Asawin Suebsaeng

Asawin Suebsaeng

Reporter

Asawin Suebsaeng is a reporter at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones. He has also written for The American Prospect, the Bangkok Post, and Shoecomics.com.

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A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., Asawin came back to DC with hopes of putting his flimsy Creative Writing major, student newspaper tenure, and interest in human rights and political chicanery to some use. He started cutting his teeth at F&M's student-run weekly, The College Reporter, serving as editor in chief. He has interned at The American Prospect, been a reporter for the Bangkok Post, and scribbled for ShoeComics.com. His favorite movie is either Apocalypse Now or Pirahna 3D, depending on the day or mood.

"Snowpiercer": The Best Post-Apocalyptic Film About Class Warfare You'll See All Summer

| Wed Jul. 2, 2014 12:29 PM EDT

Snowpiercer, directed by Bong Joon-ho and starring Chris Evans, is an ambitious, critically acclaimed new thriller. "While Transformers mucks up cineplexes with its ugly bombast, here, as an alternative, is something truly special, a unique and bracing science-fiction film that stirs both heart and mind," raves Vanity Fair.

Like so many action films that came before it (both the smart and the monumentally silly), Snowpiercer has political relevance pumping through its veins. In the future, a corporate attempt to reverse the devastating effects of global warming goes horrifically wrong: The experiment ends up murdering most of the planet. Survivors live aboard the Snowpiercer, a train—equipped with a perpetual-motion engine—where the rich and pampered live at the front and the poor and unwashed at the rear. Bloody class warfare ensues.

You get the message.

Here's Bong discussing the corporate critique and climate-change angle of his film, in an interview with CraveOnline:

In Snowpiercer, it's more about how big business tries to both use and control nature. And how it backfires on them. Nature takes its revenge and sends them back to the ice age. This is an aspect that is different from the graphic novel [source material] (by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette). I wanted to make a story change because I felt that climate change is more current of an issue and will continue to be, because it's not in the interest of big business to change, but to control.

Basically, it's an action movie in which corporate power takes extreme measures to attack the climate, instead of overhauling the way they do business for the sake of the world. They screw over human civilization, and the rest of the film goes the class-division route. "The poor are in the back and the rich are in the front," Bong told CraveOnline. "So this created an opportunity to talk about the political ideas involved and really examine human nature and why those systems exist. What would we actually discover if they were taken on? We don't know because it's so large and affects billions of people. Having a few survivors is a sci-fi element [that] makes it easier to explore these ideas."

On that note, here's a trailer for Snowpiercer:

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The Coach of the US Soccer Team Wrote You a Note To Get Out of Work

| Thu Jun. 26, 2014 11:05 AM EDT

This should come in handy today.

Jürgen Klinsmann, the US men's national soccer team coach, signed the following tongue-in-cheek letter excusing American employees from work on Thursday. The US is playing Germany in a highly anticipated World Cup match.

Here's the get-out-of-work letter, via the US Soccer Twitter feed:

US Soccer excuse note world cup
@ussoccer/Twitter

If you tried to use this on your boss, please do tell us how it went in the comments below. Go USA!

Watch Two US Congressmen Battle Each Other With Prince Songs

| Wed Jun. 25, 2014 5:23 PM EDT

Wednesday marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Prince and The Revolution's album Purple Rain, the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. So, obviously, at least a couple lawmakers were going to mark the occasion by singing and strumming Prince music.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a congressman from Prince's home state, picked up an acoustic guitar and sang a cover of "Purple Rain" (he got the lyrics wrong, but still). Here's a Vine of his Prince tribute:

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) responded with his own acoustic Prince cover of "Raspberry Beret"—which isn't from Purple Rain, but whatever:

The two Democrats later expressed a desire to jam, possibly to Bruce Springsteen. Perhaps Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) can weigh in next with "Let's Go Crazy."

Prince did not respond to Mother Jones' request for comment on what he thought about the elected representatives doing battle with his songs as glorious weaponry.

Read the Supreme Court's Unanimous Decision Telling Cops They Need a Warrant to Search Your Cellphone

| Wed Jun. 25, 2014 10:56 AM EDT

Read our explainer of the decision here.

 
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