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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lena Dunham: A Generation’s Gutsy, Ambitious Voice

Lena Dunham: A Generation’s Gutsy, Ambitious Voice


Lena Dunham: A Generation’s Gutsy, Ambitious Voice

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 11:15 AM PDT

During the first season of her critically acclaimed HBO series, Girls, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath, high on opium, tells her parents, “I don’t want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation—or at least a voice of a generation.” The line made waves as people conflated the fictional character with her creator, perhaps not wrongly. How dare a young woman make such a bold claim? All too often our culture tells young women their voices don’t matter or deserve to be heard.

In her debut essay collection, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” Dunham demonstrates her 28-year-old voice’s admirable range. While some celebrity essay collections and memoirs are lackluster, even embarrassing to read, Not That Kind of Girl suffers few missteps. Dunham’s cinematic flair translates to the page with vigor and clarity—not unlike the late Nora Ephron, to whom she is often compared and to whom the book is dedicated (along with Dunham’s family and her boyfriend Jack Antonoff of the indie-rock band fun.). Instead of tossing pithy, pseudo-motivational observations at the reader, Dunham has crafted warm, intelligent writing that is both deeply personal and engaging, clustered in five topical sections: “Love & Sex,” “Body,” “Friendship,” “Work” and “Big Picture.”

Each of the 29 pieces—essays mixed with lists, like “18 Unlikely Things I’ve Said Flirtatiously”—is confident and assured, sidestepping self-deprecation and instead offering intense self-examination. Dunham’s self-awareness can almost overwhelm with truthiness, as in “Barry,” her glancing, tragicomic account of being raped by a “mustachioed campus Republican” who, among other nonconsensual acts, removes his condom without her permission or knowledge. “A sexual encounter that no one can classify properly” sounds precisely like a voice of her generation, one struggling to come to terms with rape culture. (And yet, “I feel like there are fifty ways it’s my fault … But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way” sounds like a voice of every generation of women.)

Unlike Hannah Horvath, Dunham in her self-awareness does not come across as self-obsessed. When she is absurd, she acknowledges that absurdity. “13 Things I’ve Learned Are Not Okay to Say to Friends” is among the most drolly enlightened of the lists, made up of ostensible real-life Dunham quotes like “No, please don’t apologize. If I had your mother I’d be a nightmare, too” and “There’s nothing about you in my book.”

She reveals her vulnerabilities in a deadpan manner, showing us how she loves and has been loved, how she has wronged and been wronged. But it’s not all laughing around the hard stuff. At the end of “Barry” comes a teary phone call with Antonoff, in which she tells him what happened with the hipster rapist; here the narrative turns deeply confidential, allowing the reader into what you realize is Dunham’s truest interior life, as fragile and authentic as yours or anyone’s.

Not That Kind of Girl is evidently what she has learned thus far, and Dunham is far from an autocratic memoirist, even warning us, “I’m an unreliable narrator. Because I add an invented detail to almost every story I tell about my mother. Because my sister claims every memory we ‘share’ has been fabricated by me to impress a crowd.”

Dunham has received a great deal of criticism from critics, including me, over the lack of racial diversity on Girls. That assessment is well but narrowly placed. The lack of diversity is a fault of Hollywood more than of Dunham. Thankfully, this essay collection translates far beyond the white, urban demographic of Girls.

Some things, like our humanity, are universal. We all examine our families’ bonds and oddities. We all experience the insecurity of becoming an adult and navigating the world in an imperfect, human body. In Dunham’s case, body image and family are inextricably linked. She believes her penchant for exhibitionism and onscreen nudity came from her mother, the artist Laurie Simmons, who took nude ur-selfies with a Nikon back in the day. We all love, and hate, and nurture ambitions and nurse failings. We all worry about death and cancer—“I’m not scared enough to do any 10K walks, but I’m pretty scared,” Dunham jokes in “My Top 10 Health Concerns” (which include tonsil stones and infertility). Her privilege is undeniable in her television work and even in these pages, but by revealing so much of herself in such an intelligent manner, she allows us to see past that privilege and into her person.

