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Posts Tagged ‘Rolling Stone’

I was just reading “Bono: The Rolling Stone Interview,” about the U2 front man’s latest brush with death. It seems he is reluctant to tell us the details, only that it was a physical “extinction event” – meaning that we may also suffer a mental crisis or two in our lives. We may get stuck in the pain and anguish of losing a loved one, for example, and never recover. We could find ourselves on the endangered species list one day, and extinct the next, like a Dodo bird. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/bono-u2-state-of-the-world-what-he-learned-from-almost-dying-w514442

I mean really, a bird that couldn’t fly?

Let’s say you let a divorce define you, or an illness, or maybe a car accident your family had in 1949. You nearly died. You might have died, were it not for the loving arms of your Nana. Who will build up their resilient muscles to grow and recover, and who will crawl into their childhood room and wither?

Bob told me he’s had several physical extinction events, (and he was only semi-joking) the last one being two years ago on an operating table. You can imagine the rest; as a curious kid, he once set off an explosive that ripped the eyebrows off a playmate. Of course I can’t remember my Year of Living Dangerously, I was just a baby. I do remember at sixteen being side-swiped by a taxi in NYC, the skyscrapers swinging strangely around our car. My step-father, Judge B was driving and I was in the back seat, covered in broken, pebbled glass.

The doctor said his old Caddy saved my life, since it had a steel bar between the front and back seats.

I also hit a deer at full speed head-on one night in my first car, a VW bug. Not sure why the animal didn’t come through my windshield, but I must have been going so fast the deer was thrown away from the car. I remember being afraid to drive at night for a year after that.

And I have a vivid memory of stopping at a red light after playing tennis. I was in my thirties, the kiddos were little. Dopamine must have been flowing full blast since when the light turned green I hesitated for a moment. Just then a car sped by right in front of me, blasting through a red light. I realized that if I had not waited half a minute, I would have been broad-sided. It gave me pause…

Then I read this morning that today is the 20th anniversary of Monica Lewinsky’s little kerfluffle with President Bill Clinton. Monica really turned her life around; she was a young intern who made a few mistakes in judgement, notably talking with the wrong woman about her Oval Office encounters, consensual mind you, and was humiliated, in public. I would call this a mental extinction event that she managed to overcome. She Tweeted this:

“for 20 years, i’ve marked 16 jan as the day i survived another year from 1998. on this 20th (!!!) anniversary, thinkin’ maybe we could try a survivor’s chain. whaddya think? (too corny?) RETWEET if you survived the unimaginable in your life”

And today Scope will publish a well known report about Mr T’s encounters with a porn star just one year after marrying Melania. Granted, he wasn’t a president yet. Still, I wonder how the Religious Right feel about Hillary’s emails now? We have a Groper-in Chief who is ostensibly a racist and probably demented, since I don’t believe he drinks or does drugs of any kind which would explain his behavior.

Is our democracy heading toward the cliff of extinction? IF Bill Clinton or Barack Obama said or did any of the things Mr T has been guilty of doing lately, you betcha the government would come to a standstill. It’s too late for Mr T to learn how to fly, how to lead, how to govern. But we, the people, must #persist and #resist.

And a very big shout out to all those families in Nashville who are experiencing the FIFTH day of a combo snow/MLK holiday weekend at home with the kids! It will stop snowing, eventually!

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In local Blue Ridge news, the Rolling Stone “Rape on Campus” trial is winding down. UVA Associate Administrator Nicole Eramo is suing the iconic rock magazine for 7.5 Million in a defamation lawsuit. Our little Cville courthouse has been hosting lots of Yankee traffic this week because Eramo, who was the person in charge of coordinating the school’s response to students claiming sexual assault or harassment, would like to prove the reporter and editors acted with malice.  

“Actual malice is a legal standard, loosely defined in this scenario to mean that Rolling Stone knew that information they were publishing was false, but they proceeded to publish it anyway.” 

Yesterday Sean Woods, an editor at Rolling Stone for 17 years, took the stand. And we learned that he meant to add an addendum to the original article, stating that the other witnesses refused to be interviewed in person for fear of reprisal (meaning their corroboration of “Jackie’s” statements after the alleged rape were hearsay). He really meant to add this, but he forgot!

This would seem unlikely. I might forget where I left my cellphone, but every editor I ever knew would never forget something like that. You must be a little OCD to be an editor; in fact, you may have to be certifiably OCD to do that kind of work. However, Woods stood by his criticism of the administrator, stating Eramo was a public figure and therefore subject to scrutiny…which is almost like saying, “Yeah we screwed up, but so did she, nah nah nah.” Oh and he also tried to resign, but they didn’t let him.

