28 February 2014

The Pussy Riot Media Campaign ~ From Infotainment to Politics

Over the past month or so Pussy Riot has been in the news in various sorts of way. First, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, recently released from prison, made a media tour of the US as reported here at The New York Times. During that tour The Guardian reported here that  letter purported from other members of the group had released a public letter announcing that Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova no longer were affiliated with them. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, in turn, more or less ridiculed the letter. All of this had an infotainment flavor.

But shortly thereafter, Pussy Riot - including the putatively purged Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova - turned up in Sochi during the Olympics and were not only harassed by local police (accused here of theft from their hotel) and subsequently attacked by whip-wielding Cossacks (report here). This last episode is one Pussy Riot could not have made up. Chatting with Colbert is amusing, fending off Police and Cossacks focuses attention on precisely the matters Pussy Riot aims to subvert. As the MasterCard advert says, for a group protesting ( among other things) religiously based patriarchy, being set upon by uniformed Cossacks is "priceless."

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27 February 2014

Good News From ... the IMF?

Here is an article from The Guardian on a new report from the IMF of all places that claims not only that inequality hinders economic growth but that redistribution is effective policy. Wonders never cease.

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Salgado Before He Was A Superstar

This entry at the Lens blog (New York Times) on Sebastião Salgado is eye-opening both for what it reveals about his pre-superstar years and for the contrast it sets up with the many critics - think Susan Sontag, Ingrid Sischey, Michael Kimmelman, for starters - who are so incredibly dismissive of he, his motives, and his work.

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I have been on something of an informal hiatus here for the past month. Actually, I have thought seriously of closing up shop. I've felt that the blog - at least done right - is too time consuming. But I have decided not to do so. And during the time off I've collected a bunch of links to comment on. So, the hiatus is over.
PS: Stan B - thanks for noticing!