And what is a voice of a generation, really? The phrase offers a seductive rhetorical flourish that speaks, at its core, to a yearning. We are forever in search of someone who will speak not only to us but for us. In the introduction, Dunham writes, “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman.” Not That Kind of Girl is from that kind of girl: gutsy, audacious, willing to stand up and shout. And that is why Dunham is not only a voice who deserves to be heard but also one who will inspire other important voices to tell their stories too.

Roxane Gay is the author of Bad Feminist, a new collection of essays.

It’s Simple Math: You’re Probably Not Good Enough to Beat Bloodborne

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 11:13 AM PDT

The wonderful thing about Tokyo studio From Software’s games — the reason they’re beloved by such a widening swathe of gamers — is that they fly in the face of a decade’s worth of design assumptions: that successful games, especially financially successful ones, must be these inviting, cosseting, mechanically anodyne things.

Speaking as a deep admirer of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, it’s with great pleasure that I’m reading a statistically irrelevant number of people managed to beat the PAX Prime show-floor demo of From Software’s upcoming ego-collapser, Bloodborne, at the conference earlier this month.

According to DualShockers, who attended the show as well as a stage event during which Bloodborne producers Masaaki Yamagiwa and Marketer Yasuhiro Kitao broke down the demo’s play stats, just 20 people managed to beat the final antagonist, of some 3,500 people who tried (slightly more than half of one percent).

That percentage crept up slightly at the Tokyo Game Show last week, says DualShockers: 40 people succeeded, out of 1,250 attempts, or 3.2%.

Writes DualShockers’ Giuseppe Nelva:

As I mentioned when I posted my video, journalists and industry professionals that had exclusive access during the first two days did abysmally, with only one managing to kill the Cleric Beast.

Unfortunately that one wasn’t me, as I did get to the final boss, but didn’t stop to grab enough potions for healing along the way. The result is that I got killed before I could drop under 80% of its life bar. It was exhilarating.

Here’s video of the demo at PAX. Nelva advises you can cut in line to the 33 minute mark if you want to see a few of those elite, supernaturally gifted 20 players taking the thing out.

Bloodborne arrives for PlayStation 4 on February 6 next year.

How Not to Be a Jerk to Your Child Who Is Coming Out

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:53 AM PDT

xojane

This article originally appeared on xoJane.com.

Coming out isn’t simply one moment; it’s a process those in the LGBTQ community experience their whole lives. Regardless of how outwardly gay I am, I still have to come out occasionally.

Six months ago, I started a new job. I assume everyone who meets me knows automatically, including my new employers, but when I needed to request a day off for my girlfriend’s college graduation, I was still nervous. The truth is, I get nervous every time. There is always at least a little bit at stake. The anxiety one feels during these moments, however, is nothing compared to the terror during the moment — that first moment. That first time you look at your parents and say it.

That moment is life-defining. Eight years later, I still want to throw up when I think about coming out to my mother. Until you start coming out, your life is built on lies.

You don’t know how to talk to your peers because they’re starry-eyed over the opposite sex. You tell your parents that you don’t have a boyfriend because you’re too busy with school to think about boys. That cliche nightmare teenagers have about going to school naked — that’s what being closeted feels like. It’s a combination of feeling blatantly exposed and disconnected.

But that moment. That first time. That is when you first feel like a real person.

I collect coming out stories. I don’t pass them on to other people. They’re not trophies of mine to share, but I love hearing about when someone was first able to stop living their double life. Even an uneventful coming out story is the most raw and passionate piece of themselves a person can share.

And a lot of us wish we had or will have uneventful coming out stories, but the problem is that sometimes parents can be total dicks.

I realize many mothers don’t give birth and then immediately think “I hope this one grows up to be a flaming homosexual.” But this is not about you. So if you’re a parent, aspiring parent, or even if you hate children but there’s a possibility someday it could happen, let’s talk about how to not make your child’s coming out story a nightmare.

  1. Do not ask your newly out child about how they’re going to fare in the future.

I’ve heard this one far too many times. In fact, my friends’ parents will still occasionally ask, “Do you still want a family?”

As a lesbian, I feel like this questions secretly means “You don’t want a husband who’s going to support and take care of you?”

