Category: CULTURE & CRITICISM

The Gringo Wall

GAITHER STEWART—That the most traditional of races renounced the memory of its past, mythical or true, is no small matter. The Chinese had three thousand years of chronology (in those years, the Yellow Emperor and Chuang Tzu and Confucius and Lao Tzu) when Shih Huang Ti ordered that history began with him.

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French artists rebuff #MeToo witch-hunt

LINDA TENENBAUM—The French comment counterposes the crime of rape, to “persistently or clumsily hitting on someone,” and correctly insists that the two are simply not the same. It attacks #MeToo for branding as “traitors” and “accomplices” those who make such a distinction, creating a climate of intimidation, where freedom of speech “is today turning into its opposite.”

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The New York Times’ reactionary sexual harassment campaign runs into opposition

DAVID WALSH—Merkin notes a “disturbing lack of clarity” about terms such as harassment, assault and “inappropriate conduct.” She observes, moreover, that expressing “sexual interest is inherently messy and, frankly, nonconsensual—one person, typically the man, bites the bullet by expressing interest in the other, typically the woman—whether it happens at work or at a bar.

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Downsizing: Alexander Payne’s take on climate change, overpopulation, social inequality … and more

JOANNE LAURIER—Alexander Payne’s new film Downsizing, is an uneven, but engaging science-fiction satire that proposes to solve the earth’s ecological and other problems by “downsizing,” or physically shrinking, human beings. The creator of such noteworthy films as Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002) and Nebraska (2013), Payne employs, in Downsizing, a generally light touch in attempting to address pressing social ills.

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Runaway Train Towards Full Digitization of Money and Labor

PETER KOENIG—If Switzerland accepts the change to digital money, a country where until relatively recently most people went to pay their monthly bills in cash to the nearest post office – then we, in the western world, are on a fast track to total enslavement by the financial institutions. It goes, of course, hand-in-hand with the rest of systematic and ever faster advancing oppression and robotization of the 99.9% by the 0.1%.

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