Issue 43

The Silence, Friends and Fantasy edition

A weekly dispatch from What We Seee. Part of an ongoing mission to fulfil the cultural promise of the internet. An enriching and eclectic collection of music, art, film and stories. Think of it as your digital 5-a-day.

‘I see the awful things in my life and turn it into some thing funny’

If you’re a fan of the movie Joker, you might know that the film heavily references some extremely-good films from the 1970s and early 80s. However, are these references just visual or is there more at play? This edition of Wisecrack on The Philosophy of JOKER explores themes of class conflict, the cult of the anti-hero and how the film bends the distinction between fantasy and reality.

The story of three friends who inspired each other

In an unlikely plot, The Beastie Boys Story on Apple TV+ is the story of 3 friends who inspired each other and the world.

Keeping Quiet

by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Translation by Alistair Reed

The Anatomy of Hate

From The Marshall Project.

Five years ago, three Muslim college students were gunned down in their home, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by a white neighbour, Craig Hicks. Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha, two of the victims, had just been married. They were enjoying dinner with the bride’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, who was also killed. Police labeled the crime a parking dispute, sparking outrage among Muslims around the globe.

Did the murder of the college students in Chapel Hill meet the definition of a hate crime? That question is at the heart of this documentary. The film sheds light on the way the nation is responding to rising levels of bias-fueled violence and how we define what constitutes a hate crime under the law.

What would it mean to marry someone behind bars?

The inspiration behind this documentary by director Garrett Bradley:
“I woke up one morning noticing that my loneliness could be measured in heat – that the warmth of my sheets extended only as far as my own body. I wondered how many men and women woke up in America feeling that same isolation — and for how long.”


Cover photo

Sidney Poitier and his wife photographed at home by Gordon Parks, 1959


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