Article: “In Myanmar, apartheid tactics against minority Muslims” by Jason Szep
Starting off with something pretty depressing this week. In general, I don’t recommend straight news articles here, but this is an issue I don’t think is getting enough coverage and Reuters has been doing an excellent job with it. In Burma, as the country slowly and shakily moves toward democracy after decades of military dictatorship, there have been numerous deadly attacks by the Buddhist majority against the Muslim minority— in particular, the Rohingya ethnic group, who, according to the government, are not even Burmese, but “Bengali” refugees from Bangladesh. Police have been, at best, indifferent to the violence, and at worst complicit in it. The cyclone that has been moving through the area has worsened the situation, as many Rohingya are afraid or unwilling to move from the temporary shelters that relief agencies have created for them. If nothing else, this piece shows how invaluable real on the ground reporting is in cases like this.
The new album from The National is now streaming for free on iTunes. I’m not sure how much longer this link will work; the record actually goes on sale on Tuesday, so presumably it will stop then— but then it should be on Spotify and whatnot. My first impression is that this is a much more subdued album than the last one, with fewer clear show-stoppers. My favorites so far are “My Demons” and “Fireproof.” Anyway, it’s a National album. It’s good. Listen to it.
Mix: “HEADMUK Exclusive Mix” by Distance
I’ve talked about Distance here before; he’s far and away my favorite dubstep producer (unless we count Burial— and there is definitely a certain kind of affinity between them). To accompany his interview on the blog HEADMUK, he’s put together a mix of stuff from his label, Chestplate Records. Of course, the quality isn’t consistent throughout, but it’s a good mix of solid UK dubstep. Stream it below, or download the whole mix here.
Images: Sloth Watercolors
Since we started on such a downer, I will end on a lighter note. These are famous paintings and images (the Mona Lisa, the Girl with a Pearl Earring, as well as some famous photographs and film scenes) recreated with sloths instead of people. As some people will know, I like sloths a lot, and would generally see any substitution of sloths for people as an upgrade. But really, how can you not enjoy this?
My personal favorite: