The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Shakesville Arms'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Carrie Underwood: "Good Girl"

This week's TMNS have been brought to you by Ladies of American Idol.

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You're Embarrassing Yourselves

President Obama lets the Republicans have it over their absurd refusal to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next Attorney General:

President Obama on Friday vented his frustration over the delay in confirming his attorney general pick Loretta Lynch, calling the Senate's handling of her nomination "embarrassing."

In his strongest comments to date on the delay, Obama chided the Senate for engaging in "political gamesmanship" by not bringing Lynch's nomination up for a vote.

"It's gone too far," Obama said during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote."

Lynch, a veteran federal prosecutor, is poised to become the first black female attorney general in U.S. history. But she has waited 160 days to be confirmed, longer than the previous seven attorney general nominees combined.
Emphasis mine. And what is the cause of the delay? Senate Republicans are holding up the vote on her nomination until the passage of "an unrelated human-trafficking bill that is stalled in the Senate," to which Senate Democrats object because of anti-abortion language inserted into the measure.

(That isn't the only problem with the legislation, but, unfortunately, it's the only piece to which Democrats are objecting.)

So Democrats won't pass a piece of anti-choice Republican legislation, and, in a fit of petulant pique, Republicans are blackmailing them by holding up Lynch's nomination.

These fucking jerks.

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Transphobia.]

"Administratively I shouldn't exist. But I do exist, so that's still the problem."US Army Sgt. Shane Ortega, the first openly transgender active military soldier, on whose behalf, along with other trans* servicemembers, the ACLU has filed a petition regarding their potential discharge.

There has been a lot of positive momentum for trans* troops in the last year, but there is still not official policy protecting them and guaranteeing their right to serve openly.

The problem, of course, is not that Sgt. Ortega and other trans* servicemembers exist; the problem is that transphobia does.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt sitting on the loveseat with her paws crossed on its arm, looking at me, to which I've added text reading: 'Hey Girl'
She just sits there, looking at me: "Wanna play tug-o-war, girl?"
It never fails to make me laugh. And then give her whatever she wants.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by the smell of black dirt.

Recommended Reading:

Brendan: [Content Note: Patriarchy; misogynist terrorism] Hackers, Gamers, and Cyborgs

Ali: [CN: Fat hatred; disablism; class warfare] Wellness Programs Are Terrible and Getting Worse

Teddy: [CN: War on agency] Laws Banning Abortion Procedure 'Substituting Political Decisions for Medical Decisions'

Daniel: [CN: Racism; police brutality; othering] Ferguson Protesters Were Reportedly Called 'Enemy Forces' Among National Guard Troops

Akiba: [CN: Death; possible hate crime] The Wise Words of Slain Activist Catherine Han Montoya

Digby: Jeb Is Going to Have a Tough Time with the "Politics of the Past"

Nadia: Silk: Marvel's New Asian American Female Superhero

Veronica: Review: The Hillary Clinton Coloring Book

And happy 13th (!!!) blogiversary to Atrios!

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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THIS IS THE GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN

Some goddamn genius spliced together footage from Interstellar of Matthew McConaughey's character getting super emotional while watching a video message from his daughter and the new Star Wars trailer, so it looks like he's having a meltdown while watching the new trailer, and it is fucking AMAAAAAAAZING.


Video Description: Matthew McConaughey sits in a chair aboard a spacecraft, looking at a video monitor. The Star Wars trailer (transcript here) appears on the monitor. As the trailer plays, McConaughey gets increasingly emotional, and tears stream down his face. After the final scene, of Han and Chewie, in which Han says, "We're home," McConaughey sobs.

I can't even deal with how great this is. We are major Interstellar heads at Shakes Manor, and we were both all BLUB HAN SAID WE'RE HOME when we watched the Star Wars trailer, so I'm fairly certain this mash-up will be viewed no fewer than one biebillion times this weekend.

[H/T to Kyler.]

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Homophobia] Next week, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage, and Zack Ford has "Ten Novel, Absurd, and Irrelevant Arguments Made in Supreme Court Briefs Against Marriage Equality." Honest to fuck, anti-equality advocates are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for the most absurd remnants of their fetid bigotry at this point.

[CN: Racism] The Greater Fredericksburg (Virginia) Tourism Partnership, VisitFred.com, has launched a campaign that invites people to "Civil War-ize" themselves by sticking their face on the body of a Civil War General. Virginia is for lovers—and, apparently, for racist Civil War fetishists. (If you'd like to politely let "Fred" know your thoughts about this campaign, their contact page is here.)

[CN: Fat hatred; body shaming; images may be NSFW] Amanda Kate Richards's response to Lane Bryant's #ImNoAngel campaign is terrific. "[T]he campaign features little body diversity. It features plus-size models with similar proportional bodies with small stomachs. She argues that even though Lane Bryant is a plus-size retailer, they never feature a true range of plus-size women in their ads. Plus-size women come in all different shapes and sizes so their campaign should reflect that." FACT. A lack of fat body diversity is a problem with many plus-size retailers and "plus-size beauty" campaigns.

[CN: Racism; police brutality; child neglect] The thing I like about this idea for child support reform is that it better recognizes children as citizens of the State, who are owed having their basic needs met even if their parent(s) can't (or won't) meet them. I also think that directing child support from the State would probably facilitate better co-parenting in a lot of cases, which would also be a net positive for kids.

[CN: Discussion of transmisogynoir; image may be NSFW] Laverne Cox talks about why she posed for Allure's annual nude issue: "Black women are not often told that we're beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we're beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There's beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it's true." Love her.

[CN: Food insecurity; privilege] Gwyneth Paltrow doing the food stamp challenge was "the most Gwyneth Paltrow thing ever," until she wrote about it for GOOP, and now that is the most Gwyneth Paltrow thing ever.

Neat! "After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken on April 10 from a distance of 21,000 miles (33,000 kilometers), and they represent the highest-resolution views of Ceres to date."

Fuck yeah! "Better Call Saul proved to have remarkable stamina over the course of its freshman run, solidifying its status as cable's No. 1 new series of the year." See you next year, Saul!

And finally! More evidence that dogs feel something very close to what we call love: "Japanese researchers found that dogs who trained a long gaze on their owners had elevated levels of oxytocin, a hormone produced in the brain that is associated with nurturing and attachment, similar to the feel-good feedback that bolsters bonding between parent and child. After receiving those long gazes, the owners' levels of oxytocin increased, too." And this paragraph, about dogs fixedly looking at us, just made me cry: "'If I was dropped on Mars,' Dr. MacLean said, 'and everyone was speaking a language I didn't understand, and I knew I could never acquire their language, I'd just give up. But dogs don't. They're not reluctant to tune in to us at every moment.'" Dogs never give up. Blub.

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"I Wish..."

[Content Note: Poverty; deportation.]

This is a heartbreaking story about a teacher in a school district with high rates of poverty who asked her elementary school students what they wished she knew about them.

"I wish my teacher knew I don't have pencils at home to do my homework," read one of the responses. "I wish my teacher knew how much I miss my dad because he got deported to Mexico when I was 3 years old and I haven't seen him in 6 years," read another.

The responses are deeply moving, and other teachers have started using the lesson with their students, in order to try to get to know them better.

"I wish my teacher knew I don't have a friend to paly [sic] with me."

I love the idea behind this project, not only so that teachers may better know their students and what they need, but also so that students can feel heard and valued; can feel like their needs matter; can feel like being known to someone matters.

That's important for everyone to feel.

If you are inclined to do so, please share in comments what you wish people knew about you.

I wish people knew...

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Primarily Speaking

image of former Texas Governor Rick Perry, to which I've added text reading: 'Hey, don't forget I'm terrible too!'

Poor Rick Perry! He is trying so hard to get people to remember that he is just as terrible as the other Republican contenders, and no one is even paying attention!

He's so desperate he's even whipped out the old "talk shit about senators" trick: "These are really bright, capable individuals. But my point is, do you want to take a chance on someone who doesn't have a track record of being an executive. When you walk off the Senate floor, you walk off the Senate floor. You don't walk away from things when you are Governor, you have to deal with things." So fuck you, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz!

Sorry, Rick Perry! You're going to have to be a lot more creative in your displays of nightmarish horrendo humanity than that! These are no Willards Mitts Romneys you're dealing with. We're back in Tancredo territory, son!

Obviously, it's going great for Senator Marco Rubio, who is winning over converts every day with great policies like his Florida Health Choices no-mandate health insurance exchange, which opened last year and now covers fully 80 people. EIGHTY! Take that, Obamacare (which covers 1.6 million people in Florida)!

And it's definitely going great for Senator Rand Paul, who's going on an "anti-abortion offensive." It sure is offensive! BOOM! (Thank you; I'll be here all week election.) Sayeth Paul: "We should ask the other side, do you think there's nothing special about life? Do you think there are no rights involved in a seven- and eight- and nine-pound baby?" Ha ha terrific questions! A+

It's not going quite so great for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose approval ratings are not quite in the toilet yet, but they're definitely fixing to plop in there any minute now. "Forty-one percent now approve of Walker's performance, while 56 percent disapprove." Light a match!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has obviously decided to take the high road lololol j/k: "Though he didn't mention Hillary Clinton by name, Bush was clearly aware of her recent Ohio pit stop to the Mexican fast food chain [Chipotle] on her road trip across the country, taking the opportunity tonight to take a not-so-subtle jab at the former secretary of state. 'I actually cook it at home. I don't need to go to Chipotle. Do I go there? Yeah, I go there. The one on US 1. Drive my own car, park my own car, get out of my own car,' he said. 'Get Chipotle, take it home.' (Notably when Bush left the event tonight, he sat in the passenger's seat of the black SUV that awaited him.) 'But we normally cook our own food, my own Mexican food at home. It's pretty good,' he said." So he totally doesn't go there, but, when he does, he doesn't travel by hired driver, except when he does. Cool story, bro.

While Bush was making this totally trenchant commentary on her eating habits, Hillary Clinton was talking class warfare: "There's something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker. There's something wrong when American workers keep getting more productive...but that productivity is not matched in their paychecks. And there's something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days. And there's something wrong when students and their families have to go deeply into debt to be able to get the education and skills they need in order to make the best of their own lives."

And, in a bid to prove she's not just talking the talk but actually means to walk the walk, Clinton is reportedly planning to hire "Gary Gensler, a former top federal financial regulator and strong advocate for strict Wall Street rules, as the chief financial officer of her campaign."

[Note: Video may autoplay at link.] Former Republican Lincoln Chafee says he's definitely running, but not officially. And his big criticism of Clinton continues to be her 12-year-old Iraq War vote, for which she's since apologized and said she was wrong. Very bluntly: "As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake [became] more painful. I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."

I have to be honest here: Though I agree with Chafee (and Clinton!) that Clinton got that vote wrong, I feel like there is more integrity in her admitting having gotten it wrong than there is in Chafee continuing to attack her for it at this point. If the best you've got is: "You made a big mistake that you totally admit and deeply regret!" that is some weak sauce.

It's also not a rationale for a presidency that's going to persuade me, that's for damn sure. I need a real platform. Given that Clinton says herself the vote was wrong, it's not even a point of meaningful difference.

That's not an argument against a primary. Let's have a primary! But it's got to be more substantive than this to matter, is my point.

Meanwhile, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is using a pretty similar strategy, criticizing Clinton's former positions on same-sex marriage and issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. But, her positions have changed, and are now in alignment with his, so his criticism essentially boils down to: She didn't come to those positions quickly enough.

Okay. I actually agree with that, but, again, that's not enough. What are your policy positions that are fundamentally different now? I'm ready to be convinced, so convince me!

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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Adorbz

Lucasfilm Responds to 7-Year-Old's Request to Let Jedi Marry. Oh, my heart. Good job, Lucasfilm. Well done indeed.

[H/T to Iain.]

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Open Thread

image of many different kinds of beans

Hosted by frijoles.

