News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

If there’s a word that sums up the past decade of politics, it might be “revolt.”

A revolt against elites. A revolt against liberal democracy. A revolt against the status quo. The seminal events of the 2010s felt like a collective “no” to the entire system.

In 2014, a book called The Revolt of the Public was published without much fanfare. The author was Martin Gurri, a former CIA analyst who spent most of his career studying politics and the global information landscape. The book has since become a favorite of Silicon Valley types as well as people interested in technology and politics (an updated edition was republished last year).

From our perch at the end of the decade, Gurri’s book reads like prophecy. He argued that the digital revolution would transform the information space and empower the public to participate more and more in politics. That empowerment would create an impulse to revolt against the dominant institutions of society — government, media, the academy, etc. — and the elites who run them.

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Martin Scorsese is the most alive he’s been in his work in a long time, brimming with renewed passion for filmmaking and invigorated by the reception that has greeted his latest gangland magnum opus, “The Irishman.”

And what he wants to talk about is death.

Just to be clear, he’s not talking about the deaths in his movies or anyone else’s. “You just have to let go, especially at this vantage point of age,” he said one Saturday afternoon last month.

The 77-year-old director was stretched out in a comfortable chair in a living room of his Manhattan townhouse, a seat he would rise from several times when a whimsical mood struck him during a spirited conversation about mortality and its inevitability.

As he explained, Scorsese was talking about setting aside his expectations for “The Irishman.” But he also meant relinquishing physical possessions: “The point is to get rid of everything now,” he said, in his trademark mile-a-minute clip. “You’ve got to figure out who gets what or not.” And the last step in this process is to let go of existence itself, as we all must.

“Often, death is sudden,” he continued. “If you’re given the grace to continue working, then you’d better figure out something that needs telling.”

He found that inspiration in “The Irishman,” his mammoth dramatization of the life of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a mob enforcer who claimed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

It was not an angst-free undertaking for Scorsese — his movies never are — as he struggled with the idea of making another film set in the world of organized crime and hesitated about pursuing the project with Netflix instead of a traditional studio.

But what compelled him to abide these uncertainties was a story that went well past the scope of “Goodfellas” or “Casino,” to the waning days of Sheeran’s life, when he is left alone to contemplate the morality of his deeds. In words that Scorsese knew would resonate beyond the framework of “The Irishman” he said, “It’s all about the final days. It’s the last act.”

He may occasionally talk like someone with nothing left to lose, when he is candidly holding forth on comic-book movies, the treatment of women in his films or what he feels is his tenuous place in the current film industry.

But Scorsese remains deeply invested in his career, after more than half a century, and while “The Irishman” could easily provide a fitting coda, he has no intention of stopping here.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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The morning of January 24th 1966 brought snow to Chamonix. Grey clouds softened the outlines of the larch trees above the French Alpine village. Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest peak at 4,807 metres, lies 10km to the south. It was shrouded in cloud. Just before 11am, a gust of wind dispersed the fog and the snowfields on the summit appeared. But they were no longer pristine. An observer spotted peculiar black marks speckling the landscape.

In the cramped office of the local mountain-rescue police, the telephone rang incessantly. An Air India Boeing 707 named the Kanchenjunga, carrying 117 people, had been due to arrive in Geneva at 8.02am. But it was nowhere to be seen. Mountain guides and gendarmes from across Chamonix were mustered.

Georges Payot, now a sprightly octogenarian but then 28 years old, remembers being told, “There’s an accident on Mont Blanc. We have to go to help.” The day suddenly seemed sickeningly familiar to him. Sixteen years earlier another plane, the Malabar Princess, carrying eight crew and 40 passengers, had also gone missing while heading for Geneva. It came down close to the Rocher de la Tournette, a rocky spur that lies just below the ice cap on the summit of Mont Blanc. If a plane were to clip the Alps anywhere, then the massif’s highest part was the obvious place. The coincidence was nonetheless uncanny. Even more extraordinarily, the Malabar Princess also belonged to Air India.

Read the rest of this article at: 1847 Magazine

News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Adam Driver has resting sphinx face.

I don’t say this because of his memorably unusual features, though a long nose, full lips, and paintbrush flick of moles and freckles certainly help give Driver an outsized countenance. It’s more that he has a manner so resolute that when some emotion does manage to escape — whether through a glint in his eyes or the unpredictable undulations of his voice — that transgression can’t help but take you by surprise.

This remains true no matter how often you watch him, and in 2019, you may have watched him quite a bit. In the spring, Driver could be seen simultaneously in “Burn This” on Broadway and Jim Jarmusch’s zombie film, “The Dead Don’t Die,” and three more of his movies spilled forth in the last two months: “The Report,” in which he played a Senate staffer investigating the government’s use of torture; “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” featuring his third and final appearance as the tormented Kylo Ren; and “Marriage Story,” which cast him as a theater director navigating a custody dispute with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

It was during a clip of the latter that I watched Driver watch himself at the Gotham Awards in New York in early December, where he was nominated for best actor. Viewing his own work is not among his favorite activities, Driver had told me earlier that day: He can’t help but become consumed with what he perceives as his mistakes, even though he knows deep down that with anyone else’s work, it’s the imperfections he always finds most fascinating.

