The Haints’ Sunday Best: March 18, 2012

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As a new feature of my blog, I’ve decided to have a weekly summary of my top events.  I have emphasized “my” as I’m sure my weekly highlights might not always match yours. I was thinking I’d have it as Friday feature, but I really want to suck the lifeblood out of the week, so Sunday surely is best.

So here goes (not necessarily in chronological order):

Being Rick-rolled is not as fun as it used to be:

Republican candidate for the presidential nomination Rick Santorum continues to take the campaign to extraordinary heights: of craziness. He started the week in Puerto Rico by saying in order to become the 51st state, Puerto Ricans should speak English – in Puerto Rico. He’s since tried to soften his statement on Puerto Rico, but seriously, it’s like trying to bottle a lightening bolt. He didn’t stop there. Santorum ended the week by declaring a war on hardcore porn because gosh, you know, without porn, people would get straight back to work and those pesky gas prices might come down. And this already from a man who is against both choice AND contraception (because, of course, using contraception has no affect whatsoever on the number of abortions). But Santorum has really found his mojo on this latest issue. No porn + no sex = a prosperous America. I guess Walmart will start selling hair shirts soon.

I’m every woman:

Hillary Clinton had a few choice words for those who have declared a war on women’s rights (that means you, Rick Santorum).

 

Obama learns a new language:

David Cameron had his first official visit to the United States, though, to be honest, most Americans don’t even know who David Cameron is. And boy, did he and his wife, Samantha, get the five-star treatment – a far cry from what he gets back in the U.K. Dave got to eat hotdogs and ride on a big plane that has its own operating theatre. I loved all the references to the War of 1812 and Obama even learned British. I hate to admit it, but that Dave sure is a charmer. On excursions like these, you can see why poor Mr. Brown didn’t stand a chance.

 

So is Apple not laced with poison?

NPR’s This American Life retracted the story of Mike Daisey’s visit to the Apple factory in China. Turns out, Daisey’s interpreter claims much of the story was fabricated. When the story first came out, you could hear the sharp intake of breath amongst privileged, foot-conversed hipsters everywhere wondering what they should do about all that expensive Apple kit they either owned or coveted. Would they have to dress like Mitt Romney’s sons, wear drawn-down hats and shades when they entered an Apple store? The ensuing furore caused Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook to issue a statement that Apple took human rights seriously and claims of workers’ abuse would be vigorously investigated.  So is the story not true? Well, Daisey has already scrubbed Apple references from his theatre act, so who knows. In the meantime, is it now OK to buy the new iPad 3 with a clean conscience? Judging by the queues outside Apple stores this week, I think people left their consciences on the Oregon Trail years ago.

Trouble in Kony Island:

I must be one of the few people on the planet who has NOT watched the Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video. When I was copying the link from youtube, I saw that it had over 82million views. There are less people in the United Kingdom. I’ve kind of zoned out on the surrounding controversy about the video, but I caught snatches of “misappropriation of charitable funds,” “misguided focus on a criminal who no longer terrorizes Uganda,” “shady filmmakers,” “right-wing Christian agenda”, etc. So it goes. But what REALLY caught my attention is this video of Invisible Children’s founder, Jason Russell. Talk about breaking down under pressure. It’s never a pleasant experience to watch someone lose it – especially like this. I’m afraid we should always keep in mind the medical association with “going viral”. Whatever good Jason Russell wanted from his film has gone epidemic, but unfortunately, so has the crazy.

What I love about George Clooney:

That he went from this to this in the space of a day. I love him.

So has Tyler Clementi been vindicated?

Dharun Ravi was found guilty on a number of charges relating to Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers college student who committed suicide days after Ravi uploaded a live feed of Clementi having a sexual encounter with another man on his Twitter account. The jury found Ravi guilty of intimidation, tampering of evidence and invasion of privacy. While I’m pleased that Ravi was rightfully found guilty of the charges, I agree with Emily Bazelon in Slate who wonders if punishing a 20 year-old with a long jail sentence is actually the right course of action. There’s no question that what Ravi did was wrong, but I think it would be helpful to find out exactly why he did what he did. We never got to hear Ravi in his own words. Until we address the root causes for homophobia, racism, sexism etc, we can’t expect to really make that much progress, as people will just focus on not getting caught, rather than the fact these “isms” are just morally and fundamentally wrong.

So! That was my week. There was so much more, but either I forgot, I downgraded, or I just haven’t fully-digested yet.

To end, here are a few quick things that have also made my week:

What I’m reading: The Blitz by Juliet Gardiner.

What I’m listening to (new): Visions by Grimes

What I’m listening to (old): Ill Communication by Beastie Boys

Film I’m most looking forward to (this week, but not out in the UK until May): Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Favorite images of the week (courtesy of Flavorpill): People jumping rope from the perspective of a jump rope. Genius.

Hope you enjoyed my first Sunday Best. I’ll tweak it as I go along, but comments are always welcomed. Or you can just enjoy (or despair) in silence.

All best, Haints. Follow me on twitter.

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