Do Richard Curtis Rom-Coms Exist in New Four Weddings?

The plot of writer-director Richard Curtiss high-concept summer romantic comedy Yesterday blared loudly enough from the trailers and onslaught of marketing for most people to garner the plot: A freak blackout somehow erases the existence of The Beatles from the world. Only one person remembers their songs and their legacy, passing them off as his own in an attempt to become a music star.

But if youve seen Yesterday, you know that its not only The Beatles that no longer exist. Some make sense: No Oasis, as their music certainly descends from the Fab Fours sound. (Though Ed Sheeran inexplicably escapes that fate.) Other pop culture tenets that have been erased, however, are utterly random and nonsensical. No Coca-Cola. No Harry Potter.

That aspect of the film inspired a parlor game amid film critics and journalists obsessed with trying to understand what does and does not exist according to the random rules of Richard Curtis Yesterday universe. After we joked that maybe Curtis films themselves may not existremember how pivotal the song All You Need Is Love is to the plot of Love Actually?The Huffington Posts Matt Jacobs asked Curtis that very question.

His response: Oh, well, thats very good. Im going to take that on now. If anyone else says what else has happened, I will say, Love Actually is out. I think the truth is we would have found another song that could have gone into the church scene.

Anyway, the whole reason for bringing this up is the recent Hulu adaptation of Curtis 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral, executive produced by Mindy Kaling and with Tracey Wigfield as showrunner.

The new series is an updated story loosely based on the films plot, but, in addition, also includes blatant references to some of Curtis other films, like Notting Hill and Love Actually. (In the first episode, for example, one character greets her friend at the airport with heartfelt messages written across a series of white poster board, as in the iconic To me, you are perfect scene from Love Actually.)

It begs a similar question: Do Richard Curtis movies exist in the universe of Hulus Four Weddings and a Funeral?

NEWSLETTERS
The Daily Beasts Obsessed
Everything we cant stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.
By Clicking "Subscribe" you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Wigfield doubles over with laughter when I ask her this. Turns out, its a version of a question shes been forced to consider before.

When she was a writer on 30 Rock, Jennifer Aniston guested in an episode as an old friend of Tina Feys Liz Lemon and fleeting love interest for Alec Baldwins Jack Donaghy. The script for the episode, however, also contained a joke with a reference to Friends. How could Friends exist in a world, albeit fictional, in which Aniston is an entirely different person?

At 30 Rock we used to call this a Goofy Pluto, Wigfield explains, using the Aniston/Friends conundrum as an example. In the world of Disney characters, Pluto is a dog and is Mickeys pet, while Goofy is a dog yet is Mickeys anthropomorphic friend. How can both things be true?

No, I think none of them exist, she says about Curtis film in her Four Weddings universe. Only because we borrow so heavily from them I feel somebody would be like, Wait a minute, this was in Notting Hill!

When I mention that maybe the character not only knew to do the white poster board thing because she saw Love Actually, but also how meaningful it would be to her friend, Wigfield pauses.

Maybe she got it from that, she says. Oh god, I didnt even think about that. Rom-coms exist, of course. They have a rom-com costume party. I think we were thoughtful about that, that it cant be too meta. Like no one can be Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral at the rom-com party.

(For the record, MacDowell guest stars later in the season as one characters mother.)

Curtis is an executive producer on the Hulu series, and gave Kaling his blessing when she was first approached about adapting the film. Wigfield says that he sent them some early footage of Four Weddings, when they were breaking the story in case it would be helpful. His blessing and interest helped, Wigfield says. But so did his sway.

He pitched a song for the end of the second episode, and we were totally over on our music budget, she says. But we were like, But Richard pitched it, and theyre like, Alright, well write the check.

Related posts

Not Even Thoughts and Prayers From NRAJust Boasts About Its Legislative Wins

At times like this, I pay a visit to the NRAs website. If youve never looked at it, do so. As youd expect, its a slick and professionally produced affair, nearly all of it devoted to boasting about the groups successes and legislative wins.

There wasnt a word, Sunday morning, about the weekends carnage in El Paso and Dayton. There was, however, one piece of content that the weekends events turned into a macabre joke. The lead story, so to speak, on the home page was something called A Statement by NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Yes, I was nave enough to think that this was going to be about the weekends shootings. It would be evasive and dishonest, of course, but at least it would acknowledge that these horrors had occurred.

