Priest is nothing if not candid about his own career and the industry as a whole. In interviews and copious self-published essays, he speaks fiercely about injustices in comics, naming names and pointing fingers at people responsible for failures he thinks have been undeservedly ascribed to him. You might say that’s just a case of his being, to use his words, an asshole, but he’s frank about his own shortcomings and poor decisions. Still, he sees his predicament as part of a larger pattern. “When I read these self-congratulatory histories of Marvel and DC, they completely omit not just me but other persons of color or firsts,” he tells me. “Who was the first woman editor? Who was the first woman penciler? And I think part of it is that the people who were assembling these histories of it just didn’t think it was important. But these things do count, and they really do matter.”
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:29 pm

Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of Oregon

Two years after the standoff at the Malheur Refuge, many people in the region remain convinced that their way of life is being trampled.

By Jennifer Percy Jan. 18, 2018

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/m ... gform.org/

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Joe Cronin on his ranch in the Malheur National Forest, in October.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times

I took the eastern route from Idaho, on a day of freezing rain, over the Strawberry Mountains, into the broad John Day River Basin, in Oregon. I was used to empty places. Most of my childhood was spent in this region of eastern Oregon, in remote areas of the sagebrush desert or in the volcanic mountains with their jagged peaks and old-growth forests. My family moved away just before I entered high school, and I never returned; I’ve felt in romantic exile ever since. This part of America that had once belonged to my childhood became the spotlight of national news in the winter of 2016, when the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — an old childhood haunt — became the scene of a cowboy takeover. The takeover began as a protest in the town of Burns after two ranchers were sentenced to prison for arsons on federal land. The ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, caught the attention of the Nevada rancher Ammon Bundy, who thought the punishment unfair. Bundy and a crowd of nearly 300 marchers paraded through Burns, and a splinter group eventually took over the Malheur headquarters. For 41 days, they refused to leave, protesting federal ownership of public lands, which they considered unlawful and abusive. I didn’t understand what had happened since I left, why so many people seemed so disillusioned and angry.

The ground was snow-covered when I visited John Day last winter and the temperature below freezing. I was there to attend a meeting organized by Jeanette Finicum, the widow of LaVoy Finicum, an Arizona rancher who was shot and killed by government agents a year earlier. LaVoy was a leader of the Malheur occupation. He left the refuge for a speaking engagement in John Day with plans to return, but he was shot three times at an F.B.I. roadblock. For that reason, his widow was calling this event “The Meeting That NEVER Happened.”

The town of John Day isn’t much more than a two-lane road through end-of-frontier brick buildings and is barely two square miles in size. A “closed” sign hung from the Ranch and Rodeo Museum, and the only vacancy was at a motel called Dreamers Lodge. Just west of town, off the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway, were the John Day fossil beds, where the remains of saber-toothed tigers and small horses were dug up from 30-million-year-old volcanic ash. To the east, replicas of covered wagons stood on the side of the road.

I pulled up next to a minivan in the parking lot of Americas Best Value Inn. Three women stepped out. The driver wore American flag earrings and a Christmas sweater, her hair piled on her head. She was a candy-company representative in Boise and had driven to John Day with a trunk full of Mentos. “What’s going on with the media is absolute crap,” the driver said. We walked down the street, to the Outpost restaurant, and over lunch, she described what was happening in eastern Oregon as a “truth insurrection.” One of her companions, a delicate, elderly lady with long white hair, told me that she attended protests during the federal siege at Ruby Ridge, followed the killings at Waco and took an interest in the Bundys during the occupation. All three believed the government could come to their homes anytime and shoot them. “Someone please needs to get this story right,” the elderly lady said. When I showed her my tape recorder, she gave me a high five. She figured I couldn’t twist her words now. “Sometimes it happens,” she said. “The truth will end up in The New York Times. But your editors will probably mess it up.” I asked what truth she had in mind. “Well, for one thing,” she said, “LaVoy was not ‘killed’; he was ‘murdered.’ ”
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:34 pm

THE DISASTER TOURIST

For just $2500, you too could be responsible for a geopolitical calamity.

