Page 11234..1020..»

Category Archives: Zeitgeist Movement

Hollywood Has a New Profit Model: Its Own Scandals – OZY

Posted: December 4, 2019 at 9:45 am

For the November launch of The Morning Show, Apple hosted a lavish premiere at New York Citys Lincoln Center complete with klieg lights, celebrity guests and black-carpet (the new red?) appearances by the shows stars, including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

The event announced Apples foray into original TV through its Apple TV+ service. But the tech giant is far from alone in betting on projects that deal directly, if in fictionalized form, with the sexual misconduct scandals that have rocked the media industry in the past few years.

Morning Show stars Aniston and Witherspoon, for example, also helped develop the series through their respective production companies, Echo Films and Hello Sunshine. Likewise, Charlize Theron has a producer credit on Bombshell (which she also stars in), a Lionsgate film dramatizing the downfall of Fox News founder Roger Ailes at the hands of female staffers and on-air talent who exposed years of sexual abuse accusations against him.

These kinds of news stories are kind of pre-sold because everyone already knows the basic narrative structure of whats going to happen.

Robert Thompson, Syracuse University

Hollywood has long reflected the zeitgeist, from films like the Watergate-era All the Presidents Men to The Big Short, which follows the 2008 financial crash. But The Morning Show is part of a new wave of projects, ones that reflect how the media industry is turning its own recent wrongs into profits, even as the events they focus on are playing out in ongoing investigations, litigation and press coverage. Backed by some of Hollywoods most powerful women, theyre also part of the #MeToo movement, supercharged by the misconduct they portray.

Annapurna Pictures and Plan B Entertainment have snapped up film rights to She Said. The book by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey recounts how they investigated and broke the story of movie mogul Harvey Weinsteins long history of alleged sexual misconduct.

They want to use the platform they have to put a stop to this as much as possible, says Karie Bible, box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, about the prominent part women are playing in bringing these stories to the screen.

These projects are equally fueled by the demands of peak content and time-tested dramatic elements, including high-profile figures in peril, sex scandals and revenge. For producers and studios, the hope is that it all adds up to a ready-made audience.

Thesekinds of news stories adapted for film and TV are kind of pre-sold becauseeveryone already knows the basic narrative structure of whats going tohappen, says Robert Thompson, a professor at Syracuse Universitys NewhouseSchool of Public Communications.

Thats true even for a fictional series like The Morning Show, which parallels the removal of Matt Lauer from the Today show after sexual harassment allegations against the co-host surfaced in 2017. Everyone knows its the Matt Lauer story, so you dont have to show salacious clips to sell it, says Thompson.

These dramas invariably involve figures familiar to the public. The reason these stories are getting so much focus is not because theyre about the media business itself, but about well-known people, says Henry McGee, a former HBO executive who lectures on business administration at Harvard Business School.

If thats not enough to lure audiences, key roles are attracting A-list Hollywood talent. Along with Aniston and Witherspoon, The Morning Show boasts Steve Carell, while Bombshell features a trio of stars: Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.

Three great roles for three top-caliber actresses, says Bible. That doesnt happen every day.

Whether the star-studded cast and societal relevance will translate into big box office for Bombshell is hard to predict, say experts. At the end of the day, a movie has to bring you in and entertain you even while youre receiving a message, says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. It still has to be [a] good movie.

Bombshell opens only months after The Loudest Voice, the Showtime limited series starring Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts that ran this summer and also dealt with the Ailes scandal. Meanwhile, the Clint Eastwood-directed Richard Jewell also questions ethics in the media industry, suggesting that an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter offered sex in return for tips. The newspaper has pushed back, disputing the movies depiction.

For its part, The Morning Show has drawn mixed critical response (a 62 percent fresh rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes) but appears to have intrigued potential viewers.

Leading up to its Nov. 1 premiere, it was among the 10 most-searched TV titles, according to MiDiA Research, which tracks audience metrics across 410 shows. With the subscription-based Apple TV+ just launching, though, it will take more time to judge whether interest in The Morning Show leads to more Apple TV+ sign-ups.

That said, this age of peak content means steady demand for material that aspires to capture the cultural moment. Think of series like HBOs Succession, which portrays the owners of a media and hospitality empire at war among themselves, or Netflixs Black Mirror, which explores the unintended consequences of technology.

Combine that trend with the #MeToo era, and I suspect were going to see a lot more of these stories, says the Newhouse Schools Thompson.

Go here to read the rest:

Hollywood Has a New Profit Model: Its Own Scandals - OZY

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on Hollywood Has a New Profit Model: Its Own Scandals – OZY

‘Cancel Culture’ wins Macquarie Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year – Happy Mag

Posted: at 9:45 am

Macquarie Dictionary has announced cancel culture as its Word Of The Year,beating out the likes of thicc and robodebt to take the 2019 title.

Macquarie Dictionarys selection criteria for Word of the Year is based on which word best reflects the year that passed, and one wouldnt be amiss for feeling like cancel culture may reflect the last few.

Cancel culture is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary as a:

call for or bring about the withdrawl of support from [for] a public figure, such as cancellation of an acting role, a ban on playing an artists music, removal from social media, etc., usually in response to an accusation of a socially unacceptable action or comment by the figure.

The zeitgeist has been riddled with cancel culture and call-out culture for a few years now. From the heights of the #metoo controversies which oversaw the toppling of multiple celebrity empires to comedians getting railed for the social media faux pas of their past, no one in the spotlight is safe from the ire of the twitter populace.

Theres no doubt that the outcomes of holding powerful people accountable for their actions have completely changed the trajectory of social dynamics. With the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey being exposed as sex offenders and a few Aussie music darlings outed as complete douche-canoes, the movement has had an overwhelmingly positive effect.

However, many critics of it (former President Barack Obama and comedian Sarah Silverman to name a few) say that its gone too far.

It sure holds a controversial place in pop culture history. Having publicly exhumed the social hierarchy of man with power does what he wants many people in the crosshairs of cancel culture have also, albeit arguably, copped a rather unfair social ribbing. However one feels the good outweighs the unfair, and any overcorrection will inevitably subside as the pendulum swings back to the middle. As it always does with everything.

If you disagree with MacquariesWord of the Yearand demand it be canceled for being problematic, your voice can be heard on twitter. Or alternatively, vote for the Peoples Choice Word of the Yearright here.

I wanted thicc to win anyway.

Macquarie Dictionary also gave honourable mentions to eco-anxiety and Ngangkari, the former self-explanatory and the latter being an Indigenous language word meaning practitioner of bush medicine.

Read the original:

'Cancel Culture' wins Macquarie Dictionary's 2019 word of the year - Happy Mag

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on ‘Cancel Culture’ wins Macquarie Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year – Happy Mag

This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook: Review – Resilience

Posted: at 9:45 am

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is many things at once: a hopeful mass movement; a commuters nightmare; a source of inspiration; an apocalyptic kick up the arse. Within the UK climate movement, it has become a Rorschach test. For some, its shock doctrine ethos flirts with eco-fascism. For others, the actions have become their lifes calling.This Is Not A Drillhas been written to clarify, inform, inspire and equip the people who are undecided yet interested in moving deeper into the climate action zeitgeist XR has ingeniously catalysed.

The book is loud and proud. Its hot pink cover is impossible to ignore, and pages of the text are dedicated to vivid woodcut imagery and all-caps messages. The book contains a wealth of essays, anecdotes, and advice. All are short and generally unfussy: no footnotes here. They are written by people from a variety of backgrounds, united through their concern over climate breakdown. An Indian farmer and a Californian firefighter offer their perspectives; individuals working in academia, climate science, politics and other fields weigh in too. These include Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives; psychotherapist Susie Orbach; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an indigenous rights campaigner from the Mbororo community in Chad; and visionary economist Kate Raworth, among many others.

Notably, XR is working to develop a deeper understanding of climate justice and the causes of climate breakdown. The Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva writes a powerful foreword stating explicitly that ecocide and genocide are one indivisible process, pointing to colonialisms ravaging motive by quoting US President Andrew Jacksons 1833 call for a superior race to triumph over native people in America. She and other contributors make it clear that colonialism and capitalism comprise a pincer movement that is destroying life as we know it. This lays important foundations for conversations about what an ecologically healthy and socially just future needs to consign to history.

