Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Extrasolar planet surfaces in 360-degree-alternate reality, from "We the Curious"

 

My own train display, another world

We the Curious” provides a video showing the “surfaces” of at least four exosolar planets, intended to be viewed with 360-degree virtual reality headsets,

Shown are (1) the atmosphere of a hot Jupiter (2) an ocean planet (3) a planet covered with volcanoes (4) a planet more like Earth, but tidally locked around a red dwarf.  The video title says it shows 6 planets, but I counted only four.

The films were prepared at the University of Exeter, there are other videos.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

"Why Cockroaches Are So Hard to Kill", from Science Insider

Cockroach head

 

Science Insider presents the 4-minute film “Why Cockroaches Are So Hard to Kill”.

 

A super immune system, a huge number of olfactory an taster receptors make them able to eat anything.  The American cockroach has a very large genome.

If it is decapitated, the body can survive a week.

It also molts almost its entire body several times in growing into adulthood. 

Wikipedia embed: head of American cockroach 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

"Inside the George Floyd 'Autonomous Zone'", from News Nation Now, in Minneapolis

 

downtown Minneapolis, 2019

 

"Inside the George Floyd Memorial ‘Autonomous Zone’”, by NewNationNow.

Some persons manning the zone did now allow people from the public in to film (even though it is a public street) and when one person was shot in an incident, reportedly police and fire were not let in.

The intersection is 38th St and Chicago Ave, called the Phillips neighborhood. 

It is about a mile south of Lake Street, which connects Uptown to Highway 55.

I lived in Minneapolis 1997-2003m but downtown in the Churchill Apartments.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

"Red Rover": a "sci-fi short film about the end of the world"

 

Hudson Valley town, Oct 2014

The “Short of the Week” channel offers a 2014 film (in Feb. 2021), “Red Rover”, directed by Brooke Goldfinch.  The film was funded in Australia but is set in the Hudson Valley, New York. It calls itself a "Sci-Fi Short Film about the End of the World". 

The link is hereYT has marked this film as age-restricted (although it isn't really clear why). 

As an unstoppable asteroid approaches Earth, people prepare their last day.  A fundamentalist Christian family gets up its kids for one last breakfast.  The oldest sister encourages her teen brother and one other sibling not to eat the food but to take it and run out. 

The family dies immediately of poisoning, and the girl pukes on the way out.  They make it to town and find a sex orgy in a motel.  Then the go into the woods to meet their maker.

Starring Natale Racossin, Christopher Gray, and Idela Cory.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A preview of "Not Going Quietly" from SXSW, about activist Ady ABarkan, who has ALS

 

Austin, TX 2011

There is one other film to preview from SXSW, which I would expect to become available virtually (or maybe be released theatrically first) before too long, “Not Going Quietly”, directed by Nicholas Bruckman, a biography of activist Ady Barkan.

Barkan was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 at age 33, shortly after the birth of his son. He became an activist for health care reform (and practicing attorney), with a confrontation with Republican Senator Jeff Flake on a plane.

The major film about ALS from the past was “The Theory of Everything” (about Stephen Hawking, reviewed here Nov. 14, 2014).

Ford Fischer (News2Share) provided some health careprotest footage for this film, which won the SXSW award for Documentary Audience. 

This film might well fit PBS Independent Lens (hope they wouldn’t cut the 96 minutes to fit if they buy it;  PBS often cuts and over-frames the films it airs).

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

"How to Tell if You Are on the Autism Spectrum": the (evolutionary) value of absolute individualism

 

northern VA, right after 2016 election

A channel called “Aspergers from the Inside” offers at least three videos on how someone can determine if they are autistic (Aspergers is clinically seen as part of the autism spectrum), and the most important one is “Are You Undiagnosed Austistic? How to Tell If You are on the Autism Spectrum”, which was a “patron’s” choice (from Patreon).  The video is self-described as a “Part 2” (Dec. 2019).

