Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NRU passings & controversy

I woke Tuesday morning to the news of the passing of these two people:

Stuart Hall and Shirley Temple Black.

Stuart Hall is a theorist who I spent the greater part of the last two years getting to know through his writings.  This article about his passing left me with more questions than answers.  I am glad that someone thought to write about him ... even if the piece did not make the airwaves.

Shirley Temple Black was one of my favorites growing up ... in the endless hours of old movies I watched, those with Shirley were some of the best.  Heidi is still my favorite - though it may be the one with the least singing and dancing.  I heard an interview with her many years ago that renewed my interest and admiration for her.  She said that she never saw any of the movies she was in as a child.  Her mother wouldn't allow it.  It was part of her mother trying to keep her the same size as her britches.  Acting was a job ... and when it was over, she went on with her life in grand fashion.

NPR was full of news on Mrs. Black.  This one I particularly liked.  And I was glad of that, but it made me a little sad that she seemed to be the only one who passed of note.

In other news, all media outlets (and fb news feeds) have been full of news of the death of Marius (the giraffe).  This article started out interesting and then fizzled.  I heard the director interviewed on NPR -- he was steadfast in his rationale for the decision to put down the animal, offer zoo guests the chance to see the autopsy and use the meat as feed for the tigers.  One wonders, though, if all at the zoo felt as clinically as he did about the series of events.  And I rewatched Blackfish the other day, and it was as disturbing the second time around.  Is the outrage outsize or not?

In the same way that judging the right or wrong of Marius' death, this tidbit from the defense in the beating death of the young Asian woman in Santa Ana brings us the same complexity that fb news feeds and outrage deny us.  Is it murder if they were all fighting?  Does this turn of fact explain the strange silence from her friends more than the Vietnamese immigrant community's distrust of the police?

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