But when I clicked on it and started reading it, I saw that in fact it was a statement to members explaining why the NRA was going to stop producing live television for NRATV. This was not of course the NRAs fault, because nothing is ever the NRAs fault, according to the NRA. Instead, LaPierre pinned the problem on our longtime advertising firm and website vendor, which had failed to deliver upon many contractual obligations. Rest assured though that NRATV would continue to exist, airing exclusive video content. The world cant live without that.

From time to time, I visit the web page of the NRAs Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). This is the dark heart of it, where they brag about how many politicians they own. I nosed around this page on Sunday morning, and lo and behold, the top item Trending Now was about a governor whod just signed 10 pro-Second Amendment bills into law. The governor in question is Greg Abbott, of Texas, who Saturday bemoaned one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas.

Ten laws! One measure prohibits no firearms clauses in future residential leases, which is great, right, because it means that people who rent apartments can build up whatever caches of semi-automatic weapons they want. Another prevents school districts from prohibiting the presence of firearms in private cars on school property. This is great, too, because it allows teachers to come to school armed. Of course, it logically does the same for unstable people who want to shoot up a high school. But the price of liberty is high.

And another strikes the words churches, synagogues, or other places of worship from an existing firearms law, clarifying that these places havethesame right enjoyed by nearly all other controllers ofprivate propertyin the state to decide whether to allowLicenseToCarry holders on their premises. Because packing heat in church is just what Jesus would want.

(Sunday night, long after this essay was posted, the NRA got around to mentioning that Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims of these tragedies, as well as the entire communities of El Paso and Dayton. The statement from LaPierre, however, remained atop its website, with no mention on the homepage of the massacres.)

No one is putting the blame for these shootings directly on the gun group or the politicians in its pocket. We are blaming them for the fact that ours is such a blood-splattered land, completely unlike anyplace else in the world.

Other countries do sensible things. Youll recall that after that mass shooting in New Zealand in March, the countrys parliament banned assault weapons six days later. Six days! New Zealand has not, incidentally, escaped the NRAs notice. The second trending item, under Governor Abbotts heroic efforts, was called Never Enough: New Zealand pushes even more gun control.

Yes, because sane countries do something. Here in the United States, these things happen, and we do nothing. We even watched 20 first graders get slaughtered by a crazy man in Connecticut, and we did nothing. More than 100 pieces of gun legislation have been introduced in Congress since around the time of that Sandy Hook massacre. Not one has passed. Most dont even get voted on. Then, every so often, Moscow Mitch decides its time to go through the charade of giving a gun control bill a vote, and the Republicans all vote no.

And now lets talk about Donald Trump. Where the NRA said nothing about the massacre in El Paso, Donald Trump Saturday at least did tweet to condemn the hateful act. Fine. But remember that he had been in the very same El Paso back in February, where he riled people up and bragged about border patrol agents arresting undocumented immigrants who were guilty of murders, murders, killings, murders (at which point the crowd started chanting build the wall!). The El Paso shooters apparent manifesto mentioned a Hispanic invasion of Texas.

More recently, Trump spoke to the NRA-ILA convention in Indianapolis in April. The right to bear arms is under assault, he said. But not while were here.

He then used the occasion to announce that he was pulling the United States out of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. You know that he revoked U.S. acceptance of the Paris climate accord and the Iran deal. But you probably didnt hear about this one. It regulates international trade in conventional weapons. It entered into force in 2014, and 101 nations have accepted it. Not the United States. The Senate, led by you know who, never ratified it. And it is opposed, of course, by the NRA.

This is what the NRA does, day after day and week after week, largely out of public view. They buy politicians like Abbott (A Rating from the NRA) and state legislatures and even presidents. They dream up laws normal people wouldnt even conceive oflaws that make sure the horrors like those we have just witnessed in El Paso and Dayton happen and will continue to happen. Each new bloodbath should bring us closer to finally acting, but if anything the country is moving in the opposite direction. All in the name of freedom.

Related posts

The Aerosols of Earth

Image Credit: NASA/Joshua Stevens/Adam Voiland

[NASA, Yvette Smith] Take a deep breath. Even if the air looks clear, it is nearly certain that you will inhale millions of solid particles and liquid droplets. These ubiquitous specks of matter are known as aerosols, and they can be found in the air over oceans, deserts, mountains, forests, ice and every ecosystem in between.

