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Daily Bloggerback
Best of Blogs Round-Up: February 14, 2006

Non-disclaimer: We're liberal to the core, but we include in this daily blog review the political, the social, the cultural and the undefinable from the left, the right, the in-between from all over the globe. And we're suckers for good writing regardless of ideology. Clicking the link will take you to the original post.

Featured Blog I: Mussolini 2006
Art, Sports and Fascism

While watching the televised opening ceremonies for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, I was stunned to hear the anchorman casually mention the fact that the stadium had been “built by Benito Mussolini,” a fact to which was attributed no historical context or significance. I found myself wondering if such a nonchalant attitude would have been taken had the stadium been built by Adolph Hitler. While the international press focused on the colorful glitz of the opening ceremonies with its flaming rollerbladers, dancing cows, soaring acrobats, and appearances by Luciano Pavarotti, Yoko Ono and Peter Gabriel, it was the “Salute to Futurism” that really got my attention. How ironic that I started this month by writing Back To The Futurists, a blog post about the Italian Futurist art movement and its overt support for fascism. The founder of the movement, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, wrote in his 1909 Futurist Manifesto, “We want to glorify war - the only cure for the world - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, ...Read the rest at Art-for-a-Change...

Featured Blogger II: Assault
A Woman Traveling Alone in India: An Attempted Rape

Yesterday was really fucked up. Fucked up to the point that I made a grueling 13 hour overnight bus journey to Chennai to stay with Todd and the Indian families he knows ’cause I couldn’t handle being alone, at least not for the moment. Summary: I came within a hair’s breadth of getting raped, and probably robbed and beaten for good measure. Part of me irrationally feels like I shouldn’t blog about this because it’ll somehow embarass or reflect badly on me, but thankfully all my domestic violence advocacy training has taught me to recognize that stigma for what it is. And seriously, FUCK that stigma. Women (and men!) should scream about this shit to everyone who will listen. So. I rented a bike, planning on biking from Belur to Halebid (a nearby temple town). The ride is short - about 15km - and along a fairly busy road smattered with villages. The Lonely Planet book says it’s a nice ride, others have told me that day-rides are pretty OK as long as you’re not on some weird back road, the young Indian girls thought it was a great idea, etc, so I figured it’d be safe. Got a nice early start, when it was still pleasantly cool outside… A little more than halfway there, I came upon an empty stretch of road. The last village was about 300 yards behind me, out of sight around a corner. A man passed me on a motorcycle, and I thought I recognized him as someone who had passed me going the other direction a few minutes back. Then he started to slow down. Oh shit. I sped up, resolutely ignoring him, hoping I’d arrive at another village soon. No such luck. He pulled up next to me, matching my pace, and started talking to me - I couldn’t understand what he was saying over the motor’s noise, but said “no!” anyway and then kept ignoring him, but he got more and more insistent, and finally he abruptly pulled his motorcycle in front of me and slammed on the brakes, forcing me to leap off my bike, my heart pounding. Before my feet hit the ground his hand had clamped onto my left shoulder and he was leaning towards me menacingly over my bicycle, staring into my face from less than a foot away.His facial expression was disturbingly calm, and he crooned to me: “Bushes. You me. Two minutes. Come on. Two minutes only. Come with me…” Read the rest...
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