Culture Feature

On Transgender Day of Remembrance: 5 Iconic Trans Men From History

While we memorialize victims of transphobia, we should take the time to remember the historic contributions of trans men.

Philanthropist Reed Erickson

November 20th is known as Transgender Day of Remembrance.

First marked in 1999, it's now part of Transgender Awareness Week, and an occasion to memorialize victims of transphobic violence who have died in the course of the year. Trans women of color in particular have long been disproportionately targeted by violent transphobes.

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Culture Feature

Lizzo, Natalie Portman, and More Celebrities Who Support Defunding the Police

"Imagine, what a world could be like in which we invested in nourishing people; (in their education, healthcare, environment, shelter)— rather than putting all of our money into punishment."

"Defund the police" has become a rallying cry and a North Star of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The origins of the police's recently brutality lies in Southern slave patrols and the criminalization of the poor. Police enforced Jim Crow laws and today they enforce the racist criminal justice system, and promote violence and fear, and they often don't actually make neighborhoods safer.

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CULTURE

Gisele Bündchen, Pharrell Williams, and 10 Other Celebrities Fighting Climate Change

Billie Eilish, Jane Fonda, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more are all speaking out against the existential challenge of our time.

There's a lot of hypocrisy to many celebrities' purported support of climate change.

Much of their activism is just big talk, and many fail to use their wealth and power where it actually could make a difference, instead just showing their faces and airing their support for the climate movement when it's convenient, failing to spark legitimate large-scale change.

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FILM

Why Kristen Stewart Is Reviving an Actress Who Supported the Black Panthers

In Seberg, Kristen Stewart portrays film legend Jean Seberg, whose support of the BPP led to a horrific FBI harassment

Yahoo

Actress Jean Seberg began her acting career at the age of 18 with a starring role as Joan of Arc in 1957's Saint Joan.

Director Otto Preminger selected her from over 18,000 entrants in a talent search for the role of the teenage martyr—burned at the stake for fighting for her beliefs. Seberg would later earn a reputation in French New Wave cinema as possibly "the best actress in Europe," but by the 1970s Seberg's career would end in much the way it began: martyrdom. Kristen Stewart's new film, Seberg, seeks to tell that story.

Seberg was 40 years old when she disappeared from her home in Paris in August of 1979. It took Parisian authorities more than a week to discover her body decomposing in the backseat of her parked car with a note that read, "Forgive me. I can no longer live with my nerves." Her death was deemed a probable suicide—the proximate cause being a potent mix of barbiturates and alcohol—but many have traced her downfall to events that preceded her disappearance by more than a decade. Events that involved FBI surveillance and a chance meeting with a member of the Black Panther Party.

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It was on a flight to Los Angeles in October of 1968 that Jean Seberg first met Hakim Jamal—a prominent member of the Black Power Movement. They were both married, but Seberg was drawn to progressive causes and figures of revolutionary struggle more so than she was constrained by monogamy. She and Jamal began a short-lived love affair that reportedly ended when Jamal's wife placed a phone call to Seberg's father in Iowa. But Seberg's connection to the Black Panthers was already established.

She would go on to provide the movement with thousands of dollars in funding and was even arrested on misdemeanor charges thought to be connected to "running guns" for the BPP—not long after then-California Governor Ronald Reagan passed gun-control legislation that targeted the Panthers' open-carry protests (a style of protest that is now popular among gun rights advocates who hold Reagan in the highest regard). This is how Jean Seberg ended up on the wrong side of the FBI's COINTELPRO operations.

Jean Seberg

If you're wondering why anyone would make a movie celebrating a woman who supported a violent terrorist organization, you too have been made the victim of the FBI's smear campaign—though not as acutely as Jean Seberg and the Black Panthers. Along with blackmailing Martin Luther King Jr. and encouraging him to kill himself, the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover sought to quash dissent within the American populace by infiltrating "subversive" organizations to promote infighting and discredit their causes. While those subversive groups included the likes of the KKK, they were not limited to that ilk. Hoover's megalomania would direct the FBI COINTELPRO (short for Counter Intelligence Program) against movements supporting feminist, racial justice, environmental, and anti-war causes.

Whatever became of the Black Panther Party's various chapters—as COINTELPRO encouraged internal schisms and violence—it's important to consider how the organization started. Black communities around the country were being neglected and harassed by the institutions that nominally served them. Poverty was destroying families, and the police often did more harm than good in ways that our country continues to reckon with. The Black Panthers set out to serve their communities with both charitable programs and vigilante groups that were intended to provide the benevolent protection that municipal police forces did not. Jean Seberg's first donation to the organization was in support of the Black Panther's free breakfast program.

Not long after the FBI worked with Chicago PD to drug and assassinate prominent BPP member Fred Hampton in his own home, they decided to take down Seberg with a smear campaign intended to "cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her image with the public." It was around this time that Seberg stopped being offered serious roles in Hollywood, likely as a result of being secretly blacklisted—along with Jane Fonda and others who supported the BPP. But the truly hateful attack came in 1970 in the form of a story that the FBI managed to get published in Newsweek, claiming that Seberg—who was pregnant at the time—was carrying the child of a Black Panther. This libelous story and negative attention that came with it purportedly caused Seberg so much distress that it triggered premature labor. She gave birth to a tiny daughter who died two days later.

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Seberg spent the rest of her life in and out of depressive episodes and under continual surveillance by US intelligence services as she traveled Europe. She was the target of wiretapping, stalking, and burglaries, all at the behest of the US intelligence apparatus. Is it any wonder she had issues with her "nerves?"

