Freedom Socialist Party Offers $13 An Hour (This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things)

We’ve already talked about Kshama Sawant. Elected to Seattle’s city council in 2013, Sawant’s victory marked one of the greatest comebacks in American socialism- or at least, Americans’ openness to socialism- in a long time. While her endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders resulted in snide “I told ya so”s from the radical left (for whom happiness is counterrevolutionary), everything was going relatively well. An open Marxist had been elected without the sky falling and in spite of the griping of its opponents, the $15 an hour minimum wage in the city of SeaTac appears to be promoting growth, rather than stifling it.

And then this happened:

Socialists Push For $20 Minimum Wage But Won’t Pay Workers That Much

…Yeah. Continue reading

Unpacking the Importance of The Whiteness Project

I rarely double up on posts during the week, and I just wrote pretty great review of this month’s issue of Ms. Marvel [if I do say so myself], but I felt the need to spotlight a little something called The Whiteness Project and field a few more opinions from you about the entire thing-

I chose to feature the same guy The Guardian did, because how could I not?

I chose to feature the same guy The Guardian did, because how could I not?

The Whiteness Project is, to let their About page speak for itself:

“a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as ‘white’ experience their ethnicity.”

This investigation is carried out through interviews with White Americans, some of whom you can see in the image up above. Speaking to the camera, and consequently us [due to their use of the Interrotron camera technique], these men and women share how they relate to and understand their ethnicity and what it means in today’s United States. Continue reading

Ms. Marvel, #9: A Comic Book Review

msmarvel9I probably should have mentioned this in my review for the last issue, but the new story arc that started with Issue #8 is titled “Generation Why”, and this week’s installment brings us to the halfway point of that tale. It’s also a pretty fitting title, seeing as questions appearing almost faster than they can be answered.

Eesh. There is a lot to cover. Let me try to break things up a little-

What Happened On The “Universal” Level

Having Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans on the cover is a pretty good indicator that things are going to get a little bit bigger. After a fight that essentially leaves Kamala completely drained she’s whisked away by Lockjaw to New Attilan. These may seem like gibberish words to the less comic savvy, but the redheaded royal ruler explains to her that:

“Long ago, one of your human ancestors was genetically altered by the Kree — an alien race. The genetic legacy has been passed down through the generations– to you.

You’re Inhuman.”

That clears up where the Pakistani-American teen got her powers, and presents the yet another question of “Now what?” Medusa expects her to stay in her new home, but Kamala’s having none of it and once again escapes via teleporting canine. Inhuman physician Vinatos wishes her good-bye “For now,” meaning that she’s sure to rub shoulders with her superpowered kin in the near-ish future. Continue reading

If This Blog Doesn’t Make You Pick Up Your Smart Phone then I’m Obviously Not Guilt Tripping You Enough!

So I just saw another one of those videos meant to guilt trip me into “putting down my smart phone.”


And I became thoroughly irritated.

Don’t get me wrong, I really do know what he means. Heck, for a long time I was one of those people who just refused to get a fancy new phone. I wanted to be environmentally conscious. I didn’t want to carry a bunch of blood minerals in my pocket. I didn’t want to have constant crackbook access to distract me from the real world.

However, now that I have FINALLY upgraded to a phone that has a battery life longer than 2 hours, I’ve started to change my tune. In fact, contrary to what that video says, I think my smartphone may be making me into a better person.

Let me give you an example.

I’m an incredibly lazy person. This is unfortunate because I’m also a university student who spends the majority of my time sitting. My body often screams for exercise but I’m all like “body, I walked you yesterday, and I’m kinda-sorta working on my essay while constantly being distracted by the internet.”

Then I got my new phone. It gave me access to a whole new world of things I had never really gotten into because they were too much bother to use on an actual computer. Many of these apps do more than make my life easier, they give me incentive to get off my butt. For example, my phone came with a pedometer app. I can’t really explain it, but this app tapped into my suppressed competitive side and got me taking the long route home just so I could meet my “steps” goal. Then there’ss Instagram. I mean, I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time (tagging people has definitely been hit or miss in my experience), but it makes me want to go on hikes so I can take pictures of pretty stuff.

Basically like this guy

Continue reading

Obama Doesn’t Care About Black People(?)

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when many poor and black residents of New Orleans continued to struggle for survival, rapper Kanye West angrily commented that the current president “[didn't] care about black people.” A decade later, and the sentiment of the White House doesn’t seem to have changed much. In spite of the overwhelming support given by black Americans to Obama during his candidacy, it often seems that he’s less than willing to return to the favor.

Take, for example, the execution of Troy Davis.

Troy Davis was convicted in 1991 for the shooting of a Georgia police officer- a crime which he denied until his dying day. In the years following his conviction, greater and greater evidence arose suggesting that Davis was indeed innocent. By the time of his death, seven of the nine key witnesses who had helped convict recanted their testimony, many citing police coercion. Of the two remaining witnesses, one reported that he was no longer certain and the other was believed by many to have been the actual gunman.

Support for Davis’s release poured in from across the globe, even gaining such notable supporters as former president Carter, archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former head of the FBI, the head of the NAACP, and congressman and civil rights veteran John Lewis.

In spite of the worldwide campaign on his behalf, Davis was executed on a late September night in 2011- the one man in the world who could’ve saved him not even lifting a finger. In spite of the rumors (swiftly discredited) that Obama had reached out to the state of Georgia, the president, by all accounts, sat idly by during what many labelled a modern-day lynching, the White House only confirming that the president would not involve himself. Continue reading

Stripping Jennifer Lawrence: Not What She Did, But Why

Okay, so Jennifer Lawrence. Kat and I actually discussed her in one of our first Culture War Correspondences ever, back when the actress [or actor, I haven't decided how I feel about the term being gender neutral] and the positive attention she was garnering online was creating an equal if not greater amount of backlash. However these days people aren’t talking about how much she loves food or her general sense of coordination when walking up to receive an Oscar.

Kat’s most recent post delves into the perception of the leaked nude photos of Lawrence, falling firmly on the side [the same one I do] that the people who should really be blamed are the ones who invaded her and many others’ personal privacy. To once again quote the same two sentences from her Vanity Fair
interview that so many have been latching onto, and rightly so, “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime.”

Here’s that cover again.

I could have easily left it at that, except that her interview with Vanity Fair went a little bit further than that. Lawrence explained that she had no reason to make any apologies to anyone, which I continue to agree with, but justified
the action of taking the pictures in the first place she said:

“I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”

Continue reading

Stripping Jennifer Lawrence: The Difference Between a Scandal and a Sex Crime

If you’ve been online today you’ve probably read the statement Jennifer Lawrence made about the nude photos of her, which were hacked and published online in late August. In case you haven’t, I’ve included part of her response below:

“Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this… It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.”

Along with Lawrence’s response to the “scandal”, Vanity Fair featured this photo of her on the cover.

Continue reading