SEEING ANON(YMOUS) VOICES
Homer’s Odyssey, with its focus on the literal hero’s journey (what up, J. Campbell), may seem an unlikely vehicle for social commentary but, according to the The Austin Chronicle, Naomi Iizuka’s retelling of the epic poem is “whip-smart and spot-on.” In her version, presented by St. Edward’s University’s Department of Performing Arts, lead character ANON(ymous) (Anon) is a refugee who gets separated from his family—he’s sloshed overboard from a U.S.-bound ship. He washes up on the beach in the temptress Calista’s gated community, and encounters a place of “few rules and fewer kindnesses.” Viewing the hero’s journey through the lens not of a lost-and-found adventure but of desperate chances people take to find a better home, is an epic reminder that “displaced people are still people.”
SURE, I’LL BE RIGHT OVER …
On Nov. 16, The Cleveland Scene reported that a big-hearted soul, with difficult-to-clean hair (and a little dandruff, too), offered—without a single thought of remuneration—two, yes, two “partially used shampoos.” The Craigslist poster then instructed potential new owners/shampooers to meet him ‘in front of my apartment in downtown Cleveland.’ Oh, my … what’s scarier, free Craigslist hair products or the person who’ll show up there to score them?
MASSHOLES AND MEDICINE
While the rest of the country roils in the uncertainty of the current presidential administration’s attempt (yet again) to derail the Affordable Care Act, Dig Boston notes that Massachusetts state senators “have approved an amendment to a bill that could help pave the way to a single-payer healthcare system in Massachusetts.” The amendment directs the nonpartisan Health Policy Commission “to compare three years of actual healthcare costs in the state to the cost under a model single-payer system.” This data could provide the basis for a conversation about universal healthcare, without the overhead of the insurance agency. Who’s excited to move to Mass with us?
TARGETING THE PEOPLE
These days, it seems ICE agents act less in the best interests of our nation and more in the interests of a certain strain of fear-based nationalism that finds a home with the current Tweeter-in-Chief’s administration. On Nov. 16, the Village Voice reported ICE agents are making arrests inside New York courthouses; agents can enter freely (they must declare themselves), and courthouses are under the purview of the Office of Court Administration and therefore outside Mayor Bill de Blasio’s and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s assurances to noncitizens that city and state employees, including police officers, will not assist ICE in deportation efforts. Court officers do not aid in the arrests, but as long as the arrest doesn’t interrupt court proceedings, they don’t intervene, either. And “once an immigrant is in ICE custody, regardless of his innocence in criminal court, attorneys have little recourse,” the paper reports. One is reminded of something Archbishop Desmond Tutu said; you know, about being neutral in situations of injustice—it means you have chosen the side of the oppressor.