These big global overviews of climate breakdown and its impact on different communities are salutary reads for any reader. The more practical pieces that explore the logistics of effective direct action are excellent too. One, Cultural Roadblocks, shares the story behind how XR sourced a boat for activism purposes, and it conveys the mix of determination, absurdity, effort and camaraderie that collective action can involve. From branding textiles, to befriending journalists, to cooking on-site meals that wont give everyone food poisoning, the best of these chapters share the qualities of being informal, smart, and motivating.

There is unexplored tension in the text. Horizontal self-organising is recommended throughout, yet the encouraged action, reiterated through a number of chapters, remains bafflingly prescriptive: disrupt transport in capital cities. Blocking bridges is a tactic, but is it the only option? According toThis Is Not A Drill,it would seem so. The roots to this strategy can be found in the chapter written by XR co-founder Roger Hallam, where he states that disrupting cities is the only option: Thats just the way it is. Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi, effective civil rights leaders whose work Hallam cites elsewhere, might have disagreed with this dogma; the Salt Marches in India and the Selma to Montgomery marches in the US, for example, were pivotal to their respective causes.

Its worth noting that Hallam has form in presenting opinion as fact. When interviewed on the Politics Theory Otherpodcast, he was challenged on the claim that most prison officers are black, which appeared in the (now-deleted) XR prison handbook. Hallam doubled down on the claim, saying, Thats just an empirical fact. I mean, Ive been to prison several times and thats the fact of the matter. Given that, in reality, over 94 per cent of all UK prison officers are white, it seems wise to take Hallams other empirical facts with a pinch of salt, city roadblocks as a means to liberation for all being one of them.

Most contributors wisely avoid this queasy romanticising of peculiarly XR views, though it does crop up in some pieces. One contributor states that it is impossible to overstate the significance of where we are now, and brags about the Easter Rebellion costing the city of London tens of millions of pounds. Another self-styled Rebel offers a misty-eyed account of hands [being] held together with love and superglue and an emotional police officer serenading arrestees with Leonard CohensHallelujah.Meanwhile, the legal team chapter opening comes across as an unconvincing disclaimer for past errors around police relations (Extinction Rebellion is clear that the police continue to be structurally racist)

During the October Rebellion in London. By Garry Knight, under a Public Domain dedication

XRs other hallmark, a kind ofDads Army-ish tendency to dismiss other approaches because Theres a war on, you know!, emerges in these essays too. Mulishness is an essential trait when you are delivering a message that many would rather not hear, but the assertion that Extinction Rebellion thinks beyond politics (unlike everyone who isnt in XR) is the kind of sanctimony that most people would cross the street to avoid. This kind of messaging suggests that XR is still processing criticisms that their model is alienating to many.

This Is Not A Drilllooks and feels well-calibrated towards an audience with disposable time, income and privilege. Its not a bad strategy for a pressure group, but risky for a beyond-politics mass movement. People living low- or no-wage existences, with more immediate survival concerns, do not seem to figure in XRs plans, except perhaps as recipients of XRs heroism. Black and brown climate activists repeatedly marginalised by XR will not find olive branches here. Instead, another XR cofounder, Gail Bradbrook, says, All the children are our children. The pink cover ofThis Is Not A Drillwill be a status symbol to some and a red flag to others.

This Is Not A Drillis at its best when presenting overwhelming information in a clear, digestible way that moves readers towards re-assessing their personal and political (yes, political!) choices. Not everyone who reads it will block a road, but plenty will take valuable action of some form, feel more empowered to make individual changes without apology and know more about the seismic policies we must demand at a national level. The book is an encouraging and timely primer for those looking to join XR, but it also mythologises XR as the last word on survival in the age of climate breakdown. In reality, it is one of many essential groups, part of a much wider ecosystem of action. Starting points for people eager to act beyond voting, recycling and A-to-B marches include Go Fossil Free, Reclaim the Power, and the UK Student Climate Network, to name just a few. These groups empower people to intervene in business as usual using a wide variety of effective tactics.

The final section begins with an exhortation: TIME TO STOP READING. And a diagram of how to block a road. Its a clever editorial decision, but it is also a missed opportunity. A movement directory, much as it might pain some XR folk, could connect people with others who are already deep into the thinking and doing the work of climate justice. XR presents itself as the only show on the road. Issues of crediting others aside, this assumption breeds the saviour complex that currently limits XRs appeal.

A revolution is happening, yes. But it needs to meaningfully communicate with people who dont need to be saviours, and dont care to be saved people who care because they want to survive.

Teaser photo credit: Extinction Rebellion at Oxford Circus. By Mark Ramsay, under a CC BY 2.0 license

Excerpt from:

This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook: Review - Resilience

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook: Review – Resilience

Review This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook – Red Pepper

Posted: at 9:45 am

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is many things at once: a hopeful mass movement; a commuters nightmare; a source of inspiration; an apocalyptic kick up the arse. Within the UK climate movement, it has become a Rorschach test. For some, its shock doctrine ethos flirts with eco-fascism. For others, the actions have become their lifes calling. This Is Not A Drill has been written to clarify, inform, inspire and equip the people who are undecided yet interested in moving deeper into the climate action zeitgeist XR has ingeniously catalysed.

The book is loud and proud. Its hot pink cover is impossible to ignore, and pages of the text are dedicated to vivid woodcut imagery and all-caps messages. The book contains a wealth of essays, anecdotes, and advice. All are short and generally unfussy: no footnotes here. They are written by people from a variety of backgrounds, united through their concern over climate breakdown. An Indian farmer and a Californian firefighter offer their perspectives; individuals working in academia, climate science, politics and other fields weigh in too. These include Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives; psychotherapist Susie Orbach; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an indigenous rights campaigner from the Mbororo community in Chad; and visionary economist Kate Raworth, among many others.

Notably, XR is working to develop a deeper understanding of climate justice and the causes of climate breakdown. The Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva writes a powerful foreword stating explicitly that ecocide and genocide are one indivisible process, pointing to colonialisms ravaging motive by quoting US President Andrew Jacksons 1833 call for a superior race to triumph over native people in America. She and other contributors make it clear that colonialism and capitalism comprise a pincer movement that is destroying life as we know it. This lays important foundations for conversations about what an ecologically healthy and socially just future needs to consign to history.

These big global overviews of climate breakdown and its impact on different communities are salutary reads for any reader. The more practical pieces that explore the logistics of effective direct action are excellent too. One, Cultural Roadblocks, shares the story behind how XR sourced a boat for activism purposes, and it conveys the mix of determination, absurdity, effort and camaraderie that collective action can involve. From branding textiles, to befriending journalists, to cooking on-site meals that wont give everyone food poisoning, the best of these chapters share the qualities of being informal, smart, and motivating.

There is unexplored tension in the text. Horizontal self-organising is recommended throughout, yet the encouraged action, reiterated through a number of chapters, remains bafflingly prescriptive: disrupt transport in capital cities. Blocking bridges is a tactic, but is it the only option? According to This Is Not A Drill, it would seem so. The roots to this strategy can be found in the chapter written by XR co-founder Roger Hallam, where he states that disrupting cities is the only option: Thats just the way it is. Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi, effective civil rights leaders whose work Hallam cites elsewhere, might have disagreed with this dogma; the Salt Marches in India and the Selma to Montgomery marches in the US, for example, were pivotal to their respective causes.

Its worth noting that Hallam has form in presenting opinion as fact. When interviewed on the Politics Theory Other podcast, he was challenged on the claim that most prison officers are black, which appeared in the (now-deleted) XR prison handbook. Hallam doubled down on the claim, saying, Thats just an empirical fact. I mean, Ive been to prison several times and thats the fact of the matter. Given that, in reality, over 94 per cent of all UK prison officers are white, it seems wise to take Hallams other empirical facts with a pinch of salt, city roadblocks as a means to liberation for all being one of them.

Most contributors wisely avoid this queasy romanticising of peculiarly XR views, though it does crop up in some pieces. One contributor states that it is impossible to overstate the significance of where we are now, and brags about the Easter Rebellion costing the city of London tens of millions of pounds. Another self-styled Rebel offers a misty-eyed account of hands [being] held together with love and superglue and an emotional police officer serenading arrestees with Leonard Cohens Hallelujah. Meanwhile, the legal team chapter opening comes across as an unconvincing disclaimer for past errors around police relations (Extinction Rebellion is clear that the police continue to be structurally racist)

XRs other hallmark, a kind of Dads Army-ish tendency to dismiss other approaches because Theres a war on, you know!, emerges in these essays too. Mulishness is an essential trait when you are delivering a message that many would rather not hear, but the assertion that Extinction Rebellion thinks beyond politics (unlike everyone who isnt in XR) is the kind of sanctimony that most people would cross the street to avoid. This kind of messaging suggests that XR is still processing criticisms that their model is alienating to many.

