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When was the last time you had an original thought? No, really. When was the last time you had an idea that you hadn’t already heard somewhere else? Anything from your outfit choices to your lifestyle choices, to your opinions on politics and your opinions on healthcare and your opinions on what makes a great date. Sorry to tell you, but none of it is original. It comes from an outside source, most likely the result of a boardroom discussion on how to increase someone’s bottom line. As a species, we’ve lost our ability to create. All we can do is take someone else’s great idea and try—usually unsuccessfully—to perfect it, whatever that means. Take music, for example. All popular music these days is simply a mash-up of old styles, taking someone else’s beat or hook and “recreating” it to make it new. And movies! I swear half the movies out in the past year were remakes of old classics. And you and I both know, most of them are shit. Although, I guess as hard as it is to improve upon a classic, it’s even harder to create a masterpiece yourself, which is why most of us opt out of doing anything original. When we decide what we should have for dinner or what brand of t-shirt we just have to wear this season, we need to look outside ourselves for the answer. Think about it: what would you do if you no longer had access to TV, magazines, or any kind of social media? I’m sure you think you would be fine. You’re different; you’re an informed thinker. Right. Try it for a week and see how it goes.
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I suppose it’s not really our fault; our brains are hardwired to make decisions as easily and quickly as possible, with the least amount of effort. If we took the time to consider every decision we had to make during the course of a day, we would never get anywhere. Luckily for us, the mainstream global media and corporations have been so kind as to provide answers to our every thought, our every question (hell, even to questions we aren’t asking), so it’s no wonder we’ve forgotten how to come up with anything new.
Even the ideas we think are original aren’t. We learn as we get older that all those rebellious notions, crazy ideas, and risky decisions we made in our immortal youth have been recycled time and time again, generation though generation. With the ever-growing, increasingly stifling presence of our government and mainstream media, it’s getting harder and harder to have an original thought, even when we want to. And that desire strikes less and less these days. Taking a risk and
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going in a different direction is scary, after all, and could totally backfire. You could fail, you could be shunned by your peers. Better to just take a note from the Big Brother handbook and move with the masses, right? Maybe I’m jaded. Certainly, there are some benefits of mass influence, of an environment that discourages individual thought. It certainly helps societies run smoothly. But when does this smoothness give way to a world that creates human robots, a society where everyone is basically running on autopilot, not really thinking at all? It may be easy, but it’s not a life. Now, I’m not telling you to go out and start doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing—all those “anti-establishment” groups out there have already got that covered. I’m not saying that you’re a lemming if you happen to agree with popular thought on any particular subject, or if you join a book club, or even if you happen to like Billie Eilish. I just think that the global media has made it too easy to have an opinion on everything without actually learning or taking the time to delve into a subject on your own. In an era where technology puts so much education and information at our fingertips, our brains are wasting away from disuse, and all we do is chuckle like idiots while we watch The Masked Singer and complain about how the government is doing a shitty job. Shit, even thinking that originality is dead isn’t exactly a new idea. Maybe we’re at a time in history where there are no new ideas to be had, who knows? Maybe we’ve exhausted all the possibilities of how an electric guitar and a set of drums can create magic. Maybe there are no new little black dresses to be had, no new theses to defend or artistic styles to discover. Maybe originality, or the lack thereof, isn’t even the issue at all. Perhaps how you reach your conclusion is more important than the conclusion itself. So here’s a novel idea: stop regurgitating everything that television, your friends, and Wikipedia tells you is right. Sit down, step back, and use that collection of grey matter in your head to think, really think, and make a choice that’s totally your own. Even if you come to a pre-existing conclusion, the sense of accomplishment you will feel as a result of actually using your brain is worth it. Who knows, maybe you’ll even influence someone else’s thinking... much better to be the influencer than the influenced. And yes, thinking for yourself is definitely more work, but infinitely more rewarding. At least, that’s what they tell me.
contributors AUTUMN DE WILDE is an American photographer and film director best known for her portraiture and commercial photography of musicians, as well as her music videos. She had no formal education in photography, but learned photography from her father Jerry de Wilde, an art and commercial photographer noted for his photos of Jimi Hendrix.
t r i b tO rs
TIZIANO LUGLI’s excellent taste, sharp eye for beauty, coupled together with his innate ability to connect with his subjects, have given him the right ingredients needed for a fashion and entertainment photographer. “I believe that life is a constant journey of creative endeavors that provides me the oxygen I need to breathe, so I can stay alive.”
DAVID YEO is an award-winning London-based photographer who works with filmic lighting that creates drama and a cinematic, film noir atmosphere. He likes to build his own lights and create his own sets in studio, and shoots celebrity, fashion and beauty while working with many A-list clientele.
LIZZIE MORGAN is a New Yorkbased portrait photographer and film director. Follow her for updates on Instagram @_khalizzie.
MATHIEU YOUNG is a photographer and director based in Los Angeles. When he’s not on set, he also runs a pop-up concert series in collaboration with the California State Parks Department called Kensington Presents, and founded an accelerator called Art of Freelance. He’s a current member of the Cinematographers Guild and is also a licensed pilot.
ELIZABETH MESSINA is an award winning artist and photographer. Her images are powerful and intimate, a sublime balance between light, composition and emotion. Messina’s images have graced the covers and pages of countless magazines and books. Elizabeth was named as one of the best wedding photographers in the world” by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Although she’s often in creative pursuit, camera in hand, she’s most happy at home in Southern California with her husband, three children, two dogs and a strong cup of coffee.
JAKA VINSEK is a Slovenianborn photographer and cinematographer based in New York. In his early career he worked as a personal photographer to the president of Slovenia and other major newspapers. A passionate documentary photographer and filmmaker, whenever Vinsek is in his studio he loves doing portraiture.
DAVID GODDARD is a photographer based in New York. Influenced by his studies in painting and filmmaking, his self taught approach is intimate. Doing the makeup and styling himself, David works closely with actors, musicians, authors and other artists to find images that reflect truth. His focus is portraiture, but his sensitive eye extends to fashion, travel, and documentary work.
SEAN GLEASON was born in Washington, DC and grew up in London where he is currently based. He studied photography at the renowned Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and went on to assist many great photographers including David Sims and Mario Sorrenti. He has shot for many of the world’s top publications including Elle, Interview, Vogue, Tatler, GQ, Esquire and Instyle, working with models, celebrities, and athletes.
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“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
“...got to admit it’s getting better, better, better.” Life is not fair, and the modern woman quickly learns that she must crusade against this unfortunate status quo. She focuses her attack on equal pay, eradicating prejudice and too often, hones in on increased sexual freedom. For some reason, the general consensus seems to be that to earn the same respect and salaries as our male counterparts, we have to act like them. We’re becoming a society of avoidance; love ‘em and leave ‘em, or more aptly, fuck ‘em and forget ‘em, is the new motto. When did one-night stands become okay? Recall the charming, pithy words of Lil’ Kim: “If the guy have three girls then he’s the man. He can either give us some head, sex her off. If a girl do the same, then “she’s a whore.” This is changing, however, and we must be careful not to view it as a social victory for women. mary anne, retail, eastside
Sweet Tooth! Have My Cake… And Eat It! This particular phrase is pertinent to dating, or rather promiscuous dating. Dating two guys at once can be perilous, sure; but not if you know what you’re doing. I’m currently dating two men (about to tack on a third, but that’s beside the point). They live in different boroughs, which means they live in completely different worlds, if not opposing universes. I like both of these men, equally, but for quite contradictory reasons. They are total opposites, nothing alike. And what can I say? Dating is sort of like fashion: we women like to have options. So until it blows up in my face, don’t bother me, I’m eating cake. sue, pr, chelsea
Warning. Don’t push my buttons!!!!!!! I’m sorry, but unless you have some tragic disability, when you’re going to the second, third, even the fourth floor, you have no business taking the elevator. You know as well as I do that everyone needs to move, move, move and needs everything fast, fast, fast. I hear you sigh with frustration when the barista is having an off day and the espresso machine is not acting up to par. Now, I understand that the world revolves around you, but you’re unnecessarily making everyone else’s elevator ride that much longer. Listen, if I can climb five flights of stairs in spike heels to my apartment—even when I still need to change and I’m already running late —you’re more than capable of climbing three. Especially when you’re wearing fucking jogging shoes for Christ’s sake. I don’t know, maybe you actually have a desire for a ballooning ass. Maybe you’re excited for diabetes and an early death. Frankly, I don’t care. But when your inane laziness breaks the simplest of elevator etiquette rules or just the basics of human decency and I see your finger reach out to press the floor 2 button, I might just bite it right off. rachel, designer, flatiron
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” I’m beginning to feel rather suffocated by the apathy around me, especially in the eyes of my fellow L train riders on our collective morning commute… I am slowly dying as a result of their appallingly low reserves of enthusiasm. Or passion. About anything. Or so it would seem. Perhaps I should stick to my own dealings with apathy. On the other side of my affected disinterest is usually fear of some sort or another. Before I became engaged in politics, the apathy that blocked my way was only a misguided fear of my own ability to jump in the game, so-to-speak. As for the subway and its rampant social apathy (so unfortunately “fashionable” these days), I have found that underneath my own vacant shoegaze stare is a desire to look around curiously, not to mention tap my feet (not to mention my hands, if that day’s bag is looking particularly drum-like) to the tune of whatever song I’m listening to. ash, hospitality, jersey city
“...sweet, sweet, the memories you gave to me...” Nothing beats New York City summers: Levi’s cut offs. Tank tops. Hot asphalt. Baseball caps. Dirty feet in flip-flops. BBQs. Rooftop sunsets. Sweaty sex. Kickball in Prospect Park. Vodka lemonades sipped coolly on the terrace. Margaritas to-go. Watching Do The Right Thing 987 times just to get in the spirit of things. Pool parties. Block parties. Free concerts. Old movies in Bryant Park. The Hamptons. Mister Softee. Weekend camping trips Upstate. Coney Island: funnel cake, the Cyclone, and Nathan’s hot dogs. So please. For the love of our city, for the love of our summer, and for the enjoyment of all: if you can’t stand the heat, get out the effing kitchen! I don’t want to hear you gripe about “oppressive heat,” “outrageous A/C bills,” or “disgusting humidity.” Just leave. No one’s gonna miss you. peter, writer, westside
“...I never really mind bad service in a restaurant. It makes me feel better about not leaving a tip...” Bill Bryson Tolerating poor and slow service at a restaurant, a burnt coffee at Starbucks, or an idiot on the subway who has somewhere more important to be than you, are all going to be neverending occurrences unless someone decides to speak up and be heard. Americans have become scared to utter the simplest complaint and are too concerned with the opinion they may bestow upon themselves if using their words. We no longer expect much in return from what most of our hard earned dollars go into. The quality of our clothing, the taste of our food, and the lifestyle we live are all a reflection of something we as individuals settle on. When will someone stand up and argue the fact that a change needs to be made in the expectations that we set upon standards in society? The 85-year-old woman at Starbucks is not going to waste her time chiming in about a lukewarm cup of tea, and the mother of three cares more about feeding her children than the rude service she received from her waitress. It is us, the younger people of America that should take a stand for what we deserve and should expect. We have fallen into a trap of settling for anything less than the best and if we don’t want a future of settling for the bare minimum then another day should not be wasted on the bare minimum on the receiving end. Stop biting your tongue and speak up! ken, admin, uws
“Maybe we just live on some redneck planet in the backwater part of the galaxy and we should just go on playing the banjo alone.“
“...I ordered up some suzette, I said could you please make that crepe...” Bob Dylan There is nothing worse for America and America’s image than a drive-thru. Nothing. The fact that people are still ignorant enough to eat fast food is tragic enough, but then that they’re too lazy to get out of their gas-guzzlers and stretch their legs for five minutes so they can chow down on a double mega burger with fries and a milkshake? There’s nothing worse for you than to have someone lean out a window and hand you an inhumanely slaughtered cow, slammed between two pieces of over-processed bread, slathered with high fructose corn syrup (and likely spit,) and then to have someone take your money for this monstrosity, while you sit in your safe haven of a planet-destroying vehicle and whine that they forgot extra ketchup. luz, maintainance, staten island
Another Close Encounter - SNL Maybe we just live on some redneck planet in the backwater part of the galaxy and we should just go on playing the banjo alone. abby, chef, bronx
“... It’s called a pig-out for a reason... ” What’s up with all these BBQ places sprouting up everywhere? You know, the ones where you can just point at a picture of a pig and
get a huge hunk of whatever part you feel like eating, usually slopped onto some wax paper on a tray along with some cornbread, grits and an egregious amount of BBQ sauce. Sure, everyone likes BBQ, but this trend is a little much—what’s up with certain foods becoming “trendy” anyway? We have completely missed the point of food, something to nourish us rather than entertain. And keeping in mind that most Americans are obese anyway, should we really be eating double-doses of pig’s ass? bill, janitor, uws
Are You Deaf, Blind or just STUPID A friendly bit of PA for all those people who seem not to understand how hours of operation work: THEY’RE NOT SUGGESTIONS. This place opens at 8am on Sunday. EIGHT. I don’t care, Mr. Member, if you unfailingly stand in front of these doors at 7:30am every week. I’m here early so that I can set up the gym to receive its members; not so that you can come in for an extra half an hour that we don’t owe you, because WE’RE NOT OPEN. Do you come in anyway? Oh, yes, you’re practically on my heels, sighing heavily like I’ve inconvenienced you by letting you in before the gym is actually open. We go through this routine every Sunday. You don’t get to play beleaguered paying member should I show up at 7:45 instead of 7:30. I’M STILL NOT LATE AND WE’RE STILL NOT OPEN. And you CERTAINLY don’t get to stand over me whining about unacceptability should I manage to get in before you and lock the doors behind me so people can’t waltz in when they feel like it. We open at 8, fuckers, and consider yourself lucky that I open the doors five minutes before. eloise, writer, uws Love Will Keep Us Together My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year. Throughout one of those first deep conversations that lasted ‘til 3am (come on, you know the one where you are headstrong on showing off your highlyopinionated eloquently-spoken ultra-liberal P.O.V.), the subject of pornography came up. I started my personal tyrant: I think sexual freedom should be defended, I embrace the entire range of human sexuality, I identify with sex-positive feminists, blah blah blah. Basically, I dig it. Some of it. Not the hardcore unseen Six White Chicks, One Black Dick kind (yes, that’s a real porno; my roommate
was a Sexuality major), but maybe something more soft and low-key, e.g. sensual erotica on film. I thought by delivering this openly, it was giving him a platform to say, “Yeah, I’m into it, too,” as most men are. By no means did I want him to get on his knees and confess he couldn’t go a day without it, but I wanted to open the gates of communication on sexuality. His response? “Not that into it, really.” So, imagine my surprise when a few days ago, I’m on his computer (NOT snooping!), checking out the History folder (still not snooping, only looking for a site I was on the day before), and dozens... I mean, DOZENS of porn sites come up. And not just general websites that find themselves onto your computer via e-mail, or virus, we’re talking specific pictures. Specific videos. Clearly, these have been visited before, many times, they should’ve been featured in the Favorites folder. What the hell, man? I gave you a clear opportunity to let your porn-lovin’ side out of the bag, and you bailed. We could’ve gotten into it together! Had a Girl-on-Girl flick night! Instead, your sneaky behind-my-back tactics to hide your sexual indulgence has turned my normal insecurities into war wounds. I’m jealous of the ladies in your porn stash only because you hid them from me, not because they’re there in the first place. Share the wealth! briony, accountant, tribeca Should Be A Law Against It I know being a teacher is supposed to be a career that saves your place in heaven; but I want to cash in my chips now. Parents PLEASE try instilling some sense of human qualities before you trek off to work. Don’t go to happy hour, refrain from date night and spend some time with your damn kids! You do remember you have one, right? Believe it or not, school is where children grow and learn—YOU are their foundation. And we know what happens when we don’t build a solid foundation, don’t we folks? We crumble, we fall. Aren’t you a little curious what your child does all day long? Or what his/her teacher even looks like? Do you even know my name? Well, you should. I understand the economy sucks. I understand more days at work, more hours during the day. Heck, I coach after school. My day runs about twelve hours on average. But that’s ok, because I am single. SINGLE. That means one. One to take care of. You, my dear are a “plus one,” start acting like it. Remember you are going to need someone to take care of you one day when you are old and weary. Maybe think about that when what’s his face at the office asks you to that nice lil bbq joint in Chelsea. Shit, if you want I’ll raise your kid - KIDDING! That’s YOUR job. Now get off your goddamn phone. wendy, teacher, queens
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SHOULD WE BECOME... Consider the case of Michelle, a bright, ambitious junior at an elite university. To study more efficiently, she takes Ritalin, a drug prescribed for attention deficit disorder—which she doesn’t have. Ritalin is only one of several drugs developed to treat disorders, including ADD, Alzheimer’s, and narcolepsy, that have been shown to improve thinking in normal people. Michelle’s boyfriend, Carlos, tells her she shouldn’t take Ritalin. He says, “It’s cheating, and it might be dangerous.” Michelle replies: “Calm down. It’s just helps me think better; it’s not cocaine. Don’t be hypocritical. You take a cognitive enhancement drug—and probably in dangerously high doses—namely, caffeine. You also smoke, though you say you’ve quit. Why do you think people drink coffee and smoke? To be more alert. So, if I’m cheating, so are you and a lot of other people. Besides, if you’re worried about unfair advantages, why pick on cognitive enhancement drugs? Just being at this university is a huge advantage. Education is a cognitive enhancement, isn’t it? Or what about the fact that you are really smart, and both your parents have PhDs? That’s an advantage, too, and you certainly didn’t earn it.”
