Oh John Carroll

Tag: the atlantic

Notional If / Unshakable When →

Jennifer Gilmore writes about the often unheard side of domestic adoption in a sad, sometimes haunting piece:

Matched, as we know from the dating world alone, is a coded word. My spouse and I were matched with birthmothers not once, not twice, not three times, but a total of five times. The most horrible things kept happening: Birthmothers and those posing as birthmothers, birthfathers and those posing as birthfathers lied to us. Birthmothers are doing a very selfless and generous thing when they decide they are unable to parent and place their child with wanting parents. It is a decision made out of big, big love for that child. Adoption, when it is successful, is a wonderful thing. But everyone coming to it is grieving in some way. It would be wrong not to acknowledge this. We have been lied to by birthmothers who wanted money, and who, when I look at the situation in the harsh light of hindsight, wanted the control and love they had so little of in their lives. More than one of the women who chose us may not have been pregnant; it would be wrong to call them birthmothers.

(via Alicia Oltuski)

Coercive →

I had the chance to see Zero Dark Thirty yesterday, which then allowed me to dive into the writing about the film that I had been collecting for the past month.  I want to link to Mark Bowden’s piece about why Zero Dark Thirty isn’t pro-torture:

Everyone understands the rules of this game. Theater is theater, not a scrupulous presentation of fact. We ought to feel betrayed only when filmmakers depart egregiously and deliberately from the record, as Oliver Stone so often has done, substituting what he thinks might be true or perhaps would like to be true for what is known. Reality, after all, is messy and only rarely lines up neatly enough for a two-hour script. Hollywood’s “true story” aims only to color safely inside the lines of history.

I’m increasingly surprised by audiences who want artists to take moral stands in the narrative of their work, rather than in the construction of that narrative.  It’s an approach that would avoid grey areas and merely present arguments in black and white.  It’s not subtle, nor would it be rewarding.

Making Lots of Money →

Alexis Madrigal summarizes the concerns surrounding Instagram’s new terms of service, and comes to a good conclusion:

Truly, the only way to get around the privacy problems inherent in advertising-supported social networks is to pay for services that we value. It’s amazing what power we gain in becoming paying customers instead of the product being sold.

Yup.  I’m tired of seeing friends unwittingly shilling cell phones on Facebook.

The Enviable Dimwittedness of a Dog →

Maria Popova explores why we love dogs at The Atlantic.

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