This Is Not A Drill looks and feels well-calibrated towards an audience with disposable time, income and privilege. Its not a bad strategy for a pressure group, but risky for a beyond-politics mass movement. People living low- or no-wage existences, with more immediate survival concerns, do not seem to figure in XRs plans, except perhaps as recipients of XRs heroism. Black and brown climate activists repeatedly marginalised by XR will not find olive branches here. Instead, another XR cofounder, Gail Bradbrook, says, All the children are our children. The pink cover of This Is Not A Drill will be a status symbol to some and a red flag to others.

This Is Not A Drill is at its best when presenting overwhelming information in a clear, digestible way that moves readers towards re-assessing their personal and political (yes, political!) choices. Not everyone who reads it will block a road, but plenty will take valuable action of some form, feel more empowered to make individual changes without apology and know more about the seismic policies we must demand at a national level. The book is an encouraging and timely primer for those looking to join XR, but it also mythologises XR as the last word on survival in the age of climate breakdown. In reality, it is one of many essential groups, part of a much wider ecosystem of action. Starting points for people eager to act beyond voting, recycling and A-to-B marches include Go Fossil Free, Reclaim the Power, and the UK Student Climate Network, to name just a few. These groups empower people to intervene in business as usual using a wide variety of effective tactics.

The final section begins with an exhortation: TIME TO STOP READING. And a diagram of how to block a road. Its a clever editorial decision, but it is also a missed opportunity. A movement directory, much as it might pain some XR folk, could connect people with others who are already deep into the thinking and doing the work of climate justice. XR presents itself as the only show on the road. Issues of crediting others aside, this assumption breeds the saviour complex that currently limits XRs appeal.

A revolution is happening, yes. But it needs to meaningfully communicate with people who dont need to be saviours, and dont care to be saved people who care because they want to survive.

Suki Ferguson is a writer based in Hackney.This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook is published by Penguin.

See original here:

Review This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook - Red Pepper

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on Review This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook – Red Pepper

The best climate change charities to donate to – Vox.com

Posted: at 9:45 am

If youre reading this, chances are you care a lot about fighting climate change, and thats great. Maybe youre thinking about making a donation to the cause on Giving Tuesday, and thats great, too.

Climate change is the biggest emergency facing humanity. Our global response to it has been, in a word, pathetic. Over the past decade, our carbon dioxide emissions have actually risen 11 percent. We need to reverse that trend and fast.

The trouble is, it can be genuinely hard to figure out how to direct your money wisely if you want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Theres a glut of environmental organizations out there and a lack of rigorous research on their impacts and cost-effectiveness, though thatll hopefully change soon with the arrival of brand-new evaluators like Giving Green and ImpactMatters.

Ive written before about how billionaire philanthropists can spend their money to fight climate change. But lets face it: Most of us are not billionaires. While they can afford to spend influential sums on, say, trying to get a Democrat elected president, we might have only $10 or $100 to spend.

So if youre in this camp and you want to have the greatest impact possible per dollar donated to the fight against climate change, where should you give?

Below is a list of six of the most high-impact, cost-effective, and evidence-based organizations. (Im not including bigger-name groups, such as the Environmental Defense Fund or the Sierra Club, because most big organizations are already relatively well-funded.) The six groups here seem to be doing something especially promising in the light of certain criteria: importance, tractability, and neglectedness.

Important targets for change are ones that drive a big portion of global emissions. Tractable problems are ones where we can actually make progress right now. And neglected problems are ones that arent already getting a big influx of cash from other sources like the government or philanthropy, and hence could really use money from people like us.

Founders Pledge, an organization that guides entrepreneurs committed to donating a portion of their proceeds to effective charities, used these same criteria to assess climate organizations. Its comprehensive report, released in 2018, informed my research and the list below. As in that report, Ive chosen to look at groups focused on mitigation (tackling the root causes of climate change by reducing emissions) rather than adaptation (decreasing the suffering from the impacts of climate change). Both are important, but the focus of this piece is preventing further catastrophe.

Ive also intentionally selected organizations that are tackling this problem on different levels. Some advocate for high-level policy change or engage in long-term research, while others are achieving immediate emissions reductions through activities like stopping deforestation.

Dan Stein, director of the new Giving Green initiative at IDinsight, an organization that uses data and evidence to combat poverty worldwide, says we should have a diverse portfolio of mitigation strategies. There should be some short-term projects that give us certainty about reducing emissions now, he told me. But I also buy the argument that thats not going to be enough we need some moonshot projects.

Its very difficult to do a comparative cost-effectiveness analysis of different climate projects, and experts freely admit theyre not 100 percent sure theyve made the best recommendations. Sometimes theyll change their recommendations as new evidence comes to light. Likewise, I may update this piece as more information becomes available.

With that in mind, here are the organizations where your money will likely do the most good.

What it does: The Coalition for Rainforest Nations is unique in that its an intergovernmental organization of over 50 rainforest nations around the world, from Ecuador to Bangladesh to Fiji. It was formed after Papua New Guineas Prime Minister Michael Somare gave a speech in 2005, and since then its been partnering directly with governments and communities to protect their rainforests.

The Coalition championed something called the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. Among other things, it ensures developing countries get paid if they can show that theyve been preventing deforestation, a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental degradation. This was folded into the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and enshrined in Article 5 of the Paris agreement. The Coalition now concentrates on implementing REDD+ and on increasing public and private funding for it.

Why you should consider donating: This group is believed by Founders Pledge to have had a huge impact on reducing emissions through REDD+. The group also played a big role in securing an agreement on forestry in the Paris agreement.

According to Founders Pledges cost-effectiveness model from 2018, a donation of just 12 cents to the Coalition for Rainforest Nations will avert approximately a metric ton of CO2 (or the equivalent in other greenhouse gases). This means that if you donate $100, you can avert around 857 metric tons of CO2.

These are definitely just estimates, but still, thats pretty damn good! For comparison, the average American causes around 16 metric tons of emissions per year. And most organizations cant avert a metric ton for less than $2.

If you like the sound of this, you can donate here.

What it does: The Clean Air Task Force is a US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been working to reduce air pollution since its founding in 1996. It led a successful campaign to reduce the pollution caused by coal-fired power plants in the US, helped limit the US power sectors CO2 emissions, and helped establish regulations of diesel, shipping, and methane emissions.

Why you should consider donating: In addition to its seriously impressive record of success and the high quality of its research, the Clean Air Task Force does well on the neglectedness criterion: It often concentrates on targeting emissions sources that are neglected by other environmental organizations, and on scaling up deployment of technologies that are crucial for decarbonization yet neglected by NGOs and governments. For example, since 2009 its been working on a campaign for tax incentives for carbon capture and storage.

Founders Pledge estimates that a donation to this group would avert CO2 at a rate of $1 per metric ton. So, if you donate $100, you can avert around 100 metric tons of CO2 (or the equivalent in other greenhouse gases). Not bad!

You can donate here.

What it does: The Information Technology and Innovative Foundation, a highly regarded US think tank, runs the Clean Energy Innovation program. That program looks into smart clean energy research and development and the effectiveness of increasing spending in that space, then advises policymakers on the best course of action.

Why you should consider donating: Lets Fund, which is guided by the principles of Effective Altruism in its recommendations, argues its the best place to donate for climate change.

Heres why: By 2040, around 75 percent of all emissions will come not from the US or the EU, but from emerging economies like China and India. So in addition to reducing emissions at home, we need to make it likelier that those countries will reduce their emissions, too. A great way to do that is to stimulate innovation that will make clean energy technology cheaper everywhere. For example, if you bring down the cost of low-carbon technology in the US, you can make it competitive with fossil fuels in China and India, encouraging its use. Thats called a global technology spillover.

Lets Fund compared 10 innovation-stimulating policies (like carbon taxes, deployment subsidies, and cutting fossil fuel subsidies) and found that increasing budgets for public clean energy R&D is the most effective.

This sort of R&D is also neglected; only 0.02 percent of world gross domestic product is spent on it annually. (In the meantime, were spending 300 times that 6 percent on the energy we use up!)

In advanced economies like the US and EU, we can unilaterally increase how much we spend on R&D no international coordination necessary. That, Lets Fund says, makes this much more politically tractable than carbon taxes. And as my colleague David Roberts has written, Innovation is perhaps the one climate policy that virtually everyone agrees on, across the ideological spectrum. Even US Republicans support it, at least notionally.

