January 2013, Week 3


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Jan 2013 23:10:00 -0500
text/plain (455 lines)
Dispatches from the Culture Wars - Off to a Running Start

 January 15, 2013 - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday

 Published by Portside

 #  #  #

 Breaking Down Oscar Nods by Community

 By Jennifer Cheng

 January 11, 2014 
 Voices of New York


 Following the announcement of the 2012 Oscar nominations
 yesterday, the community and ethnic press zoomed into the
 stories of nominees from their respective communities, or of
 films that were particularly relevant to their readers. From
 "Life of Pi," director Ang Lee's nod to his native Taiwan,
 to a documentary about ACT UP and analyses of slavery-themed
 films, community and ethnic publications offered their angle
 on the Oscar nominations.

 Gay City News profiled two nominated documentaries related
 to the LGBT community. Also among the five nominated for
 Documentary Feature were two Israeli films, reported the
 Jewish Daily Forward, and Irish Central reported that two
 people from Ireland were nominated, for cinematographer for
 "Anna Karenina" and  one of the producers for "Head Over
 Heels," nominated for Short Film (Animated).  Racial justice
 news site Colorlines took a graver look at the Oscar news,
 pointing out that only two out of the 20 acting nominations
 were for people of color. Both however made a bit of history
 with their nominations.

 #  #  #

 At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and

 By Brooks Barnes

 January 7, 2013 
 New York Times


 Disney World guests currently plod through entrance
 turnstiles, redeeming paper tickets, and then decide what to
 ride; food and merchandise are bought with cash or credit
 cards. People race to FastPass kiosks, which dispense a
 limited number of free line-skipping tickets. But gridlock
 quickly sets in and most people wait. And wait.

 Soon Disney will begin introducing a vacation management
 system called MyMagic+ that will drastically change the way
 30 million Disney World visitors  do just about everything.
 These so-called MagicBands will function as room key, park
 ticket, FastPass and credit card. They can also be encoded
 with all sorts of personal details, allowing for more
 personalized interaction with Disney employees. The company
 already collects personal data, but parts of MyMagic+ will
 allow Disney to track guest behavior in minute detail.
 Disney is aware of potential privacy concerns, especially
 regarding children, and the plan could be troublesome for a
 company that some consumers worry is already too

 #  #  #

 N.Y. officials, newspaper duel over gun data

 By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY and John Ferro,
 Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal

 January 4, 2013 
 USA Today


 The Westchester-based Journal News published a report and
 interactive map identifying the names and addresses of those
 who legally hold pistol permits in Westchester and Rockland
 counties. But Putnam County officials, who also initially
 agreed to provide the information to the Journal News, said
 in a press conference here Thursday they would defy New York
 State's open records law and refuse to provide the
 controversial information. Janet Hasson, publisher of The
 Journal News Media Group, responded that the company will
 take legal action if necessary. "We will aggressively pursue
 the community's right of access to public record

 New York law on firearms licensing specifies that "the name
 and address of any person to whom an application for any
 license has been granted shall be a public record."  The
 Journal News editors said they made the Freedom of
 Information requests in the wake of the Newtown CT killings
 because readers were "understandably interested to know
 about guns in their neighborhoods."

 #  #  #

 NY newspaper hires armed guards after publishing gun permit

 By Chris Francescani

 January 5, 2013 


 A suburban New York newspaper that ignited a furor by
 publishing the identities of thousands of residents who hold
 gun licenses has hired armed security to guard its staff
 after receiving an intimidating e-mail, a police report
 said.  The guards are protecting the newspaper's staff and
 Rockland County offices in West Nyack, New York.  The
 menacing e-mail was reported to police on December 28.

 The newspaper's editor and publisher have said they expected
 the publication of the information to be controversial.
 State gun-owner groups have called for an advertising
 boycott of the newspaper until it takes the map and
 identities off its website.

 #  #  #

 `Demand a Plan' Gun Control Campaign Launches Viral Video

 By Elizabeth S. Mitchell

 December 28, 2012 


 The Demand a Plan campaign launched by social advocacy group
 Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-chaired by New York City
 Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino,
 urges supporters to sign a petition, contact their
 legislators and mayors, write letters to editors of major
 publications and voice their support on Twitter and
 Facebook. The multifaceted project has all its PR bases
 covered-and now it has a celebrity-filled viral video to

 The spot, which features such familiar names and faces as
 Jon Hamm, BeyoncĂ©, Chris Rock and many others, made it to
 number 6 on the Ad Age Viral Video Chart this week. Like all
 of the campaign's content, the video's simple, straight-
 forward, no- frills style serves to promote its overall
 message: less rhetoric, more action.