If you have ever watched smoke billowing from a wildfire, ash erupting from a volcano or dust blowing in the wind, you have seen aerosols. Satellites like NASA’s Earth-observing satellites, Terra, Aqua, Aura and Suomi NPP, “see†them as well, though they offer a completely different perspective from hundreds of kilometers above Earth’s surface. A version of a NASA model called the Goddard Earth Observing System Forward Processing (GEOS FP) offers a similarly expansive view of the mishmash of particles that dance and swirl through the atmosphere.

The visualization above highlights GEOS FP model output for aerosols on August 23, 2018. On that day, huge plumes of smoke drifted over North America and Africa, three different tropical cyclones churned in the Pacific Ocean, and large clouds of dust blew over deserts in Africa and Asia. The storms are visible within giant swirls of sea salt aerosol (blue), which winds loft into the air as part of sea spray. Black carbon particles (red) are among the particles emitted by fires; vehicle and factory emissions are another common source. Particles the model classified as dust are shown in purple. The visualization includes a layer of night light data collected by the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP that shows the locations of towns and cities.

via NASA

Related posts

A Battered Professor Leads Moscows Growing Grassroots Protests Against Putin

MOSCOWYulia Galyaminas unraveling life illustrates all too well the risks of opposition politics in Russia, even on a local level.

Police broke her teeth and jaw and gave her a serious concussion in 2017 when she was caught in a violent street protest. She has suffered from pain in her jaw ever since.

Undaunted, Galyamina struggled this summer to take part in a Moscow City Council election scheduled for September. On Tuesday she called The Daily Beast on the phone from a police van driving her away from the Russian capital to jail in the provincial town of Mozhaisk.

Galyamina is a 46-year-old linguistics professor at a prestigious university here and on the phone she sounded almost as if she were lecturing students about the dying Ketsky language. But clearly she had a message she wanted to get out.

I have a few minutes left before they take my phone away and cut me off from all communication with my supporters, she said.

Earlier in the day, a court arrested her and eight other key opposition leaders for calling on protesters to stage a rally in downtown Moscow without government authorization. To support the verdict, the judge read aloud a dozen or so of Galyaminas Facebook posts about opposition demands to allow independent candidates, including herself, to run in September.

Now from the van she told The Daily Beast, Putin and [Moscow Mayor Sergey] Sobyanin must be afraid of responsible citizens and I am not surprised to get arrestedI always knew that criminal prosecution would be the price for my opposition activity.

You are working for a fascist power, for those who rule for money, not for your sake.
Yulia Galyamina berating police last Saturday.

Putins Russia has seen many courageous women fighting against injustice. But instead of embracing their constructive criticism, the Kremlin chose to silence them with police clubs and prison bars. There have also been several brilliant women, including journalist Anna Politkovskaya and activist Natalia Estemirova, who fell victim to assassins. But more women join the demonstrations.

Last weekend, for instance, a 17-year-old protester named Olga Misik sat cross-legged in the street and read articles from the Russian Constitution to riot cops arrayed around her about the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings, demonstrations and marches. The image already is an icon of protest.

Two years ago I visited Galyamina at the Botkin Hospital in Moscow, where she was recovering from a concussion. She had severe headaches after a Moscow OMON (Special Police) cop smashed her face. Then, too, it was striking to see pale Galyamina on the phone from her hospital bed, calling for her supporters to come out to the next rally.

At the time, crowds of demonstrators had turned out in the center of Moscows to fight against the city halls renovation plan for the displacement of residents from hundreds of apartment blocks slated for demolition. People did not want to move from the central districts to the outskirts of the capital.

Factories closed, leaving millions without jobsbut at least people had their apartments, their property, Galyamina told me at the hospital in 2017. The new law allows the state to deprive thousands of Moscow families of their beloved apartments and move them to wherever officials want.

Last year Galyamina won a seat in the Moscow municipal elections. Residents of Temiryazevsky region, where she sat on the district council, know their candidate well. She led her electorate in battles about fundamental causes in local politics like saving Dubki Park from development and demanding garbage recycling. She was building her political platform on that public support to run for the Moscow City Duma, a regional parliament, in September this year.

