Short Takes: News From All Over

Rebel Hell
By Cesar Oman, The Pitch
This story is unbelievable. No, really — it’s a complete hoax. Kansas City’s alt-weekly published a fake expose cover story claiming that excavators had turned up the remains of six Confederate soldiers at an arena construction site, and that Confederate heritage groups were insisting the rebel flag be flown over the gravesite. The wooly yarn, meant as a jab at Missouri Governor Matt Blunt for allowing the Dixie flag to be flown at a state cemetery earlier this month, is woven into what seems to be a reporter’s golden fleece replete with scandal, intrigue, and ladies of the night. The piece took in a bunch of folks, some of whom didn’t appreciate the lampoonery. Journalistic integrity aside, it’s a fun read. — Archie Ingersoll
Fake news:
Real news:

The Cotton Club
By Bakari Kitwana, The Village Voice
Underground hip-hop answers mainstream rap’s homage to bling and thugs with voices of resistance. But the black-conscious message falls on the ears of a primarily white audience. Bakari Kitwana explores the debate over whether the whitening of hip-hop is simply an evolution of art or just another form of racial supremacy. — Grace Hanson,kitwana,65332,22.html

Solar Derby
By Amanda Griscom Little, Grist
Governor Schwarzenegger wants ‘to pump solar up.’ His plan to install photovoltaic panels on a million California rooftops has the potential to make the state the world’s largest consumer of solar energy. But spats with ‘girly’ Democratic state legislators may deflate the initiative. In early August, when the legislation is expected to come to a vote, we’ll see whether the roof is in the pudding or not. — Archie Ingersoll

The Minuteman’s 15 Minutes of Fame (Minute 14.5)
By Harmon Leon, SF Weekly
Wearing fatigues and aviator shades, experiential journalist Harmon Leon infiltrates the world of the Minuteman Project and its quirky cast of characters: a retired Army man dubbed ‘Papa Bear,’ a Mexican-American fireman, a pissed-off TV reporter, a pistol-brandishing lady rancher, an angry Brown Beret, and patty-cake playing ACLU legal observers, among others. In between yuks, he recalls his time spent sort of patrolling the Arizona border. — Archie Ingersoll

Prisoners to Design Own Jail
Paul Arendt, The Guardian
People warn against building your own prison, but architect Will Alsop thinks it’s a good idea for some people — long-term inmates. Through a project sponsored by Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation), a group that brings art into prisons, Alsop will guide prisoners in designing a ‘creative prison’ that would emphasize rehabilitation over punishment. Though the prison envisioned by the inmates will never be constructed, proponents of the project hope it will spark debate about the function of prison design and engage prisoners in a creative process. — Rose Miller,11711,1512625,00.html

Learning the ‘Other’s’ Historical Story
By Danny Rubinstein, Haaretz
They say you learn history to avoid making the mistakes of the past. But when your history is intertwined with your supposed enemy’s, it can help to learn theirs too. That’s the idea driving two researchers — an Israeli and a Palestinian — who have presented their peoples’ distinct historical perspectives side-by-side in a workbook published in Arabic and Hebrew. Their project, ‘Learning the Historical Narrative of the Other,’ is meant to open dialogues and make each side feel ‘more secure and less threatened by the other side’s story.’ — Hannah Lobel

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