Mixed Media Blog Feed | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2011/03/geographer-mike-deni-indie-musicMT http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Olympics to Crack Down on Human Rights Abuses…After 2022 http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/international-olympic-committee-human-rights-clause-host-city-contracts <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Following widespread allegations of wrongdoing in both the Beijing and Sochi Olympics, human rights protections will be <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/22/olympics-host-city-contracts-will-include-rights-protections" target="_blank">added to the contracts</a> signed by future Olympic host cities. The International Olympic Committee's president <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/22/olympics-host-city-contracts-will-include-rights-protections" target="_blank">presented this change</a> to Human Rights Watch at an October 21 meeting.</p> <p>The new language will contractually require host countries to "take all necessary measures to ensure that development projects necessary for the organization of the Games comply with local, regional, and national legislation, and international agreements and protocols, applicable in the host country with regard to planning, construction, protection of the environment, health, safety, and labour laws."</p> <p>These changes make the human rights requirements for Olympic host cities more explicit than ever before, particularly with the mentions of health, environmental, and labor concerns. The new "international agreements and protocols" rule makes it clear that hosts will be required to abide by laws like the <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx" target="_blank">International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights</a>, which prohibits forced labor, arbitrary arrest or detention, sentence without trial, and protects freedoms of assembly, religion, and opinion.</p> <p>Beijing, China and Sochi, Russia floundered on some of these protections during the&nbsp;2012 and 2014 Olympic Games. The international community criticized both host countries for <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2008/03/11/china-beijing-s-migrant-construction-workers-abused" target="_blank">corruption</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/sochi-olympics-russia-migrant-workers-deportation" target="_blank">exploitation of migrant construction workers</a>: Sochi contractors <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/06/russia-migrant-olympic-workers-cheated-exploited" target="_blank">cheated workers out of wages</a>, required 12-hour shifts, and confiscated passports to keep laborers from leaving. In both countries, authorities regularly <a href="http://www.hrw.org/people-and-power-2014-sochi-olympics" target="_blank">forced evictions</a> and silenced media and activists. A Russian law passed in the months leading up to the Games that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/sochi-olympics-putin-anti-gay-law-explained" target="_blank">criminalized gay expression</a> garnered global outrage.</p> <p>Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, says the planned wording will make it easier for the IOC to take official action if a host country breaks contract&mdash;through litigation or "the thermonuclear option," termination. Even before such extreme consequences, she is optimistic the explicit wording will give the IOC more power to "put the scare in any host country that is not playing by the human rights rules."</p> <p>"This is a real rebuke to Russia," she says. "The IOC wants to avoid a repeat."</p> <p>Since host cities for the next three Olympic Games have already been selected and signed contracts, host countries will be held to the new clause beginning with the 2022 Winter Olympics. Worden says this is particularly timely, as two of the finalists&mdash;Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China&mdash;have repressive governments. (The third finalist is Oslo, Norway.)</p> <p>The human rights clause expands on another impending addition, previewed in a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1344502-oc-letter-to-2022-bids" target="_blank">September letter</a> from the IOC to the 2022 candidate cities. That statement promised that future host city contracts will have "an express reference&hellip;to the prohibition of any form of discrimination."</p> <p>Technically, host cities like Sochi and Beijing were already broadly obligated to steer clear of human rights violations and discrimination: The <a href="http://www.olympic.org/documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf" target="_blank">Olympic Charter</a> calls for a respect for "human dignity" and bans discrimination "with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise." But, "we've clearly reached a moment when the words of the Olympic Charter are not enough," says Worden. "You have to put these guarantees in a contract and force the host country to sign it."</p> <p>Worden hopes the IOC's action will be adopted by organizers of other mega-sporting events at risk of mishandling human rights, such as FIFA. Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, estimates in an ESPN documentary that, at current rates, <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/05/14/qatar_world_cup_migrant_worker_abuses_fifa_needs_to_do_something_about_the.html" target="_blank">4,000 people will die</a> in preparation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Gay Rights Human Rights International Sex and Gender Sports Top Stories Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:15:05 +0000 Katie Rose Quandt 263096 at http://www.motherjones.com Taylor Swift's New Album, "1989," Just Leaked. Here Are Our Instant Reactions to Every Track. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/taylor-swift-new-album-1989-leaked-review <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After Taylor Swift's album leaked online today ahead of schedule, we came to the important editorial conclusion it would be a disservice to our readers if we didn't review her latest offering.</p> <p>What follows is a transcript of the live conversation between <em>Mother Jones</em>&nbsp;engagement editor Ben Dreyfuss and <em>Climate Desk</em>&nbsp;senior producer James West as they listened to the songs for the very first time; this was the only way we could think of to get this important cultural event to you in the quickest possible manner.</p> <p><em>This conversation has been edited for clarity&mdash;it needed it.</em></p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 1: "Welcome to New York"</span></p> <p><strong>James West: </strong>Okay. That synth beat. You were saying, Ben, that this song was pilloried. But I actually like it. It has a big, banner sound full of deep, pulsing synth; a happy beginning to the album.</p> <p><strong>Ben Dreyfuss: </strong>Right. People hate it. Actually New York hipsters hate it. But New York hipsters hate everything.</p> <p><b><b>JW:</b></b> And who cares if it's a little uncool, like she thinks she's the only one who's ever lived here before?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> That's the way people act when they come to NYC! People are stupid. It's easy to laugh about it years later when you consider yourself a jaded <em>Gawker</em> reader but you were once romanticizing the city on a bus from Des Moines&nbsp;too.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> (Or on a plane from Sydney, Australia!) But also, importantly Ben, I do like how gay-friendly it is. "Boys and boys and girls and girls." Good one, Taylor. Stick it to the homophobes.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 2: "Blank Space"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> "You look like my next mistake"&mdash;hey, that's one helluva line. Taylor's grown. Now that she's in New York, she's having some kind of bad first romance, right? That's the narrative? It all smacks of a jealous, no-holds-barred love affair: "Fuck it," she's saying. And this beat is totally infectious again.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> The Story of Taylor's Big Move to the Big City.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> That cassette click is super cheesy. But now we're into the pared back "spoken wordy" wisdom bit. What Taylor Has Learned of Love.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "I love the players. You love the game." LOL. "Boys only want love when it's painful" or something? That is, in my personal experience, true.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I really liked that one.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 3: "Style"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Oh, now here it comes. Instant fave this one.