I don’t need a man to take care of me.

I think I do just fine on my own, thanks. If we’re really talking about an actual family of my own, sure I suppose some day I’ll want a wife and a couple of kids.

But being gay doesn’t stop us. There are a lot of different ways to have babies. We may have to do a little more work, but we’re a pretty resourceful community.

Parents will still ask this question. It seems to be a logical one, but it really just provokes a lot of guilt that we’re letting you down by not having that biblical sort of family.

Please don’t go there.

  1. Speaking of biblical, just don’t bring God into the coming out process, unless it’s to tell your child that he loves everyone.

Have you seen the video where the teenager from Georgia recorded his parents verbally and physically assaulting him because homosexuality goes against “the word of God”? The video may seem extreme, but this is a very real fear for many queer youths. If your child’s sexual orientation is such a violent contradiction to your religion, it’s time to disown your religion, not your child.

  1. Don’t tell your child that they’re too young to know their sexual orientation.

A good friend of mine was in seventh grade when he came out, but he knew a long time before that. I waited until I was 17, but my first crush was on a teacher when I was just six years old.

Generally, when we come out, we’ve been thinking about it a lot.

The words “I’m gay” didn’t just happen to fly out of my mouth as I was speaking because it was a fleeting thought I had 10 minutes ago. I agonized over my sexual orientation for years and spent weeks just wondering how I might begin to approach the topic with my parents. I spent the entire summer before my senior year sleeping with men, thinking maybe I could turn off the attraction to women.

We agonize over our coming out moments. We live in fear of our sexuality. Don’t minimize this freeing step by alluding to the idea that your child simply is too young to know.

  1. Don’t assume that your child is trying to be hip and rebellious by coming out.

No one “comes out” because they’re trying to piss off their parents.

When I was a teenager, bisexuality was trendy. Every high schooler who had more than a thousand MySpace friends was “interested in men and women.” But these weren’t the kids who struggled to sit down and have the serious sexuality discussion with their parents. If your child or teenager cares enough to begin a real conversation with you about their orientation, they’re not just gay for street cred. It’s the real deal.

  1. Don’t punish them. Like seriously, at all.

You can cry. That’s OK. Your child will understand. He or she will probably cry too. Any negative reaction that extends beyond that is unacceptable and a total dick move.

Coming out presents this newly found freedom, and your child will never want to return to the closet. Severe punishments and restrictions will only force them to rebel. You’ll create liars out of kids who were once model students simply because they’re avoiding the prison that was the closet. Your children will continue to be gay whether or not you allow it, but they would much rather be upfront and honest with you about it.

Coming out is not about the parent.

You didn’t make any mistakes to make your child gay. The most important way to not be a dick to your child when they come out is just to let them do it. Tell them you love them, and then move on with your lives. A gay child shouldn’t change anything in a familial relationship. We’re not asking you to hang a rainbow flag or go to a Pride parade with us.

Just be our mom, our dad, our family, our parents. That’s all we ever need you to be.

Biz Hurst is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

The Meaning of the New ISIS Videos

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:52 AM PDT

The orange jumpsuit is the same, but now there is no masked executioner, no knife, no barren desert backdrop. The new video series produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) features one of the militant group’s captives, British journalist John Cantlie, giving disquisitions from behind a desk.

As the United States begins a bombing campaign against targets in Syria, ISIS has switched propaganda tactics, swapping snuff films for sermons. In the first two installments of the ISIS lecture series, released on Twitter in recent days by the group’s Al-Furqan media center, Cantlie warns the West against the march to war.

“After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?” Cantlie says in the first video. “I’m going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivations of [ISIS].”

But for ISIS, the motivation behind the video is probably fear, says Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks Islamist extremism online. The murder of U.S. and British citizens failed to forestall the airstrikes, so the group is using the videos to argue the folly of foreign intervention against the self-declared Islamic caliphate.

To make the case, ISIS uses a familiar jihadist tactic: quoting Westerners critical of the West’s actions. In Cantlie’s second forced lecture, an almost six-minute clip released Tuesday, the British journalist, reading from a prepared script, quotes the former CIA officer Michael Scheuer, whom he praises for “considerable” knowledge of the Muslim world.

