[ View the story "The Good, The Bad, And The OMG: 3/1/13" on Storify] The Good, The Bad, And The OMG: 3/1/13 The US ups its aid to Syria, American foreign policy at the Oscars, and Egyptians and Tunisians do some interpretive dancing for the authorities.
Aslan Media· Sun, Mar 03 2013 06:33:24 The Good
Last week, I talked about the continuing debate on whether or not to arm Syria’s rebels. This week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced
a significant change
in US policy towards Syria: $60 million of “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian National Coalition. This would include providing food and medicine to opposition fighters and could later be expanded to offer military vehicles and body armor.
Some commentators, like
at the Washington Post, say that without weapons the move comes “too little, too late.” The Syrian rebels, for their part, are also
by the lack of military support. As an added bonus, Iraqi officials have equated support for Syria’s rebels with a “declaration of war” on Iraq.
But the dissenters have been given a chance to voice their concerns as well.
Here are our picks for the best among them:
There are many elements of the opposition that are pursuing peaceful and nonviolent means of change and preparing for a transition. They recognize that Syria's problem was a failed political regime and are working toward a better political future and thus are pursuing political solutions to the crisis. The opposition calling for intervention should give up on a failing strategy that portends more violence and bloodshed and get on board for a democratic and just future. After all, that is what I've always understood to be the purpose of the uprising, not merely the overthrow of Bashar al-Asad.huffingtonpost.com
If humanitarian relief workers are seen as serving ends beyond feeding starving people, they will be barred from accessing populations in need. That is what makes proposals to harness aid for extraneous purposes so dangerous.undispatch.com
As the exact details come to light in the next few weeks, expect a lot more analysis. And frustration.
Several films relating to foreign policy and conflict were nominated for Oscars this year. Ben Affleck’s Iranian hostage thriller Argo was nominated for six awards. Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which sparked a controversy over its accuracy in Washington, was nominated in five categories. The joint Israeli-Palestinian film about life under occupation in the West Bank, 5 Broken Cameras, was pitted against The Gatekeepers, a story about Israel’s security agency Shin Bet told from the perspective of six former heads, in the Best Documentary category.
Ultimately Argo was the big winner taking home three Oscars including Best Picture, which was presented by Jack Nicholson and Michelle Obama via satellite. Zero Dark Thirty won for Best Sound Editing, which it shared with the latest installment in the James Bond series Skyfall.
The winner for Best Documentary, however, went to Searching for Sugar Man, a feel-good story about a little known American musician who had become wildly popular in South Africa. It may have been inevitable that the Academy would refuse to award either of the two Israeli-Palestinian films as a way of avoiding controversy over its “message” to Israel. But really? Waiting for Sugar Man? I can’t help but see that decision as a cop out.
+972 has a deliciously wicked imagining of Netanyahu’s consolation call to 5 Broken Cameras director, Emad Burnat.
Bibi calls Emad Burnat
In all seriousness, its a pretty safe bet that people will be making films on this subject for a long time. One day it will finally be recognized by mainstream America. Let’s hope that it comes before Palestinian narratives turn into retrospectives.
After the big night, what was on the lips of so many Oscar-watching writers? Seth MacFarlane is a racist, sexist, frat boy.
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The righteous Academy’s reputation has been besmirched by this outsider!
There is no racism at the Oscars, and it certainly wasn’t present in any of the big films. Especially Argo.
On the other hand, with the exception of a loyal maid at the Canadian ambassador's house who helps protect the hiding American hostages in the film, Iranians are shown either as fanatical, if dim-witted officials or as an undifferentiated mass of beards and hijabs.foreignpolicy.com
There is no sexism at the Oscars.
So when we finally get to the Oscar night and find seven categories (including Directing, Cinematography, and Writing, original screenplay) that have no women nominated and five with exactly one woman nominated, we’ve come to the culmination of a long process of women’s voices being squeezed out, ignored, or entirely missing from production of some of our most influential cultural products.womensmediacenter.com
As BuzzFeed’s Shani O. Hilton perfectly sums up:
Hollywood is still sexist. And it's racist. That's not to say it doesn't occasionally produce wonderful art, but that wonderful art doesn't mean the sexism and racism don't exist.buzzfeed.com
Condemn Seth MacFarlane if you must, Internet (or just brand him as unfunny like I do). But let’s not make him a scapegoat for the Academy’s own weaknesses.
If there’s anything that can help the world recognize a common humanity in the “other” these days, the chances of it being a YouTube dance craze appear to be pretty high.
This time its the Harlem Shake video (not to be confused with the real
) that are taking over the world. Fans have made their own versions of people doing pelvic thrusts with weird costumes and props, including the
People of Walmart
, and a
After authorities in Egypt and Tunisia started cracking down on their local versions, people in both countries staged Harlem Shake protests.
Check out these Tunisian students who are fighting back against hardline Islamists and censorship.
Gangnam Style & Harlem Shake Tunisia Version Père Blancwadjami
And these activists who had a dance party in front of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.
رقصة هارلم شيك امام مقر الاخوان بالمقطم HARLEM SHAKEelbadeil