1. “Why Armond White got kicked out of the New York Film Critics Circle.” Owen Gleiberman on the decision to boot White from the premiere critics group.
“Yet this all began to come crashing down at the New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner back in 2011, when White was chairman. Emceeing that year’s awards, he insulted several of the winners from the podium (introducing Tony Kushner to present the Best Picture award to The Social Network, he said, ’Maybe he can explain why it won’), and then, last year, when he was no longer chairman, he heckled from his table in the same way that he did this year (at the time, the object of his wrath was Michael Moore, to whom he yelled ’F— you!’). And now that he has done it again, what’s become clear is that Armond White’s ’contrarian’ impulses have slid over the line from being things that he thinks into a depressingly established pattern of reckless uncivil behavior. Ultimately, the two have nothing to do with each other. Words and ideas are one thing; actions—destructive ones—are another. White has the right to believe, and say in print, anything he wants. But disrupting a public event is a squalid form of acting out that has no defense. And that’s why he was kicked out of the New York Film Critics Circle: because of a disturbing, and arguably disturbed, pattern of stubborn misbehavior.”
2. “The Power of Mia and Ronan Farrow’s Virtual Booing of Woody Allen.” It used to be that those who believed they’d been misunderstood or wronged aired their grievances to the press, mostly newspapers.
“However, even amidst Twitter’s sea of trivialities, news, and posturing, the Farrows’ tweets were powerful. These virtual slaps were different from a ’rel’ disruptive act—a loud ’boo’ shouted out while others are applauding, or a drink tossed in somebody’s face at a reception—and yet just as bracing, because while they allowed the event itself to proceed undisturbed, they merged with our recollection of it after the fact, and will stay online for as long as ’online’ remains a thing. We don’t have to argue about what was said in that auditorium or whether it was appropriate to say it at that moment, because the Farrows weren’t there. They were watching from the same collective living room in which people live-Tweet their color commentary about people on TV—the same hive-mind space where people bitch about fumbled passes and laugh at a sitcom leading lady’s new hairdo and pass around links to Breaking Bad tumblrs.”
3. “Google Is Trying Harder Than Ever to Be Facebook.” And as a result, its users feel betrayed and manipulated.
“So, Google really wants your account to have your real name, be linked across its sites, and be accessible through searches on your real name. Google Plus is an identity service, one where all your activities are linked to a verifiable real-life identity and published as such. Having linked your real-life identity to your content, Google can do things like use your YouTube reviews next to your name and face in advertising endorsements, another recent move that was met with similar backlash. It is all too similar to Facebook’s ongoing strategy of trying to monetize your content—beginning with Facebook Beacon back in 2007, which tracked your online purchases and promoted them to your friends, without your permission. Beacon was shut down for being too blatantly invasive, but Facebook has since achieved most of Beacon’s functionality via more subtle mechanisms, and Google now wants a piece of that action too.”
4. “Caribbean countries unlikely to see slave-trade reparations from Europe.” Analysts say reparations request unlikely to be met, but move could have larger political benefits—or repercussions.
“A positive outcome for the Caribbean states isn’t likely, however. Persuading the European nations to pay reparations won’t be easy, as none of the financially strapped countries will want to see a precedent set under which they could be expected to compensate all of the nations they exploited in colonial times. And if the case goes to the ICJ, it would be surprising to see the court back the Caribbean states for several reasons.”
5. “Another Mayor Felt Christie-Tied Reprisal.” Jersey City mayor may have also been victim of Christie staff’s political revenge.
“The night he was elected mayor of Jersey City in May, Steven Fulop got a call from Gov. Chris Christie congratulating him and offering whatever help he could—a pledge that was followed up by texts and emails from Mr. Christie’s campaign and State House aides, who set up a day’s worth of meetings with high-level commissioners in what they promised would be the beginning of a happy relationship. Two months later, the day Mr. Fulop, a Democrat, relayed word that he could not endorse the governor, a Republican, the meetings were all suddenly off. Documents show that Mr. Christie’s commissioners themselves called to cancel—most within the space of an hour—leaving Jersey City needing to fill its budget without money from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, its requests for help with Hurricane Sandy recovery, transportation and other issues falling on deaf ears.”
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