The men in power grow fat, while you work for kopecks [pennies]. You beat women, you beat sick people. Do you realize what you are doing?
Yulia Galyamina berating cops last weekend, before her arrest.

We spent last month collecting almost 4,000 signatures from Yulias supporters but authorities rejected hundreds of real voters to ban her from running for the election, Nikolay Kosyan, one of Galyaminas supporters, said. Kosyan was angry, as are many young activists protesting in the streets in support of the arrested leaders. When the mayoral office realized that we had actually collected real signatures and not fake ones, they still decided to shut her up in fear of her powerful spirit.

On Saturday Galyamina became a hero for thousands of protesters. Facing rows of National Guard riot police, she said: You are working for a fascist power, for those who rule for money, not for your sake, she told men covered in body armor. The men in power grow fat, while you work for kopecks [pennies]. You beat women, you beat sick people. Do you realize what you are doing? Galyamina continued in a lecturing tone while the police looked like mischievous, slightly terrified students. (Video here in Russian.)

Galyamina was wearing her usual red dress and a white jacket and was holding a little Russian flag in her hands. I am a woman, I feel ashamed of you, strong men, who beat ordinary peoplethese people came out to the streets, because they strive to have independent institutes of power, which would not rob people like you, the deputy continued. Ten minutes later two policemen grabbed her, twisted her arms behind her back, and dragged her away from the rally.

Back in 2013, the Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny won 27 percent in a mayoral election in Moscow, even without access to state television channels, coming in second after the incumbent from the ruling United Russia party, Sergei Sobyanin. This time, apparently, Sobyanin wants to avoid the mistake of allowing a strong opposition showing. Nine key candidates for September election are currently behind bars. So is Navalny.

Galyamina had been playing by the rules. She collected the necessary number of signatures in her support but authorities turned her candidacy down, claiming signatures were falsified. Police detained up to 1,400 protesters on Saturday, Russian courts opened 200 legal cases against the opposition.

She is stubborn and she is good at creating responsible communities in Moscow, her friend Denis Bilunov, a political scientist, told The Daily Beast. The Kremlin is scared of Galyamina.

Related posts

African Futurist Nnedi Okorafor Tells an Immigrant Story in LaGuardia

Political reality finally inserted itself into the blissfully insulated world of San Diego Comic-Con. The Trump baby balloon bounced across the street from the convention center in San Diegos Gaslamp district. The Magicians actor Jade Tailor wore a Close the Camps shirt during her season 5 panel. Sen. Cory Booker cruised through and AOC comics were for sale.

Yet, searching the sprawling convention floor, youd be hard-pressed to find imagery more politically relevantor subversivethan the nine-foot-high poster for LaGuardia, a new graphic novel from African futurism writer Nnedi Okorafor. A pregnant Nigerian-American woman in a bright blue dress, fist raised and locks flowing like a banner, leads a bridge-closing protest shoulder-to-tentacle with extraterrestrial beings. Their picket signs demand rights for aliens, both human and of off-world origin.

After a single-issue run, Dark Horse Comics released the final, collected volume during last weeks San Diego Comic-Con. LaGuardia depicts an alternative present, where first contact with aliens is made in Lagos in 2010. The protagonist Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka is modeled both in appearance and biography after the author herself. After living for several years in Nigeria, Future returns to the United States to illegally transport a plant-based alien escaping civil war through New Yorks LaGuardia airport. Once in the city, she reconnects with her grandmother, an immigration attorney for people of all planetary origins. Before too long, the government announces a travel ban.

You have a world where aliens have come, and theyre not trying to kill us and eat us and take our resources. Theyve become Earthlings, Okarofor says. Some human beings react wonderfully to it, or some human beings just are cool with it, and then others cant deal with it. And then we have the United States becoming more conservative because of it.

Its not unusual for science fiction to anticipate reality, but its remarkable how every page of LaGuardia seems only 30 seconds ahead of the horrors playing out in the headlines, from DNA testing and social media vetting at the nations entry points to the chant of send her back at the presidents recent North Carolina rally. LaGuardia explores the concept of human-only discrimination at hospitals; meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates discussed healthcare for undocumented immigrants in their first televised debate.

Its disturbing, but at the same time, it feels great, because I feel like Ive tapped into the pulse of something, Okorafor says.

Yet this is a story that she has been working on for years.