This week's Open Threads have been brought to you by the letter F.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker iwillbedamned: What was a time you were legitimately awed by an experience?

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She's a Monster

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

So, one of the things I was thinking about, after I posted the thing about Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, is how often I rarely hear Hillary Clinton spoken about in the same sentence as another woman without a frame that casts them as adversaries and/or competitors.

With the important caveats that no woman owes Hillary Clinton a vote, and that she must continue to work to earn the trust of all women, especially women of color, I find it really interesting (ahem) that a female candidate who has spent much of her career talking about women's issues is almost never discussed as having a good relationship with any other women.

And, the thing is, Clinton works extremely well with lots of other women. She seems to have a warm relationship with lots of her female colleagues: Women who work for her, women who work with her, other female leaders in the US, other female leaders around the globe.

Just a quick Google image search later, here is a totally different narrative than the one we usually get about Hillary Clinton:

image of Hillary Clinton with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a thin white woman, on a Congressional panel; they are both smiling
Again with Senator Elizabeth Warren.

image of Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama, a thin black woman, sitting beside each other, laughing
With First Lady Michelle Obama.

image of Hillary Clinton leaning over to whisper something in the ear of Huma Abedin, a thin Indian-Pakistani-American woman
With her long-time aide Huma Abedin.

image of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, a thin white woman, hugging each other tightly and smiling
With House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

image of Hillary Clinton being warmly greeted by former Senator Kay Hagan, a thin white woman
With former North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan.

image of Hillary Clinton standing next to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, an in-betweenie older white woman; they are turned toward each other and smiling
With former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

image of Hillary Clinton standing and laughing with Justice Elena Kagan, an in-betweenie white woman, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an in-betweenie Latina, at a State of the Union address
With Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

image of Hillary Clinton sitting at a table with Princess Diana and an older white woman who I don't recognize at a luncheon, many years ago
With Princess Diana.

image of Hillary Clinton with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, an in-betweenie black woman; they are standing beside each other smiling and shaking hands
With Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

image of Hillary Clinton standing beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an in-betweenie white woman; they are standing in the same position, their hands clasped in front of them, looking at each other and smiling
With German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

image of Hillary Clinton with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, an in-betweenie Brazilian woman; they are greeting each other with a hug
With Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

image of Hillary Clinton with President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madam Atifete Jahjaga, a thin white woman; they are greeting each other warmly face-to-face
With President of the Republic of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga.

image of Hillary Clinton with Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China Liu Yandong, a thin Chinese woman; they are greeting each other with smiles
With Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China Liu Yandong.

image of Hillary Clinton with Myanmar's pro-democracy opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, a thin Asian woman; they are hugging each other tightly
With Myanmar's pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

image of Hillary Clinton getting a traditional Maori greeting, forehead-to-forehead, from Rose White–Tahupārae, Kaumatua of New Zealand's Parliament, a fat Maori woman
With Rose White–Tahupārae, Kaumatua of New Zealand's Parliament.

image of Hillary Clinton standing and holding hands with Japan's Empress Michiko, a thin Japanese woman
With Japan's Empress Michiko.

image of Hillary Clinton standing under an umbrella with her arm around Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, a thin black woman
With Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

image of Hillary Clinton dancing beside Nkoana-Mashabane
...With whom Clinton rather famously also shared a dance. *wink*

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. (Pun intended.) Clearly, all of these women hate Hillary Clinton, and she is a monster.

In all seriousness, it's quite possible that among these women are some people who don't like Clinton, or whom Clinton doesn't like, which only serves to underline the point even harder: She doesn't even have to like women in order to have a good, and friendly, working relationship with them.

And, again, I'm not trying to say that any woman owes Hillary Clinton anything, nor that there are no valid reasons for women to dislike Hillary Clinton. My point isn't even really about liking Hillary Clinton.

It's about the dominant narratives we have around female politicians—especially female politicians who advocate for women.

I mean, did anyone in the media even care if Sarah Palin got along with other women? No. Because she didn't advocate for women's issues, so there was no value in trying to discredit her with "friendless female" stories.

[Next Time: President Obama and Hillary Clinton's friendship, and how it's the most interesting thing in US politics.]

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Film Corner: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

IT'S HERE IT'S HERE IT'S HERE! ANOTHER OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER FOR STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS!!! WHICH SHOWS MORE STUFF! LET'S ALL WATCH IT AND/OR READ THE TRANSCRIPT AND TALK ABOUT IT LIKE A BUNCH OF SUPER EXCITED NERDS! OR NOT! WHATEVER IS YOUR PREFERENCE!


Video Description: John Williams music. Lucasfilm logo. A wide shot of a landspeeder cruising over a desert landscape (which looks like Tatooine, but is actually a planet called Jakoo) (or Jaku) (I don't know!) (NEW STUFF!) and zips right past the crashed remains of an X-Wing and a Star Destroyer (!!!) (also: !!!). Fade to black.

A male voice (LUKE? IT IS LUKE?! I THINK IT'S LUKE!) says in voiceover: "The Force is strong in my family." Fade into a trashed Darth Vader helmet. Oh shit! Darth Vader breathing mingles with the crescendoing music. The voiceover continues: "My father has it. I have it." Image of a cloaked man reaching out his hand to touch R2-D3. The hand is bionic! It's the same bionic hand Luke has! Cut to someone (whose face isn't visible) handing someone else (whose face isn't visible) a lightsaber. "My sister has it." Fade to black. "You have that power, too."

OMG WHO IS HE TALKING TO?! AHHHHHHHHHH!

Text onscreen: "This Christmas."

Montagery! X-Wings fly over some water, and one of the pilots (a dude) shouts excitedly. Lightsaber battle! A white woman and a black man and a little spinny robot running from an explosion. A Sith Lord! Stormtroopers! The white woman again! TIE Fighters! Explosion at (I THINK) an Imperial hangar. The black man, dressed as a stormtrooper, takes off his helmet and breathes dramatically. Star Destroyer! SITH! Robot! White woman! Black man! The white woman reaches out her hand to him, and he breathes dramatically and then grabs her hand. THE MILLENIUM FALCON!!!!!!!11!

Chewbacca and Han Solo appear onscreen. "Chewie," Han says, "we're home."

"Rrrrrrrowrrrrrr!" Chewie says.

Text onscreen: "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS."

*falls over*

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Fatsronauts 101: Heinous Questions

[Content Note: Fat hatred.]

So, one of the things about existing as a fat person in a fat-hating culture is that you get lots of heinous questions. (At least, many of us do.)

Many of these questions, as you'd expect, are centered around our eating habits, our exercise regimen, our medical "numbers," and other attemps to ascertain why we're fat and/or whether we are unhealthy.

But then there are the questions that are just absurdly heinous, invasive, personal, and utterly dehumanizing—questions that remind us that we are regarded as a whole other species by a lot of our fellow humans.

Questions like:

* How do you find clothes that fit you?

* Can you reach your ass to wipe it?

* Are you able to get pregnant?

* How do you have sex?

image of me sitting beside a tack board to which is tacked a piece of paper reading: 'The same way that you do, dipshit.'
(Well, maybe not.)

Sometimes, it's not strictly a question, but expressed amazement that we are able to do something, like walk a long distance or tie our shoes.

Now, not all fat people can do all of these things, especially when fat intersects with disability. But, in my experience, when I've been asked these sorts of questions, or have been commended on my ability to accomplish some task, the person asking/commenting has no reason to presume I can't do these things, except for the fact that they see a fat person standing in front of them.

And, of course, not everyone (of all sizes) can do all of these things, and, even among those of us who can, we don't universally do them the same way. But, again, that's not the context in which these questions get asked of me, and lots of other fat people. They get asked in a way that implies our capabilities must necessarily be limited and different and less than because we are fat.

They are asked in a way that essentially questions our humanity, our likeness to non-fat humans.

So, fellow fatsronauts: What is the most obnoxious, intrusive, contemptible, and/or ignorant question you've been asked, in relation to your being fat?

And if any thin commenters feel like sharing the most heinous question they ever asked a fat person before learning how heinous it actually was, please feel free to share that, too.