“Let’s get straight to the point with a quote from former-C.I.A.-chief-turned-vigorous anti-intervention-campaigner Michael Scheuer: ‘President Obama does not have the slightest intention of defeating the Islamic State,'” Cantlie says, quoting Scheuer to argue that a military strategy that relies on bombing but foreswears ground troops is a half-measure. Later in the video, Cantlie quotes a second U.S. official, former New Jersey Republican Gov. Tom Kean, saying the U.S. “failed to anticipate” the emergence of ISIS.

This is a shopworn rhetorical device for jihadi propagandists. In video lectures to the faithful, Islamist leaders regularly mix in reproachful quotes from top Western officials to buttress criticism of the U.S. and its allies. “There’s nothing better,” Katz says, “than using our own words against us.”

Scheuer—a veteran of the CIA’s Osama Bin Laden task force turned staunch critic of U.S. foreign policy—is something of a favored source for jihadists. His quotes have been invoked in propaganda videos and literature at least 16 times since 2007, according to a database compiled by SITE. He’s been referenced by figures ranging from al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman, Adam Gadahn, to a high-ranking official with the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab.

But the old CIA hand is hardly the only U.S. insider whose insights are deployed by jihadists. Both Bin Laden and Zawahiri have quoted journalist Bob Woodward’s reporting from within the inner circles of the presidency. Gadahn has twice invoked the writing of American author John Perkins, whose books purport to reveal the economic incentives of U.S. military adventures abroad. A native Californian with a finger on the pulse of his former country, Gadahn name-checked Bernie Madoff in a 2009 speech assailing the avarice of the U.S. financial system.

The words of Presidents and senior administration officials are regularly repurposed in Islamist propaganda for one cause or another. So are the columns of well-known pundits. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has been invoked at least three times by Zawahiri, while Bin Laden liked to borrow criticism from the political commentator Noam Chomsky to argue America’s depravity in one form or another.

The new ISIS video filches a term from Obama himself. “The president once called George Bush’s conflict ‘a dumb war,'” Cantlie notes, suggesting Bush’s successor was slipping into one of his own. As long as the terrorist lecture series continues, so too will the pattern of using the enemy’s words against them.

Jersey Shore’s Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Indicted for Tax Fraud

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:47 AM PDT

Former star of MTV reality series Jersey Shore Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino was indicted Wednesday alongside his brother Marc Sorrentino for allegedly failing to pay taxes on $8.9 million of income.

We know what you’re thinking: how on earth did a has-been reality star make $8.9 million? We wondered the same. Apparently, “The Situation,” known for his abs and stellar personality, raked in the cash during his peak-Shore years—between 2010 and 2012— largely by exploiting his celebrity status, but failed to pay taxes on the cash he received.

Mike and his brother also launched a series of businesses which the IRS is alleging were used to funnel funds for personal use. Both are facing charges of failing to file tax returns and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The pair is expected to appear in New Jersey federal court Wednesday afternoon. If convicted, they could face a $250,000 fine and up to three years in prison for the charges they’re facing — as Mike would say, looks like they’ve got themselves a situation.

30-Second Tech Trick: How to Find In-Stock iPhones

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:38 AM PDT

Apple’s First iOS 8 Update Fixes HealthKit, But Don’t Install Right Away

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Apple’s first update to its new iOS 8 software fixes several bugs, including one that delayed the launch of new HealthKit fitness apps, but some users are reporting the update is causing new problems as it fixes old ones.

Arriving one week after the operating system was first released to the public, the iOS 8.0.1 update will resolve an issue that prevented HealthKit apps from becoming available on the App Store, according to Apple. Apps for HealthKit, one of the crowning features of iOS 8, had been planned for release alongside iOS 8, but the bug forced developers to delay the release, CNET reported.

Other bug fixes in the update will address issues with third party keyboards, photos and unexpected cellular data usage. However, MacRumors reported Wednesday that some users who put iOS 8.0.1 on their phones are experiencing disruptions in cellular voice and data service as well as issues with Touch ID. TIME attempted but was unable to replicate the reported problems.

