We are not built for this. We are not designed, at our core, to be able to absorb, at a glance and a click, a tweet and a ruthless video feed, all the ills and horrors of the world, all at once, all manner of chaos and destruction in a nonstop bloody flood over which we are powerless to influence and impotent to stop.
The Boston bombings have forced us, once again, to ask: Are we in an age of miracles or misery? Unhindered magic or cruel dystopia? Is it both? How can it possibly be both? This tech-enabled onslaught of violence and pain the likes of which our ancestors, even as recently as 50 years ago, never had to deal with and could not possibly imagine? It is not within our emotional capacity. Not without serious scarring, anyway.
The answer is almost always the same, but increasingly lost in the modern bedlam of technology: In times of violent, faraway tragedy, you do the only thing possible: You gather in, hold tight, and take care of those close to you. As feeble as it sounds, as meek as you feel, this is the only way. This is also the best way. To help. To be a part. To avoid shutting down, hardening, adding more suspicion and mistrust to the world.” —More than half a century after Henry Miller’s meditation on war and the meaning of life, SFGate’s Mark Morford explores the challenge of exploding your emotional bandwidth at times of violence. (via explore-blog)
(Source: , via explore-blog)
The Real Theater of Dreams
When talking about soccer, we all have a tendency to get a bit overwhelmed by transfer budgets, sponsorship contracts and wage allowances. The modern game is one dominated by a never-ending news cycle that’s difficult to avoid; one in which is cynicism has a certain inevitability. But while FIFA officials and fascist fans conspire to drag us down, soccer remains a children’s game; a fact that was made clear in Portland this afternoon.
Teaming up with the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Portland Timbers gave 8-year old Atticus Lane-Dupre, who was diagnosed with Cancer last fall, a moment in the spotlight. Alongside teammates from his local youth soccer side, the Green Machine, Atticus was invited to Jeld-Wen Field for a scrimmage in front of more than 3,000 fans against a group of select players from the Timbers starting eleven.
Backed by flares, signs and a variety of G-rated chants, the Green Machine took down the Timbers 9-8, with four goals coming by way of Atticus himself. Don’t let the television coverage or blogs fool you: the heart of soccer emanated from the Pacific Northwest today.
Check out the photos below and let me know whether it’s just me, or if AFR headquarters are especially dusty this afternoon. [Posted by Maxi]
“Don’t look to other people for validation. Your birth was your validation.”
Women get flustered under fire. They’re too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can’t handle pain. They’re a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military’s evolving new rules about women in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don’t sound a thing like myths.
Despite the fact that, you know, they’re being trained to kill people, this is oddly empowering.