Hacked Sony Email Confirms What Chris Rock Told Us About Racism in Hollywood

Let’s tread very lightly here. In a nutshell: Over the past several days, a group calling itself Guardians of Peace has released scores of files and documents attained via a massive hack of Sony Pictures, reportedly executed in protest of the company’s upcoming release of The Interview, a goofy comedy wherein Seth Rogen and James Franco are sent to assassinate Kim Jong-un. The initial leaks were harmless enough — high-quality downloads of Sony movies — but they quickly escalated to include salary spreadsheets, film budgets, unreleased scripts, medical records, passwords, contact information, and, most damningly, private email correspondences between Sony higher-ups. The whole thing is pretty awful. … Read More

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Naked Dresses and Sparkly Beards: Links You Need To See

2014 was an important year for fashion. Oscar de la Renta, L’Wren Scott, and Joan Rivers all passed away, leaving enormous voids in the fashion world. Noted anti-Semite John Galliano was appointed as creative director of leading fashion house Maison Martin Margiela… … Read More

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Uber, Ebola, and Other Evils: Links You Need To See

Welcome back to the real world, weekenders. Remember Ebola? There was a panic here in the States because a handful of people, mostly medical professionals, in major American cities had gotten it–Dallas, Manhattan. There are no known cases of Ebola in the US at present. But there are in West Africa. As of December 4, there were more than 17,000 reported cases of Ebola, spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and will likely blast through the CDC’s prediction of petering out at 20,000. But no one’s really talking about it anymore. Let’s talk about it. … Read More

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Watch Kathryn Bigelow’s Short Film “Last Days,” About the Illegal Ivory Trade

Kathryn Bigelow has long made films about the devastating outcomes of human violence — The Hurt Locker dealt with the… Read More

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“Rolling Stone”‘s Statement on the UVA Gang Rape Discredits the Magazine, Not the Victim’s Account

There was a collective intake of breath across the internet earlier this afternoon when Rolling Stone published this: a note from managing editor Will Dana about Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story on a gang rape at a UVA fraternity. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably read the story, and cringed at its horrific details. Earlier in the week, Slate questioned Erdely’s reporting methods, suggesting that she should have made more of an effort to contact the alleged perpetrators. And then… this: “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in [the victim]’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.” … Read More

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“Breathing” and “Mattering” in Today’s America : Links You Need to See

Yesterday’s ruling in the Eric Garner case was another reminder of the immobilizing coupling of police scrutiny and social invisibility with which white America often still “sees” its black communities. After the Ferguson ruling, #Blacklivesmatter became last week’s online slogan; it was a tragic reminder of something that shouldn’t have needed to be uttered, for what should have been its sheer obviousness. That gave way, yesterday evening, to “I can’t breathe,” the dominant chant in protests against the decision not to indict the officer who choked Eric Garner to death for selling cigarettes; this both echoes Eric Garner’s last words and the general feeling of suffocation that hegemonic forces have inflicted on black Americans. Thankfully, people were flipping the suffocating words, using “I can’t breathe” while mobilizing — using them while demanding to be seen. The Times covered the protests in detail this morning.  … Read More

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Azealia Banks Scolds “Igloo Australia” AKA Iggy Azalea Over Silence on Black Issues

At this point, one should just expect that eventually, regardless of who you are, Azealia Banks will pick a… Read More

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Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and the Dangers of Blind Belief

If you had to distill all of America’s cultural mythology into a single word, you might come up with this one: belief. It’s central to the narrative of self-improvement and the American dream, and of course to the nature of religion. A state of belief is a sort of venerated state in American culture. From Morpheus’ whispered “he’s starting to believe” in The Matrix through rags-to-riches stories as diverse as 8 Mile and Rocky and self-help trash like The Secret, to endless exhortations to just believe in yourself enough and you’ll succeed, the idea of strong belief as a virtue is pervasive and all-encompassing. It’s also dangerous. And in the past few weeks, we’ve seen why. … Read More

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Chris Rock Wrote “Blistering” Cover Story on the Whiteness of Hollywood for the Hollywood Reporter

Chris Rock is making the most of his time in the spotlight, his profile reinvigorated by the upcoming release… Read More

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No, Richard Cohen, Appealing to “Real Men” Isn’t the Way to End Campus Rape Culture

“Where,” asked the Washington Post‘s Richard Cohen in an op-ed published earlier this week, “are the men?” If you read last week’s disturbing Rolling Stone article about the culture of rape at the University of Virginia (and the institution’s disastrously inadequate response to it), to which Cohen’s op-ed is a response, you might answer that they’re probably upstairs planning a gang rape. But no, argues Cohen, men who do such things aren’t “real men.” He writes with studied confusion, asking, “How can a rapist walk to class the next day without other men confronting him? How is the rapist or the witness allowed to feel he has exercised some masculine privilege when, in fact, he has just violated the cardinal rule of masculinity? Be respectful of women.” If only it were that simple. But the problem isn’t violation of the cardinal rule of masculinity — it’s looking to masculinity for morality in the first place. … Read More

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