I wonder if being forgetful is the same as being malicious, only in a passive aggressive way?

Now y’all know I’m a card carrying feminist, a proud “nasty” woman, and if a woman cries rape, or “He kissed me against my will with a mouth full of Tic Tacs,” I will tend to believe her. But when the Columbia School of Journalism investigated this infamous rape on campus article and found it to be riddled with problems, I had to think twice. Or, as the Flapper always said, “Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.”

The problem of confirmation bias – the tendency of people to be trapped by pre-existing assumptions and to select facts that support their own views while overlooking contradictory ones – is a well-established finding of social science. It seems to have been a factor here. Erdely (the reporter) believed the university was obstructing justice. She felt she had been blocked. Like many other universities, UVA had a flawed record of managing sexual assault cases. Jackie’s experience seemed to confirm this larger pattern. Her story seemed well established on campus, repeated and accepted.   http://www.cjr.org/investigation/rolling_stone_investigation.php

Journalists everywhere have learned their lesson from this case. Just because someone sounds like they are telling you the truth and only the truth, and you want to be sensitive to a rape victim, you must still verify the story. Even though independent news outlets have been gobbled up by mega media corporations, and so many beat reporters have been eliminated from courthouses and borough halls, and the world of “putting to bed” a story at midnight in newsprint, has changed to an online rush of clicks and scathing comments…this one basic truth remains. 

I was taught to get at least 3 corroborating interviews on any story. Fact checking is a basic technique that we the readers must demand, particularly considering our own confirmation bias, in this world of Trumped-up half-truths. I thought you might enjoy some of my old campaign buttons.  http://www.poynter.org/2016/its-time-to-fact-check-all-the-news/426261/  img_5487

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Lately I’ve felt like my gender has been under attack. I’m not talking about the anti-women, anti-choice legislation that can strangle any hope of progress on sex trafficking up on the Hill. This is a more subtle, incendiary scheme – the media’s role in humiliating women. Let’s talk briefly about an intern.

Monica Lewinsky delivered a TED talk, and by all accounts it was something worth seeing. She talked about having to deal with becoming a pariah in her early 20s, the punch line of a joke. And she talked about cyber-bullying on a monumental scale: “I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo and, of course, ‘that woman.’ I was known by many, but actually known by few. I get it. It was easy to forget ‘that woman’ was dimensional and had a soul.”

I thought to myself, she really did have an “A” branded to her chest. She didn’t ask for that, she simply confided in the wrong person. I wonder how many young women JFK corralled in the White House, BI (before internet)? How many young women are seduced by older men, say their professors, and maybe what comes of it is a May-December wedding, or maybe not. Certainly not front-page fodder for years.

Yesterday I caught the end of our Police Chief’s news conference on the investigation and fall-out of the Rolling Stone article last November. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to adore Chief Longo. But, he managed to politely say that they interviewed over 70 people and maybe something terrible did happen, but they found no evidence of a crime.

We’re not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house or any other fraternity house, for that matter,” Longo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t mean something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie … we’re just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/03/23/charlottesville-police-to-issue-report-on-u-va-sex-assault-investigation/

A female reporter asked the Chief if this conclusion may have a “chilling effect” going forward for victims of rape. He paused, and reiterated the many levels of support the University has for these women (“and sometimes men” he added), and that if bringing a criminal charge was going to be the next step, that time would be of the essence. Which sounded alot to me like, first go through the University system and only come to us IF you really want to proceed with a very messy criminal case; and don’t think about it over the weekend, or for two weeks or two years. Oh and btw, go to the ER right away in order to gather evidence.

All of this sounds good, but imagine if you are 18 and not wanting to admit what just happened. Not wanting to tell your parents, let alone a dean, or the police. In “Jackie’s” case, even her supposed friends remembered that night differently. You begin by blaming yourself, and move up the humiliation ladder slowly. If only you didn’t drink; if only you didn’t go to his room; if only you stayed with your friends.

Just recently the secret Facebook page of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity at Penn State University came to light with its pictures of nude, unconscious girls, drugs and hazing incidents. Why should we act surprised. Even today, long after my generation fought for our rights, it’s the woman who does the “walk of shame,” not the man. And in our anonymous world of social media, that walk only gets longer and can go on forever. http://www.buzzfeed.com/maryanngeorgantopoulos/penn-state-students-demand-university-suspend-people-with-ac#.ddZyg9ExxP

I’d call this culture very chilling indeed. Boys, here are some basic rules: DON’T RAPE, and don’t hack, post or share nude or any other pictures of girls without their consent. Newspapers used to end up in bird cages, public scandal and shaming had its limitations. Today, we need to think twice before throwing virtual stones. CAjYZ3ZWUAAXzen

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No, I’m not talking about a Bush presidency. And I’m not talking about being over the “hump” which was what we called the age of forty, before we knew better. What needs to be seriously talked about is that Roe vs Wade turned 41 last week, and nobody mentioned it.

