“The other is the loneliness that characterizes life in America today. Mother Theresa, visiting the U.S. for the first time in the 70s, said she had never seen poverty like what she saw here and she meant the loneliness of Americans. The breakdown and relinquishment of shared value systems and traditions, has left individuals adrift in a private search for God and meaning. This is a terribly lonely way to live. In America, loneliness can become like the blueness of the sky. After a while, people don’t think about it anymore.”
– Trappists Monks on silence and their traditions
Social media sustain a measurement system that makes “more attention” seem always appropriate and anything less insufficient. If you are not growing your online presence, if your content is not circulating ever more widely, then you are failing. You are disappearing. You are not only not “microfamous”; you are not socially relevant. You are on the fringe, in danger of total exclusion. You are adding nothing to the social bottom line. You are not inspiring anybody.
But as long as others re-share what you share, your being is secure. You are rippling throughout the network, and you can hear the reassuring echoes.
Essential reading: “David Miranda Is Nobody’s Errand Boy” by Natasha Vargas-Cooper for Buzzfeed.
In Badakhshan, families have become addicted to opium. in the remote northeastern mountains of Badakhshan, Afghanistan, controlled by the Taliban. A.K. Kimoto © 2013
“There’s a depressing irony to the fact that The Hunger Games, a book series about the media’s ability to placate the masses with superficial distractions, is now a mainstream film franchise that has spawned its own cult of celebrity. It seems like I can’t turn on the television or browse the internet without hearing about what cute little thing Jennifer Lawrence did during the press tour, who might be cast in the next sequel, or how great the fashion looked at the red carpet premiere. At one point in the latest film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, one of the masterminds behind an oppressive regime comments that packaging fear along with frivolous news is the best way to keep a population in line. I couldn’t help but wonder if the filmmakers were admitting to being part of the problem.”
– Andrew Johnson, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ feels like Capitol Propaganda (Movie Mezzanine)
They, like millions of other rural Bangladeshis, grow up facing a life of hardship. In an attempt to alleviate poverty, countless numbers take on debt with microcredit lenders, only to find themselves in a difficult situation when they are unable to repay the loan.
Some have even turned to selling their organs as a last resort to repay the loans and escape the vicious cycle of poverty.
His passenger worked as a middleman between organ seller and recipient and persuaded him to sell a kidney, promising 400,000 taka ($6,360; £4,000).
Seventeen days later, Mr Alam says he returned home from a private hospital in Dhaka, barely alive and carrying only a fraction of the money he was promised.
"It’s easier to raise children in Yemen, but I’m trying to bring my family here because I want them to learn in American schools."
“Why is it easier to raise children there?”
“Because they listen to you. Take me for example. I am nearly thirty years old, I have a wife and two children. But when my father tells me something, I listen. And when his father tells him something, he listens. In this country, you turn eighteen and it’s ‘fuck you.’”
photoset: Good pictures of Bad Men (In Cars)*
Chris Brown, 2009
*(leftover photos from the last 7 days of research)
photographers: Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters & Valerie Macon/Getty Images
This is the true magic of stories. (Illustration by Natasha Kline)