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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

‘Forbidden Films’ Exhumes Nazi Poison From the Movie Vaults

J. Hoberman New York Times
The Third Reich produced 1,200 films, 300 of which were banned after WWII as dangerous propaganda. Forbidden Films examines the 40 that remain effectively banned to this day, locked inside a German federal film archive and only made availavle to researchers. Are they historical evidence, incitements to murder, fascist pornography, evergreen entertainments, toxic waste or passé kitsch? Are these films better shown and discussed rather than repressed and forgotten?

Looking at Food Fraud

Christina Rice Food Safety News
Common foods like olive oil, fish, honey and fruit juices may not contain the food ingredients you think they do. This is an issue not only of food fraud but of food safety.

'Peaky Blinders' Should Be Your Next Netflix Binge

Maureen Ryan Huffington Post
The pubs and factories are full of Communist agitators and IRA operatives; the corrupt and brutal police are regarded as just another gang that has to be dealt with. The black lanes, the grimy house fronts, the noisy pubs, the furnaces running hot 24-7: These backdrops continually reinforce the idea that toughness is necessary for every character in Small Heath.

Two Poems by Eleanor Lerman

Eleanor Lerman The Poet
The poet explains the transition between these two poems and reveals a mordant humor.: "That Sure is My Little Dog," written some years ago, arose from what I felt at the time was a lack of political outrage on the left, particularly among younger people, but by the time of Occupy Wall Street, I was feeling more hopeful about my generation (the Woodstock era folks) passing the banner on to the next.generation. Which leads us to the second poem, "Leonard Cohen's Guitar."

They Stormed Heaven - Review of John Merriman's Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune

Ron Briley History News Network
Marx called it "the dictatorship of the proletariat" and its militants those who "stormed heaven." For 76 days in 1871, this first experiment in workers self-government and armed defense against troops of the old order also made costly mistakes leading to its slaughter. The author chronicles not only Commune governance and the role of women as leaders and fighters, but the intricacies of a counter-revolution that sought nothing less than crushing Paris' working class.

New Graphic Novel Explores What It’s Really Like To Be A Palestinian Refugee

Beenish Ahmed Think Progress
First-time author Leila Abdelrazaq has produced a work that, in the words of reviewer Beenish Ahmed, "provides a human face to the often overlooked experiences of refugees." Rendered in the form of a graphic novel, it is a unique visual and literary testament, and a special glimpse into the world of those who have been displace by conflict from their homes and from their familiar worlds.

Forming a Critical Sense of Race With Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing"

Kelli Marshall JSTOR Daily
Each term my film students watch Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). And each term they react similarly to the scene in which Mookie (Spike Lee) throws a trash can, igniting a neighborhood riot by breaking the window of the pizzeria where he works. Most students of color feel Lee’s character did the right thing while the majority of white students cannot understand why Mookie would do such a thing to his boss. Why this reaction—term after term, year after year?

Fruit May Decrease Risk of Obesity

Alissa Marrapodi www.foodproductdesign.com
Study published in Journal of Nutrition finds fruit, not veggies, associated with lower risks of obesity.

Does Fox's 'Empire' Break Or Bolster Black Stereotypes?

Eric Deggans NPR
Anchored by powerful performances from Oscar nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, Empire features unapologetically black characters operating in a mostly black world. Nielsen says 7.5 million of them are African-American.But that's where the other controversy about Empire emerges. Because some critics say the show has earned its success by trafficking in "badly written dialogue and ham-fisted stereotypes."

This Woman to The Dark Angels

Jared Smith To The Dark Angels
Amid controversies about surveillance from Big Brothers, there's also the matter of what the Little Brothers and Sisters know and exploit. Colorado poet Jared Smith takes an ironic view of what it means to know too much and therefore nothing at all.