The Poor in America: Friends and Neighbors in the Heartland

The Poor in America: Friends and Neighbors in the Heartland

For some people, our economy may be turning around, but millions of families are at risk of going hungry, in one of the richest nations on earth.  The poorest people in America are those who are the first to feel the downturn, and will be the last to feel the country’s financial recovery.  The hardworking poor in America’s heartland, with their long and deep traditions in mining, manufacturing and military service, are increasingly seen in food pantry lines, feeling ashamed and angry.  Their stories and images push beyond stereotypes and reveal a hidden America of families living in poverty, which is both surprising and haunting.

Friends and Neighbors: The Recession’s Unseen Victims

Poverty in the Hills of Central Appalachia

A Hidden America: Children of the Appalachian Mountains

Kris Kristofferson: This Old Road

Slide Show: The Poor in America/Friends and Neighbors in the Heartland

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Subprime: Watching the American Housing Bubble Burst

Subprime: Watching the American Housing Bubble Burst

Subprime by Mike Winkelmann is a musical short film, an isometric 3D animation and a remarkable visual commentary on America’s present socioeconomic situation all in one. The short film allows you to watch the American housing market spiral out of control, in a cool low-poly 3D style and with lovely animations. The gluttonous drive for more, bigger and better becomes no longer sustainable, and the bubble ultimately bursts, as we have recently witnessed. In Subprime, the housing market’s escalating trajectory and collapse is visually played out before our eyes with an animated series of houses building and then suddenly deconstructing.

Subprime: Watching the American Housing Bubble Burst

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Pure Detroit: When Old Things Get Broken

Pure Detroit: When Old Things Get Broken

Pure Detroit is a short film by Ivan George with gorgeous cinematography, but also one which confronts the viewer with dramatic images of the effects that rapid economic and social change can have upon urban life. The impact of the film has been described as somewhere between heaven, hell and quiet meditation. While Pure Detroit is a beautiful visual mood piece, it’s also incredibly sad. The film reveals so much about the rapid changes we’re encountering in our world right now, how the old things gets broken much faster than new things are put in their place. Pure Detroit serves as a powerful reminder of what the old things breaking down can be like for so many of us.

Pure Detroit: When Old Things Get Broken

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The Horrible Obsession: Today’s Recession for Men

The Horrible Obsession: Today’s Recession for Men

OHMIGOD, what the hell, Jesus Christ, the entire world economy is collapsing all around us at this very moment. And the financial crumbling is worse than it’s ever, ever been. Housing, banks, Wall Street, huge industries….everything is falling down worser than the old Humpty Dumpty story. Everything’s being torn into a shattered heap. Yep, it surely is.

And what about all the poor men peoples who are caught up in this nightmare…lost their jobs, losing their homes, pensions suddenly vanished into thin air, savings just disappeared, cars been repossessed. Here our men folks are sposed to stand up so tall through sweaty toil and the worst of troubles, trying to be strong like the Rocks of Gibralter. But they’ve got feelings too, you know, and now they’re just suffering like they’re all bent down, tired and weakened-out by all this stuff. This financial collapse has turned into a bunch of horrendous nightmares for our country’s men folks. Even stolen away their menliness, ’cause now all they have left to do is think and think about this downright Horrible, Stinky Obsession, this Recession for Men calamity. And the short little video below really shows just what I mean about this Recession for Men thingee!

The Horrible Obsession: Today’s Recession for Men

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A Heartbreaking Epic: Hand-Out

A Heartbreaking Epic: Hand-Out

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

This photograph captures an unforgettable moment; it’s a simple image, but one that so strongly conveys of the sorrow of our times. The impact of looking at some brilliant pictures can just make your heart skip a beat. This classically understated, but sublime photograph is certainly one of those rare pictures. The photograph is a heartbreaking epic, which powerfully conveys one of those quiet experiences of sad awe.

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After Almost 150 Years, Denver’s “Rocky Mountain News” Says Goodbye

After Almost 150 Years, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News Says Goodbye

On Thursday, the executives from E.W. Scripps Co., the corporate owner of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, announced their decision in the 150-year-old newspaper’s newsroom to close the Rocky Mountain News. The announcement came as metropolitan newspapers and major newspaper companies all across the country find themselves reeling, with plummeting advertising revenues and dramatically diminished share prices. Earlier this week, Hearst, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, announced that unless it was able to make immediate and steep expense cuts, it would be forced to put the paper up for sale and possibly close it. Two other major newspapers publishing with joint operating agreements, one in Seattle and the other in Tucson, are facing closure in coming weeks.

The Rocky Mountain News was founded in 1859 by William Byers, one of the most influential figures in Colorado history. Scripps bought the newspaper in 1926 and immediately began a longtime newspaper battle with The Denver Post. That fight ebbed and flowed over the course of the rest of the 20th century, at one point resulting in penny-a-day subscriptions in the late ’90s. Perhaps the most critical step for the Rocky Mountain News occurred in 1942, when then-Editor Jack Foster saved it by adopting the tabloid style for which it has been known ever since. Readers loved the change, and circulation took off.

During the past decade, the Rocky Mountain News has won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than all but a handful of American newspapers. Its Sports Section was named one of the 10 best in the nation just this week. Last year, its Business Section was cited by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as one of the best in the country. And its photography staff is regularly listed among the best in the nation when the top photo newspapers are judged.

The closure of the Rocky Mountain News means that like the vast majority of larger American cities today, Denver now is left with only one major newspaper, The Denver Post.

Readers can read the “Farewell Editorial” from Friday’s edition of the Rocky Mountain News here.

Final Edition: Denver’s Rocky Mountain News Says Goodbye

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Gotta’ Get Gas: The Energy Crisis in Four Hilariously Nasty Minutes

Hey, remember those skyrocketing fuel prices earlier this year? Boy, was that a silly, silly time and so very long ago, too. Now that fuel is back at bargain-basement prices that will never rise ever again and we clearly have endless supplies of the stuff, this little animated film Fuel should serve as a whimsical and quaint reminder of those bygone times. Although filmmaker Dale Goodson’s short made us laugh out loud several times, what really impressed us was just how damn embittered it seems (the self-vocalized sound effects certainly helped, too). Using the simplest animation possible, he nails the energy crisis down in a hilariously nasty four short minutes.

Gotta’ Get Gas: The Energy Crisis in Four Nasty Minutes

Animation by: Dale Goodson

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