Issues of immigration, issues of identity, all these things, theyre not new, and theyve been there for a long time, she says.

Okorafor talks and writes from experience. The graphic novel introduces Future through an extended scene at LaGuardia, where she queues up for screening along with aliens of all shapes and sizes, as well as a little white girl who yanks on her locks. At the checkpoint, she is pulled aside for a second screening by a security guard who asks invasive questions about whether the baby in her belly is human. The confrontation is ripped straight from an incident in 2009, when a TSA officer at LaGuardia took Okorafor to a private room to squeeze each of her four-and-a-half-foot locks for hidden contraband. Preoccupied with her hair, the officer missed the bottle of pepper spray that Okorafor had forgotten to remove from her bag. In LaGuardia, that misdirection allows the character to carry the alien through, undetected.

As an author, Okorafor travels a lot, and its become clear to her that airport and border crossings are more about control than safety.

Its the space between, a place of contention, a place of displacement, a place of fear, a place of identity, she says. Its where you become very aware of all the things that you are and what they mean, in the context of where you are. And depending on who you are, that place can feel very hot or it can feel very chill.

San Diego Comic-Con can also be such a space, where creators contemplate who they are and where they are in their careers. In earlier chapters of her life, Okorafor was a semi-pro tennis player and later earned a PhD from the University of Illinois, Chicago, before becoming an award-collecting novelist. Okorafor has been attending Comic-Con on-and-off since 2010, wheb she was a speaker on The Black Panel, a forum for raising the profile of Black entertainment. This year was her first returning as a comic-book author.

In addition to writing LaGuardia for Dark Horses imprint Berger Books, Okorafor was tapped by Marvel to write Black Panther: Long Live the King and a spin-off about the Wakandan princess Shuri. In coming Comic-Cons, she may be back with even more prominent projects: shes adapting Octavia Butlers Wild Seed for Amazon and HBO is developing her novel Who Fears Death, with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin as a producer.

I am in chaos, organized chaos, wonderful, glorious, organized chaos, Okorafor says.

One could draw a straight line from Okorafor and LaGuardia to comics pioneer Will Eisner (after whom Comic-Cons awards are named) and his 1978 medium-defining graphic novel, A Contract with God. Okorafor pulled the book off a university library shelf at random, without knowing it was a graphic novel, and was immediately transfixed by the blending of prose and images.

But also it was telling this immigrant story, especially about Jews, Okorafor says of A Contract with God, and coming from a family of immigrants, my parents being immigrants, I could relate so well to that. And so this was a book that I read over and over and over again for years.

Thats how Karen Berger, the editor who oversees Dark Horses Berger Book imprint, remembers Okorafor pitching the project: A Contract with God, but with aliens in an African American community. In Bergers mind, Eisner raised the bar by writing stories for adults based on his own experiences as the child of immigrants.

The best works are when people have a personal connection, and theres something about a writers past, or the writers personality, the writers passions in the character they write about, Berger says. As a piece of immigrant fiction, LaGuardia really fills that space.

LaGuardia is also about resistance, in all its forms, whether it be protesting, legal work, or holding the line within the system.

There are many ways of fighting the battle and battles happen on multiple fronts, all at the same time, Okorafor says. This year, San Diego Comic-Con became one of them.

Related posts

Baby rhino is America’s first born from artificial insemination

Southern white rhino calf at San Diego Zoo raises hopes for the future of wild rhinoceroses

The bumbling, sleepy rhino calf at San Diego Zoo is sure to delight animal lovers around the world. But for conservation scientists, his birth has additional meaning it marks a significant step toward saving wild rhino populations from the edge of extinction.

The newborn southern white rhino is the first in North America, and the third in the world, born as the result of artificial insemination.

His mother Victoria, who carried the calf for 493 days, stayed calm during her 30-minute labor on Sunday, the zoo announced.

Victoria is doing a great job as a mother, said Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive sciences at San Diego Zoo Global, the not-for-profit organization that runs the zoo. And the calf is doing great. As soon as Victoria took the placenta off him, he was moving. He stood very quickly, and of course, he was very wobbly.

At two days old, he is steadying himself. And though he stays close to his mother, appears to be growing curious about his surroundings, she reported. The zoo has yet to announce a name for the calf.

He is very cute, but he has much greater significance, said Durrant. The birth of the new southern rhino calf is part of a plan to save the northern white rhino a related subspecies whose population has dwindled to two.