This little dialogue, which paraphrases an exchange between two of my students, captures the ambivalence and confusion that most of us exhibit when we consider the possibility of biomedical enhancements. Reactions tend to be polarized: breathless optimism on the part of “posthumanists,” versus fear and loathing on the part of biological conservatives. Neither response is correct. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about biomedical enhancements, but just saying ‘no’ to them is not an option. Biomedical enhancements of normal human capacities are already with us, as the case of Ritalin demonstrates, and more are on the way. As with Ritalin, they will make their debut as spin-offs from medical research. Research on genetic disorders has already led to knowledge of how to insert genes in mouse embryos that result in improved memory and strength. Research to provide brain-computer interface technologies that enable paralyzed people to activate a robotic arm simply by thinking about grasping an object will inevitably lead to computerized ‘exoskeletons’ that extend the capacities of normal humans. Research on normal brain activity has already led to techniques for electrical stimulation of the brain that improves mood and cognition. So we don’t have to aim at enhancements to develop them. And once we develop the capacity to enhance, it will be hard—and in many cases—impossible to resist using it. Enhancement isn’t new. Human beings have already developed impressive enhancements. In fact, the ability to enhance ourselves may be part of what makes humans different from other
animals. Literacy and numeracy are dramatic cognitive enhancements, as are computers and the internet. Science is a kind of collective cognitive enhancement. Our remote ancestors enhanced their capacity to digest food by learning to cook it (cooking is a form of pre-digestion and also neutralizes natural toxins, greatly extending the menu of what we can safely eat). So why are people fearful of biomedical enhancements? The answer is that they think that biomedical enhancements are something entirely new, because they “interfere with nature” or threaten to change or destroy human nature. As the philosopher John Stuart Mill pointed out long ago, the idea of interfering with nature is confused. In one sense, nature is simply all of reality along with the laws that govern it. In that sense of nature, you can’t interfere with it unless you are God. Alternatively, you might think of nature as the way things are, absent human action. There’s nothing wrong with interfering with nature in that sense; we have to do it to survive. We interfere with nature in this second definition every time we act so as to alter the course of events—for example, when we take insulin for our diabetes. Why then are some people worried that using biomedical enhancements will destroy human nature, or that the particular kind of ‘interference’ with nature they involve is something we ought to avoid? After all, virtually all religious traditions (and commonsense as well) acknowledge that human nature contains serious flaws. The answer is that they think that human nature is uned-
itable—they think that if we try to improve on the flawed parts, we’ll destroy the good parts. They may also have a distorted view of evolution: they may think that the human organism, as former President Bush’s Council on Bioethics put it, is a “finely-balanced” whole, the work of the “masterengineer” of evolution. If you think that humans as they are now are the summit of a progressive biological process, and also think that our nature is a densely-interconnected, “finely-balanced” whole, then you’ll take a dim view of any effort to improve our nature. You will think that anything we do will fall short of what the “master engineer” of evolution has produced and you will worry that if we try to modify one strand of the densely interwoven fabric of our being, the whole thing may unravel. Seductive as it is, this way of thinking about human nature is completely wrong. It exhibits a rosy, pre-Darwinian, teleological view of nature that flies in the face of what we now know about evolution. Evolution is not a master engineer; contrary to Richard Dawkins; it is not even like a blind watchmaker. A blind watchmaker knows in advance what he is trying to make and he is making something for the purpose of serving human needs. Not so with evolution. Evolution is more like a morally blind tinkerer. Here’s what Charles Darwin says about nature, as the product of evolution. “What a book a Devil’s chaplain could write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horridly cruel works of nature!” Humans, like all organisms, have
...BETTER THAN HUMAN ? Enhancement isn’t new. Human beings have already developed impressive enhancements. In fact, the ability to enhance ourselves may be part of what makes humans different from other animals. Literacy and numeracy are dramatic cognitive enhancements, as are computers and the internet. Science is a kind of collective cognitive enhancement. lots of “design flaws.” Here are a just a few. Unlike almost all other mammals, humans can’t biosynthesize Vitamin C; this has produced scurvy in human populations for as long as there have been humans. Because of a rapid transition to walking upright at the same time the cranium was enlarging, humans have an exceptionally high incidence of death during the birthing process. Because it combines the ingestion of food with air-intake, the human pharynx is responsible for an exceptionally high rate of death by choking, far surpassing that in other mammals. Human sinuses would drain better if we spent most of our time standing on our heads, with the result that we are prone to sinus infections. The urethra in human males runs through the prostate, rather than around it, which results in infections and urinary dysfunction. (If these don’t impress you, think about your knees or your lower back). Evolution isn’t progress. The latest version of a species isn’t superior to its predecessors. In evolutionary terms “better” only means better from the standpoint of inclusive fitness—how well organisms do in passing on their genes. But inclusive fitness is always relative to an environment. Traits that improve inclusive fitness in one environment can become lethal when the environment changes. Because there is no constant environment against which progress in terms of inclusive fitness can be gauged, we can’t say that later editions of a species are better. Besides, inclusive fitness is not what we rightly value. It has to do only with the quantity of genes that are passed on, not the quality of life. The idea that we are seamless webs that may unravel if we touch one thread is also at odds with evolutionary biology. Natural selection changes species incrementally; organisms have to be able to change some characteristics without affecting others. An organism that was a seamless web would not be able adapt. In fact, organisms, including humans, exhibit a number of characteristics that serve to prevent them from unraveling when something changes as a result of random mutations. For instance, they exhibit modularity: there are
subsystems that are relatively autonomous, so that a change here will not disrupt a function there. They also exhibit canalization: the same phenotype can develop from different sets of genes, so that a mutation in some genes doesn’t necessarily mean a change in phenotype. Finally, they exhibit redundancy of function and plasticity. This means that damage to one system need not be disastrous: another system may be able to do the same job or a quite different system may be flexible enough to take care of the problem. All of these features show that the seamless web metaphor is inaccurate. If we were fragile, seamless webs in the way biological conservatives think we are, then we would be courting disaster to remain as we are. Any environmental change, including those down to human behavior could cause the whole thing to unravel. If the biological conservatives were right about our fragility, we ought to use biomedical enhancements to correct this dangerous situation! We should ramp up modularity, canalization, redundancy, and plasticity. We should enhance, not refrain from enhancing! There is a grain of truth in the seamless web metaphor, however. Human beings have often failed to understand interconnections among biological phenomenon (think of how we have disrupted ecologies by the introduction of plants or animals that we thought would improve things). But the lesson to draw from these blunders is not that we should never try to improve ourselves; instead, it is that we should take care not to over-estimate our ability to foresee the consequences of what we do. As our knowledge of how we are put together increases, we will be in a better position to take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of unintended consequences. We already know how to make important, but discrete changes in mice. Apart from the worry about unintended bad biological consequences, the main concern about biomedical enhancement is that could exacerbate existing unjust inequalities. I think that is a very serious matter. But I don’t think it is a conversation-
stopper. It doesn’t mean we should try to forgo biomedical enhancements. That would make as much sense as prohibiting anybody from learning to read until the whole world could be literate. Some enhancements won’t remain costly for long. This is true of enhancement drugs. Once they go off patent and can be produced as generics, the price will drop dramatically. (There are now over 100 generic prescription drugs that sell for $4 for a month’s supply at Walmart. Cognitive enhancement drugs may be cheaper than lattees). Enhancements that increase productivity may come to be viewed as basic education is now. They may be subsidized by society, and that will do something to limit inequalities. Some enhancements may actually reduce inequalities. For example, there is evidence that cognitive enhancement drugs tend to produce the biggest boost for those who are at the lower end of the normal distribution of cognitive abilities. Nonetheless, we ought to be worried about inequality. If extremely powerful but expensive enhancements are available only to the wealthy, they may be in a position to dominate the political process or the economy even more than they do now. Instead of declaring all enhancements off-limits, we need to think hard about how to ensure the more rapid diffusion of those enhancements that have the potential to exacerbate injustice if they’re available only to the better off. Doing this might require modifying patent rights as well as subsidies. We can’t just say ‘no’ to enhancements. They are already here, and more are on the way. The question is how to manage them. We’ll have a better chance of managing them well if we bring them into the light of day and acknowledge that the goal of improving human beings through the use of biotechnologies is a legitimate one. Instead of continuing an uncontrolled, unmonitored “experiment” in which thousands of people like Michelle take a drug that may be unsafe, we need well-designed longitudinal studies. We aren’t likely to get that if we throw up our hands and say that biomedical enhancement is illegitimate because it may destroy human nature. by Anon
Barrier-Breaking Sailing on Board Celebrity Edge for International Women’s Day, 2020
LISA LUTOFF-PERLO is the president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, a modern luxury cruise line within parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. She oversees more than 20,000 global team members and 14 ships that sail to 300+ ports around the world “With this milestone we hope to drive the gender parity conversation forward across our industry and we hope to inspire young women everywhere to pursue careers in the maritime industry. What was probably the most surprising to me is how thrilled our guests were that we did this. It was wonderful to see them celebrating the women officers, hearing their stories and answering questions about their journeys...” “ ... how thankful they were that Celebrity Cruises is doing so much to advance gender equality. It really reinforced how important it is for us to live out our values... “
For the first time in maritime history, an all-female bridge and onboard leadership team has set sail to commemorate International Women’s Day. Led by Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain, who was accompanied by 26 other women representing 16 different countries, the awardwinning Celebrity Edge sailed out of Port Everglades and began its seven-day Caribbean journey. Captain Cheryl Phipps, currently a Port Everglades Pilot and one of only a few female pilots in the country, conned the ship out to sea.
Also, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Celebrity Edge lit up the high seas with a vibrant purple glow, the color associated with the day, to further celebrate change-making women everywhere.
Around the world, only 2% of the world’s mariners are women. Celebrity Cruises made it a priority to #BRIDGEthegap, leading the maritime industry into a more diverse future and growing the number of women on their bridge teams from 3% to nearly 25% over the last few years, ultimately, making this historic moment possible.
Many college students are afraid right now. Afraid of losing campus jobs that pay rent. Afraid of failing a class. Afraid of not having a set plan come post-virtual graduation ceremonies. With the state of our nation changing with every waking hour, schemes and blueprints we worked so diligently to put into place and to achieve, might now dissolve right in front our eyes with deploring, dirgelike words strung together in a campus wide email from the Chancellor. And while grieving and reflecting about this period of sequestration is a necessary part of the experience, it’s also equally, if not more, imperative to reflect on the matters we once worried about during times of togetherness. To reflect on past matters like being afraid of assault on campus. Afraid of the pressures we felt around our peers. And most personally, afraid of gun violence on campus. In an attempt to centralize my thoughts around grander matters beyond our current situation, I recall a specific day on campus when my fears and frustrations veritably changed. The air was crisp and the skies of Chapel Hill were blue the afternoon of February the 8th, as I strolled to my microeconomics recitation. Yet as I sat at my tiny desk trying to graphically derive demand functions, my mind couldn’t help but flashback to the notification I had re-
ceived on my phone about the two killed and one wounded at a shooting spree in a Texas A&M residence hall. And while the campus was thousands of miles away from where I was at that moment, my fear heightened as I realized I was sitting in a building directly across from a residence hall and that same incident could have easily occured only dozens of feet away from me. Until the federal government creates legislation that regulates gun control in a uniform manner nationwide, students like me, and American citizens everywhere will continue to live in varying degrees of fear depending on their state specific laws. Now, to the politicians and lawmakers of our nation, I have one question, and it’s truth or dare: regardless of your answer we’ll get to the same conclusion, so let’s just agree to accept the dare as I’d hope the brave leaders of our nation would. I dare you to stop. Stop giving up the “thoughts and prayers” you offer in exchange for a vote from the NRA. Stop asserting the obsolete argument that any measure of gun control violates our Second Amendment rights. Stop letting the excuses you create leave Americans in danger time and time again. Maybe you don’t realize the fear we’ve lived in since attending our first day of kindergarten. Maybe you don’t realize the drills our schools have put into place to prepare us for the possibility of a shooting that is more than likely to happen. Maybe you haven’t seen the viral videos of the recent shootings that have made their way to students all across the nation via Snapchat and other forms of social media. All of this to which I respond, it’s okay if you weren’t aware of this beforehand,
but now that you are, why are you still making excuses? We should not have to be begging the leaders of our nation to stop letting our friends die right in front of us. We should not have to walk around campus in fear we might lose our lives at any given moment. We should not let our fears continue to be silenced by the government, the president, the NRA, or the media. Gun violence in America isn’t inevitable, it’s preventable, and it’s time we start taking some precautions that actually might protect us. So, with the given dare you accepted, let me add a few more prongs. I dare you to strengthen and expand background checks before allowing just anyone to purchase a firearm. Seek to understand and acknowledge the communities that are plagued by mental health issues and illnesses by understanding the demographics. Address the problem with gun violence by getting those people the aid and help that they need. This will help keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not be on them. I dare you to enact stronger “red flag” laws across the nation. Laws that are long overdue. Common sense laws. This will make up for the lapses that the background checks cannot pick up by allowing those close to firearm owners to keep them in check. I dare you to limit what types of firearms Americans can buy. Assault weapons and any form of semi-automatic/automatic firearms should be restricted to military personnel. This will help keep weapons of war for what they were designed for: waging war, and war only. So to lawmakers I’d like to say, truth or dare? Can you accept the truth and imagine the level of fear we face on campus everyday? Are you as intrepid and valiant enough as I hope the brave leaders of our nation would be, to take the dare by actually creating law and policy that serve as a salve to said fears?
