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Hide the Pain Harold is the meme of the decade (according to Imgur) – The Next Web

Distracted boyfriend, American Chopper yelling scene, Pepe the Frog, woman yelling at a cat all memorable memes. But which one of those is the meme of the decade? Its a hotly contested topic, thats for sure. But according to image sharing platform Imgur, the most impactful meme of the decade is none of those.

We asked Imgurians to decide, once and for all, which meme was their favorite meme from the 2010s, the company wrote in a blog post. From 2,000 nominations, the top 10 were selected to battle it out in the final round. A total of 54,768 votes were cast in 72 hours by Imgurians. It was a close race, but were proud to announce Imgurs Meme of the Decade is Hide the Pain Harold.

Hide the Pain Harold represents a deep-seated emotion, a quiet dread, or existential anguish that resides in all of us, Imgur writes.

To clinch this prestigious title, Harold edged out the badly photoshopped Michael Cera and the this is fine dog memes.

Grumpy Cat, Nodding Gandalf, and Obama-Biden Bromance were also among the top contestants.

You cant argue with the numbers.

The man behind the meme isAndrs Arat, a retired engineer from Hungary whose rise to fame began with a random shoot for a stock photo website.

Nine years ago, I did a reverse image search on a photograph of me and was shocked to discover it had become a meme.Arat wrote in a piece for The Guardian. People online thought my smile, combined with the look in my eyes, seemed terribly sad. They were calling me Hide the Pain Harold.'

The photo came from a shoot Id done a year earlier, when I was still working as an electrical engineer, he added. A professional photographer had got in touch after seeing my holiday photographs on Facebook. He said he was seeking someone like me to be in some stock images.

Once the memes were out in the world, journalists began to contact me, and wanted to come to my home to interview me. My wife hated it: she thought it interfered in our private life and didnt like the way I was portrayed, he said. I was given a role in a television commercial for a Hungarian car dealer. []The fee for that commercial changed my wifes mind about the meme.

Congrats on the meme of the decade award, Harold. Youre an absolute fucking legend.

Read next: Facebook now sends you a notification when you log in to third-party sites

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Hide the Pain Harold is the meme of the decade (according to Imgur) - The Next Web

What Does Pepe the Frog Mean? | Memes by Dictionary.com

Artist Matt Furie created Pepe the Frog as an easygoing, bro-like character in his 2005 comic series, The Boys Club. In one comic, Pepe urinates with his pants down at his ankles. Sporting a relieved grin, Pepe says, Feels good man.

Pepes creator told The Daily Dot in April 2015 that the name Pepe (though pronounced differently) evokes pee-pee, in keeping with the literal bathroom humor the original character is known for.

According to Know Your Meme, users began creating their own Pepe images in 2008 in forums on the imageboard site 4chan. These Pepes, riffing on the frogs signature smile, spread online as a humorous reaction, much as people post GIFs to illustrate how they feel about something. One common variant shows a smirking Pepe, often called Smug Pepe, his thumb tucked knowingly under his chin. Additionally, the variants Sad Pepe and Angry Pepe are also common.

By 201415, Pepe had gone full mainstream, with singers Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj notably posting Pepe memes on Twitter. But as The Daily Beast reported in May 2016, some white supremacists were disappointed by Pepes widespread popularity. And so, as a dark and shocking joke, they fashioned Pepes with various anti-Semitic and other racist imagery in efforts to make Pepes widespread use less appealing to those outside their circle. One depicts a caricatured Jewish Pepe smiling at burning Twin Towers on September 11. Another swaps out Pepes Feels good man for Kill all Jews.

Starting around 2015, alt-right supporters of Donald Trump embraced the bigoted Pepe memes, spreading suited-up and blonde-coiffed versions of the frog after the likeness of their candidate. While apparently unaware of Pepes symbolism, Donald Trump retweeted a Trump Pepe in October 2015, as did Donald Trump Jr. following Hillary Clintons basket of deplorables comment in September 2016. Many alt-right social media users have even deployed the frog emoji in their online monikers to represent Pepe and their political affiliations. Pepe has also inspired a hand gesture, resembling the OK sign, that Mediaite claims a ten-year-old flashed on a tour of the White House in March 2017.

This unassuming cartoon frog became so established as a racist symbol that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) labeled Pepe the Frog as a hate symbol in September 2016. Around this time, the Clinton campaign released their own explainer on Pepe, commenting that the cartoon frog is more sinister than you might realize. Another one of Pepes political iterations is as Pepe Le Pen, which depicts French far-right nationalist politician Marie Le Pen as the frog.

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What Does Pepe the Frog Mean? | Memes by Dictionary.com

We wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2019 – STAT

As we look back on 2019, we at STAT find ourselves a little jealous.

There has been a lot of stellar health and science journalism this year, and below is a roundup of the stories we wish we had written.

And wed be remiss if we didnt admit the origins of this annual tradition Bloomberg Businessweek did it first, and head over there for more great reads.

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Story by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, CNN InvestigatesPhotographs by Melissa Lyttle for CNN

Teaira Shorters appendix ruptured while she was in jail, serving time for minor offenses such as not wearing a seatbelt. She began to experience symptoms while in custody but her pleas for medical help were ignored for days which ultimately resulted in a life-threatening infection.

This investigation of an individual case sheds light on institutional problems in our foster care and prison system that put vulnerable populations at terrible risk. Melissa Lyttles photographs bring us directly into the life of this young woman trying to move forward. Contributed by Alissa Ambrose

By Ryan Cross, Chemical & Engineering News

When a young man in Wilsons clinical trial of a gene therapy died, in 1999, it basically shut down the field for a decade and made Wilson a pariah. C&ENs profile shows us not only how the tragedy made Wilson reassess his approach to science but also how it turned him into one of gene therapys most outspoken critics: Although he believes deeply that repairing genes can cure some of our most devastating diseases, Wilson is also outspoken about the risky approaches that some gene therapy studies are taking today. Contributed by Sharon Begley

By Ava Kofman, ProPublica

To read this piece is to see todays equivalent of a Dickensian debtors prison. Ava Kofman lays out, detail by infuriating detail, how digital technologies touted as progress are used to criminalize poverty. Supposedly, installing ankle monitors is a way to get people out of jail. But because companies charge the wearers daily fees they often cant keep up with and because their devices make it especially hard to land or hold down a job the practice ends up sweeping more people behind bars. Kofman masterfully weaves a tale of bodies controlled by private firms, of lives upended by machines that were supposed to set them free. As one young man puts it, I get in trouble for living. For being me. Contributed by Eric Boodman

By Martin Enserink, SciencePhotography by Tom Bouyer, Expedition 5300

Journalist Martin Enserink journeyed high into the Andes to write about research into the effects of chronic mountain sickness traveling, effectively, into thin air. He and photographer Tom Bouyer, whose striking photographs make this a visually arresting piece, traveled to La Rinconada, Peru, the worlds highest settlement and a gold mining town. If that activity draws to mind the wild, wild west, hang on to that thought. Enserink described La Riconada, which is north of Lake Titicaca, as Madmaxian, observing that the researchers typically retreat to their hotel rooms by 8 p.m. for safetys sake.