The
The calf stands on its wobbly legs at the zoos Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center. Photograph: Ken Bohn/AP

Whereas populations of southern white rhinos have recovered and stabilized, thanks to a century of protection and management, northern white rhinos have been decimated by hunting during the colonial era and poaching in recent years. The last male northern white rhino died in March, and only two females of the species remain.

Durrant and her colleagues at the San Diego Zoo hope that eventually the six female southern white rhinos under their care, including Victoria, will serve as surrogates for northern white rhino embryos, helping revive the population.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park (@sdzsafaripark)

BIG NEWS: The pitter patter of little hooves at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center ushered in a historic milestone yesterday as Victoria gave birth to a healthy male calf.

Related posts

Where do babies come from? How to answer childrens 10 most vexing questions

Parents are queried as many as 55 times a day by their kids in the school holidays, a survey says. Here are some considered responses to the most popular lines of inquiry

Parents are asked as many as 55 questions a day by their children over the school holidays, a survey conducted by the childrens TV show Daisy & Ollie estimates. They include everything from philosophical queries to badgering. Here, the top 10 are answered as honestly as possible, while minimising the possibility of follow-up questions.

Why?

Your question may be understood in two ways. If you are asking about the purpose of existence, the meaning of life and the reason any of us are here, the answer is simple: we are here by mistake. If, as I suspect, your question is related to circumstance, as in: Why do I have to wear clothes in Tesco? the answer is also simple: because I said so.

Are we nearly there yet?

Allow me to point out your mistake: you have not named a destination; you just said there. We are always nearly somewhere, which is why its not a lie when I answer Yes, nearly every time you ask.

Why cant I stay up late?

Little
Its growing time! (Posed by model.) Photograph: kwanchaichaiudom/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The real reason is because I need three hours at the end of every day where I dont have to answer your questions. But I was worried you might repeat that to your teacher, so I made up the thing about how you only grow when you are asleep.

Why do I have to go to school?

You cant blame me for this its the law. I voted for the guy who wanted to ban school, but he lost. Fingers crossed for the next election.

Why do I have to go to bed?

I recognise this as a canny effort to rephrase question three in the hope of getting a more satisfactory answer. But all I have for you on this occasion is a final warning from Santas office.

How come youre allowed that and Im not?

Related posts

Alejandro Bedoya calls out Congress during MLS game over mass shootings

Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya brought attention to this weekends mass shootings when he called out Congress after scoring for his team

America

Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya brought attention to this weekends mass shootings in Ohio and Texas when he called out Congress after scoring for his team in Washington DC.

The USA international scored his teams opening goal in their 5-1 win over DC United on Sunday. After Bedoya scored he ran over to a TV microphone and shouted: Hey Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Lets go! The comment could be heard on Fox Sports coverage of the game.

Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1)

Philadelphia Union soccer player Alejandro Bedoya scores a goal in tonight’s game against D.C. United, runs over to a field microphone and shouts, “Congress, do something now. End gun violence.”
Via FS1 pic.twitter.com/7WH4PA08cs

August 5, 2019

The 32-year-old is from Weston, Florida, close to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which was the site of a mass shooting in 2018. Before Sundays game he had made his thoughts on gun policy in the US clear. Seeing more thoughts and prayers bullshit, he wrote on Twitter. Words without actions are just worthless. America, it seems, is becoming a dystopian society. When Bedoya was asked to clarify by another user on Twitter how he would address the problem of gun violence he expanded on his views. We can start with stricter background checks, red flag laws, making a registry for gun purchases, closing gun show loopholes, and taxing ammunition, he wrote.

Alejandro Bedoya (@AleBedoya17)

Seeing more thoughts and prayers bullshit.
Words without actions are just worthless. America, it seems, is becoming a dystopian society.
Do something!!! Enough!!!

August 4, 2019

This weekends shootings left 29 people dead. There have now been 31 mass shootings in America this year, defined as those where at least three people are killed by gun violence in a single episode.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Related posts

The Democratic Presidential Debates

Reality TV is meant to trick the eyes. The high drama of housewives bickering about who said what over a bottle of wine. Cast members secretly scheming to avoid elimination off the island. Contestants blatantly lying to rig the game in their favor. What unfolds before us, to quote Susan Murray and Laura Ouelette in 2008’s Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture, “is an unstable text that encourages viewers to test out their own notions of the real, the ordinary, and the intimate against the representation before them.”