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On the face of it, YouTube cooking shows shouldn’t be on the menu for millennials. Bon Appétit, however, an offshoot of its namesake print publication, seems to be an acquired taste even after it is taken with a pinch of salt. By James O’Leary Testing, testing. Is this oven on? Cooking and drama have always gone hand-in-hand. Cookbooks and kitchen magazines learned early on that presentation—a key component of any well-prepared dish—translates well to any visual medium. A key part of any food media involves presenting a readership with quality recipes next to mouth-watering, glossy images of the finished items waiting to be eaten. Celebrity chefs like the classic Betty Crocker made way for a variety of celebrity chefs in pop culture and visual media today, such as Guy Fieri, Gordon Ramsay, and the late Anthony Bourdain. The Food Network was quick to capitalize on the recipe of wowing viewers with stunning meals alongside personality chefs the audience has come to know and love (or, in some cases, love to hate). This has kept food media surviving and thriving in the digital age. With sales suffering in the midst of the 21st century, the cooking magazine Bon Appétit has found renewed success in a similar vein, but with a younger generation. However, instead of readers or television watchers, the magazine’s success has come from an unlikely source: viewers on YouTube. Born in 1956 and owned by Condé Nast, Bon Appétit is one of the oldest food magazines still to stay afloat. Originally only found in print, one of the secrets that Bon Appétit has perfected as technology changed is its incredible online presence. From a 250-episode podcast to offering a great many of their recipes on their website, Bon Appétit’s web viewership far exceeds their print readership (7.6 million unique users on their site, as opposed to 6.5 million monthly readers, as reported by their parent company). But these numbers are dwarfed by their followers on social media, totalling a whopping 11.4 million followers across the magazine’s various
accounts. And of these accounts, one of the largest followings they have gained is through fans of their cooking videos on Youtube. Bon Appétit—the first suggested result after merely typing “bo” on the search bar of the internet’s largest video site—is a channel with greater than 1,000 videos and over five million subscribers. The channel has a variety of different shows to choose from, featuring different series of videos based around specific kitchen-related subjects. Of the most popular include more simple programs like “From the Test Kitchen,” where cast members try out different recipes, and “Test Kitchen Talks,” where the aforementioned chefs answer simple questions from fans. Viewers can also watch more out-of-the-box shows, like “Gourmet Makes,” where baker Claire Saffitz attempts to create staple brand sweets from scratch, and “Reverse Engineering” where chef Chris Morocco attempts to create a dish after being blindfolded, going only off of his sense of taste. Many other series host hours of content for the cookinginclined home viewer to peruse, providing culinary education and entertainment for millions of people around the globe. This article refers specifically to the celebrity chefs which host the different series: this is a critical part of the channel’s hit status in food media. Viewers may come initially to learn how to make delicious food across a variety of cuisines, and increase their skills in the kitchen. But most stay up-to-date on the magazine’s online content due to their support of their favorite chefs. Bon Appétit’s YouTube success can’t be mentioned without referring to the entertainment-specific side of the channel. Bon Appetit’s (sometimes called “Bon App”) popularity must be at least partially attributed to the range of chef personalities they exhibit on their channel, many of whom have
become so popular with fans as to develop cult-like followings. The channel’s cast is composed at any time of a group of about 5-10 skilled, attractive young chefs, and these talented individuals are what has turned the magazine’s YouTube channel into an internet sensation. Alongside occasional guest hosts like Gordon Ramsay, the cast is the brand of Bon Appetit’s online presence, and the most popular personalities have gained huge success for both themselves and their parent magazine. From professional clout to their faces splayed across Twitter meme accounts, the Bon Appétit cast are as much YouTube stars as they are professional chefs; fans learn their names, their quirks, and their personalities from the candid videos which involve the cast talking, laughing, and playing in the kitchen together. One has only to see the Google question results upon searching “Bon Appétit magazine” to understand the depth of fame of personal cast members, via the fourth most-asked question: “Did Claire Saffitz leave Bon Appétit?” From tried and true classic recipes to wacky takes on old favorites, lessons on the basics or laughter for hours, Bon Appétit magazine has taken over the online food world to provide viewers with the content they want. These young fans have proven that millennials don’t lack the attention spans for extended, detailed content, nor do they lack the desire to learn “traditional” skills such as home cooking and baking. Bon Appétit has catered to this massive audience of intent, dedicated viewers by giving them personable content in a medium they find easy and accessible. The video platform and celebrity following has allowed the magazine to thrive in an age where many magazines are struggling to remain in business, providing a lesson in how to access a wider audience: and look good doing it.
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moves mille nnial music mak ers
LIZZO Within a decade, the artist went from living in her car to TIME magazine’s “Entertainer of the Year.” Her famous line, “I just took a DNA test/ Turns out I’m 100% that bitch,” from her number one song, “Truth Hurts,” was the declaration that young women needed in the wake of #metoo. Despite her accolades and recognition, Lizzo has faced numerous questions about her body and selfconfidence, inadvertently confronting double standards in the music industry. In an industry that puts women under a critical microscope, Lizzo faces the music with positivity and continues to uplift a generation of women who still thrive in their authenticity.
LIL NAS X Could there ever be a Hip-Hop/ Country hit? According to Lil Nas X, yes, who answered the challenge. His musical hit with Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road,” remained on the Billboard 100 for 19 weeks. Lil Nas X’s social platform expanded when he came out on social media, making him one of the hottest LGBTQ acts of 2019. Lil Nas X sparked numerous conversations about race, music, and sexual orientation. In an era where today’s youth culture is disbanding gender and cultural norms, Lil Nas X was the fresh style and perspective that we all needed.
SUMMER WALKER This Atlanta girl is changing R&B as we speak. Her songs, “Girls Need Love” and “CPR,” have racked up millions of plays, and into Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2019 list. With her tattoos, unique style, and eclectic sound, Walker has caught the attention of Drake and Usher for collaborations. She’s here to expand the conversation about Millennial love and dating fatigue while intriguing us with her self-produced vocals and sound.
MEGAN THEE STALLION We all had a “Hot Girl Summer” because of her. This Houston native conquered 2019 with her hit singles “Big Ole Freak,” and her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs chart, “Hot Girl Summer,” which became the last summer’s anthem. Megan’s message about feeling confident in who you are—and having fun and looking good while doing it, - aligned with the current wave of women who want to live with no apologies. As one of AP’s 2019 Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year, Megan continues to break musical barriers while also trying to finish college!
BILLY EILISH She’s a pop star with both edge and integrity. Although Eilish has been open about her struggle with Tourette’s Syndrome, she was one of the hottest new acts of 2019. With groundbreaking singles such as “Bury a Friend’ and “Bad Guy,” Eilish shows her artistic range with her equally amazing visuals in her music videos, which she’s been directing since the age of 14. Her whispery vocals mixed with masculine streetwear, differentiates her from the vast oversexualized imagery in pop music. The album that solidified Madonna as a pop music icon, one showcases the ballsy-ness that It’s this a style that both distinguishes and protects her lay at her foundation as an artist. There wasn’t anything Madonna was afraid or ashamed to sothat that she can continue to captivate an audience that’s eager for her every move.
NIPSEY HUSTLE His untimely death in 2019 sparked a wave of grief. The pain was just not felt by those who love his music, but everyone in South Los Angeles felt like they lost a son, a brother—a friend. He died in front of his clothing store, The Marathon. People could have easily dismissed Nipsey Hustle as another gangster rapper, but his spiritual intellect and practice have inspired fans all around the world. It’s a quality that transcends his death. His debut album, Victory Lap, has officially been certified platinum two years after its release, and his music continues to rise in streams and sales.
DOJA CAT She came onto the music scene declaring “B*tch I’m a cow” in her viral music video, “Mooo!” Sporting a sexy cow costume, Doja charmed her music fans with her low production music video that she made herself. The video and song were composed in 12.5 hours. At 3am, she was pinning her bedsheets to use as a green screen, and from there became a viral sensation. She started creating music at the age of 16, ripping beats from YouTube, recording songs on GarageBand, and posting them to SoundCloud. Doja has used her quirkiness to generate more interest in her music.
BTS From soldout stadiums to appearing on Saturday Night Live, this Korean boy band is making their presence known. The seven members of BTS— RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V, Jimin, and Jungkook—have flooded our social media feeds, gaining American recognition while winning American Music and Billboard awards. Singing mostly in Korean, they’ve made an unprecedented impact on the music industry, snagging collaborations with Ed Sheeran and Halsey.
KANYE WEST From Hip Hop superstar to fashion designer, and now spiritual guru, Kanye West has never been one to stick to one box. With his entire choir donned in Yeezus gear, West’s Sunday Service musical series has gained widespread popularity. In his 2019 album, Jesus is King, West’s vocals are noticeably absent. Instead, he’s assembled a magnificent choir to channel is newly discovered Christian message in a widelyanticipated musical release. He remains controversial in his political beliefs, but for an artist with a sometimes unpopular point of view, West remains one of the most followed and anticipated artists of our time.
HARRY STYLES He took the world by storm as one of the five members of One Direction, but like all boy bands, they eventually split, and the favorite members become mega superstars. Harry Styles made both a musical and style comeback with genderambiguous tones, sparking questions and rumors with his feminine style choices. He has been asked more about his sexuality than ever before, and his retort is simply, “Who cares?” Withholding information about his sexual orientation frees him to express himself in any way he chooses. Which begs the question: shouldn’t we all find the freedom to do the same?
moves mille nnial movie mak ers
LULU WANG Lulu Wang’s breakout film, The Farewell, is based on personal experience. When her grandmother was diagnosed with stage four cancer, her family decided not to tell her that she only had three months to live. Fast forward to 2019: The Farewell hits the awards circuit, earning its main actress Awkwafina a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The road to the film’s success was not easy, as it was not readily embraced by investors. It wasn’t until she told the story on the podcast, “This American Life,” did Wang get the financing that catapulted the film into its success.
LORENE SCAFARIA After years of failed financing of other independent projects and enduring sexist treatment by creepy producers, Lorene Scafaria had to literally “dance for money” to get Hustlers made. Although she had a stellar cast, she made the entire film with just $20 million. Known for her previous independent films, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Meddler, Scafaria took a massive risk in pushing a movie about strippers. She was constantly misjudged or dismissed every step of the way, so if there’s anyone that’s a true hustler, it’s Lorene Scafaria.
OLIVIA WILDE Olivia Wilde has been long well received for her acting work, but when she premiered her film, Booksmart, at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, she was applauded and received as a real industry filmmaker. With her directorial debut, Wilde explained to The New York Times that “this is the first job I’ve ever had that wasn’t entirely dependent on and connected to my looks.” At 35, Wilde’s directorial skills shine in her comingof-age high school comedy. Having acted in many comedies of her own, we hope to find Wilde’s new phase of directing comedies to be equally as successful.
RACHEL LEARS Rachel Lear’s powerful documentary, Knock Down the House, chronicles the journey of four ordinary women making an extraordinary effort to run for congress. Each woman is without any political experience, but continue to run for the 2018 midterm elections. The film made an incredible impact during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Netflix for $10 million. Lears’ focus on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s life-changing election win is one of the most pivotal and inspirational moments of the film. She’s shown the lengths of how far people will go to change American politics, despite all of the people that have discouraged and doubted them.
ALLISON ANDERS Alisson Anders’s filmography includes Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca, and Grace of My Heart. With over 30 years of thought-provoking stories of LA counter-culture’s hippies, punks, and Chicanos, Anders has given us a lens that goes beyond the bright Hollywood surface. Her cult classic, Mi Vida Loca, is still quoted and emulated today. She’s since won many prestigious awards and accolades and has directed Television show including Sex and the City, Orange Is the New Black, The Affair, and Mayans M.C.
AMMA ASANTE Amma Asante’s storytelling strength lies in her depiction of her female protagonists. In her historical costume drama, Belle, she tells the story of the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a British admiral before the abolishment of slavery. The film was a financial success earning more money than most of the big named indie films of that year. Asante continues to make films that focus on more significant cultural issues. Where Hands Touch depicts the history of the black victims during the Holocaust. Her take on history and complex characters has led her to direct two episodes on The Handmaid’s Tale, one of the most poignant and thought-provoking television shows of our time.
ANGELINA JOLIE Angelina Jolie is an award-winning actress and considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. She’s played a wide range of characters for films but focuses on international conflict and struggles as a director. Her directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, she depicts a love story between a Serb soldier and a Bosniak prisoner. In her most recent film, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, she tells the story of a young girl trying to survive genocidal violence. Jolie is the epitome of the humanitarian celebrity and has never wavered from her altruism even in the face of tabloid gossip. AVA DUVERNAY Ava Duvernay is reshaping Hollywood by bringing social justice issues to the forefront. Her wide range of critically acclaimed work includes 13th, Selma, and When They See Us. Inciting strong visceral reactions, Duvernay exposes harrowing issues with both authenticity and artistic integrity. She grew up believing that art and activism can go hand in hand, and because of that, all of her films have exposed her audience to an unjust system. Her work reveals the many injustices against black people. While we celebrate her artistic genius, we should also stand beside Duvernay in her pursuit of justice. DEE REES Dee Rees is known for critically acclaimed films, Pariah, Bessie, and Mudbound. Exploring racial politics, womanhood, and identity, Rees has gained recognition for her unique and critical storytelling. Pariah is about a girl coming into her Lesbian identity, which is loosely based on Rees’s life. She is the first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for screenwriting since Suzanne de Passe in 1973 for Lady Sings the Blues. Mudbound also marks the first time the Academy has ever nominated a woman for best-adapted screenplay.
GRETA GERWIG Greta Gerwig has caught the attention of audiences all over the world because she “makes movies for women and about women.” There have been only five women who’ve been nominated for Best Director by the Oscars, and Greta Gerwig joined this small group in 2017 with her smash hit, Lady Bird, a film about a girl who has a complicated relationship with her hometown. In 2019, Gerwig was not nominated for Best Director for her remake of, Little Women, and Twitter went into an outrage. It is safe to say that Gerwig’s work is going to continue to captivate audiences, men and women, who are eager to see stories about women.
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”Much meat, much maladY”* feature
We have known for centuries that animals are not really meant for human consumption but Hey, since when has common sense ever interfered with what humankind must have? By James O’Leary
The year 2019 came to a close with 16-year-old Greta Thunberg named Time’s Person of the Year. The young Swedish activist’s work and support can be seen as emblematic of a worldwide shift in the attitudes of young people. One thing that millennials and Gen-Z people made clear at the end of the decade is their interest in green politics to combat the effects of climate change. Markets have seen growth to move forward with more eco-friendly products, such as electric and hybrid vehicles. The food industry has also been the site of a rise in people wanting to reduce their effect on the planet, from more people buying reusable cups to many restaurants (and even whole cities like San Francisco) banning plastic straws. Food itself has been no exception, with The Vegan Society reporting 600,000 vegans in the United States, more than doubling the reported estimate from even 2016. Other sources report numbers as high as 1.15 million people refusing to incorporate animal products into their diets. From less energy investment to fewer greenhouse gases and water consumption, the people taking on vegetarian and vegan diets do so for a variety of ecological reasons. What are the numbers behind Americans cutting meat and other animal products? And how is the food and drink industry changing as a result of the new demand for animal-free proteins to replace them? Many health-food startups have gained popularity over the last decade. Perhaps the most famous in the US is plant-protein company Beyond Meat. Beyond creates faux meats, most popularly beef, but also sausages and chicken. These non-animal protein products are made from a variety of beans, peas, and sunflower seeds, as well as plant ingredients like cocoa butter and other plant oils. These ingredients are mixed and processed in combination with spices in an attempt to produce textures and tastes similar to their animal product originals. The result? Beef patties, sausage links, and meat crumbles about as close to the real thing as can be found on the market, at a lower cost to the environment. Financially, the statistics make the startup’s success clear: in 2018, Beyond reported an annual revenue of almost 88 million, more than doubling the corporation’s income from the previous year alone. In 2019, the Los Angeles-based vegan meat substitute company became so large as to hold its initial public offering in early May. Many chains throughout the US have also begun to include Beyond Meats in their menus, such as Dunkin Donuts’ new breakfast sandwich, which uses Beyond sausage.
Impossible Foods Inc., another plant-based protein company which got its start in 2011, has posted similar earnings, growth, and popularity. Known mostly for their Impossible Burger, the company advertises availability for any restaurant to spice up their menu with their vegetarian meat-replacement products. Impossible boasts a “36% increase in same-store sales” for those food service providers which choose to sell their products. Impossible also recently partnered with Burger King to make the fast food chain’s Whopper using Impossible meats: the “Impossible Whopper.”
are not lying about their sustainability, “it’s not the magic bullet,” citing Oxford researcher Marco Springmann. Springmann suggests that global diets would need to change entirely before the food market is not a major problem affecting climate change. However, most meat alternative companies do not advertise themselves as an end-all, be-all solution, but rather a step in the right direction that requires little change in one’s diet to be more eco-friendly.