Driver, 36, has so far avoided watching nearly every screen appearance he has made, whether it was in “Girls,” the HBO series that gave him his breakout role, or the movies he’s starred in for prestigious directors like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee. “Marriage Story” falls into that category, and a week after the Gothams, it was reported that he walked out of an interview with NPR when an engineer played a clip of his performance from the film.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 01.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It really wasn’t much of an exchange. Jared Johns had met a young woman on a dating site, swapped messages, and sent her a photo of himself in a baseball cap. She’d responded with one of herself, lying down in a lacy bra. Jared grinned as he typed out a message on his iPhone’s scuffed screen.

“I’m a us army veteran I’m a father of two.. 3 if you count my dog,” Jared wrote. “I just got out of a relationship with my youngest sons mother and I’m looking for friends to hang out and chat with and maybe more later.”

“Sound interesting well I’m originally from Myrtle Beach and now live in Greenville with my parents. I’ll be 18 in a few weeks,” replied the girl.

They swapped a few more messages; she asked Jared how old he was and he told her he was 24. Then he pocketed his phone and got on with his day. That brief conversation turned out to be the worst mistake of Jared’s life.

Jared had wanted to be a soldier ever since he was 7. That’s how old he was on September 11, 2001, when he saw the Twin Towers collapse in smoke and fire on television and heard President George W. Bush declare that America was under attack. That day, Jared turned to his family and announced that he was going to join the Army when he grew up, just like his grandpa and his uncles.

That wasn’t an unusual ambition in Jared’s hometown of Greenville, a riverside manufacturing city in the foothills of western South Carolina. Still, Jared wasn’t exactly the most macho type by the time he hit high school. He loved chorus, and many of his friends were gay. “We can be manly, but also we have a feminine side,” says his twin brother Jacob. “We got bullied because of that.”

While Jared was still a lean, mop-topped high school junior, a friend joined the Army and was sent to Afghanistan. Just 19 days into his deployment, the friend was killed by a roadside bomb. Half the town turned out for the funeral.

“Please don’t go!” Jared’s mother, Kathy Bowling, begged him. “This is why I don’t want you to go!”

“This is why I have to go,” he told her.

Two months after he graduated, in May 2012, Jared packed his bags to join the Army. In his spare time during training, he recorded videos of himself in his camouflage uniform, singing pop songs and Christian hymns, which he uploaded to his YouTube channel. He was deployed to Afghanistan less than a year later, manning a .50-caliber gun atop a Buffalo, a moving-truck-sized armored vehicle.

Jared had wanted to see combat, but the reality of it hit him harder than he’d imagined. He was terrified one night when his base came under rocket fire. Two of his buddies were blown up in a truck. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Jared told his brother about one particular firefight where he was blasting away with the .50-caliber gun. “I don’t know for sure, but I might have killed a child,” he told Jacob. He didn’t want to say much more about it.

After a patrol in Kandahar Province one day, Jared injured his back while getting off the Buffalo. He was flown to a hospital on a base in Germany. There, the doctors put him on painkillers and told him he couldn’t go back into combat. After barely six months in the field, he was done as war-fighter.

Stuck on base, his ambitions crushed, Jared started coming unglued. He hit the bars every night, drinking heavily. He got a local woman pregnant. He was caught driving drunk and confined to barracks. He made a clumsy suicide attempt with pills, which got him placed in psychiatric care for a few days. By October 2015 he was discharged and back home in Greenville.

Though his parents, sister, and two brothers gave him a hero’s welcome, Jared was lost. “All my life I wanted to be a soldier, and now I can’t do that,” he told Jacob. “I just feel worthless.” He bounced from job to job and between his divorced parents’ houses. As the months went by, his once muscular physique turned soft. Jared had nightmares and occasional panic attacks and got into bar fights. He was diagnosed with PTSD and prescribed antidepressants. Stuck for a job, he bought a Jeep and started driving for Uber. Over Kathy’s objections, he also bought a stubby black 9-mm pistol to keep in the car, for protection.

By mid-2018, though, things were looking up. He was dating a local girl. He had a dog, a lively German shepherd he called Tex. He’d landed a great job for a chatterbox like him, selling phones and internet service plans at the local AT&T store, and he and Jacob had moved into an apartment with a balcony overlooking the complex’s pool. The brothers would cook, watch football games, stream Netflix with their girlfriends. Once a week they’d have dinner with their mom and then go into town to drink tequila and sing at DT’s, their favorite karaoke bar. Just about every time, Jared would wail through his three signature songs—“Drops of Jupiter,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “No Diggity.”

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

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