The Motion Picture Association of America has given an R-rating to a film staring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as elderly gay newly weds despite there being no sex, nudity, violence or drug use in the film
The body tasked with rating films for screening in the United States has given a film about an aging gay couple and their extended families an R-rating in a sign that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) may itself have fallen behind community standards.
The MPAA gave Love Is Strange, starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a couple who have been together for four decades but who are forced to move in with their families, the rating supposedly for ‘language’ used in the film – though many are saying the decision is just plain homophobic.
There are no nude scenes in Love Is Strange, no drug use, and no sex scenes. The raciest the film gets is two scenes where Molina and Lithgow are asleep in the same bed while fully clothed.
The MPAA has been called out over the issue by New Jersey Star-Ledger film reviewer Stephen Whitty who noted two other films released this month that got the same rating.
‘On Friday, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” will be released in a wide number of theaters. It features nudity, sexual situations and substance abuse,’ Whitty wrote in a column posted online yesterday.
‘Every woman in it is a stripper, a prostitute or a murderer. There is violence and graphic gore, including one scene of a man having his eye plucked out and another of a man having his fingers broken with a pliers. It is rated R.
‘That day, “Jersey Shore Massacre” also reaches theaters. It features nudity, sexual situations, substance abuse and ethnic and racial slurs. There is violence and graphic gore, including one scene of a woman being disemboweled, another of a naked woman getting her breasts sliced open and one of a man having his hands fed into a wood chipper. It is rated R.’
‘If there’s an equivalence among these three films, and their equal unsuitability for anyone under 17, it’s lost on me — and, I suspect, on anyone but the censors at the MPAA.’
Whitty said it would be unthinkable that the film would have been given an R-rating had it starred veteran actors Robert Duval and Jane Fonda as an aging straight couple in the same situation.
‘This is a gentle, if often heartbreaking story about two loving men in a long-time committed relationship,’ Whitty wrote, ‘What on earth is in it that so horrifies the MPAA? I’m sorry. I think I just answered my own question.’
Under the MPAA rating system an R-rating implies that a film ‘contains some adult material [and] parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
He is taking a course on Marxist ideology.
He says, “The only real solution is to smash the system and start again.”
His thumb is caressing the most bourgeois copy of the communist manifesto that I have ever seen,
He bought it at Barnes and Noble for twenty-nine U.S. American dollars and ninety-nine cents,
Its hard cover shows a dark man with a scarved face
Waving a gigantic red flag against a fictional smoky background.
The matte finish is fucking gorgeous.
He wants to be congratulated for paying Harvard sixty thousand dollars
To teach him that the system is unfair.
He pulls his iPhone from his imported Marino wool jacket, and leaves.
What people can’t possibly tell from the footage on TV
Is that the water cannon feels like getting whipped with a burning switch.
Where I come from, they fill it with sewer water and hope that they get you in the face with your mouth open
So that the hepatitis will keep you in bed for the next protest.
What you can’t tell from Harvard square,
Is that when the tear gas bursts from nowhere to everywhere all at once,
It scrapes your insides like barbed wire, sawing at your lungs.
Tear gas is such a benign term for it,
If you have never breathed it in you would think it was a nostalgic experience.
What you can’t learn at Barnes and Noble,
Is that when they rush you, survival is to run,
I am never as fast as when the police are chasing me.
I know what happens to women in the holding cells down there and yet…
We still do it.
I inherited my communist manifesto,
It has no cover—
Because my mother ripped it off when she hid it in the dust jacket of “Don Quixote”
The day before the soldiers destroyed her apartment,
Looking for subversive propaganda.
She burned the cover, could not bring herself to burn the pages,
Hoped to God the soldiers couldn’t read,
They never found it.
So she was not killed for it, but her body bore the scars of the torture chamber,
For wanting her children to have a better life than she did,
Don’t talk to me about revolution.
I know what the price of smashing the system really is, my people already tried that.
The price of uprise is paid in blood,
And not Harvard blood.
The blood that ran through the streets of Santiago,
The blood thrown alive from Argentine helicopters into the Atlantic.
It is easy to say “revolution” from the comfort of a New England library.
It is easy to offer flesh to the cause,
When it is not yours to give.
Catalina Ferro, “Manifesto” (via dialecticsof)
I feel like people do need to remember that there is a very real, very painful, very human element to the word “revolution”.
"But one thing is clear: [in a post-capitalist society] the ownership of ideas will be exposed as a sham and a delusion. It follows that the elaborate fiction of intellectual property will simply be abolished. Owning ideas is impossible; the regimes of copyright, patent, and trademark have been enshrined in law and in popular consciousness to the detriment of creativity and the sharing of the infinite bounty of the human imagination. Since artists will no longer need to fear being ripped off, able instead to count on credit and remuneration for their effort, the dubious protections copyright provides will serve no purpose. At a stroke such impediments to freedom would be done away with, and the problems and promise they have so long obscured will become immediately apparent."
