No one looks forward to accusing a national celebrity, a candidate for President, of rape or sexual assault. No one WANTS to be in the national media talking about a violation of their body, to be asked probing questions that violate their privacy, to be called a liar and an opportunist and a slut.
No woman in the country is ignorant to the experience of such an accusation, even when her abuser is not famous. Your life becomes defined by the worst thing that ever happened to you, your identity buried beneath that of the person who violated you. And for every woman who came forward and was believed, there are dozens, hundreds maybe, who came forward and were ignored.
My parents’ house is far enough from public utilities and any neighbor houses that they often have difficulty just getting cellular service, so a public wifi network with a signal as strong as their home wifi seemed impossible.
But this was shortly after Comcast, their ISP, cable, and phone provider, forced my mother to switch out her modem and router (which I’d chosen and installed for her) for a new Comcast-owned 2-in-1 gateway.
That part of the story is questionable enough. For years I had insisted they own their own equipment, both because it ensured better quality hardware and less tampering from Comcast and because they could avoid the nonsense monthly rental fee that meant they’d essentially be purchasing the crappy Comcast hardware anyway. Continue Reading
If you’re like me, you have zero intention of seeing 13 Hours, Michael Bay’s new right-wing fantasy porn flick. Maybe, like me, you’ve sat through four incomprehensible Transformers movies (owing to a borderline masochistic need to stay up on pop culture) and thought, “The only thing that could possibly make these worse is if they carried a more overt and deceptive endorsement of Republican conspiracy theory.”
However, like me you might have concerns about the effect it might have on our upcoming election. So I give you a handy guide to the coded messaging of 13 Hours, from Matt Gertz at Media Matters, the hero who watched this thing so we won’t have to. Continue Reading
The Big Short is my favorite movie of the 2016 Awards Season*. I feel a little bad saying that, in light of yesterday’s Oscar nominations and their slate of white, white (blonde) faces, and the fact that The Big Short is, well, short on both women and minority actors. But the fact is I watched it through twice, and would happily sit through a third viewing. The film is alternately funny and gutting, the cast is pretty much universally brilliant, and the directing–from Adam McKay, who brought us films like Anchorman, Anchorman 2, and Funny or Die’s The Landlord–is impressive, avant-garde without being distracting, and making a complicated subject accessible.
* Okay, it’s tied with Mad Max: Fury Road, but since that came out over the summer it doesn’t really feel like an Awards Season movie.
Not too accessible, mind you. Despite the sidebar scenes in which celebrities like Selena Gomez, Anthony Bourdain, and Margot Robbie (in a bubble bath) break the fourth wall and explain complicated financial structures in layman’s terms–one of the film’s more unique and amusing contrivances–I frequently found myself leaning in so I could follow the fast-paced dialogue about derivatives, mortgage-backed-securities, credit swaps, and so on.
The Big Short is far from the first film about the 2008 Financial Crisis, but it might be the best combination of sweeping and accessible. Too Big to Fail captured the moves and conversations happening inside the banks and the Federal Reserve, and films like 99 Homes capture the human cost across the nation, but The Big Short takes a wider scope and time period to show the viewer what happened, through the eyes of a handful of professionals who predicted the crash. Continue Reading
Time again to look back at another year and the entertainment media it produced. Rather than do a bunch of entries with different top things, I thought I’d cover it all in one post–and I’m not even going to explain why I like all the things I do, I’m just giving you the list and you can draw your own conclusions. Continue Reading
After it was announced that yet another killer cop was going to walk without so much as a trial, Roxane Gay put out a suggestion for an editorial cartoon. I’m not sure I can fairly describe this as “collaboration,” but whatever it is, I was excited to be part of it.
It’s a weird/shitty thing about drawing editorial cartoons that you sometimes do your best work in response to the worst things happening in the world, but that’s the nature of the art form. It’s not often you get a chance to impress someone you really admire, and as awful as this verdict (and this day) are, it felt really good to hear she liked it.
There’s a second version with a word balloon, and at first I didn’t know which I liked better. The more I look at it, the more I prefer this version.
A friend shared this on Facebook this morning. It’s a compelling image, right? On the left, sepia-toned Americana: The classic farmer, in the field with his felt hat and his overalls. On the right, the modern farmer, his bright yellow hazmat suit protecting him from the dangers of his monster crops.
But of course, it’s pure deception. Continue Reading
I’m not one for celebrity worship. Frankly I get annoyed by the public competition that follows a celebrity’s death or retirement, as writers try to one-up each other with maudlin remembrance–often quoting words spoken in-character, written by someone else.
That said, I am going to take a minute today to talk about Jon Stewart, because Jon Stewart to me is more than just some celebrity.
It’s so cliche to say “this celebrity touched my life,” but Jon Stewart’s work on the Daily Show really does have personal significance for me. It might be exaggeration to say “the Daily Show kept me sane,” but then again it might not. I remember one day in particular, during the darkest days of the Bush regime, when I felt especially lost and hopeless. I don’t remember the reason–maybe it was another failure by Congress to repeal the Patriot Act, maybe something to do with Gitmo–but I remember going home from work feeling really despondent. I remember it was the Daily Show that night that turned me around, that made me laugh at the very thing that had felt so crushing, that shrunk it down and made it manageable. Continue Reading