This forgotten part of the world is perilous for other reasons. People living in an environment with half the oxygen available to lungs at sea level can experience a host of physical ailments. These researchers would like to pave the way to therapies for chronic mountain sickness, but first need to better define what living and working at this altitude does to human bodies. Its a fascinating read. Contributed by Helen Branswell

By Ben Elgin, Bloomberg

At first, the foreboding ads flooding D.C.-area television sets didnt make much sense: Why would an advocacy group representing Americas sheriffs care whether states can import prescription drugs from Canada? Bloomberg investigated and found an answer: The pharmaceutical industry was funding the ads through an intermediary group, the Partnership for Safe Medicines. In a year already dominated by heavy-handed lobbying and advocacy surrounding prescription drug pricing, Bloomberg spotlighted one of the most brazen examples of indirect ad campaigns meant to gin up antagonism toward attempts at lowering drug prices. Contributed by Lev Facher

By Caroline Chen, ProPublica

Chens exhaustive investigation of the unregulated $2 billion stem cell industry showed how questionable marketing practices and misleading scientific claims are duping patients into paying thousands of dollars for injections of amniotic stem cells that dont work. Chens work prompted the Food and Drug Administration to ramp up its enforcement efforts. Contributed by Adam Feuerstein

By Rob Copeland and Bradley Hope, Wall Street Journal

This is the story of how Martin Shkreli, the cartoonishly disgraced biotech entrepreneur, continued to run his synonymous-with-greed drug company from federal prison. There are memorable cameos from inmates called Krispy and D-Block, fascinating details about a corporate power struggle, and an Austrian interior designer who made a regrettable investment. But the star of course is Shkreli, whose jailhouse persona lands somewhere between Jordan Belfort and Pepe the Frog. Despite lots of seemingly reasonable advice to just give it a rest, he remains convinced of his own gift for drug development and incapable of ever, for any reason, logging off. Contributed by Damian Garde

By Betsy McKay, Wall Street Journal

Our job as journalists is to notice the obvious, and this story does that brilliantly. For years, cardiovascular disease has been in decline, and it was expected to fall below cancer as the leading cause of death. In the words of Robert Anderson, chief of the CDCs mortality statistics branch, Its highly unlikely given the current trend that there will be a crossover anytime soon. In fact, the rates of heart attack and stroke mortality among people in their 40s and 50s are increasing. The story even takes a paragraph to embrace a celebrity angle, noting the deaths due to stroke of 90s icons John Singleton, who directed Boyz N the Hood and Luke Perry, who played bad boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. But the story does more, explaining how heart disease patients have changed over 20 years. Once, they were men who smoked and had sky-high LDL levels. Now they are younger, more obese, and more likely to be women. The big question left behind is what society can do to put cardiovascular disease back in decline. Contributed by Matthew Herper

By Mike Hixenbaugh and Keri Blakinger, NBC News and the Houston Chronicle

In this series, reporters from NBC News and the Houston Chronicle reveal how incorrect determinations of various forms of child abuse have imprisoned relatives or separated them from children. These are incredibly complicated stories involving vulnerable children, and they show how difficult it can be to distinguish between accident and abuse. But the series reveals the ties among childrens hospitals and child welfare and law enforcement agencies and the authority conceded to doctors by the legal system. What comes across is how parents worries about a sick or injured child might just be the start of their nightmare. Contributed by Andrew Joseph

By Nellie Bowles, New York Times

Weve all heard the stories of the Silicon Valley pioneers who, after having gotten us all hopelessly addicted to our phones, now carefully limit their own childrens screen time. In this smart and provocative news analysis, reporter Nellie Bowles examines that phenomenon as well as its flip side. She tells the story of a health-tech startup called Care.Coach that employs workers in the Philippines and Latin America to operate digital avatars that live within tables and are being tested as companions for low-income seniors in the U.S. Its a telling example, she writes, of a growing class divide in how care, education, and all those services and interactions that make up our lives get delivered. As more screens appear in the lives of the poor, screens are disappearing from the lives of the rich, Bowles writes. Its an observation thats lingered with me and shaped how I, as a health-tech reporter, think about covering the growing number of health-care inventions that get delivered through screens. Contributed by Rebecca Robbins

By Anna Edney, Susan Berfield, and Evelyn Yu, Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloombergs Anna Edney has owned the generic drugs might kill you beat literally all year long, from three features over three days in January to a cover story in September to right up to the week she started her maternity leave. (Congratulations, Anna!) Pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality control is rarely the flashiest or the easiest thing to write about. But she and her colleagues showed real problems in the oversight of generic drug factories in the U.S. and overseas and illustrated the consequences lackluster oversight can have for real people. My hat is also tipped to Justin Metz, who did the simple and perfect cover photo illustration for one of Edneys stories in the Sept. 16 edition of Businessweek. Contributed by Kate Sheridan

By Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic

The Atlantics Sarah Zhang has done fantastic reporting this year on the cultural ramifications of consumer DNA testing, including this story about an Indiana fertility doctor named Donald Cline. Decades ago, Cline allegedly used his own sperm to impregnate his patients without telling them. DNA tests from 23andMe and Ancestry.com have turned up at least 50 children Cline fathered with his patients. This story told with sensitivity and gripping detail examines how those children found each other and how Clines actions have impacted their lives. Contributed by Megan Thielking

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We wish we'd written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2019 - STAT

The hope of Chanukah – The Spectator USA

The neighbors got together for drinks and carols at the weekend. As an English Jew, I love the carols all those old-time bangers from the time when midwinter really was bleak, all those Zionist lyrics about royal Davids city and kings in Israel. I consider it a mitzvah, a religious obligation, to spread the joy, because theres not enough joy to the world these days, so I play the piano, this year in an impromptu trio with an Irish American fiddler and an English literary critic who, it transpires, toots a mean descant on the trumpet. We spread the joy as a farmer spreads muck, but its the spirit that counts. Without rehearsal or premeditation, we turned Silent Night into a Dean Martin drunk song.

Two nights later, it was the first night of Chanukah. My three daughters lit three menorahs and we sangMaoz Tzur (Rock of Ages):

Furiously they assailed usBut Thine arm availed usAnd Thy word broke their swordWhen our strength failed us

The song has become associated with the Maccabean Revolt of 167 BC the first nationalist movement in history but it was written, like many of the carols, in the Middle Ages. Its impossible not to read those words without thinking of those who fought for their religious freedom against the Syrian tyrant Antiochus IV and those who died for it in medieval and modern Europe as in a kosher market in Jersey City.

It may come as a surprise, but Jews dont spend most of their time thinking about anti-Semitism. Or rather, we spend as little time as safely possible thinking about it. We are obliged to choose life, and life and the making of joy and children mean we must refuse to be defined by a morbid shadow-play of other peoples projections. The tide of hate and violence is rising, however.

It has become acceptable to say appalling things about Jews some of them calumnies carrying the stale flavor of the Middle Ages, some of them more recent and carrying the Germanic taste of blood and iron things that remain unsayable about any other people. Especially online, which for reasons that elude me is considered to be a Casablancaof the media, where anything goes and no one is accountable.

It also appears to have become acceptable, in New York City in particular, for Orthodox Jews to be assaulted without the police or mayor doing much about it. And it appears that the strength of many Jewish organizations, the Anti-Defamation League among them, is more devoted to sustaining the Democratic partys coalition than to doing their job of defending Jews. The same goes for many assimilated Jews, who keep their own heads down and complain that religious Jews make it hard for themselves and everyone else. But there are also many, including many people who are not Jewish, who do stand up for what is right and fair, and who fight against lies and incitement.

Furiously they assail us. This year was the first year I received anti-Semitic tweets, anonymous physical threats, notifications that my name was on a list for future punishment, Holocaust denial (on one impressively sick occasion in rhyming couplets) and, in an unneeded further proof of the collapse of our public discourse, images of the alt-right fetish object Pepe the Frog. This year, while the dimwitted online world argued about tropes, my younger daughters learnt to read trope, the ancient cantillation that they will perform when the elder of them has herbat mitzvahin May. Rock of Ages, let our song / Praise thy saving power.

So I refuse to give up hope, and I know that we will be here, and there too, for as long as we have the faith to do so. In many ways, we are living in an age of miracles. The United States, despite its balkanized society and demented politics, remains an island of tolerance between religions, despite the perverse hostility of the Democratic left, street thugs and a few college professors. The state of Israel, which did not exist when my grandparents families were murdered, is thriving and has never had such good diplomatic relations with some many states and peoples. This year, work began on the Abrahamic Family House, in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi, a development whose centerpiece is a common religious space, with a mosque, a church and a synagogue.

