Politics

EMA’s “False Flag”: Well, Here’s the 21st-Century Protest Song You’ve Been Asking For

One of the constant complaints you hear about the music of Kids These Days is that there are no ’60s-style protest songs written in the 21st century. It’s not true, although in general, 21st-century political songs are not so much impassioned declarations of intent as they are evocations of the uncertainty and ennui that characterize this century. But shit, if you’ve been wanting a visceral indictment of, well, everything, look no further than EMA’s incendiary “False Flag,” which she released yesterday via her page on DIY multimedia publishing platform New Hive. (And no, before you ask, it’s not some wacky conspiracy theory about 9/11 being a “false flag” attack — she’s repurposing the term, not getting all truther on us.) … Read More

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Here’s the Trailer for Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut, ‘Rosewater’

Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater – while allegedly a straightforward adaptation of a memoir by Maziar Bahari (a journalist/human rights activist… Read More

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Gavin McInnes, Thought Catalog, and Our Gross Misunderstanding of “Freedom of Speech”

Poor Gavin McInnes, out of a job again for being an asshole. The Vice co-founder has only himself to blame — he was fired from Rooster, the agency he helped found, for publishing his already notorious “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural” column on Thought Catalog last week. McInnes has long been insufferable, and it’s a measure of how far his standing has fallen that he’s been reduced to publishing his rants on a website whose entire premise for existence is that it’ll publish any old shit. Oh, yes, and on Thought Catalog, too! Anyway, predictably enough, McInnes’ defenders have wheeled out arguments about free speech, as if it’s poor old Gav who’s being oppressed here. … Read More

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The Crisis in Ferguson and Why a “Free” Press Needs Social Media

Watching live streams of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri, this week might make you question the worth of pretty much everything — not least writing about art and culture. Seeing a town of 20,000 people devolve into something that looks like a war zone is terrifying, as are the visions of the city’s police force pointing weapons at unarmed men and harassing journalists. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is dumping ice water on its head and playing the Kim Kardashian game. But if there’s anything remotely positive to come out of Ferguson, it’s this: the ubiquity of social media, and of cameras in the hands of citizens, means that events like this can no longer happen in a void. … Read More

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Electric Zoo’s “The Molly” PSA Won’t Stop Drug Use at EDM Festivals — But It’s Still Better Than “Just Say No”

About this time last year, the final day of New York’s Electric Zoo was canceled after two people died at the festival. Clearly, avoiding any repeat of the whole sorry business is paramount for the festival and its organizers, so this week they released the centerpiece of this year’s attempts to stop people from taking MDMA at Electric Zoo — a two-minute PSA called “The Molly,” which attendees are all required to watch before their wristband is activated. Will it work? No, of course it won’t. When has telling kids “don’t do drugs” ever stopped kids from doing drugs? But still, it’s worth discussing the way it portrays the Evils Of Drugs. … Read More

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Richard Dawkins Tweets About Rape, Is Still the Worst

One of the most depressing things about online discussion — or any discussion, really — is that it’s the people who shout loudest who tend to get heard. Since the sort of people who tend to scream their opinions over the top of others’ tend also to be obnoxious and not particularly interested in anyone else’s ideas, the presence of such assholes tends to result in the discussion devolving into a shit-slinging match that achieves precisely nothing. In other news, hey, look, Richard Dawkins said something stupid again! Apparently unsatisfied with being obnoxious about religion, everyone’s least favorite atheist proselytizer has now weighed in on a discussion of sexual assault, with predictably disastrous results. … Read More

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‘The Wire’ Creator David Simon and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley Get on a Train

Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley is possibly one of the only people who can say that they don’t like David Simon’s Best… Read More

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#twitterpurge: A Worst-Case Scenario That Proves Twitter Needs to Take Responsibility For Its Platform

#twitterpurge: it’s a hashtag that trended on Twitter over the weekend and remains popular today, inspired by The Purge, a movie that depicts a world in which all crime is legal for one night every year. A slew of awful people took the idea of applying the concept to Twitter as their cue to spend an hour posting anything they wanted on the platform. The result? A whole lot of revenge porn images, many of which appear to depict girls under the age of 18. The thing is, kids: that is illegal, and there’s no magical Purge-esque amnesty to save your hides. It’s remarkable this hasn’t been reported more, because we’re talking about Twitter apparently being used for the mass distribution of images that legally qualify as child pornography. Even more remarkable is the fact that Twitter seems disinclined to take proactive steps to stop it. … Read More

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The Sad, Strange Aftermath of the Conor Oberst Rape Accusations

Cometh the news, cometh the thinkpieces. The news that Joanie Faircloth — the woman who, in January, accused Conor Oberst of having raped her a decade ago — has withdrawn her accusations has thrown the spotlight back on the whole sorry case. And despite the fact that he’s essentially had his name cleared, the commentary has, again, not been kind to the singer. Take, for instance, this piece that ran yesterday in the Daily Dot, wherein author Chris Osternhorf makes the point that Oberst being cleared of a false rape accusation is likely to make him a de facto hero to MRA types. This is probably true; what’s less defensible is the continuing speculation about Oberst’s guilt, and the idea that he was somehow morally obliged to have handled things differently. … Read More

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