 #  #  #

 Idle No More spreads beyond border as aboriginal activists
 ramp up pressure

 By Benjamin Shingler, The Canadian Press

 January 1, 2013 
 Ottawa Citizen (Canada)


 The Canadian aboriginal movement known as Idle No More
 continued to gain strength beyond Canada's borders on
 Tuesday as activists embarked on a public relations blitz in
 the United States. Pamela Palmater, one of the leaders of
 the movement, travelled to Washington, D.C. to raise
 awareness internationally and force Prime Minister Stephen
 Harper to act.

 In addition to recent events held across Canada, rallies
 have already been staged as far off as Texas, Hawaii and New
 Zealand with plans for more in the coming days.  Palmater
 said Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike, now in its fourth
 week, is part of a much larger protest movement.  The
 initial spark was the federal government's omnibus budget
 legislation but it has now become about broader issues like
 inequality and treaty rights, she said.

 #  #  #

 A Chinese Web censor snaps, goes on public rant

 By Max Fisher

January 9, 2013 
Washington Post


 As controversy over a censored newspaper grows into one of
 China's biggest and potentially most significant free-speech
 fights in years, party officials are likely seeking greater
 control at exactly the moment that outraged Web users are
 making that task most difficult. At least one censor on
 Weibo, the popular Twitter-like service that often serves as
 the closest China has to a public national conversation,
 seems to have snapped.

 A rant was posted from a Weibo account belonging to
 @Geniune_Yu_Yang, which is identified as belonging to a
 Weibo manager, about the pressure from government officials
 and complaints from regular users. The message, translated
 into English by Global Voices blogger Oiwan Lam, compares
 Chinese government censorship to a famous scene in the 1988
 Italian film "Cinema Paradiso," in which a priest watches
 each movie before it can be shown in public, and indicates
 which scenes the theater staff should censor by cutting them

 #  #  #

 New York literary magazines - start spreading the news

 By Hermione Hoby

 January 5, 2013 Guardian (UK)


 According to a band of ambitious young New York writers and
 editors who are shaking up the publishing world, publishing
 is undergoing something genuinely exciting in New York, a
 new, post-digital dawn in which a web-literate and
 politically engaged generation is re-energising journalism
 with fierce- thinking in stylish print and online

 The new publications include "Triple Canopy", a digital
 journal of arts and culture, as well as the radical online
 magazine, "the New Inquiry". The newest title to generate
 heat is "the American Reader," which has already been hailed
 as "the New Yorker's younger, cooler sister". Also part of
 this movement is "Jacobin", a left-leaning magazine founded
 in 2010 by Bhaskar Sunkara when he was 21 and an
 undergraduate at George Washington College. Two years on,
 his site has a quarter of a million unique users per month
 and has expanded into print.

 #  #  #

 Yes, `All My Babies' Mamas' Looks Awful  -  But That's Not
 the Whole Point

 by Jamilah King

 January 3 2013 


 Just in case you needed a new reality TV show to loathe,
 there's this: Oxygen Network's "All My Babies' Mamas."  The
 show is set to debut later this spring and stars the rapper
 Shawty Lo (of `Laffy Taffy' fame) and his encounters with
 the various different mothers of ten children. Folks are
 pissed  - and now there's an online petition aimed to
 stopping the show before it starts.

 An online petition started by Change.org has gathered close
 to 4,000 signatures. According to Sabrina Lamb, the
 petition's author, "By pushing these degrading images, your
 company seeks to profit from the humiliation of girls and
 women and the blatant stereotyping of African-Americans."
 The network, of course, begs to differ. "Oxygen will give
 fans an intimate look at unconventional families with larger
 than life personalities and real emotional stakes... All My
 Babies' Mamas' will be filled with outrageous and authentic
 over-the- top moments that our young, diverse female
 audience can tweet and gossip about."

 #  #  #

 Savile: the full shocking truth revealed in official report

 By Paul Peachey , Jonathan Brown

 January 11, 2013 
 Independent (UK)

 Police have recorded 34 rapes against Jimmy Savile and 126
 indecent assaults with the vast majority of them against
 children, the youngest of whom was aged eight, a report into
 the activities of the former DJ revealed today.  The
 earliest allegations against the presenter who died in 2011
 surfaced as far back as 1955 when Savile worked in
 Manchester. The final report came in 2009, also in

 During more than half a century in which he was never
 directly challenged over his activities, victims reported
 being abused in 14 different medical establishments
 including hospitals, psychiatric units and one hospice. The
 Crown Prosecution Service apologised today after it admitted
 that Jimmy Savile could have been charged in connection with
 three cases involving sexual assault and other offences
 dating back to the 1970s.

