So why it is such an upsetting photograph is not just because we see someone smiling in the context of the horrible, but that when we look at her, we begin to have to resist smiling ourselves. So it’s a terrible, terrible picture for that reason alone.

— Paul Ekman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • New York Times: “The Most Curious Thing.” Errol Morris, director of the documentary on Abu Ghraib writes about his investigation into one of the most infamous photographs associated with the scandal, that of reservist Sabrina Harman posing over the body of the murdered prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi. This is a great humanist piece of journalism. Read it.
  • Let’s take it back to the Old School. Great live recordings from back in the days — from Funky 4+1 at the T-Connection to Marly Marl spinning at Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack. Fantastic stuff.
  • Will Elder. In honour of Mad‘s Maddest Artist, who passed away last week, here’re some links to his work: Download his Harvey Kurtzman’s classic “Goodman Goes Playboy here, read their Mad stories “Dragged Net” here, and “Outer Sanctum” here and here, and here’s some original art from the Kurtzman’s Humbug. Also, check out this fine, short documentary on his work and life: part 1, part 2. And read the director and Elder’s his son-in-law Gary VandenBergh’s eulogy here.