Dispatches From the Culture Wars – January 3, 2023

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  1. Youth Activists Take On Gun Violence Epidemic
  2. Flight Attendants Raise the Roof
  3. Spreading Warmth
  4. All MAGA Sadism, All the Time
  5. Checking Into The White Lotus
  6. Drag and Kids 
  7. Toy Story: The Supply Chain
  8. War on Public Sector Unions
  9. Anti-Health
  10. 2022’s Top Feminist Moments in Pop Culture

Youth Activists Take On Gun Violence Epidemic

By Anita Chabria
Los Angeles Times

Even in California, with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, we are faced with the stone wall of those who genuinely believe they will someday need their weapons to overthrow our government, and any attempt to curb gun rights risks that mangled notion of patriotism. But the kids have a chance.

Flight Attendants Raise the Roof

By Jessica Max Stein
The Independent

In the 60s, stewardesses were fired upon ­marriage, ­pregnancy, or when reaching a certain age (32 on some airlines, 35 on others). These restrictions limited their tenure, making it nearly impossible to organize. Yet organize they did, in tandem with civil-rights laws and the women’s movement, changing their working conditions almost unimaginably. 

Spreading Warmth

By Eleanor J. Bader
The Progressive

Dozens of intrepid activists marked National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day on December 21 with an enormous art installation on the Capitol lawn. The installation included nearly 1,200 blankets laid out side-by-side near the Reflecting Pool, all of them handmade by volunteers from across the country.

All MAGA Sadism, All the Time

By Amanda Marcotte

The cruelty that has come to define the GOP is only likely to intensify in the next year, resulting in more vicious attacks on LGBTQ people, more dehumanizing treatment of migrants, more deranged conspiracy theories, more pregnant people denied medical care with specious “pro-life” arguments, and more winking approval of political violence. 

Checking Into The White Lotus

By Eli Zaretsky
London Review of Books

The White Lotus analyses capitalism not only as a system of race and class hierarchies, but also as a libidinal economy. There is a further twist to this. Hotels, like the entire luxury sector, work by anticipating and calibrating what customers desire. TV viewers are also ‘guests’ – consumers of a quasi-luxury product (HBO). A show like The White Lotus is not only a lens; it is also a mirror.

Drag and Kids 

By Scott Shackford

Lawmakers have been proposing legislation that essentially treats drag shows as lewd conduct, regardless of any sort of nudity or sexual activity. Simply wearing clothing of the opposite sex in a performance is suddenly sexual. It’s a bonkers proposal with any number of potential enforcement problems, but that's something that happens with a moral panic.

Toy Story: The Supply Chain

By Francesca Fiorentini
The American Prospect

Rex stood up and shook a couple of plastic monkeys off his tail. “Do you think that maybe Santa’s workshop partners with China, since the elves can’t handle all the workload?” Woody jumped up onto the windowsill. “Enough! There’s no time. We’ve got to unstick the supply chain!”

War on Public Sector Unions

By James O’Donnell
The New Republic

Through door knocking and postcard mailers, a presence in online conservative news networks, and an onslaught of lawsuits against unions around the nation, the right-wing Freedom Foundation says it’s now aided more than 131,000 public-sector workers in opting out of their unions.


By Zack Hirsch

With seats opening on the Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s board, a group of political activists opposed to COVID protocols saw an opportunity. Now, the hospital has three new board members who question the effectiveness of vaccines and spread medical misinformation. Their victory has thrown the hospital board’s typically quiet meetings into chaos.

2022s Top Feminist Moments in Pop Culture

By Janell Hobson

It’s that time of year to reflect on highlights of 2022 and the ways that feminism showed up and showed out in our popular culture. Here are our top 10 favorite moments.

Source URL: https://portside.org/2023-01-03/dispatches-culture-wars-january-3-2023