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> The beat is so good. So '80s.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> It's twilight. We're driving on a long road trip. Blondie is definitely nearby, on a cassette tape near my feet.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Michelle Pfeiffer is there.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Suddenly, we're in a truck stop, refilling the car with gas in some kind of epic, knowing way. <em>Top Gun</em> is playing inside on a TV. The Sunday Night Movie.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "James Dean..." what was it? That is a catchy hook. Although I clearly can't even remember it two seconds later.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> She's comparing herself to a classic movie star, I think. "I got that red lip classic thing that you like."</p> <p><b>BD:</b> That's basically Lana Del Rey's entire shtick, no?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This feels better than that for some reason. Kind of.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 4: "Out of the Woods"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Okay, here's another single prereleased. Again, this depressed, haunting minor key thing that she's got going on the other tracks. Incremental, darker verses, leading to loud, washy choruses. I like it.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> She's doing the "here's a story that is emotionally evocative from your teen years" thing.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This is the bit about Harry Styles right?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I assume so. The imagery in this song is so deliciously meaningless.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This breakdown bridge bit is nice. And then the final chorus to bring it right home. Wow. There it is. That was fast.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 5: "All You Had To Do Was Stay"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Okay, this sounds a bit more generic now. This song sounds like a first cut of one of the other tracks, to be honest.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> It sounds like one of Katy Perry's lesser songs.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Yes. But there's a nice "Stay!" vocal higher up there in the mix from the backing singers.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Yeah, it's a nice refrain, but in the earlier songs some of the totally meaningless imagery worked. Here it seems like fluff that exists because the song needs some words.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Totally. In fact, it's almost a bar-by-bar formula-copy of the first four songs, just worse. Don't get me wrong, Ben. It's still the best thing I've ever heard.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> HAHAHA. It is catchy. By the end "Stay" does have you moving with it.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 6: "Shake It Off"</span></p> <p><b>BD:</b> I love this song. It's the perfect pop song.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> The single! Alright, Tay Tay. I love this song, too. It's almost too good. It's been in my brain for weeks and weeks like a tapeworm.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> And here the lyrics totally work as coming from Taylor but also in their appeal to everyone. Everyone thinks everyone else is a fuckup BUT THEY DON'T SEE, well, me landing on my feet. BUT MAYBE I'M JUST PROJECTING.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This is the whole "Taylor as outsider" theory advanced by, well, almost every critic under the sun. And I think it's true. I don't know how she's managed to be perpetually marketed in this way. She is, well, quite a pretty, conventional singer. And let's face it, the song is pretty bland in the sense that it recycles a lot of old stuff: the horns, the hand claps, this cheerleader thing; but the sum of Tay Tay's parts are bigger than the individual components for sure.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> The cheerleader thing is the low point for me.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> It's silly.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 7: "I Wish You Would"</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"><b>BD:</b> We're in a car again.</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Ha. We are. (Did we ever leave?)&nbsp;Another road trip through the late '80s landscape.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> The funny thing is we don't actually drive a lot in New York.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Zipcars, I suppose.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> This whole thing is actually just an ad for Zipcars over Uber.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Musically, I like the switch between the fast, double-time verse, then the slower beat in the chorus; and this synth wash is again reminding me of watching <em>Back to the Future</em> as a kid.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I like the "You always knew how to push my buttons" bit. The lyric isn't great but she delivers it pretty nicely.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> That's the thing. She's really meaning all these pretty generic emotions. But that's when the generic becomes universal, right? When you mean it?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I'm impressed with her handling of the faster delivery.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This song is faster than the rest, for sure. All of these songs are super-short.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 8: "Wildest Dreams"</span></p> <p><b>BD:</b> This is different.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This reminds me a bit of Britney, actually. Dark, breakdown Britney. Sad Britney. Or the girl I saw crying on the L train the other day, with her mascara smeared.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> It's funny. The image that comes to my mind is a sad Britney with smeared mascara but not on the L. I really don't get a NY vibe from most of these. She's sitting on the top of her beat up car at night overlooking some football field by her high school in Texas, I think.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Do you think she's ever been here to New York City?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> For shows. Straight from LaGuardia to MSG and then the Standard.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This anthemic chorus is nice. But then, you know, these bits are my least favorite parts of her songs, these whimsical "meaningful" broken-down vocal bits, where she tries to tell you the truth. I like the "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" vibe of the songs, rather than when she delivers half-baked truths in these bridges.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 9: "Bad Blood"</span></p> <p><b>BD:</b> "Bad blood" lyric to "Bad Blood" song. Is it interesting that all of these songs are her breaking up with someone?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Harry?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Has anyone checked on him? Is he okay?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Again, her looks are really important in the lyrics: standing in a dress, rosy-cheeked, red lips.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Yeah, it fits further into the Taylor as Film Star. It's all told in a very cinematic way.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Did she listen to Fiona Apple and Annie Lennox on loop before this song, with a little bit of...I don't know...Sia Furler?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I feel like Fiona Apple fans are not going to be pleased with that comment.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Oh god. I don't want Fiona Apples after me. [Doesn't delete earlier comment].</p> <p><b>BD:</b> It's too late anyway. I am one of those fans. "THE CALL IS COMING FROM IN THE HOUSE."</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Is she putting on a weird English accent in this bit?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> YES, a little.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Frankly, I didn't really like that song. A bit of a filler. Some pretty sighs but nothing that I'll be drawn back to immediately.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> The sighs were the best part but yeah, no, it was maybe the worst so far.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 10: "How You Get The Girl"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Oh, is this our first acoustic guitar? Are we back on the plane to Nashville?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> God, I hope we're not on that plane. She has come so far.