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  1. Gallery

    | 13 notes

    Abortion: thank God Justin Bieber fans won’t be listening to his mother

    Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett writes:

    What better way to welcome the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade than the news that Justin Bieber’s mother is producing an anti-abortion film? I honestly cannot think of a superior way to celebrate how American women finally succeeded in winning reproductive rights.

    Bieber’s “mom”, less commonly known as Pattie Mallette, thinks the abortion epidemic needs addressing and is hoping to raise $10m through screenings of the film, called Crescendo. The money will go towards so-called “crisis centres” whose function is to deter women from having abortions, presumably through a combination of good old-fashioned indoctrination and endless YouTube repeats of her son’s 2010 hit Baby. From the looks of the trailer (and somewhat strangely for an anti-abortion propaganda film), Crescendo appears to be set in 18th-century France in what I assume is intended to be a kind of Christian fundamentalist version of Les Mis, but with the singalongs and revolutionary fervour replaced by botched abortion attempts with a coathanger and gin in the bath.

    [Read the rest here]

    Photographs: Victoria Will/AP/Invision | Bill Mccay/WireImage

  2. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslet: The Spice Girls were my gateway drug to feminism

    | 4 notes

    She writes:

    Women come to discover feminism for a variety of reasons, some intensely personal and some less so. I’m a feminist because of my mum, the existence of the Child Support Agency at a crucial time in my development, the Tories, an incident that I cannot discuss for legal reasons and, you betcha, the Spice Girls. And despite what Dent might think, I’m not an idiot; I know that the whole “Baby Spice” shtick is paedo-y and problematic, and that aligning your feminism with a group of women who let Meatloaf drive them over Tower Bridge while it’s open makes you look like a bit of an arse. But I also know from the comments on this article that I am not alone. Like the author, I can still smell the limited edition Impulse Spice Girls fragrance from here, and it doesn’t half bring back memories.

    (Source: Guardian)

  3. Gallery

    | 76 notes

    No Doubt, exploiting ‘hot’ Native American stereotypes is never OK

    Lisa Charleyboy, aka @UrbanNativeGirl, writes about No Doubt’s latest video, which was pulled after complaints were received:

    it’s not the first time Stefani has missed that mark. Remember when she had four silent Asian women posing as “Harajuku girls” to prop her up wherever she went? Oh, and then there was that phase in the 1990s when she wore bindis and saris at every given chance. She clearly missed the memo that the band’s music and community was built upon “respect, unity and inclusiveness,” as the apology cites.

    However thin the apology was, the decision to take down the video is a step in the right direction. The fact that they “consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California” does, however, lead me to question how the video was deemed appropriate by these friends and “experts”, who were likely non-Native, in the first place. I don’t think many Native American people would have witnessed the throwing of an eagle staff, the Hollywood Native stereotypical style of dancing around the fire, nor the objectification and sexualisation of Native American women non-offensive. It was the latter that I reacted to the most.

    Read the entire piece here.

    Photographs: Screengrab; Toby Melville/Reuters; Jim Smeal/Wire Image


  4. Video

    | 6 notes

    Adam Haupt: Die Antwoord’s revival of blackface does South Africa no favours

    Die Antwoord are Ninja (Waddy Jones), Yo-Landi Vi$$er (Anri du Toit) and DJ Hi-Tek, who has been played by different people in their videos. They market themselves as leaders of zef counter-culture, a supposedly Afrikaans working-class movement. Interestingly, they link zef – which apparently just used to mean “common” or “kitsch”, but now means “cool” – to 1980s white, working-class culture. In truth, however, Jones is neither working-class nor Afrikaans-speaking. All of his previous rap projects, none particularly successful and all in English language, included Original Evergreen, Max Normal, Max Normal.TV and Constructus Corporation. It wasn’t until Jones adopted the Afrikaans working-class persona, Ninja, that he hit pay dirt. And it is ironic that while Ninja borrows heavily from male, “coloured”, Afrikaans-speaking working-class stereotypes from the Cape, most Cape Afrikaans and Xhosa rappers have not achieved local and international success on the same scale as him. While ambiguous, Die Antwoord’s allusion to both working-class white and “coloured” stereotypes are cultural appropriation. 

  5. Photo

    | 6 notes
    Adam Haupt: Die Antwoord’s revival of blackface does South Africa no favours

Die Antwoord are Ninja (Waddy Jones), Yo-Landi Vi$$er (Anri du Toit) and DJ Hi-Tek, who has been played by different people in their videos. They market themselves as leaders of zef counter-culture, a supposedly Afrikaans working-class movement. Interestingly, they link zef – which apparently just used to mean “common” or “kitsch”, but now means “cool” – to 1980s white, working-class culture. In truth, however, Jones is neither working-class nor Afrikaans-speaking. All of his previous rap projects, none particularly successful and all in English language, included Original Evergreen, Max Normal, Max Normal.TV and Constructus Corporation. It wasn’t until Jones adopted the Afrikaans working-class persona, Ninja, that he hit pay dirt. And it is ironic that while Ninja borrows heavily from male, “coloured”, Afrikaans-speaking working-class stereotypes from the Cape, most Cape Afrikaans and Xhosa rappers have not achieved local and international success on the same scale as him. While ambiguous, Die Antwoord’s allusion to both working-class white and “coloured” stereotypes are cultural appropriation. 