The speaker, an articulate young British man, mentions three main signs: (1) you “feel different” (2) you find yourself not being believed by others (3) not being able to mix naturally into a group without a lot of conscious effort.

On the first point, he mentions asking one time as a boy if he was an “alien” from another planet. It would be like asking a cat to join a “pack” of dogs (or wolves). 

He also says that people with Aspergers are often targets of gaslighting in social situations.

Asperger’s might be a “genetic” adaptation to the reality that it is sometimes an advantage to be able to function well alone without others in the environment.  That is why (most species of) cats are more solitary than most dogs or canids, they have to be able to hunt and survive alone.  Persons on the high end of Asperger’s are often likely to question the motives of their “tribe” and less likely to join in with “solidarity” with others or believe in identarian theories of abuse (intersectionality).  Jordan Peterson seems to urge everyone to take on a pinch of Aspergers with his “clean your room” ideology.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

"FTL" ("Faster than Light") directed by Adam Stearn, short film

 

Kennedy Space Center, FL, 2015

“FTL”  (“Faster than Light”) directed by Adam Stearn (14 min, 2019)

A mission uses faster-than-light technology to reach Mars in 3 minutes (light would take 15 minutes under the best circumstances).

On the way back, the crew (Ethan Kane) the ship gets lost and is rescued by a bizarre spider-like alien spacecraft that recombines Ethan’s body in space suit in the driveway of his Florida home, to a loving family.

Monday, March 22, 2021

A preview of "Kid Candidate" from SXSW; a joke video leads to a city candidacy run for Amarillo, TX (on the high plains)

Palo Duro lighthouse

 

SXSW was held online 100% virtually March 16-March 20, and I discovered this morning that none of the films can be viewed right now,

But I found a video channel ("Office Hours Live") with Tim Heidecker, who interviews the director Jasmine Stodel and star Hayden Pedigo, of the documentary “Kid Candidate”.  Hayden made a joke video in 2018 about running for the Amarillo TX city council, and wound up being dared to do so.  The film “Kid Candidate” is about the campaign in 2019.  He lost.  But he actually spent effort on underserved minorities in the city.

From 48:00 to 1:00:00, Tim interviews both of them on this video.

Hayden also performs music, which can be accessed on his Instagram channel.

I moved from NYC to Dallas in January 1979 (stayed there until 1988) and in my first year there I did a one March Saturday SW Airlines Peanuts fare trip with car rental to Amarllio, and almost got fogged in returning home, in a normally dry place.   I also drove to the Palo Duro Canyon.

When I moved to Minneapolis in September 1997, after having authored my first DADT book, I met a Hamline University senior, Anthony Sanders, who sponsored my first lecture about my book at the campus.  He had run for the St. Paul MN city council in 1997 as the libertarian candidate at the age of 20 as I remember.

So I’ve seen this sort of narrative before in my own life.  I also remember the activity of “ballot access petitioning”.  Did Hayden have to do that in Amarillo?

Let’s home “Kid Candidate” gets distribution (Netflix?? Hulu??).

Stephanie Crawford has a twitter thread that discusses the rest of the 2021 SXSW.

In early March 2020, the in person SXSW was canceled for coronavirus, as a warning of the lockdowns to come.

Palo Duro canyon picture embed, Wikipedia, click for attribution.

 



Saturday, March 20, 2021

"Can Cats Recognize Their Owners?"

Felis silvestris catus lying on rice straw

 

Senior cat wellness asks “Can Cats Recognize their Owners?” (May 13, 2020)

Yes they do, but not from vision resembling faces, has human faces look the same to us, just as theirs might to us.  And they are farsighted.

But the do go by smell, sound, maybe magnetic fields.

