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    There’s a bit of hard science in “Alive Inside” (supplied by Sacks in fascinating detail) and also the beginnings of an immensely important social and cultural debate about the tragic failures of our elder-care system and how the Western world will deal with its rapidly aging population. As Sacks makes clear, music is a cultural invention that appears to access areas of the brain that evolved for other reasons, and those areas remain relatively unaffected by the cognitive decline that goes with Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders. While the “quickening” effect observed in someone like Henry is not well understood, it appears that stimulating those undamaged areas of the brain with beloved and familiar signals – and what will we ever love more than the hit songs of our youth? — can unlock other things at least temporarily, including memory, verbal ability, and emotion. Sacks doesn’t address this, but the effects appear physical as well: Everyone we see in the film becomes visibly more active, even the man with late-stage multiple sclerosis and the semi-comatose woman who never speaks.
    One physician who works with the elderly tells Michael Rossato-Bennett’s camera, in the documentary “Alive Inside,” that he can write prescriptions for $1,000 a month in medications for older people under his care, without anyone in the healthcare bureaucracy batting an eye. Somebody will pay for it (ultimately that somebody is you and me, I suppose) even though the powerful pharmaceutical cocktails served up in nursing homes do little or nothing for people with dementia, except keep them docile and manageable. But if he wants to give those older folks $40 iPods loaded up with music they remember – which both research and empirical evidence suggest will improve their lives immensely — well, you can hardly imagine the dense fog of bureaucratic hostility that descends upon the whole enterprise.
    “Alive Inside” opens this week at the Sunshine Cinema in New York. It opens July 25 in Huntington, N.Y., Toronto and Washington; Aug. 1 in Asbury Park, N.J., Boston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia; Aug. 8 in Chicago, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Palm Springs, Calif., San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., and Vancouver, Canada; Aug. 15 in Denver, Minneapolis and Phoenix; and Aug. 22 in Atlanta, Dallas, Harrisburg, Pa., Portland, Ore., Santa Fe, N.M., Seattle and Spokane, Wash., with more cities and home video to follow.

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    Nigeria’s military has called last week’s attack on Baga, a fishing community on the shores of Lake Chad, the deadliest yet by Boko Haram in their five-year war to establish an Islamic caliphate. Death toll estimates from the most recent assault range from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people killed, and thousands more displaced.
    “The gunmen pursued fleeing residents into the bush, shooting them dead,” he told AFP. “For five kilometers [three miles], I kept stepping on dead bodies until I reached Malam Karanti village, which was also deserted and burnt.”

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    The next morning when I checked online to make sure the piece had been posted, I got a sick feeling when I read the headline: “Rihanna: ‘All I see Is Palestine,’” was the title, using a line in the story where I’d mentioned how the artist had changed up the chorus to one of her songs to include some local flavor.

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    William Gibson is so secure in his status as a prophet of the digital age that it’s easy to forget he’s been publishing novels for just 15 years — about as long as the Apple Macintosh has been around. But the computer revolution is all the history Gibson needs for his books; he combines it with old-fashioned notions of character and suspense and skews his novels hyperkinetically forward in time. A futurist who plays games with the present, Gibson imbues his stories with elements of technology both recognizable and unfathomable.
    In his new novel, “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” Gibson taps the vein of our cultural angst where it runs nearest to the surface: millennialism. He returns here to Colin Laney and Rei Toei, as well as to characters from 1993’s “Virtual Light,” which, like “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” is set in NoCal and SoCal (the two states that formerly constituted California) in the not too distant future. In his now familiar collision-course style, Gibson hurtles his cast toward San Francisco and the “cusp of some unprecedented potential for change” — the kind of widespread social disruption everyone had expected way back at the turn of the millennium.

    It??s whether men in America and around the world are going to be duped by explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders into seeing what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda, while at the same time being insulted AND tricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewritten right in front of their very eyes.
    Clearly, Clarey missed all those reports about the ACLU’s investigation into Hollywood’s notorious sexism, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there given his preexisting inclinations. Unfortunately, plenty of MRA commenters seemed to agree with his assessment; the most up-voted comment might actually be more troubling than Clarey’s original blog post.
    “Women and feminists in general have without a doubt, proven that they are dysfunctional by nature and cannot be trusted with anything. And this movie helps to prove it,” a user called “truth” writes. “Always maintain your masculinity.”

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