links for 2011-08-15

  • "There's an attitude that mental health health care is an "indulgence" for whiny white women (and the perception of mental health services as something only white women need plays heavily into stigma when women of color and nonwhite women consider treatment—look at the racist, misogynistic stories surrounding Rihanna, for example, and how they played into the "strong black woman" archetype), and the eager pursuit of celebrity breakdown stories really feeds into that. These women are depicted as weak, selfish, and useless."
  • "Sadly, no one now says “laughter” in Eyak, a language from the Gulf of Alaska, whose last fluent speaker died in 2008, or in the Bo language from the Andaman Islands, for its last remaining speaker, Boa Senior, died in 2010. Nearly 55,000 years of thoughts and ideas—the collective history of an entire people—died with her.

    Most tribal languages are disappearing faster than they can be recorded. Linguists at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages believe that on average, a language is disappearing every two weeks. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear. The pace at which they are declining exceeds even that of species extinction."

  • "That's where Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group founded and funded by the Koch brothers, came into play. AFP, as it's known, swooped in to fund and organize on behalf of four candidates who sought to kill the district's policy of bussing to ensure diverse, de-segregated public schools. The AFP-backed candidates ran against what they called "forced busing"—a phrase, the film points out, that dates back to George Wallace in the 1970s—and instead stressed that schools should educate only those who lived in the surrounding neighborhood.

    Local reporters, some of whom are interviewed in the film, connected the push to eliminate bussing with the philosophies of AFP and its funders. "They're definitely pushing an agenda to re-segregate these schools, but there's also a real push toward privatization," Sue Sturgis of the Institute for Southern Studies says in the film."

  • That would have been interesting. – LDP "The news means plans for a Sex and the City 2 prequel following the early lives of Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda have now been put on hold. Elizabeth Olsen had been linked to the role of Carrie, Blake Lively was rumored to be playing Samantha and Selena Gomez was tipped to star as a young Charlotte. Actress Emma Roberts had also been lined up for the role of Miranda."
    (tags: tv celeb)
  • "Because of the issues in the source material, Paulus is working with two writers, Suzan-Lori Parks (a Pulitzer-winning playwright) and Deirdre Murray (an Obie-winning composer) to update it and, in the words of Audra McDonald, who will be playing Bess in the production, "do […] a new conception that tries to deal with the holes and issues in the story that would be very, very obvious to a musical-theater audience.” (source)

    So far so good, right? And the Gershwin and Heyward estates (George & Ira Gershwin and DuBois Heyward being the writers) have given their blessings to the production, saying, among other things, “It’s about balancing the original work’s intentions with a story that is maybe more realistic for a present-day audience.”

    Stephen Sondheim, however, has doubts. And he sent a nearly-1000-word letter to the New York Times to expound on them in detail."

  • Brian Barker

    Thanks for an interesting article.

    You may be interested to know that the World Esperanto Association now enjoys consultative relations with the United Nations and is using its position to speak out in favour of the need to protect endangered languages.

    See –