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I've almost immediately written off this song half way through the chorus. This is maybe the most generic pop thing on the record so far. Twee, cloying, too cutesy; doesn't have the heightened emotions of the first couple of tracks.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I have not absorbed any of these lyrics because these lyrics aren't meant to be absorbed.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> A runny slick of silliness.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "Pulled your heart out, put it back together." Wait, when did the heart break? Did it break when she was pulling it out? Was it already broken? He had a broken heart from an earlier relationship? What the hell is this song even about?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I'm confused too.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Is this about Ebola?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> ISIS?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Hahahaha.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I'm disappointed a bit. I have to say.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Yeah I really liked a few of the earlier new ones.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I'm getting a beer. Want one?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Yes, please.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 11: "This Love"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Okay. Ready to start again? Only six&nbsp;more songs. Go go go. Moody. This is going to be a torch ballad for sure.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> What is this. Is this slam poetry?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> It's so...stereo. She's coming at me in both ears.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> It's like a song I remember being forced to listen to on the radio in 1993.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Okay, now I'm back, Taylor. I'm so back. Are you in New York yet, Ben? I'm closer. Definitely not Texas.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> That's true. She's sitting on a stoop with a Parliament hanging out her half-gloved hand.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Tay and some boy just listened to "Papa Don't Preach" together. Now she's by herself&mdash;</p> <p><b>BD:</b> &mdash;wondering if that Tisch major friend of hers who just sang that Madonna song so well?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Gay? Probably. But it's first year Tisch, so...?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> He hasn't even chosen if he wants to act or direct yet. He just knows he wants to express himself.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> But don't we all want that? He just wants to love. Tay knows that.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Five hundred twenty-five-thousand&nbsp;six-hundred minutes...</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Haha. Aaaand. Scene.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 12: "I Know Places"</span></p> <p><b>BD:</b> I actually hear a bit of that angry fast Fiona in this one...Wait, well I guess I did before this silly hunting hook.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Yes. Wow. This is pretty stupid.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "Lights flash." What's with her and this whole car motif?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This is as close to performance art the album has seen (and only glancingly so). But this is Tay as "artist" for sure. Those Tisch classes are really rubbing off. Maybe she recently learned about this woman called "Kate Bush" and thought she was pretty dope.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Oh God, that is so true. You know they are going to be playing this in dorms around Washington Square tonight and someone is going to call this the best song of the album because it's so "meaningful."</p> <p><b>JW:</b> At least those other ones we didn't like weren't pretentious like this. URGH, THAT CASSETTE CLICK THING DRIVES ME MAD.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> It's a cassette player in a car. It's all part of the same awful confusing element.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 13: "Clean"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> Drought! She says the word "drought!" Climate change! Taylor Swift, Climate Activist.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Did global warming hurt you, Tay?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Can I report on this, somehow, in my real job?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Remember when Beyonce single-handedly stopped climate change?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> [Adds link].</p> <p><b>BD:</b>&nbsp;Hahahahahaha.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Okay, back to the song. We're definitely in the softer part of the album now; the slower torch songs bunched right up at the end here.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "I punched a hole in the roof." I am Taylor. I feel things very strongly.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I am nothing but feeling, and I give voice to what you feel, too.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I am a feeling robot. *does robot movements* Ten months sober!</p> <p><b>JW:</b> "Ten months sober!" is she pretending to have had a...drinking problem?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> This is her song for the people who are wondering if they have a drinking problem. Tay, can do Lifetime drama too!</p> <p><b>JW:</b> The drought again! I'm taking this literally, I don't care what people say. Gov. Jerry Brown listen up! Taylor's climate album.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> That's our headline.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Gov. Jerry Brown Listen Up! Taylor's Climate Album.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "I think I am finally clean!"</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 14: "Wonderland"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> IN THAT FUCKING CAR AGAIN. Flashing lights, take a wrong turn...spinning out of control.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> She seems mad.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Is this the inevitable come down after the Tisch kids made her take molly?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Hahahaha. "Tay, Tay, babe, you need a Xanax."</p> <p><b>JW:</b> This is actually just a Rihanna song. This "eh, eh, eh" is just "Umbrella"...the chorus is pure "Umbrella."</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Yeah. The truth is a lot of this album seems like a hodgepodge from a recent NOW CD. I don't mean that in a necessarily bad way.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Even this "Wonderland" refrain sounds like 'Yonce at the end of the visual album.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> IT DOES. Also, like, is this song even about the Val Kilmer movie <em>Wonderland</em>?&nbsp;I don't think so.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> God, it's so MDMA-ish. Tay's gripping her bestie's hand rolling down the street. It's not going to end well. "I never felt worse, but never better." Yikes.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> They were in the top of some parking garage all together each with a pill in hand. "Let's watch out for each other!" DRIVE.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 15: "You R In Love"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> These are all sounds from my '80's youth.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Who produced this? I think when it works it really works, but when it misses it's awf.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Right. This one is working. There's some inherent longing in this.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Oh I like this bit. We're getting back to the good&nbsp;Tay.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Oh god. I just got chills. A little rush of truth and happiness mixed with uncertainty and... optimism?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Cautious anticipation?</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Yes. Things are going to be okay, as long as I can master this "living" thing, you know?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Oh that is good.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> That quiet moment before it hits the chorus kills me.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> It plays so well off "You can hear it in the silence."</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Right. The most real stuff on the album is about falling in love. The break up songs don't ring true. Am I onto something here?