Louis Zamperini, “True American” and a July 4 playlist …



A few months ago I wrote about Louis Zamperini — well, that’s a little misleading. I wrote about East Dallas resident Orville Rogers, who I compared to Zamperini, an Olympic runner, WWII veteran and the subject of both a book by Laura Hillenbrand and a movie by Angelina Jolie.

Zamperini died July 2, as people sometimes will when they are 97.  If you haven’t read “Unbroken,” I recommend it. It is tough to stomach at times, but it is worth it.

And watch this movie preview. Its release is scheduled for Christmas Day.



True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas”:

The story of hate crime survivor Raisuddin Bhuiyan and the man who shot him (and killed two others in a post-911 shooting spree) not only provides a complex and fascinating look into American life and the human condition, but also the awful, and later amazing, events transpired right here in our city, which makes it extra captivating for us Dallas dwellers. Bhuiyan received much press a few years ago, as his attacker prepared for the death chamber, and as groups attempting to prevent the murderer’s death fought for an extension of his life. Here’s the big catch — leading the fight for the killer’s extended life was the surviving victim himself (reportedly with full support from the families of the other victims). Much of the killer’s early life was spent on a barstool at the Texas Trap in East Dallas (now home to Goodfriend) and the shooting took place on Buckner, where Bhuiyan worked at the Food Mart. But the real draw of this book is the reporter’s painstaking digging into the lives of both victim and perpetrator, and the way he weaves their stories into a broader narrative about our country and world.

By the way, this story also is being made into a movie. Kathryn Bigelow, who directed Best Picture winner “The Hurt Locker,” will direct.



“The Most Distinctive ‘Fourth of July’ Songs in 50 U.S. States”:

As a fun experiment, Paul Lamere, director of developer platform for Spotify subsidiary, The Echo Nest, looked into how the 50 U.S. states stack up in terms of what they listen to on the Fourth of July.

We suspected this would lead to an excellent playlist of the songs that are most core to the concept of Independence Day,” notes a Spotify writer, “but we were also just plain curious about what kinds of music the people in the United States play to celebrate it in their own way.

Texas’ favorite song? Fourth of July by Robert Early Keen. Here’s the list: http://news.spotify.com/us/2014/07/01/4th-of-july/. Party in the U.S.A., kids (yes, that one is on the list).

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