When I lived in Dallas in a garden apartment 2nd floor, a neighborhood tom whom we named Timmy recognized the sound of my car and would run to the front to of my apartment, remembering exactly which one it was.

replacement apts on Lucas St in Oak Lawn, near Dallas North Tollway, where I lived in 1979


If he spent the night, he would come into the bedroom and knead the pillow if he had to go outside. "Mr. Clinton" on Louis Rossmann's channel is so much like Timmy (screaming at the mention of Cuomo) that I wonder if he is a reincarnation of Timmy. 

Wikipedia picture of a cat in a loaf position, embed, click for attribution 

Friday, March 19, 2021

"7 Reasons We Probably Live in a Simulation", from Unveiled

 

Arlington VA park, and a box

Unveiled has a plethora of videos about the idea we live in a simulation or matrix, and here is one, “7 Reasons We Probably Live in a Simulation”.

One of the best reasons from my perspective is so many ironic coincidences in my own life that are far more common than chance would predict.

The video also discusses “The Mandela Effect” and “déjà vu”, which I do experience.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

"The Complete Evergreen Story" following the 2017 Day of Absence

The Evergreen State College

 

Benjamin A. Boyce presents “The Complete Evergreen Story”, much of it told through meetings and interviews in July 2017, about the woke “day of absence” on the Evergreen State College Campus in 2017.

Dr. Bret Weinstein had refused to participate because it seemed like a group-oriented, reparative remedy that depended on arbitrary assignment of people into groups rather than their own individual actions.

Yet many (woke) students took the position that providing identity-based safe-spaces was necessary, otherwise the world would become a privilege-based meritocracy, and could navigate toward fascism.

This seems like a question of “mandatory socialization”.

The college is located in Olympia, Washington. The college has unusual approaches to curricula and majors, as Wikipedia explains.

Wikipedia embed of panorama of campus, click for attribution.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"The Seven People Who Can Turn Off the Internet", and it has nothing to do with the supposed "Internet kill switch"

 

Looks like a cochlea (VA Blueridge somewhere)

“Half AS Interesting” presents “The Seven People Who Can Turn off the Internet”.

The video (7 minutes) describes how the domain name and IP address system works, and how there is a complicated system of public and private keys (comparable to what exists for crypto currency) involved in resolving a domain name.  Ultimately, there are seven individuals responsible for the integrity of these keys.

No, I’m not one of them.

Sometimes you get a “can’t find DNS” or a NXT DOMAIN error, that seems to happen when the backbone companies that manage this setup have an issue (I think one of them is Century Link). One of my Wordpress sites sometimes gets one of these errors around 9 PM many night.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

"Abandoned: Memphis Pyramid": series looks at abandoned monoliths

Bass Pro Shop, Memphis, TN (33126417384)

 

Bright Sun Films presents “Abandoned: Memphis Pyramid”

It is part of a series of abandoned construction projects. 

At one time, in the 1950s, developers want to put up three pyramids on the Mississippi river.

When plans for a basketball arena floundered, it became a shopping mall, and there was interest from fast food chains.  I drove past it in a visit in 1992. 

Picture: Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Monday, March 15, 2021

New Mexico State University graduate student Andrew Dotson makes higher math entertaining: "Reimann Curvature Tensor"

LasCruces NewMexico ISS011-E-8410

 

New Mexico State University graduate student Andrew Dotson makes higher math entertaining with his 42 minute lecture  Reimann Curvature Tensor”, which is Episode 15 of his “Tensor Calculus” series.

One aspect that is interesting is how he presents his material using video editing and an interesting setup of devices in his apartment, which creates a particularly effective blackboard (or whiteboard), so this video may be interesting to other YouTubers wanting to polish their style of presentation and make it more professional.

Tensor calculus can describe what it would be like to live on other surfaces, like inside an O’Neill Cylinder in outer space (“Rendez-vous with Rama”), or maybe a Klein Bottle if we could become 4-dimensional beings (well maybe we can through dreams, if you ask Christopher Nolan (“Inception”)).

Dotson begins each video with “hello smart people”, but sometimes he touches on subjects covered by other college YouTubers (especially John Fish at Harvard).  He is particularly interested in the right place for graduate school and advanced degrees in theoretical subjects. 

