Articles Culture

  • Does ‘anti-racism’ contribute to racism?

    Culture

    Until these sources of racism are addressed, all that will remain is a moralistic policing of its inevitable expressions. Eventually, individuals and groups will feel increasingly emboldened to transgress these norms of comportment. And, because the antiracist Left has targeted “Whiteness” (often in ways that make it inextricable from white people as such) it has from the outset disqualified itself from building cross-racial class-based alliances.

  • Media are complicit in the sexual exploitation of women

    Culture

    Toronto Sun contributor Sabrina Maddeaux wrote recently that Canada will not truly be part of the #metoo/timesup movement until (really) big names begin to fall. But a higher, louder circus of blame will achieve little. When corporate media surrenders its massive and profitable investment in the sexuality of women, when Victoria’s Secret disappears and the Sunshine Girls put their clothes on, then we can begin the journey to safety for women.

  • Professional Sport as Sacrifice

    Culture

    Athletic labour provides an important part, although not the only part, of the emotional sustenance fans need. There is a tremendous cost to the athlete who performs this social reproductive labour. The body becomes so damaged that it is unlikely to ever fully recover its former capacities. The toll is also mental/emotional, for the loss of the physical capabilities that once served as the foundation for the athlete’s identity is profoundly dispiriting.

  • In defense of free speech

    Culture

    This crisis of free speech and academic freedom runs very deep and suggests that something profoundly disturbing is afoot in North American universities. It can scarcely be denied that the far-right has effectively taken hold of free speech as its cause célèbre, however, this cannot but be seen as profoundly cynical insofar as right-wing governments globally have seized every available opportunity to crack down on dissent.

  • Kent Monkman’s Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience

    Culture

    It is interesting to note that while Monkman planned Shame and Prejudice in 2014, the exhibit speaks poignantly to recent debates about Canada’s one-sided celebratory history. Monkman’s exhibit thus offers people an opportunity to see history from a different and more truthful perspective. As a result, settlers in particular should make it a priority to witness Shame and Prejudice. The exhibit will be travelling throughout Canada for the next few years.

  • Missing Shulamith and the Dialectic of #MeToo

    Culture

    This wave of feminism, of which #MeToo may be the vanguard, will herald a transformative process, a process that would be both revolutionary and healing. I wish Shulamith Firestone were here to witness and comment on this moment. The struggle and potential for women and men to lead new lives is stronger than ever. There is still much work to do, leadership to emerge, organizing and theory to be developed, but the era of silence and shame is coming to an end.

  • How Black Panther liberalizes black resistance for white comfort

    Culture

    But at its core, beyond mere representation, Black Panther contains a fundamentally reactionary understanding of black liberation that blatantly advocates bourgeois respectability over revolution, sterilizes the history of real-life anti-colonial struggles in Africa and elsewhere, and allows white folks such as myself to feel extremely comfortable watching it — which, given Marvel’s sole purpose, is almost certainly the bottom line.

  • The Last Jedi is centrist slop masquerading as radical sci-fi

    Culture

    The Last Jedi offers up a vapid and apolitical thesis that echoes the non-ideology of Clintonite, Third Way-obsessed technocrats — that there’s no longer such thing as “good” or “evil,” traditions and histories can be discarded, and the primary commitment of a “rebel” is to non-material notions such as love and friendship over any semblance of political conviction.

  • ​The Vietnam War, Episodes 9 and 10

    Culture

    As we cross the finish line of The Vietnam War marathon, I want to offer some thoughts about the documentary as a whole. First, despite all the Vietnamese voices it includes, this is a remarkably American film. The soundtrack, for example, is loaded with dozens of familiar and well-amplified 1960s rock songs while the music provided by the multicultural Silk Road Ensemble tends to hum quietly in the background.

  • A Plea for Nonviolence: Fighting Fascism in Trump’s America

    Culture

    Images broadcast into households of rabid right-wing bigots violently suppressing peaceful progressive activists will mobilize the country to pressure government to intervene on the side of sanity, and against fascism. We can choose to be a nation of democratic principles that embraces equality and the rule of law, or we can escalate the current conflict in favour of greater violence.

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