links for 2011-01-22

  • *TRIGGER WARNING*

    "'They blamed bureaucratic inertia for allowing Dr. Gosnell’s predatory practice to thrive, 'because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.'”

  • "Here in DC, many metro riders will tell you that right before school and right after school, you can't help but be annoyed by the already overcrowded train cars filling up with teenage students who are rambunctious, loud and obnoxious…Other riders agree that these behaviors are obnoxious, so it was no surprise that a lot of the commenters on UDCM's post did too. However, what the comments also revealed was that almost everyone seems to think it's only black teenagers who do this. What was even more striking is how they were referenced. There isn't any reference to "black kids." Instead, they’re all derogatory terms — the rude, ignorant and racist kind. 

    "But like I said, it wasn't the comments that got me; rather it was that no one had anything to the contrary to say. No one came to the rescue of this maligned group to say, "hey, is there a reason you only refer to them with these racist terms? Is there a reason you don't reference white teenagers? They can be just as obnoxious." 

  • "You're about to see a lot more of Taiwanese-Canadian actor Godfrey Gao in the coming months, as the Vancouver native is the first Asian male to be tapped as the spokesmodel for Louis Vuitton."
  • "Reel Injun is a documentary about the history of Native Americans on film—particularly the ridiculous portrayals in westerns. What was the worst of the worst?"

    "In A Man Called Horse an elderly woman’s son dies, and there’s a scene where the Lakota let her freeze to death. She’s wandering around this village in winter—that would never have happened. The Sioux were very communal, they shared food, like when they killed a buffalo they would share it with everybody. So the idea that they’d just let an old woman die—that’s pretty offensive."

  • "If there is any hope, it may lie — as with so much else in the country — in the nation’s burgeoning informal economy. Across India, an army of scavengers and housewives and small traders collect, segregate and recycle garbage every day. Their efforts, and the economy they have built around waste, may represent a model, or at least a foundation, for a solution to the nation’s rising tide of garbage.

    "The informal waste economy is built like a pyramid, with ragpickers at the bottom, small traders in the middle and large companies that rely on recycled materials at the top. This system has its limitations, of course. But the web of transactions, pricing mechanisms and incentives that underlies the informal waste economy is nonetheless as sophisticated as that in any formal market."