This year, more abortion restrictions have been put into place across the U.S. than ever before, and it’s getting messy. In 2021 alone, state legislatures have passed more than 90 laws restricting reproductive rights. According to an NPR article, some state legislatures are emboldened by the 6 – 3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court, a majority that drives the current wave of antiabortion policies.
Do you believe in fate? I like to think I don’t, and yet I always find myself looking for how the pieces of reality fit together to make a big picture that is more than the sum of its parts. I only recently became aware of one such coincidence. On September 24, 1991, two momentous albums, Nevermind by Nirvana and Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers were released to applause so tumultuous it resounds today, 30 years later.
September 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of the most horrendous terrorist attack on American soil. In a series of four coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center’s north and south towers, the west side of the Pentagon, and United Airlines flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, PA, almost 3,000 people lost their lives.
11’09”01: September 11 provides one of the first cinematic responses to the attacks as well as to terrorism around the world. In films lasting exactly 11 minutes, 9 seconds, and 1 frame, 11 acclaimed filmmakers from 11 different countries and cultures provide us with not only deeply touching, but also provocative and disturbing moments.
As the world knows, Donald Trump’s 2016 election to the presidency had healthy assistance from Russian bots that, in spite of their non-human circumstance, knew a great deal about unverified corruption of Hillary Clinton and were generously eager to share that information with certain receptive segments of the American public. During that time, there were verified attempts to hack into 21 states, but we never found out if they were successful as the Trump administration declared the budget wouldn’t allow for an investigation. Some highly suspicious Americans (we call them Democrats) worried aloud that the 2020 election might also be rigged. Fortunately, Trump knew how to tell. During the campaign, when Joe Biden was leading in the polls, he stated that if Biden were announced the winner, we would know the election was rigged. Well, Biden was announced the winner, so there you have it, clear proof of fraud.
And if you’re wondering what this image has to do with the election recounts, then…
I think it’s likely true that the people of all nations love their patriotic songs even when they don’t agree with their message.
I love American patriotic music, although some of the lyrics are much too bellicose and virtually all of it is much too religious for this atheist to embrace. And the music itself may or may not be American. Indeed, the music of one of our most prominent songs, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” is the British national anthem “God Save the Queen.” This rendition is sung by Aretha Franklin at Barack Obama’s inauguration:
Perhaps more ironic is the fact that our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” a poem written in praise of our efforts against the English in the War of 1812, is set to the tune of a British drinking song, “The Anacreontic Song.”
The month of June commemorates a turning point in many countries’ LGBTQ+ history. In the U.S., the Stonewall Riots mark this turning point.
The Stonewall Inn is a gay bar located in Greenwich Village. Before the riots, the police routinely raided the Mafia-run gay bars to harass or detain members of the LGBTQ+ community. On the morning of June 28, 1969, a surprise raid took place at the Stonewall Inn. The angry patrons and neighborhood residents, fed up with the constant police harassment and social discrimination, gathered outside the bar and became increasingly agitated about the police aggressively manhandling people. Soon afterward, the onlookers began to throw objects – pennies, bottles, and cobble stones – at the police. The full-blown riot continued for five more days, involving thousands of people clashing with law enforcement on Christopher Street and neighboring roads. The fabulous Marsha P. Johnson, a Black drag queen, is credited for throwing the first stone – although she’s never confirmed it.