Matt Calahan, artist and activist (Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA)
"To ignore the fact that one of the oldest republics in the world was erected on a foundation of white supremacy, to pretend that the problems of a dual society are the same as the problems of unregulated capitalism, is to cover the sin of national plunder with the sin of national lying. The lie ignores the fact that reducing American poverty and ending white supremacy are not the same. The lie ignores the fact that closing the “achievement gap” will do nothing to close the “injury gap,” in which black college graduates still suffer higher unemployment rates than white college graduates, and black job applicants without criminal records enjoy roughly the same chance of getting hired as white applicants with criminal records."
Glenn Greenwald, one of the reporters who chronicled the document dump by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden via the U.K. press, now said he’s set to publish his most dramatic piece yet: The names of those in the United States targeted by the NSA.
“One of the big questions when is comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’ Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists? What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer,” Mr. Greenwald told The Sunday Times of London.
Mr. Greenwald also pointed to the failures of the NSA to catch Mr. Snowden during his download and theft of 1.7 million documents, and said that’s further evidence of the government’s inability to guarantee data security.
“There is this genuinely menacing [spy] system and at the same time, [they] are really inept about how they operate it,” he said, Newsmax reported. “Not only was he out there under their noses downloading huge amounts of documents without being detected, but to this day, they’re incapable of finding out what he took.”
(Photo Credit: John Minchillo)
"Although the British insisted that they had rescued India from ‘timeless hunger’, more than one official was jolted when Indian nationalists quoted from an 1878 study published in the prestigious Journal of the Statistical Society that contrasted 31 serious famines in 120 years of British rule against only 17 recorded famines in the entire previous two millennia … Millions died, not outside the ‘modern world system’ but in the very process of being dynamically conscripted into its economic and political structures. They died in the golden age of Liberal Capitalism."
Mass graves of immigrants found in Texas
June 21, 2014
Unidentified migrants who died entering the United States were buried in mass graves in a South Texas cemetery, with remains found in trash bags, shopping bags, body bags, or no containers at all, researchers discovered.
In one burial, bones of three bodies were inside one body bag. In another instance, at least five people in body bags and smaller plastic bags were piled on top of each other, Baylor University anthropologist Lori Baker said. Skulls were found in biohazard bags — like the red plastic bags in receptacles at doctors’ offices — placed between coffins.
“To me it’s just as shocking as the mass grave that you would picture in your head, and it’s just as disrespectful,” said Krista Latham, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Indianapolis.
Bodies that were not already skeletonized before burial were found in varying states of decomposition, Baker said.
The bodies are believed to have been buried by a local funeral home since 2005 in the Sacred Heart Burial Park in Brooks County.
The discovery came in the last two weeks as the pair of anthropologists and their students continued an all-volunteer, multiyear effort to identify migrants who have died of exposure while evading Border Patrol checkpoints in remote South Texas, where temperatures reach more than 100 degrees in the summer and there is little water and shade. Hundreds of people have died in just the last few years in Brooks County alone, where the discovery of the mass graves was made in the county-owned portion of the cemetery in Falfurrias.
The researchers and their students exhumed remains of 110 unidentified people from the cemetery in 2013. This summer they performed 52 exhumations, but more than 52 people were buried in those spaces. Because remains were commingled, and not all of the body bags were opened on-site, further study will be needed to determine the number of people recovered, Baker said.
The researchers expect to return next year to exhume more remains.
The mass graves are yet another sign of U.S. immigration systems and policies overwhelmed by sheer numbers, and of their difficulty coping with the humanitarian aspects of illegal migration. Since October, the nation has struggled to house and process record numbers of minors fleeing civil and political unrest in Central America, many traveling alone. Migrants from Central America travel north along freight train lines in Mexico, leading to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and on to Brooks County.
There, they set out on foot across rugged, remote, privately owned ranchlands, often led by guides associated with criminal gangs or left to find their way to the next highway north of the checkpoint, a 30-mile trek, or even longer for the lost.
Claiming that even the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is air conditioned, prisoners in Texas have filed a federal lawsuit over soaring temperatures in state prisons that they say have killed at least 12 prisoners in the last three years.
The suit, filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project and the University of Texas School of Law Civil Rights clinic on behalf of the prisoners, isn’t seeking monetary damages. It seeks cooler temperatures for the prisoners. Eighty-eight degrees to be exact.
The lawsuit, broadly concerned about the lack of air conditioning across state facilities, centers on a facility in Navasota, Texas, known as the Wallace Pack Unit. Located about 70 miles northwest of Houston, the facility houses about 1,400 men. As of January, the compliant said, 114 men over the age of 70 were housed there. They have no air conditioning, and the windows which do open provide little relief, the suit claims, leading to temperatures inside that often exceed those outside.