You can donate here.

What it does: Rainforest Foundation US works to protect the rainforests of Central and South America by partnering directly with folks on the front lines: indigenous people in Brazil, Peru, Panama, and Guyana, who are deeply motivated to protect their lands. The foundation supplies them with legal support as well as technological equipment and training so they can use smartphones, drones, and satellites to monitor illegal loggers and miners, and take action to stop them.

Why you should consider donating: Rainforest Foundation US has shown an unusual commitment to rigorous evaluation of its impact by inviting Columbia University researchers to conduct a randomized controlled trial in Loreto, Peru. Starting in early 2018, researchers collected survey data and satellite imagery from 36 communities partnered with the foundation and 40 control communities. The analysis is ongoing, but the preliminary results are promising.

We see tentative findings that along the deforestation frontier where deforestation was most likely to occur there are reductions in the rate of deforestation, said Tara Slough, the Columbia University researcher leading the study, in a presentation this September.

Given that this year has seen massive fires and a surge of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, an ecosystem on which the global climate depends, it now seems like an especially good time to directly support the indigenous people who are holding the front line for all of us.

You can donate here.

What it does: Based in London and Brussels, Sandbag is a nonprofit think tank that uses data analysis to help build evidence-based climate policy. It advocates for carbon capture and storage in the EU, pushes for strong carbon pricing, and works to accelerate the coal phase-out in Europe so as to ensure all plants are closed before 2030.

Why you should consider donating: Since it focuses on the EU which is not projected to be one of the biggest emitters and so is not as high-priority a region as Asia or Africa Sandbag scores lower on the importance criterion than the groups mentioned above. But its still among the best groups out there (it made the Founders Pledge shortlist), particularly because its one of the few European charities working on carbon capture and storage, a sorely neglected mitigation strategy. And it works to change European legislation on climate by working with and influencing key policymakers.

You can donate by going here and clicking on the section on funding.

What it does: The Climate Emergency Fund is different from the groups listed above. It was founded very recently this July with the goal of quickly getting money to groups engaged in climate protest. It has already raised over $1 million and disbursed about $800,000 of it in 26 grants to groups it has vetted. The grantees range from the well-established 350.org to the fledgling Extinction Rebellion, an activist movement that uses nonviolent civil disobedience like filling the streets and blocking intersections to demand governments do more to stave off mass extinction.

Why you should consider donating: Because its so new, the Climate Emergency Fund definitely has less of an evidence base than the organizations listed above, so well have to monitor its impact and cost-effectiveness. But it offers something important: immediacy. As David Roberts wrote for Vox:

The money is going to everything from hiring organizers to buying signs and bullhorns to organizing school trips. A second round of more than 30 grants is in the works, representing over $2 million more. The fund is currently raising money, accepting donations large and small. ... [The founders] came together around a shared conviction that street protest is both crucially important to climate politics and a longtime blind spot for environmental philanthropy.

And theres evidence that focusing on movement-building is essential in the climate fight. If youre skeptical that street protest can make a difference, consider Harvard political scientist Erica Chenoweths research. Shes found that if you want to achieve systemic social change, you need to mobilize 3.5 percent of the population, a finding that helped inspire Extinction Rebellion. Thats not an impossible proportion of people to get into the streets particularly if the activists doing the work get funded.

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, recently told me that building the climate movement is crucial because although weve already got some good mitigation solutions, were not deploying them fast enough. Thats the ongoing power of the fossil fuel industry at work. The only way to break that power and change the politics of climate is to build a countervailing power, he said. Our job and its the key job is to change the zeitgeist, peoples sense of whats normal and natural and obvious. If we do that, all else will follow.

You can donate to the Climate Emergency Fund here.

Its worth noting that there are plenty of ways to use your skills to combat climate change. And many dont cost a cent.

If youre a writer or artist, you can use your talents to convey a message that will resonate with people. If youre a religious leader, you can give a sermon about climate and run a collection drive to support one of the groups above. If youre a teacher, you can discuss this issue with your students, who may influence their parents. If youre a good talker, you can go out canvassing for a politician you believe will make the right choices on climate.

If youre, well, any human being, you can consume less. You can reduce your energy use, reduce how much stuff you buy (did you know plastic packaging releases greenhouse gases when exposed to the elements?), and reduce how much meat you consume.

Research shows that its very difficult to convert people to vegetarianism or veganism through information campaigns, which is one reason why I did not recommend donating to such campaigns (there are more cost-effective options). But with Impossible Whoppers and Beyond Burgers now available in so many grocery stores and restaurants, you can transition to a more plant-based diet without sacrificing on taste.

You can, of course, also volunteer with an activist group whether its Extinction Rebellion, the Sunrise Movement, or Greta Thunbergs Fridays for Future and put your body in the street to nonviolently disrupt business as usual and demand change.

The point is that activism comes in many forms. Its worth taking some time to think about which one (or ones) will allow you, with your unique capacities and constraints, to have the biggest positive impact. But at the end of the day, dont let the perfect be the enemy of the good: Its best to pick something that seems doable and get to work.

Sign up for the Future Perfect newsletter. Twice a week, youll get a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling our biggest challenges: improving public health, decreasing human and animal suffering, easing catastrophic risks, and to put it simply getting better at doing good.

Go here to see the original:

The best climate change charities to donate to - Vox.com

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on The best climate change charities to donate to – Vox.com

Altamont At 50: The Disastrous Concert That Brought The 60s To A Crashing Halt – Forbes

Posted: at 9:45 am

LIVERMORE, CA - DECEMBER 6: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones at The Altamont ... [+] Speedway on December 6, 1969 in Livermore, California. (Photo by Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

If the Woodstock festival in August 1969 represented peace and hippie idealism, then the Altamont Free Concert, held almost four months later, symbolically shattered that innocence. On December 6, 1969, about 300,000 gathered at the Altamont Speedway in Tracy, California to see the Rolling Stones perform a free concert that was seen as a Woodstock West. It was also supposed to be a triumphant conclusion for the band that year, following their successful U.S. tour. But the event was marred by violent confrontations between the Hells Angels (who were hired to do security) and the crowd, in addition to lack of organization and bad drugs. By the end of the show, a total of four people diedamong them 18-year-old Meredith Hunter, who was stabbed to death by a Hells Angels member, a moment captured in the Maysles Brothers and Charlotte Zwerins classic documentary film Gimme Shelter.

Fifty years later, Altamont is not only considered one of the most disastrous moments in rock, but it has become a convenient shorthand term for the death of the 60s. To San Francisco-based veteran music writer Joel Selvin, who wrote the 2016 book Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day, now out in paperback, the concert was a toxic cocktail of greed and innocence. It's a subject of never-ending fascination and not just for people who were there, he explains on the eve of the milestone. It's such an anomalous event in our history. And it also is commemorated by [Gimme Shelter], which is a great movie. But that movie is a patented fiction. Its an apology for the Stones and paints them as victims.

Book jacket of Altamont, by Joel Selvin

There were a number of reasons why the free concert happened. For the Stones, said Selvin, mounting the event which also included the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and Santana was their way of being part of the counterculture hippie zeitgeist as represented by Woodstock, according to Selvin. Theband was previously criticized over charging high ticket prices for their U.S. tour, particularly from San Francisco Chronicle music critic Ralph Gleason. And another incentive for mounting the show was because of the documentary film, which the Stones, primarily Mick Jagger, had a financial interest in.

They wanted a piece of that pie... to be a part of this underground that had sprung up since 1966 when they were last in America, Selvin says of the Rolling Stones. The free concert and the Woodstock ethos certainly were part of it. They definitely had their heads turned by the immense reaction to their tour in 1969, they were surprised by how famous they were and how intense the excitement was. And by that time, the movie was underway. So there's no doubt they were thinking about these things. And I know that, because Jaggers deal with the Maysles was contingent on them delivering a finished print to theaters ahead of the Woodstock movie in March [1970].

Jagger was clearly sitting there thinking they never had a big time movie deal, they didn't do A Hard Day's Night. So he's going to go into this and he's going to surf that Woodstock wave. He doesn't quite realize that Altamont was going to have its own cachet and become an event in itself, and that the movie was worth one-million bucks, a big hunk of dough to the Rolling Stones in 1969.

