Mandatory readings

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On March 23, 2003, approximately three days after President George W. Bush started the Iraq War, Michael Moore won the Oscar for his 2002 film, “Bowling for Columbine”. He took the stage during the Oscars and was joined by his fellow documentary nominees.

“We love non-fiction and we live in fictional times. We live in an age where we have mock election results that elect a mock president, ”Moore said. “We live in a time when we have a man who sends us to war for fictitious reasons.”

The boos got so loud that Moore could barely hear himself. He started shouting, “Shame on you, Mr. Bush! The microphone went down and the orchestra cut it off. The producers of the awards show prevented him from completing his acceptance speech. It showed how well the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign was working.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” was Moore’s response to crushing dissent before and during the invasion.

One of the reasons for all this worship is that Whitman’s song can break glass. Even today, reading its harsh celebrations of bodily experience or its dizzying democratic catalogs or its tender evocations of queer love, the world is turned upside down. His poetry is fresher than anything; its faltering and uncontrolled prose yet miraculously illuminated from within. “Because the vast field of democracy is still incomplete, even in America today,” said Langston Hughes in 1946, Whitman’s work “strikes us now with the same immediacy that it must have aroused in his first readers in the 1850s ”.

Whitman’s influence also has something to do with the volume of writing he published to the world over four difficult decades, from Civil War and Reconstruction to a sorely prosperous Golden Age. You can tap into Whitman’s vast contradictory body of work and find whoever you want: the proto-socialist who saw economic inequality as the most serious threat to democracy; virtuous conservatives worried about social degeneration and moral corruption; the paladin of Manifest Destiny well suited to the neoconservative case of invading Iraq; the poet of strange, courageous and unashamed love.

In his long novel on the French Revolution, “A Place of Greater Security,” Mantel also wrote about the damage caused by utopian fixators. And surely, the current outcry over state-sponsored torture has had an effect on both the writing and the imagination of “Wolf Hall.” Yet while Mantel doesn’t embrace any of the archaic flair of so many historical novels – the capitals, the ancient turns of phrase – his book feels firmly anchored in the 16th century. Towards the end of the novel, Cromwell, a long-widower and as usual overworked, “the man in charge of everything”, falls in love with Jane Seymour, Boleyn’s maid of honor, and plans to spend a few days at the gothic-sounding the Seymour estate called Wolf Hall. What could possibly go wrong with such an innocent plan? Maybe in a Mantel suite will tell.

I left Kuwait in August 2011, really the best time to leave Kuwait, when it was 120 degrees Fahrenheit. I knew I was unlikely to be back anytime soon. My dream of leaving the country was as old as my body. Fascinated by the possibility of other places, I was also blunted by my place of birth, but mostly I was tired of being stateless, tired of a state younger than my father telling me that I did not belong or that I wasn’t native enough. On planes, I never sleep, nor on buses; something in the presence of others disturbs my rest. I killed hours putting the finishing touches on a translation project commissioned by a white woman who tried not to pay me since she was giving me “exposure to the American literary scene”. A white woman with barely a name, should I say. I started to take an interest in my seat neighbors, a mother of three, after hearing their Arabic. We asked ourselves the question that we tend to ask ourselves before having the names of the other. Her son, born in Bay Ridge, said, “We are Palestinians.

Arrived in Kiev, the Palestinians and I were searched from top to bottom, the 12 year old kid, again cunning, making jokes about “Us”, that only Us are forced to hold back the lines , which makes crowds of frustration blow. From me the Ukrainians took small scissors and tweezers that my hairy eyebrows urgently needed. I became frustrated and sarcastic, answering every question with a question—I don’t know… because… you know… why… do I have to do this? These are the coping mechanisms I learned from airport to airport, instead of smiling at those who search and humiliate you. My attitude surprises them, often prompts them to resort to their own managers to deal with a woman who speaks like an authoritarian American but who is not. Today, like other days, I refused to answer why I was stateless or why I had this refugee travel document. I was wearing the shit attitude and I thought to myself, Even the Ukrainians. The year before, Russia had invaded Ukraine, so you’d think they’d better worry about shit. I asked that we take a picture together, the Palestinians and me. The mother volunteered as a photographer, her kids and I posing and throwing hand signs that we couldn’t decode.

