This category contains 21 posts

5 Underreported Stories of 2011

As we ring in 2012 and close the books on 2011, we take a look back and assess stories that had major impact on our society. Current.com asked me to put together what I thought were some of the stories that flew under the radar. Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street and Narratives

Since the first residents descended upon Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the Occupy Wall Street movement has grown from a few hundred supporters in this tiny enclave to an international discussion. With thousands of people in cities across the globe – from New York to London to Sydney to Rome – announcing their support for economic parity, it’s not all surprising several narratives have emerged. Continue reading

What Happened To The Media

Over the past 48 hours, there have been two major press conferences from two different universes that, at the root, are about the same thing: sexual misconduct. We see two different worlds – politics and sports – enmeshed in sexual assault allegations and a press corps that seems to be crossing lines from professional journalists to everyday consumer. Continue reading

Loose Thoughts On Voices of a Generation

David Crosby and Graham Nash appeared and performed in Zuccotti Park this afternoon to a couple hundred people. Without amplification – both for instruments and vocals – it was difficult to hear them, but they were audible enough to hear their melodious harmonies (even though they were missing the third of their triumvirate). As they were playing songs of protest, it was hard not to imagine it was 1968 where groups of longhairs would sit cross-legged, smoking a joint and passionately discussing the evils of war, of government, of society; how they were the new generation, the generation that would change the world for the better. Continue reading

On Voluntary and Involuntary Fasting

On Yom Kippur, Jews around the world fast for 25 hours. On any given day, hundreds of millions around the world go with out food.
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Occupy Wall Street’s Effect On A Halal Cart

Dan Patterson and I speak with Abdul Mubarek, a Halal cart owner who has been in Zuccotti Park for the past six years. He spoke with us about his thoughts of the protests and how it has affected his business.
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Occupy Wall Street: What A Difference A Week Makes

Yesterday evening, I strolled down Broadway from Houston to Zuccotti Park, about a half hour walk, anticipating what the Occupy Wall Street protests would look like a week after I last visited.
I passed the inelegant federal buildings on Broadway and Reade, and saw ahead of me, a couple blocks away on the sidewalk in front of City Hall, a group of protesters and picketers marching side by side. I maneuvered around them and noticed there were several police officers and quite a few paddy wagons with more cops sitting inside them. It began to rain.
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Occupy Wall Street

Upon exiting the 2/3 at Wall Street, I was expecting to be swept up in a crowd of people marching down that corporate alleyway, playing music and chanting, “We shall overcome.” Or, at the very least, see some of New York’s Finest pepper-spraying protesters while men in $5,000 suits stood back and watched. Instead, I saw the typical throng of tourists gawking at the Fed, taking pictures of the George Washington Statue and lining up to pose with the New York Stock Exchange in the background. I also saw steel barricades, which obviously meant protest.
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Tomorrow I leave for Italy. We fly into Florence and I’m very excited to see the birthplace of the Renaissance. After a couple of days in the city, we head out to some small towns in Tuscany for a few days. We then will head south to Rome, where I’ve already bought my tickets for … Continue reading

Critical Analysis of “Page One: Inside the New York Times”

It’s been a very long time since I wrote a critical content analysis of a film, so I decided to write one about “Page One.” A note: This is unedited and very, very long, and is not meant to be a “like it or not” review, but instead, to use a theoretical lens to discuss this particular documentary. This critique looks at “Page One” through an expository mode of representation lens, which is meant to highlight a) how to read documentary film, b) how this film uses a the expository mode of representation to push its agenda and from that, c) can documentary film be objective? Continue reading

Thoughts on Immigration

One of the great things about America is that just about everyone, at some point in their familial line, has an amazing and compelling immigration story. We often forget this, as we spit venom towards those who cross our borders, a tactic that has been replayed again and again over the generations.
We’re a nation of nomads, of frontiersmen and women, of expansionists.
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Exporting American culture

America’s imperialism – how we export our culture – tries to win the hearts and minds of others. Interesting how the Iranian regime responds (from the NYT):
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Nine Years

Nine years. 3,285 days. Man, time flies. One of the things that make us, well, us is our capacity to communicate complex ideas (another awesome human characteristic is our opposable thumb, but that’s for another day). We are story tellers and each generation has their story to tell, typically marked by an Earth-shattering experience.
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The WTC Mosque

So imagine this scenario:
You just finished reading your big book of answers when you hear a knock at the door. You think to yourself, well, it can’t be Trouble because there was a knock. Trouble enters without letting you know. You walk to the door where you find three close friends. You let them in, but they seem different. There’s a look of fear, and a look of sadness in their eyes. This is when you realized Trouble can come into your home, invited, masked as Friendship. Your friends see your big book of answers sitting on the table and they tell you, “We’re sorry, but you have to come with us.” You’ve heard stories, you know what happens next, so you say, “Let me tell my kids I love them.” Your friends, the ones who have aligned themselves with Trouble in order to protect their families, lead you out of your house, as they take your big book of answers with them to be tossed aside, burned and destroyed.
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What’s a Jew?

This week brought two interesting aspects of what it means to be a Jew to the world. The first, which actually started in January but didn’t get much notice until recently, has been seen as both a triumph of spirit and a desecration of memory. The second has the ability to eradicate what it means to be a Jew.
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