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FYI

[Content Note: Ageism; misogyny.]

screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'The only time I want to hear anyone talk about Hillary Clinton's age is when they're teaching Menopause 101 to dipshits who make PMS jokes.'

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat stretched out on the loveseat with big eyes
"Fetch me the smelling salts!"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Candice Glover: "Damn"

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Drowning] Another terrible capsizing of a migrant boat on the Mediterranean: "More than 40 people have drowned in the latest sinking of a migrant boat between Libya and Italy. The Italian navy rescued four people, Almost 10,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean have been plucked from the sea in recent days. Hundreds have died since the start of the year. Italy has called for more help from the EU to handle the crisis. Earlier this week, about 400 people were believed to have drowned when their boat capsized. ...Earlier on Thursday Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy had 'not had an adequate response from the EU.' But the European Union has said it has no 'silver bullet' for the problem of thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe." Fuck.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Congress finally thinks it needs to do something about police brutality against black people: "Top US lawmakers are to discuss ways of tackling the killing of black suspects by police amid signs that the hitherto muted political response to a spate of recent controversies is giving way to more concerted attempts at reform. ...Citing the police killings of Scott, Eric Garner in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, New York representative Hakeem Jeffries asked what else Congress needs to see in order for lawmakers to be convinced that some form of action is required. 'Over the last year we've seen a parade of [horrible] examples of police violence caught on video for all of America to see. We're compelled to ask the question: what more does Congress need to see in order to understand that we've got a problem? That requires Democrats and Republicans, people in the House and the Senate, working in partnership with the president, to address,' Jeffries said."

[CN: Police misconduct; racism] In related news: "Private Company Conspired with Police to Hold Poor People for Ransom, Lawsuit Charges." At this point, a lot of police forces are behaving like just another for-profit organization making money on the exploitation of poor people, especially in communities of color.

[CN: Homophobia] Um, Apple? What are you even doing? "Apple is refusing to explain how and why the Russian language version of its voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri, provided homophobic answers to queries relating to gay or lesbian topics. ...When contacted by the Guardian, Apple refused to give further comment, replying with a single sentence saying only that Siri's responses had been 'fixed.' Follow-up questions regarding the specific cause of the problem, and whether steps had been taken to ensure the incident wasn't repeated, Apple declined to comment."

[CN: Addiction; drug-induced psychosis] Flakka is the newest synthetic drug that is reportedly pushing people over the edge during extreme highs. There is a lot of scary shit on the streets these days.

[CN: Racism; video may autoplay at link] Last night on American Idol, one of the contestants, a black teenager named Quentin, was upset after his best friend was revealed to be up for elimination, and said that the situation was "wack." It was patently obvious (at least to Iain and me, watching at home) that he was just expressing an entirely understandable sadness about his BFF being in the bottom two, but the whole thing spiraled the fuck out of control, with Harry Connick, Jr. telling him he was being disrespectful and Jennifer Lopez lecturing him on keeping his emotions together and OMFG. Like, the response was so out of line with what actually happened that Iain and I were like: This is racism, right? This has to be racism. They are seeing an Angry Black Man where an upset teenager is. It was soooo fucked up.

[CN: Misogyny] Paul Feig continues to be utterly contemptuous of the all-dude Ghostbusters remake trying to upstage his all-female remake. "I've got my four funny ladies, and that's all I care about."

Y'all know I don't know or care about Doctor Who (I'M SORRY!) but I figure those of you who do will like this, so here is Christopher Eccleston talking about classism and racism and misogyny: "You can't blame Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others taking their opportunities, but it will lead to a milky, anodyne culture. To an extent that's already happened. I confess I don't watch much film or television drama but I'm aware of the predominance of white, male roles. It's not just about the working class. There's not enough writing for women or people of colour. It frustrates me when they insist on doing all-male Shakespearean productions—a wonderful intellectual exercise, maybe, but it's outrageous because it's putting a lot of women out of work." P.S. I can totally blame Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch for taking many of the roles they've taken!

And finally! "The 15 Goofiest Animals Who Make the World a Happier Place." Obviously.

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