HUFFINGTON POST & SOCIAL MEDIA

HUFFINGTON POST


Stories by ROBERT WELLER


JIHADIST HUMOR


While it might seem impossible to make a funny movie about would-be terrorists, British director Chris Morris has found a way in the Four Lions.

The director known for his spoofs of TV news stories, in a Monty Python style, tells the story of a group of Muslims who have grown up in England but want to be part of the holy war against infidels.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/jihadist-humor_b_706994.html



MADAME BUTTERFLY: A JOURNEY


Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly emerged slowly from her cocoon to become one of the world's most beloved operas.

Despite many twists and turns, 123 years since the story was first told it is the most performed opera in the United States, according to Opera America.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/madame-butterfly-a-journe_b_671844.html


VIVALDI NEEDS TO ADD MORE SEASONS

Snow blocking roads from Los Angeles. Crocodiles fleeing Australian rivers. Seals rescued from surging oceans. Angry Birds become more than a game as they drop from the skies of Arkansas and the Pacific Northwest, some with beaks that look like pretzels. The U.K. colder than David Copperfield could imagine.

Robert Service would have a field day with his Cremation of Sam McGee. Vivaldi would freak. 
His Four Seasons wouldn't be nearly enough.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/the-tv-weather-tease-toni_b_803767.html


SEXUAL ASSAULTS, SUICIDES AND MISCONDUCT IN THE MILITARY


The all-volunteer military has been hit by a growing wave of sexual assaults and suicides. As usual in the U.S., most attention has focused on how to control the problems, rather than why they are happening.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/sexual-assaults-and-suici_b_3303356.htm

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MADAME BUTTERFLY: A JOURNEY


Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly emerged slowly from her cocoon to become one of the world's most beloved operas.

Despite many twists and turns, 123 years since the story was first told it is the most performed opera in the United States, according to Opera America.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/madame-butterfly-a-journe_b_671844.html


MY GRANNY, WHAT A BIG RIFLE YOU HAVE

Once upon a time, not long ago at all, a really big black bear was settling down for a long winter's nap in a den in northwestern Colorado.

Then it saw a creature wearing an orange vest and carrying a long thing. "My, what a big stick you have," the bear said.

"All the better to shoot you with," said the "hunter." And he did -- killing the 703-pound bear with one shot from a .45-70 caliber lever-action rifle, according to theGrand Junction Daily Sentinel.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/my-granny-what-a-big-rifl_b_805819.html


VIVALDI NEEDS TO ADD MORE SEASONS

Snow blocking roads from Los Angeles. Crocodiles fleeing Australian rivers. Seals rescued from surging oceans. Angry Birds become more than a game as they drop from the skies of Arkansas and the Pacific Northwest, some with beaks that look like pretzels. The U.K. colder than David Copperfield could imagine.

Robert Service would have a field day with his Cremation of Sam McGee. Vivaldi would freak. 
His Four Seasons wouldn't be nearly enough.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/the-tv-weather-tease-toni_b_803767.html


THE NEUTRALITY OF LANGUAGE,  A POEM OF DEATH

It seemed so horrible when I first heard

Though that Kabul suicide bombing blast lent just the right tone

For the day some said would be the apocalypse

But if it were really true would we have even heard

It only takes a few minutes to get over things these days anyway

And if there is even a faint pulse a blood pulp can be kept alive

When a bullet to the head would be more merciful

Or bullets to the chest and head like Bin Laden

Those covered in blood learn so many neutral ways to explain it

Things not even a Primo Levi would try to make sense of

Let's just call it post-traumatic stress disorder

Because there are so many neutral ways

To tell stories that shouldn't even be imagined Let alone told

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/the-neutrality-of-languag_b_865064.html


SCOTTISH TERRIER WINS COLD NOSE CONTEST FOR FIRST TIME



For the first time in the history of the world contest for coldest dog nose, a Scottish terrier has won.

The dog, Gruff, recorded a nasal temperature of somewhere between 99 and 102.5 F. Celsius 37.2 to 39.2.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/scottish-terrier-wins-201_b_879616.htm



MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GADDAFI

Anyone looking for an answer to the Libyan crisis should look to France, they have two. Negotiate with Gaddafi, who after all has already agreed to leave. Or bomb him up to the Stone Age.

It is reminiscent of the Holy Grail crew's treatment by the French, who for some unknown reason had a castle in England.