The year ended with what, for an English Jew living in the United States, was an almost overwhelming double gift. On December 11, President Trump extended the protections of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (1964) to Jews, as the George W. Bush administrations Department of Education had decreed in 2004 for Sikhs, Muslims and Jews, and the Obama administrations Department of Justice had confirmed in 2010.

On December 12, Jeremy Corbyn and a hard-left Labour party were demolished in Britains general elections. The elections were about many things Brexit, the National Health Service, the prospect of punitive taxation but a crucial factor was Corbyns foul politics, including his defense of the murderers of the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah, and his seeking out of the company of Holocaust deniers and those who rationalize a selective and obsessive hatred as anti-Zionism.

On the first night of Chanukah, Britains prime minister Boris Johnson sent amessage to Britains Jews: When the Maccabees drove the forces of darkness out of Jerusalem, they had to do so on their own. Today, as Britains Jews seek to drive back the darkness of resurgent anti-Semitism, you have every decent person in this country fighting by your side.

From darkness to light: from the prospect of a Labour government that promised to drive Zionists almost all Jews, in fact from public life, to a Conservative government whose leader sends a clear and moral message, albeit one in which Johnson, an Oxford-educated Classicist, mixed Antiochus III with Antiochus IV.

President Trumps Executive Order and the British publics rejection of Corbyn show that the Jews are not alone in these difficult times. They show that, for all the experts who complain about populism, decency is not inimical to democracy. They show that, despite everything, we should look forward in hope.

I pray that the coming year will be a better one for all of us, including the Kurds of Syria, the Muslims of China and thepeople of Iran, hundreds of whom have beenkilled in recent weeks for demanding their freedom. The Abrahamic family house has many mansions.I wish all my friends and readers a Happy Christmas and aChag Chanukah Sameach.

Dominic Green is Life & Arts editor of Spectator USA.

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The hope of Chanukah - The Spectator USA

When the O.K. Sign Is No Longer O.K. – The New York Times

The gesture is not the only symbol to have been appropriated and swiftly weaponized by alt-right internet trolls. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified memes featuring the hoax religion of Kek and the cartoon character Pepe the Frog, among others, as being at the forefront of white nationalists efforts to distract and infuriate liberals.

A number of high-profile figures on the far right have helped spread the gestures racist connotation by flashing it conspicuously in public, including Milo Yiannopolous, an outspoken former Breitbart editor, and Richard B. Spencer, one of the promoters of the white power rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 that resulted in the death of a 32-year-old woman.

The gesture was in the headlines again after Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser to President Trump, met with a group of white nationalists known as the Proud Boys in Salem, Ore., in 2018 and was photographed displaying it with them.

Critics expressed outrage when a former White House aide, Zina Bash, appeared to be flashing the sign as she sat behind Brett M. Kavanaugh during his televised Senate confirmation hearings for his appointment to the Supreme Court. Defenders of Ms. Bash insisted that she had not intended any racist connotation and was merely signaling O.K. to someone.

That the gesture has migrated beyond ironic trolling culture to become a sincere expression of white supremacy, according to the Anti-Defamation League, could be seen in March 2019 when Brenton Tarrant, the white supremacist accused of killing 50 people in back-to-back mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, smiled and flashed the sign to reporters at a court hearing on his case.

Some people who have used the gesture publicly in a way that seemed to suggest support for racist views have faced consequences. In 2018, the United States Coast Guard suspended an officer who appeared to use the sign on camera during an MSNBC broadcast. Later that year, four police officers in Jasper, Ala., were suspended after a photo was published showing them flashing the sign below the waist. And over the summer, a baseball fan was barred indefinitely from Wrigley Field in Chicago after making the gesture behind the NBC sports commentator Doug Glanville during a broadcast of a Cubs game.

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When the O.K. Sign Is No Longer O.K. - The New York Times

From sexting to politics: How emoji evolved this decade – The Next Web

Believe it or not, the first emoji was created in 1999 by a Japanese artist, Shigetaka Kurita, who wanted to create a simple, quick, and attractive way of conveying information. At that time, Kurita was working as a developer for i-mode, an internet platform owned by Japans main mobile carrier, DOCOMO. Fast-forward almost 20 years and these small, yellow, emotive characters now represent a lot more than at first sight.

Emoji has been referred to as a lingua franca a bridging language that allows us to bypass spoken language barriers and cultural differences. But emoji arent just as level ground for communicating, or as an innocent outlet to sext, theyve become an accessible symbol of activism and politics over this past decade.

Emoji has become a summary of our society and has increasingly intertwined with our conversations, even when were talking about politics, Lilian Stolk, an emoji expert told TNW. Not only do we use emoji for politics, but the process of adding new emoji is also a political game. Big tech companies use emoji to show that they represent diversity such as Apple with itsdisabilities emoji and Google with its gender neutral emoji.

A few months back, when people first started talking about US President s potential impeachment on Twitter, the peach emoji which was once a harmless sexting reference became the latest protest symbol against , and more specifically, his potential impeachment get it?

This emoji seemingly became a homonym having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings after Lizzo, an American singer-songwriter, tweeted a message which gained almost 120,000 likes. Lizzos IMpeachMENT tweet was likely in celebration of House Speaker Nancy Pelosis decision to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Emoji are used in their literal sense to spread political messaging, especially in countries were censorship restricts free speech. For example, in China, #MeToo is censored, so people who want to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault instead use the cooked rice and rabbit emoji because rice bunny in China is pronounced similarly to me too.

Throughout the recent general election campaign in the UK, the red rose emoji was used as a symbol for the Labour party.

But just as emoji is used to spread positive political messaging, its also used to represent the opposite. For example, several emoji including the frog (in reference to Pepe The Frog), the milk glass, and the ok sign are used to symbolize white power.

The most political thing about emoji that surprised me is that Apple is not displaying the Taiwanese flag on phones in China, and recently they also blocked it on devices in Hong Kong and Macau. This shows that Apple wants to keep the Chinese market a friend, Stolk added.

With the more controversial political opinions, I think its safer to use an emoji, or a meme, instead of making a message more concrete with words, Stolk added. If you bring your political opinion with a layer of irony, you can hide behind the irony. If you post a pepe meme or use the frog emoji people can deny a real connection to extreme right-wing ideas, because its just funny. But at the same time, it still connects to these ideas.

Although it may seem like Emoji just magically appear on our phones once a year, this isnt exactly how deployment works. The Unicode Consortium, the official body that manage emoji, accept or reject emotive characters submitted by users, designers, and activists.

Over the past couple of years, the Unicode Consortium has faced some backlash over its decisions. Earlier this year, they approved the release of a blood drop emoji in what was widely considered to be a first step in ending period shame and sparking conversations about menstruation.

This is all thanks to a girls-focused development charity, Plan International UK and Plan Australia who in 2017, launched a campaign to create a period emoji in an attempt to reduce the taboo surrounding period and menstrual health.

To make the process of adding emoji to our phones more democratic Stolk created, Emoji Voter, a web-based app where people can vote for which emoji should appear on our keyboards.

Similarly to Tinder, Emoji Voter works by swiping through various emoji proposals which have been officially received by the Unicode Consortium. By swiping an emoji left, youre rejecting the design and its meaning, but by swiping right, you agree that this emoji should be included in the next round of updates.

Once the results are in, theyre sent straight to Unicode who then decide if theyll appear on our phones one day.

A handful of people from The Unicode Consortium decide which emoji we can communicate with. Imagine if just a few people would decide what words we can use? Its very weird that we as users dont have a voice in this. This is what I want to change with Emoji Voter, Stolk said.

The emoji proposals include harmless, fun examples like a rock to depict Earths foundation. But also include more inclusive and political emotive characters like a beaver thats a playful subcultural symbol among the LGBTQ+ society and afro hair which would help diversify cultural representation and its currently the only hair-type missing from the emoji catalog.