In hindsight, it's remarkable that the event as the Stones were touring America starting in early November 1969was put together in a short amount of time. Driven by both the Stones and the Grateful Dead, the concert was supposed to take place at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park until the city squashed that. Plans to host it at Sears Raceway in Sonoma fell through when the company that owned the site wanted $100,000 upon learning the concert was being filmed. Finally Altamont Speedway in Tracy stepped in. In a matter of days, the staging was set up, albeit in somewhat makeshift fashion (the stage was so low, creating not much of a barrier between performers and fans). According to Selvin's book, there was no central command or figurehead running the whole concert and handling the logistics; nobody in the crew knew who was in charge.

Pictured later in the day, the increasingly packed together crowd at the Altamont Speedway for the ... [+] free concert to be headlined by the Rolling Stones. (Photo by William L. Rukeyser/Getty Images)

At the end of their tour on a Monday, [the Stones] went to Muscle Shoals to record Brown Sugar and a couple other songs, says Selvin. They sent their people to San Francisco to make the concert happen for the next weekend. There was no site, there was no sound system. There was no staging, although some of that was being sent to the Bay Area. There was no crew. There was no nothing. 'You know, we'll be there over the weekend. We'll do the show on Saturday.' The hippies that the Grateful Dead marshaled behind this were idealists and innocent in some ways. They just figured that they could do it. It just didn't matter what obstacles were thrown in their way.

The decision to have the Hells Angels to do security for $500 worth of beerwould have serious consequences. On the day of the show, they Angels were physically violent towards the crowd with pool cues; they even assaulted Jefferson Airplane co-singer Marty Balin during his band's set when he tried to intervene in a scuffle. Adding to the sense of drama were the bad drugs going around; health professionals at the medical tent were dealing with numerous people experiencing freak-outs. It's like a toxic mass psychosis, says Selvin. And the drugs were terrible. There were no longer sacraments of a movement. They were cut with all kinds of things.

Such factors as the Angels, drugs, and the lack of police intervention and proper facilities all contributed to a tense and dark environment throughout the day. Sensing the chaos, the Grateful Dead decided at the last minute to pull out. And as the Rolling Stones were trying to play Sympathy for the Devil, Jagger was telling everybody to cool out when things started to get out of control within the audience.

Meanwhile, Meredith Hunter, a young black man who went to the show with his girlfriend, was beaten up by members of the Hells Angels. Trying to get away from them, Hunter pulled out his gun near the stage and was fatally stabbed by Hells Angels member Alan Passaro (he was later acquitted in court). [He was] in many ways, Selvin says of Hunter, emblematic of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong blonde girlfriendcaught between the Hells Angels and the Rolling Stones where no black [person] could watch, dressed in a lime green suit, with his Afro combed out, having been shooting speed.

A still from the documentary film 'Gimme Shelter', showing audience members looking on as Hells ... [+] Angels beat a fan with pool cues at the Altamont Free Concert, Altamont Speedway, California, 6th December 1969. The concert was headlined and organized by The Rolling Stones. The film was directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin. (Photo by Bill Owens/20th Century Fox/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ironically, the Stones performed, in Selvin's opinion, a great set. They'd pick it back up finally when Mick Taylor says, Lets do the new one, and they did Brown Sugar for the first time. They just put their chins to their chests and played the set of their lives. Richard's and Taylor just locked in, and Charlie and Bill are holding down the bottom. Jagger put in a vocal performance that is so sincere, as opposed to as usual sort of cartoonish caricature type of voice. Not this time, man. He's for real and they burned from Brown Sugar to the end of their set Street Fighting Man. It could be one best sets I've ever heard from the Stones.

LIVERMORE, CA - DECEMBER 6: The Rolling Stones L-R Mick Taylor, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and ... [+] Tour Manager Sam Cutler take a break during their set to assess the damage by The Hells Angels attacking the crowd. Sam Cutler brought The Hells Angels in to act as Security on December 6, 1969 in Livermore, California. (Photo by Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In the years after Altamont, the Stones have rarely mentioned that event publicly, although Keith Richards recently said to The Washington Post: "It was just sort of a nightmarish day. Not just for us, but for everybody." On why the band didnt just cancelthe show, Richards responded: It could have gotten a lot worse, man. That could have been a really big disaster...Who knows what else would have happened?

The few times they've addressed it, says Selvin of the Stones, [its,] We're the victims. There has not been the slightest acceptance of responsibility. The Stones left town without paying any of their bills. That was a pirate trip: they came to the island, they ransacked it forbooty and young maidens, and then they made it back home.

Except for a few die-hard rock music fans and tons of empty wine bottles and other litter, the hills ... [+] around Altamont Speedway are serene compared to the scene the day before when an estimated 300,000 persons attended a free concert by the Rolling Stones and other rock music groups. The owner of the speedway said it would take at least a week to clear the area of debris.

While the Stones and the Dead came out of it relatively unscathed, the incident forever changed them in Selvins view. I don't think the Stones would ever be so fierce and fearless and unrestrained ever again, having had to confront real evil face to face in the performance of their music. You can see [in the movie] the fear, anxiety and despair that the Stones experienced when their stage was nearly invaded and taken over by these Hells Angels, who are very clearly the masters of the stage. And that has been an inviolate space for them, it was a humbling experience to the bone. I don't believe the Stones ever really recovered from it as artists.

Today Selvin takes issue with the idea that Altamont represented the death of the 60s. The probable end to the 60s was the fall of Saigon in 75. Woodstock was a disaster. [The violence there] just didn't happen. That's all it was. They burned down the concession stand when they got there and saw the prices. They broke the fences, they turned it into a free concert. They blocked the interstate highway. The Woodstock myth is pretty fragile, and don't blow on it too hard because it'll just crack under pressure.

Now 50 years later, much has changed for the Stones as their subsequent live tours have been extremely professional and tightly-organized affairs. So has the live music business in generalyet there have been occasional disasters from Woodstock '99 to most recently the Fyre Festival. As for lessons to take from Altamont, Selvin says: Everybody has a different lesson to learn. Meredith Hunters lesson was entirely different from Mick Jagger's. There's abundant evidence to indicate that whatever lessons there were, [they] were not learned.

Read more here:

Altamont At 50: The Disastrous Concert That Brought The 60s To A Crashing Halt - Forbes

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on Altamont At 50: The Disastrous Concert That Brought The 60s To A Crashing Halt – Forbes

Watchmen, The Boys, and The Tick turn superhero burnout into a TV movement – The A.V. Club

Posted: at 9:45 am

If you walked into either San Diego or New York Comic Con this year, youd have been bombarded by inescapable superhero marketing. But, unlike previous conventions where the Justice League-led DCEU or the Avengers-focused MCU pushed big reveals, 2019 was all about the anti-superhero superhero show. Amazons The Boys, built to showcase awful superheroes doing awful things in the real world as a sort of televised Larry Niven essay, had a huge presence at SDCC while HBOs Watchmen debuted its cops and KKK in masks take on superhero fare at NYCC. Both went on to be heavy hitters: The Boys became one of [Amazons] most watched series ever while the critically acclaimed Watchmen has already earned a devoted audience devouring its recaps, explainers, and various in-universe appendices.

Thats because these shows are playing to the same audience that made Avengers: Endgame the highest-grossing movie of all time. Theyre certainly reaching the audience that pushed reactive anti-blockbuster Joker past the R-rated billion-dollar boundary. People who feel inundated by super-nonsensethe ones getting a little sick of unpacking the alternate realities created by time travel and debating whether, canonically, Ant-Man could destroy Thanos by crawling inside his anusare looking for an outlet.

Those topics come up when a monotone, action-adventure sameness dominates comic adaptations, which in turn (thanks to the DCEU and MCU) dominate the film and TV industries. When going to see a summer blockbuster featuring a comic character, moviegoers can expect bloodless violence against non-humans, quippy characters, a degree of impermanent loss, and the ultimate victory of their heroes. Marvel or DC, hero or heroine, talking raccoon or Amazon princess. If theres a departure from this standard that still isnt something that doesnt contain a comic character (god forbid), thats very attractive to a culture thats been dominated by masks and capes over the last decade.

Its easier (and more lucrative) to poke fun if the culture is saturated and the audience is given something familiar. The 70s were rife with disaster filmsAirplane!, which roasted them to death in 1980, lifted its plot and characters from one of their precursors, 1957s Zero Hour! You better believe moviegoers were familiar with, and mostly over, the material: The Poseidon Adventure was a smash in 1972; its 1979 sequel, Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, sank. The current financial situation may not yet have reached this tipping point for superhero films, but the collective groan from the fandom when Kevin Feige suggested that Disney+ would be necessary to understand the MCU was portentous.