Except this writer, Caitlin Moran, the best selling author of “How to be a Woman,” who absolutely gets it! She wrote an article for The UK Times titled, “Why is Abortion Under Threat Again?” She reminds us that world-wide, 40 Million women seek abortion services every year, and that these women do not “…have abortions recklessly.” Moran continues to say that Europe seems to be blindly following suit with America in trying to restrict access to reproductive health for its citizens, citing a law passed at the end of last year in Spain that would restrict a women’s right to an abortion.

Following recent controversial abortion restrictions across America, it seems two otherwise progressive, First World countries are now framing abortion as some relatively recent, morally licentious activity that blew in on the same wind as disco, homosexuality and Dallas, and which must now – in more sore, sober and reflective times – be curtailed once more. The only abortions are these modish, legal abortions, and now they must be stopped. http://ge.tt/3cnPGjD1/v/0

Rolling Stone has an article in this month’s issue titled “The Stealth War on Abortion,” that illuminates some of the incremental, state by state restrictions that GOP legislators have been passing long before Wendy Davis stood her ground in Texas. I’ve certainly talked about them here, the TRAP laws and personhood bills, from time to time. The “War on Women” is alive and well folks. The party that dismisses government as abusive and overbearing just loves to get into our panties.http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-stealth-war-on-abortion-20140115

What I like about Moran’s take is her historical and global perspective. We women have been trying to abort for just about as long as Neanderthals mated with Homo Sapiens. Before we tried coat hangers, candles and blood letting with leeches, there was “…pennyroyal, tansy, (and) hellebore. Silphium was the remedy of the Ancient Greeks – the main export of Cyrene, demand for silphium was so huge that it was harvested into extinction, but not before its image was imprinted onto Cyrenian coinage.”

Today half of the 40 Million abortions are performed safely and legally, but half are illegal. Think about that. Here’s the kicker, many who abort illegally end up dying – from sepsis most likely. That means about 47,000 women die annually around the world. Some of that can be connected to that 41st President and his son #43 who tied global aid to women’s health clinics that would not perform abortions…yes, religious zealots writing international policy. That’s just the way it is, everybody thinks they have God on their side.

The problem is impoverished women around the world are suffering. If we stop to consider that one in every three women we meet have had an abortion – 1 of every 3 – we may find ourselves thinking differently about choice. I’m glad the Right to Lifers have stopped killing physicians, but we need to have more men and women stand up for our right to choose. And young women in particular, we cannot go back to the back alleys.

http://www.upworthy.com/an-avenger-talks-about-the-hell-his-mom-went-through-back-when-women-had-no-choices?c=cur1

Illustration by Victor Juhasz for Rolling Stone

Illustration by Victor Juhasz for Rolling Stone

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While surfing the worldwide web this morning, I clicked on a Rolling Stone’s article about the best live bands, “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now.” I think I found this via Facebook. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/50-greatest-live-acts-right-now-20130731

Naturally, one of the best was the Parlor Mob. http://www.disarraymagazine.com/2012/03/live-review-parlor-mob-rocks-house-of.html Alright so I’m prejudiced. Since they parted ways, I hear from my Lovely Leo birthday boy what each band member is up to; who they are playing with, flying off to Sweden with, getting married to…  Aside from scoring films, the Rocker is currently playing with 2 bands:

Sikamor Rooney http://sikamorrooney.bigcartel.com/products and

the Black Jesuses http://blackjesuses.com – http://www.surfingmagazine.com/sounds/sounds-the-black-jesus/

Because music is a part of his DNA. But he is also a writer, writing all of the lyrics to his music today. And I thought back to a time in middle school, when he wrote an exceptional essay on censorship. We were proud that at such a young age, he could feel so passionately about artistic freedom.

So with some sense of danger, I sought out the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Because it’s not OK with me when drugstores try to limit my access to a magazine. I found it surreptitiously bundled in front of the very last cashier at our local Barnes and Noble, not in its usual spot among all the other magazine racks. And somehow the cashier gave off a sinister vibe, or maybe it was me, like I was purchasing contraband. photo

And the article about the Boston Bomber was compelling and answered many questions we’ve all been asking, like how can such a normal looking kid, a kid who was in college and became a citizen last year, become a monster? I know in today’s world that magazine article was a click away, but in a small way, I was making a point. And now we hear that the magazine doubled their news stand sales this month…so you see censors, some things have unintended consequences.

You may not agree with me, but lucky for us we live in a country where writers can speak the truth not only to power, but to the world.

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