Politics

Hey, John Grisham: Looking at Child Pornography Is Not a Victimless Crime

We nearly got through an entire week without a privileged old asshole making a fool of himself, but then John Grisham came along and spoiled everything. Specifically, he gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph in England, wherein he took the opportunity to expound on how he thinks it’s all wrong to lock up old white men who just happen to enjoy watching some child pornography when they get home drunk. He complained that, “We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,” and cited the example of a friend who “went to a website… labeled, 16-year-old wannabe hookers, or something… [and] downloaded some stuff. It was 16-year-old girls who looked 30. You know, they were all dressed up and whatever. He shouldn’t have done it, it was stupid. But it wasn’t 10-year-old boys and he didn’t touch anything… [But] he went to prison for three years.” This, according to John Grisham, is a Bad Thing. Dear god. Where to begin? … Read More

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Olivier Assayas on Post-May 1968 France and Romanticizing Youth Rebellion

Yesterday evening, as part of the Festival Albertine, Olivier Assayas was sort of questioned about his films by a panel consisting of legendary music journalist Greil Marcus, Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek, and screenwriter Larry Gross (We Don’t Live Here Anymore). Mostly, though, he was questioned about the atmosphere surrounding May ’68 — the attempted student revolution in Paris that Assayas didn’t really experience  — by the audience. … Read More

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Gone Girl, Bad Weather, and the D: Links You Need to See

Everyone’s content has been on point today, so I just want to thank y’all (y’all here being used in the feminist sense) for making today’s post really easy to write. Here’s what you need to read (or look at) from today’s internet goings-on. … Read More

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On Activism and Cynicism: An Hour Waiting for Russell Brand in Zuccotti Park

I walked down to Zuccotti Park yesterday afternoon. I haven’t been there since Occupy Wall Street was forcibly removed from the park in November 2011. And, look, I’ll admit it — I never went to the park during Occupy, either. Like many people, I suspect, I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with activism — or, perhaps more accurately, with activists. Insofar as Occupy had defined goals (and one of the smartest and most interesting things about the movement was its inclusivity), I supported them — anyone who reads Flavorwire regularly will be unsurprised to know that we often lean left of center. But when it comes to direct action or marches or such things, I have always had a problem, and that problem has a name: drum circles. … Read More

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‘Obvious Child’ for the Web: New Online Course Combats “Abortion Stigma”

Americans love to argue about abortion, in the moral-philosophical sense. Is it right or wrong? In what circumstances is it OK, or allowable? The debate goes back and forth, and so do the laws. Just last night, the Supreme Court reversed a circuit court’s decision (which had reversed a still lower court’s decision) to close a number of Texas abortion clinics — roughly accomplishing what Wendy Davis was initially trying to do with her filibuster. The shuttered clinics will now be able to re-open, until they’re targeted yet again. There’s no doubt they will be. … Read More

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Why We Should Applaud Ferguson Protesters for Interrupting Last Night’s NFL Game

Last night, St. Louis Rams fans were engrossed in the second half of their team’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, when a giant banner dropped over a scoreboard, reading: “Rams fans know on and off the field black lives matter.” This marked a new tactic amid the weeks and months of protests that have continued virtually uninterrupted since the death of unarmed teenager Mike Brown at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson, who still hasn’t been charged (a grand jury is hearing the case). … Read More

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Carl Sagan: “War On Drugs, Suck My Cock”

OK, he didn’t actually say that, but c’mon, who could pass up that headline? Vox has got its hands… Read More

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Why Bill Maher Is Wrong About Islam

As you’ve probably seen in the news of late, Ben Affleck and Bill Maher had something of a tête-à-tête on the latter’s TV show this week. The discussion came in the context of Waking Up, a book written by another of Maher’s guests, one Sam Harris, and specifically Harris’ view that liberalism has failed in its approach to Islam, and how “every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated into bigotry against Muslims as people.” We don’t often write about international geopolitics here on Flavorwire, but it’s worth looking at how the discussion unfolded, both because it took place between two prominent cultural figures on an HBO talk show and because the whole incident illustrates a fundamental problem with the way we discuss these issues. … Read More

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