The obvious comparison for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, given their similar Oscar-bait pedigrees and chronological proximity, is to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Both tackle the subject of slavery, both return the national gaze to our most tragic and indefensible moment, and both emphasize, in particular, the horrors of the lash of involuntary servitude. And yet, the differences between Tarantino and McQueen’s films illustrate the particular nature of McQueen’s triumph.
|By: Saul Austerlitz Wednesday October 16, 2013 5:40 pm|
|By: Nicholas Guyatt Sunday January 20, 2013 1:59 pm|
Marcus Rediker’s new book, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, revisits one of the most stirring episodes in American history: the revolt aboard the Cuban schooner Amistad in July 1839, during which a small group of enslaved Africans seized control of the vessel and tried to sail home. Tricked by one of their former captors, whom they had relied upon to steer the ship, they drifted northwards instead of eastwards – all the way to Long Island, where they were apprehended by the U.S. Navy at the end of August. The Africans were taken to a jail in Connecticut and spent the next year-and-a-half challenging the U.S. legal system to secure their freedom – and at last to win their passage home.
|By: Peterr Saturday January 19, 2013 9:05 am|
On the eve of President Obama’s second inaugural address, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s, delivered on the eve of both the end of the Civil War and his own assassination. Lincoln packed more into four paragraphs than others can deliver in forty pages, and every president since him dreams of trying to get even close to his eloquence. The last paragraph of that speech gets enormous attention — as it should — but if one doesn’t see what Lincoln does in the first three, that last immortal paragraph is robbed of its full power, and the powerful vision of the future he paints remains just that: a vision of the future.
|By: Rev. Irene Monroe Wednesday January 2, 2013 1:50 pm|
The original purpose for the document core to President Abraham Lincoln’s presidency may have been to free slaves; or it may have been solely a strategic move to decimate the Confederate troops stronghold in the South and win the Civil War. Its purpose was probably a little bit of both. Regardless of Lincoln’s intent, my ancestors named the day of Lincoln’s signing of this historic document Jubilee Day. Many African Americans continue to celebrate Jubilee Day with a New Year’s Eve church service called “Watch Night Service.”
|By: masaccio Sunday December 23, 2012 11:00 am|
The problem is that the demands of conservatives are out of control. They utterly reject the power of the mind to reason to a plausible understanding of moral values and their application to complex circumstances. Conservatives only use reason to extend by remorseless logic the demands of their primal moral feelings. They do not see that their views, when pushed to their logical limits, are incoherent.
The Newtown murders are a perfect demonstration of that incoherence.
|By: David Dayen Monday November 26, 2012 1:23 pm|
And now, here’s my entry in the “Why the movie Lincoln is not a plausible model for political debates of the recent past and future.”
|By: Peterr Monday August 20, 2012 4:15 pm|
To people here in Missouri, Akin’s comments were not terribly surprising. Akin is a known commodity — known to be highly conservative and well in keeping with a non-trivial slice of the Missouri electorate.
Like Br’er Rabbit telling Br’er Fox not to throw him in the briar patch, Claire McCaskill ran ads on Fox News during the GOP primary fight, calling Akin “too conservative for Missouri”. With an endorsement like that, conservatives in the GOP primary race were happy to hand Akin a victory with 36% of the vote.
|By: Eli Tuesday June 19, 2012 6:01 pm|
So, apparently Not-Joe The Not-Plumber is running for Congress, and based on this campaign video he appears to believe that: 1) Obama and the Democrats are on the verge of implementing draconian gun control. 2) Gun control is a precursor to genocide. 3) If not for gun control, Jews and Armenians would have been armed [...]
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 19, 2012 6:45 am|
I wrote last Friday about the forced labor situation perpetrated on guest workers at a seafood supplier for Wal-Mart in Louisiana. Now, the National Guestworker Alliance, the feisty labor rights group which helped a group of exploited foreign exchange students at a Hershey chocolate factory get justice last year, will take these guest workers on the road to New York City, to challenge Wal-Mart and its subsidiaries at their corporate headquarters and their homes.
|By: David Dayen Friday June 15, 2012 5:16 pm|
Wal-Mart is under fire after guest workers at a seafood supplier of theirs in the Gulf Coast went on strike, alleging slave labor conditions and 24-hour work shifts.