Apple’s $649 iPhone 6 Reportedly Costs $200 to Make

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:26 AM PDT

Apple is renowned for its innovative products, its sleek hardware design, and, of course, its fat profit margins. That last point is as true as ever with its new iPhone 6, for which Apple is charging more than three times the cost of components and manufacturing.

According to a teardown report from research firm IHS, the components and manufacturing cost of a 16GB iPhone 6 cost Apple $200.10. The device is selling for $649 in the U.S. without a contract with a wireless carrier. That gives the device a profit margin of about 69%. The iPhone 6 Plus, which costs $100 more than its smaller cousin, costs just $15.50 more for components and manufacutring, according to IHS. That’s a 71% margin.

The biggest expense for both devices is the touchscreen, which costs $45 on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and $52.50 on the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus’s other main selling point besides size is its fancier camera featuring optical image stabilization. That costs $12.50, compared to $11 for the iPhone 6’s camera.

An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The figures don’t give a complete picture of the costs that go into the iPhone. Apple also spends money on research and development, software, shipping, marketing, licensing and other costs. But even with all expenses included, Apple’s margins are huge. The company had gross margins of 39.4% in the most recent fiscal quarter, an improvement from 36.9% the year prior.

Many customers aren’t aware of the iPhones’ true retail cost. In the U.S., most customers buy smartphones at a steep discount in exchange for signing two-year contracts with wireless carriers. The iPhone 6 costs $199 with a contract and can currently be had for free from many of the carriers if customers trade in an old iPhone toward its purchase. In markets where pricing is more transparent, like in China, Apple has faced stiffer competition.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Not Everyone in the Village Is Worthy of Raising a Child

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 10:08 AM PDT

We’re constantly told that it takes a village to raise a child. But when I look at the recent epidemic of domestic violence charges against NFL players, I’m convinced we need to take another look at those in our village whom we allow to help raise our children. Not just at those who commit these terrible acts, but also those apologists in the media and sports industry who, either through their fuzzy logic or their desperate need to pander to their demographics, perpetuate a permissive attitude toward domestic violence.

First, we need to look at Ray Rice, Jonathan Dwyer, Adrian Peterson, and other professional athletes who have recently been caught engaging in illegal and unacceptable acts of violence and reevaluate how we treat them in our village. Like it or not, professional athletes, movie stars, and recording artists are role models for our youth. And being a role model translates into big bucks because kids are willing to spend money to come see them perform as well as on products they endorse. That’s one of the reasons they get paid so much money.

The NFL, NBA, and other professional sports organizations encourage this ideal of role model by touting their players’ charitable and community activities, which often seems like part of a branding campaign rather than a sincere drive to contribute. I don’t think entertainers (which is what professional athletes are) should be promoted as role models for our children because many of them don’t have the maturity, self-control, desire, or training to accept that responsibility. Athletes should be models of how to play their sport and nothing more. The exceptions would be those few who distinguish themselves by taking an active and admirable role in bettering their communities, as Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali did.

Unfortunately, as long as there’s more money to be made off a role model than just an athlete, the hype will continue. And we will continue to be shocked and outraged every time an athlete is caught punching, slapping, and spanking.

Maybe we should direct our outrage elsewhere:

Outrage #1: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other apologists claim that this whole cluster-flub at least brought awareness to the problem of domestic abuse. This is disingenuous on a couple levels. In the Ray Rice case, the NFL and the Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti did their best to (at the very least) ignore evidence of domestic abuse. And, at worst, they may have covered it up so there would be no awareness. That’s like getting caught flashing people while wearing nothing but a trench coat — and then wanting credit for bringing trench coats back in fashion.

Outrage #2: Why does it take TMZ to bring awareness of domestic violence? The awareness should have been there all along. For years we’ve seen the statistics, the photos of bruised and battered women and children, heard their testimonies of relentless abuse. We’ve had books and songs and Lifetime movies. Didn’t we learn about that from the O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, and Hope Solo cases? Donald Sterling displayed racists behavior before TMZ released those tapes. Racism and class struggle and police profiling have been a constant and humiliating practice long before Ferguson. Once the media furor dies down, do we just revert back to our default setting of closing our eyes until the next media-ready event occurs?

