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Politics of Viola Davis’s Oscar comment about “the only profession that celebrates what it means to live life”



Yesterday, I praised Viola Davis’ Oscar speech for being memorable without being overtly political—for simply talking about her work in a touching and well-written way. Twitter quickly let me know that I missed something. On social media and on conservative news sites, Davis’ speech actually sparked outrage.

Explaining that she believed her mission was to “unearth… the stories of people who dreamed great things but never made those dreams come true, people who fell in love and lost,” Davis said:

I became an artist – and thank God I did – because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live life.

This statement became one of the points of discussion of the right Internet after the Oscars ceremony. “Art is beautiful; art enriches; art can connect us to each other,” writes Ben Shapiro. V daily wire. “But the sheer arrogance of declaring that artists are “the only profession that celebrates what it means to live life” is simply amazing. How about doctors? What about stay-at-home mothers who help shape lives rather than pursue their own career interests? How about undertakers? How about if almost everyone in a free market economy gives themselves to others to improve life?

Variations of this sentiment have ricocheted online, with Davis sometimes being misquoted as saying that only “actors” celebrate what it means to live life, or worse, are the only ones who “know” what it means to live life. .

Do people have the right to be offended? Did they say that artists are better than everyone else? If you read her words literally, in the context of her speech, and give her the slightest benefit of doubt, it’s hard to see the backlash against Davis as anything but a symptom of our overblown culture wars.

Everyone “celebrates what it means to live life” in their own way, but for whom can this be the main function of their profession? Artists, definitely. The clergy, perhaps. Doctors Keep life, not to glorify them, and it does not humiliate them if they talk about it. Stay home parents help others, and Davis might even agree that it is more noble, important and necessary than “glorifying” the meaning of life.

Her point was simply that artists have a unique role to play in telling stories about the human experience and that she is glad to be a part of it.

Of course, she could have edited herself to be less controversial, though perhaps less interesting., statements. If she had simply said, “I became an artist—and thank God I did—because we are celebrating what it means to live life,” the complaints might have been more difficult. The word “one” emphasizes the special feature of the artists, but it is also a whistle for anyone who has a strong resentment of Hollywood elitism and condescension. And there has rarely been a better time to express such outrage than now.

On the right, reflective aversion to the entertainment industry has taken on a new dimension under Donald Trump. during Fox and friends after Oscarthe confusion that la la country Wrongly declared “Best Picture” Steve Doucey called “Hollywood got the election wrong, and last night Hollywood got the Oscar wrong.” Guest Tucker Carlson agreed, but added that Moonlight “should have won” because that’s what the moralizing, politically correct establishment wanted. Yes, the Oscars were both a disaster out of touch with reality and a cunningly rigged game.

Donald Trump interpreted the Academy’s failure in his own way: “I think they were so focused on politics that at the end they couldn’t come together,” he said. beardas if the accountant of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope did so because he cursed too hard at Kimmel, who tweeted the president “are you okay?”

Liberals may moan when Trump attributes a logistical error to his critics. But of course, both sides today see a lot of politics in entertainment: see below. all takes do like Dusi and compare the end of the Oscars to election night.

To many viewers on Sunday, Davis’s speech was remarkable in that she almost went beyond the partisan strife and just spoke passionately about acting. But one word – “only” – was enough to make it a culture war litmus test. Maybe she wanted to argue about the place of art in society, or maybe she just portrayed her profession as she really sees it. In any case, it was a defiant move in an age where artists are increasingly being held to the same standards as candidates for office: they are expected to choose their words not for truth, but for politics.

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After a Million Lives, I Can’t Forgive What American Terrorism Has Done to My Country, Iraq | Sinan Anton



IIn early 2003, I was living in Cairo doing research for my doctoral dissertation on a famous Iraqi poet who lived in my hometown of Baghdad in the 10th century. But I was increasingly worried about the Baghdad of the 21st century.