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Agreed. The breakup songs sound like an act? Like a show. Like something she knows she needs to do but isn't quite sure how to do it.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Yes. Obligatory. But these long train rides home, feeling lost and sad and...urgh...it's good. And Ben, Ben. We're now really in New York.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Yes! I'm listening to that on the F train in the winter.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">Track 16: "New RomanTICS"</span></p> <p><b>JW:</b> THE FINAL SONG.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> You never realize it's going to be the last one until it's too late.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> But this is worthy, I think. We've got this big chorus again. Happy. Shameless.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I like this. I'm feeling it. This is the one&nbsp;song that sort of would make me want to take some molly. NOT THAT I EVER WOULD.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> "We're the New Romantics"...that's a big claim, don't you think?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Aim for the stars.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> And certainly, this is the most unadulterated dance-floor calling capital-A American song. Like Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA".</p> <p><b>BD:</b> "Please take my hand and take me dancing and leave me stranded. It's so romantic." Oh there is so much to unpack in that last bit. So sick. So true.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> I keep mishearing, and instead thinking she's singing "Everyday is like bath salts..." Which is really horrible.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> HAHAHAHA.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> AND THAT'S A WRAP LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.</p> <p><span class="section-lead">VOICE MEMO</span></p> <p><b>BD:</b> Now she's talking about how to write a song.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Urgh, I just switched off. What a mood killer that was.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> What's happening? She had gotten me there. Now it's gone.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Turn it off. Turn it off!</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Okay,&nbsp;off. It's off. It's dead. God, never include those voice memo things after dance molly anthems.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> So Ben. Overall takeout assessment?</p> <p><b>BD:</b> I have to say: I had pretty high expectations going into this and I'm not sure this whole album really met them.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Right. My question going in was: Now that we've heard some high-water marks in the pre-releases, what will the album fill out about Taylor herself? And on that front, I did get some more from her than I expected. This whole "living, learning, loving" narrative was quite compelling, even if musically there was a rough patch in the middle.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Exactly. I mean, the beginning has some real highlights and then it hits a sad monotonous valley for a bit and recovers towards the end and the last song is a smash. But I could have done without a lot of the stupid bullshit in the middle.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> There was some filler for sure. But, you know, on balance, I think I'm probably a little bit more of a fan than I was before (which, frankly, wasn't that much), and I'll definitely put on that lovesick song next time I'm drunk.</p> <p><b>BD:</b> Agreed. She's definitely matured as an artist away from the Nashville nonsense that she was known for a few albums ago. I mean, this is clearly her best album.</p> <p><b>JW:</b> Let's get this on the web.</p> <p><em>To preorder Taylor Swift's album, please visit your favorite music retailer, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/1989/id907242701" target="_blank">like iTunes</a>.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:23:49 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss and James West 263236 at http://www.motherjones.com Watching This Porcupine Taste a Pumpkin Is Why the World Is Going to Be Okay Today http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/watching-porcupine-taste-pumpkin-why-world-going-be-okay-today <!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/cILZ_cB3_so" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Imagine if we were all as happy as this adorable porcupine, enjoying the seasonal harvest with this much gusto. (You really need to wait until he takes his first bite&mdash;the sounds he makes are amazing). This video was posted to YouTube by <a href="http://www.zooniversity.org/" target="_blank">Zooiversity</a>, a traveling animal education company in Texas, last year, and appears to be enjoying an encore seasonal run this week, as the nation heads&nbsp;into full-on pumpkin madness. (H/t to the website <em>Unwindly</em>, <a href="http://www.unwindly.com/i/272-Porcupine-Tastes-His-First-Pumpkin-Cant-Contain-His-Excitement">where I first saw it</a>).</p> <p>Teddy Bear, an 11-year-old male North American porcupine (<em>Erethizon dorsatum</em>), is something of a YouTube star at this point, it seems. <a href="http://www.zooniversity.org/our-animals/teddy-bear-the-porcupine/" target="_blank">According to Zooiversity's website</a>, he's raked in 11.5 million views from 16 viral videos and enjoys a following from over 19,000 Facebook fans.&nbsp;</p> <p>He's even...a movie star. Yes. A movie star. According to Zooiversity, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8vUO0lywa8">Teddy gave voice to Sebastian the hedgehog in <em>The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey</em></a>. He's come a long way since his days as an abandoned newborn found by a rancher in West Texas.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Animals Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:06:52 +0000 James West 263101 at http://www.motherjones.com Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/cbc-ottawa-shootings-cable-news <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking-news reporting.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/after-parliament-tragedy-canada-celebrates-longtime-national-badass-kevin-vickers" target="_blank"><img alt="Kevin Vickers" class="image" src="/files/kevinvickers-thumbnail.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><strong>Also Read: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/after-parliament-tragedy-canada-celebrates-longtime-national-badass-kevin-vickers" target="_blank">Kevin Vickers, Canada's Badass National Hero, Is a Portrait of Humility </a></strong></div> </div> <p>Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/shooting-canadian-parliament-ottawa" target="_blank">shootings in Ottawa</a> unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.</p> <p>This live bit of level-headed reporting by Mansbridge, from around 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, should be given to journalism students around the country. It basically contains everything you need to know about why CBC did its audience proud:</p> <blockquote> <p>MANSBRIDGE: And so, the situation is, as we say, tense and unclear. And it's on days like this&mdash;we keep reminding you of this and it's important&mdash;it's on days like this, where a story takes a number of different pathways, a number of changes occur, and often rumors start in a situation like this. We try to keep them out of our coverage, but when they come, sometimes from official sources, like members of Parliament, you tend to give them some credence. But you carefully weigh it with what we're also witnessing. It's clear that the situation is not over. It is clear the police are in an intense standby situation and continue to be on the lookout, and until somebody blows the all-clear on this we will continue to stay on top of it and watch as the events unfold.</p> </blockquote> <p>Watch below, courtesy of the CBC:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MLORytusZ4c" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The broadcast was deliberative and deferential to the facts even when they were sparse. Exacting and painstaking, but never slow or boring, Mansbridge weighed the credibility of every detail, constantly framing and reframing what we knew and, most crucially, <em>how we knew it</em>. He literally <em>spoke</em> the news as it happened, using his experience not to opine nor fill the gaps in his knowledge, but to provide the necessary support for his team's reporting.