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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Current Events’

Classic Sesame Street: Ronald Grump cons Oscar the Grouch into moving to Grump Tower

March 25, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Television No Comments →

via BoingBoing

Against Amnesia

February 26, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events No Comments →

Thirty-one years ago we were part of something so extraordinary that it ignited movements for freedom in the rest of the world. We didn’t do it for any families or personalities; we did it for ourselves, to reclaim the dignity and the rights that had been denied us for so long. It was the right thing to do. No one can take that away from us.

At the rally I ran into one of my teachers, and we remarked on the renewed relevance of Yeats.

The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Democracy is a work in progress.

Scorsese’s 1993 defense of Fellini explains why Trump’s immigration ban destroys the future

February 03, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies No Comments →


La Dolce Vita photo from the Criterion Collection.

The issue here is not “film theory,” but cultural diversity and openness. Diversity guarantees our cultural survival. When the world is fragmenting into groups of intolerance, ignorance and hatred, film is a powerful tool to knowledge and understanding. To our shame, your article was cited at length by the European press.

The attitude that I’ve been describing celebrates ignorance. It also unfortunately confirms the worst fears of European filmmakers.

Is this closed-mindedness something we want to pass along to future generations?

If you accept the answer in the commercial, why not take it to its natural progression:

Why don’t they make movies like ours?
Why don’t they tell stories as we do?
Why don’t they dress as we do?
Why don’t they eat as we do?
Why don’t they talk as we do?
Why don’t they think as we do?
Why don’t they worship as we do?
Why don’t they look like us?

Ultimately, who will decide who “we” are?

Read the letter in full at Letters of Note.

18!

January 30, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Tennis 4 Comments →

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

I didn’t watch it. Longish story, tell you later. Going to sleep.

Happy New Year to us all! One day you feel the world is rushing to oblivion, and then Federer wins a grand slam again and suddenly everything will be fine. Sport: the great metaphor.

* * * * *

The match everyone thought would never happen again, where everything turned out the way I have always wanted while agonizing through every Federer v Nadal match in the last ten years, and I missed it.

I was in Thailand for work. Periodically I would check the results from Melbourne but was vewy vewy quiet because I didn’t want to jinx it. Sports fans maintain the irrational belief that their actions affect the outcomes of matches. But it was all Federer and Nadal. They are the best emotional investment we tennis fans have ever made, and they’re still paying off.

Okay, it’s been over 24 hours. We now return to the resistance. Now we see why superhero movies and dystopian narratives took over popular culture in the last decade. The writers could see it coming. We’re living in it now.

From Lying to Leering: Rebecca Solnit on Trump’s Fear of Women

January 16, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Places 1 Comment →


I can’t bring myself to post a photograph, so here is an orange singing the Habanera from Carmen.

Trump is patriarchy unbuttoned, paunchy, in a baggy suit, with his hair oozing and his lips flapping and his face squinching into clownish expressions of mockery and rage and self-congratulation. He picked as a running mate buttoned-up patriarchy, the lean, crop-haired, perpetually tense Mike Pence, who actually has experience in government, signing eight anti-abortion bills in his four years as governor of Indiana, and going after Planned Parenthood the way Trump went after hapless beauty queens. The Republican platform was, as usual, keen to gut reproductive rights and pretty much any rights that appertained to people who weren’t straight, or male, or white.

Misogyny was everywhere. It came from the right and the left, and Clinton was its bull’s-eye, but it spilled over to women across the political spectrum. Early on some of Trump’s fury focused on the Fox presenter Megyn Kelly, who had questioned him about his derogatory comments about other women’s appearance. He made the bizarre statement on CNN that ‘you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.’ He also denigrated his opponents’ wives and the businesswoman Carly Fiorina’s face; he obligingly attacked Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe, in a flurry of middle-of-the-night tweets after Clinton baited him about his treatment of her; he attacked the women who accused him of assaulting them after the grab-them-by-the-pussy tape was released.

Read it in the LRB.

Send off this horrible year with a George Michael New Year’s Eve Playlist.

December 28, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Current Events, Movies, Music No Comments →

george-michael

How can a music icon and jillion-selling artist still be underrated? Well George Michael was, because he only released new music when he wanted to, he didn’t think every moment of his life was for public consumption, and he expected no praise for his kindness and generosity. Thank you, George Michael.

Let’s start the playlist with Outside, which responds to a very public shaming with defiance and strength.

princess_leia_8

And the Year of Obituaries continues with the death of Carrie Fisher, who as Princess Leia taught the women of my generation how to fight, resist tyranny, and be the equal of any man, and as a writer showed us that no one has to be perfect, our flaws are what make us strong. The Force is with you, General Leia.

larry-to-leia