As gatekeepers of the language that we all use online, Unicode and their voting members are not consistent in their choices. They state that a new emoji should not be too specific and have the potential to become popular, Stolk explained. Then why is there a red-haired emoji and no afro emoji, while there are many more people with an afro worldwide? Why was a period emoji too specific, but there will soon be 70 symbols for people with disabilities? If we continue in this way, within eight years well be scrolling through 5000 emoji. Do we want that? We should think about this better.

According to Stolk, the most voted emoji will be the hugging and lip biting emoji. Both are a form of non-verbal communication, and thats how we use emoji most often, Stolk said.

Although the voting process is far from perfect, its reassuring to see that diversity and inclusivity are increasingly becoming part of the debate. While an emoji may not spark real change in society, it does encourage a conversation and acts as an accessible form of communication between various cultures and languages it could be argued that emoji speak louder than words.

Read next: Unblock your favorite streaming sites & watch them anywhere for $40

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From sexting to politics: How emoji evolved this decade - The Next Web

Ive Been Reporting From the Front Lines of the Hong Kong Protests. Heres What It Taught Me About the Power of Art – artnet News

Gas mask: check. Eye mask: check. Helmet: check. A press ID and reflective vest that spells out PRESS across the chest: check.

As I packed my black-and-white polka-dot designer backpackthe only backpack I ownearlier this month to prepare myself for the December 8 rally that marked the six-month anniversary of the Hong Kong protests, a feeling of uneasiness and doubt weighed heavy inside my chest. Since when did such protective gear become a must-have when I head out to cover a demonstration? And since when did writing about arts and culture involve putting myself on the front lines, where tear gas and rubber bullets face off against bricks and Molotov cocktails?

I might not have been able to imagine it six months ago, but this is now a somewhat regular day on assignment for me.

It didnt have to be this way. As a journalist who covers art and culture, I have the option to look away. Footage depicting the violent clashes between the police and black-clad protesters may have been making international headlines over the past six months, but for Hong Kongs art world, things seemed to be business as usual. I could have chosen to attend an art opening with a stylish clutch under my arm, sipping champagne while keeping my antenna up for news and gossip. The fall art auctions took place on schedule amid the shooting of tear gas, and I could have chosen to stay in the comfort of the auction room, taking in the frenetic bidding over the work of Yoshitomo Nara and Sanyu.

Riot police outside the Hong Kong Museum of Art after tear gas was fired nearby. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

But as Hong Kong descends into an unthinkable state, what seems to be the normality of the art world has suddenly become a detached reality might as well exist in a parallel universe. Protesters and unarmed civilians have been hit with more than 16,000 rounds of tear gas, nearly 14,000 rounds of so-called non-lethal weapons from rubber bullets to sponge grenades, and two live rounds. One student protester fell to death during a clash in a residential area, and more than 6,000 arrests have been made over the past six months, including of a child as young as 11. How can one still keep her head buried in the sand, thinking that the city is operating normally?

At the height of some of the most violent clashes, like the siege of university campuses in mid-November, Hong Kong was, quite literally, a war zone. None of this is normal. Had I chosen to stay in the art bubble and not witness at least some of what might be the worst events of terror my hometown has ever seen, I would have regretted it for the rest of my lifeas a human being, a Hongkonger, and as a journalist.

Am I scared? Im terrified. Covering art and culture has rarely involved encountering squads of armed riot police or hearing shots of tear gas fired at crowds in the heart of Central, the citys core business district where international galleries like Gagosian, Lehmann Maupin, Simon Lee, and Pearl Lam are located. Nor does it typically involve getting jostled by crowds of protesters running across Salisbury Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui, where tear gas canisters were fired outside the newly reopened Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Sure, I had the experience of covering the Umbrella Movement on the frontline occasionally as a culture news reporter in 2014. I have also recently taken a safety workshop for journalists given by a former member of the Australian military. But this kind of reporting was never something I could get used to. And as news continues to surface about journalists becoming targets of riot police, many getting shot with rubber bullets or sponge grenades,and one even losing an eye, I have had to decide in a split second on the ground: should I stay or should I go? Should I continue to take pictures or filming?

The installation Beyond by Hong Kong artist Rosanna Li Wei-han on show at Hong Kong Museum of Art. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

As an art journalist, it may seem unnecessary for me to put myself in danger like many of my colleagues who have been on the frontline on a day-to-day basis, and for whom I have the utmost respect. But these traumatic experiences have opened my eyes to humanity in a new and deeper way, which has inevitably informed the way I cover my own beat and helped me to reflect on the true meaning of art.

The words of Abby Chen, the head of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, constantly ring in my ears. During our conversation back in July, Chen told me that she believed the greatest art will be produced in Hong Kong in the wake of this uprising. This is about being human, and the kind of resistance and resilience that we are seeing Hong Kong artists are at the forefront in terms of thinking about their global identity in this rapidly shifting world, she said. Artists are part of this light.

Protesters mini Stonehenge rockblock in Hong Kong. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

Five months later, Chen has been proven right. Her understanding of art, and more importantly, her understanding of humanity, has led me to realize that the most meaningful and relevant creative expressions are living on the streets, rather than inside perfect white cubes insulated from the real world.

Often made anonymously by groups of Hong Kong people who are determined to fight an impossible fight, these creative expressionsgraffiti, songs, protest signs, memes, Stonehenge-looking roadblocks, and even performative protestsrepresent the demands, dreams, hopes, and fears of the people of this former British colony as they struggle to retain its freedoms and systems under the rule of the Peoples Republic of China before the 50 years unchanged promise expires in 2047.

Graffiti that reads Hongkongers, revenge. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

The protests sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill have morphed into a much larger scale pro-democracy movement, and the symbolism has expanded, too. These creative outputs have not only transformed public spaces into a living gallery of visual culture, but have also played an important role in keeping the movement vital and engaging. It is no coincidence that a record number of artists ran for public office during the most recent Hong Kong electionsand won.

When I walk pass a Lennon Wall and look at the post-its, graffiti, and posters spelling out protest slogans such as Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times or Five Demands, Not One Less,I often ask myself: Is it art? But what is art, anyway? A banana duck-taped on the wall sold for $120,000? Or an object of desire made with impeccable craftsmanship?

Art, to me, is an honest statement, and what I see in the streets and in images circulating in cyberspace are expressions that require both artistic skillbe it drawing, design, or street calligraphyand sincerity. They are the product of hybrid cultural influences inherited from Chinese tradition, Japanese pop culture, the Western world, as well as Hong Kongs cinema heritage, Canto-pop, street humor, and cynicism.

Christmas card from Hong Kong protesters.

These creative outputs embody a unique Hong Kong cultural identity, but can also resonate with a global audience. They borrow icons and memes from other cultures and reinvent a new identity for them, such as Pepe the Frog, which was reimagined as an irreverent symbol of Hong Kongs resistance and resilience rather than the symbol of hate co-opted by the alt-right in the United States. And more importantly, these visual expressions are the vessels of the pain and trauma Hong Kong people have experienced over the past six monthspeople whose voices have been muted by a government that fails to respond to their demands. Some have resorted to violence out of desperation, but many have also turned to art and creativity as their weapon of choice. Their creations might not be perfect, but they are genuine. They are peoples art.

Protesters in fiberglass masks of Pepe the Frog and LIHKG Pig at the December 8 protest. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

What will be interesting to see next is how artists distill all this to express themselves with their own artistic language. Some have already begun, but there will be more to come in the next decade or so. And as the movement is still ongoing, so is the pain and traumabut I have absolute faith in the future of Hong Kong art. That, now more than ever, is what makes this city one of the most interesting places to write about art.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz began writing when he was over the age of 40. Being in such a rapidly changing Hong Kong at age 41, I feel that my career has only just begun. I am looking at the world around me, and at art, with fresh eyes.

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Ive Been Reporting From the Front Lines of the Hong Kong Protests. Heres What It Taught Me About the Power of Art - artnet News

White Power Hand Signal Used During Army-Navy Game – West Point, Annapolis Investigating – Jim Heath TV

Questions erupted during the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia when students appeared to make the White Power hand symbol during a pregame broadcast.

