A new anthology of the work of Harry Belafonte, pictured here in the nineteen-forties or fifties, reiterates his standing in American music. PHOTOGRAPH BY BETTMANN / GETTY
There was an editorial a few days ago that alerted us to the birthdays of two buddies, each on icon in his own right, who have 70 years of solidarity in the tough times, and best of times too. It also alerted us to the time since our last post with the model mad theme, so here is one more:
By Amanda Petrusich
Sixty-one years ago, in 1956, Harry Belafonte recorded a version of the Jamaican folk song “Day-O,” for his third studio album, “Calypso.” It opens with a distant and eager rumbling—as if something dark and hulking were approaching from a remote horizon. Belafonte—who was born in Harlem in 1927, but lived with his grandmother in a wooden house on stilts in Aboukir, a mountain village in Jamaica, for a good chunk of his childhood—bellows the title in a clipped island pitch. The instrumentation is spare and creeping. His voice bounces and echoes as it moves closer. It sounds like a call to prayer. Continue reading
In the face of Trump, many artists report feelings of paralysis. Should they carry on as before, nobly defying the ruination of public discourse? Or seize on a new mission, abandoning the illusion of aesthetic autonomy? PHOTOGRAPH BY ERICH AUERBACH/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY
Alex Ross asks the right question, in our view of the importance of finding a new model of behavior to reflect mad, with his opening question and the whole first paragraph prepares you for a worthy read:
What is the point of making beautiful things, or of cherishing the beauty of the past, when ugliness runs rampant? Those who work in the realm of the arts have been asking themselves that question in recent weeks. Continue reading
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry is one of Under Armour’s highest-paid endorsers. Credit Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.
Still no shortage of model mad stories two weeks in to this series. Are we all ready to “jump off” like this man, who put a good portion of his livelihood on the line to speak his mind:
Stephen Curry became the latest athlete to weigh in on President Trump when he took issue with comments made about the president by the chief executive of his primary sponsor, Under Armour.
In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Under Armour’s Kevin Plank described Trump as “a real asset” to the country.
In an interview on Wednesday with The San Jose Mercury News, Curry responded, Continue reading
The Cold War–era writings of the Czech writer Václav Havel offer ideas on how dissidents can resist “the irrational momentum of anonymous, impersonal, and inhuman power.”PHOTOGRAPH BY MIROSLAV ZAJIC / CORBIS VIA GETTY
This post by Pankaj Mishra fits the bill for the theme we have been following, as the excerpted several paragraphs below will illustrate:
…Born in 1936, Havel came of age in Czechoslovakia, whose Communist rulers repeatedly imprisoned and continuously surveilled him while suppressing many of his writings. Defiant right until 1989, when he engineered the fall of the Communist regime, Havel came to be celebrated in the West as a “dissident,” a word commonly used to describe many in Communist countries who valiantly struggled against a pitiless despotism. Continue reading
Mother Jones staffers celebrate after winning the 2017 Magazine of the Year award.
We are not normally watching awards shows, but this story catches our attention because of some notable winners in the world of magazines, some of which we monitor regularly for stories relevant to our purpose. And in particular at this moment, when we have been monitoring the news for examples of creative protest, we realize that we had neglected or avoided some of these publications because of their partisan positioning (there is enough of that without our joining in). But this magazine today joins our list of regularly monitored sources because they have been relentlessly pursuing important stories, for a long time: Continue reading
“K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I)” right, by Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
When the two words model mad first occurred to us, it was simply to thank one of our favorite people for continuing to resist wrongness in new, clever manner, without losing his cool and thereby keeping it effective. Since then we have found a story almost every day that illustrates the fertile ground of protest created in recent times. And today, thanks to the New York Times, we see another one:
President Trump’s executive order banning travel and rescinding visas for citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations does not lack for opponents in New York — from Kennedy Airport, where striking taxi drivers joined thousands of demonstrators, to the United Nations, whose new secretary general, António Guterres, said the measures “violate our basic principles.”
Now the Museum of Modern Art — which in past decades has cultivated a templelike detachment — is making its voice heard as well. In one of the strongest protests yet by a major cultural institution, the museum has reconfigured its fifth-floor permanent-collection galleries — interrupting its narrative of Western Modernism, from Cézanne through World War II — to showcase contemporary art from Iran, Iraq and Sudan, whose citizens are subject to the ban. A Picasso came down. Matisse, down. Ensor, Boccioni, Picabia, Burri: They made way for artists who, if they are alive and abroad, cannot see their work in the museum’s most august galleries. (A work from a Syrian artist has been added to the film program. The other affected countries are Somalia, Yemen and Libya.) Continue reading
Thanks to the New Yorker website for this one. No image required. These two paragraphs say plenty about a model mad governor of one state of the union that is resisting the dark clouds of the new political climate, but do read the whole post:
…“At my age, I can go pretty solidly for twelve hours,” Brown, who is fifty-six years old, said. “So, if you have a nine-to-five job, that gives you a couple of hours to be at your local airport to protest the immigration order. Continue reading
Travis Kalanick wrote in an email to Uber staff on Thursday that he stepped down after he spoke with Trump about his immigration executive order ‘and its issues for our community’. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
We appreciate the Guardian’s continued attention to stories that illustrate model mad
actions, wherever or however they might happen. The fertility of the soil, the richness of the ecosystem in which people are expressing themselves in novel model mad manner, is helping us imagine we will see through the dark cloud sooner rather than later:
Utah’s congressional delegation has vigorously fought to open Ute tribal land, currently partially protected by the Bears Ears National Monument, above, to drilling. Photograph: Francisco Kjolseth/AP
Thanks to the Guardian for first bringing this to our attention, another example of model mad, and a pretty big deal too:
A women’s march in Fairbanks, Alaska, last month. The movement inspired a group of scientists to organize their own demonstration in Washington. Credit Robin Wood/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, via Associated Press
We have not had a shortage of model mad stories, which may be the silver lining to the cloud, so thanks to the Science section of the New York Times for this contribution:
Within a week of its creation, the March for Science campaign had attracted more than 1.3 million supporters across Facebook and Twitter, cementing itself as a voice for people who are concerned about the future of science under President Trump.