All of this, coming from a demand for products which have less of an impact on the environment than animal meat. Combined, the range of success in the plant protein market makes one thing clear. Consumers have spoken, and the support for plantbased proteins is here to stay.
The future holds many innovations waiting to be explored. Beyond meat has reported development of “fishless-fish,” and sustainability researchers and biologists are always on the hunt for ways to improve the food market. The ultimate goal is to feed more people using less energy, taking care of the Earth.
But especially interesting is the question of what demographics of people are changing their eating habits. Although consumers in general have taken readily to these plant-based products, it is primarily young people who have caught on to this emerging trend in the food market. A report by Impossible Foods showed that age was a significant factor in who is choosing to buy and eat plant-protein products. Specifically, millennials and Gen-Z consumers are choosingthese faux-meats in higher amounts than the generations above them. This statistic is likely exacerbated by the fact that many of these young people are millennial parents, raising their children on these meat replacement products. Impossible reports that during their humble beginnings, “concern for the environment wasn’t even in the top ten reasons why consumers cited as motivating their purchase… now it’s number three.” Millennials are becoming more motivated to change their individual consumption habits based on the impact the products they consume have on the environment. This decision is doubly true for those millennial parents, who are understandably invested in environmental issues for the sake of the world they’re curating and leaving behind for their young ones. But what exactly are the environmental impacts of these plant-based proteins? Both Impossible and Beyond post statistics on their website: that their products use less energy, less water, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and take up less land. For reasons already stated, both companies have monetary reasons to market themselves in this eco-friendly light. NBC news reports that, while meat alternatives
We’re not yet at a point where we can point to any solution as a blanket answer to the problem of climate change. Shifts in the market show that people are willing to buy alternatives and support improvements to have less of a carbon footprint. And while these individual choices will not solve problems on their own, changes to the market can be a catalyst to greater reform. Millennials are showing that eating better is one choice they’re willing to make to have less of an impact on our planet.
*Thomas Fuller, English clergyman (1608-1661)
WHAT WILL YOU CREATE? THE HIGHEST STANDARDS IN
VIDEO PHOTO STUDIO EVENTS
ONLY AT S P L A S H L I G H T. C O M
Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the CEO, and Co-Founder of WEConnect International. She is a world leader in women’s economic empowerment and global supplier diversity and inclusion. “...the WEConnect International Team decided to hold our annual Gala and Symposium virtually. This was not a cancellation or a postponement, but rather an opportunity for champions of diversity to leverage technology in support of inclusive global growth...”
The WEConnect International eNetwork supports and promotes women-owned businesses based in over 100 countries, including local support and certification in 45 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. WEConnect International announced its first ever International Cyber Gala, a virtual celebration featuring multi-media promoting our awardees, members, women business owners by engaging partners on our social media platforms. The day-long Cyber Gala showcased hourly updates from our regions around the world culminating with a special message from our CEO, Elizabeth Vazquez. The Symposium was a full-day event of virtual content. “... It was an exciting opportunity for WEConnect International’s supporters to find out about the wonderful work we’re doing together, our ambitious strategic goals and our ability to leverage technology to scale business... “ WEConnect International aims to move the needle by creating market access opportunities. Promoting supplier diversity and inclusion will not only accelerate women’s economic inclusion but will also help to minimize disruptions within value chains and help women grow their businesses to have a positive impact on their communities. It’s a win-win for buyers and women suppliers around the world who are ready to step up to meet the demand and deliver value for money. “... Globally, women control or influence over $20 trillion in annual consumer spending and make up to 85 percent of consumer purchasing decisions. And yet, on average only 1 percent of corporateand government- spend on products and services worldwide goes to women-owned businesses... “
weconnectinternational.org #supplierdiversity #scalingupin2020! #sdg5 @WEConnect International
â€œ... ut I just knew that I was meant to be up there on the stage and not here being sat in the audience. So I was I think around 7 years old when that happened ...â€?
By Moonah Ellison Photos by Sean Gleason
Don’t be fooled by that repressed & depressed sister she plays in the super-hit show Fleabag. Sian Clifford combines cool, sexy and cerebral in a way that not only most actors but most everyday folk strive for... but never quite achieve. Sian Clifford is having a wild time. I catch her at home in London, after being in the States in Los Angeles for Awards season, then back to filming in London, then onto Sundance where she was on the jury there for the short program. This I would think is all normal behavior for her, an actress on one of the hottest television shows the past two years, Fleabag. In it she plays the older sister of the titular character played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who just happened to be nominated or win every major TV award this year. But for Clifford, the show has brought her a bounty of success as well. For the second season last year, she received a Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and a Critics’ Choice nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Clifford starred in The Quiz, a UK miniseries that tells the story of how a former British army major got caught after cheating his way to winning £1 million on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. A tremendous scandal and trial in England, it occurred right before the events of 9/11 so it got buried in the press and news cycle in America. Clifford stars with Matthew MacFadyen, who plays Charles Major, the disgraced cheater. “From then until the trial, which was in 2003, I mean every day there was something about them. I just remember it being this frenzy and what’s sort of fascinating about it. And I think what our show does is blow that story wide open. And I’m so excited to share it with the world. You know they’ve been persecuted for almost 20 years because of this and I think it’s going to ruffle a few feathers and it’s gonna provoke conversation about justice and the legal system.” Clifford is a West End girl and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where she actually met WallerBridge and became friends. Privilege is something she took for granted up until about two years ago, she says, when she listened to Waller-Bridge
on a podcast. “I just suddenly got this clarity about what a gift that was from my parents, you know. They never ever disgraced me, they never told me it was a foolish idea to become an actor. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up but my mother they did everything she they could to make sure that I was able to pursue this. And fortunately, this has ended up being the road I’ve pursued so I don’t think that there can be any regrets there.” She started acting when she was six when cast in a The Wizard of Oz production with her sister, at her sister’s amateur dramatics group. “I went to watch my sister in the show. But, I had this moment of knowing, I don’t know if I articulated it out loud, and it’s only something that I can sort of consciously recognize as an adult, but I know that I sat in that chair and I knew that I was meant to be up there on the stage and not here being in the audience. And then there were various moments as a teenager, seeing Guys and Dolls at The National Theatre with Clarke Peters and Joanna Riding, Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman and that changed my life. Then I really really wanted to be an actor. I did Little Shop of Horrors at high school. That was another big moment for me. And then I wanted to try for drama school and things got a bit more serious. I auditioned the first year and didn’t get in but that’s when I knew that I really wanted it.” Resilience is what sustains you in Hollywood—it can make or break you. And that is what drives Clifford, that attitude that keeps you going. “That was the first time that I got knocked back and there was no way that I wasn’t going back. It took me three tries. Three years to get in. And that’s where I met Phoebe and then here we are now.” Now is a hit television show. Clifford almost didn’t make it, wanting to quit the business of acting two years before Fleabag shot its first scene. “I hadn’t worked in about two years before I filmed that. So that was real, I was getting into producing around that
time and writing more. And I remember Phoebe saying to me, ‘You have to do Fleabag.’ And I sort of rolled my eyes at her because I was convinced they weren’t gonna let me do it. And yeah, but they did let me do it. And acting has totally seduced me back.” With 11 Emmy nominations, Fleabag has nested well. It’s been a whirlwind for Clifford, coming from her eyes, a place of being dismissed by the industry. It was all about “finding your champion. And Phoebe is my greatest one who’s been there since day one.” The show has opened her eyes and given her the confidence she never knew she had. “Phoebe had this character, Claire, as an idea. She had it for years and I played her for years in sketches. It’s not even that she was playing to my strengths, Phoebe honestly believed that I could play anything, so she wrote what she wrote and wanted me to play. And what that has done is it has reminded me of the characters I used to play before the industry stifled me.” Clifford is reminded of an event she went to where actor Bryan Cranston spoke that changed her life. “He said, ‘What advice would you give to young actors? And he said, ‘just share your work, don’t think about what it is they’re looking for. You can’t conform to that. Just share your work.’ And that’s something that really, really struck me and I just kind of thought, yes, all of that time that you can spend trying to control and predict what an audition panel or a casting director might be looking for rather than just making a really bold or instinctive choice and going into the room with that, and if they like it, great, and if they don’t, you still got to play that character for 20 minutes.” It has been a bizarre dream for Clifford, and to quote her friend Waller-Bridge’s speech from the SAG Awards: “If we wake up and this has all been a dream, what a beautiful dream.” And it has.
“... f we wake up and this has all been a dream, what a beautiful dream...“
clothing credits: orange faux fur coat look House of Fluff coat Citizens of Humanity jeans Alighieri rings jeans and white shirt look Body Frame shirt Citizens of Humanity jeans Alighieri rings and necklaces
black suit look Bella Freud suit Nicholas Kirkwood mules Completed Works ring red suit look Roland Mouret suit Racil shirt Completed Works ring Nicholas Kirkwood mules
“... think we’ve just gotta roll with it ... if we try to resist it, no good can come from that...”
stylist Charlie Moore makeup Justine Jenkins hair Emma Small photo assistant Sacha Philips location Simulacra Studio
Those curious locks so aptly twin’d, Whose every hair a soul doth bind. Thomas Carew
The Art of Sparkle
Alaska • Antigua • Aruba • Bahamas • Barbados • Belize • Bermuda • Cabo San Lucas • Costa Maya Cozumel • Curaçao • Dominican Republic • Grand Cayman • Grand Turk • Honduras • Jamaica • Key West Orlando • Puerto Rico • Puerto Vallarta • St. Kitts • St. Lucia • St. Maarten • St. Thomas • Tortola
Moves Magazine: Is it true that you’ve worked with more women directors than male? With that in mind, how do you feel that the industry is changing for women? Both female actors as well as directors? Kayli Carter: I mean, Mrs. America alone has a slate of incredible female directors, but yes, before the show when I look at my experiences across film, tv, and stage, I’ve been fortunate enough to choose projects that have female-dominated creative teams. Even my experience with male directors, tends to be on female centered stories or jobs with a female producing team. Projects without diversity hold very little interest for me, and the only thing that I can see that is changing is we’re not tolerating any lip service in regard to parity. No more empty promises, please. MM: What was your first distinguishing role and were there any surprises you encountered when you first entered the film industry? KC: I will forever be searching for another role like Tamara Jenkins gave to me in Private Life. It may not be the first, but it’s the most distinguishing thing I’ve gotten the chance to do, and I relished in the trust that was put in me to deliver in that performance. I have been consistently surprised by how small this world is. The relationships you make are forged incredibly quickly and everyone’s only got so many degrees of separation. MM: You have had many roles in drama films and TV series, like in the Netflix’s critically acclaimed mini series, Godless. You definitely haven’t pigeon-holed yourself into any one genre. How is acting in drama for you compared to other genres? KC: I’m greedy, and I want it all. Kidding aside, I’ve definitely always been drawn to stories that are humanistic, and I’m always looking for great writing, first and foremost. My goal is to retain the kind of mystery that invites people to see me as anyone, and across all genres. MM: I mean you’ve done everything from comedic films, to dramatic series, even theater shows on The West End. Do you like to keep your roles and skill set diverse or do you see yourself switching your focus to one in particular later down the line? KC: My favorite thing about my job is that I get to live other people’s lives as well as my own. The diversity of methods and opportunities is what keeps me constantly learning and growing. I thrive in situations where my comfort level is being tested and I can’t see myself settling into just one thing. I try to get
myself back on stage when it’s the right role, and the right group of people. The last play I was in was a dream team of Tracy Letts and Lila Neugebauer, so the next one has to be equally special. And now the next TV show I do, has to be equally as special as Mrs. America... It’s a high bar. MM: Expanding on that, it’s really interesting to see you take roles that focus on women’s issues with a variety of approaches. Private Life was more light-hearted in its approach compared to Mrs. America’s dramatic retelling of the Women’s Movement. Do you purposely take roles that have some relevance toward social issues? KC: I grew up in an environment where I was very tuned in to what was going on in the world. I was surrounded by adults who answered my questions honestly, and treated me as an equal, so I think my deep well of empathy is informed by having the truth offered to me early on. I’m not actively thinking about what to tackle next, but I’m clearly drawn to people who have clarity of vision and something to say. I had a professor who used to make us answer the question, “Why this art now?” If I can’t answer that for myself, It’s easier to pass. MM: Mrs. America is telling the narrative of feminism and the ratification of the Equal Right Amendment. Why do you think a series about the 1970’s Women’s Liberation Movement is relevant to 2020? KC: With Mrs. America, the “Why this art now?” was obvious to me. I thought back to the 2016 election, and I wanted desperately to know how we got here. This year again we decided to eliminate the possibility of a female running this country when it’s so clear all over the world that women make for incredibly reliable leadership. The message of female equality is obvious, and it’s exhausting waiting for people to catch up. In this series, Dahvi and Stacey Sher could’ve so easily focused just on the feminist side of the argument, but the far more interesting way in I think is through Phyllis Schlafly, someone who believed sincerely that women benefited from the patriarchy. I don’t at all agree with her, but I certainly want to understand how she successfully introduced the religious right into this nation’s political landscape. The women of this movement weren’t so twodimensional. They can’t have all been horrible people who believed in racist rhetoric. I’m interested in people’s contradictions, and this movement had quite a few contradictions. MM: What was it like working with such a prestigious and talented group of women on Mrs. America?
KC: Terrifying... Exhilarating. I mean, daily, I found myself surrounded by women who I’ve been in awe of for years. It was a tightrope walk of reminding myself that I deserved to be there, and getting absolutely moonstruck by the talent in the room. I also was overjoyed that they were all rad human beings who didn’t take themselves too seriously. There was laughter had by all, and I was made to feel so welcome. That’s a massive gift, being treated as an equal by people I consider to be brilliant. MM: You’ve mentioned before that Mark Rylance was sort of your first mentor in the industry. How did that happen? KC: I had an audition and several callbacks, the third of which was 80 minutes of getting to improvise in the room with Mark. I think there was just something alchemical that happened between us, and they felt they had found that character in me. MM: You’ve been a part of a lot of originals from streaming services, how do you think this has affected your experience as an actor in this digital era compared to those before you? KC: I think streaming has improved the quality of television and film massively, and I’m excited about that facet. There’s so much I don’t love about technology and the digital age, but the impact that streaming services has had on this business has served me well. Netflix was willing to take the casting risks on me as an unknown in both Godless and Private Life, and I’m not sure a studio would’ve made the same call. Alternatively, I watch things like Altman’s Nashville and I wish I had been making things in the 70’s. I’m an old soul—and I don’t do selfies. MM: What advice would you give to young women entering the industry right now? KC: Pick up your computer right now, and start writing. I’ve got projects that people aren’t going to see for years, but I’ve got stories to tell. If I waited for people to give me permission to be a writer, to eventually be a director, I’d probably be waiting a long time. The guys that made little movies in high school weren’t inviting us to join in unless it was in a romantic/supporting capacity, but I’ve always been a writer and a director, and only recently have I given myself the assurance that I need to start before others are ready. At no point have I felt that anyone else was deciding the direction of my career. I’ll make my own movies, and when I do, everyone who wasn’t invited in high school, will be.