One question would be, whether this branch of mathematics really will show us how to move to Space if we have to (we will some day; even without the pressure of Global warming now, the Earth would warm up anyway because of the Sun in a few hundred million years).

He also talks about partial differential equations, a dreaded subject at KU for me in 1966 because it was poorly presented (then).

KU McCollum Hall dorm, 2006, now torn down and replaced (I was there 1966-67). 

Picture: Wikipedia embed of NASA picture of Las Cruces NM from space, PD, click for attribution 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

"Asking Online Strangers for Advice" from Perspectopia (Max Reisinger)

 

UNC Chapel Hill, April 2015

Asking Online Strangers for Advice”, edited and directed by Max Reisinger, for his new Perspectopia channel and clothing business. 

The channel also has an earlier film of how Max selected YouTube partners for his business. The real point of reviewing this film is to discuss how teen entrepreneurs are quickly organizing, even in the middle of a pandemic (or hopefully toward the end now).

The current film (9 minutes) comprises short testimonials by young people, one of which says “be kind, and not just because people are kind to you.”  I’ve seen similar sentiments on Twitter from Trey Yingst (formerly News2share, now Fox correspondent from Israel), and from the “real” David Hogg (a 19 year old in North Carolina, going to UNC Charlotte and working in the real world for a grocer).  For the record, Max himself has yet to turn 18, and is finishing his last year of high school at UNC Chapel Hill (some of it virtual).  Max covers topics for young adults in a manner that reminds me of John Fish (21, Harvard), Nate O’Brien (22 years old, I think, Santrel Media in Philadelphia), and even Tyler Mowery’s screenwriting channels (2 of them).  All of these influencers talk about the importance of reading a lot of books, including fiction.

While mentioning companies started by very young people, we have to mention “that” David Hogg (Harvard) and his new pillow company, Good Pillow, with William LeGate. Yes, the motive for the company is partly political (anti-Trump), and we won’t get into that right now.  On the other hand, the “real” David Hogg at UNC sells sewn potholders and other hand art woodwork.  To an outsider, it looks like there is synergy between these companies and maybe they could work together.

In one earlier video, Max showed how he imprints his Perspectopia T-shirts or jackets with a press in his home.   The Perspectopia channel page shows a drawing of an alien city.

All of them have mentioned how they relate to investors and spend time on business proposals.  The Harvard David Hogg even showed a daily schedule for a Monday, where he would do school homework and meet with investors, and get up at 3:30 AM.  He used a planner that looked motivated by John Fish’s growth notebook.  The two David Hogg’s, if claiming opposite political loyalties, are more alike than they think.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

1950s High School Dress Club and Classroom Management (as per David Hoffman)

 

My high school, 1961 (Washington-Liberty now, Arlington VA)

David Hoffman Has Some Fun with 1950s High School Dress Codes.  Did They Work?” (Sept 2020). 

Well, sort of.

But two-thirds of the film shows a middle school math teacher, a Mr. Grimes, try two different styles of “classroom management”. The class is ninth grade, which used to be "junior high school".  After my time it moved to senior high school.  He finally has to teach the concept of ratios.  (No Hilbert spaces this time.)

With the first style, he is antagonistic and has severe discipline problems.

With the replay, he is more laid back and gets better, though not perfect behavior.

When I worked as a substitute teacher, 2004-2007, at least with middle school, classroom discipline was an issue.  I was too laid back to intervene in situations I had no real knowledge of.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Disney rates four of its classic films as not for kids now because of stereotypes

New Switzerland

 

The Walt Disney Company has removed four of its classic films from its app offerings for kids (still available for adults).  Why dies this remind me of COPPA and YouTube's "made for kids" at the end of 2019 (when life was still normal). 

They are “Dumbo”, “Peter Pan”, “The Swiss Family Robinson”, and “The Aristocats”.

