Hey gals, welcome to week #4

This week has been weird, mostly because I’ve spent an embarrassingly significant portion of my waking hours either watching or thinking about Celebrity Big Brother. The image of Omarosa spilling tea about the Trump administration on a reality TV show is so wonderfully absurd that I hope it finds its way into a history textbook someday.
There’s a lot that made its way into the news this week, and I only have so much space, so look forward to more hot takes and hot take-esque content in your inbox over the next seven days.
Here are your hot take-aways for the week of March 2, 2018!


In Review:

If you read nothing else this week:

  1. Can White Photographers Capture the Black Male Experience? (i-D) — a smart and critical look by Mikelle Street at the conversations taking place between and about bodies of artwork
  2. ​Decriminalizing Prostitution is Central to Transgender Rights (Slate) — but we already knew that
  3. This tweet by Kim Kardashian (link) — kosplay kween!

This Week in Revisionism…

The US Department of Labor has decided to bestow posthumous honours upon world-renowned monstrous union-busting demon, Ronald Reagan, because apparently words have no meanings anymore!

Big Scoop:

Trudeau government spends millions on the mercenary firm formerly known as ‘Blackwater’ by Ben Makuch for VICE News (link)
Trudeau’s massive expenditures on private military companies like Academi (formerly Blackwater) have coincided with a tightening of information from and around the military, even as he projects a peacemaker image around the globe. The firm formerly known as Blackwater is well-recognized for its record of horrific abuses during the imperialist war on Iraq; these are the guys currently training Canadian soldiers.

Long Read:

Palantir Has Secretly Been Using New Orleans to Test Its Predictive Policing Technology by Ali Winston for The Verge (link)
OK, this shit is exactly why Toronto needs to destroy the data collected from carding. This article details the results of in-depth investigative reporting by The Verge into a highly secretive partnership between a tech company specializing in counter-insurgency programming (read: tools of imperialism), and the mayor and police department of a highly racialized American city. It’s the latest stage in the campaign of shock-and-awe neoliberalism that’s been hitting New Orleans ever since the days after Hurricane Katrina. A long read but very much worth it.


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What’s New?

New Column!

Bed Hang for them.us (link)

Finally, someone had the good sense to give Harron Walker a column! Bed Hang is a biweekly conversational piece in Them.Us, featuring Larissa Pham and my good sis Harron Walker. This first instalment is a discussion on the theme of “desire,” both in the romantic and sexual sense, and in refutation of “born this way” type discourse. The column is frank, adorable, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyable.

New Episode!

Groundings Podcast (link)

The Groundings podcast is a project by Devyn Springer exploring radical art, organizing, history, theory, and practice. This new episode came out last week, I think, but I only got a chance to listen to it now, so now you’re hearing about it lol. It’s a conversation between Devyn Springer and Derek Ford about the place of North Korea (also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or the DPRK) in propaganda and in the international system. There are a lot of vague buzzwords and some ideas that might throw off Western listeners at first. Still, I found this to be really interesting and thought-provoking, and it brought up some important questions about how we talk about policies and politics in and out of their contexts.


These are your hot take-aways for the week of March 2, 2018! As always, you can sign up for the newsletter and share it with your friends with this link, and feel free to connect with me on Twitter @misgenders in the meantime. If you’ve already signed up for the newsletter, you’ll be getting new content soooooon.

Stay gagged, comrades!
xoxo alex v