This week, inside Detroit’s Fox Theatre, Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in the second round of debates. Last night found two of the top candidates—Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Senator Cory Booker—center stage. The whole ordeal played out like an episode of The Real Legislators of America.

Remember: Absorbing, can’t-look-away TV is not about stability, however much we yearn for—and need, really—politics to be. The value of the unstable text is in its consistent guarantee of popcorn-worthy entertainment. Those who watch, myself included, find a perverse comfort in it because it’s entirely reliable; it gives us something to bicker about with family, friends, colleagues. It challenges us in ways for which we are unprepared, and sometimes for the better.

The primary architecture of debates, like reality TV with its twisting plots and snaking subplots, obeys a simple formula: an adoption of disorder. Biden, who remains the frontrunner despite his moderate establishment policies and a thrashing from Harris in June during the first round of debates, was again assigned the role of villain. A textbook archetype of the genre, the former VP doesn’t quite find a kindred spirit in the diabolical savvy of Spencer Pratt (The Hills) or Jax Taylor (Vanderpump Rules), but all great TV hinges on the roles characters submit to. That’s one of the more fascinating parts about Murray and Ouelette’s theory: Although the text itself is prone to unpredictability, the characters must conform to stationary roles.

Depth of Field: The Charged Uncertainty at the Tijuana Border


  • Depth of Field: The Quiet Force of YouTuber Etika’s Gaze

     


  • Depth of Field: On Pose, the Past Is the Present

     

“You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign,” Booker said to Biden, railing into him. “You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.” Later, Booker again pounced on him over the matter of criminal justice reform, and Biden found himself caught in the heat of Harris’ agitation on the topic of health care and paralyzed by former Housing Secretary Julian Castro’s criticism of his shaky immigration record.

But before drama turned rapid-fire, there was the sly splendor of the 10 candidates on stage, standing side by side, captured with a trippy canniess by Brendan Smialowski. There’s a static, almost robotic feel to the vertical poses they take; their top halves have been severed by the camera’s frame. The linear symmetry of their lower limbs, the uniformity of their display, suggests an analogy: Not unlike reality TV, we all have a role to adhere to.

But then, almost instantly, the photo challenges its very hypothesis by displaying the full-body reflection of the politicians on the stage floor (Jordan Peele’s tethered beings from Us sprang to mind). And so, here in the democratic upside down, a counter suggestion is proposed: that even the roles candidates were assigned—The Hero, The Antagonist, The Everyman—are not, in fact, as stable as we anticipate.


Related posts

RAF and a damaged dam

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAn RAF Chinook is dropping 400 tonnes of aggregate to shore up the dam and divert water

Emergency crews are racing to save a damaged reservoir, as “terrified” residents fear their Derbyshire town could be flooded.

Police say the wall holding back the 300-million-gallon Toddbrook Reservoir could still fail despite about 24 hours of efforts to shore it up.

Part of the dam wall collapsed on Thursday afternoon.

The 1,500 people evacuated from Whaley Bridge amid “mortal danger” warnings will not be allowed home tonight.

But the water level has dropped by half a meter thanks to ten fire service pumps moving 4.2 million litres of water every hour – with more pumps on the way.

An RAF helicopter is also halfway through dropping 400 tonnes of aggregate on the collapsed section.

How dangerous is it?

BBC Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The clay under the slipway has been undermined

Police, the Environment Agency, and the Canal and River Trust have all said there is a “real risk” the dam could collapse.

Julie Sharman, from the Canal and Rivers Trust, said it was “a critical situation” but added the weather had improved and the water levels had reduced by 20cm.

“We aren’t putting a figure on any risk of collapse but everything that can be done is being done,” she said.

Engineers are attempting to get the reservoir’s water level down, to reduce pressure on the wall and allow repairs to begin.

news
Image caption The dam holds back 1.3 million tonnes of water

What does it mean for residents?

About 1,500 people left their homes after police told them to pack up their medication and pets and gather at an evacuation point.

Some stayed with relatives while others bedded down in pubs and hotels, with lots of businesses offering free rooms.

Police said residents would not be allowed back on Friday so would spend a second night away from their homes.