Spokespersons from the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy told reporters late today they have been made aware of the issue which blossomed on social media as the game wore on and the schools are looking into it.

A spokesperson for West Point said the academy was investigating and did not know the Cadets intent.

ESPNs Rece Davis was doing a standup segment at Lincoln Financial Field at the 120th meeting of the service academies when a Cadet held up a flag that said Go Army Beat Navy and began laughing.

Someone on the Midshipmen side who was out of the frame then appeared to make the one-handed symbol, and did it until someone wearing a glove tapped them on the hand.

Then a gloved hand appeared in the frame on the Cadet side with the upside-down OK symbol, and finally a Cadet appeared to make the symbol next to Davis head.

The Anti-Defamation League in September added the OK symbol as a gesture of hate.

Last year, a Coast Member member was suspended after using the white power sign during a live television report.

The OK signal is tied to an alt-right meme of the cartoon Pepe the Frog holding his hand up making the gesture.

The cartoon frog was adopted by white supremacists.

In October, Universal Studios Resort fired an actor dressed as a Despicable Me character after the person was accused of using the symbol.

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White Power Hand Signal Used During Army-Navy Game - West Point, Annapolis Investigating - Jim Heath TV

Alexander the Bot: The Twitter War for the Macedonian Soul – Balkan Insight

For Cheese, the ban on appropriation of the Classical Hellenic emblem with its distinctive pointy rays was the latest act of surrender in a bitter fight over Macedonian identity.

It was part of a historic deal with Greece to end a 30-year dispute over his countrys use of the name Macedonia which Athens argued implied territorial ambitions over a northern Greek province of the same name and its ancient legacy of Alexander the Great.

Under the deal signed in July 2018, the former Yugoslav republic had to change maps and textbooks, abandon all use of the Vergina Sun and the ultimate betrayal, in Cheeses view rechristen itself North Macedonia.

Sitting in an outdoor cafe as dusk descended, he vowed never to sully his lips with the new name.

Im a patriot, and I just dont want my countrys name to be changed, he told BIRN.

Few people know Cheeses true identity, though many are familiar with his nationalist views. He is, in fact, Goran Kostovski, a 38-year-old marketing company worker from the capital, Skopje.

With almost 10,000 Twitter followers on three continents, Kostovski led a social media campaign in 2018 urging Macedonians to boycott a referendum on implementing the name-change deal, known as the Prespa agreement after the lake near which it was signed.

While the Prespa deal promised to unblock Greek opposition to the countrys hopes of joining NATO and the EU, critics saw it as a compromise too far. They hoped a low turnout in the September 2018 referendum would invalidate the result.

It made no sense to tell the world to vote no in the referendum because we feared the government would distort the results, Kostovski said. We had to boycott the referendum first.

Prompting street protests at home and drumming up diaspora dollars abroad, the #boycott campaign was a runaway success.

While 95 per cent of those who voted in the referendum were in favour of the name-change deal, turnout was only 37 per cent well short of the 50 per cent minimum threshold.

Though parliament later ratified the Prespa agreement anyway, experts say the victory for voter suppression was due in part to a new type of information warfare increasingly seen in nationalist circles.

Known as computation propaganda, it is what the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University calls the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics.

Few have mastered the art better than Kostovski, though he is cagey about the methods he uses.

You can say were bots, but that doesnt mean its true, he said, referring to the new foot soldiers of the online propaganda war: bogus Twitter accounts programmed to behave like humans.

Weve blurred your thinking so you dont know where our campaign is coming from, and you dont know where to look first.

While much has been said of Balkan troll farms and fake news factories, less is known about the impact of computational propaganda on the workings of democracy in the region.

A BIRN investigation into nationalist networks on both sides of the name dispute lifts the lid on the online tricks employed to amplify political messages and distort public opinion.

It is a journey into an underworld of computer code and conspiracy theories, where ghost users and Twitterbots meet far-right extremism in a digital hall of mirrors.

As much fake buzz as fake news, the activity is designed to create the false impression of a giant online conversation so opinion-makers such as journalists and activists sit up and take notice.

In this way, experts say a small group of geeks with laptops can exert an influence way out of whack with their actual numbers, with worrying implications for democratic discourse.

Disinformation spin cycle

At the government headquarters in Skopje, the countrys new official name Republic of North Macedonia greets visitors as they approach the Ionic columns of the building, renovated five years ago to look like the White House in Washington, DC.

It is a stones throw from the citys main square, where a statue of Alexander the Great on a stallion looms over a Classical-style fountain the result of a taxpayer-funded makeover of Skopje to give it a more antiquarian feel.

Many saw the revamp announced in 2010 as an architectural thumbing of the nose at Greece by the government of then Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski after Athens vetoed his countrys accession to NATO in 2008.

Inside government headquarters, Demijan Hadzi-Angelovski, a 28-year-old social media expert at the information ministry, recalled how 10 or so influential Twitter accounts sought to dominate the news agenda in the run-up to the Prespa referendum.

Every day, three times a day, a different user would send one or two provocative tweets, which would then be liked and retweeted by an army of automated accounts, he said.

The idea was to trend on Twitter and get picked up by big news aggregators like Time.mk.

Their goal was to have the news sites view and reproduce these tweets, to make the information more credible, he said. They then re-posted the news in a washing machine news cycle.

Their goal was to have the news sites view and reproduce these tweets, to make the information more credible. They then re-posted the news in a washing machine news cycle.

Demijan Hadzi-Angelovski, government social media expert

According to Information Minister Damjan Manchevski, who oversaw the governments pro-Prespa referendum campaign, much of the recycled content was fake news designed to discredit the agreement.

More than 10 per cent of articles in that period were pure misinformation, Manchevski told BIRN in an interview. The bots on Twitter were the main source of fake news.

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Alexander the Bot: The Twitter War for the Macedonian Soul - Balkan Insight

Overwhelming illustrations put the internet in your eyeballs – Fast Company

I dont know what I just looked at. It involved a Nintendo 64 controller, that much is for certain. But then, what else? I believe there were dinosaurs? Gadgets? Disembodied breasts? I cant say for certain. I just remember a psychedelic fever dream, one seen through a 13-year-old male gaze. Or perhaps a glimpse into the id of the internet itself.

This is what its like to explore the work of Daniel Keogh, a 22-year-old self-taught illustrator out of Bendigo, Australia. His pieces are visual onslaughts of internet memes, famous cartoon characters, and a whole lot of other free-association 1990s kid junk piled in, too.

I suppose Im just going for a sensory overload, whether its by color or sheer volume of content, says Keogh. I just want my art to make people stop and look, to be so full of information its undeniable.

In another frame, I see a portrait of Jesus next to an AR15, next to a coconut drink, next to the Facebook Like button, next to a pink sprinkled donut. Its like piles and piles of the familiar references of pop artists, told through the lens of social media sensibilities. Its like the piece visualizes the daily online struggle of caring about gun control, someone elses beach photos, and a grammable dessert all in split-second scrolling succession.

At first glance, the pieces appear to be pure chaos, but while the content is certainly random at times, the way Keogh actually constructs his layouts is akin to making a mandala. Over three days of drawing with a pen, Keogh works from a center focal point outward, carefully balancing each side with column shapes to ensure a sense of structure and symmetry. (Color is added digitally once the ink is scanned into a computer.)

His most striking montage may be an overwhelming pile of heads called Meme Supreme.It shows every animated and cartoon personality from the past decade in one gigantic frame, from Arthur, to Naruto, to Bart Simpson, to Piccolo, to Pepe the Frog, to Yoshi. Across the frame, Keogh effortlessly mocks anime and PBS cartoons alike. A lot of my earliest memories are sitting at kitchen tables trying to replicate images from Mad Magazine, so I think thats where the ability to draw cartoons has come from, says Keogh.