 #  #  #

 Welcome to the new Civil War

 By Andrew O'Hehir

 January 5, 2013 


 You can't boil one of the most tumultuous periods of
 American history down to one paragraph, but here goes:
 Lincoln was assassinated by a domestic terrorist and
 replaced by Andrew Johnson, who was an incompetent hothead
 and an unapologetic racist. Within a few years the ambitious
 project of Reconstruction fell victim to a sustained
 insurgency led by the Ku Klux Klan and similar white militia
 groups. By the late 1870s white supremacist "Redeemers"
 controlled most local and state governments in the South,
 and by the 1890s Southern blacks had been disenfranchised
 and thrust into subservience positions by Jim Crow laws that
 were only slightly preferable to slavery.

 So even though it's a truism that the Civil War never ended,
 we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political
 issues of the 21st century - most notably the rights and
 liberties of women and LGBT people - but rooted in toxic
 rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.

 #  #  #

 2012: The Year Our Sports Broke

 By Dave Zirin

December 21, 2012 
The Nation.com


 To read the Associated Press's list of "Sports Stories of
 the Year" is to be assaulted with crime, corruption and
 obscene villainy. The number-one sports story of the year
 was the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal and
 subsequent trial. Number two? Lance Armstrong having his
 titles, his trophies and his tailored reputation
 methodically stripped away. Number three was the horror of
 "learning" that the NFL's New Orleans Saints put bounties
 out on opposing players, only to have these charges revealed
 as groundless. The number-four story is listed as "NFL
 concussions," including the growing class action lawsuit of
 now 4,000 former players, and the suicides of four current
 and former NFL vets.  The number-five story may seem
 cheerier: the London Olympics. But part of what made this
 iteration of the Olympiad a story wasn't just Michael Phelps
 and Gabby Douglas. It was the cost overruns and the bloated,
 malfunctioning security apparatus.

 Our sports broke this year. They self-destructed under the
 twin weights of greed and a bloated sports media conditioned
 to look the other way. There is a real crisis when our
 entertainments no longer entertain and our sweet
 distractions turn sour.

 #  #  #

 Preppers Are Getting Ready for the Barackalypse

 By Tim Murphy

 January/February 2013 
 Mother Jones


 Obama's second term is very bad news for survivalists. It's
 also very good news for the industry catering to their worst
 fears. James Talmage Stevens, a 73-year-old Texan, is
 America's most celebrated self-reliance guru and his book,
 Making the Best of Basics, may be the closest thing the
 survival industry has to a bible (aside from the actual
 Bible). It has sold more than 800,000 copies since hitting
 the shelves at Kmart during the gas crisis in 1974.

 Stevens is somewhat paranoid about where the United States
 is headed (he foresees a borderline tyrannical second Obama
 term that begins with massive gun confiscation and ends who-
 knows- where), so he's rolling with it. I met Stevens at the
 Self Reliance Expo in Mesa, Arizona, one of the nation's
 leading "readiness" trade shows, where attendees (about
 5,000 over two days) shop for bulletproof vests and
 dehydrated peas or practice suturing an open wound on a
 severed pig's foot.

 Welcome to the doom boom.

 #  #  #

 Ed Asner Adds His Voice to `Zero Dark Thirty' Protest

 By Michael Cieply

 January 13, 2013 
 New York Times Carpetbagger Blogs


 LOS ANGELES - Sunday dawned crisp and clear here, with
 wintry (for Southern California) temperatures lingering in
 the 40s and 50s. But the rhetoric was already hot, as
 Hollywood got ready for a Golden Globes ceremony at which
 the table talk - if not the stage banter -- almost
 inevitably will turn to the political flare-up around "Zero
 Dark Thirty."

 "I would like to condemn the movie" for making it appear
 that torture was effective in the hunt for Osama bin Laden,
 Ed Asner said in a telephone interview on Sunday morning.
 Mr. Asner said he and fellow actor Martin Sheen planned to
 join in a letter, drafted by yet another actor, David
 Clennon, asking fellow members of the Academy of Motion
 Picture Arts and Sciences to factor in matters of conscience
 when casting awards votes.

 #  #  #


Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]

Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3

Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq

Sub/Unsub: http://portside.org/subscribe-and-unsubscribe

Search Portside archives: http://portside.org/archive

Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate