Mixed Media Blog Feed | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2014/07/node/255556 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Here Is a Video Of a Crane Destroying a Truck http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/here-video-crane-destroying-truck <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>So, as the <em><a href="http://www.dailydot.com/lol/crane-operator-smash-truck/" target="_blank">Daily Dot</a> </em>points out, <a href="http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ccd_1405124702" target="_blank">this video</a> is almost certainly staged, but who cares? It's nuts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=96e4f3a03272" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Sat, 12 Jul 2014 16:37:25 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 256011 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is How HBO Makes the World of "Game Of Thrones" So Spectacularly Real http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/how-hbo-makes-world-game-thrones-so-spectacularly-real <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Season four of "Game of Thrones" is up for <a href="http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/66th-nominations-list-v2.pdf" target="_blank">19 awards</a> at the 66th Emmys, including Outstanding Special and Visual Effects. This <a href="http://vimeo.com/100095868" target="_blank">recently released video</a> shows how HBO's visual effects wizards&mdash;led by VE Supervisors Joe Bauer and Joern Grosshans&mdash;make George R.R. Martin's books not only come alive but truly jump out of the screen.</p> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/100095868" target="_blank">Watch</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/100095868" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="630"><br></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:42:11 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255951 at http://www.motherjones.com Lebron James Is Going Back to Cleveland http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/lebron-james-going-back-cleveland <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers" target="_blank">Boom. </a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Sports Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:39:17 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255961 at http://www.motherjones.com Singer and Hardcore LGBT Rights Supporter Demi Lovato Made This Lovely Video for Marriage Equality http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/demi-lovato-gay-rights-video-marriage-equality-human-rights-campaign <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zx5GjuKr--0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Singer and actress <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demi_Lovato#Philanthropy" target="_blank">Demi Lovato</a> is a strong <a href="https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/349907949323436032" target="_blank">supporter</a> of LGBT rights. She played a lesbian character on Fox's <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/videos/glee-recap-guest-star-demi-lovato-shares-lesbian-kiss-20131004" target="_blank"><em>Glee</em></a>, served as the <a href="http://www.out.com/entertainment/music/2014/06/27/demi-lovato-pride-2014%E2%80%99s-mvp" target="_blank">Grand Marshal</a> of the Los Angeles Pride Parade this year, and has <a href="http://roygbiv.jezebel.com/demi-lovato-releases-new-video-supporting-marriage-equa-1602732616/+burtreynoldsismyspiritguide1" target="_blank">spoken openly</a> about her grandfather's homosexuality. "I believe in gay marriage, I believe in equality," Lovato told <a href="http://www.cambio.com/2013/11/22/demis-new-image-neon-lights-was-my-grown-up-sexy-video/" target="_blank"><em>Cambio</em></a> magazine. "I think there's a lot of hypocrisy with religion&hellip;I just found that you can have your own relationship with God, and I still have a lot of faith."</p> <p>Now, she's made a <a href="https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/487028791202422785" target="_blank">video</a> (watch above) with the Human Rights Campaign in support of marriage equality. The video, <a href="http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/demi-lovato-stars-in-web-video-for-hrcs-americans-for-marriage-equality-cam" target="_blank">released</a> on Wednesday, is part of HRC's recently re-launched Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, which includes messages from <a href="http://americansformarriageequality.org/videos/videos-hillary-clinton-supports-marriage-equality#1" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton</a>, <a href="http://americansformarriageequality.org/videos/videos-bryan-cranston-supports-marriage-equality#1" target="_blank">Bryan Cranston</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://americansformarriageequality.org/videos/videos-monique-stands-up-for-marriage-equality#5" target="_blank">Mo'Nique</a>, and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS641L5khMI" target="_blank">Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman</a>. Here is Lovato's message:</p> <blockquote> <p>Hey, guys, I'm Demi Lovato, and I'm an American for marriage equality. I believe that love comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. So whether you're LGBT or straight, your love is valid, beautiful, and an incredible gift. So let's protect love and strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing loving, caring, and committed same-sex couples to legally marry. Please join me and the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/169640/sex-marriage-support-reaches-new-high.aspx" target="_blank">majority</a> of American citizens who support marriage equality.</p> </blockquote> <p>"We reached out to her [a couple months ago] knowing what a supporter of LGBT equality she is, and thought she would be great for this campaign," <a href="http://www.hrc.org/blog/author/charlie-joughin" target="_blank">Charles Joughin</a>, an HRC spokesman, told <em>Mother Jones</em>. He also mentioned that they have more Americans for Marriage Equality videos lined up featuring other big names, from pro-athletes and movie stars to politicians and civil rights leaders. HRC will likely be released one video a week over the coming months.</p> <p>When asked if Lovato has any further plans to work with the LGBT civil rights group, Joughin said that nothing was discussed, but that they'd be more than happy to do so. "She certainly has done a lot for the larger movement&hellip;We haven't taken it into consideration, but we're such big fans of her we'd be thrilled to work with her in the future. Whether she's doing work with HRC, or elsewhere, I am certain this is a cause she's very committed to."</p> <p>Now check out this video about Lovato sticking it to Russian president Vladimir Putin (and his <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/world-congress-families-russia-gay-rights" target="_blank">anti-gay policies</a>) during her New York City gay pride performance this summer. During the show, two of Lovato's male backup dancers shared a kiss; <a href="https://twitter.com/ddlovato/statuses/483439394213224448" target="_blank">one</a> of them appeared to be naked and was holding a <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28113228" target="_blank">picture of Putin's face over his crotch</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dSQnSJKcg5Y" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Film and TV Gay Rights Human Rights Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:22:07 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255846 at http://www.motherjones.com For God's Sake, Stop What You're Doing and Go Buy Tickets to See Nick Cave http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/go-buy-tickets-nick-cave-bad-seeds <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Nick Cave at San Francisco's Warfield Theater on July 8" class="image" src="/files/NickCavetopart.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Nick Cave at San Francisco's Warfield Theater on July 8 </strong>Michael Rosenthal</div> </div> <p>Most concert reviews are ponderous, so I'll keep this one short: The quirky, passionate Australian musician Nick Cave, who <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/magazine/i-am-the-real-nick-cave.html" target="_blank">was profiled</a> in Sunday's <em>New York Times Magazine</em> if you care to read up on his latest doings, basically just renewed my faith in rock and roll&mdash;a concept that this scrawny, sexy, histrionic, 56-year-old love child of David Bowie and Tom Waits and something much darker more or less embodies.</p> <p>Regardless of whether you've kept up with his oeuvre (I certainly haven't) or can even name any Nick Cave songs, he's a fabulous performer whom you need to see before you die&mdash;or before <em>he</em> does. Last night, during his second sold-out evening at San Francisco's Warfield Theater, the audience was smitten as Cave bounced around the stage like a gothic scarecrow, styled out in his signature dark suit and black velvet, taking full advantage of his rich voice and theatrical tendencies.</p> <p>Reaching into the front rows, and occasionally throwing himself halfway down into them, Cave connects intimately and powerfully with his audience, leavening lyrical intensity with dark humor: Within the twisted landscape of "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GWsdqCYvgw" target="_blank">Higgs Boson Blues</a>," Cave croons: "If I die tonight, bury me / In my favorite yellow patent leather shoes / With a mummified cat and a cone-like hat / That the caliphate forced on the Jews." On the contemporary track "We Real Cool," he sings, "Wikipedia is heaven / When you don't want to remember no more." And if you've never heard Cave's unique take on "Stack-O-Lee" or "Stagger Lee" (or however you choose to write the name of the old murder ballad), well, yeah. It's not much like <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2011/04/stack-o-lee-stagolee-blues-murder-ballads" target="_blank">the other hundred versions</a> you might have heard.</p> <p>Cave's talented band, the Bad Seeds, is a marvelous cast of characters to boot, especially the guy I'm calling the Mad Fiddler (and flautist, guitar, keyboard, and mandolin player). All wild hair and long, scraggly half-gray beard, he attacks his violin like some deranged fiddler on the roof. Together the Bad Seeds highlight Cave's quieter moments with subtlety, exploding with their bandleader when the time is right into mad catharsis. Rock and fucking roll at its finest. Tour dates are <a href="http://nickcave.com/live/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kMOFXv8PQ2Y?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:01:25 +0000 Michael Mechanic 255791 at http://www.motherjones.com George R.R. Martin Has 2 Words for People Scared He'll Die Before Finishing "Game Of Thrones" Series http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/george-r-r-martin-death-watch-game-thrones-series <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/03/hbo-game-thrones-season-3-interview-david-benioff-dan-weiss" target="_blank"><em>Game of Thrones</em></a> author George R.R. Martin is 65 years old. Because of this, some of his fans are <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/11/110411fa_fact_miller?currentPage=all" target="_blank">deeply worried</a> that he won't finish writing his <em>A Song of Ice And Fire</em> fantasy book series (which began in 1996, and is the basis for <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/game-of-thrones-attack-ads" target="_blank">the hit HBO show</a>) before he dies. (See: the case of fellow fantasy author <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/news/2007/oct/17/guardianobituaries.books1" target="_blank">Robert Jordan</a>.)</p> <p>Well, he was asked about this during a recent interview with Swiss newspaper <a href="http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/kultur/buecher/Ich-kenne-das-Ende-der-Geschichte-seit-Jahren/story/13757457" target="_blank"><em>Tages-Anzeiger</em></a>. Here's his response:</p> <blockquote> <p>Well, I find that question, you know, pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health. So, 'fuck you' to those people. <em>[Laughs.]</em></p> </blockquote> <p>You can watch the "fuck you"&mdash;and Martin's accompanying flipped middle finger&mdash;<a href="http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/panorama/leute/Fuck-You-to-those-people/story/24094113" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>This isn't the first time Martin has addressed this concern among his readers. In 2012, he wrote a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/05/george-rr-martin-trolls-his-trolls" target="_blank">blog post</a> trolling his fans who are so obsessed with the series that they routinely <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/11/110411fa_fact_miller?currentPage=all" target="_blank">berate</a> him for working on other projects. It <a href="http://grrm.livejournal.com/279376.html" target="_blank">reads</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Reading. I just finished THE KING'S BLOOD, the second volume of Daniel Abraham's "Dagger and Coin" series. Books like this remind me why I love epic fantasy. Yes, I'm prejudiced, Daniel is a friend and sometime collaborator... but damn, that was a good book. Great world, great characters, thoroughly engrossing story. The only problem was, it ended too soon. I want more. I want to know what happens to Cithrin, and Marcus, and Geder, and Clara. And I want to know NOW. God damn you, Daniel Abraham. I know for a fact that you are writing more Expanse books with Ty, and more urban fantasies as M.L.N. Hanover, and doing short stories for some hack anthologist, and scripting some goddamn COMIC BOOK, and even sleeping with your wife and playing with your daughter. STOP ALL THAT AT ONCE, and get to writing on the next Dagger and Coin. I refuse to wait.</p> </blockquote> <p>"Fuck you" is more succinct.</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">(</span><em style="line-height: 2em;">h/t </em><a href="http://gawker.com/george-r-r-martin-fuck-you-if-you-think-i-wont-finish-1602308837?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_twitter&amp;utm_source=gawker_twitter&amp;utm_medium=socialflow" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">Gawker</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">)</span></p></body></html> Mixed Media Books Film and TV Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:38:37 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255751 at http://www.motherjones.com Thailand's New Military Government Is Secretly Vacuuming Up Facebook Data http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/facebook-thailand-military-false-login <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Despite all the ways Facebook has flouted privacy standards&mdash;like how <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/06/facebook-made-you-sad-for-science" target="_blank">it recently experimented</a> with 700,000 users' emotions by manipulating the positive and negative content of their newsfeeds&mdash;the company hasn't yet provided personal data to oppressive governments. But that didn't deter the Thai junta. When Facebook <a href="https://govtrequests.facebook.com/country/Thailand/2013-H2/" target="_blank">refused to help</a> Thailand's newly installed military government access users' personal information, the junta created a misleading Facebook application to capture its citizens' names and email addresses.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you might remember, back in May, after months of anti-government protests, Thailand's military staged <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/23/world/asia/thailand-military-coup.html?_r=0" target="_blank">a coup</a>.<strong> </strong>Once in power, the military suspended the constitution, installed a 10 p.m. curfew, banned gatherings of more than five people, and attempted to suppress dissidents&mdash;including any of the <a href="http://www.techinasia.com/thailand-social-media-stats-28-million-facebook-45-million-twitter-17-million-instagram/" target="_blank">estimated 28 million Thai users</a> on Facebook, a third of the country's population. On May 29, the new government tried to have a meeting with social-media companies, including Facebook, to discuss censoring Thailand's anti-coup dissent, but <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/social-media-companies-skip-meeting-with-thai-junta-1401373919" target="_blank">none of them showed up</a>.</p> <p>But the Thai junta didn't take this as a sign to give up on tapping into the power of social media. Instead, as the <a href="https://www.eff.org/" target="_blank">Electronic Frontier Foundation</a> reports, the junta placed a Facebook login button to track users on more than 200 of the government's restricted websites, like <a href="http://www.hrw.org/" target="_blank">the webpage of Human Rights Watch</a>.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mixed-media/2014/07/facebook-thailand-military-false-login"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Mixed Media Civil Liberties International Tech Top Stories Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Lei Wang 255556 at http://www.motherjones.com Fast Tracks: Beverly's "All the Things" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/fast-tracks-beverlys-all-things-careers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/e5ikUwP1WIQ" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>TRACK 4</strong></p> <p>"All the Things"</p> <p>From Beverly's <em>Careers</em></p> <p>KANINE</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/careers-300x300.gif"></div> <p><strong>Liner notes:</strong> Urgent yet dreamy, this breathtaking dose of psychedelia mixes ethereal female harmonies, a soaring melody, and surging beats to dazzling effect.</p> <p><strong>Behind the music:</strong> The Brooklyn duo features singer Drew Citron and noise-pop vet Frankie Rose. <em>Careers</em> falls between the lo-fi buzz of Frankie Rose and the Outs and the cooler electronica of Rose's recent solo work.</p> <p><strong>Check it out if you like:</strong> Vivian Girls, early Dum Dum Girls, or Quilt.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in the </em><a href="http://&lt;div%20class=%22inline%20inline-right%22%20style=%22display:%20table;%20width:%201%%22&gt;&lt;img%20alt=%22%22%20class=%22image%22%20src=%22/files/careers-300x300.gif%22%20/&gt;&lt;/div&gt;" target="_blank">July/August 2014</a> Issue <em>of</em> Mother Jones.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Music Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Jon Young 252786 at http://www.motherjones.com Quick Reads: "The Skeleton Crew" by By Deborah Halber http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/quick-reads-skeleton-crew-deborah-halber <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="The Skeleton Crew" class="image" src="/files/cover-skeleton-crew-250_0.jpg"></div> <p><strong>The Skeleton Crew</strong></p> <p>By Deborah Halber</p> <p>SIMON &amp; SCHUSTER</p> <p>Tent Girl. The Lady of the Dunes. The Head in the Bucket. These are just a few of the nicknames given to America's 40,000 unidentified corpses by amateur web sleuths. For decades, members of this thriving, heroic, and macabre internet subculture have been cracking cold cases that have long stumped law enforcement. But what motivates them to spend countless hours poring over police reports and autopsy photos? Deborah Halber replaces the classic whodunit with what you might call a <em>whosolvesit</em>. She discovers that many web sleuths throw themselves into their dark hobby to escape their own damaged lives. Some find their share of fame and fortune; others, only more demons.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/07" target="_blank">July/August issue</a> of</em> Mother Jones.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Books Crime and Justice Tue, 08 Jul 2014 21:41:52 +0000 Josh Harkinson 253016 at http://www.motherjones.com Emma Watson Crashes United Nations Website With Her Goodwill Ambassador Announcement http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/emma-watson-un-women-goodwill-ambassador-crashes-website <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Emma Watson&mdash;the <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/celebs/celebrity-gossip/emma-watson-honoured-for-her-charity-work-5" target="_blank">humanitarian</a> and staunch <a href="http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/emma-watsons-new-day/#1" target="_blank">feminist</a> who you may recognize from such films as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/bling-ring-nancy-jo-sales-israel-broussard-emma-watson" target="_blank"><em>The Bling Ring</em></a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/03/noah-film-darren-aronofsky-russell-crowe-controversies-bans-fox-news" target="_blank"><em>Noah</em></a>, and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/even-international-quidditch-has-concussion-problem" target="_blank"><em>Harry Potter </em></a>movies&mdash;is now <a href="https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t31.0-8/p600x600/10496075_900772396608318_6370725859847443469_o.jpg" target="_blank">working</a> with the United Nations on gender equality and female empowerment.</p> <p>On Monday, UN Women and Watson <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/7/un-women-announces-emma-watson-as-goodwill-ambassador" target="_blank">announced</a> that she had been appointed as a celebrity <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/partnerships/goodwill-ambassadors" target="_blank">Goodwill Ambassador</a>. The 24-year-old British actress will work on the "empowerment of young women and will serve as an advocate for UN Women's <a href="http://heforshe.org/" target="_blank">HeForShe</a> campaign," according to the UN Women's press release. (The HeForShe campaign enlists men and boys to stand up for gender equality.) In 2012, Watson became an <a href="https://camfed.org/latest-news/camfeds-new-ambassador-emma-watson/" target="_blank">ambassador</a> for the Campaign for Female Education.</p> <p>The announcement drew enough web traffic to <a href="https://twitter.com/UN_Women/status/486324669369577472" target="_blank">crash</a> the UN Women website. "We apologize &amp; hope to be back up soon," the UN entity <a href="https://twitter.com/UN_Women/status/486324669369577472" target="_blank">tweeted</a>. The site experienced problems for roughly 12 hours following the announcement. "This is the power of [Watson]; she has such global appeal," UN Women's <a href="https://twitter.com/e_nyamayaro" target="_blank">Elizabeth Nyamayaro</a> told <em>Mother Jones</em>.</p> <p>"Ms. Emma Watson is someone who is not only smart, but someone who is very passionate about girls' issues," Nyamayaro said, explaining why the UN reached out to the actress in the first place. According to&nbsp;Nyamayaro, Watson is particularly excited about working with HeForShe, and will also support the work of young women across UN Women's strategic pillars, <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do" target="_blank">including</a> economic empowerment, ending violence against women, political participation, and peace and security.</p> <p>Here is Watson's full <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/7/un-women-announces-emma-watson-as-goodwill-ambassador" target="_blank">statement</a> on her new gig:</p> <blockquote> <p>Being asked to serve as UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling. The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women's rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can't imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience, and awareness to this role.</p> </blockquote> <p>(Watson expressed her excitement on Twitter with a <a href="https://twitter.com/EmWatson/status/486293432424747008" target="_blank">blushing emoticon</a>.)</p> <p>Other celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors for the UN include <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/video-liam-neeson-unicef-end-violence-against-children" target="_blank">Liam Neeson</a>, "<a href="http://www.jta.org/2013/07/31/arts-entertainment/six-degrees-no-bacon/mia-farrow-twitter-nazi-hunter" target="_blank">Twitter Nazi hunter</a>" Mia Farrow, and <a href="http://www.unicef.org/esaro/5440_Orlando_Bloom_day_with_South_African_children.html" target="_blank">Orlando Bloom</a>.</p> <p>Below is video of Watson visiting slum homes and a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade" target="_blank">fair trade</a> group in <a href="http://newint.org/books/ethical-living/nakedfashion_emma.pdf" target="_blank">Bangladesh</a>: "I still find it hard to convey what fair trade means to those producing our fashion&mdash;it's just so impressive to see how the women have used fair trade clothing to escape poverty and empower themselves and their children," Watson <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SirOqgoLXoc" target="_blank">said</a>. "I was moved and inspired."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SirOqgoLXoc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>This post has been updated.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Human Rights International Sex and Gender Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:16:58 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255646 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is the Best Correction You'll Read All Week http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/whinging-whinger-whinges <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On June 1, the <em>Sun</em> called Marcus Stead "<a href="http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/5662815/Marcus-Stead-is-Britains-biggest-whinger.html" target="_blank">Britain's biggest whinger."</a> Mr. Stead took issue with the article's accuracy. The resulting correction is an instant classic.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p>Hilarious. Britain's biggest whinger wins Sun apology after whinging about the number of times he has whinged. <a href="http://t.co/YrshFd4Lr7">pic.twitter.com/YrshFd4Lr7</a></p> &mdash; Nick Owens (@NicholasOwens) <a href="https://twitter.com/NicholasOwens/statuses/486159430766313472">July 7, 2014</a></blockquote> <p>It reads:</p> <blockquote> <p>In a story 'Britain's biggest whinger' {1 June] we stated that Marcus Stead, who appeard in the Channel 4 documentary The Complainers, 'moans to the council every day for a year.' Mr Stead says that, in fact, the number of complaints is closer to one or two per week. We are happy to put his position on record.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/fieldproducer/status/486466188034068480" target="_blank">Neal Mann</a></em>)</p></body></html> Mixed Media Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:16:48 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255621 at http://www.motherjones.com Being an Oakland Raiders Cheerleader Just Got a Little Less Awful http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/nfl-raiderettes-minimum-wage <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In January, an Oakland Raiders cheerleader named Lacy T. filed a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1165314-raiders-lawsuit" target="_blank">class-action lawsuit</a> against the team with a laundry list of embarrassing allegations: Raiderettes were paid well below minimum wage, fined for things like forgetting to bring their pom-poms to practice or gaining five pounds, prohibited from talking to the press about their working conditions, and required to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket for hair appointments, tanning sessions, and other beauty supplies. Similar lawsuits quickly followed from four other NFL cheer squads: the <a href="https://www.motherjones.com/documents/1165315-bengals-lawsuit" target="_blank">Ben-Gals</a> (Cincinnati Bengals), the <a href="https://www.motherjones.com/documents/1165319-jets-flight-crew-lawsuit" target="_blank">Flight Crew</a> (New York Jets), the <a href="https://www.motherjones.com/documents/1165317-buffalo-jills-lawsuit" target="_blank">Jills</a> (Buffalo Bills), and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1165318-buccaneers-lawsuit" target="_blank">Tampa Bay Buccaneers' cheerleaders.</a> (Read <em>Mother Jones</em>' roundup of NFL cheerleaders' allegations <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/nfl-cheerleader-lawsuits-sexism?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=jiggle-tests-dunk-tanks-and-unpaid-labor" target="_blank">here</a>.)</p> <p>But last week, the Raiderettes had a small but real victory: In audition flyers that have since been taken off the team's website, the Raiders stated that this year's cheerleaders will earn $9 per hour, California's minimum wage. This makes the Raiders the first of the sued NFL teams to give their cheerleaders a raise. Furthermore, Caitlin Y., a cheerleader waging a separate class-action lawsuit against the Raiders, was invited back to the team after auditions this past weekend, making her the first active cheerleader to have spoken openly to the press against the team's working conditions.</p> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1213003-raiderettes-lawsuit.js", { width: 630, height: 354, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1213003-raiderettes-lawsuit" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1213003/raiderettes-lawsuit.pdf">Raiderettes Lawsuit (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1213003/raiderettes-lawsuit.txt">Raiderettes Lawsuit (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>The battle isn't over yet for the Raiderettes: Arbitration in mid-July will address other allegations from the January lawsuit, like the requirement that cheerleaders pay out of pocket for beauty expenses, and will discuss the potential for veterans to receive back pay to make up for lost wages. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1213003-raiderettes-lawsuit" target="_blank">The lawsuit</a> that Caitlin Y. and teammate Jenny C. filed against both the Raiders and the NFL is still under way. In addition to claims about low pay, it alleges that cheerleaders are ridiculed for the size of their breasts, called "Oompa Loompas" if their skin is too tan, and routinely required to work events where they are subject to the inappropriate comments and groping hands of drunken fans.</p> <p>Notably, this degrading treatment echoes claims made in other squads' lawsuits: Buffalo Bills cheerleaders allege that they are subject to routine "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/nfl-cheerleader-lawsuits-sexism?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=jiggle-tests-dunk-tanks-and-unpaid-labor" target="_blank">jiggle tests</a>" to make sure that their stomachs and thighs aren't too bouncy, and that at the team's annual golf tournament the bikini-clad cheerleaders are dunked into pools of water and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/nfl-cheerleader-lawsuits-sexism?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=jiggle-tests-dunk-tanks-and-unpaid-labor" target="_blank">"auctioned off" to the highest bidder</a>.</p> <p>The cheerleaders have a long road ahead, but, just maybe, a pay raise for the Raiderettes could be the first step toward NFL teams treating their cheerleaders with some semblance of dignity. If professional cheerleaders can't keep their hopes up, who can?</p></body></html> Mixed Media Income Inequality Sex and Gender Sports Mon, 07 Jul 2014 21:34:06 +0000 Julia Lurie 255566 at http://www.motherjones.com Corb Lund's Sizzling, Glorious "Counterfeit Blues" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/corb-lunds-sizzling-glorious-counterfeit-blues <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Corb Lund<br><em>Counterfeit Blues</em><br> New West</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/CorbCover300.jpg"></div> <p>When Canadian country rocker Corb Lund and his longtime backing trio, the Hurtin' Albertans, entered legendary Sun Studio (launching pad for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, et al.) in Memphis for two days of sessions, the result was this crackerjack album. Cut live in gloriously warm mono, <em>Counterfeit Blues</em> features new versions of previously recorded songs Lund and company had performed on stage for years, and it shows&mdash;in the best possible way. The band is loose and energetic, but tight as can be, while Lund's spirited vocals are playful and commanding at once. This sizzling brew of honky-tonk, rockabilly, and boogie recalls the '80s glory days of Nashville upstarts Jason and the Scorchers, and that's an impressive achievement indeed.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:12:51 +0000 Jon Young 255516 at http://www.motherjones.com British Brewer Still Bitter Over American Revolution http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/british-beer-company-newcastle-ponders-what-if-america-had-lost-its-battle-indep <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>British actor and writer Stephen Merchant, who you can thank in-part for creating the original version of <em>The Office</em>, has a challenge for you this 4th of July: imagine if his people had won the war for independence. He's tired of acting like he's not bloody pissed that each year we celebrate beating his little country. He's so pissed in fact that he's made the following ad for Newcastle Brown Ale. Watch his plea, as he begs of you to image how "great" Great Brtiain 2 would be. And then, enjoy a hoedown, just to spite him:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/h1YvJBwC4xQ" width="629"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV International Media Mother Jones Thu, 03 Jul 2014 23:40:43 +0000 Brett Brownell 255451 at http://www.motherjones.com "Jaws" Is Ridiculous, Say Kids Who Owe Everything to "Jaws" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/jaws-ridiculous-say-kids-who-owe-everything-jaws <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>Happy Fourth of July! Thirty-nine years ago, </em>Jaws<em> became the first summer blockbuster. In it the town of Amity Island is terrorized by a killer great white shark around July Fourth weekend. In honor of that, we decided to publish a chat we just had about it</em>. <em>This chat has been edited for clarity.</em></p> <p><strong>Emily Dreyfuss: </strong>I saw <em>Jaws</em> last night in a movie theater.</p> <p><strong>Ben Dreyfuss: </strong>Why?</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Because it was playing right by our house and we needed to be somewhere air conditioned.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Okay.</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong>&nbsp; Two things: 1) You and dad are exactly alike and 2) I forgot that "we're going to need a bigger boat" wasn't his line, which makes me even angrier when people quote that in regard to him.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp-3.gif"></p> <p><strong>BD:</strong>&nbsp; LOL, everyone thinks dad said that. He and I have this joke about Roy Scheider being pissed off about it for 25 years.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>I would be too! I hadn't seen <em>Jaws</em> since we saw it as a family 20 years ago.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>I watched it with mom last year. She was like, "I love <em>Jaws</em>. My favorite part is when dad kills the shark," and I was like, "Uh, he doesn't," and s<a href="https://twitter.com/bendreyfuss/status/285935162301239297" target="_blank">he was all,</a> "Shut up, Ben. I was married to him for 10 years. He killed Jaws." So we watched it and then she was like, "Huh, I could have sworn he killed Jaws. I've been telling people that my ex-husband killed Jaws." "Well, I guess people think you were married to Roy Scheider." "I guess so."</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> I mean, the way I read it last night, dad kind of fucked up and was semi-responsible for Quint's death. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW7Q7UySxRA" target="_blank">He dropped the dagger, then swam away and hid</a>, and then the shark ate the captain and Roy Scheider was a hero.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Yeah, I mean, he had the pole knocked out of his hand. Then he swims away and hides. He had just gone down in the cage which was a pretty brave thing to do. By the time he hides he had no chance of killing Jaws. Like, either let yourself be eaten or swim and hide. Scheider was objectively the hero though.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp-1_0.gif"></p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Yeah, I mean, dad had no other options, but I just forgot that he wasn't the hero.</p> <p><strong>BD:</strong> Look, look, we love dad.</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> Yes, to be clear, dad is the best.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>No one here is saying otherwise.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>I also forgot that his character was the rich kid! I&nbsp;guess I&nbsp;basically forgot everything.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Oh yeah, with his tony, rich boat that they should have taken to avoid the whole death/sinking thing?</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ben-gardener.jpg"></p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>I mean, they don't even address that, which is ridiculous. Like, his boat had all the things they needed! Like sonar.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Right? And Quint demands that they take his rickety piece of shit which is just an insane thing to do. The only reasonable thing to say to Quint when he makes that demand is, "Sir, you are insane. We are not putting our lives in the hands of an insane person. You're fired. Good day."</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>"Also, we should add, you can't catch a shark this big with a fishing pole. It had to be said."</p> <p><strong>BD:</strong> HAHAHAHAHA.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Like, his big plan is that he is going to REEL it in with his human man arms.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>I was under the impression that he was using some sort of contraption to leverage the weight of the boat or something? But that might not be how science works.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>I don't think so. I think he was using the power of a metal cup to help hold the fishing rod and that is that and then it shows him reeling in and letting out and then being like, "This shark is so smart! I can't pull him in!"</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp_1.gif"></p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>"He's either very very smart or very very dumb."</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>LOL, yes. That's the line. Then he hands the rod&mdash;with the shark on the line!&mdash;to Scheider who knows nothing about fishing and isn't even strapped in!</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Then at the end he tries to tow&nbsp;him back to shore.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Yeah and that works out well.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp-4.gif"></p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Also, the entire notion of the shark following them out to sea seems suspect. Why would Jaws follow their dumb boat? It's just one boat.</p> <p><strong>ED:&nbsp; </strong>Because of the dead fish and blood trail.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>That little bit of dead fish that Scheider throws in there though, it's not much! Like it's just a bit of blood. Jaws can eat that much fish whenever he wants.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp-5.gif"></p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Oh oh oh, another thing that makes no sense is when dad and Roy find the boat with the dead fisherman at night and in the scariest moment of the film the dead body pops out and freaks dad out? WHY WOULD THE SHARK KILL THE FISHERMAN AND NOT EAT HIM? He is not a murderer. He's a "maneater!" He would have eaten that body!</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong><em>Jaws</em>: Actually a story of a shark out for revenge against Ben Gardner. All the other attacks are just to cover up his crime.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp-2.gif"></p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>I mean, maybe Jaws didn't kill Ben Gardner. Maybe someone else did. Maybe they got away with it.</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> Wow, you remembered that character's name. I am kind of blown away.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>"That's Ben Gardner's boat."</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> Yeah, that is the line but like, what are you? A savant? I&nbsp;barely remember dad's character's name. I'm confused if it's hooper or hopper.</p> <p><strong>BD:</strong> Emily, I know all the lines to almost all of dad's movies. I watched them all dozens of times when I was young&hellip;It's Hooper.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Where was I? I watched <em>Always</em> a lot&hellip;and cried.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Yeah, <em>Always</em> is sad. I love the bit of that movie when Holly Hunter comes down in the dress dad bought her and that song "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" plays. That song makes me cry.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2459737%2CrDVtXUBh8DJA9a_hkjnQSaWDbRGouu%2BHBbTrGwnt72Fe_8eNp1uPJylXRRDenrVl%2BYj755BxvKErXcf9vMV6zA%3D%3D.jpg"></p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>That is a very good moment. Ok, but so, we can agree, <em>Jaws</em> makes no sense.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Yeah. Great film.</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> Wonderful film.</p> <p><strong>BD: </strong>Makes no sense.</p> <p><strong>ED: </strong>Makes little sense.</p> <p><strong>BD:</strong> It could make more sense.</p> <p><strong>ED:</strong> It could make more sense!</p> <p><em>The end.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Top Stories Thu, 03 Jul 2014 23:29:20 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss and Emily Dreyfuss 255416 at http://www.motherjones.com There's a Satirical, Naughty Musical About the Clinton White House Opening in New York. Listen to One of the Songs. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/bill-hillary-clinton-musical-new-york-exclusive-audio-photos <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>If the musical-theater community could find it in itself to create a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/04/estonia-twitter-opera-paul-krugman-toomas-hendrik-ilves" target="_blank">cantata telling the story of a Twitter war between Paul Krugman and the president of Estonia</a>, then surely a musical about the Clinton administration couldn't have been that far behind.</p> <p>On July 18, <a href="http://www.nymf.org/tickets/2014-events/clinton/?utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=See_Clinton_the_Musical_for_only_%2425_at_NYMF" target="_blank"><em>Clinton: The Musical</em></a> will premiere at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. (The festival has previously hosted such successful productions as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_to_Normal" target="_blank"><em>Next to Normal</em></a> and <a href="http://www.broadwayworld.com/philadelphia/article/11th-Hour-Theatre-Company-to-Present-ALTAR-BOYZ-515-61-20140514" target="_blank"><em>Altar Boyz</em></a>, prior to their respective Broadway runs.) The book for <em>Clinton</em> was written by Australian writing duo and brothers Paul and Michael Hodge, and music and lyrics were penned by Paul Hodge. An earlier, shorter version was nominated for best new musical at the <a href="http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/43729-fringe-2012-bribe-of-the-week-clinton-the-musical/" target="_blank">2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe</a>, and a subsequent incarnation was mounted at London's King's Head Theatre the following year.</p> <p>The idea for the musical emerged out of a Hodge family outing. "My family and I went to go and see a musical in Australia about an Australian politician, back in 2006 or 2007," Paul Hodge tells <em>Mother Jones</em>. "And after the show, my dad said, 'Oh, it was good, but politicians don't make good subjects for musicals. The only politician who would make a good subject for that would be Bill Clinton.' And I said, 'Of course!'"</p> <p><em>Clinton</em>, a two-act musical satire, covers the eight years of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2000/09/good-bill-or-bill-goods" target="_blank">Bill Clinton's presidency</a>. According to Paul, the music ranges from more traditional American musical styles to burlesque to 1990s pop. As for comedic influences, Paul cites&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/05/arrested-development-politics-bush-iraq-war-wmd" target="_blank">Arrested</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/06/mitchell-hurwitz-herman-cain-arrested-development" target="_blank">Development</a></em>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/05/simpsons-producer-responds-insane-predicted-syrian-civil-war-conspiracy-theory" target="_blank"><em>The Simpsons</em></a>, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/01/hilarious-politics-30-rock-nbc-tina-fey" target="_blank"><em>30 Rock</em></a>.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mixed-media/2014/07/bill-hillary-clinton-musical-new-york-exclusive-audio-photos"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Mixed Media Hillary Clinton Music Top Stories Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:37:26 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255356 at http://www.motherjones.com The Civil Rights Act Was Signed Into Law 50 Years Ago Today http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/civil-rights-act-was-signed-law-50-years-ago-today <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here is President Obama's statement on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:</p> <p><br><em>In 1964, President Johnson put pen to paper and signed the Civil Rights Act into law.&nbsp; Fifty years later, few pieces of legislation have defined our national identity as distinctly, or as powerfully.&nbsp; By outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, the Civil Rights Act effectively ended segregation in schools, workplaces, and public facilities.&nbsp; It opened the door for the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act.&nbsp; And it transformed the concepts of justice, equality, and democracy for generations to come.<br> &nbsp;<br> The Civil Rights Act brought us closer to making real the declaration at the heart of our founding &ndash; that we are all created equal.&nbsp; But that journey continues.&nbsp; A half a century later, we&rsquo;re still working to tear down barriers and put opportunity within reach for every American, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they come from.&nbsp; So as we celebrate this anniversary and the undeniable progress we&rsquo;ve made over the past 50 years, we also remember those who have fought tirelessly to perfect our union, and recommit ourselves to making America more just, more equal and more free.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Wed, 02 Jul 2014 23:04:56 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255366 at http://www.motherjones.com "Snowpiercer": The Best Post-Apocalyptic Film About Class Warfare You'll See All Summer http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/snowpiercer-bong-joon-ho-chris-evans-climate-change-politics-corporations <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>Snowpiercer</em>, directed by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0094435/" target="_blank">Bong Joon-ho</a> and starring <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/captain-america-winter-soldier-obama-kill-list-politics-drones-nsa" target="_blank">Chris Evans</a>, is an ambitious, <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/snowpiercer/" target="_blank">critically acclaimed</a> new thriller. "While <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/06/michael-bay-conservative-hero-politics-transformers-age-extinction" target="_blank"><em>Transformers</em></a> 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," <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/vf-hollywood/snowpiercer-review" target="_blank">raves</a> <em>Vanity Fair</em>.