I really liked the internet this week. Highlights: Donald Trump did a lot of shitty things, Southern California is consumed by wildfires, Time named its person(s) of the year the “Silence Breakers,” Al Franken resigned, Bitcoin uses A LOT of energy, we need more of Susan Sontag’s seriousness, Netflix released season two for The Crown, and Miami Art Week and Art Basel Art Fairs happened.
1. The New York Times: Full Video and Transcript: Trump’s Speech Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday. Concern is understandable for the impact upon US, Israeli, and Palestinian relations; in the past the US has declared Jerusalem a conflict issue for Israel and Palestine to decide. Since Trump’s announcement, there has been an uptick in protests and violence in the region, most notably in Gaza.
2. LA Times: Destructive toll of Southern California fire siege comes into focus
Since Tuesday, much of Southern California has been engulfed by wildfires. This year has been the worst year on record for California wildfires. As of late yesterday, some fires are starting to be contained. California Gov. Brown gave a grim outlook on the situation stating “This is kind of the new normal” due to climate change. You can find more information about the fires here.
3. Patagonia: The President Stole Your Land
Donald Trump shrunk the size of two national monuments in Utah this week. Patagonia is not having it. They are suing Donald Trump. Buy some stuff from Patagonia for the holidays.
Time named their person(s) of the year the “Silence Breakers,” people who came forward to speak up about sexual assault. They are getting a lot of shit for it, and rightly so. No one is contesting that the Silence Breakers should be on the cover, just the individuals chosen to represent them. Most notably, they are getting shit for putting Taylor Swift on the cover over other women who had a lot more to lose, and lost A LOT more when they came forward. Further, Time chose Donald Trump as runner-up, which is just gross and hypocritical.
5. ABCNews: Sen. Al Franken says he’ll resign from Senate ‘in the coming weeks’ amid sexual harassment allegations
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) resigned from the senate amid sexual assault allegations. His resignation signals a significant shift in how the democratic and republican parties are responding to sexual assault allegations. As a counterpoint, Roy Moore, who is the Republican nominee in Alabama for a US Senate seat has been accused of sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl (he was 32 at the time)and others, but he is still campaigning with Trump support. The Republican party has reached a new low, one almost impossible to fathom.
6. Grist: Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future
When Bitcoin started, it was meant to be a way of exchanging currency without interference from a bank of governments. Now, with its astronomical increase in value, this year one Bitcoin we from being worth $1,000 to nearly $12,000, many are using it as an investment tool. To capitalize, investors are creating larger and larger nextworks of supercomputers to mine this valuable currency. But these networks of computers use incredible amounts of energy: “each Bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day.” Can Bitcoin help solve some of our economic problems? Or will it lead to the death of clean energy?
7. The New Yorker: The Other Susan Sontag
When we think about the enduring force of Susan Sontag, it is usually in reference to her non-fiction work, and few of us seldom remember her fictional work. It is clear to anyone who has read, or knows anything about Sontag, that she loved words, sentences, and writing. But maybe what she loved above all else was seriousness. Today, seriousness seems a forgotten virtue.
8. The New York Times: Met Defends Suggestive Painting of Girl After Petition Calls for Its Removal
People are asking for a Balthus painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be taken down. The museum is refusing to concede to requests, and some people are supporting the Met Museum. This year, starting with Dana Schutz in the Whitney Biennial, has been big for censorship and protest in the arts.
9. The Atlantic: The Crown: Netflix’s Best Superhero Show
Not all heroes wear capes, but some wear crowns. Netflix released the second season of its hit biographical drama, The Crown, Friday. The show follows Queen Elizabeth II struggle to reconcile two aspects of herself: Elizabeth Windsor, and Elizabeth Regina. The Crown paints a portrait of Queen Elizabeth as “a woman continually defined not by what she wants, but by what she senses people need from her.” It makes you think about how our leader (does not) considers his duty.
10. ARTnews: Complete Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 Coverage
Miami Art Basel started on Thursday and ends today and ARTnews has managed to keep an extensive list of everything that has been going on. V impressive. Inevitably, more news and reviews will come out after the event is over. If you are not in Miami, the #artbaselmiami Instagram posts are pretty great. Check out BmoreArt’s IG photos of the fairs and upcoming coverage here.
The Daily Beast: Meghan Markle is Everything Ivanka Trump Wishes She Could Be
Yes, take a seat (not in the cabinet) Ivanka. Since the Royal engagement announcement last week, Meghan Markle is living the life Ivanka has dreamed of. Go Meghan. Will the Trumps be invited to the wedding?
Salon: “Alt-right” women are upset that “alt-right” men are treating them terribly
So this has been a thing that has been going on for a while…and everytime I read about it I am shocked that alt-right women are shocked?!?! Like…what did you expect?
*All images taken from reference articles*
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