“... ick up your computer right now, and start writing ...the guys that made little movies in high school weren’t inviting us to join in ... but I’ve always been a writer and a director, and only recently have I given myself the assurance that I need to start before others are ready...”
photographer David Goddard top Corban Harper
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By David Munro Photography Mathieu Young
Focus is the keyword for Santiago Cabrera, an actor just coming into his own. It's a profession he chose carefully and pursued with no family influences to lean on or learn from. Basically, no one in his family was remotely connected to the business. Far from it. His father is a diplomat so for Cabrera growing up, you were either going to study law or the economy. There was nothing in between. Living abroad in so many different countries —he counts Toronto, Chile, Spain, Romania, UK as places he’s called home—he was always a shy kid, observing, trying to fit in, always looking to blend amongst his peers and not stand out, never one to ruffle feathers and make a scene. So he turned to acting, did a play, and was hooked right away, caught the bug, then on to drama school, the place that changed him and set him on his path. He then started to discover plays from all eras, started to study the history of acting by watching old movies and getting to know the craft of
acting. “I feel like my life had prepared me very much for this moment.” That moment is Star Trek: Picard. The web series from CBS All Access follows captain Jean-Luc Picard and stars Patrick Stewart, reprising his role from the series Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 19871994. The new Picard premiered in January and ended in late March. Trekkie fans are in luck: production on the second season starts during the summer, Covid-19 be damned. Cabrera plays Cristobal “Chris” Rios, a former Starfleet officer. The series came in at the right time for Cabrera, a pilot season. He had just finished work on a show called Salvation, a CBS series which aired for two sea-
sons and whose storyline centered around earth’s impending doom from an asteroid. Cabrera was the lead and played scientist Darius Tanz. When he was auditioning for the Picard role, he wasn’t necessarily a Trekkie but knew that having Sir Patrick Stewart as the lead was a huge incentive, as Stewart shot to fame with the role in TNG. With Michael Chabon involved as a writer on the show, it was a win-win in Cabrera’s eyes. “I found that [the script and premise] super interesting because I knew that there would be a whole different angle and type of storytelling so I was engaged in it,” said Cabrera. “I’m in love with what they’ve written, what they’ve done with the show. I’ve had so much fun with this character.”
“... think the key is to find a way where you can be a good influence and try and have everyone listen to you; be in a position where both sides will hear you so you’re not just kind of preaching to the choir. I am trying to figure that out...”
photographer Mathieu Young stylist Annie Jagger groomer KC Fee
Cabrera is aware of the standards that the show must reach to please worldwide Trekkie fans. After all, the legions of sci-fi fans are considered a cult, collectors and enthusiasts that are credited with being the original TV groupies after the 60’s television series. As much as the special effects and visuals have to be up-to-the-standards of the global fan base—the show consults with scientists that bring every detail to life—the storytelling was and will be just as important. “You sort of have to live up to the standards of what audiences are expecting so you want your audience to be captivated by those lines—and to do that you have to have a great story and great cast.” But for Cabrera, the thought of rocketing to the moon or even Mars is for television only. In his view, he’d like to rocket towards a cleaner earth before venturing out into the unknown for a deep space exploration. Focusing on people’s future on this planet in regards to climate change—and not extraterrestrials—is a huge concern. “I feel like there’s a lot we need to focus on our planet and fix our planet first before we should even start venturing out, but definitely I am extremely fascinated by the world of science. There are people who go to Antarctica, people who go to these extreme places to see first-hand what’s going on and how the ice is melting. The world has been catching on, but hopefully it’s not too late. I think it’s very important to keep not just the conversation going, but to act and participate and do as much as we can for the planet. I have a child and you want their future to be an earth that is sustainable and a planet that’s going to be safe. It is definitely the most pressing issue today.” Today Cabrera is in Boston filming Godmothered, a Christmas comedy starring Isla Fisher, a fun family film. He’ll then be home in Los Angeles to prep for the second season of Picard. He’s not one to lose out on this opportunity; Picard will be opening more doors and he’s going to take full advantage of it. Meaning, he’s not done. ”I have so much more that I want to do as an actor and I love throwing myself into characters and really taking them on fully and doing projects that I feel will challenge me. I don’t necessarily like the thought of directing television episodes or big studio movies or anything like that.” He’d love to do a play again, maybe a Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams, but for now his love is film work. It’s all about listening to each other and not putting people in certain groups. Opinions are important to Cabrera, but labels aren’t. Categorizing each other based on one thought or view is a no-no. Even though his father was a diplomat and his family traveled all over the world when he was younger, he won’t let those experiences frame his ideas. Different decade, different time. “I was always around politics and big family meals had discussions about it so I kind of shut myself off from it. But you get older and you start to see the world and you want to reconnect in your own way. My way is not through the experiences of having lived through that as much as it informed my knowledge and sensitivity towards the subject matter. “I think the key is to find a way where you can be a good influence and try and have everyone listen to you; be in a position where both sides will hear you so you’re not just kind of preaching to the choir. I am trying to figure that out.”
D E G R A H C feature
By Emily Bazelon
Kevin heard about it around midnight on a May evening. He’d gone to the corner store to buy a single cigarette and was heading back to his high-rise in a housing project in Brownsville, a neighborhood in the middle of Brooklyn. The people he’d grown up with were often out at night, and he saw a knot of them, young men around his age, twenty, hanging out by a pair of green benches in a grassy spot near his building. As they swapped greetings, Kevin’s friend Mason flicked his eyes at a plastic shopping bag on the ground, lying there like a piece of trash. We got the jawn, he said. Jawn could stand for a lot of things—a pair of shoes, a person—but Kevin knew exactly what Mason meant: there was a gun in that bag. I know things are crazy for y’all here, Mason said, so I got this for you.
The police were a frequent presence around the projects, so no one picked up the bag or asked to see the gun. Kevin said his goodbyes and started walking away in the alert and fluid way he had, shoulders back and arms swinging, tall and lean and young, his hair pulled back in a ponytail and his gray hoodie sweatshirt zipped, always aware of where he was but trying not to look over his shoulder. It was important not to look skittish, not around his friends and not if the police were watching, but Kevin also didn’t want to hang around with a weapon lying at his feet. He didn’t want the trouble a gun brought. Kevin’s housing project, a cluster of brick buildings, was one of eighteen in Brownsville, making the neighborhood one of the densest concentrations of public housing in the country, with more than sixty thousand people packed into 1.2 square miles. The project could feel like a small town, in an old-fashioned way. It had its own recreation center and known personalities and raffish identity. Kevin got a laugh out of the nicknames for the loudmouths or tough guys: Koolaid and Lil Head and OgLoc. He’d lived there his whole life, with his older sister and her 040 075
two-year-old daughter, his younger brother, and his mother, who’d raised her kids mostly on her own, working retail jobs and caring for the elderly and disabled. The average rent in the Brownsville projects was $430 a month. Families tended to stay for years once they got off the waiting list for an apartment. “We stick together,” Kevin said. “We went to school together. Your apartment might be on top of mine. Your mom might have babysat me.”
On a good day, the project’s residents would come outside to play music and catch up. You knew it was spring when older people brought small towels to sit on and raised their faces to the sun. “That kind of day, I’m going to be where everyone is, the girls, the mamas, the babies,” Kevin said, thinking on it. “That kind of day, it’s perfect.” But Brownsville was also one of New York’s most disadvantaged communities, measured by health as well as economic insecurity, and one of its most dangerous. The year Kevin was twelve, more than a hundred people were shot in and around Brownsville and another thirty were killed, about half the number in all of Manhattan. Guns were a fact of life. “I could find someone with a gun before I could find someone with a diploma,” Kevin told me. Over the years, he’d lost people he knew, including close friends. The beefing wasn’t mainly between the gangs with well-known names, like the Bloods or the Crips. They existed, but their presence in the neighborhood was fading. More trouble came from menacing rivalries that pitted groups in the projects against their peers in other projects. The conflicts and alliances shifted, but there was one other project in particular that was the main foe of Kevin and his friends. Kevin’s father lived in the rival development. He’d moved back in with Kevin’s grandmother when he and Kevin’s mother split up, back when their children were young. Kevin’s dad paid child support regularly, and they talked once in a while, but Kevin hadn’t gone over to see him in years. One day, standing on the street outside his building,
he gestured toward the windows of his grandmother’s apartment, visible a couple of blocks away, above the trees. “I can’t remember what the inside of my nana’s crib looks like,” he said. The battle lines between the projects were drawn when Kevin’s father was growing up, when established gangs fought over territory so they could sell drugs. Kevin didn’t know why—and it didn’t really matter how the trouble started back in the day. Fresh insults piled on top of old grudges. The reason for a fight or even a shooting could be minor—disrespecting someone on social media, or flirting with his girlfriend. Kevin found it disturbing. Most people he knew did. But that wasn’t the same as knowing how to end it. There was too much bad blood. He’d learned you could defend a place, and your people in it, yet at the same time wish you were anywhere else. When Kevin was thirteen, he went to the store for his mother and got jumped. All he knew was that the people who beat him up and took his money were from another project, and that now he and his friends would have a problem with them. Months later, one of his eighth-grade classmates was killed in a shooting. Kevin didn’t know why that happened, either. At fifteen, he got jumped again and was slashed in the face with a razor blade. Conflict built until trauma begot trauma in Brownsville. In a focus group of young men of color coming home from Rikers Island, nine out of ten said they’d been robbed, jumped, or “seriously hurt in a fight they didn’t start,” though none of them identified as victims of crime. Writing up the results, the Vera Institute of Justice pointed out that if they don’t sufficiently recover, people who are victimized, especially when they’re young, are more likely to gravitate toward peers they think can protect them and to commit retaliatory violence themselves. After Kevin was jumped, he couldn’t afford to look like an easy target. He and some of his friends found one of the boys who had assaulted him and beat him up.
“...But young people do rash and impulsive things, especially when they’re under pressure. They tend to believe nothing truly terrible will ever befall them, and even though Kevin had a rap sheet, he didn’t think of himself as someone who would get into serious trouble with the law..."
“Uchecked prosecutorial power has damaged the American Justice System. Our courts are not level playing fields. Kevin got arrested for the first time just after personal code: he fought with his fists, not with citizens, attorneys and people even who judges he turned sixteen,Accused when a friend who’d defense weapons. Kevin knew were are doing already graduatedatfrom high school came twenty-five life. He wanted no part of that. thehismercy of prosecutors who tohave used their influence to campus with a car. Kevin asked to drive it. to think driveit was theaprison boom.” Wewere have the highest “At the time, I didn’t serious thing Guns for protection, whichprison wasn’t the to drive without apopulation license. He hands me the same as self-defense, researchers have in the world by any means of ascalculation: total keys, and I’m like, ‘Lemme put my book bag explored. In the early 2000s, when he was a numbers, per And because of the recidivist in your car.’ I snuck out at lunch, rancapita, to the by state. twenty-five-year-old graduate student, Victor car quick, openedeffect the door the backseat, fieldwork in the streets of Oakland, oftoincarceration, itRios is adid self fueling industry. Kids go and put my book bag inside, and as soon as where he’d once been in a gang himself. toswarming jail in numbers disproportionate to the I closed the door,straight officers are me, Shadowing forty teenage boys, Riosseverity regularly of guns out.” The car wascrime stolen. and Kevin conditions. didn’t came across knives the Time really isand upguns; ! they sent a signal tell the police about his friend and he was charged with possession of stolen property. He got five hundred hours of community service, which he worked off by cleaning the piers near the Brooklyn Bridge.
Kevin’s father tried to step in after he was arrested. “He tried to come play the father figure. I told him, ‘These words don’t mean nothing.’ I made an example to him like this: ‘If something happens to me right now, who you think I’m gonna go get, you or my mans?’ Kevin meant an older friend who had his back in the beefing. “My pops is looking at me with a dumb face. I’m like, ‘It’s not supposed to be like that. You supposed to be protecting me.’ We had a fight. He swung at me and I swung at him. ‘Look, all you do is give my mom money. You weren’t here. You don’t know me. My mom takes care of me. She sees me every day. She has the right to put her hands on me but she don’t. You, I speak to you on the phone and you pop up once in a blue.’” Kevin went to Rikers Island for the first time two years later, spending a couple of nights in the jail after another fight between the projects. He didn’t start it,, but he didn’t back away, either. He and his friend pummeled two boys, and they ran off, their iPhones falling to the ground in the melee. Kevin picked the phones up. He considered them trophies for a fight that had remained in-bounds, with no one seriously injured. But the parents of one of the kids he’d fought went to the police, and Kevin and a couple of his friends were charged with robbery. In exchange for pleading guilty, Kevin got a break that benefits a lot of teenagers in the state of New York: he qualified for a one-time get-out-of-jail-free card called youthful offender eligibility. The judge sent him to a year-long program offered by CASES (the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services), with group sessions and volunteer assignments at his local recreation center. Kevin liked the work, which was a mix of playing with younger kids and cleaning up. He got to go on a trip to Ohio. He met a girl in the program who became his long-term, on-again/off-again girlfriend. Over the next few years, Kevin lived on the edge of trouble. He had friends at the center: “I sometimes chilled with people who did wild shit,” he said. When they got into fights, he tried to set limits without leaving anyone in the lurch or risking his status. He had a
about how you carried yourself on the street, about how you belonged, precisely because they were dangerous. And yet “although many of the boys had easy access to weapons, they rarely used them,” wrote Rios, who became a sociologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara. They didn’t want to risk retaliation or prison. They didn’t want to take a life. But sometimes they did. The guns could no more be controlled, in the end, than the damage they did could be contained.
Mason, the friend who’d brought the gun to Kevin’s group, didn’t live in Brownsville anymore. His family had moved to a safer part of Brooklyn when he was in middle school, and his mother was focused on keeping him out of the projects. But he kept up with Kevin and the rest of their crew, texting and visiting. Through posts on Facebook and homemade videos on YouTube, often narrated by whoever was holding out his phone as a camera, Mason could track the sparring along with the rest of them. When Mason brought the gun, a silver semiautomatic pistol with scratch marks where the serial number was supposed to be, he didn’t say how he’d gotten it and Kevin didn’t ask. Bringing it to the group showed Mason stood with them, and it was also a way to seem hard without much likelihood that he’d suffer violence, since he could go back to his safer neighborhood when he wanted. But the next day, the gun showed up in a flashy video that another friend, Chris, posted of himself on Facebook. There was Chris on-screen, the camera jumping around as he showed off the gun to a couple of girls he was with and whoever tuned in to his feed. The video wasn’t online for long, and Kevin missed it. He spent that day inside his family’s apartment with his girlfriend, staying off the internet because his phone, which was old, was only half working. It was evening again when he walked her outside to catch the subway to her night job in Manhattan, wearing his gray hoodie and white sneakers, with a durag in the pocket of his sweatpants. After dropping off his girlfriend, he texted Chris, who lived on another floor of his building. Chris was home with Mason and another guy whom Kevin didn’t know well. He told Kevin to come on up. It was a few minutes before 11:00 p.m.
From Charged by Emily Bazelon. Published in 2019 by Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House, New York, NY.
Kevin didn’t think about the gun until he saw it sitting on a side table near the door. This time, he didn’t walk away. Someone rolled him a blunt. He poured a little liquor into a glass and took a few sips. He was settling in when one of Chris’s friends decided to leave. As the one sitting closest to the door, Kevin got up to lock it behind him. When Chris’s friend turned the knob and opened the door to leave, Kevin was standing just behind, ready to close the door after him. Over the friend’s shoulder he saw two men standing at the threshold, as if they were about to knock. One was white and one was black. They weren’t in uniform, but Kevin recognized them from the neighborhood: they were in plainclothes, but he knew them as police officers. Chris had been arrested for assault and harassment five months earlier, and the police thought he was involved with a gang, so they’d been watching his social media accounts, it turned out. They’d seen the gun in the Facebook video and come looking for him. Standing there behind Chris’s friend, with the cops in the doorway, Kevin felt a jolt of adrenaline. What would the cops do if they saw the gun? Chris, with his record, would definitely go to prison if the police pinned the gun on him, and he was the obvious suspect, since it was his apartment. Or what if Mason got arrested? He’d gotten jumped once and just handed over his phone to the attackers. He wasn’t a fighter. Later, describing what was going through his mind in this moment, Kevin brought up the story of Kalief Browder, a touchstone in his world; Jay-Z had called him a prophet and made a documentary about him. Kalief, who was from the Bronx, wasn’t a fighter, either. Accused of stealing a backpack, he spent three years at Rikers Island, enduring solitary confinement and beatings, and afterward, at the age of twenty-two, he killed himself. Did Kevin remember Kalief in the moment? Probably not. “What were you thinking?” his mother would ask him later. He didn’t have a good answer. In that instant, he had some wild notion of getting rid of the pistol by dashing down the hallway and flushing the gun down the toilet. It was a crazy idea, he could see later, full of risk—of leaving the apartment in handcuffs or even getting shot by a nervous cop. But young people do rash and impulsive things, especially when they’re under pressure. They tend to believe nothing truly terrible will ever befall them, and even though Kevin had a rap sheet, he didn’t think of himself as someone who would get into serious trouble with the law. He thought he could draw a line and stay on the safe side of it. Kevin also wanted to be the kind of person who would come through for his friends, the man in the room who could handle himself. At that moment, those feelings were paramount. With the police at the door, he picked up the gun.