You can find more of Keoghs work on Instagram. He also sells prints starting at $135 apiece.

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Overwhelming illustrations put the internet in your eyeballs - Fast Company

Decade list: Top trends and memes – UNR The Nevada Sagebrush

Jayme Sileo / Nevada Sagebrush

Doge: The Decades Dog

The man, the myth, the meme. The dog we all know and love, and the subject of thousands of internet jokes. The meme uses a photo of a Shiba Inu dog with short, two-word phrases starting with modifiers like so, much, such, many, and very, to emphasize the subject as well as colorful text in Comic Sans font. First introduced to the internet in 2013, Kabuso the Shiba Inu was adopted in 2008 by a kindergarten teacher in Japan. The original image was posted in a blog post in 2010. It quickly took off over the next few years, peaking in 2013 and then resurging again in 2019.

Doge was not only a meme, as the dogs photo was used to communicate through a very specific medium. Kabuso was used by politicians and advertisers, and became a weather app, a cryptocurrency and an adaption of the popular puzzle game at the time, 2048. Kabusos story, like many other dogs and humans, invites questions about the moral consequences of making a meme.

Memes have become an important part of communication and culture. Essentially, a meme is an inside joke that anyone with internet access can be a part of. The flip side of easy and fun communication, is the lack of consent from many meme subjects to have their photos portrayed in certain ways. While most content is lighthearted, in the past decade popular memes have often been used by those full of hatred to spread that hate. Many may remember racist and antisemetic Pepe the Frog memes which surfaced during the 2016 election. Although the original artists interpretation had nothing to do with race or ethnicity, the photo was used to suit others own cruel intentions.

Does one bad apple ruin the whole bunch, or will cruel people continue to be cruel regardless of the mediums provided? In the end, no one can control the churning beast of information called the internet, so be mindful and meme on.

Jayme Sileo

Baby Yoda

An icon, a star on the rise and to some a glorified gremlin. The recent streaming service, Disney+, has blessed its audiences with a beloved new character to the Star Wars franchise. Making his first debut on the Disney+ original series, The Mandalorian, stealing the hearts of the internet. Baby Yoda is by far the best thing to come out of Disney+ for a number of reasons. Aside from dramatic fight scenes, the real star of the show has been baby Yoda. Though the character has little to say, he has gained love and admiration from fans through his simple actions including silent sips and portrayal of his taste in music. Disney has been praised for its decision in revamping the character itself and the franchise that has grossed millions of fans worldwide.

-Laura Rivas

The Natural Hair Movement

In this decade, more black women began to wear their hair natural. Going natural is a process where an individual will stop using certain chemicals and remedies that straighten their hair. The Los Angeles Times reported 71 percent of black adults in the U.S. wore their hair naturally at least once in 2016. In the natural hair movement, the idea of good hair is all hair types. Although one in five black women feel social pressure to straighten their hair for work, Mintel reported that hair relaxer, a product which chemically straightens textured hair, sales dropped from $206million in 2008 to $152million in 2013. They also found an 11 percent increase in the number of black women who wear their hair natural, without using hair products that chemically straighten naturally curly hair.

Taylor Johnson

Old Town Road and all of its remixes

Youve heard it at some point. It was unavoidable. Old Town Road, and its four remixed versions, topped the charts for weeks on end. The song itself was a meme to some and a bop to others. Every time you scrolled on Twitter for a moment or two, youd be met with at least one video of someone dancing to it, or my personal favorite, Lil Nas X performing the song to a room full of elementary school children absolutely losing their minds as they sang along. The tune was genre bending and left the internet and the world a better place.

-Olivia Ali

The Nevada Sagebrush end of the decade lists are made from staff contributions. Any of the writers can be reached at vrendon@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush.

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Decade list: Top trends and memes - UNR The Nevada Sagebrush

Our Top 5 Fav Memes From The Decade – 5Why

Ah, memes, these somehow irrelevant but crucial lil companions in our lives.

With the imminent arrival of 2020, this decade has a lot of to reminisce on including the memes it produced (Donald Trump, and a frog at the most). As the internet boomed after 2010, the OG meme-sphere of Reddit & 4Chan welcomed memes all over Twitter to now every single social media platform you can think of.

If you werent surviving on memes in your teens through this decade, then what were you even doing?

So, what better way to celebrate the end of 2019 than to go back in time and allow you peeps to ride through the meme wave of this decade. Some of these bad boys were way over-used on your social feeds, and others you probably forgot about lets get some awesome nostalgia.

Pepe is the best from r/memes

Sad Pepe from r/memes

I mean there you have it, a frog that boomed into a meme icon. Pepe is cute, sad, relatable and definitely a top 5 contender no doubt.

Not only is this meme a classic, but it merges a bunch of other memes.

Distracted boyfriend Jesus/Santa from r/dankchristianmemes

So. goddamn. accurate.

AKA the birth of Karen.

After the release of this movie earlier in 2019, Im positive I saw a new joker meme every goddamn day, mark my words, this one will be forever historic.

Joker and mini joker dancing from r/MemeTemplatesOfficial

Joker gets hit by a car from r/MemeTemplatesOfficial

AKA WHeN EvERyoNe sTaRteD TaLkiNg LiKe ThIS.

Spongebob memes always have high returns. BUY!

Although these were our top 5, we couldnt leave you without some iconic memes that surfed the 2010s up until now.

Here are some honourable mentions that we wanted to include.

Success Kid from r/memes

Willy Wonka on Facebook from r/memes

me irl from r/me_irl

Confused math lady actually knows what shes doing from r/memes

If youre still looking to satisfy your meme fix, scroll through our meme tag the best memes of the decades are all documented and reporting for duty.

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Our Top 5 Fav Memes From The Decade - 5Why

Hong Kongers mark half year protest anniversary with huge rally – Capital FM Kenya

Sundays march was given rare permission to go ahead AFP / Anthony WALLACE

By AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, Hong Kong, China, Dec 8 Vast crowds of democracy protesters thronged Hong Kongs streets on Sunday in a forceful display of support for the movement on its six-month anniversary, as organisers warned the citys pro-Beijing leaders they had a last chance to end the political crisis.

Tens of thousands snaked their way through the financial hubs main island under crisp winter skies in what looked set to be the biggest turnout in months.

The rally, which received rare police permission, comes two weeks after pro-establishment parties got a drubbing in local elections, shattering government claims that a silent majority opposed the protests.

Many of those attending voiced anger that chief executive Carrie Lam and Beijing have ruled out any further concessions despite the landslide election defeat.

No matter how we express our views, through peacefully marching, through civilised elections, the government wont listen, said a 50-year-old protester, who gave his surname Wong. It only follows orders from the Chinese Communist Party.

What has been stirred up in society the past few months wont simply fade away if the government refuses to solve the problem of systematic injustice, added Sirius Tam, 21, who donned a giant mask of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character who has become an irreverent symbol of the protests.

Rare permission

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been battered by increasingly violent demonstrations in the starkest challenge the city has presented to Beijing since its 1997 handover from Britain.

Millions have hit the streets in protests fuelled by years of growing fears that authoritarian China is stamping out the citys liberties.

The last fortnight has seen a marked drop in street battles and protester vandalism after the landslide win by pro-democracy candidates.

Police took the unusual step of allowing the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) to hold Sundays march the first time the group has been granted permission since mid-August but they warned they would have zero tolerance for violence by radicals.

The movements demands include an independent inquiry into the polices handling of the protests, an amnesty for those arrested, and fully free elections.

This is the last chance given by the people to Carrie Lam, CHRF leader Jimmy Sham said.

The protests are largely leaderless and organised online. They were initially sparked by a now-abandoned attempt to allow extraditions to the mainland but have since morphed into a popular revolt against Beijings rule.

The CHRF, which advocates non-violence, has been the main umbrella group behind record-breaking rallies earlier in the summer that saw huge crowds regularly march in searing heat.