</p> <p>Like so many action films that came before it (both the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/captain-america-winter-soldier-obama-kill-list-politics-drones-nsa" target="_blank">smart</a> and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/07/sharknado-sharknado-sharknado-sharknado-sharknado" target="_blank">monumentally silly</a>), <em>Snowpiercer </em>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&mdash;equipped with a perpetual-motion engine&mdash;where the rich and pampered live at the front and the poor and unwashed at the rear. Bloody class warfare <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX5PwfEMBM0" target="_blank">ensues</a>.</p> <p>You get the message.</p> <p>Here's Bong discussing the corporate critique and climate-change angle of his film, in an interview with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.craveonline.com/film/interviews/710611-snowpiercer-bong-joon-ho-on-cute-dictators#/slide/1" target="_blank">CraveOnline</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>In <em>Snowpiercer</em>, 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 <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=graphic+novel+snowpiercer&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=0qm&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;channel=fflb&amp;tbm=isch&amp;tbo=u&amp;source=univ&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ZiqzU6nJH-Xt8AG3xoDYDg&amp;ved=0CDkQsAQ&amp;biw=1440&amp;bih=729" target="_blank">graphic novel [source material]</a> (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.</p> </blockquote> <p>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 <a href="http://www.craveonline.com/film/interviews/710611-snowpiercer-bong-joon-ho-on-cute-dictators#/slide/1" target="_blank">told</a> 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."</p> <p>On that note, here's a trailer for <em>Snowpiercer</em>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nX5PwfEMBM0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Climate Change Corporations Film and TV Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:29:10 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255301 at http://www.motherjones.com 7 Things We Hate About Belgium http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/7-things-we-hate-about-belgium <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Our glorious fighting boys of the US men's soccer team are playing Belgium today in their first elimination match of the World Cup.</p> <p>We want the US team to win. You should too!</p> <p>Here are some of the things we hate most about Belgium.</p> <p><strong>1. King Leopold II</strong><br> This guy! He oversaw one of the <a href="http://www.powells.com/biblio/17-9780618001903-24" target="_blank">cruelest regimes</a> in history in the Congo. His regime was responsible for <a href="http://cobweb.sfasu.edu/sbradley/Classes/homepages/Congo_Free_State/" target="_blank">10 million Congolese deaths</a>. If there is a hell, King Leopold is burning in it.</p> <p><strong>2. Tintin</strong><br> Sure he's cute and so is the dog. But he's a terrible <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/01/tintin-gonzo-journalist-reporter" target="_blank">reporter</a> and also Herge was a real <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2011/11/newt-gingrich-congo-tintin-comic" target="_blank">racist</a>.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Angry_King_in_Tintin.JPG"><div class="caption"><strong>A frame from Tintin's first adventure, "Tintin in the Congo" </strong>Wikimedia Commons</div> </div> <p><strong>3. The Smurfs</strong><br> Did you know that possibly the most annoying cartoon franchise in the history of animation was set in a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/07/communist-anti-semitic-smurfs-2-wizard-hitler" target="_blank">Belgian socialist village</a>? No amount of French fries will make up for that crime against humanity.</p> <p><strong>4. Dr. Evil</strong><br> Not only is he evil, and Belgian, but he was a <a href="http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0026630/?ref_=tt_cl_t1" target="_blank">seminal character</a> in one of the most grossly overrated, discussed, and imitated films of the 1990s.</p> <p><strong>5. Jean-Claude Van Damme</strong><br> He's quite good at kicking, but <em>Street Fighter</em> was awful. Also, 1999's <em>Universal Soldier: The Return</em>, in which "the Muscles from Brussels" has to off a rampaging fight computer-led robot army. Critics were not impressed. As the <em>New York Post</em> <a href="http://nypost.com/1999/08/21/van-dammeat-point-ofno-return/" target="_blank">put it</a>, Van Damme's accent "makes Stallone sound like a master of elocution".</p> <p><strong>6. Belgian waffles aren't even a thing in Belgium</strong><br> "What is known in North America as the 'Belgian waffle' does not exist in Belgium," sayeth <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_waffle" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a>.</p> <p><strong>7. They are somehow even worse than us on gender equality.</strong><br> For all the flack the United States gets over gender equality, the US actually <a href="http://stats.oecd.org/" target="_blank">beats Belgium</a> handsomely on a few important counts. In 2011, the last year that data is available, 90.1 percent of US women got at least a secondary education. In Belgium, only 72 percent did. In the US, the boards of publicly traded companies are 12 percent women. In Belgium? 10.8 percent. In the US, 57 percent of women were at work in 2012&mdash; way above the OECD average of 54 percent, and way, way above Belgium's rate of 47 percent.</p> <p>No surprise that a country with fewer women in the workplace also has fewer women overseeing things. In 2008, the last year for which data is available, 13.9 percent of US working women held down some managerial responsibilities&mdash;more than double the OECD average that year. In Belgium, only 8 percent of working women were managing anything. Worse yet, that figure has fallen to 4.7 percent as of 2011.</p> <p>On the other hand Audrey Hepburn is from there and she was the best. Still, all in all, USA &gt; Belgium.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/audrey%20hepburn_1.gif"><div class="caption">Via ohmyglobyougays.tumblr.com/</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp;</div></body></html> Mixed Media Sports Tue, 01 Jul 2014 20:19:40 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255286 at http://www.motherjones.com Man Tapped to Draw the New Wonder Woman Doesn't Want Her to Be Feminist http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/new-wonder-woman-artist-doesnt-want-wonder-woman-be-feminist <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>David Finch, the artist who's taking over DC Comics' <em>Wonder Woman</em>, says he wants the feminist icon to be "strong"&mdash;but not "feminist."</p> <p>In an interview with <em>Comic Book Resources News</em>, David and his wife, newly appointed <em>Wonder Woman </em>writer Meredith Finch, talked about their plans to reimagine the character. But David missed a step <a href="http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&amp;id=53783" target="_blank">when he was asked about what he&rsquo;s excited to touch on</a> in Wonder Woman's character with the new book:</p> <blockquote> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">I think she's a beautiful, strong character. Really, from where I come from, and we've talked about this a lot, we want to make sure it's a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong&mdash;I don't want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">[&hellip;]</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">I'm pretty visual and I'm really interested in that. She's got a great costume and she's got a lot of history&mdash;I'm really very visually attracted to "Wonder Woman." She just looks great on the page.</p> </blockquote> <p>"That's pretty funny," Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, who created the film <em>Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines</em>, said when I told her about Finch's comments. "She's an obvious feminist role model for many people for many reasons&hellip;It's like getting rid of her kryptonite to say that about her."</p> <p>Feminist comics fans shouldn't panic quite yet, though. As <em>Wonder Woman</em>'s writer, Meredith Finch is likely to have more control over the plot of the series<em>,</em> and <a href="http://www.comicbookresources.com:8080/?page=article&amp;id=53783" target="_blank">she demonstrated a deeper grasp of the character's history than her husband</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">She&rsquo;s really a female icon from way back in the '70s when females were stepping up and taking such powerful roles. Being able to take on that quintessential female superhero who represents so much for myself and for millions of people out there&mdash;especially at a time where comics are coming more into the mainstream&mdash;I feel like it's really special, and that's really where I'm coming from when I'm writing this. I want to always keep who she is and what I believe her core is central to what I'm doing.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meredith Finch isn't the first woman to write <em>Wonder Woman</em>. In 2007, Gail Simone became <em>Wonder Woman</em>'s first female "ongoing writer,"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/books/27simo.html?_r=0" target="_blank"> stepping into a role</a> previously only occupied by male writers and designers.</p> <p>Update: On Monday evening, David Finch responded via Twitter to criticism he received for his comment after Mother Jones highlighted it.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>I wasn't saying Wonder Woman is not for being equal, and therefore a feminist. I just want her to be a human being, fallible and real.