Seberg attempted suicide on numerous occasions before her death, though there are circumstances that make her death suspicious. Kristen Stewart's efforts to capture her spirit in Seberg—including shot-for-shot recreations of Seberg's iconic performance in Breathless (1960)—have received praise, while some have criticized the film's treatment of historical events as "superficial." Regardless of the film's success in telling this story, it's important for all of us to maintain a cultural memory of martyrs like Jean Seberg.

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We must never forget the lengths that entrenched power will go to in undermining any threat to their position. They will use petty differences and disinformation to turn us against one another. Only in solidarity can we achieve revolutionary change. Seberg, starring Kristen Stewart and directed by Benedict Andrews, is out now in select theaters.

Netflix comedy-bingers are being forced to diversify their comedy diets.

Despite the streaming platform's multi-million dollar deal to keep Friends, Netflix couldn't pull the same strings for the NBC classic The Office. Many fans took to Twitter to vent their dismay, while others praised the Lord, because maybe now people will stop basing their entire personalities on the show.

It's true; there are worthwhile shows other than The Office to fill the void of your empty, meaningless soul. Branch out and explore comedies old and the new! Find new friends through a fictional program! And finally, learn to let go when your imaginary friends outgrow you.

Mike Schur's Staples:

If you're truly an Office fan, then you will have checked out Mike Schur's other ingenious comedy projects. If not, then you're a fraud.

Parks and Recreation

This show is the obvious and safest choice to fill the The Office void in your life. With Parks and Rec, you won't miss the spectacular mockumentary format and the odd but lovable relationships that blossom in the workplace environment. Even better, the show is also set in the Middle of Nowhere, U.S.A. just like The Office!

Parks and Recreation: Chris Pratt Explains The Series In 30 Seconds | Entertainment Weekly www.youtube.com

Runtime: 125 episodes of approximately 22 minutes.

The Good Place

Mike Schur debuted without his writing partner, Greg Daniels, as the only showrunner for The Good Place. The original sitcom king, Ted Danson, flourishes as the "architect" of the version of heaven Ellen Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is accidentally placed in. Just when the show gets good, it gets better in ways one would never expect. Enjoy!

The Good Place Season 1 Trailer [HD] Kristen Bell, Tiya Sircar, D'Arcy Carden www.youtube.com

Runtime: 39 episodes of approximately 22 minutes. More episodes are coming.

An Oldie, But A Goodie:

Cheers!

Kids these days don't know about the Holy Grail of TV comedy. Ted Danson played the cultural phenomenon Sam Malone, a Red Sox relief pitcher who owned the bar, Cheers! This show practically founded the "will they, won't they" narrative with Sam's iconic on-and-off relationship with Diane (played by Shelley Long), a graduate psychology student turned barmaid. Cheers! became one of the first American sitcoms to explore love and loss while redefining the notion of family— it's simple and epic.

Cheers intro song www.youtube.com

Runtime: 275 episodes of 30 minutes.

Netflix Originals

You'll never have to worry about Netflix originals disappearing off the platform. Choose one of their many original comedies to enjoy, and then petition after Netflix cancels it.

Grace and Frankie

Imagine, your husband of over 40 years takes you out to dinner with his longtime law partner and his partner's wife. You and the wife are hopeful and confident your husbands are going to announce their retirement. Instead, they tell their wives they are leaving them, for each other.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin shine as Grace and Frankie, the two wives in their '70s who have no one in their lives who understand their situation except each other. It's an absurd and hilarious effort to showcase the trials of aging women in the modern era, changing family dynamics, and sisterhood.

Grace and Frankie | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com

Runtime: 65 episodes of a variation of 25-35 minutes. More episodes to come.

Big Mouth

You know that American Doll puberty book you read when you were 12? No? Does that only apply to women? Well, try to imagine a puberty book that came to life as an animated show starring John Mulaney and Nick Kroll. Are you intrigued? Are you already invested? I thought so. Also, Maya Rudolph voices the Hormone Monstress—I probably should've started with that.

Big Mouth | official trailer (2017) www.youtube.com

Runtime: 21 episodes of a variation of 25-46 minutes. More episodes to come.

American Vandal

American Vandal took mockumentaries to a whole new level by deep diving into the world of high school investigative journalism. The show kicks off with the trial of Dylan Maxwell, a troubled high school senior, who is accused of vandalizing 27 vehicles with phallic images (dicks). The true crime satire showcases what it's really like to be a teen today, using social media to propel the story forward in a ridiculous fashion. Netflix may have cancelled the show after its second season, but American Vandal has already earned its cult status.

American Vandal | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com

Runtime: 16 episodes of a variation of 25-42 minutes.

FILM & TV

BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN | Romance and crime fighting pair well

MAY 17TH-19TH | What's coming to theaters this weekend?

Variety,com

A bad super hero, a bad book club, but a good love story? Might be all you need this weekend at the movies.

In Popdust's column, Box Office Breakdown, we aim to inform you of the top flicks to check out every weekend depending on what you're in the mood to enjoy. Looking to laugh? What about having your pants scared off? Maybe you just need a little love? Whatever the case may be, we have you covered. Take a peek at our top picks for this week…

Deadpool 2

It's back and just as wild as the first time around, though you'd never get that from the description online. The world's worst super hero is back and this time in order to take on the troubles of the world, he needs a little help from his friends. He works to assemble a team that will be able to help him fight off trouble in the city (and of course still look young and hot in due time as the franchise continues). Get ready for as much action as there are laughs in this sequel.

Purchase Tickets for Deadpool 2

NR | Running Time 2hr | Marvel Entertainment | Director: David Leitch

Starring: Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, and more!

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