Culture Feature

Andrew Callaghan Interviews the Most Controversial People in America on 'All Gas No Brakes'

Neo Nazi's, Furries, Flat Earthers, UFO Hunters, for Andrew Callaghan they all got something to say

Update 4/15/2021: After announcing in March that they had parted ways with former backers Doing Things Media — over contract disputes and disagreements about the political nature of their content — the All Gas No Brakes crew have returned as Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan.

Having lost access to their old content and revenue streams, the team are hoping to rebuild, and have just dropped their first video on the new channel, delving into this year's spring break chaos in Miami Beach, Florida.

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Film Features

How China Is Controlling Hollywood

What "Red Dawn" taught us about defeating Chinese invaders–oops, we mean North Korean.

Photo by nuno alberto (Unsplash)

From Trump threatening to ban TikTok in the US to hordes of angry Americans defending their vituperative rhetoric as "free speech," America is in the midst of a "disinformation war."

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Culture Feature

What World Is Bari Weiss Even Fighting For?

Bari Weiss's resignation letter contains some truth, but it reads hollow.

Bari Weiss NYT

Photo by David Smooke on Unsplash

Bari Weiss has unceremoniously left The New York Times after, she said in a letter to its publisher AG Sulzburger, the paper has been taken "under siege" by bullies who deemed much of her work "wrongthink."

In the letter, Weiss claimed that she represented a large swath of America that The Times failed to represent—"voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages," she wrote. "But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned," she continued.

Weiss's letter is well-written enough to be extremely convincing, which is unsurprising seeing that she's an opinion writer. On the surface, it reads like a clear-eyed defense of free speech and free press, and it's a called-for denunciation of the distracting annals of cancel culture.

In the context of her op-ed, Weiss's anger seems almost justified—reports of coworkers slandering her on Slack or criticizing her for "writing about the Jews again" seem like cause for a few HR meetings or even a resignation.

And, certainly, Twitter's cancel culture mob can step out of line, fixating on small injustices rather than facing larger problems, ganging up against relatively harmless people.

Then again, the same might be said of all people everywhere. Bari Weiss seems afraid for free speech, but perhaps she should be more afraid for human life.

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'They would have let Hitler buy ads': Sacha Baron Cohen's scathing attack on Facebook

In the 1930s radio had been around for a few decades, but it was only just becoming commonplace, and it was still an exciting new technology that was rapidly connecting the world and contributing to social and political change. In the US, radio was defining President Roosevelt's man-of-the-people image, with his inviting and personable fireside chats. In Europe, however, radio's effect was amplifying a much more virulent form of populism.

Fascism was finding its voice. The blended pride and humiliation of national ego, and the simultaneously mocking and fearful portrayal of the weak and terrifying other, were tapping into impulses that were deeply human and capable of immeasurable cruelty. But by the 1950s, the world had adapted to its new interconnectedness, and it seemed certain that we had left true fascism behind for good. It wasn't until recently, with a new technology to connect us more than ever, that the cycle returned and society began finding its way back to those ancient and ruinous tribal divisions around the world.

This is the what comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his portrayal of Borat in the film of the same name, and for his cutting political series Who Is America?, was speaking to on Thursday night. He was giving a speech at the Anti Defamation League's International Leadership summit, when he said that "all this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history."

borat joke

The incredible communicative power of the Internet has the potential to unite us with the kind of populism that brought us the New Deal—or indeed the Green New Deal—or to divide us with a new era of fascism and hate. If CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Jack Dorsey are unable or unwilling to face the tremendous responsibility this power places on their shoulders, we must either wrench this power from them through any regulatory means at our disposal, or face devastation that may well exceed the ravages of World War II.


Reddit Quarantines r/The_Donald Over Threats of Violence Against Police

Reddit admins accuse the r/The_Donald community of vocally promoting violence against political opponents.

Donald Trump

Photo By Evan El-Amin/ Shutterstock

The internet's largest community of Trump supporters, Reddit's r/The_Donald, has finally been quarantined by the site's admins over threats of violence against police.

Reddit policy prohibits communities from outwardly calling for violence against others. Users on r/The_Donald have consistently engaged in such behavior, and Redditors have called on the admins time and time again to do something about it. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, who posts under the username "spez," has consistently defended the community on the grounds of protecting free speech.

But recently, r/The_Donald users have been calling for violence against police, specifically in regards to the Republican Senators in Oregon who are currently hiding out to avoid a climate change vote. This has led Reddit leadership to finally put their foot down and "quarantine" the community, essentially barring them from appearing to anyone who doesn't directly subscribe to the subreddit.

"...We have observed repeated rule-breaking behavior in your community and an over-reliance on Reddit admins to manage users and remove posts that violate our content policy, including content that encourages or incites violence," said a Reddit admin to the moderators of r/The_Donald. "...This is not only in violation of our site-wide policies, but also your own community rules (rule #9)."

The full content of the quarantine notice can be found here, alongside the r/The_Donald mod's angry conspiracy theory that he's being unfairly targeted.

To clarify, free speech is very important, but r/The_Donald users practice hate speech and frequently call for violence against Trump's political opponents, immigrants, and Jews. Killing people you disagree with is not a valid political ideology, regardless of whether or not it is being promoted on the most popular hub for American Republicans.

Jordan Peterson and the Myth of the Modern Man

Critics frame him as "the stupid man's smart person." For millions of fans, Peterson whitewashes ultra-conservative beliefs with academic-sounding bluster, framing disaffected young men as mythic-grade heroes who have been undermined by modern liberalism and its loose moral structure.

Jordan Peterson

Photo by Tony Norkus (Shutterstock)

Take Sisyphus as an icon of masculine identity: see the stalwart, self-sacrificing, Adonic man on his hill, the hulking burden of his rock, and his never-ending tread.

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