</p> <p>Getting things wrong during fast-moving live coverage is, of course, common. Coverage of the Washington Navy Yard shooting last year got the details wrong early and often: It misstated the perpetrator's name, age, and how many guns he had. Following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, there was false coverage about the identity of the bombers, and anonymous sources leading journalists to nonexistent bombs and arrests. <em>On the Media</em>'s handy <a href="http://www.onthemedia.org/story/breaking-news-consumers-handbook-pdf/" target="_blank">"breaking news consumer's handbook"</a> is a great roundup of the reporting errors that get repeated every time there is a mass shooting.</p> <p>No newscast, especially live news, is immune to mistakes, and during the initial haze of leads and counterleads, it's easy to point fingers. But for the six-some hours of CBC broadcasting I watched off-and-on (mostly on) today, I never once felt lost in the wall-to-wall speculation that has characterized so many recent breaking-news broadcasts in the United States.</p> <p>It seems like others on Twitter agree that CBC did pretty damn well today:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Exactly right. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews">@cbcnews</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/petermansbridge">@petermansbridge</a> covered today&rsquo;s awful events properly: calmly, carefully and accurately. <a href="http://t.co/Ij2dOPlGmz">http://t.co/Ij2dOPlGmz</a></p> &mdash; Mike Wickett (@mwickett) <a href="https://twitter.com/mwickett/status/525023274661855232">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>CBC, by the way, has not gone to break in over two hours. Peter Mansbridge has barely exhaled. Grand work by our public broadcaster.</p> &mdash; Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) <a href="https://twitter.com/ArashMadani/status/524964924033089536">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews">@CBCNews</a> anchor <a href="https://twitter.com/petermansbridge">@petermansbridge</a> has been brilliant today, and US news could learn a lot: <a href="http://t.co/PvnyhNVzLs">http://t.co/PvnyhNVzLs</a> <a href="http://t.co/gKaO6lo6n5">pic.twitter.com/gKaO6lo6n5</a></p> &mdash; Mark Joyella (@standupkid) <a href="https://twitter.com/standupkid/status/524991532454412288">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Media Top Stories Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:28:39 +0000 James West 263076 at http://www.motherjones.com Fox News Thinks Young Women Are Too Busy With Tinder to "Get" Voting http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/fox-news-young-women-voting-tinder <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, a woman, shared some advice for us <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/10/21/right-wing-media-discourage-young-women-from-vo/201259" target="_blank">feeble-minded young ladies out here</a>: Let's not burden ourselves with voting! After all, we're far too busy swiping for a man on Tinder to cast an educated vote in the midterm elections, or any election for that matter.</p> <p>"It's the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea," Guilfoyle explained to her approving co-hosts. "They don't get it!"</p> <p>"They're not in that same life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, health care. They're like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world," she added.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EOY3StMKLME" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>But what to do with all of our overabundant, perky energy?!&nbsp;Guilfoyle says not to worry&ndash;just "go back on Tinder or Match.com" and all will be right in the world.</p> <p>Sigh. For a more detailed look into what a war on voting looks like, check out <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/voting-rights-november-voter-suppression-states" target="_blank">our coverage here. </a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Elections Media Sex and Gender Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:09:40 +0000 Inae Oh 263056 at http://www.motherjones.com I Am Being Followed By an Army of Twitter Lady Bots http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/i-am-being-followed-army-twitter-lady-bots <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I've been making a real effort to be better at Twitter lately. I've been tweeting more, striking a conversational tone, and trying to "just be myself," like people who know more about Twitter than me told me to. So I was thrilled this week when my follower count zoomed up from 3,030 to 3,066 over the course of just a few days. My efforts must have paid off, I thought.</p> <p>But then, I looked at my new followers. They all seemed pretty annoying. IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. Check it out:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/twitter-bots-small.gif"></div> </div> <p>"Hipster-friendly music practitioner"? "Total travel advocate"? "Beer practitioner"? Ew!</p> <p>The formula for the handles seems to be: first name, middle initial, last name. And the bio items look like they're generated from a list of bland hobbies and jobs or something. All over the backdrop of some irrelevant stock art.</p> <p>Here are some of their tweets:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>You can't just wish for a better life. You have to create it.</p> &mdash; SarahSSmall (@SarahSSmall) <a href="https://twitter.com/SarahSSmall/status/523864409522049024">October 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Tonight on <a href="https://twitter.com/WNTonight">@WNTonight</a> investors react to Ebola scare, fears of global slowdown. What does it mean for your retirement savings?</p> &mdash; BerniceWHenry (@BerniceWHenry) <a href="https://twitter.com/BerniceWHenry/status/523039210585227265">October 17, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Those of you who "elected" obama, this is all on you. He's a fake, you're confused, and now we ALL are having to pay for this foolishness...</p> &mdash; AdelineJBuckingham (@AdelineJBucking) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdelineJBucking/status/523965356411334656">October 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Creepy Twitter lady bots, what do you want from me?</p></body></html> Mixed Media Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:50:57 +0000 Kiera Butler 263061 at http://www.motherjones.com RIP Ben Bradlee, 1921-2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/ben-bradlee-rip <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ben Bradlee, the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/business/media/ben-bradlee-editor-who-directed-watergate-coverage-dies-at-93.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;version=LargeMediaHeadlineSumCentered&amp;module=photo-spot-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">legendary <em>Washington Post</em> editor</a>, who led the paper during its Watergate era and turned it into a national and global reporting powerhouse, died on Tuesday at the age of 93.</p> <p>"I don't mean to sound arrogant, but we are in a holy profession," Bradlee <a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/American-Journalism-Icon-Ben-Bradlee-Dies-Washington-Post-277527721.html" target="_blank">once said.</a></p> <p>He was the <em>Post's</em> executive editor from 1968 to 1991. RIP.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:58:27 +0000 Inae Oh 263011 at http://www.motherjones.com Voter's Boyfriend to Obama: "Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/mr-president-dont-touch-my-girlfriend <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>President Barack Obama was in Chicago on Monday to cast an <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/21/politics/obama-early-voting-jokes/index.html" target="_blank">early vote</a> for the midterm elections. He did so while standing next to fellow voter Aia Cooper. Cooper's boyfriend, who was also standing nearby, issued a remarkable warning to the president:</p> <p>"Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend."</p> <p>With Cooper laughing, but clearly mortified, the exchange that follows is just priceless. (Well played, Mr. President.) Watch below:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="357" src="http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/politics/2014/10/21/newday-ip-obama-votes-joke.cnn" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Obama Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:11:10 +0000 Inae Oh 262971 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver Shows the Supreme Court How to Make Their Boring Recordings Way More Adorable http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/john-oliver-supreme-court-animals <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Supreme Court bars cameras from televising its oral arguments, with the only window into the minds of justices being lame audio recordings paired with awkward illustrations. No one wants to watch that.