Like millions of people in major cities around the world, I took part in massive protests against the imminent invasion of Iraq. Tahrir Square, the center of the revolution led by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was filled with tens of thousands of angry Cairo eight years later. We headed towards the nearby US embassy, ​​but the riot police pushed us back with batons.

The drums of war have been sounding for months now. As long as popular opposition existed throughout the world (there were coordinated protests in 600 cities in February 2003) war organizers, merchants and fans vociferously and disparagingly spoke of those of us who warned of disastrous consequences for Iraqis and the region, calling anyone who questions the war a supporter of the dictatorship.

Many of us who opposed the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and his regime wrote and spoke out against the planned invasion for obvious reasons. We have challenged the false narrative that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (WMD). After 700 inspections, Hans Blix, head of the UN arms inspectors, and his teams found no weapons in Iraq. The “mushroom cloud over Manhattan” that Condoleezza Rice warned about was a propaganda cloud to heighten hysteria. George W. Bush, after all, reportedly decided to strike Iraq a week after 9/11.

The corporate media space in the US has been an echo for government propaganda. It was not just the Manichaean worldview of post-9/11 national security hysteria, but also a deeply rooted colonial mentality—variants of the white man’s burden. An analysis of US television news in the weeks leading up to the invasion found that sources expressed skepticism about the war. massively underrepresented. The media did a pretty good job of fabricating consent and repeating official propaganda. In March 2003, 72% of US citizens supports the war. We must never forget this. (Prior to 2018, 43% of Americans believed that the right decision.)

In Cairo, I watched as the US began its “shock and awe” campaign – a terrifying rain of death and destruction on Baghdad. Poetry was my refuge and the only space through which I could convey my inner pain as I watched the violence unleashed on Iraq and saw my hometown fall to the invading army. Some lines I wrote during the early days of the invasion crystallize my melancholy:

The wind is a blind mother
over the corpses
no shrouds
save the clouds
but dogs
much faster

Moon is a graveyard
for light
stars are women

Tired of carrying coffins
the wind leaned
against the palm
Satellite Required:
Where now?
muttered in the staff of the wind:
and the palm tree caught fire.

I have always hoped to see an end to Saddam’s dictatorship in the hands of the Iraqi people, and not through a neo-colonial project that dismantles what is left of the Iraqi state and replaces it with a regime based on ethno-confessional dynamics, bringing the country into violent chaos and civil wars.

Four months after the invasion, I returned to Baghdad as part of a film crew for the filming of the documentary About Baghdad, about the war and its aftermath. Chaos was already evident. One of the dozens of interviews we did in that seething July was with a man who was optimistic about the occupation. “But a lot of these people that the US puts in power are thieves and crooks,” I told him. “My son,” he replied, “if they steal half of our wealth, we will still be better off with the other half.” I remember this conversation whenever I read about the astronomical numbers and the massive corruption of the post-2003 Iraqi regime.

Some of the Iraqis we spoke to were clearly seduced by the American promises or took them seriously. Others were too exhausted and desperate after more than a decade of another war in uniform. genocidal sanctions from 1990 to 2003, and thought “so be it.” There were those, inside and out, who knew that this was colonialism and opposed it. But there were plenty of colonized minds. Later, a group of Iraqi writers, poets and professionals wrote Thank You Letter Bush and Tony Blair.

When defunct WMDs were not found, there was a shift in the propaganda narrative towards “democracy” and “state building”. The deadly consequences of the war were rationalized as necessary labor pains for the “new Iraq”. The country will become a model in the Middle East for what global capital and free markets can offer. But the promises and plans for reconstruction turned into billions of dollars of black holes and fueled culture of corruption. Americans themselves were supporters won from the war.

The invasion did create a new Iraq. The one where Iraqis face the consequences of the war on terrorism every day: terrorism. The “new Iraq” promised by the warmongers did not bring Starbucks or startups, but car bombs, suicide attacks, al-Qaeda, and then the Islamic State, the latter hatched in the US’s own military prisons in Iraq.

In the first few months of the invasion, I saw a report on an American TV channel showing an infiltrated reporter with American soldiers in a Humvee about to leave a base near Baghdad to patrol. As the Humvee rolls out of the gate, one of the soldiers tells the reporter, “This is Indian country.” As I learned, this is a common, albeit informal, term used by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan to refer to “hostile and lawless territory.” Brian Williams of NBC told how an American general give him a tour it was also used in Iraq.

Colonial frameworks and ingrained notions of white supremacy show how most Americans, whether military or civilian, can view, understand, or simply ignore the actions of their government. It was another frontier between the forces of an advanced and well-intentioned civilization and a hostile and cruel culture, ungrateful for what was offered and weighed down by its violent past.

Iraq, which spawned the invasion, must be one of the most corrupt states in the world. Iranian-backed militias (whose growth was a by-product of the dynamics of the created invasion) dominate Iraqi lives and terrorize opponents. They helped the regime violently crush a 2019 uprising led by Iraqi youth who rejected the US-mandated political system. One of their slogans in the early days of the uprising was: “No to America, no to Iran!”

Today there is 1.2 million internally displaced persons in Iraq, most of them in camps. estimated 1 million Iraqis died, directly or indirectly, as a result of the invasion and its consequences. Not only the political body has been mutilated, but the body itself: depleted uranium left behind by the occupying forces. was connected to birth defects today, especially in fallujahwhere cancer rates are also high.

Last December, the US Navy proudly announced that his next landing craft would be the Fallujah. It may seem shocking, but it is an integral part of the colonial culture of the settlers. Apache, Lakota, Cheyenne, and other names for indigenous tribes still suffering from the relentless effects of American settler colonialism are now deadly weapon names. A million lives later, this is what American terrorism has done to Iraq.

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to send an email response of up to 300 words to be considered for publication in our email section, please click here.

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The black family was reportedly pulled over due to tinted windows. The CPS then took their children.



Two black parents from Georgia are reportedly fighting to get their five children back from Tennessee. The saga began when they were pulled over for tinted windows and arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana more than a month ago.

Bianca Claiborne and Deonte Williams were on their way to a funeral in Chicago on February 17 when Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled them over for being “dark in color”.[ed windows] and driving in the left lane without active overtaking”, according to Lookouta non-profit news organization that broke history and spoke to the family.

According to Tennessee Lookout, after the car was pulled over, police found a joint and a small amount of marijuana in the bag, less than five grams of marijuana in total. The police charged Williams with a misdemeanor and arrested him, while Claiborne was charged.

But just six hours later, Claiborne, who was not arrested, reportedly had her five children taken from her and placed in state custody after the State Department of Children’s Affairs requested and received an emergency order from a judge. Their youngest child is a four-month-old boy who is still breastfed, Claiborne told Tennessee Lookout. The remaining children are aged 2 to 7 years.

The state reportedly accused the family of putting their children in danger in court documents obtained by Lookout.

Williams told Tennessee Lookout that this is a lie and that he believes the state “kidnapped” his children. Claiborne told Lookout her health has been affected, including a trip to the emergency room due to a panic attack last weekend, which she attributes to the anguish of separation from her children.

A lawyer representing the family said their ordeal “shocks the conscience”.

“I just have to believe that if my clients looked different or had a different background they would just be given a link and told you just keep these things away from kids while you are in this state and they would be on his. way,” Nashville lawyer Jamaal Boykin told Tennessee Lookout.

The Department of Children’s Affairs told VICE News in a statement that state anonymity laws prevent them from commenting on active cases and suggested that “anyone who releases the contents of a minor’s petition is breaking the law.” However, DCS said the Coffee County Judge was responsible for the decision to place Williams and Claiborne’s children in state custody.

“DCS and law enforcement are following evidence collection protocol,” a spokesperson for VICE News said via email. “These findings are then presented to the court. In this case, the evidence led the court to place the children in DCS custody.”

A spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol told VICE News in a statement that “criminal investigations and prosecutions are ongoing and the District Attorney’s office serving Coffee County has claimed the privilege of not releasing documents at this time,” citing Criminal Justice Rules in Tennessee Courts.

Tennessee’s foster care system has long been recognized as one of the most dysfunctional in the nation. In July 2021, seven children in state custody spent the night at the DCS office in Nashville, including several children who slept on the floor. according to video obtained by Tennessee Lookout at the time.

And last year, the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth says the report that from 2016 to 2020, the state had the highest rate of foster care instability in the nation, defined as three or more placements in the first year of detention. At the time, more than 33 percent of cases in Tennessee met this definition, compared to a national average of 14 percent. (Supreme Senator of Tennessee Republican Party filed a bill to abolish the Commission for Children and Youth.)

Democratic State Senator London Lamar said at a press conference on Thursday that the justice system is “absolutely inadequate [the] children on charges of misdemeanor.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous when marijuana is legal in about half the states in the country, and a black family has five children taken away and placed in a DCS that does a poor job of caring for the children they already have.” Lamar said Thursday. “And they will not return their children to them on charges of wrongdoing.”

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Robots replace guards. Should we give them weapons?



Artificial intelligence technology seems to be finding applications in all industries, from fast food chains to parcel delivery and automated unmanned vehicles. Now some companies are also including AI guards to keep their business safe. However, I’m not sure if these bots can be reliable. Let’s see how robot safety experiments turn into reality.


How are these AI guards being used?

These security robots are mainly used in office buildings and perform various tasks. Cobalt Robotics, a company that specializes in “artificial intelligence and robotic automation for routine critical tasks…” is responsible for populating these office buildings.


Cobalt Robotics is one of the leading companies creating robots for guarding and patrolling office buildings. ( Robotics)

Some of these tasks include things like patrolling office buildings for broken fire alarms, suspicious activity, and screening visitors. The main reason many office buildings are starting to use these robots instead of humans is because it saves them a ton of money – roughly $79,000 a year, according to a report from Forrester Research. Although they can last longer and perform multiple tasks, I’m not sure I would trust this machine with any weapons in the event of a malfunction. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using this technology.


What are the benefits of having AI guards?

One of the big advantages of AI security guards is that they can detect more dangers than a security camera or even a human. They cannot get tired or distracted, and will be safer against intruders than risking the life of a human guard.

Another advantage is the two-way communication system with which some of these robots are being developed. Employees can report the problem directly to the bot, or if they prefer to deal with a human and can’t find one, they can request the presence of a human from the bot and it will alert the appropriate department.


Cobalt Robotics has added many features to its bots that make human communication much easier.

Cobalt Robotics has added many features to its bots that make human communication much easier. ( Security)

In particular, the Cobalt Robotics guard is made of fabric and can pass for high-end furniture, so an attacker may not even realize at a glance that a guard is watching him. It could be a clever design that other companies can take note of to better hide the guard.


What are the cons of having AI guards?

One downside is that human guards can lose their jobs. However, one could argue that humans can always be assigned to do other work, such as fixing AI technology if it’s faulty, or fixing a problem if an employee doesn’t want to go through the robot.


Many fear that as technology advances, robots will replace human security guards.

Many fear that as technology advances, robots will replace human security guards. ( Security)

And the scam that worries me the most is the malfunction of this technology. We’ve seen AI technology fail all the time, whether it’s something like ChatGPT saying the wrong thing or the self-service machine at McDonald’s not working. Also, there haven’t been many details about whether these robots can actually prevent crime. Security guards are there to keep people safe in a designated building, so I’m a little hesitant to fully trust AI bots until companies are sure they’re the safest option and won’t malfunction if necessary.


Arming robots with weapons

The San Francisco Police Department has proposed a policy that allows robots to be armed and even lethal force in an extreme situation where the public or the police are in immediate danger. Although their policy was rejected, the police department said they were interested in bringing it back for review.

So the question is: should we trust robots to carry weapons instead of paying a human to do the job? Let us know your thoughts.


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