Sunday, May 26, 2013
Purple State Of Mind News
Tracking Purple State of Mind across America…
As always, so much to argue about that it hardly seems worth the effort to get into a fight. Instead of wading into the latest news about GOP presidential hopes and woes or going back to the well for more Bin Laden, it feels like time to take a break and survey the wider world.
Or even the wider solar system, if we’re really ambitious. Endeavor tries again this week to make its final voyage away from planet earth–Oh wait! Holy crap! NASA has just announced another delay! Now, the launch will take place no sooner than Monday, May 16. So why feature an item here?
For the simple reason that news out of China is just too depressing and forces us to turn our eyes heavenward. We’d rather look there than continue the search for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who has been missing since April 3, taken into custody by his own government before boarding a plane in Hong Kong. The charge is “economic crimes”, which may refer to his earning potential in the West.
Case in point, “Circle Of Animals/Zodiac Heads”, which can be seen around the world in New York, Berlin and, as of this week, at Somerset House in London. Go see it for your own viewing pleasure or as a protest against artists and activists detained anywhere in the world. Others besides Weiwei have been rounded up by the Chinese in the last few weeks, and events in Syria need no introduction.
They do, however, require illumination. This week, on Friday, Amnesty International will release its annual report on human rights abuses, and the Syrian government is bound to be high on the list of malefactors. This week, Amnesty reports that more than 500 people have been killed in clashes with the government since the uprising began last month; hundreds more have been arrested, and some of those may well end up being subjected to what the United States calls “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Here at Purple State, we call it torture.
These victims of state violence are well off the radar, so if you feel the urge to sign a petition this month, here’s a real good place to start.
But maybe you’re too busy getting ready for Festival de Cannes, which begins on Wednesday and features the usual fresh flash of cinema by the world’s most eminent directors. Woody Allen and Terence Malick are part of the program, and so is Pedro Almodovar, but we always look forward to the latest Lars Von Trier. This one, shockingly, is called “Melancholia”, and features a log line so delectable that we have to include it here.
Justine and Michael are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister and brother-in-law. Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth…
We’re in, baby. The suspense is already killing us. What if Melancholia collides with earth? Will Justine and Michael’s posh bash end with a bang or a whimper? Or can these determined newlyweds pull off the party of the year, using an interplanetary disaster that threatens to knock over the champagne flutes, scatter caviar, and drive the butler and maid fornicating in the pantry out into the open to the best possible advantage?
The possibilities are endless and so topical. Will the shuttle Endeavor be up and running in time to save the day? Will Bashar Assad be disinvited from the party at the last minute due to human rights abuses? Or will Weiwei turn up in a dinner jacket, making vague excuses about passport problems in Hong Kong?
Only Von Trier knows for sure.
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