Posts Tagged ‘killing’

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US Navy Authorized To Train Despite Massive Injury Or Death Of Over 12 Million Sea Mammals

 

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Techno murder, drone style… “based on a true story?”

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How immoral does one have to be to support a system that regularly kills people who are later found to be completely innocent?

It’s not such a rhetorical question, as this is reality today.

40 Years of Death Row: 1,359 Executed; 890 Convictions Overturned

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“The truth is unspeakable”: A real American sniper unloads on “American Sniper”

“I stopped telling war stories at these events because no matter how bad and awful it sounds, you can still see the look in kids’ eyes that say, ‘That is the rite of passage, that is how I become a man. I have to go there and live through that horrible shit to know that I am an adult.’”

“A lot of people were fighting us because they did not want to be occupied or because they had family members who were hurt or killed and they wanted to get some sort of vengeance. By the end of my tour, it was really hard to justify killing them. We should not have been there in the first place.”

“I think about all of these soldiers coming out of the U.S. military and helping them get jobs and education and hearing about what they aspire to do and be in the world. And I wonder about all of the Iraqis, Syrians and others that we killed in that country and what they aspired to be.”

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Call to Creative Action

CALL TO ACTION: The USDAC calls on all artists and creative activists to use our gifts for peace and justice, sharing images, performances, experiences, writings, and other works of art that raise awareness, build connection, cultivate empathy, and inspire action.

The murder of Michael Brown (and Eric Garner, Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Davis, Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and so many others) and the suppression of basic rights in Ferguson, MO (and so many other places) compel us to ask these questions:

  • Who are we as a people? 
  • What do we stand for? 
  • How do we want to be remembered?

As a culture of punishment? Or a culture that values every human life, promoting true public safety grounded in justice and love?

As artists and creative activists, we understand that even as our present crises arise from economic and political conditions, these crises are rooted in culture.

  • Official violence is a cultural issue. 
  • The denial of human rights is a cultural issue. 
  • Racism is a cultural issue.

We join together in affirming to all public officials and policymakers that a culture of punishment cannot stand. We join together in applying our gifts to the public gatherings, organizing campaigns, and policy proposals that will support positive change. We stand together with generations of creative activists in communities across the nation who have been envisioning and working toward a world of equity and safety for all.

Cont’d

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Nine shots, murder in broad daylight.

Kajieme Powell near Ferguson, Mo.

 

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A mixed bag of mutants.

Much feels familiar in this next installment, the fifth or so generally and the second with this semi-relaunched cast.

However, the secret weapon in Days fo Future Past is Mystique, the sexy blue mutating Jennifer Lawrence character. The story hangs on Mystique and her actions, set up with an incident from the distant past, 1973, and then hinging on a time travel plot to alter history. Time travel can be interesting or cheezy, and this one is both. Laughs are played, anachronisms, one-liners. It’s Wolverine who gets the call, as he’s the only mutant with the wear and tear to survive the brain mangling.

It’s lighthearted, but it’s also very, very talky. The first half borders on obligatory yawns with the amount of exposition coming out of the mouths of the mutants. We’ve got old Xavier and young Xavier, Magneto and the young one. And everyone constantly needs to be brought up to speed.

As they say, “show don’t tell;” it doesn’t seem to have hurt this production with $700M in box office so far to show. There’s a do as I say, not as I do, sensibility in Hollywood, which is filled with know-nothing smarmy know-it-alls.

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Back on track – the second half picks up. Actually the break-in to the Pentagon is a good adrenalin boost, with a unique scene involving a speedy mutant who’s a lot of fun to watch.

In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I won’t say much more, except for this. The film maintains a strong moral compass on the side of peace and non-violence. For that I was grateful (and surprised), and impressed. Much is made over the act of killing, killing one man. To kill one is to initiate a war. Killing and war are so closely related, and the mindset of a murderer is the mindset of a soldier. That was unexpected, and it had me by the end of the film hanging on the plot.

I’d rate the previous film First Class a tad higher than Days of Future Past. This owes to the scattered plot and diffused focus. The battle with giant robot drones was a letdown too, more sound and fury signifying not much.

On second thought, there is a theme involving power and weapons. The weapons have grown beyond the ability to control them. This makes sense in the 1973 world, but is less clear in the current one. The supposed modern timeline was a bit too reliant on special effects extravaganzas, and these distract. The blitzkrieg of CGI reduces the whole thing to video game sensibility, and the same barrage we see in every modern Hollywood FX movie.  The director here is a bit smarter than most, but relying on the same old big light show at the end was disappointing.

4/5