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tug71xZL7yc&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">John Oliver</a> has a brilliant alternative: Dogs. Cats. Real adorable animals with fake moving paws.</p> <p>"The visual makes it irresistible. Why? Because a cat's paws are doing things you wouldn't expect them to do. And if it works for shitty piano music it can work for the Supreme Court."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fJ9prhPV2PI" width="630"></iframe>Consider us sold.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Supreme Court Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:02:36 +0000 Inae Oh 262856 at http://www.motherjones.com Numero Group Releases a Stellar Retrospective http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/numero-group-unwound-retrospective <!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="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WilH0XISBUQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Unwound</strong><br><em><strong>No Energy</strong></em><br><strong>Numero Group</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/image001%5B1%5D.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px;"></div> <p>Part three of Numero Group's stellar <em>Unwound</em> retrospective picks up with the 1995 album <em>The Future of What,</em> followed by 1996's <em>Repetition</em>, and includes eight singles sides and some previously unreleased recordings. What's most immediately striking about these 33 tracks is how little interest the Olympia, Washington, trio has in repeating itself. While Justin Trosper (vocals, guitar), Vern Rumsey (bass) and Sara Lund (drums) still draw on deep roots in punk and hard rock, they often seem to be navigating uncharted territory. The songs are dark and jagged, more likely to generate brooding unease than provide easy catharsis. Check out either version of the tortured eight-minute epic "Swan" for an unpredictable, genre-defying experience that's thoroughly fascinating.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:22 +0000 Jon Young 262831 at http://www.motherjones.com Sallie Ford, the Exhilarating Provocateur http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/portland-sallie-ford-slap-back <!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/6-q1HAAtMzo" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Sallie Ford<br><em>Slap Back</em><br> Vanguard</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="sallie ford" class="image" src="/files/SallieFordSlapBack-Cover-2-300x300.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px;"></div> <p>Raucous, profane, and unapologetic, Sallie Ford relishes playing the provocateur. On the exhilarating <em>Slap Back</em>, the Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter debuts her new all-female backing band, sounding like the early, badass Elvis Costello who fronted the Attractions. Buoyed by waves of punky garage rock, Ford addresses urgent issues like romance and lust in her usual blunt language ("Give Me Your Lovin'"), while illuminating her own struggles ("So Damn Low") and pausing for moments of surprising tenderness, observing, "Loves may come and lovers may go. But I'm here for the long haul, I hope you know" in "Hey Girl." For all the catchy tunes and tough grooves, Ford's greatest asset is her rowdy charisma.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:21 +0000 Jon Young 262826 at http://www.motherjones.com Film Review: "The Hand That Feeds" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/film-review-hand-feeds <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1qZrJSD_2v8" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The Hand That Feeds</strong></p> <p>JUBILEE FILMS</p> <p>At the beginning of <a href="http://thehandthatfeedsfilm.com/" target="_blank"><em>The Hand That Feeds</em></a>, Mahoma L&oacute;pez, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, records a coworker counting out the $290 he's just received for a 60-hour workweek in a deli on New York City's ritzy Upper East Side. The film feels like a familiar tale of exploitation and wage theft, until L&oacute;pez and his <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/hot-and-crusty-new-york-3" target="_blank">Hot &amp; Crusty</a> coworkers stand up and fight back. In this behind-the-scenes look at the <a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/10/hot_and_crusty_1.php" target="_blank">ensuing labor dispute</a>, directors Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick lead us through the struggles and eventual triumph of L&oacute;pez &amp; Co. as they enlist the help of activists and, notably, a group of Occupy Wall Street-influenced twentysomethings. Despite the film's narrow focus&mdash;which leaves out some much-needed context about the treatment of immigrants in the restaurant biz&mdash;it's an inspiring tale.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Correction: The original version of this review, which appeared in our November/December issue, misidentified the person counting out money at the start of the film.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Immigration Income Inequality Labor Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:50:04 +0000 Ian Gordon 261441 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch Jon Stewart Try to Explain White Privilege to Bill O'Reilly http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/jon-stewart-white-privilege-bill-oreilly <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last night, Bill O'Reilly went on <em>The Daily Show </em>and Jon Stewart asked him to admit that there is such a thing in the world as white privilege. What followed was a pretty entertaining shouting match!</p> <p><a href="http://on.cc.com/1sLGcjk" target="_blank">Watch</a>:</p> <div style="padding:4px;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="354" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:thedailyshow.com:8dd1a2ba-41a6-47ef-99bd-7a2f0246b25e" width="630"></iframe></div></body></html> Mixed Media Media Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:31:54 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262711 at http://www.motherjones.com Fox News Actually Just Asked This Poll Question http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/fox-news-hell-handbasket <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Fox News is the number one cable news network in this country&mdash;by a wide margin&mdash;largely because it kills it with old people. If you are an old white person in the United States who watches cable news, you probably watch Fox. How does Fox rack up such stellar ratings among the twilight of life set? Well, it shouts about <strike>Matlock</strike> how the country ain't what it used to be. With Vaseline on the lens, it plays the nostalgia game and confirms old people's belief that the America they grew up in was actually as great as they've romanticized it to be. Everything wrong with the world today? That wasn't a problem back in the ol' days! Ebola? ISIS? Not in their day! The internet did it! The gays did it! The rock &amp; roll did it! This country used to stand for something, by howdy! What is this world coming to? Where is it going?</p> <p>Really: Where <em>is</em> this world going?</p> <p>To Hell.</p> <p>To Hell in a handbasket!</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Actual Fox News poll question: Is everything going to hell in a handbasket? <a href="http://t.co/MwHswxQkoW">pic.twitter.com/MwHswxQkoW</a></p> &mdash; Media Matters (@mmfa) <a href="https://twitter.com/mmfa/status/522762394532339714">October 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>This week, Fox <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/15/fox-news-poll-as-election-nears-voters-say-things-are-going-to-hell-in/" target="_blank">conducted a poll </a>of registered voters and asked if they think the world is going "to Hell in a handbasket" or whether "everything will be alright."</p> <p>Fifty-eight percent think the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. Fifty-eight percent are wrong.</p> <p>Look, aging isn't easy. It's a humbling sentence of inexorable graying punctuated by death. The way that people deal with old age is their own. No one can blame the 58 percent of registered voters who think the country is "going to Hell in a handbasket.' They're reacting from a very real place of loss and concern and guilt that they drove the economy into the ground. But, to be real, old people, chill. It's going to be fine.