As 2015 comes to a close, here’s a round-up of some of the biggest news stories. Read More News in Asia: Year-End Roundup
Despite my silly headline, we do have some serious stories to cover this week. Let’s get to those first, and you shall be rewarded with some amusing stories to see you into the weekend.
Over the weekend, Russia essentially declared war on Ukraine, authorizing military force in Crimea and sending troops to occupy the area. As I write this, there are rumors that they will strike overnight, or provoke violence so as to retaliate, or fabricate violence so as to retaliate. Ukraine and Russia have a shared cultural and linguistic history – what the hell is happening? Read More Crimea River: What the Hell is Happening in Ukraine?
This week’s news appetizers from Asia:
Read More News in Asia
In Phoenix’s 110-plus degree summers, my husband survived high school football practices where coaches sometimes withheld water or made players run laps without stopping until they puked. When he told me about it, I was bewildered. “Why didn’t you just walk off the field?” That’s what high-school-me would have done in a similar situation. Then as now, I didn’t conform much, I didn’t push myself too hard physically, and I hated being told what to do. Read More Book Review: The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education, by Craig M. Mullaney.
Depending on how much you know about African geography, you may or may not know about the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC) – not to be confused with the Republic of the Congo. If the DRC doesn’t sound familiar, maybe it’s because you learned about it as Zaire (under former “president” Mobutu). So, maybe you don’t really know much about this country, but here’s why you should be paying attention. (Trigger Warning for discussion of rape after the jump.) Read More Why Don’t We Care About the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
War is ugly. Most of us learn that lesson fairly early in life as wars are played out on our television screens. I grew up with the daily Vietnam death counts. My children’s reality was a big sign on a neighborhood street proclaiming the number of Iraqi deaths that week. War is ugly. There is no getting around it, but sometimes we humans turn barbaric.
Cinematic representations of real events are not hard to come by. Biopics consistently make up a huge portion of the late-fall Oscar bait, and major event-based films are a dime a dozen. War films are no exception. Read More Representing Reality: World War II on Film