I remember seeing Dumbo as a boy;  Peter Pan has been remade as a musical, and I recall reading “The Swiss Family Robinson”.

Screenrant has a description of what stereotype support Disney found necessary for self-censorship. Dumbo accidentally walks into "Jim Crow" territory, quite literally.  As the article says, "stories matter". 

Picture: Map of “New Switzerland” in “Swiss Family Robinson”, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution

Thursday, March 11, 2021

"What Was the First Virus?" short from the "History of the Earth" channel

SARS-CoV-2 genome

 

What Was the First Virus?”, from the History of the Earth, researched and written by Leila Battison, narrated and edited by David Kelly, and Art by Khail Kupsky.

The film starts out by describing how soldiers brought smallpox to Rome from afar at around 100 AD, and were horribly disfigured when they survived.

Viruses are depicted as being possibly “progressive”, “regressive” (from former cells) or even originating in replicating molecules (which might happen in the lakes of Titan). 

An interesting point was that some bacteria have regressed to becoming parts of mitochondria of cells or larger organisms. 

Retroviruses are particularly effective at creating new genetic material to become part of higher organisms, like the placenta of mammals.

Wikipedia embed of Wuhan-Ju-1 first SARS_CoV2 virus, p.d., click for attribution. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

What should a proposed film treatment (leading to the spec script) comprise?

 

fortune telling ad road sign in Spanish

Shane Stanley, “Writing a Treatment and Synopsis for a Screenplay”

Stanley suggests that a treatment, besides a logline and tagline, would include a functional summary of the components of the work

For example a paragraph for each of the five acts (Freytag or “Shakespeare” structure).  But there are other models, such as Don Harmon’s story circle, or Michael Hauge’s Six Parts (similar to Freytag but there seem to be two critical points of plot turns in his model).

If you were submitting a treatment for copyright there might be a question as to who owns the “structure” you are using (legally). 

But the basic parts of any story can be aggregated and numbered into various steps and sub-steps,

I think, especially in science fiction, you need to summarize the “rules” in your world.  This may lead to a political structure which could become disturbing or controversial.  Imagine how alien civilizations, maybe on more than one planet, could have had to deal with race or even gender and sexuality. (I still wait for a movie on Clive Barker’s “Imajica”.

You would want to list the major characters and suggest a character arc for the major ones.

Stanley suggests specifying alternative possible endings.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

"Day in the Life as a Ballet Dancer": 20 years old, "studying" in Germany

Stadtbild München


Tristan Simpson renders “Day in the Life as a Ballet Dancer”.

Tristan says he is 20 years old and is from the US but studying in Germany. The video was shot recently, just with a preview of spring.

He says his mornings are free, but include a regular gym workout (which he is allowed to film – just himself), and then class (with all the usual stretches) in the afternoon.

Two-thirds through the video (12 min), yes, he shows up close enough that you see that he shaves his legs for tights, but not close.  I don’t think I’ve had a video about a swimmer, or a biker.

Wikipedia embed, Munich, click for attribution 


Monday, March 08, 2021

"What to Do Before Making Your Video": advice from senior documentary filmmaker David Hoffman

 

W Va Allegheny Mountain on US50 2009

David Hoffman:  What to Do Before Making Your Video” (Jan 22, 2021)

He particularly talks about setting up situational videos where the reaction of the subject to the surprise circumstances is the reason for the video. So you could film a celebrity to get their reaction to a surprise filming.  Some of his advice might apply to filming demonstrations and protests, or maybe even the police.  He presumably is emphasizing YouTube, or perhaps a short film for a festival submission.

He also talks about getting liability insurance and mentions two times he was sued.  One time a doctor sued him for referring to the doctor as a hippy, but the court bought the argument that no harm was shown.  But another time his filming a teenage girl led (supposedly) to her being bullied at school, but still the case got dismissed.

This short is apparently #5 in a series, and he says he has a sequence of lessons on Skillshare.