</p> <p>The good ol' days weren't so good. There has never been a better time to be alive in America. People live longer and better lives than at any other time in history. Today was better than yesterday, tomorrow will be better still. If I gave you a time machine and told you that you could take a one way trip anywhere in time, the only reasonable answer would be the future.</p> <p>P.S. It's worth noting that Fox clearly only worded the poll that way so that they could write the headline, "<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/15/fox-news-poll-as-election-nears-voters-say-things-are-going-to-hell-in/" target="_blank">As election nears, voters say things are 'going to hell in a handbasket</a>.'"</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:55:44 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262696 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is the Most Terrifying Shark Video You'll See All Week http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/the-dog-goes-bark-the-cow-goes-moo-the-shark-goes-chomp <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Good evening! Here is something terrifying:</p> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152584713956704" data-width="550"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152584713956704">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/brian.recker">Brian Recker</a>.</div> </div> <p>I have nothing to add. Just, wow, terrifying. If I lived near that beach, I would probably be scared to go back in the water.</p> <p>Is this video as scary as <em>Jaws</em>? No. But it probably <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/07/jaws-ridiculous-say-kids-who-owe-everything-jaws" target="_blank">makes more sense, to be honest. </a></p> <p>Have a super night.</p> <p><em>(via <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/terrifying-footage-of-hundreds-of-sharks-feeding-on-a-north?bftw&amp;utm_term=4ldqpfp#3gv4lmy" target="_blank">Ryan Broderick</a>)</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Animals Wed, 15 Oct 2014 23:54:15 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262596 at http://www.motherjones.com Christopher Nolan Films, Ranked http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/christopher-nolan-films-ranked <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ahead of its November 5 premier,&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.interstellar-movie.com" target="_blank">Interstellar</a>&nbsp;graces</em>&nbsp;the cover of this week's <em><a href="http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/10/15/this-weeks-cover-your-exclusive-all-access-pass-to-christopher-nolans-interstellar/" target="_blank">Entertainment Weekly</a></em>. The Christopher Nolan-helmed&nbsp;space opera&nbsp;<a href="http://www.interstellar-movie.com" target="_blank">looks</a> pretty great! But Nolan's films always look great <em>in advance</em>.&nbsp;Some of them&nbsp;ended up making&nbsp;good on the promise of their trailers, but others haven't. Nolan has made seven&nbsp;films that have seen wide release. (His first film, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Following" target="_blank"><em>Following</em></a>, I have never seen and didn't know about until ten seconds ago and is thus not included on this list.) Of those seven films, one is great, four are good but forgettable, and two are bad bad bad. Here are his films, according to me, a fan with an opinion.&nbsp;</p> <p>1. <em>The Dark Knight</em></p> <p>2. <em>The Prestige</em></p> <p>3. <em>Memento</em></p> <p>4. <em>Insomnia</em></p> <p>5. <em>Batman Begins</em></p> <p>6. <em>The Dark Knight Rises</em></p> <p>7. <em>Inception</em></p> <p>Here is the trailer for <em>Interstellar</em>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Rt2LHkSwdPQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:04:56 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262546 at http://www.motherjones.com Video: You've Never Seen the Colossal Power of the Ocean Quite Like This http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/video-youve-never-seen-colossal-power-ocean-quite <!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" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/90429499" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="http://vimeo.com/90429499">Water</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/morganmaassen">Morgan Maassen</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</em></p> <p>More than 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans; they support nearly 50 percent of all the planet's species. And yet for us land-bound bipeds, their depths remain mysterious, fearsome, and untouched: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration <a href="http://www.noaa.gov/ocean.html" target="_blank">estimates</a> that "more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored." While greenhouse gases snatch the global warming headlines, the oceans play a crucial role in our understanding of climate change, having absorbed <a href="http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/pdfs/print_ocean-heat-2014.pdf" target="_blank">more than 90 percent</a> of the Earth's extra heat since 1955. This video, uploaded to Vimeo by photographer and filmmaker <a href="http://www.morganmaassen.com/about/" target="_blank">Morgan Maassen</a> from Santa Barbara, Calif., taps into that awesome, elemental power of the unknown, lifting it way above the&nbsp;run-of-the-mill surfie video into something that left me&nbsp;slack-jawed (and missing summer). Enjoy.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Climate Change Climate Desk Sports Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:34:44 +0000 James West 262511 at http://www.motherjones.com Book Review: The Birth of the Pill http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/birth-pill-jonathan-eig <!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="birth of the pill" class="image" src="/files/birth-pill-250.jpg"></div> <p><strong>The Birth of the Pill</strong></p> <p>By Jonathan Eig</p> <p>NORTON</p> <p>Seventy years ago, birth control&mdash;illegal, crude, and unreliable&mdash;was reserved for women with means whose men were willing to go along. Jonathan Eig's gripping history recounts how two men and two women fought science and society for a pill to enable smaller families (and low-risk recreational sex). Their campaign, which touted pragmatism (population control, economics) over pleasure, won some unlikely victories: the support of a devout Catholic OB-GYN, for instance, and the backing of a feisty heiress who once smuggled more than 1,000 diaphragms into the States, sewn into the folds of the latest European fashions. The pill is utterly ordinary today. The story of how we got here is anything but.</p> <p><em>This review originally appeared in our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/toc/2014/09" target="_blank">September/October issue</a> of</em> Mother Jones.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Books Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:24:09 +0000 Hannah Levintova 258976 at http://www.motherjones.com Mark Zuckerberg Just Donated $25 Million to Fight Ebola http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/mark-zuckerberg-ebola <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have donated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help combat the Ebola crisis, which has killed more than <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29611713" target="_blank">4,400 people in West Africa.</a> Zuckerberg announced the nice chunk of cash via his Facebook on Tuesday:</p> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101696761533081" data-width="466"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101696761533081">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/zuck">Mark Zuckerberg</a>.</div> </div> <p>Scaremongers in <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/gop-republicans-elections-2016-ebola-panic-111597.html" target="_blank">Congress</a> and the media have Americans in a tizzy about Ebola:&nbsp;<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/10/amid-broad-worries-of-an-ebola-outbreak-two-thirds-say-the-govt-should-do-more/" target="_blank">Nearly two-third of Americans</a> now fear the virus will soon infect them or or someone they know. Although Zuckerberg's donation won't do much to quell the the panic, it's certainly a nice response to recent criticism that Silicon Valley types have done little-to-nothing to <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/08/is-silicon-valley-sitting-out-the-fight-against-ebola.html" target="_blank">combat the ongoing public health crisis. </a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Health Top Stories Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:55:17 +0000 Inae Oh 262396 at http://www.motherjones.com Krugman: Obama One of the Most Successful Presidents in American History http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/krugman-obama-successful-president%20 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>President Barack Obama may be facing some of his <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/116479/barack-obama-presidential-job-approval.aspx" target="_blank">lowest approval ratings</a> to date, but that isn't stopping Paul Krugman from defending the president's overall track record. In fact, the Nobel Prize-winning economist is arguing Obama is one of the most "successful presidents in American history."