The Boys (no Airplane!, to be sure) might not name names directly, but its sexually deviant Seven has a lot in common with those leading the box office disappointment Justice League. Every outrageous set piece is like a Mallrats gag about Superman: A speedy Flash analog zips right through a woman, vaporizing her, while Aquaman-esque The Deep is a useless pretty boy who talks to fish. These gags play better if you know your superheroes; they play best if youre more than a little tired of them.

Watchmen, formulated as an anti-superhero comic with Rorschach as a big bean-eating middle finger to Batman, exists in a world immersed in the authoritarian dilemmas of the superhero genre. The HBO show it inspired gives this insight a new spin. All cops wear masks. So too, do the racist Seventh Kavalry. Some comic fanboys, presumably those that didnt get the Rorschach joke in the original, werent ready to accept that commentary and review-bombed the show. Among their other problems, they wanted a show that played like their kickass CGI movies. The rest of us, while not kicking kickass CGI out of bed, happily devoured a series willing to explore the PTSD that surviving said kickass CGI (like the squid-filled parallel to the Marvel snap) will give youenjoying it even more because of how little these films care about that kind of thing. When youre burned out on superheroes, bringing them back to reality feels like sticking it to the man even if the man is still behind it all.

Its not just the content of these reactionary shows thats attractive to some superhero fans. To get that lucrative demographic, the marketing for these shows mimics tentpole cinema almost indistinguishably. In a world where superhero movies are the biggest business in town, anti-superhero TV is having to match them stride for stride simply to be their edgy alternative. Ad buyouts, social media dominance, and prime panel positioning at the biggest genre gatherings in the worldcounterprogramming now just means putting on a different mask.

The comic-based entertainment bubble has become so massive that while Marvel partisans wage war against Martin Scorsese, Scorsese knock-off Joker does gangbusters. The Joaquin Phoenix-led film bested Shazam!s box-office gross and also beat the hell out of Dark Phoenix. Sure, there are still three MCU movies ahead of Joker in the years top ten money-makers. But its success makes it clear that the markets for straightforward superhero media and those making a self-conscious effort to avoid that designation are blending. For example, this Halloween, you could spy a blue muscle-suited The Tick costume on the same rack as Iron Man.

Somehow I dont think those behind either character thought that Spoon! and I am Iron Man (or, for maximum contrast, I love you 3000) were operating on the same level. The punk acts have gone mainstream well, even more mainstream, since DC published both Watchmen and The Boys comics while The Tick has been one of the weirder properties to air on the Fox network since the 90s. The second season of the big blue bug of justices modern-day, live-action incarnation, which ended its run at Amazon in April, was all about mocking the literal hero business via bureaucratic nightmare A.E.G.I.S., but the realities of the real-world entertainment industry mean that merchandise still reigns.

The Boys, with its similarly corporate (if far raunchier) subject matter, may not have official tie-in products for sale, but the swag Amazon has handed out at con appearances is readily available on eBay. Even if the items bear Fuck Supes instead of, say, the Superman S, nerdy superhero consumers crave the branded goodies. The Boys embraces it: It even released a fake action figure commercial. The first seasons soundtrack reps the in-universe Vought International label, while Watchmens (released as Sons Of Pale Horse album The Book Of Rorschach) hides a self-referential history in the liner notes. Amazon even created fake endorsement ads, positioning its heroes as celebrities in the same system that placed Gal Gadot on the cover of Rolling Stone. When we did this takeover around when [Avengers: Endgame] launched, we ran the fake commercials on television, Mike Benson, head of marketing for Amazon Prime Video, said. It was really aggressive.

The shows may revel in deconstructing costumed crimefighterstaking apart capitalism, celebrity, fandom, ego, power, and exploitationbut the content criticizing and satirizing superheroes is still marketed using the same channels in the same ways. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds are full of trailers, light super-humor, and secretive cast pictures from set. That strategy has been seen all over these brands pop culture presence, and its paying off with results similar to those theyre aping.

Watchmen and The Boys, both in their first seasons, havent yet reached the live-tweeting, GIF-flooding social media dominance of Marvels most-loved show (Daredevil) or DCs biggest series (Arrow). The R-rated and meta nature of both might require a more specific audience (one that enjoys, used to enjoy, and/or is hungry to deconstruct superhero content), but the numbers seem to indicate that such an audience exists. The newer series have higher average follower-per-month gains on their Twitter accounts than their serious counterparts in past years, according to social media stat site Social Blade. That growth reflects a marketing plan thats logistically unchanged, despite the shift in tone.

Even the in-universe satire corresponds to on-the-nose real-world activity. The Boys pushes reluctant newcomer heroine Starlight on the terrible media circuit, signing autographs and making public appearances, while Starlight actress Erin Moriarty walked the press line and gave interviews at SDCC. These shows, though successful in their messaging to various degrees, are still flattening the landscape to a place where irony and earnestness are sold so similarly that audiences may soon stop caring or all superhero content will evolve a standardized, market researched, semi-self-aware tone to split the difference.

Shazam!performed this trick on the big screen for one of the Big Two, introducing a wry hero that gains powers in a world that already has superheroes, while the Deadpool films did the same for its competitor across the aisle. Shazam!s in a world where Batman and Superman have lore and action figures, where a kid blessed with superpowers has an idiom to fit intoand rebel against. Deadpool, a superhero who has long been a cosplay haven for men who think theyre Spencers Gift to the world, pokes fun at superhero landings, casting, and lucrative film deals, both origin stories and larger ensemble team movies. Here too, parody becomes reality: Until Joker surpassed them, Deadpool 2 and Deadpool were the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time.

Some Watchmen viewers may bitch about the satirical elements of the series and still watch, simply because its easy to cling solely to its amped-up versions of traditional superhero offerings (violent hand-to-hand combat, bloody effects, cool masked characters) when living through this zeitgeist. While those of us sick to death of these ubiquitous elements are happy to see them parodied, those unwilling to engage on a deconstructive level have some shred of plausible deniability. The Boys falls harder into that trap: At a certain point in the show, its easy to tell the writers were looking more into What awesome and nasty thing can we get away with? than How can we really say something about our subjects? And why not: Its actually been helpful, critically and popularly, to blur that line.

Shazam! and Deadpool, despite their minor deconstructions, will still exist as parts of greater superhero universes. Theyll still sell comics and action figures. Superhero shows, as their audiences blend the zealous and the jaded, may follow suit. Though its off to a strong start, its too soon to say how Watchmens themes will shake out from its sometimes violent but thoughtful narrative. The Boys, however, is already on the cusp of fully following the R-rated super-route of empty gore and gags. Even at this end of the cycle between conviction and cynicism, pop cultures superhero industrial complex is dangerously easy to join.

Read more:

Watchmen, The Boys, and The Tick turn superhero burnout into a TV movement - The A.V. Club

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on Watchmen, The Boys, and The Tick turn superhero burnout into a TV movement – The A.V. Club

Art Basel Miami Beach 2019: Where to Eat and Sleep – WWD

Posted: at 9:45 am

Whats new in the food and hospitality scene in Miami for 2019 Art Basel? Below, our guide for where to eat and stay for this year.

Given the balmy climate, Miami isnt exactly a bakers paradise but ice cream is another story. Frohzen, among a trio of new dining concepts by the late Jel Robuchons successors and protgs, promises to do for icy confections what the Cronut did for doughnuts. Besides being delicious, its focused menu is meant for Instagram (what isnt these days?) and explores desserts white space.

I dont think anyone has made a cupcake almost entirely out of ice cream, says executive pastry chef Salvatore Martone, of his exclusive recipe that churns sponge cake and ice cream into a frozen cupcake topped with soft serve, in lieu of frosting. Flavors are inspired by traditional combinations like red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Macarons elevate ice cream sandwiches of childhood memory, and hybrid popsicles called cakesicles are piped with semifreddo. Though not a fan of the rainbow unicorn drink fad, Martone gets its appeal. His treats come with custom blends of gourmet crumbles such as cinnamon and key lime.Martone, who will take Ben & Jerrys over Hagen-Dazs any day, says I always go for textured ice creams. I love finding that little swirl of caramel or crunchy nut.

Cannibalism isnt exactly polite dinner conversation unless its in the name of art, and youre Alan Faena. The provocative visionary has partnered with Unigram Theatrical, a young British company founded by music and theater veterans Amanda Ghost and James Orange, for a dinner theater production based on Peter Greenaways chillingly disturbing cult classic The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. Like the films denouement, cannibalism is indeed on the menu (at least for the thief), but so is Miami chef Michelle Bernsteins duck and chocolate sphere dessert served with individual mallets to violently crack for a bit of audience participation. The immersive, meta experience re-creates the movies otherworldly set, a gourmet restaurant called Le Hollandais, where the lines of reality and the stage are blurred.

Youre actually dining with the actors, Faena says of his first immersive concept that involves a functioning restaurant as if Sleep No More meets fine dining. The timing is very difficult to synchronize serving courses between acting scenes and music numbers.

In the age of Trump and #MeToo, through the shows subject matter and support of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, its timing nails the zeitgeist. Yet its been brewing in Faenas thoughts since Greenaway spoke at the original Faena in Argentina more than a decade ago.

It was a very revolutionary movie 30 years ago, and I thought it would make a great musical someday, says Faena, who has grander plans when it closes here in May. Well take it on the road to other cities.

That East Coast-West Coast rivalry is put to rest by Palisociety, whose Palihouse Miami Beach imports the hospitality brands California vibes a couple blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. The 71-room boutique property with the frisson and community spirit of Soho House (sans the heart-palpitating bill) adds to Mid Beachs thriving collection of hip hotels and hostels.

Most of our L.A. hotel clients are from New York and London, and New Yorkers go to Miami a lot, says founder Avi Brosh, regarding his foray east of the Mississippi River. But the hotels story isnt too Miami. It has more of a coastal Italian feel.

To celebrate his bicoastal status, he commissioned Los Angeles designer Heidi Merrick for exclusive SRF MIA sweatshirts in hot pink and black. Real surfers or not, guests can ride the house Moke to the shore, where beach butlers set up beach umbrellas, chaises and picnic lunches. Rather than a full-service restaurant, snacks from grilled cheeses to smoothies can be ordered in the lobby and poolside and residential-style studios, the majority room category, feature kitchenettes.

The beautiful Mandolin Aegean Bistro may be the fashion worlds favorite dining destination here, but its husband-and-wife restaurateurs roots lie in humbler sustenance. They return to their immigrant ancestors livelihood with Gregorys diner, which is as much a salute to the waning American dream as a sorely lacking all-day neighborhood catchall to recharge. It helps that diners are making a comeback with veg-forward and gluten-free options, according to cofounder Anastasia Koutsioukis, whose Greek grandparents owned and operated a diner for decades in St. Louis.

Its not a concept but our story and their story as well as a relatable story to many Americans, she says, having named their new venture in the mid-century-modern Vagabond Hotel in Miamis Upper East Side after her grandfather. We laugh that were following in their footsteps but in our own way.

Mandolin patrons will recognize Koutsioukis signature flair for design. A portrait of her grandparents, a handsome pair in their day, hangs at the entrance. They slept in gender-specific, color-coded his and her bedrooms, so Koutsioukis used a lot of blue tones in Gregorys French brasserie setting with plaid wallpaper and mahogany veneer. (Her grandmother gets her due when Marias Living Room, a pretty-in-pink cocktail lounge, opens next to the hotels lobby in December.)

Im trying to create environments that are as soulful as the food, she says. Weve already become an anchor.

Before the 1980 Mariel boatlift when thousands of Cubans arrived in Miami, the city was Southern through and through. New Yorkers and Jewish migrs further diluted its regional heritage, as delis and Cuban restaurants competed for clout. Barbecue, a Southern institution, fell by the wayside.

Though not authentically Southern, Brooklyn-born Hometown Bar-B-Ques outpost here (whose name has been altered to Hometown Barbecue) offers meticulously smoked meats and other staples that pitmaster owner Billy Durney picked up in Texas. It opened in a former produce warehouse kitty corner to the new Rubell Museum in Allapattah, a gritty industrial neighborhood on the verge of gentrification, a similar scenario to the original in Red Hook.

Barbecue can change a neighborhood quickly plus we didnt really have good barbecue here, says Jeff Weinstein, a Miami developer who partnered in the expansion. But more selfishly, I wanted to eat at Hometown without flying to New York.

Even Red Hook regulars should visit the Miami location for exclusive dishes. Being one foot in Latin America, it adds thrice-jerk (brined, slathered and spiced) slab bacon and mole-dusted chicken wings with poblano crema. The latter take four days to make. The place has inadvertently become known for natural wines, too, a nascent movement here.

Per Weinstein, People automatically think of beer with barbecue, but a crisp wine cuts through the fat better.

See the original post here:

Art Basel Miami Beach 2019: Where to Eat and Sleep - WWD

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on Art Basel Miami Beach 2019: Where to Eat and Sleep – WWD

Macquaries word of the year calls out bad behaviour – The New Daily

Posted: at 9:45 am

The word to sum up 2019 has been decided. (Well, its two words.)

Spurred on by societys growing disquiet with reprehensible behaviour, the Macquarie Dictionary has crowned cancel culture as its word of the year.

By the dictionarys definition, cancel culture means: the attitudes within a community which call for or bring about the withdrawal of support from a public figure, such as cancellation of an acting role, a ban on playing an artists music, removal from social media, etc., usually in response to an accusation of a socially unacceptable action or comment.

Its origin and usage can be linked to the Me Too movement, which was 2018s word of the year.

So far this year, weve cancelled people like Israel Folaufor his comments against homosexuals. Alan Jones got the C-word treatment for his tirade against New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern.

Death doesnt excuse you from cancellation: The revealingFinding Neverland documentary about Michael Jackson had society questioning the King of Pops status in pop culture.

Every year, a group of about eight are tasked with the job of finding the word that perfectly encapsulates the culture of the previous 12 months.

A term that captures an important aspect of the past years Zeitgeist an attitude which is so pervasive that it now has a name, societyscancel culturehas become, for better or worse, a powerful force, the committee said in a statement.

Runner-up words included eco-anxiety (a strong emotional reaction to climate change and the environment), thicc (a curvaceous figure), and coffice (a mix of cafe and office, where a worker sets up shop for the day and probably nurses a small flat white for several hours just to use the free wifi).

Literary lovers who have strong opinions on what words should get attention (and which shouldnt) can throw their vote behind their favourite 2019 word, through the peoples choice awards.

View original post here:

Macquaries word of the year calls out bad behaviour - The New Daily

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on Macquaries word of the year calls out bad behaviour – The New Daily

ASMR – It Isn’t As Weird As You Might Think, Unless It Is – Science 2.0

Posted: at 9:45 am

We are setting up a live streaming/video channel to do things like reviews of books, interviews, and then eventually we will do staff meetings as well.(1)

But while it was once limited to something like Facebook live, with Restream we can go out to YouTube Live, Mixer, and Twitch, all at once.(2)

You never want to have a dud, because we are a nonprofit and we are wasting donor money if we create a dud, so I used those services for a few weeks to try and get the feel for how successful channels are managed. Aside from big personalities like Ninja, Mixer also highlights various "streamers" to get them exposure on their main page and one time they had a blonde lady who seemed to be doing nothing but whispering into a microphone. Then she changed what I assumed was a "pop" filter (called such to reduce the impact of consonants like "p" and "b" which come across as explosive when recording) to something else.

She wasn't changing the pop filter because she was worried about recording, she was changing the cover to give listeners a different "feel." It was streaming ASMR.

ASMRASMR is an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. I've probably known about it since 2012 or so but hadn't known the name and I basically ignored it because it seemed made up. I already debunk food nonsense, chemophobia hype, and supplement claims, there is no reason to go after apparently pleasant women who think they are helping others relax.(3)

And they are almost all women, which is strange. But are they helping, or is this also a placebo? And does it matter?

Just like supplements or organic food or supernatural claims of the u-shaped curve of endocrine disrupting chemical cocktails, ASMR proceeds from a kernel of truth. Do you like the sound of a gentle flowing stream? Okay, sure. That doesn't mean you will like living next to raging rapids. And to some people the world around them is often a raging river so they want a sensory way to feel like they near a babbling brook. ASMR has some foundation even if how it is implemented seems silly; the same way science knows the microbiome is important, but not how or why it works so buying into expensive yogurt or Dove soap marketing is stupid.

So from a science and health point of view, it may bepointless, but that may not be a bad thing.

Being pointless or even absurd can be beneficial

On the evening I began researching this, I went outside with a projector and a screen and watched a movie despite it being far less hassle to watch a movie in my temperature controlled living room. In that sense, my behavior was pointless, and yet I paid for a projector, a screen, and a movie to do so, with multiple opportunities along the way to realize it was easier to watch a movie in my house. Just like some people watch pointless advertisements so people get paid to make videos of them folding towels.

Absurd might be also watching someone talk for 10 minutes about blank videocassettes they have no interest in, and yet that is what Rhodri Marsden liked. ASMR was a realization that finally gave him an answer why he liked watching shopping channels but not buying anything; "The more gentle and redundant their explanations are, the more pleasure I get."

Absurd is often the case when people simply don't share your interest. Someone might find it absurd that I stayed up until 2:30 AM to beat the "Frostpunk" video game on a weekday when I could have paused it at any time but I rationalized it that I wanted to write a review. However, game reviews are not an official program of Science 2.0, the way agriculture and medicine are, making that a suspect argument. I didn't even get the game for free.

I am more likely to fall asleep during a NASCAR race (the drone of the engines) than I am watching Bob Ross paint, yet he's wildly popular decades after he died for the same reasons many ASMR proponents claim it works for them. He is soothing.

I do wake up for the crashes during NASCAR races.A lot of NASCAR fans have told me the same thing. It's anecdote but over time I assume fans have trained themselves to fall asleep during NASCAR races, and so they swear by them.

Is it real, or is ASMR a way to "medicalize" something simple for legitimacy?

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response itself is just a jumble of words that have an air of truthiness but don't really mean anything. Sure, we can map other words to it if we try but if I say brain cancer, you know what brain and cancer are. Meridian is instead Traditional Chinese Medicine mumbo-jumbo, just like chakra or ch'i or whatever other mystical nonsense tries to sound quasi-biological.

Some people in America do love to believe that peasants in the Far East know something magical about health, so they will buy into Meridians and then dangerous and adulterated supplements to "optimize' this made-up system while hucksters laugh all the way to the bank.

Just because a chart with a human body can be created does not make it science or medicine.

By KVDP - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8989443

This does make it seem like a whole lot of Americans who have no real issues to worry about are medicalizing "life".Practitioners have to pretend believe ASMR is some kind of automatic response to a made-up part of our bodies that is impacted by these sounds.

And many people, maybe Americans are worse about this than other cultures, love to legitimize their interests. There are people whose families have been in America for a hundred years who say they are Italian, there are more people in New York claiming to be Irish than there are actual people in Ireland. And we love to medicalize everything, we take more medication than any country in the world by far. We also have the highest adult science literacy, so obviously we love science and medicine and know a lot compared to places like Europe. Even the most overt anti-vaccine or anti-GMO zealot knows just enough science to be wrong; they know it because they want to validate their beliefs against science, so they do real work to accomplish it.

It is no surprise a scientifically literate culture would want to medicalize a way to de-stress before going to sleep that is basically free. And it is no surprise people feel like they are cliinically stressed, when almosteveryone else is claiming some kind of condition. Though celiac patients are a tiny fraction of the public, the gluten-free fad became a $5 billion industry because a bunch of people who wanted to feel like they had something important claimed it made them feel better, even if physiological effects never show up on tests.

It is a condition if you say it is, and you'll get the Internet cancel culture after you if you say otherwise.

ASMR doesn't seem to have all that medical legitimacy desperation, it is just people who want to sleep better.

Is ASMR actually just sexual pretending to be about stress?

ASMR proponents and participants say it is not sexual but when ASMR proponents talk about tingling all over their bodies or having a "brain orgasm" that lends itself to a certain sexuality.

And participants can pretend they have no idea it might be sexual but, ummm...

When participants dress up as a flight attendant and stroke tea bags, it's also easy to draw a link.

This constant yammering would actually make me crazy on a plane. I want flight attendants to not be seen after five minutes into an overnight flight and I bet they feel the same way about me, so what is this if not fantasy? What is next, a nurse?Sure, anything you want, really.

So it at least pretends not to be sexual.

But I am not the target market, most especially because I am not part of the following demographic.

Is this for rich white people who want therapy more than an hour a week?

If you want to find a demographic constantly flitting from fad to fad, look to rich white people who need to occupy themselves.

When you see pictures of people exposing their naked rectums to Sol - sorry, we have to use medical terms for idiocy to legitimize them so let's call it perineum sunning - it's going to be a white person with money to burn.

In the ASMR video below both "organic" and "cacao" are featured prominently, and the author says Happy Earth Day, which may be an indicator of the demographic that are most "helped" by this - wealthy white people. What does organic have to do with anything in sensory perception?(5)Even highly paid organic industry economist Chuck Benbrook never tried to claim organic beans sounded better than conventional, and a lot of his methodologies look like they were created on a dare.

Is America really that stressful or are we so rich we need to invent new pathologies?

Giant swaths of culture are racing to note how awful their lives are. On one fringe we have a "special snowflake" problem, who like to claim victim status, and on another people who see themselves as saviors. We can talk about the poor but being poor is relative. In America, poor people can afford to be fat. Tell someone in a developing country you are poor and fat and they will laugh at you. A poor family in America lives in more square footage than the same size middle class family in France.

I grew up poor, we were poor in a rural community where 30 percent of the public lived below poverty, I do not recommend it, but growing up that way means I have perspective people with existential dread about life may lack. They are searching for answers, and think the answers may be found in sunning their buttholes or listening to someone crinkle teabags on the Internet or buying Non-GMO Project water.

If people throwing around words like "gestalt" and "zeitgeist" for effect were the end of it, fine, but along with Snowflakes, we have Saviors, so we can't just be limited to arguments about whether or nor an emotional support dog gets to sit next to us in a restaurant, the Savior side will hit us with talk of trigger warnings and calls for social authoritarian control of speech if we dare to object.

In ASMR's defense, I have not seen any of them call for any of those things. No one claims if it isn't covered by health insurance, they are oppressed, no one seems to feel like they need us to legitimize it the way vegans get so preachy.

That attack mentality is why organic food shoppers are so annoying, and ASMR simply avoids that cloying posture. They feel like if it works, there is no downside because no one is penalized. And that is better than supplements or environmental groups who manufacture problems they can claim to solve.

So ASMR is not as weird as you might think, unless it is, because what it is must remain entirely subjective. There is no forced ASMR video filming industry, nor are proponents claiming you will get cancer or ruin the environment if you don't participate. It may not be scientific, but so what? When the weather warms and I head outside to watch a movie I am not doing anything any less pointless than someone watching a YouTube video or NASCAR race to help them sleep is doing.

The benefit to being the apex predator, running the world, is we have it so good we can do pointless things.

NOTES:

(1) I've done them in the past because I think it's valuable for the public to be able to see how scientists and writers talk about topics, especially given persistent claims by activists that Science Is A Vast Corporate Conspiracy.

Anyone who has watched any of my meetings know that is not true. We argue, we joke, sometimes we're boring, sometimes we have great ideas, but no one controls what scientists think. It's more like herding butterflies than the secret manipulation environmental groups, organic food trade groups, and chemophobes (often the same) try to portray to raise money.

"Science is a corporate conspiracy" sells and they don't want to spoil that. We have to refute it so often we now just wear it on t-shirts.

(2) Literally the only one missing now is Facebook Live, because while they won't let me use a social media tool like Hootsuite to post to my personal page, they will only let me broadcast video to my personal page. We can't have live streaming on Science 2.0 or Scienceblogs or Science 2.0 Europe unless we do them individually, despite those being far more traffic than Twitter or video sites.

(3) Maybe chiropractors, since in Maine they provide 33 percent of the funding behind the anti-vaccine movement there, much as they did in California in 2015. And though they have never let an employee attend one of their special conferences where they talk about cracking the spines of infants and worshiping discredited former MD Andrew Wakefield, I will continue to try.

(4) Just like a gurgling stream and raging rapids, I wouldn't be able to sleep at an actual NASCAR race.

(5) Earth Day was created to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lenin and the biggest supporters of it today are staunchly opposed to feeding poor people in other countries, yet these are cacaco beans grown in other the same countries white environmentalists in America are all Malthusian about not helping.

More here:

ASMR - It Isn't As Weird As You Might Think, Unless It Is - Science 2.0

Posted in Zeitgeist Movement | Comments Off on ASMR – It Isn’t As Weird As You Might Think, Unless It Is – Science 2.0

Page 11234..1020..»