"What are you doing in England," one of King Arthur's knights asks? "None of your business," says the French warrior atop the castle.

Another possible solution: get one of Murdoch's boys to get all of Gaddafi's codes and put them on the Internet, unencrypted. See what the Vox Pop can do.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/monty-python-gaddafi_b_896441.html


JOURNALISTS AS FIRST RESPONDERS

It is a question journalists have pondered for years, though perhaps mostly in their nightmares.

Forty years ago journalists were taught not to get involved. Do your job and get out.

How does a reporter square that with the fact that today's communications, and the spread of terrorism, result in them increasingly becoming what amounts to the first responders to a disaster?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/journalists-as-first-resp_b_662582.html


ANOTHER GUN MYTH BITES THE DUST

For pro-gun groups and the Sarah Palin crowd, the inevitable reaction to a massacre by a gun user is a call for looser gun rules. There is another urban legend, ab initio, that somehow if good pistol-packing folks were present the killer would have been foiled.

READERS NOTE: It is several years since this story was written and there still hasn't been a single instance of a pistol-packing citizen blocking a massacre.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weller/another-gun-myth-blasted_b_808467.html




Stories on other sites:







   The End of Privacy

   In this century it appears the loss of anonymity will be more shocking than the loss of virginity.

   Two events that resulted in deaths, and both involve the Internet at least tangentially, signal the need for a reexamination of privacy.

   Is it even possible in a world with surveillance cameras wherever you turn?  Drones aren’t only used in Afghanistan.

In the Princeton suicide case of Tyler Clementi his predator had figured out how to set up a remote control viewing of his sex with an older gay man.




    SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT LEGO MOVIES


    While the world was watching the Social Media animate the Arab World in real life, there was a dark side. Lego, on the other hand, seems pretty bright.

    Not nearly as violent as the video games my kids play.

    As I was updating on my Web page on the Columbine Massacre (I was the leading AP reporter) I couldn’t resist adding the Lego Columbine piece. It is Danish, a reflection of how Lego movies or clips or whatever they are know no boundaries.

    Tim Burton developed the stop motion animation, among others.


    SOCIAL MEDIA SHOWS PUTIN REMAINS BAD COP

    The good cop, bad cop drill was working well for Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.

    Even my 20-year-old son was fooled by Medvedev’s good looks and Putin’s Mafia style. So was I.

    When Medvedev seemed to clash with Putin over what was going on in Libya it made him even more of a world hero.

    Everyone knew Putin was the chief don, but hoped somehow Dmitry would drive him from power. Medvedev seemed aware of how the world was changing because of social media. I even got a Tweet once from a page that was theoretically his.

    I recall Putin and Medvedev telling the U.S. not to get so uptight about Wikileaks.

    It was only a matter of time. Although the former Evil Empire managed to trick some liberals into opposing the denouement of Gaddafi, history readers knew it was Russian trash.


    HAS SOCIAL MEDIA MET ITS MATCH


    AURORA—In the hours right after the murders at an Aurora theater’s premier of the latest Batman film, crowd sourcing overwhelmed Twitter and some other social media.

    Twitter “throttled” its inputs, but messages popped up faster than anyone could possibly handle without a desk full of editors.

    Even then, how would an editor know if what was being said was real. Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates complained about pranks, and said someone had pretended to be him.

    Hoaxes have always been possible. During the 1999 Columbine Massacre a hoaxster convinced a Denver television station that he was hiding in bushes and pleading to rescued.

    There is no doubt that Twitter and the rest of social media have value. They did help unleash the “Arab Spring.”

    However, in some cases, advocates used the social media to bring down governments and their agendas were clear but not their identities.

    During natural disasters, for example the New Zealand earthquake, authorities persuaded people to stay off Twitter so the few working lines could be used for emergencies.

    Another facet of news coverage seen today was that witnesses have seen so much violence on TV, movies and in some cases real life, that they were far more articulate.




    WHAT A TIME FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY TO PUBLICLY BECOME MONEY GRUBBERS

    One evening in Manhattan in the mid ‘70s I was leaving Rockefeller Center for home and the thunder began, heavy rain followed.

    I could have taken a subway, but chose to dance my way “Singing in the Rain,” literally.

The way things seem headed in a direction that if I tried it today the copyright police would be after me.

    These people want us to pay to watch 20-year Bond films.








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