Tag Archives: Opinion

Theaters, Sony, and Paramount Cave to Terrorists and Cyberbullies & Why that’s Bad

Graphic Policy

interview_xlgIn what can only be described as stupidity and cowardice, national theater chains including AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and Cineplex, and eventually Sony Pictures Entertainment have pulled the December 25th release of The Interview. For those who might not know, The Interview is a film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that has them traveling to North Korea to interview Kim Jong Un, and are tasked to kill the leader. The country didn’t take the comedy too lightly, and instead North Korea (likely, it’s hard to verify) waged a cyber-war against Sony in retaliation.

That cyber attack proved an embarrassment for the American subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate. Sensitive documents were released, and have been fodder for sites over the past week. That coverage of leaked documents, and the subsequent reaction (which we’ll get to), played right into the hackers hands. Really, the…

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Repossession: Reclaimed Slurs & Lexicography

Typewriter

harm·less drudg·ery

[Ed. note: this post contains language that is considered extremely inflammatory. Caveat lector.]

People forward language articles to me all the time–usually the same article multiple times, until my inbox is nothing but language links and plaintive requests from Wine.com to buy more booze, please. But no one forwarded me Talib Kweli’s recent Medium post on language, probably because it was about the history and uses of the word “nigger.” I asked one of my frequent-forwarders if he had seen the post. “I had,” he wrote, “but I figured you’d have already seen it. I was not going to be the one to forward you a post on the n-word.”

The n-word. I think about slurs on a regular basis, in part because I have to explain to people why they’re entered in some of their dictionaries. It’s not unusual for me to open my email in…

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Spaces of Freedom In the Islamic Republic of Iran

jake threadgould

Tour Guide

Spaces

I was sat on a large wicker chair in the rooftop café at my hotel in Shiraz where, in keeping with the Shirazi tradition, a group of guys next to me were reciting poetry. The scented smoke of a bubbling qaylan pipe twisted and turned on the blue tarpaulin above. Downstairs, in the courtyard restaurant, the voices of men and women competed with a cross-legged Kurdish chap in the corner, playing a sitar. Tourists and local men alike pulled chairs up to the tables of young women to chat, safely hidden from the gaze of the authorities outside. Spaces such as that hotel provide an environment of freedom in Iran. In here a woman’s headscarf can teeter tantalisingly close to sliding down the nape of her neck. In here each drag of her cigarette flies in the face of that deeply held taboo. In here large, brown eyes wandered…

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Modern Family: ‘Mr. Mom’ & Fatherhood in the 21st Century

Tropics of Meta

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“My brain is like oatmeal,” jobless auto worker Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) tells his newly employed wife Caroline (Teri Garr) in 1983’s Mr. Mom.  “I yelled at Kenny today for coloring outside the lines!”  Having lost his management position at a local Detroit auto manufacturer, Butler found himself adrift, watching over his two boys and infant daughter Megan while Caroline climbed the advertising industry ladder rising to executive as sort of comedic proto-Don Draper.  With a faux Grizzly Adams look replete with faded flannel shirt, scruffy beard, and an expanding waistline, Butler admits that his time as a stay at home dad had not gone smoothly. “Megan and I are starting to watch the same TV shows, and I’m liking them! I’m losing it.”

While hardly Oscar material – Roger Ebert called the movie a “great idea” that didn’t follow through and other critics described it as “sitcom-like”– Mr…

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Dishonor Code: Rape, Reputation & Repercussion at the University of Virginia

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quiteirregular

This is a guest post by Willa Hammitt Brown, a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia, where she is finishing her dissertation, “Gentlemen of the Woods: Manhood, Myth and the American Lumberjack, 1860-1920”. She is a teaching assistant in the Department of History and the Women’s and Gender Studies program.  Content note: this article mentions sexual assault.

“I have worn the honors of Honor

I graduated from Virginia” – :The Honor Men”, James Hay Jr, 1903

“Nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school” – Rolling Stone, 2014

This morning I got an email from the President of my University, the University of Virginia. In it, she quotes Thomas Jefferson, and invokes tradition, honor and idealism. She harks back to the long history of a storied institution. “Honor and tradition inform our thinking,” she explains, but where “success is demanded as much as it is sought” we…

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