Now, hoping to transform that viral success into something approaching the significance of the women’s march last month, the campaign has scheduled its demonstration in Washington for Earth Day, April 22. Continue reading
Multiple Twitter accounts claiming to be run by members of the National Park Service and other U.S. agencies have appeared since the Trump administration’s apparent gag order. The account owners are choosing to remain anonymous. David Calvert/Getty Images
Thanks to Wynne Davis at National Public Radio (USA) for It’s Not Just The Park Service: ‘Rogue’ Federal Twitter Accounts Multiply, another example of model mad:
“Rogue” accounts that have the look of those by real federal agencies are spreading like wildfire on Twitter.
The AltUSNatParkService Twitter account has gained more than 1 million followers and inspired the creation of many more “unofficial resistance” accounts for specific national parks and other entities, including accounts like Rogue NASA and AltUSForestService. Continue reading
Thanks to EcoWatch for identifying these companies for speaking out, as is their right and responsibility as much as their self-interest–a good self-interest in conservation–and providing another example of model mad, corporate style:
The most anticipated outdoor recreation event of the year just finished in Salt Lake City, Utah, where hundreds of outdoor brands from small business outfitters to industry pioneers like Patagonia and Black Diamond Equipment gathered to witness the cutting-edge in outdoor gear. Continue reading
The website itself is not exactly scintillating, but click the banner above to read the mission statement. Better yet, read Ed Yong’s scintillating explanation of how and why this organization came to be, and what it is doing:
For American science, the next four years look to be challenging. The newly inaugurated President Trump, and many of his Cabinet picks, have repeatedly cast doubt upon the reality of human-made climate change, questioned the repeatedly proven safety of vaccines. Since the inauguration, the administration has already frozen grants and contracts by the Environmental Protection Agency and gagged researchers at the US Department of Agriculture. Many scientists are asking themselves: What can I do? Continue reading
Redwood national park in California. Photograph: Jeffrey Schwartz/Alamy
We like what we see of the madly determined folks risking their professional careers in the interest of the environment and social justice:
PHOTOGRAPH BY DOUG MILLS / THE NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX
Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org and we have posted on him so many times in the past for his environmental and other forms of activism we sometimes forget that he also has a day job, as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College. Today he posted in a manner that captures well what we meant when we used the word mad, and qualified our intent to remain madly determined:
…There’s not the slightest evidence that Americans want laxer environmental laws. A poll released last week showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans would prefer that the E.P.A.’s powers be preserved or strengthened. Solar power, meanwhile, polls somewhere in the neighborhood of ice cream among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike. Continue reading
As we approach our 8,000th post on this platform we realize that for the nearly six years we have been posting there was plenty of hopeful, helpful news related to community, collaboration and conservation–the themes we committed ourselves to at the outset.
Times seem different now, to state the obvious. And yes we are “mad” about what is happening around us. Madly determined. It will take discipline to remain focused and find the news that fits our purpose here. But we intend to.
The point has not been to ignore the bad news, of which there has been plenty in recent years, but to share a few notices each day that highlight better news. Or possible solutions. The spirit of our intent, which has been to support “the fight” as needed but remain civil to the end, is captured well in this book review:
Jane Alexander describes, about half way through the conversation above, being in Belize with Alan Rabinowitz several decades ago for birdwatching, and how it changed her life. She has been a committed conservationist ever since, as she also describes in this 2012 interview in Audubon Magazine. Anyone who uses an extra 15 minutes of fame – – after a lifetime endowed with plenty of it, well earned for her professional accomplishments — for this purpose is a class act in our book. She has a book that looks worthy of her, according to the publisher’s description:
A moving, inspiring, personal look at the vastly changing world of wildlife on planet earth as a result of human incursion, and the crucial work of animal and bird preservation across the globe being done by scientists, field biologists, zoologists, environmentalists, and conservationists. From a longtime, much-admired activist, impassioned wildlife proponent and conservationist, former chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, four time Academy Award nominee, and Tony Award and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress. Continue reading
Of all the posts we could possibly share on the last day of the year, the jolly roger gets our nod this year more than most. Heavy weather ahead, and these folks know how to sail through and get done what no one else is willing or able to do when it comes to protecting marine ecosystems.
We have shared as many news stories as we could follow since starting this platform, and always hope to see more. Their story is not as well known as it should be, nor do they have as much financial support as they need to continue to carry out their mission, so we urge support:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization.
Established in 1977, our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. We use innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.
Gov. Jerry Brown at his 2,514-acre family ranch in Colusa County, Calif. “I wouldn’t underestimate California’s resolve if everything moves in this extreme climate denial direction,” he said. “Yes, we will take action.” Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times
This article, by Adam Nagourney and Henry Fountaindec, gives climate-concerned citizens everywhere hope that recent tectonic shifts on the political landscape in the USA will not result in complete abandonment of reason within all the states of that union:
LOS ANGELES — Foreign governments concerned about climate change may soon be spending more time dealing with Sacramento than Washington.” Continue reading