</p> &mdash; David Finch (@dfinchartist) <a href="https://twitter.com/dfinchartist/statuses/484058191056347137">July 1, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>I certainly apologize to anyone who can see how it could be interpreted that way, but it couldn't be further from my heart.</p> &mdash; David Finch (@dfinchartist) <a href="https://twitter.com/dfinchartist/statuses/484058490626134016">July 1, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Finch's apology seems sincere, and he seems to understand that feminism is about equality. But his words suggest that being "human" and "real" means you can't be a feminist. Wonder Woman would probably disagree.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Sex and Gender Top Stories feminism Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:45:16 +0000 Jenna McLaughlin 255261 at http://www.motherjones.com Belgium Might Not Be a Country by the Next World Cup http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/belgium-world-cup-flanders-wallonia <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When the Belgian soccer team takes the field today against the United States, it could be for the last time&mdash;and not just for this World Cup. By the time the next Cup kicks off in 2018, Belgium may not exist at all.</p> <p>Belgium <a href="http://www.belgium.be/en/about_belgium/country/history/belgium_from_1830/" target="_blank">was an invention of the 19th century</a>: culturally and linguistically, it's divided cleanly between the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and French-speaking Wallonia in the south. Brussels, the capital of both Belgium and the European Union, is right in the middle. Recently, politicians in Flanders&mdash;which <a href="http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_20/Belgium-on-the-verge-of-carve-up-Flanders-boosts-separatism-claims-5987/" target="_blank">became wealthier</a> than industrial, coal-mining Wallonia in postwar Europe&mdash;have pushed for independence, leading to serious strife between the country's two largest political parties.</p> <p>Those parties, the Dutch-speaking New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) and the French-speaking Christian Democrats, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/25/us-belgium-politics-idUSKBN0F018020140625" target="_blank">failed to form a government last week</a> when Flemish leaders walked away from coalition talks. The last time Belgium couldn't form a government was in 2010; it took the parties 18 months to finally do it. The N-VA is a separatist party whose <a href="http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/02/24/the-2014-belgian-elections-will-test-whether-the-country-has-learned-the-lessons-from-the-political-deadlock-of-2010/" target="_blank">support has skyrocketed in Flanders</a>; in Wallonia, right-wing politicians are asserting ties to France, and French National Front leader Marine Le Pen&mdash;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/magazine/mag-01LePen-t.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">who has compared</a> Muslim immigration to Nazi occupation&mdash;said <a href="http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_20/Belgium-on-the-verge-of-carve-up-Flanders-boosts-separatism-claims-5987/" target="_blank">her country would welcome the Walloons "with pleasure."</a></p> <p>The crisis happens to fall during one of the Belgian soccer team's best World Cup showings. The Red Devils won all of their group stage games and are favored to knock out the United States for a spot in the quarterfinals. The team's success is providing a rallying point for the country, if only for a short time. The team is made up of <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/belgium-citizens-unite-for-soccer-team-while-country-s-future-is-in-jeopardy-000951855.html" target="_blank">players from both Flanders and Wallonia</a>; <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/belgium-citizens-unite-for-soccer-team-while-country-s-future-is-in-jeopardy-000951855.html" target="_blank">as a Belgian journalist told Yahoo</a>, "When the national team plays everyone gets behind them, everyone supports them&hellip;No one is thinking about politics when the team is playing. Everyone is together and united."</p> <p>Right now, there's no scheduled vote on separation in Belgium&mdash;<a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/238bf00a-0110-11e4-b94d-00144feab7de.html#axzz36F0oGNWA" target="_blank">like the one happening in Scotland</a> later this year&mdash;but the situation could escalate. So while Belgian fans will cheer on their Red Devils in Dutch and French today, when it's time to fly home, those cheers just might turn into arguments.</p></body></html> Mixed Media International Sports World Cup 2014 Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:42:35 +0000 Sam Brodey 255271 at http://www.motherjones.com Justice Ginsburg's Epic Hobby Lobby Dissent Was Just Turned Into the Best Song You'll Hear All Day http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/guy-gets-it <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvj5S3f10rO6CoibatfRGzg" target="_blank">Jonathan Mann</a> writes a song every day. Yesterday, he turned Justice Ginsburg's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/best-lines-hobby-lobby-decision" target="_blank">epic, blistering Hobby Lobby dissent</a> into a pretty good one!</p> <p>Why can't he be on the Supreme Court?</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GY1TJ8JazkQ" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Reproductive Rights Supreme Court Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:19:06 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255236 at http://www.motherjones.com Mastodon's "Once More ‘Round the Sun" is as Exciting as Hard Rock Gets http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/06/music-review-mastodon-once-more-the-round-sun <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6Aw1WnNVcYw" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Mastodon<br><em>Once More &lsquo;Round the Sun</em><br> Reprise</strong></p> <p><img alt="Mastodon Once More 'Rounds the Sun" class="image" src="/files/Masto_OMTRTS_Std-Cover.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; float: right;">Heavy metal is so prone to self-parody and general silliness that it's shocking to remember how powerful the music can be when done correctly. Current Exhibit A: the Atlanta quartet Mastodon, whose ear-shredding <em>Once More &lsquo;Round the Sun</em> is as exciting as hard rock gets. Of course, they've never been a stereotypical knuckle-dragging crew, with earlier credits including a concept album inspired by <em>Moby Dick</em> (<em>Leviathan</em>) and a split seven-inch collaboration with folk-pop siren Feist, on which both parties covered one of the other&rsquo;s tunes. Here, songs like "The Motherload" and "Aunt Lisa" are taut, soaring epics marked by piercing guitars, clattering drums and heroic vocals. There's plenty of spots on the album where Mastodon could be mistaken for a punk band, so don&rsquo;t be afraid to shed those preconceptions and dive in for a righteously noisy experience.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:00:10 +0000 Jon Young 254936 at http://www.motherjones.com Facebook Just Admitted It Tinkered With People's News Feeds to Manipulate Their Emotions http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/06/facebook-made-you-sad-for-science <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Emotional contagion is when people subconsciously take on the emotions of those around them. It's when happy people are around sad people and then feel rather down themselves. Or when sad people are in happy crowds and suddenly just want to dance.&nbsp; Like so many things in real life, this happens on the internet as well. Your emotional state converges with the general feeling of your Twitter feed or your Facebook friends. This is how humans work, it's how we're wired, and it's nothing to lose sleep over.</p> <p>What may in fact be worth losing sleep over is that Facebook just admitted to intentionally manipulating people's emotions by selectively choosing which type of their friends' posts&mdash;positive or negative&mdash;appeared in their News Feed.</p> <p>Take it away, <em><a href="http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/06/28/facebook-manipulated-690000-users-news-feeds-run-psychology-experiment/" target="_blank">Next Web</a></em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The company has revealed in <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full">a research paper</a> that it carried out a week-long experiment that affected&nbsp;nearly 700,000 users to test&nbsp;the effects of transferring emotion online.</p> <p>The News Feeds belonging to 689,003 users of the English language version were altered to see &ldquo;whether exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviors,&rdquo; Facebook says. There was one track for those receiving more positive posts, and another for those who were exposed to more emotionally negative content from their friends. Posts themselves were not affected and could still be viewed from friends&rsquo; profiles, the trial instead edited what the guinea pig users saw in their News Feed, which itself is governed by a selective algorithm, as brands frustrated by the system can attest to.</p> <p>Facebook found that the emotion in posts is contagious. Those who saw positive content were, on average, more positive and less negative with their Facebook activity in the days that followed. The reverse was true for those who were tested with more negative postings in their News Feed.</p> </blockquote> <p>Ok, let's break some stuff down:</p> <p><strong>Can they do this?