It’s November 5th, 2016. Little Mix are at number one with “Shout Out To My Ex.” James Arthur, Clean Bandit, Bruno Mars, and Drake also chart. Everything is fine. The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series for the first time in over a century. US Presidential election is in three days and Hillary Clinton is obviously going to win. Then, three days later, she doesn’t. Clean Bandit seizes the number one spot, Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar enter the top ten, and the other half of Class’s only two-part story airs
Let’s start with the basic structural oddity: a midseason two-parter in an eight episode season. This means that there’s never really a sense of momentum in the show. Its apparent initial pattern of being a monster-of-the-week show that picks a focus character each week is discarded. The subsequent structure of the next two episodes, in which the cast is split to do a bottle episode and an expensive episode that takes place at the same time, is too singular to establish a new pattern. This could be a compelling gambit of a show that has no pattern and is constantly surprising the viewer, but as ...
1978 was the year of Kate Bush both in terms of her career narrative and the press’s fixation on her. The fansite Gaffaweb records no less than 34 print interviews with Bush from that year alone. It was Bush’s most prolific year for press coverage: the press latched onto every detail they could find about her, as it does, and what couldn’t be directly evidenced was inferred. So Bush was treated like any other “eccentric” media sensation: an object of spectacle having more to do with her perceived ostentatiousness than her actual work.
There are strongly gendered dynamics at play in this. Read Bush’s press around the time and you’ll find all the standard tropes in journalism about women: comparisons to other female artists (Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, and Lyndsey de Paul are frequent points of nonsensical comparison), calling Bush a “hippie girl,” and the inevitable objectification of Bush herself (there’s more than one article in which Bush is made the target of a journalist’s foot fetish). The nadir of this fixation came when a promotional photo of Bush taken by rock photographer Gered Mankowitz achieved ubiquity. The infamous picture stages Kate ...
In this episode, we make our first assault on the mountain of bullshit, bile, and batshittery that is Christopher 'the Crying Nazi' Cantwell, take a swing at the 'libertarian-to-fascist' pipeline, and rampant transphobia / transmisogyny.
As ever, warnings apply.
Reminder: we're on iTunes and YouTube
Random Cantwell audio clips
Cantwell stuff from A Voice For Men
Cantwell's warning to Kricket Slick's future boyfriends
Cantwell OkCupid profile, circa 2015
Ethan Glover on Cantwell's long history
The Free State Project
Daily Beast on the Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline
Reason repudiates the libertarian to alt-right pipeline
Jack's article on libertarianism as the 'gateway drug' to the alt-right
Jack's article on the Koch Brothers and their funding of right-wing academia
Cantwell on "Free-er Talk Live, Jan 17 2019."
Charlottesville Race and Terror
Vice checks in on Cantwell a year later
Cantwell drunk in public
Elmer Woodard, lawyer to Cantwell and the alt-right
Chris Cantwell pulls his gun, May 2015
Crying Nazi Raw Video
"The Free Keene Squad" on the Colbert Report
"Looking for Trouble With Strangers"
Local news story on the above
Right Wing ...
It’s October 29th, 2016. Little Mix remain at number one. Actually, the second, third, fourth, and fifth songs on the chart do too. The news is altogether more volatile; Parliament approves the long-gestating Heathrow third runway project, which isn’t that big. In the US, meanwhile, the far-right militiamen who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier in the year are all acquitted and FBI Director James Comey makes a stunning intervention into the US Presidential race less than two weeks before election day as he announces the re-opening of the investigation into Hilary Clinton’s e-mails due to e-mails found on a device during the investigation of Anthony Weiner’s sexting of a fifteen year old girl while continuing not to disclose that Trump Campaign was also being investigated over its links to Russia. This has consequences.
On Internet streaming platforms, “Nightvisiting.” It is here the cracks begin to show for Class. It’s not that “Nightvisiting” is bad. Its ending is slightly misjudged (having Tanya’s effort fail so that Miss Quill can get a hero moment driving a bus into a tentacle mostly serves to ostentatiously deny the black girl an earned hero moment so the femme fatale white woman ...
In our last two entries, we touched on Kate Bush’s affinity for dance. “Wuthering Heights” sports a video with choreography every Bush fan in the world has attempted to emulate, and “Kite” has its own aerial hyperdance. “Moving” foregrounds the act of dancing. If Bush had previously treated dance as a companion to her music, “Moving,” as its name implies, canonizes it as an integral part of how her songs work. “[Dancers are] beautiful, they’re so free and they’re just purely stating what they’re feeling and it’s so delightful…” said Bush in 1980. “And I think that’s what dance is about, the enjoyment of that feeling of movement and freedom, it’s like suddenly breaking through a barrier.”
From its opening moments, “Moving” has a sense of weight and motion, commencing with a fifteen-second sample of whale song from environmentalist Roger S. Payne’s LP Songs of the Humpback Whale (“whales say everything about ‘moving’…it weighs a ton and yet it’s so light it floats”). Then Bush’s vocals and piano greet the listener with “moving stranger, does it really matter?/ as long as you’re ...
In this episode, Daniel tells me about the aftermath of the disastrous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville 2017 (which we talked about last time). We also get a tad more theoretical about some of the reasons for some of the behaviour of the so-called 'alt-right', and chat about some related issues such as the recent controversy concerning the Covington MAGA kids.
Assault of Deandre Harris
League of the South signs consent decree, will not return to Charlottesville. March 2018.
"The decree specifically names the League of the South, its directors, officers, members and agents, national League of the South chairman Michael Tubbs and Kentucky chapter chairman Spencer Borum. These parties are blocked from “returning to Charlottesville, Virginia, as part of a unit of two or more persons acting in concert while armed with a firearm, weapon, shield ...
It’s about as long since the last post as it took anybody to select the next episode in the BBC Three menu system. I mean, unless it autoplays. I have no idea. Anyway, neither the music nor news have advanced much in that couple of seconds.
This gap, or lack thereof, does not do “The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo” any favors. In the course of a double release it largely disappears as “the one that isn’t the premiere” in terms of how Class made its first impression. Actually, it mostly just disappears in general—more than half the audience didn’t even bother playing the second episode, with only 300,000 people tuning in on BBC Three and 600,000 on BBC One a few months later. But taken as originally presented, as a singular item with “For Tonight We Might Die,” this was always doomed to be the smaller one, establishing what the show did in its default setting as opposed to setting the mission statement for it. The unfortunate thing is that this is only half wrong. This isn’t setting the mission statement, but it’s also not the default setting; if it were, Class would be a ...
Kate Bush makes her television debut in a disused railway depot in Germany. Behind her stands the KT Bush Band, the musicians she chose to play her music, in front of a backdrop of green land and a volcano, apparently the German realization of a Yorkshire moor. Bush begins her idiosyncratic mime-shaped dance and the music follows her in a jumpy, facetious rendition of “Kite.” Bush uses her full body as an instrument, using shakes and poses to fill the stage.
It’s unsurprising “Kite” should be the runway Bush launches her television career on. The track is the B-side to “Wuthering Heights,” and a chirpy enough deep cut. “Kite” responds to “Wuthering Heights,” sharing its A-side’s fascination with stepping out of ordinary human experience; visualizing this process as a sort of skyborne anabasis.
“Kite” is a dance song in a different fashion from “Wuthering Heights”; whereas “Heights” is famous for the dance retroactively applied to it, “Kite” actually depicts a sort of radical bodily movement. “Kite” depicts an Icarus-type character: a person being drawn from the ground and towards the air. Over the course of Kite’s run ...