“... ’m also excited by the new wave of actresses producing and getting behind the camera, which is an opportunity I hope to have someday...”
photographer: jaka vinsek
By Alison Jarvey
Alison Jarvey: Inside the Rain was your first starring role in a feature-length film, it must have been a pretty exciting way to end 2019. How has this affected your career goals going into 2020?
Carey Mulligan... I’m also excited by the new wave of actresses producing and getting behind the camera, which is an opportunity I hope to have someday.
Ellen Toland: I feel really lucky to begin the new decade with this momentum. Mostly, I try and take things as they come and stay present. Inside the Rain is a special project and I feel fortunate to have been trusted with my character, Emma.
AJ: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming role in Karma?
AJ: How do you feel that Inside The Rain’s comedic approach lends itself to the heavier conversations surrounding mental health? Were there any themes relating to mental illness and dealing with mental illness that you could relate to or empathize with? What do you think is the main message this movie is trying to convey surrounding the themes of mental health? ET: When I first read the script, I thought the comedic aspect was one of the most interesting parts. Ultimately the film manages to achieve both a realistic portrayal of living with bi-polar while allowing us to laugh with Ben. Members of my family suffer mental illness so I deeply connected with Ben and his loved ones trying to manage the rollercoaster of it all. Inside the Rain to me is trying to say “Hey you, if you have this, it’s ok. Some people are going to get it and celebrate you. Others will not. Pay no attention to them, find your people, keep getting up every day and try your best.” AJ: You’ve done a lot of work in short films and TV series, how is it different working on full-length films? ET: Each experience is different and that is why I love this world. Of course, more time on screen equates to more time to play and dive into a person but I approach two minutes the same way as I approach 96 minutes. Trying to imagine and fill as much as I can about the life I’m about to play.
ET: I actually shot Karma before Inside the Rain, but I can’t wait for this beautiful short to be out there. Cara Hall is a very talented female writer and director. We met on the set of Bull and when she offered me the role of Steph, I was elated to work with her again. AJ: Inside the Rain seemed very much like a rom-com and yet your other work definitely doesn’t fall into this category. How have you managed to take on so many various roles and not pigeon-hole yourself into one genre? ET: I’ve been really lucky to have had a great start to my career. The directors I’ve worked with so far have given me the chance to play some delicious parts. I think that is the beauty of being new because people don’t have an idea of what you can and cannot do. I take advantage of that and just go for it. I will ride that wave for as long as I possibly can. AJ: With that in mind, do you think romantic comedies are something you’d like to do more of in future roles? ET: Ya, I’d love to do another romantic comedy. While romcoms get a lot of flack, they ultimately are the films we turn to in the times we need hope. My dad was ill most of my childhood and the films I remember turning to over and over again were often romantic comedies because they’d make me feel happy and hopeful. I think I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally a million times.
AJ: What women in your life do you look up to for inspiration?
AJ: How did you get into acting, was it something that you always knew you wanted to do?
ET: My first inspiration will always be Mama. She’s a fighter and can make just about anything. I have a new talent crush every other week but to name a few constant sources; Ruth Wilson, Michelle Williams, Chloe Sevigny, Sofia Coppolla and
ET: Yes. One of my first vivid memories is walking on stage. My parents bought a camera so that my brothers and I could make a movie almost every weekend. My gramps and I used to sit on
a bench in the mall and watch people. I found and continue to find every aspect of it fascinating. AJ: You seem to be a New Yorker at heart, do you see yourself moving to LA or out of New York anytime soon? ET: I’m a Texan-turned-New Yorker. I could see myself in LA at some point but my heart will always be in New York. I think any city you find your independence in holds you in a special way. New York is that city for me. AJ: Do you have a set routine to prepare for each new role or is it different every time? ET: It’s different every time getting into a person’s life. A lot of it is creating memories so I either journal as the person, read anything I feel connects, make playlists, explore how they dance, or a combination of all of these. For Emma I felt it was really important to speak with people in the same field of work to learn about their experience. AJ: Were there any major challenges in taking on your new role or did everything come relatively natural to you? ET: Initially I was intimidated of playing a sex worker and was very protective of Emma. I didn’t want Emma to fall into any stereotype traps. But when I read Aaron’s script I saw that wasn’t at all his intention. His vision was for both Ben and Emma to have these heavier backgrounds but be allowed a budding romance. AJ: How have your past roles, like your role in The Chaperone, prepared you for this new role of playing a stripper. Do you think this movie attempts to destigmatize strippers and the overall shame or contempt some people feel for the sex industry in general? ET: I try and make every experience a new journey where I learn as much as I can from the person I’m playing. Ben and Emma both have aspects of themselves that most of society isn’t fully comfortable with. Yes, Emma is a sex worker, but that is only part of who she is. I hope people can connect to the film through humor and come out with more empathy and understanding for one another.
photographer: lizzie morgan
“... nitially I was intimidated of playing a sex worker and was very protective of Emma. I didn’t want Emma to fall into any stereotype traps...”
photographer: lizzie morgan
Power Women 2019 Midtown Manhattan again played host to Moves Magazineâ€™s annual Power Women Gala and Awards Ceremony, honoring and promoting women who make a mark and a difference in the ongoing quest for gender equality and social fairness. Hosted by publisher Moonah Ellison with MC Sukanya Krishnan the event featured for the first time a very popular lifesize billboard of the honorees.
NEW YORK by Tony Gale & Travis W. Keyes LOS ANGELES by Stephen Busken LONDON by Sean Gleason KEY WEST by Karrie Porter
â€œ... o my parents were really amazing, and I moved out at 16 by myself, got emancipated, rented a room from this acting couple, and I just started pounding the pavement....â€?
MÄDCHEN Amick By Gloria Morrison
Whenever Hollywood shrugs off the straightjacket imposed by right wing radio hosts and others—shut up already just because you’re famous!!!—it gives the rest of us inspiration to think outside the box. Mädchen Amick is an amazing example of it. Mädchen Amick is a mover. Not only in the sense of that glib way journalists have of dubbing celebrities “movers and shakers,” but an actual mover, as in moving from home to home, town to town, shuffling from coast to coast through the years. But it’s a journey through personal experience, something that’s close to her heart, a charity that she supports
Photography: Elizabeth Messina
and endorses that resonates and opens our eyes. She is an ambassador for Bring Change to Mind, an organization co-founded by Glenn Close, aimed at ending the stigma around mental health through multimedia campaigns, storytelling, and youth programs. When Amick worked with Close on the FX series Damages—as well as working with Mariel Hemingway in the mid-90s on Central Park West—she learned of their close association with mental health issues and how they were both affected. Glenn Close had started the charity, and was doing work in Washington to help through legislation, because her sister and nephew were diagnosed with mental illness and Hemingway had produced a documentary about her famous family’s mental history. Enter the organization called Bring
Change to Mind, focused on destigmatizing mental illness so the conversation can start. “If you don’t de-stigmatize it, then you’re not able to talk about it, you’re not able to find help, you’re not able to make changes that we need in our government, with health insurance, anything,” insists Amick. Around this same time, Amick’s son started struggling in college. After many blind alleys, he was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which led to finding treatment and going in and out of hospitals. It looked like substance addiction at first, but it was actually due to medications he was taking. “It was just a road that we didn’t know about. We were obviously very open-minded and wanted to support our son, but the pitfalls that you go through as a family or as an individual looking for help, there’s no support,” says Amick.
N ever did I think I would get to a point where my insurance company would “...
tell me there’s absolutely no coverage for mental health...”
“Never did I think I would get to a point where my insurance company would tell me there’s absolutely no coverage for mental health.” She went through a good six years of having no mental health coverage and everything out of pocket, it enraged her that it was happening to not just her family, but other people nationwide. Fast forward to present day: she’s an ambassador for Bring Change to Mind, raising awareness on mental health issues in our society. Which raises so many questions concerning healthcare and providing the public with security, protection, and safety. “As a country, we are still beholden to a capitalist way of governing, so it allows insurance companies and the medical system to profit off patients being sick, not patients being healthy, So there’s no preventative coverage in place. Everything is let’s just wait until the patient is sick and then we can throw really high-priced medications at them as a fix instead of stopping it before it even gets there. I very much believe in more of a social healthcare system where the government provides for it.” Which provides a great segue to this interview, I happen to catch up with her in Canada (which has the very healthcare system she promotes.) The Riverdale star is currently in Vancouver while filming the show but goes backand-forth to LA constantly. It’s here where her all the other stops in her life become interesting. “We’ve lived all over. Santa Barbara, San Francisco, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii. I would say I really, really love being in Santa Barbara. And I also really loved San Francisco. But then Manhattan. There’s nothing better than Manhattan. It’s the best.” You’ve seen Amick before, most notably as Shelley Johnson in David Lynch’s cult television series Twin Peaks in the nineties and in the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and its revival series Twin Peaks: The Return in 2017. “I work in Vancouver, Canada, and they have a little bit of a hybrid. They have the provided healthcare system and then you can also supplement on top
of it. It’s still not all the way there—I don’t think it works perfectly—but at least if something catastrophic happens to you, you’re not going to die because you don’t have the funds to save your life or someone else’s life… And that’s what our country is. Everybody is already stretched too thin and then they can’t pay for that policy and then they don’t go to the doctor for preventative stuff or they end up in the emergency room and the government pays for it anyways, so what are we doing, guys?” Amick’s childhood was filled with music and entertainment, starting with her father, playing the bass and trombone in a band called The Bobby McGee Band that traveled the world playing on military bases. She grew up on the piano and played upright bass, which led to dance in high school and eventually joining drama class, where the acting bug got her and she moved to LA at a young age to give the dream a shot. “So my parents were really amazing, and I moved out at 16 by myself, got emancipated, rented a room from this acting couple and I just started pounding the pavement. I signed with Elite Models. I got a commercial agent, I got a theatrical agent, and just auditioned from morning until night. I got work pretty quick. Between modeling and commercials and music videos, that paid the bills, and then about a year later was when I started getting real acting roles.”
In the business since 1987, Amick is now set to direct episode 19 of Riverdale. “I jumped through all the hoops, did the workshops, shadowed everybody. They’ve been really supportive, and I’m about to direct episode 19 of this season. Her character’s “inspiration is Annette Bening in American Beauty. She’s this control freak on the outside but she’s just a hot mess on the inside. We are four and a half seasons in and I love playing her. I enjoy the work, I love the material, and I’m super satisfied so as long as the show goes on and as long as they feel Alice should be in Riverdale and still part of the story, I’m in it for the long haul. Obviously I’m juggling all this other stuff on the outside but that is my number one commitment.” She values her privacy so you won’t really find Amick on social media. “I wanted to come to Hollywood and be a successful actor—obviously you have all these dreams—so I wanted all that and then I got Twin Peaks really quickly and I was thrown into being famous just so quickly and at such a high level and I really quickly learned that I want to be an actor, I don’t want to be a celebrity. I don’t like this part of it. Just everything from losing your privacy to some fans who cross lines and become a little scary and a little concerning kind of thing, I didn’t like that either. I went through my career just staying really private. I didn’t go to many events.” Amick has this beautiful life in California, husband, children, goes to work and comes back to spend time with them. Social media caught up with her when she was doing a Lifetime show called Witches of East End in 2013 and actors were being expected contractually, publicity-wise, to engage and promote the episodes and she was resistant. “I was like, ‘I don’t have any interest in that, absolutely not. I’ve worked so hard to be so private, why would I now want to put myself on blast?’ So my first dabble in it was a Twitter account under my character’s name, Aunt Wendy the Cat, so I would only post as Aunt Wendy, and then eventually I started becoming very vocal about mental health and it give me an opportunity and a platform to talk about something really near and dear to my heart.”
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The Many Faces of Cybersexism: Why Misogyny Flourishes Online Online spaces are fraught with the abuse of women. The past few years have produced one high-profile case of harassment after another, suffusing news headlines with the lurid details of women forced from their homes, their online and offine lives shattered by a torrent of sexist, racist, and transphobic abuse. Hate mobs like those associated with Gamergate and individual abusers and stalkers have proliferated online in recent years, causing women to fear going online at all. Whether it’s organized campaigns of unrelenting harassment, “doxxing,” and violent threats loosely coordinated on various message boards and social media sites or abusive spouses taking their violence into cyberspace (once ending up in front of the Supreme Court), hardly a month goes by when the news isn’t following yet another extreme example of the price women pay for being visible online. What is it about online spaces that makes abuse so common? And what can we do to make the Internet safer? Before we can begin to explore the answers to those questions, it’s important to understand the core terminology used to describe the online abuse that characterizes so much of women’s 090
experience with the Internet. A grasp of how this book talks about sexism and cybersexism is essential. While other definitions of sexism and cybersexism may exist and the definitions themselves are fluid, for the purposes of this book the two terms have specific definitions that are used as frames for the concepts discussed. I also explore the prevalence of offline sexism that informs women’s day-to-day lives and how such attitudes moved online, and then I examine the mind set that leads to cybersexist harassment. Sexism is a combination of prejudice against persons based on their gender, combined with the privilege and power required to cause harm. In other words, because men as a group hold the majority of social privileges, such as political and financial power representation, their prejudices against women as a group are more likely to hurt women, limit their opportunities, and cause other difficulties for women trying to go about their daily lives. Further, as women do not hold the majority of the privileges or power that exist, their prejudices against men (frequently a reaction to already-existing injustices and unequal levels of power and opportunity) do not rise to the level of sexism.
“Privilege” in this context is often misunderstood as primarily class or financial power; however, the definition of privilege used here takes a more nuanced approach. Privilege is, for the purposes of this book, the set of social advantages associated with particular axes of identity that are considered to be dominant. These social advantages are often unnoticed by those who have them, but they nevertheless carry a great deal of weight. Privilege is often associated with those forms of identity (and the associated benefits) that are considered default by virtue of overrepresentation. While having privilege will not correlate to success or power in all cases or situations, it simply increases the likelihood that it will. The term “privilege,” therefore, is used to describe the broad social attitudes that impact power, access, safety, and representation along the axes of gender, race, sexuality, and more. Male privilege, for example, is associated with greater representation in media, business, politics, and journalism, as well as easier access to positions of power, employment, capital, and so on. e same attitudes that produce sexism in the form of negative stereotypes about women often find footing as positive stereotypes about men—where women are seen as
By Bailey Poland irrational or overly emotional, men are painted as levelheaded and logical. As a result, while sexism is often understood solely as prejudice against someone on the basis of their sex—and, under that definition, it is often said that women who push back against sexism are themselves engaging in sexism against men—the ability to cause harm to a group (women) while conferring benefits on another group (men) is a core part of the definition of sexism used throughout this book. Sexism as it affects online life is the major focus of this work, with the key caveat that online harassment and abuse are rarely—if ever—linked to gender alone. Although this book addresses women as a group and uses sexism as the guiding framework, racism is another key element of online harassment and one that, as a white person, I discuss but cannot ever fully speak to. Online harassment of women of color, and specifically misogynoir, requires far more in-depth analysis. A call to action for addressing that issue is a central part of my goal here; while this book is intended to start a discussion, it is only the first part of a much broader and deeper conversation that must take place in order to improve the well-being of online communities.
