- After criticism, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles will now include display about the role Jewish immigrants played in establishing the industry. Adam Nagourney has the story for the New York Times:
But one group was conspicuously absent in this initial celebration of diversity and inclusivity: the Jewish immigrants — white men all — who were central to founding the Hollywood studio system. Through dozens of exhibits and rooms, there is barely a mention of Harry and Jack Warner, Adolph Zukor, Samuel Goldwyn or Louis B. Mayer, to list just a few of the best-known names from Hollywood’s history.
The omission, which came at a time of increasing concern about rising antisemitism across the country, soon drew complaints from Jewish leaders, concern from supporters of the new museum and a number of critical articles, including in Rolling Stone and The Forward, which ran a piece headlined “Jews built Hollywood. So why is their history erased from the Academy’s new museum?”
- Now, the 9/11 museum has photos of everyone who died in the attacks in 2001 except one person. Greg Cergol reports for NBC:
For decades, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum has been tracking down photos of every person who died in the attacks, and had a photo for all but two of the victims.
Until now, that is, with the next-to-last photo added to the museum’s “In Memoriam” exhibit on Tuesday. More than 2,900 images hang in the special gallery, haunting reminders of the human cost of that terrible day. Now Albert Ogletree is part of the display.
- Writer Calvin Tomkins does a profile of artist Simone Leigh, who will represent the United States at this year’s Venice Biennale, for the New Yorker:
Leigh, who is fifty-four, has the calm, deep-seated confidence of someone who goes her own way. Her physical presence makes her down-to-earth manner seem regal. A tall, handsome woman with long, braided hair, she buys the ankle-length dresses she wears from Casey Casey, a shop in Paris whose owner, Gareth Casey, uses patterns that resemble those of French work dresses from previous centuries. “They’re so well made, and they last forever,” Leigh said. “My style is international auntie.” Leigh didn’t call herself an artist until 2001, when she was a single mother raising her daughter, Zenobia, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, and for years after that she had to struggle with an art world that looked down on ceramics, her chosen medium, as a material for hobbyists or studio potters. Her boundless energy, superb craftsmanship, and expanding vision kept her going, and the breakthrough, when it came, was so decisive that an invitation to represent her country at the Biennale seemed foreordained.
- Three New York Magazine critics (Jerry Saltz on art, Wendy Goodman on design, and Adam Platt on food) talk about criticism and their beloved city in this podcast with Dan Rubenstein.
- Why is the far right so into fitness? For MSNBC, Cynthia Miller-Idriss writes:
Earlier this month, researchers reported that a network of online “fascist fitness” chat groups on the encrypted platform Telegram are recruiting and radicalizing young men with neo-Nazi and white supremacist extremist ideologies. Initially lured with health tips and strategies for positive physical changes, new recruits are later invited to closed chat groups where far-right content is shared.
Physical fitness has always been central to the far right. In “Mein Kampf,” Hitler fixated on boxing and jujitsu, believing they could help him create an army of millions whose aggressive spirit and impeccably trained bodies, combined with “fanatical love of the fatherland,” would do more for the German nation than any “mediocre” tactical weapons training.
In more modern times, far-right groups have launched mixed martial arts and boxing gyms in Ukraine, Canada and France, among other places, focused on training far-right nationalists in violent hand-to-hand combat and street-fighting techniques. It’s caught the attention of intelligence authorities, especially in Europe, where various reports have noted the role of combat sports and MMA in radicalizing and promoting far-right violence. A series of collaborative efforts between governments, national sports associations, and local gyms in places such as Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom have introduced intervention and prevention programs.
- Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, writing for Gothamist, explains that the ratio of bodegas to supermarkets in NYC is very telling (any guess which neighborhoods have a higher percentage of bodegas?). Read the whole article but this map is wow:
- Pop star Grimes, who is the former partner of Elon Musk, admitted to blackmail, extortion, and hacking a prominent music blogger in a recent Vanity Fair interview. Because she’s very rich and famous, you can be assured she won’t face charges even though it’s repulsive how brazenly she talks about this (and shame on Vanity Fair for not challenging this) (emphasis theirs):
A well-known and pseudonymous blogger, “Carles”, who ran a popular indie music blog called Hipster Runoff (popularly referred to as “HRO”), published a post in early 2012 which was unflattering to Grimes, among others he had previously posted. She didn’t like this, so in March 2012 Grimes enlisted a friend in the video game industry to send a Distributed Denial of Service attack (a type of attack intended to knock someone’s systems offline) aimed at this blogger’s website. She implies her friend who was employed at the video game company used his access to the company’s systems to perform this attack. The video appears to be edited as she is making this statement.
I was able to find an interview written by Motherboard which describes the attack from the blogger’s perspective, which sounds quite a bit more involved. The author of the piece, who eventually went on to become VICE’s Editor in Chief, wrote that the site’s backups had also been destroyed and its server crashed, which implies a bad actor or actors gained access to his system(s) through a strategic, malicious hack, which would be far more involved than simply sending large amounts of traffic to cause a DDoS attack.
- There’s a growing chorus in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) or SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) communities that is asking that we be recognized in the United States for the unique community we represent. Ariana Afshar, writing for Newsweek, opines:
In April 2021, the Department of State declared April as National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM), in which only six states now formally recognize: Arkansas, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and Virginia. Unfortunately, NAAHM recognizes 22 Arabic speaking countries—excluding Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and Armenia (all of which are considered to be non-Arabic speaking countries within the MENA region).
Despite this federal declaration, most companies, government agencies and social media websites still do not acknowledge or uplift people of MENA origin. The nation forgets the 3.7 million Americans who trace their roots back to an Arab-majority country, as well as an estimated 385,000 Iranians, 132,000 Afghans, 500,000 Assyrians/Chaldeans and 350,000 Turks. Although the MENA in America makes up less than 3 percent of more than the 44.9 million U.S. foreign born population in the United States, it does not justify forgoing recognition.
- A great explanation of why we don’t call undocumented immigrants “illegal“:
Required Reading is published every Thursday afternoon, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.