</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/everything-we-know-about-facebooks-secret-mood-manipulation-experiment/373648/" target="_blank">Yes</a>. You agree to let the company use its information about you for "data analysis, testing, research and service improvement" when you agree&nbsp;to without reading the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info" target="_blank">terms of service</a>. It's the "research" bit that's relevant.</p> <p><strong>Should they? </strong></p> <p>I don't know! There are clearly some ethical questions about it. A lot of people are pretty outraged. <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/even-the-editor-of-facebooks-mood-study-thought-it-was-creepy/373649/" target="_blank">Even the editor of the study thought it was a bit creepy.</a></p> <p><strong>Should I quit Facebook?</strong></p> <p>You're not going to quit Facebook.</p> <p><strong>No, really. I might.</strong></p> <p>You're not going to quit Facebook.</p> <p><strong>You don't even know me. I really might quit. No joke. I have my finger on the button.</strong> <strong>I saw an ad for a little house out in the country. No internet. No cell service. I could sell everything and go there and live a quite, deliberate life by a pond. I could be happy there in that stillness. </strong></p> <p>Cool, so, I personally am not going to quit Facebook. That seems to me to be an overreaction. But I do not presume to know you well enough to advise you on this matter.</p> <p>(You're not going to quit Facebook.)</p> <p><strong>Anything else?</strong></p> <p>Yes, actually!</p> <p>Earlier this year there was a <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/usaid-effort-to-undermine-cuban-government-with-fake-twitter-another-anti-castro-failure/2014/04/03/c0142cc0-bb75-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html" target="_blank">minor brouhaha</a> over the news that USAID had introduced a fake Twitter into Cuba in an attempt to foment democracy. It didn't work and they pulled the plug. Let's dress up and play the game pretend: If Facebook has the power to make people arbitrarily happy or sad, it could be quite the force politically in countries where&nbsp;it has a high penetration rate. (Cuba isn't actually one of those countries. According to <a href="http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2012/cuba" target="_blank">Freedom House</a>, only 5% of the population has access to the World Wide Web.)</p> <p>Economic confidence is one of the biggest factors people consider when going to vote. What if for the week before the election your News Feed became filled with posts from your unemployed friends looking for work? Not that Mark Zuckerburg and co. would ever do that, but they could!</p> <p>Have fun, conspiracy theorists!</p></body></html> Mixed Media Science Tech Top Stories Sat, 28 Jun 2014 22:43:04 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255086 at http://www.motherjones.com Travels Through India's Sexual Revolution http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/05/sally-howard-the-kama-sutra-diaries-sexual-revolution-india <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In late 2012, Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student, boarded a bus in Delhi headed towards home. She never made it to her destination. While on the bus, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/father-india-rape-victim-identifies-daughter-article-1.1234227" target="_blank">she was gang-raped by six men</a> who left her with fatal injuries.&nbsp;</p> <p>But unlike in the past, when Singh's story might have remained hushed, <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/protests-prayers-mark-1-year-delhi-rape" target="_blank">tens of thousands</a> of men and women poured into the streets to protest the rape. This public pressure led to the passage of <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-anti-rape-law-comes-into-force/articleshow/19359543.cms" target="_blank">a bill</a> that criminalized stalking, voyeurism, and sexual harassment (though it falls short of criminalizing marital rape). The January 2013 anti-rape uprisings are part of a socio-sexual revolution unfolding in India, argues journalist Sally Howard in her book <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Kama-Sutra-Diaries-Intimate/dp/1857885899" target="_blank"><em>The Kama Sutra Diaries: Intimate Journeys Through Modern India</em></a>, which hit American shelves in May.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/safecitypledgeupload_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Anti-rape protests in India </strong>Courtesy Sally Howard</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Originally from the UK, <a href="http://www.sallyhoward.net/">Howard</a> has been traveling to India for the past 15 years, writing for Indian and British publications like the<em> Telegraph</em>, the</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/CoverPINKcropped.jpg"></div> <p><em>Guardian</em>, and the <em>Sunday Times</em>. India is a land steeped in contradiction, observes Howard; a place which gave the world the revolutionary Kama Sutra, but remains hooked on the idea of arranged marriages; "where families bow down to a graphic depiction of a conjoined phallus and vagina, the Shivaling, but where couples are routinely attacked by the police for the indiscretion of holding hands in public," she writes in <em>The Kama Sutra Diaries</em>.</p> <p>But over the last decade, Howard argues that a sexual revolution has begun in India, one with very different characteristics than the West's transformation during the 1960s. "While the Western sexual revolution was propelled by contraception and feminism," she tells me, "India's revolution has more to do with a young generation rediscovering sex, and pushing up against parental expectations." Today, more than half of <a href="http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/the-promise-and-peril-of-indias-youth-bulge/" target="_blank">India's population</a> is under the age of 25, with 65 percent of the population under 35. "And these young are saying we've had enough, we want to have sex. They're telling their parents 'I don't want the life you have ascribed to me,'" says Howard.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/erotic%20temple%20upload.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Kama Sutra temples in Madhya Pradesh </strong>Kirat Sodhi</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Howard's travel partner Dimple, a 32-year-old Delhiite who left a loveless arranged marriage, exemplifies this social shift. "I was married at 21 by arrangement to a man I didn't know," Dimple told Howard. "The consummation of my marriage was like being hit with a cricket bat. Now I'm 32 and I'm a divorc&eacute;e. My mother, who was herself very unhappy, and my grandmother, couldn't think of getting divorced. So this is a big change for my generation."</p> <p>Over the course of two years, Howard and Dimple journey to the Kama Sutra temples of Madhya Pradesh, the hillside station at Shimla where Indians had a history of sexual escapades with the colonial British, and to Delhi, rocked by the recent rape uprisings. In Gujarat, Howard interviews a gay prince who is setting up a retirement home for gay and <em>hijra </em>(third gender) Indians, many of whom don't have families to rely on for support as they age.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/GayPrinceupload.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Manvendra Singh Gohil, a gay prince who established a retirement home for eunuchs </strong>Hemant Bhavsar</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Howard's journey voyage helps her uncover some shifts in sexual attitudes across the country. "Middle class Indians are getting more flexibility in choosing their own mate, and finding the space to be together and experimenting," she tells me. And aided by new digital tools, Indians seem more piqued by sex. Over the past decade, Google searches for the word "porn" in India have <a href="http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/india-considers-banning-pornography-as-reported-sexual-assault-rises/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=2&amp;" target="_blank">increased fivefold</a>. In 2012, people in New Delhi searched for the word "porn" at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. A survey by <em>India Today</em> showed that <a href="http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/from-the-editor-in-chief-india-today-sex-survey/1/328110.html" target="_blank">35 percent of Indian women</a> consume porn as opposed to 13 percent a decade ago. Fifty percent of women disapprove of pre-marital sex, as opposed to 64 percent in 2003.&nbsp; But remnants of a misogynist past still linger. The same <em>India Today</em> survey revealed that 36 percent of men blamed women's revealing clothes for India's rape crisis.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, Howard notes, the shift in thinking about sex is happening mostly with younger generations. But that doesn't mean the past is trivial. In fact, India's ancient texts may better inform contemporary lust than America's Puritanical roots. "I hope that the new sexual story the land of the Kama Sutra tells itself will feature some of the depths of romantic feeling of the old courtly poets&mdash;that it might rediscover the deep sentiments that gave the world its finest physical embodiment of romantic love: the Taj Mahal."</p> <p><em>The Kama Sutra Diaries</em> is equal&nbsp;parts travelogue and cultural analysis, blending vivid characters with upbeat prose and humor. With this entertaining read, Howard pushes past taboo to give us a more exposed India.</p></body></html> Mixed Media International Religion Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Sat, 28 Jun 2014 10:01:15 +0000 Fatima Bhojani 252931 at http://www.motherjones.com