Josh Harkinson

Josh Harkinson

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Born in Texas and based in San Francisco, Josh covers tech, labor, drug policy, and the environment. PGP public key.

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Short Takes: "Detropia"

| Tue Sep. 4, 2012 5:00 AM EDT

Detropia

LOKI FILMS

85 minutes

This brilliant film by the creators of the Oscar-nominated 2006 documentary Jesus Camp opens in the Detroit Opera House with a performance of Nabucco—a Verdi work that follows the plight of the Jews exiled from Babylon. Juxtaposed with visual evidence of the city's exodus—Detroit has lost half its population, and the opera house is itself near bankruptcy—it's an apt opening to a eulogy for the nation's most dystopian city. However, in once-vibrant neighborhoods that have turned into overgrown wastelands, Detropia finds grim beauty and a wealth of hopeful lessons for America's middle class. Among them: Destruction can unleash creativity, if we're brave enough to let it.

Snooki Reads Mother Jones

| Wed Aug. 8, 2012 5:29 PM EDT

What does the cast of Jersey Shore do when they're not going to the gym, tanning, and doing laundry? Read Mother Jones, of course:

MTV filmed the skit to promote Power Of 12, its effort to get out the youth vote this November. Jason Rzepka, MTV's vice-president of public affairs, told me that its producers wanted Snooki to be reading a political magazine, and their choice of Mother Jones "reflects the impact of your brand and reporting." (It could also reflect the fact that Snooki is soon to be a mother).

Whether Mother Jones actually appeals to Snooki is less clear. Last month she told Newt Gingrich: "I'm trying to be like you," but then, she might have just been making fun of his efforts to cash in on his celebrity. Whatever Snooki's political affiliations, we're happy for the endorsement. Snooki fans can sign up for a subscription here

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