Can’t we fight injustice without TMZ? By that I mean that we have to keep the pressure on even when there are no cameras rolling. The NFL has instituted changes, they tell us, with panels and experts and transparency. Before, they relied on public lethargy. A player smacked a spouse, it was reported in the news, a minor punishment followed, the public forgot. Now that they’re promising more transparency, I worry that they have more incentive to bury any incidents, hiding them completely rather than risking another protracted public inspection. While they will undoubtedly assure us that this will not be the case, their past performance does not inspire confidence.

Outrage #3: Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson hit his four-year-old son with a thin part of a branch and was indicted for reckless or negligent injury. This has sparked a national debate on the effectiveness and ethics of spanking. Worse, thanks to commentators like Charles Barkley, the debate has degenerated into a race issue. “I’m from the South,” Barkley explained on TV. “Whipping—we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”

The five most destructive words to our village are “That’s how I was raised.”

These words are the triumph of routine over reason, of self-delusion over self-interest, of excuses over evidence. In short, the phrase embodies the kind of muddled thinking that our culture “officially” stands against because doing something just because “that’s how I was raised” is the definition of hive mentality. It’s celebrating the joys of brainwashing over rational decision-making.

Most people embrace these words with great pride when it reflects their core values of being hard working, compassionate, patriotic, religious, or family-oriented. But they condemn anyone else who uses them when it goes against accepted American tradition. When a man straps on a bomb, climbs on a school bus, and detonates, some would justify his behavior by saying that his actions were an outgrowth of how he was raised. When a teenager drags a black man to his death behind his truck, some make the same claim. When a group of teens tie a gay boy to a fence and beat him to death, their actions reflect how they were raised.

Barkley may be accurate in his description of the South, and not just among African-Americans. According to an ABC poll, 73% of Southerners approve spanking children, as opposed to 60% in the rest of the country. Where he’s wrong is in justifying spanking (“We all spanked our kids.”) in light of what we know today about the harmful effects of spanking:

  • Spanking may stop certain behavior, but it makes long-term behavior worse.
  • Children who are hit are more likely to use violence to resolve problems with siblings and peers.
  • The Canadian Medical Association Journal analyzed 20 years of data and concluded that spanking yields no positive outcome.
  • The journal Pediatrics said that “harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders.”
  • One study concluded that frequent spanking (once a month for more than 3 years) resulted in children having less gray matter in certain areas of the brain “linked to depression, addiction, and other mental health disorders.” Another found that spanking affected the brain by decreasing cognitive ability.

This is not a condemnation of those who have sparingly used light spanking in the past, before such research was available. But it’s been out there for at least a decade now and any responsible parent wanting to use corporal punishment should at least do the research. Watching Sean Hannity beat his desk with his belt while proclaiming that being whipped with a belt by his father had not left him mentally abused should be all the proof necessary of its detrimental effects.

Additionally, watching the NFL play Twister with the truth, contorting their statements and explanations into some tortured Gordian knot of misinformation is to witness one of the standard bearers of influence on our children undermine everything they are supposed represent: fair play, work ethic, compassion in the face of competition. That’s part of what they sell to the American public and therefore they are obliged to actually do something when that promise is threatened.

Yes, it takes a village to raise a child. But not everyone in the village is worthy of the task.

Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA champion and league Most Valuable Player. Follow him on Twitter (@KAJ33) and Facebook (facebook.com/KAJ). He also writes a weekly column for the L.A. Register.

NFL Players Association Hires Its Own Top D.C. Lawyer

Posted: 24 Sep 2014 09:57 AM PDT

The NFL Players Association has hired its own D.C. lawyer, Richard Craig Smith, to conduct an investigation into how the Ray Rice case was handled, it announced Wednesday.

Smith, a former federal prosecutor, will conduct his investigation in parallel to Rice’s current appeal of the league’s decision to suspend him indefinitely after a video of him punching his now-wife was leaked, the NFLPA said in a statement.

 

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