Sunday, March 07, 2021

"Gone with the Wind" now stirs up calls for censorship among anti-racism proponents

 

Modern Atlanta, airport, 2014

Recently we’ve been hearing more scuttlebutt of sales of classic movies from the past that show African-Americans in a bad light in today’s cultural standards, despite historical relevance.

The most notorious of these is “Gone with the Wind” (old legacy review by me), directed by Victor Flemming and George Cukor, Selznick International and MGM, which I saw twice as a child (the first time on a long Sunday afternoon at the Arlington theater around 1954), based on Margaret Mitchell’s one novel (1936).  My parents had the Motion Picture Edition of the book with heavy technicolor illustrations.

Jennifer Schuessler had described the controversy for the New York Times in June 2020, here

A few of the most controversial scenes from the book were changed in the movie.

It’s a story of resilience, of a girl who seems spoiled, loses it and gets is back, and loses it (love) again.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

"The Plot Against the President": a "conservative" film accuses Democrats of undermining the peaceful transfer of power in 2017, as Trump took office

 

Protest sign day after Trump's inauguration in 2017

The Plot Against the President” (Oct. 2020) is not well known as a film outside of conservative circles, but it surely must have been shown at CPAC recently in Orlando.  It is directed by Amanda Milius, and based on the book by Lee Smith “The Plot Against the President: The True Story of how Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History”, published by Center Street (which also published Andy Ngo’s “Unmasked”).  The film distributor seems to be Turn Key Films.   Right off the bat, the movie title reminds me of a little known Irving Wallace novel, “The Plot”, from the 1960s.

The basic irony is that the Democrats, according to this film, not only colluded illegally to prevent Trump from winning (and failed), they also tried to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power in 2017 (and I saw no real evidence of that).  Today, we know what happened after the 2020 election and on January 6 (which will generate a major PBS movie soon). 

The narration goes at breakneck pace, so it’s easier to give the basic references on Wikipedia, to the Nunes Memo, a link that also produces the 4-page PDF.  There are accusations of improper surveillance of Carter Page, accusing him of setting up deals with the Russians for his own benefit.  We could pass along the summary of the MuellerReport on supposed ties of Trump to Russia. An important figure in all of this was George Papadopoulos.

The film makes many other ironic points.  One is that a private citizen cannot legally conduct “diplomacy” outside of the government or State Department.  I have come close to doing that on at least one occasion. It talks about quasi-memes like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and the “Three Jump Rule”, which made it easy (supposedly) to go after Steve Bannon after first doing Carter Page.  They note that it is not legal for a private citizen or journalist to disclose classified information that “they” (watch my pronouns!) come in touch with, but, oh no, CNN can read it to you.  There is a lot of material on how FISA works in the film.

The music score by Stephen Limbaugh sounds rather post-romantic. 

Armond White has a useful discussion in National Review of the film.

Tatiana Siegel writes  in Hollywood Reporter that the film was held up by Amazon for “content review” before allowed on its platform, where it can be watched free by Amazon Prime members.  Now that is the process that self-publishing platforms use to clear self-published books for legal risks and, they say, hate speech.

Friday, March 05, 2021

"Escape from Hong Kong" (DW Documentary) as activists and journalists seek asylum in Britain

Cross Harbour Tunnel (1)

 

Escape from Hong Kong: A New Life in Exile”, a 29-minute film (2020) by Nicole Krattli, posted by DW Documentary on March 2, 2021. 

Direct link to play on YouTube.  Note the embed gives you this (image). 


China has indeed hastened on its end of the bargain of “one country, two systems” as in the past few years it has cracked down on criticism of China and of pro-democracy for Hong Kong, particularly with the massive protests in 2019, just before the pandemic.

The film traces four young men who have emigrated and sought political asylum in Britain (as Hong Kong was at one time a crown colony).  One of them, in particular, has no employment and seeks income from a blog (no link given).  They could face danger from hits from China (that’s more common with Putin and Russia). The UK used to extend just six months of asylum but now it is essentially five years.

