“Oh! We’re in a whale,” said my friend as we walked into the theater to see David Catlin’s adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
The stage is set with a white skeletal structure that suggests the great ribcage and jawbones of the massive sea monster, with us inside. From the time we start, we are an audience of Jonahs, waiting for deliverance in the dark belly.
Back in November, the 90-year-old Newton Minow was briefly back in the news, receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the early 1960s, Minow is most famous for that far-too-often-referenced speech he gave to the National Association of Broadcasters in 1961—the speech in which he described television as a “vast wasteland.”
A book called They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement could accomplish a lot of things. It could help us understand, on a factual level, what happened in cases like those of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott. It could teach us what the law says about these situations and how police are trained to handle them.