</p> <p>Krugman, who was once among the president's more notable skeptics, made his case in a new feature for <em>Rolling Stone</em> aptly titled <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/in-defense-of-obama-20141008" target="_blank">"In Defense of Obama," </a>in which he dismissed persistent attacks from Republicans and mounting disappointment expressed by Democrats with an outline of the Obama administration's key achievements in several areas including healthcare, the environment, national security, and the economy.</p> <p>It's a tough time to be making that case. Americans are increasingly frustrated by <a href="http://www.vox.com/cards/things-about-isis-you-need-to-know/obama-fault-iraq" target="_blank">Obama's handling of ISIS</a> and continued unrest in Iraq. As for the economy, even Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently blamed <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-obama-wall-street" target="_blank">Obama's economic advisers</a> for repeatedly failing ordinary Americans in favor of Wall Street.</p> <p>But in a follow-up interview with <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/10/paul-krugman-obama-a-more-consequential-president-than-clinton/" target="_blank"><em>ABC News</em></a>, Krugman told Jonathan Karl the recent onslaught of criticism is unwarranted, noting Americans have experienced more "consequential" changes under Obama's presidency than ever before.</p> <p>"People who had this idea that Obama was going to bring a transformation of America, I thought were being na&iuml;ve," Krugman said in the interview. "But, by God, we got health reform, and we got a significant financial reform. We are getting the environmental action &hellip; it&rsquo;s not everything you would have wanted, but it&rsquo;s more than anyone else has done for decades."</p> <p>Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is still out there claiming the president has <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2014/10/13/romney-angers-libs-with-obama-joke/" target="_blank">accomplished nothing: </a></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Wy8JttV64to" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Obama Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:14:06 +0000 Inae Oh 262381 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver: Why Is Columbus Day Still a Thing? http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/columbus-day-john-oliver <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Today, Americans celebrate&nbsp;Columbus Day. Last night, John Oliver wondered "why is this still a thing?"</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eKEwL-10s7E" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:42:29 +0000 Inae Oh 262271 at http://www.motherjones.com The Vaselines are Back http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/v-vaselines-new-album-nirvana-kurt-cobain <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>The Vaselines<br><em>V for Vaselines</em><br> Rosary Music</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="V for Vaselines" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-10-11%20at%206.14.02%20PM.png" style="height: 235px; width: 250px;"></div> <p>Talk about poor timing. Scottish duo the Vaselines split up in 1989, the week their debut album was released, so they weren't around to take advantage when Kurt Cobain became a fan and recorded three of their songs with Nirvana. But things have been going more smoothly since 2008, when Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee got back together. On the rousing&nbsp;<em>V for Vaselines</em>, their second post-reunion outing, the rowdy twosome offers a fizzy update of classic male-female sparring matches in the grand tradition of Johnny Cash and June Carter, or John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X. Whether trading scruffy lead vocals or combining for bracing harmonies, Kelly and McKee make exuberant punk-pop that captures interpersonal strife with entertaining zest. Memorable snotty lyric of the week, from "Number One Crush": "Being with you/Kills my IQ."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dzXhj4TCQtM" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Jon Young 262246 at http://www.motherjones.com Allo Darlin's Latest is So Much More Than Twee Pop http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/allo-darlin-so-much-more-twee-pop <!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/ktinVfJ3GZk?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Allo Darlin&rsquo;<br><em>We Come from the Same Place</em><br> Slumberland/Fortuna Pop!</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Allo' Darlin" class="image" src="/files/Allo-Darlin-Album-Cover-513x513.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px;"></div> <p>Allo Darlin' has sometimes been tagged with the dismissive term "twee pop," but there&rsquo;s nothing cute or quaint about the jangly guitar rock on the Anglo-Australian quartet's excellent third album. Leader Elizabeth Morris crafts thoughtful vignettes that diagram the uncertainties of everyday life and fledgling relationships, exhibiting the perceptive, unpretentious directness of a master short story writer. "I can't say everything will be okay/I'm just trying to make it though another Tuesday," she sighs on the title track, while "Romance and Adventure" finds her confessing, "I'm just tired of being strong," to a stomping beat. Morris' understated vocals are a charming mix of wistful melancholy and determined resilience, giving <em>We Come from the Same Place</em> the resonance of a get-together with a nurturing close friend.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Jon Young 261981 at http://www.motherjones.com Malala Yousafzai Becomes Youngest Recipient of Nobel Peace Prize http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/malala-yousafzai-youngest-recipient-nobel-peace-prize <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban at the age of 14 for her advocacy work promoting girls' education, was <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29564935" target="_blank">awarded the Nobel Peace Prize</a> on Friday, along with children's rights activist from India, Kailash Satyarthi. Satyarthi is 60-years-old, Yousafzai is 17, the youngest recipient ever. She was at <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/International/malala-yousafzai-school-won-nobel-peace-prize/story?id=26097136" target="_blank">school doing her thing </a>when she learned she had won the honor.</p> <p>The announcement from the <a href="http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/laureates/laureates-2014/announce-2014/" target="_blank">Norwegian Nobel Commmittee: </a></p> <blockquote> <p>The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. In the poor countries of the world, 60% of the present population is under 25 years of age. It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.</p> </blockquote> <p>Congratulations to both! For those of you in need of a refresher on the 17-year-old (reiteration is warranted), watch her leave Jon Stewart speechless during an appearance on the <em>Daily Show </em>last year.<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gjGL6YY6oMs" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Education Human Rights International Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:46:16 +0000 Inae Oh 262141 at http://www.motherjones.com Report: Katy Perry Is Performing at the Super Bowl http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/report-katy-perry-performing-super-bowl <!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://pagesix.com/2014/10/09/katy-perry-to-perform-at-super-bowl-xlix-halftime-show/" target="_blank"><em>The New York Post</em> </a>is reporting that the NFL has selected Katy Perry to play at halftime of the Super Bowl.</p> <p>We endorse this decision!</p> <p>Key members of the <em>Mother Jones</em> staff share the opinion that Katy Perry is great. (Some of these staff members control the social channels and the CMS.) We can quibble over bits of her performance but the point is we're fans.</p> <p>Safe to say we'll we be live tweeting her halftime show.</p> <p>Goodnight and good luck.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Fri, 10 Oct 2014 03:09:39 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262131 at http://www.motherjones.com