1. “Sochi: Gay Activists Protest in St. Petersburg on Eve of Olympics Opening Ceremony.” The action is part of a global campaign urging Olympic sponsors to speak out against the persecution of gays in Russia.
“Andre Banks, All Out’s co-founder and executive director, who was leading one of the Global Speak Out actions outside McDonald’s in New York’s Times Square, told The Hollywood Reporter: ’It is important that Olympic sponsors understand and speak out against the impact these laws have on gay Russians.’ He added that, in the past, public demonstrations by gay and lesbian Russians had lead to violence, arrests and fines, but activists felt that on the eve of the Winter Olympics they had no choice but to ensure their voices were heard.”
2. “Inside Russia’s Anti-Gay Vigilante Army, Occupy Pedophilia.” Rich Juzwiak on the U.K.’s Channel 4 documentary Hunted about the inner workings of Occupy Pedophilia.
“I thought the following scene was particularly poignant. In it, a survivor of anti-gay violence describes his attack, which left him without his left eye. He also explains the psychology of his assailants: ’First they shut us up with their laws so we cannot say anything in our defense, and then they say we are similar to murderers and perverts. If it’s constantly drilled into people that we are murders, scum and perverts, I understand why these guys shot at me. If you repeat something all the time, sooner or later there will be a click, and they will pick up a gun and go and shoot.’”
3. “Now Movie Studios Want to Control Twitter.” Paramount censoring bad press about Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Nijna Turtles.
“There’s a lot of science to explain why we don’t trust advertising, and a pretty great book on the subject, but there’s a fundamental problem (for companies) with PR. While you can completely control the ads that people don’t trust, you can’t control public relations. At least not as much as you’d like. You can’t eat your cake and entice people to buy it, too. To be fair, movie studios have accepted that shift relatively well — probably because PR solves the age-old problem of having to advertise a new product (and make millions of people believe in it) every other month or so. But now that the Aint It Coolism of internet movie sites has reached gargantuan levels, studios are scrambling for some semblance of control over the things they don’t want out in the open yet. The latest, biggest example is Paramount sending copyright violation notices to random Twitter users for sharing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles concept art.”
4. “Sympathy for the Loser.” Mitt Romney’s Sobering Netflix Documentary.
“Netflix is advertising Mitt with the tagline, ’Whatever side you’re on, see another side,’ promising a glimpse of the ’real’ presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor. Yet the ’other side’ it wants us to see is all the minutiae that goes into a presidential campaign—the sitting around with your wife before a televised debate, the late-night powwows about primary numbers, the endless traveling. This is the guts of Mitt, and because the final outcome is known from the beginning, there’s a strange poignancy to the futility of what we observe. Normally, such a backstage, procedural documentary shows us all the hard work as an inevitable precursor to the eventual triumph. But not Mitt. We watch a guy working very, very hard, even though we know he’s going to fall short.”
5. “Strength and Compassion.” A Note to Drug Abuse Concern Trolls, Concerning Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman wasn’t strong enough. That’s not a value judgment. It’s not a comment on his intelligence, his character, his drive or his talent. It’s just a fact—one that anybody who’s grappled with substance abuse or watched a loved one struggle with it will recognize. Addiction is a beast. It’s powerful. Sometimes it overwhelms even those who fight hard against it for decades. We should not ignore these facts when an addict relapses—temporarily, permanently or fatally. We should not distort these facts to make it easier to denounce the addict for failing a test of morality or guts. It’s such a bizarre phenomenon, this concern trolling, this posthumous shaming. It reminds me of Western men’s 19th century obsession with never showing “a yellow streak,” as if physical courage were the sole determinant of virtue. It’s dumb. It’s unrealistic. It’s cruel. And in this context, it’s useless.” [See also: Glenn Kenny and David Carr.]
Video of the Day: Richard Brody on Lost in Translation:
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