With that said, cybersexism is the expression of prejudice, privilege, and power in online spaces and through technology as a medium. While this book focuses on the verbal and graphic expression of sexism in the form of online harassment and abuse aimed at women, it’s important to note that cybersexism can also occur in less overt forms not directly as a result of ill intent. For example, the design of technology to suit an ideal user (presumed to be male) or to make it more difficult for women to access and use is also cybersexism. Some examples include making smartphones too large for the average woman’s hand, health and fitness tracking apps that exclude menstruation (or regard the tracking of menstruation as only for cisgender women and aimed only at pregnancy), or designing a “revolutionary” heart implant that works for 86 percent of men and only 20 percent of women. This book examines the use of harassment and abuse aimed at women in online spaces, with an understanding that cybersexism often has a goal of creating, enforcing, and normalizing male dominance in online spaces—norms preferred by straight, cisgender white men, primarily located in the United States. While online harassment is a global problem, the norms established in the
Excerpt from HATERS by Bailey Poland with permission from Potomac Books
early years of the Internet tend to reflect Westerncentric patterns of use and abuse. The types of cybersexism examined here include everything from casual sexist harassment to overt abuse, illegal threats, doxxing, and other behaviors that make online spaces uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unsafe for women’s participation, along with a discussion of the justifications used for such behavior and women’s ability to respond. While sexism itself is the overarching focus here, issues of race, sexuality, disability, and others also play a role in determining which women get targeted for certain kinds of abuse and how that abuse functions. This book also looks at the ways in which this cyberabuse affects women in their online and offline lives—and the increasingly blurred boundaries between the two. Chapters address the ways women cope with abuse, the solutions currently in place, and why so many of them fail. This book also attempts to outline possibilities for long-term changes to the way we live, work, and play online. Sexist attitudes color the majority of women’s interactions with the world, from expectations about how—and if—women should talk (online and off), to the skewed media representation of women, to male dominance, to violence against women, and more. Stereotyping and gendered abuse are continued overleaf
continued from previous page
a common fact of life for women. Thee continued and rapid erasure of the lines between online and offline activities makes it impossible to fully separate online and offline harassment. Online harassment is rooted in offline beliefs, and those offline beliefs are supported and reinforced by the prevalence of sexist behaviors online. Domination of specific spaces deemed important is, as ever, a central goal for those who engage in sexist activities. With the Internet the quest for male domination is disguised by a mythology of level playing fields and equal opportunity, and it is backed by the vicious and constant harassment of women. Understanding how cybersexism works requires an understanding of how sexism itself functions in offline spaces. Attitudes displayed online— whether in the form of YouTube videos, Facebook comments, Twitter replies, Reddit threads, or blog posts—do not occur in a vacuum nor do they exist only in online spaces. While people may be more comfortable expressing extreme views online than they would in person, such expressions often reflect the true beliefs they hold. Those views, extreme or not, are also not confined to or created solely in online spaces. The United States in particular has a strong set of expectations regarding appropriate gender roles for men and women, and sexist, demeaning beliefs about women’s roles are still common. Power, money, violence, and control continue to exist along highly gendered and raced lines, and taking a serious look at the ways sexism operates in onine spaces is key to understanding how it became so prevalent online. DOMINANCE AND VIOLENCE OFFLINE The decision to target women with abusive, gender-based harassment online is rarely
random or spontaneous. While individual actions may not be impelled by a goal other than disagreeing with a woman and wanting to put her in her place, as it were, the decision to engage in obviously sexist harassment to achieve such ends indicates how cybersexists think the Internet should work. In many ways activities aimed at building and reinforcing male dominance online are conducted in order to re-create the patterns of male domination that exist offline. In offline spaces sexism occurs in a variety of ways, from the obvious examples of financial and political control to violence, including almost invisible factors, such as policing the ways in which women talk. POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL POWER Offline, men remain in powerful positions throughout the world. From a political standpoint every U.S. president through 2016 has been male and, with the exception of President Barack Obama, white and male. The 114th U.S. Congress consisted of roughly 80 percent men and more than 80 percent white people, regardless of gender. Among countries around the globe, however, the United States is not even in the top seventy countries in terms of representation of women in political bodies. The top five countries are Rwanda, Bolivia, Cuba, Seychelles, and Sweden; the United States stands at an abysmal seventy first place, and the United Kingdom is thirty-sixth. Of the top five countries only Rwanda and Bolivia have equal or greater numbers of women in a lower or single legislative chamber; no country in the top five has parity in an upper chamber. Around the world women are often grossly underrepresented within the legal bodies that govern the everyday lives of citizens. As a result, decisions are made that affect women without women’s input. Men’s ability to control the legal environment in which women
live and work is a source of much conflict and power. However, this overrepresentation of men is not unique to the political arena. From the highest ranks of business, where women occupy fewer than 5 percent of Fortune 500 ceo positions, to the individual level, where working single mothers are disproportionately likely to be women of color who are living in poverty, men have significantly more control over the economic fate of the world and, as a result, most of the women in it. Financial control is an issue from the most senior positions within a business to the most entry-level role, with men consistently making more money than women, controlling more resources, and having easier access to higher levels of power. The wage gap remains a gender issue within the United States and around the world, with men still making more than women at every level of employment. Further, it is important to remember that women’s wages vary widely by race, with white women having the greatest advantage. Although all women are at a disadvantage where financial impact is concerned, race plays a major role, as do sexuality, disability, and gender identity. In the United States companies in twentynine states can legally fire gay employees for their sexuality; in thirty-four states companies can legally fire transgender people solely for being transgender. In addition, the Fair Labor Standards Act permits organizations to pay disabled workers less than minimum wage—often far less than minimum wage. The ability to find and retain work, and to be fairly compensated for that work, without being discriminated against based on race, gender, ability, or sexuality continues to be an immense challenge across the globe.
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“... o I guess it was driven by my own sort of need to stand on my own two feet in the end and also to really sort of extenuate the female voice that is already there but is, wasn’t really being driven fast enough or far enough...”
Most of us know Sharon Horgan from the hit sit-com Catastrophe, which she cowrote and starred in alongside Rob Delaney. Although calling this series a hit “sit-com” simply doesn’t do it justice. Behind the show’s lighthearted humor and at times heavy themes, viewers can always spot the brilliant and genuinely honest voice of Sharon Horgan. “It’s a bit of a relief. You get to do stuff on the page that you might not have dealt with in real life, you get to just like exhale it all out onto the page and it becomes something that you really treasure.” But before there was Sharon Horgan the celebrated actress, writer, and chic business woman, there was Sharon Horgan the Irish turkey farmer. That’s right, believe it or not, her original 13 minute short film, The Week Before Christmas, jam-packed full of dark humor and amusing commentary on adolescence, was based on her own offbeat childhood of plucking feathers on a turkey farm in Bellewstown County Meath, Ireland. It wasn’t until her early twenties when she moved back to London to attend a variety of drama courses that her career in entertainment really took off, although not right away by any means. She describes these formative years as anything but straightforward. “I wasn’t really part of any sort of group...I wasn’t part of any scene, so I was very sort of out on a limb, not really part of anything. So that was a bit of a problem.” But regardless, she pressed on, “sort of (out of) pride, I suppose. I think at a certain stage, I decided I wasn’t gonna go back to Ireland until I had something to go back with. So that was a tricky couple of years, not going back to Ireland because I felt sort of, mortified by my own situation...you want your family to be proud and wanting to feel like you sort of did something with your life.” Although it wasn’t just pride that helped her persevere but also her ability to retain her dreams. While attending classes she had a string of odd jobs including waitressing, working at a call center, and even managing a head shop in London’s Camden Town. Perhaps these jobs, as well as her days as a young turkey farmer, are what gave her the unapologetic tone she consistently demonstrates throughout all of her work. When it comes to creating relatable comedy, it’s important for a writer to actually have real life experiences under their belt where absurd things happen to them naturally. Horgan didn’t have her career just handed to her, but ultimately her fearless decision to quit these odd jobs gave her the final push she needed. “It wasn’t until I decided to cut that loose and sort of throw myself into the abyss that I kind of had to make it work because I didn’t have any sort of financial safety net.”
In the season 1 finale of Catastrophe, nine months pregnant Sharon lays in a romantic hotel bed next to her husband Rob on their wedding night. Rob clips the toenails on her swollen feet and jokingly comments about how unsexy the moment is, to which Sharon grows furious, calling him a “fucking duty bound boyscout” before storming, or rather waddling out of the room. Seconds later, Sharon is back, with her look of fury replaced with one of fear as she delivers the news to Rob that her water just broke. This may just be a fictional character Sharon Horgan created for the show, but it paints a particular picture of a fearless woman who is full of humour, grit and unabashed intensity. And this is exactly how one may describe the Emmy award nominated actress: a woman who is unapologetic when it comes to speaking her mind. The synopsis goes something like this: 41-year-old Londoner Sharon has a one week fling with American Rob while on a business trip. When Sharon finds out she’s pregnant with his child in the pilot episode, the two shock viewers with their decision to not only keep the baby, but get married and raise the child in London together; Rob moving across the world after a quick, and quite frankly, chaotic phone call. But the show is so much more than another dose of comedic relief for viewers. In fact, Horgan herself even accredits the show’s success to its more innovative approach in the realm of comedy. She explains the early script-writing days with Rob as a string of questions raised at their writing table: “What are the parameters of comedy, how far can you push a certain subject and still make laughter around it? Is this going to make people feel uncomfortable or are they actually going to be relieved that you’re addressing something in that way, if it could be really really brutally honest, would people like that? Or would people think we’re monsters?” Catastrophe explores a plethora of unspoken grievances that accompany pregnancy and marriage. From the cigarettes she can no longer smoke to the fact that this spontaneous one week stand may be her last shot at motherhood before time runs out on her biological clock, Horgan still manages to weave moments of pure humor into it all. But even with an already highly successful career in comedy, Horgan and Delaney held off on the jokes almost entirely in the early stages of the show’s creation, “we felt we really wanted to say something, something that we could get stuck into that wasn’t sort of just fluff. And so right from the very first version of it, let’s just not pull any punches, let’s just make it as real as we possibly can. Let’s make some absolutely real problems. So let’s have terrible things happen to them
and see how they deal with it.” And that’s exactly what the two have accomplished. Five seasons later, Catastrophe can be streamed in over 133 countries, and has gone on to win six Irish Film and Television Awards for Horgan’s acting and writing, even winning the 2016 BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy Writer. Although Horgan is self-aware of her own bold career moves, she’s never short on gratitude when it comes to the connections she’s made along the way. When attending Brunel University to study English and American Studies, she met writer and producer Dennis Kelly, “meeting him in a youth theatre in my early days was a lucky break, I just didn’t realize it at the time”. The two started creating sketches for what would eventually be their series, Pulling. Although other people in the industry were skeptical in the beginning and discouraged the two, it was Harry Thompson who saw great potential in their work, “he just liked this sort of mental stuff we were writing... and he pitched that we write something more narrative, a sitcom and he got behind us and pushed us”. Horgan’s vision for the future of comedy was innovative to say the least, but all it really took at the end of the day was finding like-minded individuals who shared this same forward thinking. In more recent years, Celia Mountford has been another person with a profound impact on Horgan’s career. In 2010, Horgan starred in David Cross’s black comedy, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret immediately connecting with the show’s executive producer, Celia Mountford. By this point, Horgan was already well-versed in the industry and had started her own production company, Merman, which at the time was under the umbrella of a larger company. When Horgan met Mountford, the two decided to collaborate on the third season of ...Todd Margaret and together set out to get Merman standing on its own two feet. “And whilst we were sort of in that fledgling stage we just started reaching out to new, younger, mainly female, writers and show creators and it just kind of went from there. We knew that there was an opportunity to focus certainly in the beginning, in the early stages, mainly on sort of female writing and female sort of shows. Cause we felt like there was a huge discrepancy in the amount of shows that were created by male performers with the talent that we knew was out there. So we just went from there.” Already a strong role model for women, Merman is just another example of how Horgan demonstrates the future potential of women in the film and television industry. This even translates onto her on screen work, when
asked what she looks for in a role in BAFTA Guru’s 60 Seconds With… segment, she bluntly states, “non-girlfriend, non wife.” But she advocates for women not just for the pure sake of equal opportunity but because she sees the outcome of pushing women in the industry as mutually beneficial to everyone. “It’s so clear that female fronted, or female driven, or female story based content is not only wanted but it’s needed and not only that but it’s successful and it’s economically successful.” With Merman up and running, Horgan added co-founder to her already extensive resume of writer, comedian, producer, and actress. It’s clear that Horgan is used to wearing many hats in her line of work, which is why her starring role in Military Wives, a comedy-drama based on the true story of a group of women who form a choir while their partners are away in Afghanistan, forced her to charter new territories, even venturing outside of her usual domain in sitcoms. She was surprised at first when she was asked to audition for the role, but after reading the script she realized it would be her next big undertaking, “I knew that it had the potential to be one of those films that kind of brings people together and that would make you laugh and make you cry and that it could sort of lift you.” Most of her work has had a very specific audience, which is great in some ways but naturally somewhat limiting, “it’s really nice to do something that has a sort of wider appeal.” In Military Wives, Horgan took on the singular role of actress, setting aside the creative writer and producer in her for a moment, “it’s nice just to drop into something and work hard and get out, because most of the time, it’s way way more involved than that. Most of the time, you know, in edits, doing notes, you know, being in pre production, all of that sort of more time consuming role and it was nice just to get in and be an actor for a while.” Amongst her many different roles, one that won’t appear on any resumé or IMDb is her role as a mother. With two teenage daugh-
ters at home, this role is arguably one of the more demanding positions for her. As an inspiring and outspoken woman at every career turn, Horgan demonstrates her role in mentoring young women even with her own daughters. She loves to let her children voice their opinions on her work, calling them some of her harshest critics in a recent interview with The Daily Mail. And just like her professional work, Horgan doesn’t shy away from speaking her mind and candidly discusses the effects of social media on her adolescent daughters, “it’s hard enough anyway being a teenager without a constant onslaught of images of what you should look like or what you should be trying to achieve and I find it incredibly fake and unreal and terrible... they [her children] are for me very emotionally cognitive but they haven’t really got the reasoning to sort of cope with their emotions.” She does admit though, She does admit though, that certain platforms have given creative autonomy to young people for the better. And of course, during a global pandemic like COVID-19, Horgan addresses the benefits of technology in connecting her daughters to their friends, school and the rest of the outside world. Typically rather adamant about limiting their screen time, the current situation has temporarily changed her approach, “I’ve just had to wave the white flag and just go: knock yourselves out.” Upstairs in her London home, Horgan finishes the interview before rushing downstairs to help her daughters with the rest of their online schoolwork. But before ending the interview, Horgan makes it clear that she has big plans for the rest of 2020, despite COVID-19. In addition to a huge under-wraps deal she just signed with Apple, Horgan is working on the pilot episode of an upcoming animation show with FOX, as well as a film set to shoot in LA later this year, although currently she is just eagerly awaiting the release of Military Wives in late May. Even with her 50th birthday approaching and a global pandemic at the forefront of her mind, it’s safe to say that Sharon Horgan isn’t slowing down any time soon.
I find it incredibly damaging,
(on social media) “... Photography David Yeo Instagram @david_yeo Website davidyeo.co.uk Styling Frederika Lovelle Pank Hair Hamilton Stansfield Make Up Justine Jenkins
it’s hard enough anyway being a teenager without a constant sort of onslaught of images of what you should look like or what you should be trying to achieve ...”