YouTube places the video under age-restricted community guidelines, despite the absence of sex and minimal violence (in a few demonstration scenes), maybe because of political sensitivity.  You have to be logged on to your Google account to watch.  I've embedded an explanatory video from Vox from 2019 on the overall situation. 


Wikipedia embed of Cross Harbor Tunnel, click for attribution

Thursday, March 04, 2021

“I Hated 1950s Physical Education: Here’s Why”, according to filmmaker David Hoffman

 

D in tumbling, 1959 PE

 

David Hoffman presents, “I Hated 1950s Physical Education: Here’s Why” (22 min).

Hoffman presents a PTA meeting in 1956 where parents and teachers discussed whether kids needed organized instruction in “play”.

The film offers a newsreel-style argument for socialization, learning to compete as part of a team,

But it’s also interesting that during the Eisenhower years, the military had noticed that American boys were not as fit as European boys.

We had pretty well organized phys ed, and I was not good at it.  But one time I “pitched” a shutout of 3 innings in softball (a one strike rule) and hit a singe-turned-home run when it skipped between the outfielders with no outfield fence.

We did not have swimming in high school, and I had to deal with it in college.

But the very worst topic for me was tumbling.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

"A Fresh Start: From an African Refugee Camp to the U.S."

Entebbe vue du ciel

 

DW Documentary (Germany) offers “A Fresh Start” (42 min), directed by Gregoire Gosset, with the long time “From an African Refugee Camp to the U.S.”.

The film tracks several people from Uganda to the United States being settled as refugees.  One of the most important is a father with five children, who had fled genocide in the Congo in 1996 to Entebbe in Uganda. The closeness and warmth of the family in crowded circumstances is very noticeable, but it would make the family vulnerable to Covid anywhere in the world until vaccinated. They will have a better chance of getting vaccinated here. 

Generally, families are housed in setaside apartments and entire group, often a church, looks after them.  Sponsorship in the United States, outside large organizations, is usually limited to blood family.  Maybe that will change under Biden.  In Canada, groups of individuals up to five can agree to be responsible for supporting a refugee (or sometimes an asylum seeker) for up to a year. In the gay community, people sometimes house asylum seekers themselves (I considered this in 2016), and that can bring additional personal risks (including now Covid).  

The family mentioned above is settled in Chicago.  The film tracks a couple other men, one of whom his hitchhiking to meet up with a fiancée already in the US in Salt Lake City.

Wikipedia embed of Entebbe, click for attribution. 

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Interesting film clip from David Hoffman of a sharecropper interview on Senator James Eastland's plantation in 1964

 

scene near Tupelo MS 2014

David Hoffman, 78-year-old filmmaker, presents a video “He Risked His Life Filming a Mississippi Senator’s Plantation in 1964”.

One of Hoffman’s colleagues recorded the interview on Senator James Eastland’s plantation, in a house lived in “for free for life” by sharecroppers, although there was a catch.  Eastland was an ardent segregationist and went out of his way to reduce benefits for blacks returning from the military after WWII and the Korean War.  

Many of the “houses” were not any larger than outhouses or privies.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Golden Globes, held virtually, stirs discussion about black representation in the sponsoring Foreign Press Association

 

New Orleans FQ, 2006

NBC aired the Golden Globe’s later-than-usual award ceremony Sunday night, Feb. 28, with introductions by SNL’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as hosts, and the biggest controversy seemed to be the lack of black persons in the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Yahoo! news story.  

A highlight of the evening was the posthumous award to Chadwick Boseman for best actor in a drama, as Levee in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, by George C. Wolfe, a Netflix film. Boseman died at 44 if aggressive colon cancer, a young age for this malignancy.

 Ford Fischer notes that he has been credited now in Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe awards, since “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won for best comedy.  Best picture was the underwhelming “Nomadland with Frances McDormand. 

Here is the list of winners (NY Times).