media

Victoria Brittain discusses "Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of The War on Terror"

Author, journalist and former editor of The Guardian, Victoria Brittain discussed her new book "Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of The War on Terror" with Bill Newman, a WHMP radio host and director of the ACLU's Western Massachusetts Legal Office.

At Liberty: Friday, April 27, 2012

It's not the First Amendment for nothing. We're highlighting ways
people are using their freedom of expression and other liberties.


Well, I've certainly never emailed anything that I wouldn't be comfortable sharing with the entire world, and I'm sure you haven't either. But for those less discreet, it's alarming that the National Security Agency apparently captures a copy of every email ever, according to whistleblower William Binney. Think about it: every candid remark, dumb joke, declaration of love, surprising revelation, and pic ever shared or overshared with family, friends, or friends with benefits--accessible to someone else, being used for who knows what, with no independent oversight. As we always say, freedom is more fun--but sometimes all trace of it should go away, or at least stay private. For more on the unremitting assault on the privacy upon which so much freedom and fun depend, see privacySOS.org. -CO


"From Nothing, Something" is a documentary on the creative process, making its public debut this weekend as part of Boston's Independent Film Festival and featuring interviews with people including celebrity chefs, cancer researchers, novelist Tom Perrotta, musician Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara, and even a Hollywood creature designer. The documentary itself is the creation of director Tim Cawley, of Boston-based ad agency Hill Holliday, in collaboration with Boston's Brickyard VFX. As one participant says, "[T]he production of things that make no sense and that will be brought into the world to make sense only later, not knowing how or when, is very exciting." Sunday, April 29, 5:30pm, 79 minutes, Somerville Theatre. -CO


Meet ten new novelists next Thursday when Boston creative writing center Grub Street hosts a Novel Incubator Showcase for the students of a 2011-2012 pilot program taught by instructors Lisa Borders and Michelle Hoover. A Q&A with refreshments will follow brief readings from each participant's work. May 3, 6:30-8:30pm, Grub Street, 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, free and open to the public. -CO


Money is the name of a new Cambridge night from DJs Salim Akram and Nate Bluhm, making a monthly Thursday debut on May 3 at Naga in Central Square (450 Mass Ave) and promising "funk, soul, motown, 80s & 90s and Hip-Hop." Its creators have drawn hundreds to other events. -CO


If you're looking for something that will change your perspective on "extreme" weather and art's capacity to make sense of it, check out To Extremes: Public Art in a Changing World. Art based on natural disasters and climate change may not be the first thing you associate with the mechanical and mathematical genius of MIT, but the exhibit is showing in the Maseeh Hall Lobby through this weekend.

From the MIT Calendar site:

"Nine artists and designers envision public artworks exploring extreme events and climate change, inspired by recent scientific findings. Winner Sam Jury's proposal is to create a public display of otherworldly video works that would respond in real time to live extreme weather events." -DR


Speaking of extreme, Boston Phoenix writer Maddy Myers recently interviewed Edmund McMillen, one of the stars of Indie Game: The Movie, a documentary about independent game developers who are unafraid to use the power of provocative themes and boundary-pushing subject matter to get their ideas across. McMillen is one of the most controversial of all game designers, having just made an adventure game that deals with abortion, not to mention a 2008 game about genital mutilation that he intended to be so offensive that it would spell career suicide. It's a fascinating read, whether you game or you're just interested in provocative work. -DR


CO = Christopher Ott, ACLUm Communications Director
DR = Danielle Riendeau, ACLUm Online Communications Coordinator


Freedom is more fun!

What creative, provocative, controversial forms of First Amendment expression--and other fun uses of freedom--are we missing? Tell us now.

At Liberty: Friday, April 20, 2012

It's not the First Amendment for nothing. We're highlighting ways
people are using their freedom of expression and other liberties.


It's all starting to make sense! Last year, Fox Business accused the Muppets of spreading socialism... This week, the Massachusetts Republican Party attacked Harry Belafonte, calling his political views "extreme" and "anti-American".... AND HARRY BELAFONTE IS A KNOWN MUPPET SYMPATHIZER.

This weekend, the Brattle Theatre honors Jim Hensen's notorious Reds with a Muppet Madness showing of all their films (good luck getting in--the Brattle has had to turn people away from previous showings like this), and even a sing-along. And May 22 at our Bill of Rights Dinner, the ACLU of Massachusetts will give Harry Belafonte the Roger Baldwin award, our highest honor, for his lifetime of work for justice and equality. - CO


Congratulations to Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer prize earlier this week. Media watcher Dan Kennedy notes that this is the Globe's third Pulitzer for arts coverage in just the last few years. Kennedy says this shows Boston is "a place where intelligent, literate criticism is read and appreciated." What do you think? - CO


Before we celebrate the weekend, we wanted to call your attention to one particularly creative protester who is none too happy about the "naked" scanners the TSA has rolled out with abandon. This gentleman turned up buck naked at the security checkpoint at Portland International Airport, giving TSA the full monty, before they got to see the full monty in x-ray format. Nothing says "hands off" quite like this. - DR


Speaking of the "full monty," the Stoneham Theatre performs The Full Monty, a play adapted from the 1997 comedy about unemployed British millworkers who pose nude to make a little money, through May 6. The theatre advises that the play is "recommended for mature audiences," but let's face it: it isn't people's "mature" side that made "The Full Monty" a hit. - CO


Porn: Fantasy vs. Reality. The Full Monty might be fun and games, but this Saturday, Boston's Hispanic Black Gay Coalition looks at more serious questions in The Raw Reality: Porn & Black and Latino Representation, as part of a "Fantasy vs. Reality" weekend of "events exploring the impact of the gay porn industry on Black and Latino identity, behavior, and representation." - CO


What a drag! The Fierce Forever 9 drag ball takes place April 26 at MIT. - CO


Just when you thought you were safe from the hordes of anime and video game fans roaming the city in wonderfully creative attire -- Boston Comic Con is here to bring the nerdy festivities right back. This Saturday and Sunday, Hynes Convention Center will play host to numerous comics-related vendors, parties, fans and festivities, and the central theme this year is a celebration of Mad Magazine.

Lest you think this is all fluff, take a look at the con's description of Mad:

"Mad Magazine was the equivalent of the Big Bang for American post-war humor. Mad taught people to question authority, to think for themselves, and to laugh at the absurdity and horror of life."

That sounds like a pretty awesome First Amendment endorsement to me. - DR


CO = Christopher Ott, ACLUm Communications Director
DR = Danielle Riendeau, ACLUm Online Communications Coordinator


Freedom is more fun!

What creative, provocative, controversial forms of First Amendment expression--and other fun uses of freedom--are we missing? Tell us now.