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We Did This

When I was a young boy, whenever I went to a public library, I would always search for books on two subjects: Nazis, and nuclear weapons. I think this was because the biggest myths of my young life were told by Steven Spielberg. Reading about the realities of those two ideas: German fascism – its roots in Enlightenment philosophies, populist politics and art – and the successful construction of a machine so powerful it could incinerate an entire city, and destroy the planet, those seemed like the most important things to […]

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AEA Votes on #99Seat

We’re almost at a head. I also recommend the editorial from Bitter Lemons​ and it’s detail about the full pager in the Los Angeles Times​ and Actors’ Equity Association​’s response: http://losangeles.bitter-lemons.com/2015/03/25/vote-no/#sthash.HLkwZvyx.dpbs It’s very possible that union actors will be forced out of the indie scene by their own leadership, which will make producer-hyphenates like me seek non-union talent or hang it up all together. AEA insists on portraying people like me as exploitative of actors and dismissive of their contributions, when in fact, most of what I do is engineer […]

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R.I.P Harris Wittels

Fancy Pants 2002

  He was a rockstar at Emerson and apparently super nice.  I was in the audience at the Cabaret when Fancy Pants debuted.  I still remember a sketch (from their second show?) about going to work inside a living bear as the funniest fucking thing…     This is 2003 and they are like 19 years old.  This is from before almost everything it reminds you of. They were a million times funnier and more original than the other comedy groups on campus.  They seemed cool. I have no doubt that the three or […]

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Secularism is Not a Western Ideal

As my friends on the Left settle into what I consider a reductive understanding of Charlie Hebdo’s work as racist, Islamaphobic, problematic, whatever – here’s a collection of cartoons by Cabu (one of the assassinated cartoonists) which evidence a more nuanced progressive point of view at that magazine. The cartoonist Cabu (who drew all of the cartoons shown here) was consistently anti-colonial and anti-imperial in his work, just like the rest of Charlie Hebdo. This character, a French soldier on the cover of a fictional magazine called ‘the pacifist union’ says “France […]

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In the Future You Will

I know they’re AT&T ads, but I remember watching these and being so excited for the future. Yesterday, I actually looked up how much a virtual reality headset costs. My car drives on half electricity generated when I brake. These videos make me flush with gratitude for how tech has changed our world. But I also see that really nothing big has changed. The advances demonstrated in this video are largely conveniences meant to help people consume more quickly and work during their vacations, and making face to face communications obsolete through video screens. Almost everyone in these videos is alone. The in-person interactions are incidental. (The exception is the athlete receiving medical care, which stands out as a humane and very necessary deployment of tech. Sagefully, the patient’s health is of utmost importance to a major American corporate entity – his NFL team – making his recovery not a self evident matter of good fortune for a person and his family, but because he gets back on the field, the season is saved, blah blah blah.) Commerce will self-innovate, businesses will always look for ways to improve themselves to out compete the next business or address new needs and pain points for consumers. But tech and money can’t solve problems that exist between people. They can only make the conversations more predictable and less frequent, less intimate, they insulate the richest people from the poorest people, and provide a dim […]

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Iconoclasm in Kiev

Click over to the Guardian to see protesters in Kiev pull down the statue of Lenin, and read about how statues – invisible symbols of entrenched and assumed power in our everyday lives – becoming sitting ducks during an expression of revolutionary disobedience. Since the dawn of man, in our freest moments we have torn the idols down. Some pics from RT: Direct link to video:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/dec/09/kiev-ukraine-protesters-statue-lenin-video

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