There is a lot to be learned from Matt Lauer’s sophomoric and intrusive question and remarks in regards to the unfortunate Anne Hathaway incident. As Hathaway exited her car at a New York premiere of her latest movie, Les Miserables, a
photographergross-voyeur snapped a photo of her which caught her in a position that exposed her in a way that she was not asking for.
On Wednesday, December 12th, Matt Lauer on NBC’s the Today Show immediately opened up the interview mentioning the moment. Here is how Lauer decided to do this: “Good morning, nice to see you - Seen a lot of you lately.” Wow.
Lauer has no idea (or, at least, it sure seems this way) how even bringing this up in such a vile way may have affected Hathaway, how this might affect viewers watching at home, and it also shows incredible ignorance and lack of perspective and empathy. It also highlights how frivolously we treat these invasions of privacy and ourselves, and one another, in general. Oh, no biggie - I’m going to ask this question in the same way I would ask ‘what is your favorite ice cream flavor?’ He could (and should) have known, by the way, how she was feeling if he would have just read how Hathaway felt about it the night it happened. She was ‘devastated’, yet Mauer just had to “get it [the question] out of the way.”
He just HAD to, you know?
“What’s the lesson learned?”, asks Lauer not seconds later. Hmm…Well, I can tell you what I learned from it. I learned that our society continually and unquestionably blames victims and puts the onus of change, and explanation on them. I learned that every question, especially in front of a national audience, is fair game (especially if you are a woman) no matter what may come of it and no matter how you might feel.
What could Anne have done differently?
She should have been a man.
She should have worn something different even though she might not have wanted to. She should wear underwear at all times because you never know when a creepy man might take a photograph of you and then make bank off of it. She should appreciate the publicity and free p.r.. She should change how she functions entirely.
The real questions might be: Why don’t we question perpetrators instead of victims? Why don’t we ask “why do we allow this type of behavior?” Why do we place a monetary value on everything, especially each other?
Most disgustingly, Matt brought up the fact that Hathaway “keeps smiling, which you always do,” and this is, once again, instructive about our society. Women - you must smile even when you have been violated because, if you don’t smile and laugh it off, then we will all feel awkward and guilty for allowing, supporting, and making a living, off as Hathaway so perfectly stated: “a culture that commodifies the sexuality of unwilling participants.” What ever you do - don’t express anything other than joy, happiness, and passivity. Don’t be sad, angry, or disappointed. Just smile.
Lauer’s giddiness and comfortability in acting in such a way is completely disgusting, commonplace, and revealing. You can learn a lot about our culture in a one minute segment.
A couple of final notes: It’s not a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ - what do you think happens when you get up from sitting in a car in a dress? What we really have is a malfunctioning culture. Finally, Hathaway’s response was amazing, courageous, and it was unfortunate that she even had to deal with it in that manner. Hats off to her for remaining civil and accommodating when she had every right not to be.
by Connor Kilpatrick - for Jacobin
“Whatever Spielberg says - there’s no Comparing an empty-suit like Obama to a radical like Lincoln.”
You can’t change these things with laws. You must change people’s minds.
—Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (via jidfurikuri)
The rich in America have it made. As they’ve been making more and more money over the last ten years, they’ve paid less and less effective tax rates.
Interesting to note that the reverse, where the top 1 percent, started to make more than the bottom 90, began in the 80s. Reagan, and the greater Right, started to blame the ills of our economy on the gov and all went downhill - all of the economic benefits started to only go to the rich. This is when, paraded by the Reagan admin., this new shift of thinking (and policy) started blossoming - blame the gov, hold the poor in contempt, and open the way for big business to rule themselves. (We all know how that has played out.)
This chart is super interesting. We have all of the data that we need - we know the problems (extractionism vs capitalism, rigged and corrupt tax and trade policies, unpatriotic multinational corporations, misleading discourse, banks that are too big that have no capital requirements, etc.) now all we have to do is have honest discourse about these problems, and force politicians to actually work on behalf of all Americans, and especially, those downtrodden.
Mindfulness of nature, therefore, is not a tree hugger’s plea but a practical imperative for twenty-first century survival. Our peril is unprecedented, and human knowledge, values, and social institutions are far behind the curve. The global economy has suddenly become so large - $70 trillion a year and doubling in size roughly every twenty years - that the earth’s air, water, land, and climate are all under threat. Our global response to date has been so obtuse, so absurd, so shortsighted that it almost seems that humanity has a death wish. This ignorance and shortsightedness can lead us to disaster. Of course, more than a death wish has been at play; the greed of powerful vested interests has been far more consequential than public confusion and shortsightedness.
—Jeffrey Sachs - The Price of Civilization (via therecipe)
When libertarians deride the idea of social fairness as just one more nuisance, they unleash greed. The kind of unconstrained greed that is now loose in America is leading not to real liberty but corporate criminality and deceit; not to democracy but to politics dominated by special interests; not to prosperity but to income stagnation for much of the population and untold riches at the very top. Fortunately, most Americans disagree with the harshness and extremism of the libertarian philosophy. Nonetheless, wealthy libertarians can gain the upper hand in real political decision making through massive lobbying, propaganda campaigns, and heavy campaign financing.
—Jeffrey Sachs, The Price of Civilization (via therecipe)
The two main political parties are not showing a way out of the crisis. Even when the fights between them are vicious - they actually hew to a fairly narrow range of policies, and not ones that are solving America’s problems. We are paralyzed, but not mainly by disagreements between the two parties, as is commonly supposed. We are paralyzed, rather, by a shared lack of serious attention to our future. We increasingly drift between elections without serious resolution of a long list of deep problems, whether it’s the gargantuan budget deficit, wars, health care, education, energy policy, immigration reform, campaign finance reform, and much more. Each election is an occasion to promise to reverse whatever small steps the preceding government has taken.
—Jeffrey D. Sachs - The Price of Civilization (via therecipe)
and the presentations I viewed were: Should America’s prisons focus on rehabilitation? and The differences between terrorists and guerrilla fighters.
In the former presentation, there was an affirmative side and a negative side. The person siding with “no” we shouldn’t had very weak arguments….