Latest from Standing Rock; The WWII Battle of Los Angeles??”; New Smithsonian museum already hits a milestone

A few protesters have remained at camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Latest from Standing Rock: the camps were cleared today, and it seems that most of the protestors decided to leave rather than face a violent confrontation. Many did not leave, however, and they are being arrested. I think we are all relieved that so far only a couple of people seem to have gotten hurt, but I think this thing is far from over. The court case is still pending, and another was filed last week by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization. They filed a motion questioning the legality of the Trump administration’s decision to issue the permit he granted for the project to continue. If the court attempts fails, protestors have vowed to use any means to shut down the pipeline. It’s just a heartbreaking situation.

On a lighter note: Ever heard of the WWII Battle of Los Angeles? (If you are a fan of Spielberg’s vastly underrated movie, 1941, you might have). If not, check out this interesting post about the bizarre February 23, 1942 event that was a product of intense paranoia and “war nerves.” And speaking of Spielberg’s movie, it is legendary as his biggest flop and critical failure. Personally, I have never understood that. I’ve always liked it, even back when it first came out. I feel audiences were just not ready for how loud, frenetic and over-the-top it was at the time of its release. It would probably play better today than it did back then. It is big, loud, and comically stupid, but I love it. It recreates wartime LA beautifully, complete with an awesome swing dance scene, and has an all-star cast (Belushi, Akroyd, Ned Beatty, and even Robert Stack and Warren Oates). Yes, it is probably not everybody’s cup of tea, but it is based very loosely on this actual wartime event (exaggerating it of course for comedic effect and throwing in a massive fight scene between the different military branches). So don’t let its reputation keep you from giving it a try.

The Smithsonian African American History and Culture Museum is off to an amazing start. It just welcomed its one millionth visitor in only 4 months of operation. More impressive, the average time that visitors stay there is SIX HOURS or more on weekends, compared with about 75 minutes for other museums. Man, I have got to get there more sooner than later.

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