By Angie Palmer
e h t n i e v o
Last week, my friend Caleb messaged me about his latest romantic fling. He met a girl on Tinder who shared his passionate interests in techno music, Tempelhof Field in Berlin, and obscure films. She was also a student in New York City, he learned, and so naturally they began to discuss their favorite New York nightlife spots. They took shots together, smoked a few cigarettes, and already started planning their next date. Hours, and half a dozen gin and tonics later, they finally ended their ravenous conversation at 4am when his laptop died. Oh yeah, this was all done over FaceTime. I find it almost comical how so many of my friends are going on virtual dates during one of the biggest crises of our lifetime. The world as we know it may cease to exist (at least for the time being), but this hasn’t stopped people from coming up with creative ways to continue furthering the agenda of their romantic lives. One of the most creative stories I heard comes from Jessica Riley, who also lives at the epicenter of the pandemic in New York City. She told me about a first date that consisted of a guy who biked through Brooklyn and stood on the opposite side of the street from her. The two faced each other and made conversation while sipping coffee they had each separately brought. And this is only the beginning.
Jessica then continued to tell me about a second guy she had started seeing. One of her closest friends organized a daily Zoom hangout, “I didn’t know their other friends” Jessica explained to me over the phone, “but they kept including me and requesting that I join these group (Zoom) sessions, and as time went on, I started to get to know their friends better and one of them I started talking to on the side.” Jessica then explained to me how her and this guy have started talking to each other daily, sharing virtual coffee and checking up on the vegetable plants he taught her how to grow inside her apartment. When I asked her how she felt about the whole situation, she was slightly torn. “It’s been a really interesting way of getting to know someone without distractions but it’s also tough because you don’t necessarily get a person’s vibe, per say, or you can’t experience more of that visceral connection that you might feel if you meet someone (in person). But it’s been really nice to have someone to talk to and to look forward to seeing.” After talking to Jessica, I started to understand why so many single people are in search of some level of intimacy during this pandemic, even if it’s strictly virtual. And isn’t it normal, even on a biological level, for humans to turn toward companionship when confronted with catastrophes like a global pandemic?
Perhaps this can begin to explain (or hopefully alleviate some embarrassment) why so many of us have started binge watching cringey dating shows like Netflix’s Love is Blind or Too Hot to Handle in quarantine. I’ll admit, even I’ve dabbled a bit in these awful shows. But if you’re a single person during COVID-19, you may benefit a little from vicariously living through a bunch of ridiculous reality stars on their quest for love. But what about those of us who aren’t single? Many couples have recently transitioned into a 24/7 relationship in the confinement of their homes. I talked to Emily Berry about her experience with being in a relationship during COVID-19. Emily and her boyfriend’s transition is about as extreme as it gets. “They started their relationship with four months of long distance, then moved into a one bedroom Brooklyn apartment together, and within two weeks, New York...”. But Emily was very adamant about defending her relationship’s unique trajectory, “doing four months long distance made us appreciate our time spent together in person even more.” She did admit the biggest struggle so far has been the fact that she lost her job due to COVID-19, so while she is trying to find things to do to pass the time, her boyfriend is still able to work from home and stay somewhat busy, “we’re having to learn how to
Time of C oro
interact with each other when we are experiencing vastly different realities while being stuck inside the same apartment day-to-day.” I asked her what activities the two enjoy doing together in quarantine and she very bluntly stated, “Have sex. Play games. Cook. Read.” It also makes sense to me that many couples are passing the mundane weeks of quarantine with sex. On April 3rd, Tamara Abraham published an article in The Telegraph explaining that online lingerie sales have skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some companies have reported as much as a 60% increase in the past month. Yet, however jealous single people may be of those of us quarantined with a significant other, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies for couples, either. Eric Upton is going through what I can only imagine is every couple’s worst nightmare during this pandemic: a breakup. Eric’s thengirlfriend moved from school in New York City back to Southern Florida where they originally met, “Then quarantine happened and especially for her added a lot of stress to her life.” Even though they weren’t quarantined together, this didn’t stop the anxieties surrounding COVID-19 from permeating their relationship, and ultimately the two decided to go their separate ways.
For most of us, the typical breakup routine includes abundant support from friends, long nights of heavy drinking at bars, throwing yourself into work, and finding any way to distract yourself from the current situation. So pretty much everything that violates social distancing etiquette. I asked Eric what was especially hard about breaking up during a quarantine and he explained that he missed their weekly meetings, (in which he assured me consisted of taking an immediate shower and washing the clothes he was wearing upon arrival) “getting to go to her house every ten days or every week was like my breath of fresh air during this quarantine. It was the only time I let myself go anywhere, other than like the store to buy groceries, other than that, that was the only place I would go. So not having that escape has been stressful, you know, of course during a breakup you miss the person you were with but I also miss the escape during this quarantine time.” Eric stressed the difficulty in not being able to see his friends, but like many of us, he has found solace through technology, “I’ve had therapy sessions with my friends at night over video games.” It’s safe to say that a pandemic like COVID-19 has drastically affected every couple a little differently. I remember
back in February, when I sat at a dive bar in Williamsburg with my friends Rachel and Amanda. The two had been living together in New York for a while, until Amanda accepted a job working at Planned Parenthood in Florida. It was their last night before Amanda’s move and four months of long distance while Rachel finished up her grad degree at Columbia University. The two were clearly in low spirits that night and I kept reassuring them that they would be reunited shortly. With hindsight, I couldn’t have been more right. Just two weeks later, Columbia had transitioned to online remote classes. Rachel immediately moved to Florida to be with Amanda. I asked the two of them what the biggest struggle of being stuck at home together 24/7 had been to which Amanda immediately replied, “we’ve never really struggled with being in each other’s company...I feel like every day we’re being two crazy girls who are on summer break in the neighborhood...we do stuff in the garage, and then up here, and then we’ll go outside and play, then drink coffee, then have sex, and then watch a movie and go to sleep. Just fun times.” As Amanda strummed an acoustic guitar in the background, I thought about how nice it was to hear that some people had managed to make the most of the current state of disaster our world was in.
*All names have been changed
Janina Gavankar â€œ... I n every
industry, If you are a woman and if you are trying to occupy space, you have to do it with courage ...â€?
words by Sylvia Stores
photography by Tiziano Lugli
Janina Gavankar grew up in the Midwest, Illinois to be precise, but she’s without a doubt a city girl. I catch her in town doing a press junket for the film The Way Back, the sports drama she stars in opposite Ben Affleck that has garnered critical acclaim for Affleck’s raw performance. The premiere took place in LA and she was heading there after this quick trip. She tells me about her character, Angela, Affleck’s estranged wife in the Gavin O’Connor-directed feature, a relationship centered around addiction and tragedy. Affleck plays an alcoholic former basketball star recruited by his high school alma mater to coach the team. Demons resurface. “It’s a beautiful script and I love this character because she is someone who has chosen herself. They’re both dealing with something and they try to go through it together but now they have to be away from each other and that’s her choice,” says Gavankar. “She chooses herself. It takes a lot of courage to be able to choose yourself in a moment like that. I’m sure many many people have been in relationships that they knew were unhealthy and no matter how much they love and respect their partner, they can’t change their lives for them. That’s something they have to do themselves.” Gavankar really took to the role, and while shooting she was going through personal problems of her own, as was Affleck’s much-publicized breakup with wife Jennifer Garner. Both were unapologetically putting their feelings right into the work and they were honest with each other off-camera as well. “Ben is playing a character who has traces that are like his, and it’s a beautifully executed performance where he’s unafraid to take these personal experiences and turn it into the work, but he’s not just showing up and being Ben Affleck in this film.” You’ve seen Gavankar before, you just don’t remember. Or maybe you do, because she’s been in a ton of familiar television shows, like HBO’s True Blood, CW’s Arrow and The Vampire Diaries, The League on FX, and The Morning Show on Apple TV. But what you might not know is her love affair with music. And she’s good. Real good. Real good as in trained pianist, vocalist, and orchestral percussionist, majoring in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a high schooler, Gavankar was accepted for the Yale School of Drama’s summer camp.
But acting can call at a young age, and for Gavankar her almost accidental first exposure to the craft flipped a switch. It created a spiritual awakening. “I was doing a musical in high school and had an emotional experience as that character. I was only doing the musical because I was studying classical voice so it made sense to do my public school musical. I reached out to the character offered to me and I felt her longing and her heartbreak and her life and it felt like an out of body experience,” insists Gavankar, whose parents are from India. “I knew that day that I wanted to be an actor. That was kind of my moment when I felt somebody else’s life and I wanted to go back there as much as possible, much to my parents’ chagrin when I told them I wanted to study another art form. That’s the one that stuck. If you told me when I was 13 years old that I would be an actor, I wouldn’t have believed you.” But her approach has always been the same ever since she was a little girl. “Nothing has changed since I was a kid. All I’ve wanted to do is get in the sandbox and play with other artists. Whether I’m doing that as an actor, as a musician, a producer, a writer or as a director, I don’t care. I want to work with people I love and respect and the product is going to be something we’re proud of. I live for collaboration which is why I think it’s weird I ended up becoming an actor because it’s a really lonely experience. I’m much more interested in putting something together with other people, so it makes more sense that I’m behind the camera.” And that especially goes for women in the film industry or any industry for that matter. Gavankar hits it head-on with strength and knows others feel the weight of it and she’s not alone in the fight for equality. “Having tough experiences are not regulated to just Hollywood. This is in every industry. If you are a woman and if you are trying to occupy space, you have to do it with courage. And because this is a very universal experience, I feel the strength in numbers and I know I’m not alone. I also know that we can’t allow ourselves to be diminished because it’s happened without us trying. I don’t think anybody is a bad person that is trying to squash women. I think it’s systemic that it happens without them realizing what they’re doing and sometimes women do it to each other. So we have to be diligent in supporting each other and holding each other accountable.”
“I grew up a classical musician. I was a very serious musician growing up and I still play. My chops as a musician—I’m specifically in the same zone of practice as a soloist. It’s something that I have formed to in my own processes as an actor and as a creator in general—that safe place where you just suck is really important. You have to have space that you can continue to repeat something and grow and be better.” She even did a percussion duet with Questlove a few years ago at Carnegie Hall at the Best Buddies charity benefit. This is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Her next projects are filmmaking, which will give her less time as an actor. But it does give Gavankar more time to develop projects for films. Her film Stucco, a short film she co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed, was selected for this year’s SXSW Midnight Shorts competition. Gavankar also stars as the lead, a woman dealing with agoraphobia. “There are so many times you read a beautiful script and that director doesn’t go the distance and everybody tries their best and it is what it is. I don’t regret anything but it’s disappointing. So you try to choose things as wisely as possible with the information you have at the time. And then in the downtime, I just devote myself to all of our projects.”
photographer Tiziano Lugli hair Bradley Leake makeup Merav Adler styling Victor Blanco
“... hat are the important stories to tell now? How relevant is this?’ It’s an urgent age for storytellers across the board and we can’t waste our breath.... “
In Autumn de Wildes upcoming adaptation of ‘
Jane Austens Emma Mr Flynn combines his ‘
longtime love of the Austen oeuvre with an uncanny ability to look through the camera
Johnny Flynn is walking and talking in the rain on a drizzly London day and has to find a quieter place, a quieter seat, to continue our chat. I’d like to think of the raindrops hitting him as a metaphor for how many roles he’s going to be offered this year, and based on his current resume, a monsoon is upon us. Every actor worth his weight has experienced the moniker of “potential breakout year” but for Flynn, 2020 could be just that. The British actor and musician will soon star as Mr. Knightley in Autumn de Wilde’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic 1815 novel Emma. He’s also portraying a young David Bowie in Stardust, a Tribeca Film Festival entry that focuses on Bowie’s first visit to the US in 1971, a trip that inspired the invention of Bowie’s iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
lens straight into our eyes and give us a Mr Knightley never seen before
By Moonah Ellison Photography Autumn de wilde
Flynn has two World War II films on the horizon: he recently finished filming the Netflix UK feature film The Dig with Ralph Fiennes, and is currently filming Mincemeat opposite Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Penelope Wilton. Flynn also stars in the UK thriller film Cordelia opposite Antonia Campbell-Hughes. But next up is Emma. Flynn loved Austen’s book and studied it coverto-cover. (The book also happens to be his high school English teacher’s favorite book, the same teacher who was a mentor and believed in him, inspiring his love of poetry and literature. He still keeps in touch with him to this day.) But like so many adaptations from bookto-screen, Flynn was cautious because for every hit, there are a ton of literary flops. “The other part of me was a little skeptical about [being
a part of] another version of Emma because it’s been adapted so much, and as an artist it’s always hard to be like ‘what are the important stories to tell now? How relevant is this?’ It’s an urgent age for storytellers across the board and we can’t waste our breath.” But then Flynn met Autumn de Wilde, famed photographer and now director, and quickly realized how special this was going to be. “Her vision for her pitch and her aesthetics, her references. It’s kind of a profound story which at first is not necessarily apparent, in that it’s about a woman in 1815 who doesn’t have much agency but then she did, using her intelligence and wit for the one thing she can control which is the social interactions of her circle, and that in itself is kind of the profound thing,” says Flynn. Flynn’s profound journey, which began with violin lessons at age 6 in Winchester UK, started out with a lot of foreshadowing: his mom used to take him to lessons every week to the house where Jane Austen died. “It was very atmospheric, and I was friends with the daughter [of the persons who owned the home] and at her birthday parties we’d always play
hide and seek and I was nervous to find a dead Jane Austen, whoever she was, underneath one of the cupboards,” Flynn reflects. “We rented a tiny flat in the village, which was kind of proper Jane Austen country, and felt like I knew the villages she was describing when I finally got to read her books.” His dad was a singer and an actor, and it was Flynn’s love of music that instantly created a a special connection with de Wilde. “To work with Autumn, whose background is music and being a photographer and being on the road with Elliott Smith and to talk to her about that stuff and how she approached the work. And then she asked me to write this song for the film from the perspective of my character. “I had been living with that character for so long and had his perspective of Emma and so I was allowed to just picture it like a broad ballad film, like one of those period songs about one of those things around the piano. I was listening to a lot of folk songs from that period. You have to channel that.” A family man, Flynn is doing his best to educate his children on the world
around him, knowing all too well reallife struggles with his mother’s family from South Africa and witnessing firsthand the effects of apartheid. “It’s a really tough moment we find ourselves in. I’m struggling at the moment. I feel like I have days when it’s just too much. I’ve been out in the street for protests about Brexit to try to educate my kids about climate change and some of the political things going on.” Brexit deepens the divide for Flynn. “I think it’s based on a series of lies that we’re told to believe about ourselves being individuals or a side of humanity that is fundamentally selfish. This is the thing I wrestle with every day: who am I? What do I want in the best version of myself? To quote John Dunne, ‘no man is an island.’ The best side of myself is the version that stands with my brothers and sisters around the world and part of that community. What politicians would have us believe in order to divide and confuse us is that we need to fight for ourselves, and that’s where there’s more money to be made. “I keep clinging to the phrase ‘talent is everywhere, opportunity isn’t.’ We, the people who are privileged to be in a position having a voice or a platform, we need to step aside. Make the change and ask questions. Which stories need to be told? I think I can try to support stories to be told that haven’t been heard before and that’s what I’m excited for at the moment. At the moment, Flynn is readying himself for a planned trip to New York City. He hasn’t been back since 2018 so it’s been a while. His return trip is to promote Stardust, and being a huge fan adds a little bit of extra pressure for Flynn and the rest of the cast - but will no doubt revel in the moment. “This is huge and he was huge for millions of people,” insists Flynn. “I wanted to savor this thing. Our film is very small, it will be playing at festivals. It’s about enjoying the moment, it’s not like these big moments. It’s about enjoying these as an artist.” Johnny Flynn’s own star is rising rapidly.
Photograher: Autumn de Wilde photo assistant: Ben Tietge personal assistant: Sarah Graley Johnny is wearing a Paul Smith suit, shirt & shoes. Groomed and styled by Autumn herself.
“... a really tough moment we find ourselves in. I’m struggling at the moment. I feel like I have days when it’s just too much. I’ve been out in the street for protests about Brexit to try to educate my kids about climate change and some of the political things going on ...“