Francois Arnaud for Interview Magazine (via bound2014)
If we tried really hard to come up with something critical to say about the show as a whole, it’s that it sometimes veers a little close to beatifying its characters, as if every single inmate at Litchfield was either the victim of someone else’s evil or just a person who made a bad decision or wrong turn somewhere. It’s a good thing for the show to pull back a little from the broadness that defines its style and remind us that prison is also – and many would say “mainly” – a place to send people who are dangerous and sometimes even psychotic. There’s no better way to shock us into remembering this fact than by using a character like Lorna to illustrate it. Yes, it was one of those classic “Everything you THOUGHT you knew is a lie!” twists, but it was executed so perfectly that it made us wish we were watching a network or cable show in real time, just so we could get on twitter and gasp along with everyone else.
We thought it was pretty much a given that Christopher was not going to marry Lorna and assumed it was because he’d long since moved on. Anyone watching the show could see that her constant wedding planning was a total pipe dream and that she was just deluding herself in order to get through her sentence. But to find out that Lorna’s delusions are much stronger and go much further back than prison? To find out the extent to which she harrassed and threatened Christopher and his real fiancee, to the point of it being legitimately scary? That was a genuine “Whoa” moment. And yet, our hearts still break for her, even after the reveal that she planted a bomb under Christopher’s car. That’s a testament to the writing and to Yael Stone’s fragile, high-strung performance. The scene in Christopher’s house went from tense to full on batshit crazy slowly, letting you come to terms with the idea that Lorna is quite a different person than you thought. By the time she’s naked in the tub with a wedding veil on, you’ve got your face in your hands, begging her to get out of there; pleading with her not to get caught, even as you recognize that what she’s doing is very, very wrong. It was some of the best directing and acting the show has ever put together, making for one of the most talked-about sequences of the second season. A sharp, poignant turn that reminded us just when we needed the reminder of how much this show can be a knife to your heart."
The scene is the same as ever. Summer and sweat, and an imagination
incapable of seeing beyond the horizon. And today is better than
tomorrow. But the dead are what’s new. They’re born every day and when
they’re trying to sleep death takes them away from their drowsiness
into a sleep without dreams. It’s not worth counting them. None of
them asks for help from anyone. Voices search for words in the open
country, and the echo comes back clearly, woundingly: ‘There’s nobody
here.’ But there’s somebody who says: ‘It’s the killer’s right to defend
the killer instinct,’ while the dead say belatedly: ‘It’s the victim’s right to
defend his right to scream.’ The call to prayer rises to accompany the
indistinguishable funerals: coffins hastily raised in the air, hastily
buried - no time to carry out the rites, more dead are arriving at speed
from other raids, individually or in groups, or a whole family with no
orphans or grieving parents left behind. The sky is leaden grey and
the sea blue grey, but the colour of blood is hidden from the camera by
swarms of green flies.
—Mahmoud Darwish, “Green flies,” A River Dies of Thirst. Archipelago Books, 2009
I want to come back now
On June 18, 1964, black and white protesters jumped into the whites-only pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla. In an attempt to force them out, the owner of the hotel poured acid into the pool.
Martin Luther King Jr. had planned the sit-in during the St. Augustine Movement, a part of the larger civil rights movement. The protest — and the owner’s acidic response — is largely forgotten today, but it played a role in the passing of the Civil Rights Act, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
J.T. Johnson, now 76, and Al Lingo, 78, were two of the protesters in the pool that day. On a visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta, the pair recalled the hotel owner, James Brock, “losing it.”
"Everybody was kind of caught off guard," J.T. says.
"The girls, they were most frightened, and we moved to the center of the pool," Al says.
"I tried to calm the gang down. I knew that there was too much water for that acid to do anything," J.T. says. "When they drug us out in bathing suits and they carried us out to the jail, they wouldn’t feed me because they said I didn’t have on any clothes. I said, ‘Well, that’s the way you locked me up!’
"But all of the news media were there, because somehow I guess they’d gotten word that something was going to happen at that pool that day. And I think that’s when President [Lyndon B.] Johnson got the message."
The following day, the Civil Rights Act was approved, after an 83-day filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
"That had not happened before in this country, that some man is pouring acid on people in the swimming pool," J.T. says. "I’m not so sure the Civil Rights Act would have been passed had [there] not been a St. Augustine. It was a milestone. We was young, and we thought we’d done something — and we had."
J.T. went back to St. Augustine 40 years later, he tells Al. By then, the Monson Motor Lodge had been replaced with a Hilton Hotel.
"I sat and talked with the manager. I said to him that, ‘You know, I can’t stay in this hotel. You don’t have any African-Americans working here,’ " J.T. recalls.
"He said, ‘Well, I promise you that next time you come down here it’ll be different.’ He immediately got busy," J.T. continues. "But he was one of the few people in St. Augustine, I think, that did some of the things that we had been talking about."
"So, to go back to St. Augustine, and it’s still somewhat the same — now, that does make me feel bad. The lifting is still kind of heavy, but I’ll continue to work as hard as I can, as long as I live," J.T. says. "I won’t ever stop, and I won’t ever give up."