Authorities have repeatedly banned major rallies in recent months citing the risk of violence from hardcore protesters.

Large crowds have simply ignored the bans, sparking near-weekly tear gas and petrol bomb clashes that have upended Hong Kongs reputation for stability and helped tip the city into recession.

Police seize weapons

But fears of violence remain.

Hours before the march was due to kick off, police displayed weapons, including a pistol and knives, they said had been found during overnight raids where eleven people were arrested.

We believe the group planned to use the weapons to incite chaos during the march later today and impugn the police, senior superintendent Lee Kwai-Wa, from the citys organised crime bureau, told reporters.

Monday marks the six-month anniversary of the protests during which some 6,000 people have been arrested and hundreds injured, including police.

Online forums used to organise the movements more radical wing have vowed to target the morning commute on Monday if there is no response from Lam.

Years of huge, peaceful democracy marches have made little headway, leading to increased radicalisation among some Hong Kong protesters and a greater willingness to embrace violent tactics.

But there is little sign Lam is willing to budge, leading to fears the lull in street clashes will be temporary.

Since the local elections the citys chief executive has remained steadfast in her opposition to further concessions and Beijing has stuck by her even as she languishes with record low approval ratings.

The police forces reputation has also taken a hammering.

Police have defended their handling of the protests and say their force has matched rising violence from hardcore protesters.

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Hong Kongers mark half year protest anniversary with huge rally - Capital FM Kenya

Hong Kong and Cartoons: Art and Its Influence in the Pro-Democracy Protests – The Bagpipe

For anyone who has been living under a rock (or on top of a rock I guess), the protests in Hong Kong have now reached their fifth month of continuation. First initiated by opposition to an extradition bill passed in March, these protests have begun to draw international support such as the American Congress passing of bills in support of the defense of human rights and liberties in Hong Kong. On June 15, after 13 weeks of protests, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam announced that the government would suspend the bill.

The protests did not end, however. Many believed that the government had not done enough and a broader democractic regime change movement ensued. As of October 29, these protests show no sign of stopping anytime soon. But how has this movement been able to continue with increasing support?

Very early in the movements lifespan, cartoonists quickly began satirizing the extradition bill that Lams government had passed. Popular cartoonists such as Badicuao and Zuni released images depicting all sorts of rhetoric in favor of the protestors.

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Hong Kong and Cartoons: Art and Its Influence in the Pro-Democracy Protests - The Bagpipe

How Donald Trump Jr. Landed Smack in the Middle of a Right-Wing Civil War – The Daily Beast

Donald Trump Jr. had just started talking about his new book at UCLA on Sunday when someone in the audience began imitating actor Joaquin Phoenixs unsettlingly loud laughter from Joker.

As the cackles filled the auditorium, Trump Jr. looked into the crowd, unsure whether what he was saying was really that funny.

Things only got worse from there.

Audience members began demanding a chance to question Trump Jr. and the events host, young conservative star and Turning Point USA chief Charlie Kirk. Over chants of Q&A!, Trump Jr.s girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, took the mic to call her boyfriends detractors losers.

I bet you engage in online dating, because youre impressing no one here to get a date in person, Guilfoyle said.

Unsurprisingly, that didnt win over Trump Jr.s critics. The trio of embattled conservative stars eventually left the stage amid shouts of Q&A and America First.

And their fringe-right hecklers, who call themselves Groypers in a nod to an obese alt-right cartoon toad thats like Pepe the Frog but more racist,notched another win in their new battle against mainstream conservatives.

What a HUGE victory today, 22-year-old white nationalist Nick Fuentes wrote on encrypted messaging app Telegram after the event. Cannot be understated what an incredible win we saw at UCLA.

Whether he knew it or not, Trump Jr. had walked straight into a right-wing civil war that pits Fuentes and his allies against more mainstream conservative stars, including Kirk, podcaster Ben Shapiro, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).

Fuentes, who marched in the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville and has made remarks denying the Holocaust, has encouraged his far-right fans to confront conservative figures at Q&A sessions across the country since October. Fuentes and other anti-Semitic personalities coach their supporters on what questions to ask and even how to behave at the events, encouraging them to use Donald Trumps America First rhetoric but aim it at questioning legal immigration, the role of LGBT people in the Trump movement, or United States support for Israel.

Ahead of the UCLA event, Fuentes told his fans to avoid questions about Israel, instead focusing on embarrassing Kirk and hurting his relationship with the Trump family.

The name of the game tomorrow is to expose Kirk in front of Don Jr., Fuentes wrote.

The campus Q&A has long been an asset for figures like frequent White House guest Kirk and right-wing comedian Steven Crowder, who stars in a meme featuring him sitting next to a sign urging his political foes change my mind. Compilations of Shapiro shutting down campus liberals are big draws on YouTube, often captioned with the phrase Ben Shapiro Thug Life to underscore his rhetorical skills.

But this fall, Fuentes and his white-nationalist associates have turned the viral potential of the Q&A sessions against mainstream conservatives. Instead of deftly batting away campus leftists, Kirk and his allies are left to struggle to respond to questioners couching racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic messaging in Trumpism.

Turning Point has dealt with racists in the past, but usually theyre coming from inside the group. In 2017, The New Yorker reported on racist messages sent by a top Turning Point official. In May, the group banned one of its campus leaders after he appeared in a video yelling white power and using racial slurs.

A Turning Point spokesman said in a statement that the Q&A portion of Trump Jr.s speech had been canceled days before the event.

This was a Turning Point USA event and it was our organizations decision to cancel the Q&A portion days before after we were made aware of a pre-planned effort to disrupt the event, the statement reads. The event was not cut short or ended early, as in lieu of the Q&A we simply extended the amount of time given to our VIPs for their remarks.

Trump Jr. wasnt their first target. On Friday, a Turning Point event featuring Crenshaw at Arizona State University was besieged by Groypers, egged on by Charlottesville marcher and alt-right internet video personality Timothy Baked Alaska Gionet.

What do you call yourselves? The groppers? Its a very strange name. These guys are the Alt Right 2.0.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw

One Crenshaw antagonist kicked off the Q&A by asking Crenshaw, a Navy veteran, about the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that left 34 crew members dead. Inquiries in the United States and Israel found that the attack was an accident, but it has become a popular talking point for Fuentes and his supporters.

What do you call yourselves? Crenshaw responded. The Groppers? Its a very strange name. These guys are the Alt Right 2.0.

As Crenshaw faced increasingly hostile questioning, friendly audience members tried to create a separate question line to get around Crenshaws critics. As the event ended, Gionet and his allies attempted to reach Crenshaw at the stage but were blocked by Turning Point members.

Fuentes feud with Turning Point appears to date back to at least March, when he tried to give a speech at Iowa State University on a purported invite from a Turning Point chapter there. Then, in September, Turning Point fired one of its ambassadors, MAGA personality Ashley St. Clair, after she appeared in a picture smiling with Fuentes and other far-right internet personalities. In late October, Fuentes tried to take a picture with Kirkapparently in an attempt to embarrass himbefore being stopped by security guards.

Fuentes attacks have put some pressure on Turning Point. Since the Groyper war began, two the leaders of two Turning Point chapters have dissolved their groups, citing sympathy for Fuentes or claiming that Turning Point is stifling their free speech.

Last week, Shapiro devoted much of a speech sponsored by another campus group, Young Americas Foundation, to denouncing Fuentes and his cohort. Shapiro highlighted a video in which Fuentes denied the Holocaust using an elaborate metaphor about the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster, as well as a post immediately after the Charlottesville march where Fuentes attacked a rootless transnational elite.

Shapiro also brought up Fuentes attack on Matt Walsh, a columnist at Shapiros Daily Wire, whom Fuentes called a shabbos goy race traitor for attacking white supremacists in the wake of the El Paso shooting.

But maybe he was just being ironic, bro, Shapiro said, mocking Fuentes defenders.

