Based on hundreds of hours of research, interviews, and access to exclusive sources and materials, Sandy Hook is Elizabeth Williamson’s landmark investigation of the aftermath of a school shooting, the work of Sandy Hook parents who fought to defend themselves, and the truth of their children’s fate against the frenzied distortions of online deniers and conspiracy theorists. On December 14, 2012, a gunman killed twenty first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Ten years later, Sandy Hook has become a foundational story of how false conspiracy narratives and malicious misinformation have gained traction in society. One of the nation’s most devastating mass shootings, Sandy Hook was used to create destructive and painful myths. Driven by ideology or profit, or for no sound reason at all, some people insisted it never occurred, or was staged by the federal government as a pretext for seizing Americans’ firearms. They tormented the victims’ relatives online, accosted them on the street and at memorial events, accusing them of faking their loved ones’ murders. Some family members have been stalked and forced into hiding. A gun was fired into the home of one parent. Present at the creation of this terrible crusade was Alex Jones’s Infowars, a far-right outlet that aired noxious Sandy Hook theories to millions and raised money for the conspiracy theorists’ quest to “prove” the shooting didn’t happen. Enabled by Facebook, YouTube, and other social media companies’ failure to curb harmful content, the conspiracists’ questions grew into suspicion, suspicion grew into demands for more proof, and unanswered demands turned into rage. This pattern of denial and attack would come to characterize some Americans’ response to almost every major event, from mass shootings to the coronavirus pandemic to the 2020 presidential election, in which President Trump’s false claims of a rigged result prompted the January 6, 2021, assault on a bastion of democracy, the U.S. Capitol.
Ukraine electronic producer 6TH Crowd (a.k.a. Dari Maksymova) has a new single ‘Sokolonko’, inspired by an old harvest song. This is the first offering from the album ‘Step‘ which she was working on when Russia invaded Ukraine, turning the country into a war zone. About this song, Dari says, “This is a Ukrainian song from Donbas, my dear home region, which Russia is tearing apart right now. I didn’t know if I’d have a chance to do it later. In my research, as I learned more about Ukrainian folk music, I noticed that modern culture has plenty of references to music from western and central parts of my country, but nothing from the east. Nothing from my home. Culturally it simply didn’t exist. So I decided I wanted to change that balance and bring songs from East Ukraine back to life, to remind myself and everyone that Donbas is a historical part of Ukraine, no matter how badly Putin wants to destroy it,”