SHMOOZE NEWS: Of Bravery Punished & Revered

Watch this: a map of every protest on the planet since 1979.  Are we freer now to protest, or inspired more to fight only because we feel so entrapped?

1. It hasn’t been a great week for transparency, y’all.  First a high-profile journalist got detained at an airport like a terrorist suspect and then Bradley Manning, the soldier who got arrested in 2010 for handing over secret documents to WikiLeaks (a not-for-profit media organization that encourages whistleblowing via their handy-dandy anonymous dropbox-type contraption), received his sentence.  As his trial ended this week, three big things happened: first, he was given 35 years in military prison (could’a been worse but still… it’s being called draconian).

SATP manningSecond, it’s become clear that the atrocities Manning revealed (the US military killing civilians and then airstriking the evidence into oblivion, for example) aren’t really being dealt with as seriously as the ooh-he-revealed-our-secrets drama is — and, as ACLU rep Ben Wizner points out:

“When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system.”

Or, to put it even more bluntly:

SATP crimeOh, and third?  Manning?  More like Womanning, amirite?!  Ehem.  Bradley Manning is now Chelsea Manning.  And every news article about the ‘revelation’ (those paying attention to the trial saw it coming) covers Manning’s announcement and then awkwardly starts switching the pronoun thereafter.  Now, whether or not she‘s gonna get the hormone therapy she requests in jail is less obvious.  Three words: Kansas military prison.  Just sayin’.

goslingMajor zeitgeisty theme alert!  And I don’t mean Gosling.  This time.  The whole Manning saga, like the Snowden/NSA one, gets people talking about this inherent paradox of our Western culture that isn’t going away: the tension between the freedom we love and the importance of security measures to maintain said freedom, even if it limits it.  Or, as the upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch movie about Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange puts it much more elegantly (I’m not even kidding… that sounded like I was kidding), this is “a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society-and what are the costs of exposing them?”

2. A heroically brave woman named Antoinette Tuff prevented a school shooting in Georgia.  She’s awesome.  There are some lessons in empathy there.  Listen to the whole 911 call here, if you want proof.

SATP keep loving 3. This week in internetedness: Patton Oswalt taught conservatives a thing or two about context on Twitter.  A tiny, amazing short-short film encapsulates life.  And, of course, #batfleck.

SATP ben affleck(Did I mention I’m also a dialect coach?  Of course that’s the meme I’d pick.  Of course.)

Happy weekends, all!!


Quote of the Week:

SATP woody allen

4 thoughts on “SHMOOZE NEWS: Of Bravery Punished & Revered

  1. It’s interesting… I had heard Chelsea Manning tried to appear in court as a woman before the whole trial started, but the military refused (and I mean– I heard this in June at SF Pride). But, its just now entering the mainstream media (if you do a google advanced search trying to find news about it before this there is NOTHING out there). Also, it’s interesting that some news media outlets are refusing to refer to her as Chelsea— including NPR, because her name isn’t legally changed. Yet, the AP style book actually says you gotta go by the trans person’s wishes, Glaad has been trying to remind people what’s up . Gotta say, brave, brave woman.


  2. Wow to that map of protests around the world. What jumped out at me was KANSAS KANSAS KANSAS, protesting nonstop since 1979. Must be about abortion…


    1. Yes! If you read the below text it explains that that’s actually just a problem with the data — any non-specific US protest automatically shows up as Kansan. Not fair, really 🙂


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