Weekend Reading

  • The Atlantic has compiled a list of online resources to track developments from the Japanese earthquake.
  • If the allegations are even mostly true, it’s infuriating to know that people live in fear in America of this sort of scenarioAccording to congregants’ legal testimonies gathered by the coalition, agents banged against the side of the vans and shouted at the passengers. Some of the agents reportedly handcuffed the men and placed them in squad cars. Other agents slid into the drivers’ seats of the church vans—while the children sobbed and the women tried to calm them—and drove them to the CBP Port of Entry headquarters in Lake Charles.
  • Gregory Rodriguez had an interesting opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times leading up to Representative King’s hearings this week.  Spotlighting ethnic or racial “leaders” has long been a preoccupation of Anglo journalists, academics and politicians. Call it the “Take Me to Your Leader” game. It is predicated on the false assumption that ethnic, racial or religious groups — the usual “minority” categories — function as organized entities whose members take their moral and political cues from group leaders.
  • The Guaridain has a really terrific article about Werner Herzog who, apparently, is far less dour than the interviewer expected him to be.  To see Herzog chuckling about his fondness for Baywatch seems even more improbable than the famous scene in his 1982 film Fitzcarraldo when a ship is dragged up the mountain – which, infamously, Herzog insisted on doing for real due to his distaste for artifice.

encounters at the end of the world

I posted this review of Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World over at rednoW.com a couple of days ago.

When Werner Herzog received an invitation from the National Science Foundation to visit its Antarctic headquarters, he made it clear that he was in no mood to make another film about “fuzzy penguins”. The line is a funny, if unsurprising, way to begin Encounters at the End of the World. Despite the recurring theme of global warming as the coming apocalypse (the film’s title works on multiple levels), Herzog’s dry wit keeps the audience engaged, and even laughing at times.

Early in the documentary Herzog tells us that his questions about nature are different than those who made the “fuzzy penguin” documentary. In a review of Encounters for Paste Magazine, Sean Gandert complains that Herzog never makes it clear what those questions are. Although he goes on to praise the film for its Planet Earth-like beauty, Gandert wonders: how are we, the viewers, to know how he answers the questions that brought him to the South Pole in the first place?

Read the rest at rednoW.com.