The fight has drawn in a host of conservative personalities on either side. Conspiracy-theory hub Infowars has been generally supportive of Fuentes, describing his targets as grifters from Conservatism, Inc. Columnist Ann Coulter has retweeted messages supporting the attacks on Kirk, while writer Michelle Malkin praised the questioners in a radio appearance and downplayed the racist and anti-Semitic nature of their group.

Its breaking out on college campuses now, Malkin said. There are many young, and very intelligent and sharp nationalists that are challenging Charlie Kirk and some other members of the open-borders lobby in the Republican Party.

Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka has blasted Fuentes and his fans, calling Fuentes a Holocaust Denying scumbag on Twitter.

Lets show these reprehensible, disgusting anti-Semites who America really is, Gorka told Kirk on his radio show.

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How Donald Trump Jr. Landed Smack in the Middle of a Right-Wing Civil War - The Daily Beast

Theater Review: The Slow Launch and Rapid Rise of Dr. Rides American Beach House – Vulture

From Dr. Rides American Beach House, at Ars Nova. Photo: Ben Arons

The names of the women in Liza Birkenmeiers Dr. Rides American Beach House will automatically make you cast your mind back 30 years. Not just the Dr. Ride in the title the physicist Sally Ride who was the first American woman in space in 1983 but the quartet of fictional Missouri ladies who do-si-do around each other and a summer rooftop in St. Louis. Primarily theres Harriet (Kristen Sieh) and Matilda (Erin Markey), best friends who at first seem interchangeable in their mauve waitress uniforms. Their old-fashioned names will remind you of the plucky heroines from books you read when you had scraped knees and bugbites girls who were spies, rebels, avengers, and role models. We dont talk about men on the roof, says Harriet at one point, extremely inaccurately (she has recently finished a shaggy-dog story about a shaggy dude). But everything about the setting high above an unseen street below and the womens joshing, unguarded voices makes it seem like were peeping into a No Boys Allowed treehouse.

Harriet and Matilda are, though, adults, having come as a matched set through Catholic-school upbringing and twin (unused) graduate degrees in poetry. Theyre often entwined with each other, talking close, and its unclear which one is dominant: Is it charismatic loudmouth Matilda or Harriet of the hidden depths? Both refer to male partners, a Luke and an Arthur, who barely figure; Matilda even has a daughter who has diarrhea like a leaking Hot Pocket, she announces while squirming out a window and onto the tar-paper roof. But sick kid or no, Matilda wouldnt miss an installment of the Two Serious Ladies Book Club, her social hour with Harriet, when they can sing A Groovy Kind of Love and drink beer and eat Breyers out of the tub. Since its the night before Rides blastoff, we often hear the male news announcers through a crackly radio, talking about the countdown. Occasionally Harriets landlady, Norma (Susan Blommaert), pops onto the roof with concerns about a dripping air conditioner, and eventually Meg (Marga Gomez) arrives, a new book-club recruit. But theyre satellites to Harriet and Matilda, Matilda and Harriet.

Your queerness Geiger counter should be shorting out by now. Two Serious Ladies is a sapphic classic by Jane Bowles about shucking convention and living as you wish; Sally Ride herself lived privately, coming out of the closet only in her obituary. Shes a lesbian, announces Meg confidently, recognizing a sister, though the others still believe what theyve read in Time magazine. Meg is the one who actually asks about the Harriet and Matildas relationship, who nudges them about sex, who can see that the women are thrashing emotionally together like fish in a net. God knows Markeys raspy drawl could generate heat with a standing lamp, and Sieh has a way of seeming very rigid while also swaying, barely, towards the person speaking.

Birkenmeier and the director, Katie Brook, have built the show as a slow burn the sun dies in the blue-painted sky (Kimie Nishikawa designed the set), and a trick of Ben Williamss sound and Oona Curleys light make the place seem hot and sticky and exactly midwestern. The women do start to melt into each other, but its not some straightforward romance: Birkenmeier and Brook are interested in all the nuances of liking and knowing and needing. Theres the ebb and flow of realistic talk, a bit of light binocular voyeurism, and Harriet relays some stories from her recent trip to Florida. The stories kind of wander into each other Harriet often fades off at the end of sentence but the parable is clear: Shes learned at last to ask for what she wants. Then, after 80 luscious minutes of conversation, the company somehow has material for a whole nother play, a ten-minute scorcher between Sally Ride (Sieh) and an old friend Molly (Markey). NASAs phallic rocket waiting on its launchpad is forgotten; the women stare into each others eyes. The play itself just keeps soaring up and up and up.

Im still working out whats happening in Dr. Ride, because despite its casual humor and dizzying erotic atmosphere, theres something clean-lined and literary under it. Everythings been so carefully considered that it plays out like a formal court dance: each gesture mirrored, every movement countered by a partner. Even the way the women talk about poetry calls your attention to how landlady Norma talks in syncopated rhythms, pausing as if her thoughts contained the long dashes and caesuras out of Dickinson. In fact, Markey, Blommaert, and Gomez all speak with a kind of metered, emphatic artificiality theyre real and funny, but theyre deliberately letting us hear their line breaks as line breaks. Sieh, on the other hand, seems to be having all these thoughts for the first time. Ive been watching Kristen Sieh for more than a dozen years, and I keep thinking she cant surprise me again. I already know walking in that shes great. But then shell go and be the best Viola in Twelfth Night that Ive ever seen, or shell slay me playing Teddy Roosevelt in a big old mustache. Here shes at her most pure and radiant, a narrow, determined candle flame. I think I must have looked too long at her face in the blue light of the final scene, because its been stamped on my retina like it was burned there.

From Radioholes Now Serving. Photo: Maria Baranova

If your theater appetite hasnt been slaked by 90 minutes of beers and Breyers with Dr. Ride, then Id recommend the Radiohole show Now Serving, back at Collapsible Hole in the West Village. I saw this short production in January, when it was swamped by the several experimental theater festivals that fight it out in the first weeks of the year, but now theres nothing of comparative weirdness to steal its thunder. Radiohole, to be honest, doesnt have a lot of competition in its genre: elegantly repulsive gorgeosity, something only avant-garde art vampires could come up with.

In Now Serving, a perverted banquet with live violin accompaniment, the Radiohole gang invites the audience (or part of it) to dine with them. Theres an elaborate intake situation, in which three women in severe 1940s hats greet the theatergoers at teller windows. Eventually, were ushered to our seats or to the table, a Twin Peaks orgy of black and red, where participants decant wine from IV bags and nod politely as the ladies (Amanda Bender, Maggie Hoffman, and Erin Douglass) talk Dadaistically about the frustrations of the patriarchy. Theres a man in a Pepe the Frog costume (Eric Dyer) who is kind of a servant? Or a sex toy? Or a sacrifice? Or a meatloaf? I remember some upsetting stuff around arugula, and Kristin Worrall go-to chef for downtown experimenters presents desserts that are meant to taste like mascarpone and clitoris. The dialogue frequently lurches into body horror: Nobody else in the world knows how to kill the long pig is the sort of line that keeps you up at night. (Long pig is supposedly what Pacific Islanders called human flesh.) And why do they keep describing the food as consensual?

I admit I didnt have the stones to sit at the table in January, but Ive worked up my courage and Id do it now. Its a chance to be absorbed into a Peter Greenaway film, into a Terry Gilliam landscape, into the weird fantasies of dreamers from David Lynchs Black Lodge. If youre a Radiohole virgin, this would be the right show to take your first steps with, since its swift and service-oriented and willing to feed you. The danger is, the tastes addictive. Im hoping to go back, and I dont usually see things twice. So how do you kill the long pig? Shouldnt I face the arugula and find out?

Dr. Rides American Beach House is at Ars Nova at Greenwich House through November 23.Now Serving is at the Collapsible Hole through November 16.

Read more:

Theater Review: The Slow Launch and Rapid Rise of Dr. Rides American Beach House - Vulture


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