    Adam Haupt: Die Antwoord’s revival of blackface does South Africa no favours

    Die Antwoord are Ninja (Waddy Jones), Yo-Landi Vi$$er (Anri du Toit) and DJ Hi-Tek, who has been played by different people in their videos. They market themselves as leaders of zef counter-culture, a supposedly Afrikaans working-class movement. Interestingly, they link zef – which apparently just used to mean “common” or “kitsch”, but now means “cool” – to 1980s white, working-class culture. In truth, however, Jones is neither working-class nor Afrikaans-speaking. All of his previous rap projects, none particularly successful and all in English language, included Original Evergreen, Max Normal, Max Normal.TV and Constructus Corporation. It wasn’t until Jones adopted the Afrikaans working-class persona, Ninja, that he hit pay dirt. And it is ironic that while Ninja borrows heavily from male, “coloured”, Afrikaans-speaking working-class stereotypes from the Cape, most Cape Afrikaans and Xhosa rappers have not achieved local and international success on the same scale as him. While ambiguous, Die Antwoord’s allusion to both working-class white and “coloured” stereotypes are cultural appropriation. 

  6. Quote

    | 11 notes

    This state may be stronger than time in jail

    The more arrests, the happier it is
    Every arrest is carried out with love for the sexist

    Who botoxed his cheeks and pumped his chest and abs

    But you can’t nail us in the coffin
    Throw off the yoke of former KGB!

    Putin is lighting the fires of revolution
    He’s bored and scared of sharing silence with the people
    With every execution: the stench of rotten ash
    With every long sentence: a wet dream

    The country is going, the country is going into the streets boldly
    The country is going, the country is going to bid farewell to the regime
    The country is going, the country is going, like a feminist wedge
    And Putin is going, Putin is going to say goodbye like a sheep

    Arrest the whole city for May 6th
    Seven years isn’t enough, give us 18!
    Forbid us to scream, walk and curse!
    Go and marry Father Lukashenko

    Pussy Riot’s new single, Putin Lights Up the Fires – the lyrics

    Translation credit: @Russian_Market and Miriam Elde

  7. Quote

    | 2,036 notes

    “I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of “Fuck the Police”? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!…..

    Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”

    Tom Morello has written a pretty bemused op-ed about Paul Ryan’s reported love for Rage Against The Machine.  (via joaniecash)

    heh heh heh

    (via darkjez)

    This is perfect

    (via cognitivedissonance)

    This is a piece we really wish we had commissioned.

    (via cognitivedissonance)

  8. Quote

    | 16 notes
    Older women simply can’t win. And despite the fact that Madonna is a veritable goddess of excellent pop campery, she is, to her detriment, also 53. Which is about the same age as my mum. Now, I’m not suggesting that my mum should start flashing people in Buckingham Waitrose, but that’s because she’s not a multimillion-dollar recording artist under pressure to keep things saucy. Madonna is, and if she chooses to flash her half-a-century-old nipples, by God, I defend her right to do it. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett defends Madonna (and her nipples)
  9. Quote

    | 9 notes
    So imagine my horror on seeing a poster the other day for American Pie: The Reunion, a film in which the original cast reconvene after 13 years, presumably now in their 30s and dealing with kids and mortgages and paunches and OH SOD EVERYTHING. It’s a piece of nostalgia cashing in on something I was too old for first time around. That’s how you know you’re really getting old. That and the way your eyebrow hair goes all wiry and starts sprouting away from your face like its afraid of something, which to be fair it probably is, considering how knackered you look.

    When you lose touch with popular culture, it’s tough to get back, says Charlie Brooker

  10. Photo

    | 120 notes
    ‘There’s no pressure for Jessie J to be a good role model – she already is, and it seems she wants to be. All I ask is that she be happy about her sexuality, in spite of an unauthorised biographer (one of the few sources from where tabloids can still borrow potentially litigious information) enabling the Sun to out her with all the horny indignity of a rejected ex-lover.’ 
– Sophie Wilkinson, in Why Jessie J’s sexuality is valuable to young teens. Read more here

    There’s no pressure for Jessie J to be a good role model – she already is, and it seems she wants to be. All I ask is that she be happy about her sexuality, in spite of an unauthorised biographer (one of the few sources from where tabloids can still borrow potentially litigious information) enabling the Sun to out her with all the horny indignity of a rejected ex-lover.’

    – Sophie Wilkinson, in Why Jessie J’s sexuality is valuable to young teens. Read more here

  11. Has your favourite band ever let you down by selling out?

    | 7 notes

    The Sex Pistols have declined an invitation to play at the London Olympics closing ceremony, pleasing fans who felt the band would lose all punk credibility by participating in the event (never mind those butter commercials featuring band member John Lydon and the use of Pretty Vacant to promote the bookmakers William Hill).

    • With this in mind, tell us about the worst examples of pop stars “selling out”. Were you shocked when Bacardi sponsored Groove Armada's album? Did it sadden you to hear Thom Yorke on the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack? Did your heart break when, in 2009, news came that Bob Dylan's song was to be used in an advertisement? Or is there an artist who has earned your respect by resisting the corporate path?

    Photograph: The Sex Pistols. Cine Text/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

  12. Quote

    | 1 note
    What’s perhaps most threatening to grown-ups is that the children who are daggering are discovering, sharing and performing it themselves. This dance may seem misogynistic and emblematic of sexual depravity and coercion. However, beyond one case mentioned in Channel 4’s report, there is little proof that the girls in this video, or others like it, are unwilling dancers. Or that participants are destined for sexual assault. See the video Sophie Wilkinson is talking about and her piece where she explains why daggering, a form of dancing amongst young people, is nothing to panic about.

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