current events

Recent Interactions With New Yorkers, Ranked

1. At the bookstore last night a man asked an employee if they had something, I missed what the item actually was, but it was something rare, one-of-a-kind. The employee shook his head and said, "I'm so sorry, someone just came in and bought it as a gift for her husband." And the man looked at him for a second before responding, slowly, "Wait…what did she look like?" The employee blushed, realizing what he had done, and tried backtracking, saying that maybe he was mistaken, maybe it wasn't really a gift for a husband, and we all laughed, and another customer said "Just try to act surprised," and we [...]


#Ferguson on Day Five

One cop seems to be mocking the protestors —>

— Henry Bailey (@BenryHailey) August 14, 2014

Yesterday, the anger in Ferguson spiked after the police chief came forward with his continued refusal to release the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown. "The officer required protection after numerous death threats had been made," he said; in the meantime the nightmarishly militarized police force keeps their heavy firearms trained Most Dangerous Game-closely on the demonstrators who more than anything just want someone to be held accountable for killing an unarmed kid.

From the New Yorker, about those tanks and that body armor: "In [...]


The People at Eric Garner's Funeral

Yesterday, Amy K. Nelson went to the funeral of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old Staten Island father and grandfather killed by police chokehold, and asked the attendees why they had come. Their responses, and her photos of them in protest mourning, are worth some time. [Animal New York]


The Sandwich Party Revolution

There have been 12 coups in recent history in Thailand. But the latest – three weeks ago – was the first in the social media age. The military rulers now in charge are monitoring social media closely – meaning those who oppose the new regime have had to get inventive.

Sandwiches are not a particularly Thai food, but they've become very important in Thailand in the past few days. With political gatherings of more than five people banned, "sandwich parties" – organised via social media – have taken off. The first of these took place at Kasetsart University in Bangkok on 6 June.

State-run newspapers have [...]


A Ferguson Refresher

Two weeks ago, my social media feeds were rife with news about Michael Brown's murder in Ferguson. Every night, for too many nights, I sat glued to my computer, watching the livestreams of demonstrations, reading the tweets by the activists and journalists on the scene, listening to a broken city that wanted to capture the world's attention.

We were enraptured: the New Yorker dedicated a cover to it, #iftheygunnedmedown trended on Twitter for days, Lauryn Hill put out a new song dedicated to Ferguson. Though coverage is quieting down, the upheaval is not yet close to resolution. A refresher: Darren Wilson is still in hiding, [...]



This image from #Ferguson looks like it’s 1964 and not 2014. As much as things change, they remain the same.

— Urban Cusp Magazine (@UrbanCusp) August 12, 2014

The news out of Ferguson, Mo. is dizzying this morning. The FBI has taken over the investigation into the death of Mike Brown; the police story ("Brown pushed the officer back into the car, then entered the vehicle as the two men struggled over the officer’s gun") continues to sound one type of way, while the eyewitness account ("the officer slammed his brakes and threw his truck in reverse, nearly hitting them… [...]


Birthright Still Sending Trips to Israel, Encouraging Participants to Tag Photos #YOLOIsrael

Miriam Berger's got the surreal details at BuzzFeed, including a recent trip participant who says, “We feel really safe, it’s almost as if we’re in this bubble."


Jia on the Difference Between ALS and Ferguson

As we wake up to news of more arrests and another tense night of protests in Ferguson, Jia's beautiful and honest piece on the difference between ALS Ice Bucket Challenges and what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri in Time addresses the difference in our responses via social media:

For both social media movements, sharing implies responsibility. We are complicit, by our inaction, in the lack of a working cure. But the tacit acknowledgment that there is blame to be shared and apportioned in Ferguson cuts much deeper and stops right at a telling, crucial boundary. We can’t call our friends to action on a target that remains [...]


The Trial of Theodore Wafer: "I shot in fear, I shot on purpose, I didn't want to be a victim"

Some things that middle-aged white Detroit shooter Theodore Wafer has said at his trial for the murder of unarmed black 19-year-old Renisha McBride: "I shot in fear," "I shot on purpose," "It was a threat, a threat that was coming in my house," "I needed to find out what was going on," "I didn't want to cower in my house," "I didn't want to be a victim." His only possible defense against the murder charge requires him to prove that the presence of a drunk, distressed teenager made him legitimately fear for his life.

At the Guardian, Syreeta McFadden goes over this sickening old [...]


At Least It's Not Yesterday

But also, of course, it is. "From here on, [the army] will start to clear the ground."