Monday, February 18, 2013

Images From the Civil Rights Movement

Maybe it's just because I'm a bit sheltered, but the Civil Rights movement had always seemed very far away to me.  Looking at these old pictures really brings home how much people had to struggle just to end legal segregation.  Also that at least one person apparently though giving children acid burns was an acceptable form of counter-protest.

What I find the most chilling is just how "ordinary" the Klan members look with their hoods up.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Sinking of the HMS Bounty

I was very sad to hear about the sinking of the HMS Bounty today.  I had hoped that the crew would at least all make it out alive, and most of them did, but one crew member died and the captain is still missing.
Several people I know have sailed on the Bounty in the past.  I personally crewed on the Lady Washington for a week back in 2001, and it's painful to hear about this happening to another historic replica ship.  My heart goes out to the crew members and families.

The tall ship began to die early Monday morning in the hurricane-ravaged waters off the North Carolina coast. One of the HMS Bounty’s generators failed. Water flooded everywhere. The 180-foot-long, three-masted tall ship was losing power and propulsion.
By about 3 a.m., the Bounty’s once-optimistic Facebook page, which on Sunday had posted “So far so good!” in its daily updates, had issued a new message for its followers: “Your Prayers are needed.”
Ninety minutes later, the Bounty finally lost its battle with 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas. Its captain ordered all hands to abandon the sinking ship, a shocking demise for a celebrity vessel built for the 1962 film “Mutiny on the Bounty.”
The ship, which had been trying to make its way around Hurricane Sandy, carried a crew of 16. When the rescue operation ended about 10 a.m. Monday, 14 of the crew members had been saved by Coast Guard helicopters. Two people, Capt. Robin Walbridge, 63, and Claudene Christian, 42, were missing.
Christian’s body was recovered Monday night, but Walbridge remained unaccounted for.

Read the rest of the article.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sex Work Activism and AIDS 2012 News Roundup

Well, there are a lot of articles in my google alerts for "sex workers" relating to the AIDS 2012 conference this week.  Here are some of them:

When AIDS money dries up: Red Lights flashing for sex workers?
A detailed article on the relationship between prostitution, AIDS prevention, and sex worker rights activism in India.  Discusses abuses by police, the anti-prostitution pledge attached to PEPFAR, and anti-trifficking efforts.

Women face horrendous time at bus stops
Article about how sex workers soliciting at a particular bus stop in India create an uncomfortable situation for women waiting for the bus.  Police respond that it's hard to arrest prostitutes when they blend in with other women.

We don't encourage sex workers: SC

US Discriminates Against HIV Organizations that Aid Sex Workers

More on the PEPFAR anti-prostitution pledge. 

Studying Sex Workers - AIDS 2012
Overview of studies presented at the AIDS 2012 conference regarding AIDS testing and prevention among sex workers.

Report: Sex Workers Still Penalized for Carrying Condoms
Article on the practice of using condoms as evidence to arrest women for prostitution.
Carrying Condoms brings Arrest Risk for Sex Workers

Criminalizing condom possession by sex workers is a global trend

Criminalizing Condom Possession Puts Sex Workers at Risk

Mini Folk Music Roundup

I spent some time looking for some posts about folk music.  Here's some of what I found:

When you hear my pistol growling'  A post on various versions of "Swannanoa Tunnel" on Murder Ballad Monday.

Lost Classics of Right Wing Folk Music A post on a woman who was supposed to be the right-wing alternative to Joan Baez.  Also a more detailed article on her life and career.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Horror Movies and Old Ballads

It's interesting that this video should be posted on "That Guy With the Glasses" right when I was getting to "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight" in my Child Ballad blog project.
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight is a ballad that I was previously familiar with, but I somehow never thought about just how closely the story resembles that of a horror movie.  As I was summarizing the plots of both the ballads that Francis James Child collected from England and Scotland and looking at his notes on variations from other countries, that fact suddenly clicked for me.

Watching that video comparing the two movies motivated me to watch both The Virgin Spring (which you can watch for free here) and The Last House on the Left, which I wouldn't recommend watching unless you are really into film history or really like bad horror movies.  After spending so much time with Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight, something about The Virgin Spring seemed very familiar.  The script was based on an old Swedish ballad, and it shows in the story's structure, especially the way the girl's specific items of clothing are described in detail and how they come into the story three times.

Karin, the protagonist of The Virgin Spring, is very similar to the heroine of "Lady Isabel" in the variations where the she is either rescued or avenged by her brother.  She is merely an innocent but spoiled teenage girl who is preyed upon by killers whom she had naively trusted.  Her personality is sort of a cross between Disney's Snow White and Cher from Clueless.  Basically, she's a medieval version of the modern sympathetic horror movie victim.

So if the weaker heroines in "Lady Isabel" have their modern counterparts as sympathetic horror movie victims, what about the stronger heroines that kill their attacker?  There are some that trick him into going to sleep and stab him, and some that convince him to turn around and shove him off a cliff, a few grab his sword and cut his head off.  Well, there are probably some "final girls" who fit that profile.

Then there are the "Isabels" who somehow develop superhuman strength and literally lift the murderer up to throw him into a river, over a cliff, or somehow manage to pull a guy off a horse despite being up to their necks in water.  Hmmm...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A bit of internet awesomeness.

I found this while looking for examples to use in my post on my other blog about Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight.
Before the internet, I think it would have been a lot harder to find a video of a mother and her two kids playing a 500-year-old ballad about a magical serial killer on harp, drums and electric guitar in their living room.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sex workers denied U.S. visa hold their own AIDS conference

Hundreds of sex workers from around the world who said they were denied visas to attend an international AIDS conference in the United States began their own meeting in Kolkata on Saturday in protest.
Some 550 representatives of sex workers from India and 41 other countries were attending the seven-day event in the eastern Indian city, organisers said.
“Sex workers wanted to be a part of the US conference to fight the challenge of HIV/AIDS across the world,” said Bharati De, secretary of the Committee for Coordination of Indomitable Women, which represents sex workers in Kolkata.
Read the rest: