(H/T V. Wong, @vywccnc)
Torontonians headed to the polls today to elect the city’s newest mayor, someone who will hopefully replace the eternally disgracefully (yet endlessly entertaining) Rob Ford. One of the candidates was Olivia Chow, a Chinese Canadian, former City Councillor and former member of Parliament. Chow was running as the New Democratic Party candidate and — if my Facebook timeline is any indication –stood a pretty good chance of taking the Toronto mayorship in a tight race; election results published just a few minutes ago show that Chow lost to Progressive Conservative candidate John Tory, coming in a distant third after Ford’s equally-as-obnoxious brother.
Yesterday, Chow’s campaign was forced to deal with a shocking cartoon published by the Toronto Sun, the city’s answer to the New York Post. The caricature shows Chow inexplicably garbed in a Chinese Communist outfit and with distinctly slanted eyes literally riding the coattails of her late husband, former NDP leader Jack Layton who died in 2011.
This cartoon is as racist as it is insensitive.
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Last Friday, it happened again; and a nation where school shootings have become terrifyingly commonplace struggled once more to rouse ourselves out of our cynical numbness to muster the same level of horror, outrage and self-reflection that characterized the early responses to Columbine. But, with news of mass school shootings seemingly a permanent fixture in today’s headlines, it seems increasingly difficult for America to recognize that this “new normal” is anything but.
Yet, we need to find the energy to remain outraged and horrified. We need to keep questioning not only why these shootings are happening, but how pervasive and pathological our ideas of “normal” really might be.
Last Friday, 14-year-old Jaylen Fryberg brought a legally purchased gun to the cafeteria of Marysville-Pilchuck High School and opened fire on a table of classmates including two male cousins and three female friends — none of them older than 15. All five sustained gunshot wounds — most to the head — and as of this morning, two students are dead along with Fryberg (of a self-inflicted gunshot). Although Fryberg’s motives remain largely unknown, early coverage from Fryberg’s classmates reveal hints of a story all-too-familiar: yet again, a young man was so angered and devastated by having his romantic advances rejected that he turned to violent retribution, and yet again, it is young women and men alike who pay the price.
For the record, I am dying to see a Ghost in the Shell live-action film. I grew up on both the anime films and the manga, and my fandom for this series is only surpassed by Snoopy Jenkins‘, who dragged me on countless scavenger hunts to collect the sequel films and the Stand-Alone Complex series before either were widely available in America.
So, I say this with total sincerity: Scarlett Johansson is not my Major Motoko.
So this happened.
I guess because Bill Maher’s battle of wits (in absentia) with Ben Affleck over Maher’s latent Islamophobia went viral last week and Jon Stewart could be having none of that, Stewart invited on Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly last night ostensibly to promote O’Reilly’s newest book — something-something-General-Patton-no-one-cares — but really with the singular goal of getting Papa Bear to admit the existence of White privilege (video after the jump).
And, if that was Stewart’s goal, he failed utterly at it. Instead, what we were left with was an incoherent 12-minute sputtering contest between an avowed liberal so flabbergasted by conservative obstinance that he was rendered largely speechless, and a Fox News anchor who looked for all the world like he was being held hostage on set.