START-14

mosque2When a call for help goes out, Americans are famous for answering.

That’s true for natural disasters, human-rights violations and many other random, vociferous acts of kindness. But in the case of an Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas, the show of support was astonishingly quick and multi-denominational.

This week, I’ve turned CrankyYank upside down to lead with a Cure Your Crankies moment—because it represents Americans doing good in a very current-events situation.

In an apparent arson attack, the only Muslim house of worship in Victoria was burned to the ground. With a small congregation, according to NPR, the property was never insured. So, they had to turn to fundraising.

In two days they raised $900,000. From all walks of life, and from all economic backgrounds. In all, multiple churches and a local synagogue offered to host the congregation’s services. Staying with the NPR post:

Discussing his synagogue’s offer to host Muslim services, Robert Loeb, the president of the town’s Temple B’Nai Israel, told the Forward website that in Victoria, “everyone knows everybody. I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them.”

I’d like to see religious of all kinds reaching out to each other without tragedy. But still, this is a remarkable moment in that an act of hate has been answered with a show of love 10-times as loud.

After raising more than $1 million, the GoFundMe page has been closed—but the rebuilding will begin soon.

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-2-00-34-pm

 

START-7

Politicians’ town-hall events are usually sleepy affairs, with polite questions and sparse attendance.

That was then.

angrytownhalls

Turns out people are PISSED off, and they are taking The Resistance to directly to the same GOP politicians who are basically in bed with an unpopular president who is pushing unpopular programs and gathering deeply flawed people around him.

What’s their reaction to this fervor? Turn and run like chicken-shit fuck-knuckles.

So what’s their reaction to this fervor? Turn and run like chicken-shit fuck-knuckles. Joni Ernst left her town hall early after meekly taking a few questions; Dave Brat relocated his event to 60 miles away from where his constituents live; and dear ‘ol Marsha Blackburn ducked away from a protest outside her event.

But this week’s Resistance Award goes to this awesome 10-year-old girl named Hannah Bradshaw—who brought the house down with her question about science at a Jason Chaffetz event in Utah. (Chaffetz didn’t answer the question and got booed off the stage for favoring coal.)

Resistance and questioning should always remain high no matter who’s in power. But in this case, the hypocrisy wafting through the halls of Congress is too much for many of us to bear.

 

START-8

With the news as bad as it currently is (see the story above), I’ve been turning to scripted TV to save me. I’ve recently stumbled on Humans (AMC), and I’m very glad I did.

Set in a futuristic universe with advanced nanotechnology, the series follows a few separate-but-connected storylines of humans dealing with artificial intelligence (called “synths” in the series), some of which have achieved human-level consciousness.

As I’ve told anyone who’ll listen to me: Humans is not about science fiction, although it does have shades and nods to that genre. Nope, it’s more a high-level social experiment on how we would react if we had AI robotic humanoids at our service. There are shades of indentured servitude (“Mia” is one family’s housekeeper and, later, a sex toy), the Holocaust (Synths are branded with numbers on their arms) and the police state—the latter being very much up right now with an authoritarian regime running our country.

Production values are important. Storytelling and writing are important. Directing and acting, of course, are important. Humans has all of that and more. If I fault the series with anything is that some of the writing points fall flat in service to the plot, which is a common flaw in TV shows. Right now I’m catching up on Season 1 on Amazon Prime, and Season 2 is playing now. One of the best imports from the United Kingdom in a long time. (Grade for Filmmaking: A / Grade for writing: B+)

 

START-16

I’m following two follow stories from earlier editions of CrankyYank. First, “BOLO Han Solo”: new video has emerged from the moment Harrison Ford landed his plane directly over top of an American Airlines 737. He got so close the passengers could probably see Callista in the cockpit. (I made that last part up, obvs.) A continuation of this story is clearly not what the notoriously shy Hollywood actor wanted, but here it is anyway (ABC/World News Tonight)… This second one is a skootch older, but Meryl Streep accepted an Ally Award from the Human Rights Campaign—and it was her first public comments since Donald Trump called her a loser. The entire address is worth a watch—Streep presents more respect for the presidency than Trump ever will (HRC/YouTube).

 

START-14

Have you seen the Kilted Yoga guys? The Internet machine exploded a few days ago when this short was posted… I think I achieved immediate zen after watching it a few times. I’m not the only one:

The fellas in the video are Finlay Wilson, a yoga teacher in Scotland; and his student, Tristan Cameron-Harper. They’re both follow-worthy blokes on Instagram, so make sure to check them out. ❏

 

That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you right back here next Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.


Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.

Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists, reporters and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Thank a reporter if you like a story you see or read. Our success as a nation depends on your engagement and involvement at every level.

 

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