June 29, 2017
The purpose of the thought leader is to mirror, systematize, and popularize the delusions of the superrich: that they have earned their fortunes on merit, that social protections need to be further eviscerated to make everyone more flexible for “the future,” and that local attachments and alternative ways of living should be replaced by an aspirational consumerism. The thought leader aggregates these fundamental convictions into a great humanitarian mission. David Sessions writes 3000 words for The New Republic.
The Tearoom as a record of risky business (NSFW) The Tearoom is a historical public bathroom simulator about anxiety, police surveillance, and sucking off other dudes' guns. In it, you basically cruise other willing strangers for sex, and try to have some fun without getting caught by undercover police. It's heavily inspired by Laud Humphreys' epic Tearoom Trade (1970), a meticulous 180 page sociological study of men who have quick anonymous sex with men in public bathrooms ("tearooms" in US, "cottages" in UK), along with interviews, diagrams, and derived "rules" for participating in the tearoom trade. [more inside]
Anita Sarkeesian's astounding 'garbage human' moment. [Polygon] “The panel's first question drops. It’s about why feminism — online and in games — is an issue worthy of discussion. Sarkeesian notes Benjamin's presence and begins speaking. "If you Google my name on YouTube you get shitheads like this dude who are making these dumb-assed videos," she says. "They just say the same shit over and over again. I hate to give you attention because you're a garbage human. These dudes just making endless videos that go after every feminist over and over again is a part of the issue of why we have to have these conversations." The crowd gives her a positive response, with some whoops and cheers.” [more inside]
Washington Post: "I’m a young, female doctor. Calling me ‘sweetie’ won’t help me save your life." [more inside]
Emma Watson has been hiding copies of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale around Paris, with a handwritten note inside each one. This is a continuation of Watson's previous work with Book Fairies, an international organization that leaves books in public places in 100 different countries for people to find, read, and then pass along to someone else. On International Women's Day this year, in collaboration with Book Fairies, Watson hid copies of feminist books at historical sites around New York City. It also dovetails with Watson's general interest in reading and promoting feminist literature: in January 2016, she launched a public feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf; here is her full list of books for 2016. [more inside]
A beautiful data animation shows the unprecedented development of China’s rail system. (Scroll down past the bar graph). [more inside]
It's possible with lambs. Are people next? Where will science and bioethics take us in the near future?
What happened when a peaceable, devout community in 19th century rural south-west Wales was pushed too far by falling wages, rapacious rentierism, unfair taxation, draconian poverty laws, and official disdain? "The 1840s agricultural unrest known as the Rebecca riots is remembered as having been an unqualified success and, most famously, as having been carried out on horseback at night by men dressed, for some reason, like our grandmothers."
In the middle of the night, a group of Indigenous people and supporters erected a tipi on Ottawa's Parliament Hill, despite police efforts to stop them, immediately before celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation are to begin. [more inside]