Culture Feature

Why 2020 Is the Best Year for Radical Climate Reform

In a year marked by multiple consecutive crises, climate change remains more relevant than you may think.

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2020 is a cursed year.

Unless you live under a rock, or you're Jeff Bezos, you're probably suffering from crisis overload. COVID-19 has killed over 160,000 Americans to date, and millions are still without jobs. The nationwide protests against police brutality have brought into sharp relief the racism endemic in our policing and in our society at large. We're worried about our safety and the safety of our families, about job security, or about how we're going to pay rent this month. With the election just months away, we're worried about the state of our democracy and whether it will withstand forces that threaten to dismantle it.

Remember climate change? If it's recently taken up less of your emotional real estate than it did in, say, February, I don't blame you. There's only so much crisis a person can take at one time. But unfortunately, despite whatever else is going on in the world, climate change continues its steady march toward the point of no return, which scientists say is about 15 years out.

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The only band making folk music cool again is back today with a new single and companion video.

With plenty of their trademark banjo sound, CAAMP's new single, "Fall, Fall, Fall" is an emotional tune about changing the world for the better. Lead singer Taylor Meier says of the song, "'Fall, Fall, Fall' is a song about change - prescribe whatever meaning to that as fits your spirit, but for all of us, the main themes are racial and environmental injustices." He continues, "We just want more folks to hear this message, especially in these divisive and culturally tense times."

Caamp - Fall, Fall, Fall (Official Video)

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Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: The Human Heater from "Silicon Valley" and the Death of Civilization

A throwaway gag about a "crazy" invention points to everything wrong with our species.

HBO's Silicon Valley is one of the great satires of modern capitalism.

The main cast is a blend of absurd personalities that are somehow still believable. The clashing of world-changing ideas with massive egos and even larger sums of money perfectly captures the tragicomic nature of a modern era when we are ruled over by technocrats with questionable senses of morality and humanity—who are made billionaires overnight.

Still, the show is far from perfect. The depiction of Jimmy O. Yang's character, Jian-Yang, is often pretty offensive, and T.J. Miller's personal life and history are troubling enough that maybe the show as a whole shouldn't be given a pass. But Silicon Valley, especially in its early seasons, does such a good job of converting the alienating weirdness of its real-world setting into fodder for both high-brow and low-brow comedy that I'm drawn back to it again and again.

Silicon Valley

And each time I return to the show, there is one scene in season one that haunts me more than anything else...

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