BBC
Image caption Bev Goodwin has put up friends and family after they left Whaley Bridge

Bev Goodwin lives in Chapel-en-le-Frith and put up her mum and dad, Joy and Steve and two friends – Susie and Angela.

Joy said: “We have nothing. No clothes, no toothbrush, nothing.

“We have been thinking about what’s in our house that we would miss – all our kids’ pictures and of our grandchildren – it’s upsetting.”

Susie said: “It’s just surreal that it’s happening in our town, it’s just bizarre.”

Mike Breslin described it as a “crazy situation”.

“They should never have built a school and a social club at the bottom of a dam. It’s madness,” he said.

news
Image caption Resident Mike Breslin said it was ‘madness’ to build a school at the base of the dam

Eric Baker, who has lived in the town for 30 years said: “It’s shocking really, it’s like living next to a ticking bomb. If that goes the devastation will be unimaginable.

“We saw the water coming over at a tremendous rate on Wednesday and the park was flooded but it wasn’t until Thursday the people who look after it started to look worried.

“Then it started to collapse on Thursday and it made a tremendous noise as the concrete slabs began to collapse.

“The disruption is huge, the small shops and businesses are really being hit and of course we don’t know when it will be over.”

BBC Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Public agencies and the army have been praised for their efforts

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We just fled. I managed to take my nightdress and we’ve got the tortoise in the washing up bowl in the car.

“It’s quite terrifying. If the dam goes, it will take out the whole town.”

When will it be fixed?

news Image copyright LincsFireOfficer
Image caption Teams have worked through the night

Nigel Carson, who lives near the dam, said he had been told it would take two or three days to reduce the reservoir to a safe level if it does not rain.

There are no weather warnings in place for Friday, and the Met Office has said it expects much drier conditions.

BBC reporter Richard Stead described the operation to fix the dam as “a two-pronged attack”.

He said: “The Chinook is bringing aggregate on the one hand to shore up the dam, but also to divert water further up the valley away from the reservoir.

“There are also 16 high-volume pumps being used to relieve the pressure on the dam.

“Only when that is done can work start on permanent repairs and finding out what went wrong.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked the Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers to chair an emergency meeting.

BBC

Ms Villiers said she was receiving regular updates on the situation and the government’s COBR committee would make sure everything possible was being done to help.

People have shared their admiration for the emergency services on social media, with Twitter user @nmstoker naming the chinook pilots #DamUnbusters.

BBC

Analysis

By David Shukman, BBC science editor

This isn’t the first time communities have faced the nightmare of a dam that could collapse.

Back in 2007 a dam near Rotherham was the cause of a major alert, and the scenario is very similar to now. Torrential rain had filled the Ulley reservoir to overflowing.

Cracks appeared in the dam itself. People downstream were told to leave. The M1 motorway was in the path of a potential burst so part of it was closed.

As with the dam at Whaley Bridge, the one at Ulley was built in the 19th Century with the same combination of clay and mud.

In the end, pumps relieved the pressure and nearly 3000 tonnes of rock strengthened the structure so the emergency passed.

But over the following three years a huge repair operation costing £3.8m was needed. And a major review of the 2007 floods was highly critical of the way many of Britain’s dams are monitored.

Whatever happens at Whaley Bridge, questions will be asked about safety and whether ageing infrastructure can cope with the heavier downpours predicted as the climate warms.

BBC

What happened?

news

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionToddbrook Reservoir: Footage shows fast-flowing water before collapse

Part of the reservoir’s spillway broke away on Thursday.

It was damaged after large swathes of the country were battered by heavy rain and floods earlier in the week.

Police told residents in Whaley Bridge to gather at Chapel High School in neighbouring Chapel-en-le-Frith.

They were told to take pets and medication with them as it was unclear how long it would take to repair the damaged wall.

BBC
BBC

Pumps from fire services across the country have been pumping out 7,000 litres of water a minute.

Army engineers are clearing trees and bushes to get “five or six” more water pumps in on south side of reservoir.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service said more than 150 firefighters from across the UK have been supporting the work at the dam and in the town.

A severe flood warning, which means a threat to life, has been issued for the River Goyt below the reservoir.

BBC Image copyright LincsFireOfficer
Image caption Sandbags are shoring up the structure

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.


Have you been affected by the flooding? Share your experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below:

Related posts