THE BLOG
12/17/2011 01:04 pm ET | Updated Feb 15, 2012

Your Weekend Random-Ass Roundup: The Smug Face of Black Poverty and the Feds Take on America's "Toughest" Sheriff.

Surely you've been introduced to Gene Marks, the new - and unnervingly smug - face of black adolescent poverty in West Philadelphia? It's a face that has launched thousands of snarky and serious and thoughtful and uninspired responses.

But few have been better than this one.

Some people simply aren't worthy of our sincerity. It's up to Marks to figure out whether he's one of them.

Anyway, these links are worth your time:

1. To mark the long-awaited end of the U.S. war in Iraq, Yahoo! News has put together a visual chronology of the conflict.

2. In memory of the extraordinary and often exasperating Christopher Hitchens, here is his New Yorker profile from 2006.

3. FINALLY Sheriff Joe Arpaio gets called on his racist regime by the Feds. DOJ investigators have uncovered one of the most egregious examples of discriminatory policing in history. Check it @Campus_Progress.

4. Depending on who you ask, Elizabeth Warren is also displeased with the Plan B decision.

5. Please check out Liliana Segura's excellent piece in Colorlines looking at life in Angola prison in Louisiana, the nation's largest maximum security prison, and the infusion of Evangelical Christianity due to the current warden.

6. GOOD writes about an effort to make college textbooks free: a different free effort from this building colleges used to have where you could also read books for free that no one remembers the name of ...

7. "How Doctors Die" in Zócalo Public Square looks at the different approach to end of life treatment and care that doctors have. Doctors get much less treatment for themselves, avoiding "futile care" that is prevalent among so many hospital patients in their last days.

8. Naturi Thomas' memoir, How to Die in Paris, was released this month. Described as "an often darkly comic memoir of a young middle-class black woman who escapes a tortured past in New York to pursue a new life in Europe--only to find herself broke, desperate, and contemplating suicide on the streets of Paris," it sounds pretty amazing.

9. ZDNet's Zach Whittaker predicts that Facebook's new Timeline feature could "very well be the nail in the coffin in an ever-increasing pressure of privacy matters to hit The Social Network." In short: "Facebook has made 'stalking' just that bit easier."

10. Needlessly Crunk: A bunch of crunk song lyrics about things that don't necessarily need crunk song lyrics.

11. Wesley Morris examines the rising "black nerd" style of NBA players like Kevin Durant, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James.

12. And in an appropriately comical ending to a incredibly silly legal pursuit, The Onion sums up the case against Barry Bonds: "$55 Million Federal Investigation Successfully Forces Barry Bonds to Watch TV at Home for 30 Days."

Here's hoping you put something warm in your unity cup this weekend.

Umoja, my people.

Subscribe to the Black Voices email.
Stay plugged in with the stories on black life and culture.