The Bastardization of Mental Illness

Media Diversified

by Maira But

The killer in the recent Charleston shootings is already having his horrific racist actions deconstructed under the guise of mental health problems. Already, his case is being treated as nuanced and complex, his history, upbringing, personality and background are being dealt with gently, with a judge even sympathising with his family for what he has done. And as always, we think, why does this same level of sympathy and empathy not translate to any for brown and black people? For any non-white, person of colour?

At the same time we are flaccidly unsurprised. Yet the gall with which the double-standards are being applied is becoming increasingly explicit, if it wasn’t so already. Dylan Roof decked out in a bulletproof vest was…

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Committee member allegedly pockets N500m ceremony fund

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About N500 million in funds set aside for the inauguration ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari has gone missing, according to reports.

The money, which is meant for the payment of ushers and other service providers, was allegedly cornered by a member of the presidential transition committee, according to The Nation.

The ushers, numbering about 50, are said to have been left stranded in Abuja due to the non-payment of their wages.

Also being owed are some traditional artistes hired to perform at the event while about N300million incurred as “aviation-related expenditure” has also reportedly been left unpaid.

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60 years ago today the Third Avenue El closed in Manhattan

Fans in a Flashbulb

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Arnold Eagle (1909-1992), Third Avenue El; Chatham Square Station, New York, ca. 1940, (461.1987)

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Arnold Eagle, Third Avenue El; 34th Street Station, New York, 1943, (479.1987)

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Arnold Eagle, Third Avenue El; Looking Up from 27th Street, New York, ca. 1938, (470.1987)

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Lee Sievan (1907-1990), Chatham Square, Where Third and Second Avenues Meet, New York, 1946, (1.1990)

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Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), “El,” Second and Third Avenue Lines, New York, April 24, 1936, (251.1985)

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Arnold Eagle (1909-1992), Under the Third Avenue El, North of 27th St., New York, 1939, (480.1987)

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Weegee (1899-1968), Under the Third Avenue El; But there is beauty along the street of forgotten men… it lies in the patterned black and white gold along the trolley tracks where the morning sun breaks through, Bowery, New York, ca. 1945, (

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Looking for Nigel

‘I know what you want, you want a book.’

‘Umm, well…’ I started to say.

But standing in front of me on this unexpectedly sunny day in January, with the UK election still seeming a distant mirage, was Gobby, legendary former BBC producer for 30 years, lesser known as Paul Lambert and now Nigel Farage’s ‘Director of Communications’. And as countless heavyweight political leaders have found before this small photographer – when faced down by this man, it is generally best not to argue.

SmallNigelPics_0016Unravelling flags with Beryl, Cliffsend Village Hall, March 31st 2015

I agreed that having spent the previous few months spent photographing migrants in Calais I was an unlikely candidate to be asking to document the UK Independence Party and their leader Nigel Farage’s 2015 election campaign, but it felt important to me to try and understand their point of view. One way or another they said yes. We…

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A Last Word on Mad Men

The Axis of Ego

I began to get worried at about 10:58.

Realizing there wasn’t much time left in the series, I wondered how Matthew Weiner would be able to conclude Mad Men in a way that made sense and was true to the characters he had developed over seven (really eight) seasons.

DonDraperDoorThe resolution wasn’t perfect, but I think time will be kind to it.

Last week, I discussed what we might get from the finale.  I noted one key scene in the penultimate episode, where Don appears to glean some stroke of inspiration from staring at a broken, old-fashioned Coke machine.  I said that I thought that would lead to an epiphanic moment in the finale, generating one last spectacular (and redemptive) pitch at McCann that produced an incredible, iconic campaign.

We didn’t get to see the pitch, sadly, but the conclusion of the finale lets the viewer in on the secret:…

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While you were worrying about trains, your car was trying to kill you

Grist

I am buying a ticket for the death train. It’s OK, I tell myself. Sure, not long ago a train on this particular Amtrak route derailed and killed a bunch of people. But I have to get from Philadelphia to New York somehow. I choose the train.

For one thing, the tickets are more expensive than usual, which means that even though the news has been filled for the last week with the grisly details of the crash, a lot of people, like me, are buying tickets anyway. And I rode this exact same train — from New York, to Philadelphia — the day before the crash. The greatest tragedy on that trip was the unbelievable slowness of the on-board wireless network and the tragically stilted courtship going on in the seat behind me. (Man: “Do you like Grey’s Anatomy?” Woman: “Sort of.”)

But still, I’m nervous. It’s not…

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