So while silence can most certainly be boring, unsettling, unbearable, it can just as certainly be an aid to concentration and thus free the imagination. It can quiet the mind and open it to divine influences. This seems to depend on whether we have chosen it or it has been forced upon us.
Posts Tagged: torture
An excerpt from Joel F. Harrington’s book The Faithful Executioners is a featured Longreads Members Pick and well worth a few minutes of your time.
Starting with a creative nonfictional account of an executioner in Germany in the 1500s, the piece opens up into a grim but fascinating overview of European life in the sixteenth century....more
Bradley Manning, the whistleblower who leaked military documents to WikiLeaks, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.
As the Atlantic points out, this sentence “far exceeds any punishments related to the misconduct he revealed.” For example, the Abu Ghraib torturers all received sentences of fewer than 10 years, and others involved in torture had charges dropped altogether....more
A dizzying blitz of descriptors surrounds Katheryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty: pro-torture, anti-torture; anti-Bush, pro-Obama; mindlessly jingoistic, nuanced in its critique of American exceptionalism....more
“They started taking detainees away every night, by groups of twenty. We didn’t know where they were going to, but we thought the US. One day, it was my group’s turn. The Pakistanis took away our chains and gave us handcuffs ‘made in the USA’....more
If you haven’t yet heard about Goodluck Jonathan, the new President of Nigeria, you should read this article.
Why does everyone think artists are terrible at governing?...more
Former Army reservist Lynndie England, the international face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, is suing her biographer for seizing control of what was intended to be a shared copyright. In July, writer Gary S. Winkler abruptly resigned from the limited liability corporation established to handle finances and formed his own....more
In the 1960s and 70s, Central and South America were rife with dictatorships which used secret police, the military, right-wing death squads and tight control of the media to quash dissent and keep power. One of the most egregious of these police states was Argentina, still recovering from its anti-democratic Peronist era....more
From Frieze Magazine: “As reported by the BBC, the Guardian, the Associated Press, Newsweek, The Nation, Mother Jones, SPIN and others (while mocked by right-wing columnists from the Chicago Tribune and The New York Sun), Western pop music has been employed to disorient, ‘prolong capture shock’ and ‘break’ detainees into confession, often through a strategic mixture of high volume, repetition and cultural offensiveness....more