The Cultural Conversation About Conflict
Warring comedians work it out
In this post from the pop culture blog Videogum.com, blog author Gabe Delahaye remarks on the unusually civil debate among two comedians who have a famous (among "comedy nerds") feud about the authorship of their jokes. The relatively well-mannered scene took place in a recent episode of Louis C.K.'s highly-regarded series, Louie. Warning: the scene employs some of the raunchiness and coarse language typical of modern comedy, as does the comments section of the blog post that discusses it. Both are included here because they provide a nice example of how conversation -- both in the scene and in the comments section -- doesn't have to be pretty or textbook-polite in order to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion. One can hope that such instances of simple civil discourse will be less remarkable over time. Will they ever be the cultural norm in the United States?
'Interruptors' cool off Chicago gang violence
NPR's Fresh Air featured an interview this week with a 'violence interruptor' in Chicago's streets, and a filmaker who documented the efforts of Cease Fire, the organization that trains and deploys interruptors. One key factor in CeaseFire's mediation: that the mediator reflect the demographic of the people s/he's trying to cool down. Read more, and listen to the 44 minute interview, here.
Mediator in Chief
Joe Markowitz of the blog Mediation's Place recognizes the rhetoric President Obama used in his latest press conference about federal budget negotiations and teh debt ceiling. Read his observations here.
TED Talk: "...with help from people experienced in this kind of reconciliation..."
The mother of a victim of the 9/11 attacks -- and the mother of a 9/11 attacker -- find compassion for each other. See them talk about their experience here.
Mediating Between Gangs
A new cable show follows a violence prevention counselor in L.A. as he mediates conflicts between gangs. Will the show spark public interest in conflict resolution? Will it highlight a duplicatable method of peacemaking that could be used in other communities, or just create a cult of personality for its protagonist? Find out more about A&E's new show, executive produced by rapper and actor Ice-T, here.
Curiosity Over Assumptions
In this episode of the public radio program Speaking of Faith, (from their website): "We shine a light on two young leaders of a new generation of grassroots Muslim-Jewish encounter in Los Angeles. They're innovating templates of practical relationship that work with reality, acknowledge questions and conflict, yet resolve not to be enemies — whatever the political future of the Middle East may hold."
Hear the show>
The relationship between forgiveness and revenge
In this episode of the public radio program Speaking of Faith, (from their website): "Michael McCullough describes science that helps us comprehend how revenge came to have a purpose in human life. At the same time, he stresses, science is also revealing that human beings are more instinctively equipped for forgiveness than we've perhaps given ourselves credit for. Knowing this suggests ways to calm the revenge instinct in ourselves and others and embolden the forgiveness intuition."
Hear the show>
Mediation: it's not just for humans anymore
The BBC reports that Bornean orangutans have been observed preventing fights between their fellow captives in a Japan zoo.
Read Article and watch video>
Mediation Benefits in Family Law Court
Minnesotan lawyers and divorced families are discovering the benfits of mediation in family law court. Some are surprised at results they couldn't have predicted.Read Article >
Fruit Workers Going to Mediation
Mediation is an option that workers and employers are considering for their labor disputes. In Okenaga, fruit works are opting for binding mediation rather than striking. And in Boulder, Colorado, a federal mediator is stepping in to help with talks between teachers and the school district.Read Article >
Mediation next Step in Teen Muslim-Christian case
Teen converts to Christianity, and runs away to Florida from her Ohio home, claiming her Muslim family threatened her for converting. The parents deny the allegations, and a court in Florida has ordered mediation as a next step. Will mediation work in this tough case?Read Article >
Kelly Calls For More Mediation
Courts across the country are looking to mediation as a preferred way to resolve small claims cases. Now it looks like police forces are considering something similar. In New York City, the Police Commissioner has called for more mediation to handle citizen complaints about police.Read Article >