January 25, 2018, By Kent Russel
Conceptual Photos by Derek Brahney


http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/arti ... k-tourism/

Image
A portrait of Stalin on the highway to South Ossetia. PHOTO: KENT RUSSELL

“I beg that you see how I am only human,” Otto Warmbier pleaded tearfully at his February 2016 show trial in Pyongyang. The University of Virginia honor student sat in judgment beneath gold-framed portraits of the Kim family, tugging occasionally at the fratty summer jacket he wore over his parti-colored shirt. Before him: a scrum of cameras and a horseshoe of dour goons scribbling in notebooks. The courtroom itself—its dimensions were simply wrong. Too tall, too narrow, why’s there a fern in the corner. Dreamlike, in the eeriest way.

“I have made the worst mistake of my life,” Otto admitted. Two months earlier, he’d ventured into North Korea as part of a five-day package with a China-based outfit called Young Pioneer Tours. He and some other Westerners did what was apparently common on these trips: They imbibed a few cocktails, they snapped a few outré photos in front of statues of mass murderers. As they were boarding their plane out of the country, however, Otto was quietly apprehended. He was accused of committing “a hostile act against the state.” Eventually, Otto was arraigned on charges of working secretly for the U.S. government and attempting to “[bring] down the foundation of [North Korea’s] single-minded unity.” How he supposedly went about this was by stealing a propaganda poster from a forbidden floor of the hotel where his group was staying. For evidence, the North Korean government provided ostensible surveillance footage showing ... a silhouetted humanoid ... lifting up a sign? And leaning it against a wall?

Along with countless others, I watched on television as Otto raised a prayer to the courtroom ceiling. I watched him collapse headfirst toward the microphone, as if the molten despair spilling through his mind had hardened, and set. I watched his body rack with sobs.

The North Koreans sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor. Seventeen months later, he was returned suddenly to the United States. Photos showed him being carried off a plane, limp as an exhausted child, colorless as a ghost, with tubes curling into his nose. Soon it was revealed that Otto was in a persistent vegetative state. He died after a few days at home.

Our commander in chief responded by accusing the North Koreans of torturing Otto “beyond belief.” A member of their foreign ministry rebutted by calling Donald Trump an “old lunatic.” The executive branch would eventually return the DPRK to the list of state terror sponsors, and Congress banned all Americans from traveling there. One of the world’s most fraught relationships deteriorated further—to the point where our president has taken to trolling North Korea’s ICBM-possessing dictator by referring to him as “Little Rocket Man” and cracking erectile dysfunction jokes. Meanwhile, the North Koreans have tested more missiles. Slowly, steadily, the specter of thermonuclear flame war has risen higher across our horizon, thanks in part to our modern Archbro Ferdinand who maybe ganked a poster while out on tour with an obscure travel group.

It was that obscure travel group Otto’s father lit into during a press conference following his son’s return. While dressed in the same ecru blazer Otto wore during his trial, Fred Warmbier denounced Young Pioneer Tours for turning his son into “fodder” for the isolated regime. “They lure Americans, then they take them hostage, then they do things to them, and that’s what happened to my son,” he said, conflating the Young Pioneers with the North Korean government.

Admittedly, YPT was doing a less than stellar job of convincing people that it was not, say, a malign backpacking cult. In the wake of Otto’s death, the group scrubbed any mention of him from its various accounts, aside from a Facebook note stating that “we too are reeling with the shock of a young man's life taken well before his time.” YPT discreetly amended the “North Korea FAQ” section of its website. No longer was the question “How safe is it?” followed by the answer: “Extremely safe! Despite what you may hear, North Korea is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit.” Now, YPT acknowledged: “Despite what you may hear, for most nationalities, North Korea is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit provided you follow the laws as provided by our documentation and pre-tour briefings.”

Inelegant, to say the least. But as I dug deeper into the company, I learned that inelegance was YPT’s stock in trade. Its promotional materials read like Ryanair in-flight magazine columns penned by laddish blokes who would absolutely follow through on a dare to thud-shut an unabridged dictionary on one or another’s testicles. “I’m sure we’ve all daydreamed about owning a time machine,” began a blog entry written after Otto’s apprehension. One essential journey would be to the year 3000 to see “just how fine your great-great-great-granddaughter really is.” After that, “my itinerary consists of those strange turning points in history ... Think the dying days of the Roman Empire, a time when the art of hosting orgies reached its throbbing, writhing zenith. Or Germany’s Weimar years, when ‘degenerates’ of all stripes drank and sang in the Berlin cabarets as Hitler’s brownshirts marched outside.”
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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