El club de los animales malditos
Jordi Serrallonga, © el Periódico
July 3, 2018

Disney relevó a Lucas y ha trastocado la saga de ‘StarWars‘; pero lleva más tiempo confundiéndonos acerca del mundo animal. Y no solo porque Rafiki –el primate de ‘El Rey León’– sea una ficticia mezcla entre babuino y mandril (soy un primatólogo cascarrabias), me molesta mucho más que sigan alimentándose viejos tópicos sobre la conducta de los seres vivos.  Por ejemplo, en ‘Fantasía’, un grupo de hipopótamos baila con tutús. Este herbívoro –el que mastica hierba nos parece más ‘bueno’ que el que devora carne–, también enterneció a todos en un spot sobre pañales; sin embargo, es uno de los animales –que no sea el mosquito transmisor de la malaria– que más víctimas humanas causa en África.

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"The strategic adversary is fascism... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us."
––Michel Foucault

Fascism and The Road to Unfreedom review – the warning from the 1930s
Richard J Evans
July 19, 2018

Democracy is under threat in its historic heartlands, Europe and the US. Right-wing strongmen such as Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey and Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland are curtailing civil liberties, removing the independence of the judiciary and muzzling the press. In other countries, antidemocratic parties are riding high on a wave of public hostility to immigrants. And then there is Donald Trump, who, as we have seen during his recent European tour, is potentially a far more disruptive and dangerous figure than any of these, because as US president he wields an influence that is global in scale.

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"I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."
––Jim Garrison

Félicitations aux Bleus, nouveaux champions du monde, et à l’équipe de Croatie pour son beau jeu et courage!

world cup trophy

"The earth is buzzing with metaphor"
––Osip Mandelstam

The Moral Clarity of Pussy Riot’s Protest
Masha Gessen, © The New Yorker
July 15, 2018

On Sunday, in the fifty-second minute of the final game of the World Cup, four women dressed in Russian-police uniforms charged the field, briefly disrupting the match. They were members of the Russian protest-art group Pussy Riot.

Pussy Riot is often misidentified as a punk group, which is, in fact, only one of its many guises. The group, which was founded in 2011, is an open-membership collective that stages actions, documents them on video, and provides textual statements intended as clear and accessible explanations of their intentions and demands. The group’s best-known action was what they called a “punk prayer,” in which a group of women attempted to sing a political prayer of their own making inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in Moscow, in the lead-up to Russia’s 2012 Presidential election. The performance was meant to protest the country’s symbiosis of church and state. As a result, two of the group’s founding members served twenty-two months in prison.

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"I was stopped in the dense Soviet wood by bandits who called themselves my judges."
–– Osip Mandelstam