Question: In the 2018 interview, he said his philosophy about running a business is about understanding what you’re willing to put up with. Have you noticed a change in what he or Facebook tolerates?

A: He doesn’t think like you and me. When they debuted on Facebook Live, I had a million questions about abuse. And they would say, “What are you talking about? It was so typical. It wasn’t him, but his people – people who looked like him and only reflected him. They were like, “You’re such a disappointment, Kara.” And I’m like, “Okay, I’m a bummer, I guess, but I think somebody’s going to kill somebody over this stuff and broadcast it.” And it didn’t take long before there was a mass murder on it. The idea of ​​consequences seems to elude them almost entirely because most of them have never had a dangerous day in their life. Truly. Why would he do it? He lived in a very, very expensive suburb of New York. He was treated like a prince by his parents. He went to Harvard. What is its difficulty? What is his challenge? I would like to know.

Today’s newsletter boom was built on a promise of emancipation: by tackling a new frontier of emerging media, logically writers could break free from obsession with metrics, pages. views and quotas that had seeped into even the most staid ones. media companies. The idea that they would be able to write exactly what they thought they had to write and that readers would pay for it attracted writers who had already reached breakout speed of unsubscribing from the content mill that had become the norm. Of the industry. But these pioneers quickly found themselves forced to adapt to the rigors of the medium and to the reader’s expectations of consistency. Salman Rushdie, who mostly stuck to the relatively relaxed rhythms of book publishing, launched his newsletter Substack The sea of ​​Salman stories in September as a new way to release his fiction. Yet he was soon reduced to writing dull writings ask me anything. Others were recruited under the auspices of massive and well-funded institutions, but that was not enough to shield them from the demands of an exhausting pace. Malcolm Gladwell signed to Facebook’s Substack-competitor Bulletin and quickly found himself scratching lukewarm holds that would make even the most harassed web editor wince as, in fact, beloved late comedian Norm Macdonald. is not funny. Although writers with graphomaniacal tendencies have taken enviable pleasure in producing thousands of words per week, burnout has become rampant among newsletter writers.

Newsletter writing standards require regulated production and place a special kind of pressure on writers, especially in cases where they do not have the support of large organizations. (Full disclosure: This reporter is tired, too.) “When you go from being a person in a newsroom to a single point of failure in an independent news operation, you have to deliver or you will die,” Kantrowitz said. “I have to get my newsletter out on Thursday, period, end of story.”

Attacks on so-called “gender ideology” have increased in recent years around the world, dominating public debate fueled by electronic networks and supported by large right-wing Catholic and Evangelical organizations. Although they do not always agree, these groups agree that the traditional family is under attack, that the children in the class are brainwashed into becoming homosexuals, and that “gender” is a dangerous, if not diabolical, ideology. , threatening to destroy families, local cultures. , civilization, and even “man” himself.

It is not easy to fully reconstruct the arguments used by the anti-gender ideology movement because they do not stick to standards of consistency or consistency. They assemble and launch inflammatory demands in order to defeat what they consider to be “gender ideology” or “gender studies” by any rhetorical means necessary. For example, they oppose “gender” because it putatively denies biological sex or because it undermines the natural or divine character of the heteronormative family. They fear that men will lose their dominant positions or become fatally diminished if we start to think in terms of gender. They believe that children are told to change their gender, are actively recruited by homosexuals and transgender people, or are pressured to call themselves homosexuals in educational settings where open discourse about gender is caricatured as a form of indoctrination. And they fear that if something called “gender” is socially accepted, a flood of sexual perversities, including bestiality and pedophilia, will unleash on the earth.

The required reading is posted every Thursday afternoon and includes a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth checking out.

With The Future of Ice, John Zurier manages to reduce each painting to the essential, while keeping an incredible specificity in each.


The visual insinuations of Agustín Fernández seduce the viewer to linger on the threshold of visual perception.


Of the 12 artists included in Under the Florida Sun, the painters stood out the most for me.


Lynne Ramsay’s first film in 1999 is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of representations of child poverty in the twentieth century.


An investigation by the Cambodian government reported the looting of 45 “very important” objects from the museum’s collection.



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