Dispatches From the Culture Wars – January 30, 2024
- A Constitutional Crisis in the Making
- The Hostile Architecture of Late-Stage Capitalism
- Shutting Manhattan for Gaza
- Barbie and Oscar
- Jews and Oscar
- Bobi Wine and Oscar
- Blackballing Palestine Supporters
- Buffalo, Deep Freeze and Social Solidarity
- MAGA Misogynists Betray Themselves
- Climate Crusaders Throw Down in New Orleans
By Matt Ford
The New Republic
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement arguing that the Biden administration’s inaction on border crossings had reached a level that justified extraordinary new steps by the Texas state government. Abbott said he was invoking a provision in the Constitution that he claimed would allow him to circumvent federal law by drawing upon constitutional powers reserved to the states.
By Kathleen Wallace
The trend towards “hostile architecture” is another glaring visual exhibit of our callousness to fellow humans. Ubiquitous spikes and benches that allow for sitting, but not sleeping are all a very real part of urban planning these days. Spikes in some locations are even to the point of being dangerous for those who might trip and fall near them.
By Arielle Isack
Several people I spoke to about January 8 suggested that the police’s aggression and negligence represented a shift from previous Palestine actions: “The police have been fairly chill in this latest cycle of protests. But the escalation this time from the NYPD in particular was very, very, very aggressive,” said one protester, who had been blocking the Manhattan Bridge.
By Caryn James
Being based on a doll really hurt Barbie at the Oscars. Greta Gerwig was snubbed as director and Margot Robbie left out of the best actress category, omissions that caused a flood of outrage. Oscar voters refused to take the toy-based film seriously, ignoring how inventive it is, dismissing it as a billion-dollar popcorn movie when it is also a funny, subversive cultural statement.
By Rebecca Sun
The Hollywood Reporter
Jewish entertainment figures have come together to issue an open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences criticizing their exclusion from being specified as an underrepresented group. The letter states: “There are very few films about Jews, aside from ones about the Holocaust. Moreover, when Jewish characters are featured, they are often played by non-Jews.”
By Sophie Neiman
The nomination of “Bobi Wine: The People’s President” for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars marks the first time a Ugandan film has earned recognition from the Academy Awards. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was shocked by the nomination. “I screamed,” he said. “If there was any police officer nearby, I would have been arrested immediately.”
By Mary Norkol
Chicago-area college students and recent graduates’ support for Palestinian rights has had real-life repercussions, from lost jobs to being targeted by anti-Palestinian websites. Some websites have compiled “dossiers” about Palestinian supporters, including details on their activism that includes photos, videos, social media handles and LinkedIn pages, among other information.
Buffalonians are coming to terms with the fact that they must support each other and contest for power at the same time. It’s the only way they can meet the impacts of the climate crisis, on top of profit-driven development.
By Amanda Marcotte
The only people Trump and his fans are fooling with their bullying tactics and false bravado are themselves. It's especially obvious in the way that right-wing men get fixated on conventionally attractive feminists. Good-looking women provoke sexual insecurities and maximally childish behavior from the right-wing man.
By Drew Hudson
We went down to New Orleans to help plan and execute an action on LNG exports at the America’s Energy Summit (AES). The AES is like a who’s-who meeting of fossil fuel corporations and their enablers in finance and government and our actions helped it shut down early, and under-attended!