Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Current Events’

Dancing In My Tsinelas: A happy playlist for VP Leni

December 05, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Music 11 Comments →

I am tired of being angry.

We all have reasons to be angry, but being angry just makes us angrier, and then the loudest and angriest wins. All that energy expended on nothing, just making everyone feel ill and look worn-out.

Today we woke up to the kind of news that makes us angry. I support #ProtectVPLeni and #LabanLeni, but I’m thinking that we could also try a different approach—one that is less likely to cause yelling.

A different approach, like Cheer. Like believing that good defeats evil. Like laughing in the face of despair. Like insisting on hope. Like dancing on the grave of injustice. (To those of us who are not perky sunshine people, it’s positively revolutionary.)

Nothing promotes happiness like music. So Juan, Ricky and I got together and made a list of happy songs off the tops of our heads.

Here is the first Dancing In My Tsinelas — a happy playlist for VP Leni. Because there’s a lot of work to be done, and how can you work if you feel like the nails are being driven into your coffin? Cheer up!

Don’t just listen to the playlist, make your own and send it to us! (Note: We need Filipino songs!)

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls

November 21, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Music, Places, Traveling 1 Comment →

A New Yorker who stood up against bullies.

The people of New York standing up against bullies. The Post-It Project.

Overheard in the 14th St station: “You wanna stop and write your feelings? Hey !@#$%^ tell the world how you feel!”

On the platform a woman was singing “Hallelujah” in a way that honored Leonard Cohen while wiping the floor with his version. (In the immediate aftermath of the US presidential election Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, and Sharon Jones have died.)

Sneaky Burials and other atrocities in the “post-truth” world

November 19, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Current Events 3 Comments →

Bird’s Hell from ‘Max Beckmann in New York’, Metropolitan Museum

We knew it was going to happen so we prepared ourselves for the outrage, but the temerity of the deed, the sheer contempt for justice and human decency challenges even the power of language.

This is an abomination.

They will not get away with this.

2016 isn’t even over, but it is already the absolute pits.

November 14, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events No Comments →

We are all in a time loop. (Updated)

November 09, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 30 Comments →

In the last two days, everything has been upended.

The traditional news media, now called the “legacy media”, has lost its influence.

The pollsters, statisticians, pundits, experts in many fields, were wrong.

Everything I’ve been taught to value no longer seems to matter. Oh, stuff like truth, intelligence (esp. books), respect, equality.

The years 1972-86 didn’t happen so I’m 14 years younger.

And tomorrow I’m off to New York.

How do we deal? I recommend a mental health maintenance break. Disconnect. Cheer yourself up. Give yourself time alone. The world is very loud, we can all use some solitude. Take stock of what you still have and think of what you can live without. Look to your friends. I mean your real friends, the ones you have a shared history with, who know exactly what’s wrong with you and remain your friends. You will need them more than you ever have.

Hard times are forecast. When you return, prepare. Do not be afraid and do not give in to despair. (It’s time to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy again.)

Ever heard the term “the consolations of literature”? Join me.

As for me, I have resolved to be psychotically cheerful. Irony has always served me well.

If you’re in New York, drop me a line. I shall infect you with psychotic cheerfulness.

P.S. Need to talk? The therapist is in. (Never mind that Freud is now quaint.)

* * * * *


On the Internet, nearly everything conspires against the truth.

November 07, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events, Technology 1 Comment →

Doctor Strange sends some journalists to a hell dimension.

We are living in the post-fact age. The more I see what’s going on, the more thankful I am that I was born in the analog world (a.k.a. old).

Digital technology has blessed us with better ways to capture and disseminate news. There are cameras and audio recorders everywhere, and as soon as something happens, you can find primary proof of it online.

You would think that greater primary documentation would lead to a better cultural agreement about the “truth.” In fact, the opposite has happened.

Documentary proof seems to have lost its power. If the Kennedy conspiracies were rooted in an absence of documentary evidence, the 9/11 theories benefited from a surfeit of it. So many pictures from 9/11 flooded the internet, often without much context about what was being shown, that conspiracy theorists could pick and choose among them to show off exactly the narrative they preferred. There is also the looming specter of Photoshop: Now, because any digital image can be doctored, people can freely dismiss any bit of inconvenient documentary evidence as having been somehow altered.

One of the apparent advantages of online news is persistent fact-checking. Now when someone says something false, journalists can show they’re lying. And if the fact-checking sites do their jobs well, they’re likely to show up in online searches and social networks, providing a ready reference for people who want to correct the record.

But that hasn’t quite happened. Today dozens of news outlets routinely fact-check the candidates and much else online, but the endeavor has proved largely ineffective against a tide of fakery.

That’s because the lies have also become institutionalized. There are now entire sites whose only mission is to publish outrageous, completely fake news online (like real news, fake news has become a business). Partisan Facebook pages have gotten into the act; a recent BuzzFeed analysis of top political pages on Facebook showed that right-wing sites published false or misleading information 38 percent of the time, and lefty sites did so 20 percent of the time.

“In many ways the debunking (of misinformation) just reinforced the sense of alienation or outrage that people feel about the topic, and ultimately you’ve done more harm than good.”

Dormammu makes Doctor Strange’s head explode.

Read How the Internet is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth, and make sure you have chocolate, a stiff drink, or a snuggly cat to console you afterwards. Or look at this selection of the weirdest Doctor Strange moments in the comics.