Amazon Darla - GeekWire

As votes were being counted in Alabama to determine whether Amazon workers in the state will be allowed to form a union, the bots were out in full swing.

If you weren't aware, Twitter is currently in a battle with pro-Amazon, anti-union bots. (Because of course it is).

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Culture News

Why Trump Really Deleted the "White Power" Quote Tweet

Deleting the Villages tweet cost him nothing—it had already done its job.

Donald Trump

Photo by Annie Spratt (Unsplash)

Over the weekend, President Trump came under fire after quote-tweeting a video of protesters and Trump supporters clashing in The Villages—a massive retirement community in central Florida.

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11 Musicians Who Predicted the Future

These songs predicted the future.

The future, they say, is dark—not dark as in bad, just dark as in uncertain. But sometimes, people find ways to see in the darkness. Music seems to be one of those ways, and popular music in particular tends to be a harbinger of times to come.

Music's foremost clairvoyants include Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and Kanye West, all of whom predicted the apocalyptic ennui and digitized realities that would define the future (or, our present). But other artists have had uncanny bursts of foresight inside their songs, envisioning distant political events and even predicting their own deaths. Here are some of music's strangest accurate predictions.

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Meghan Markle's Interview with Michelle Obama Is a Disappointment for Women's Media

They're two of the world's most powerful and inspiring individuals, after all.

Meghan Markle Interviews Michelle Obama For British Vogue | TODAY

What can't Meghan Markle do?

She's a new mom, a royal, and fervent defender of freckles—and now, she's the first ever guest-editor of British Vogue.

Image via Daily Express

Markle lent her editorial sensibilities to the magazine's September issue, which isn't too far of a departure from her comfort zone—she used to run a lifestyle blog called The Tig before royal duties called her away from the digital sphere.

Entitled "Forces for Change," the upcoming Vogue issue focuses on strong, game-changing women. It highlights the voices of some of the world's most inspiring, powerful ladies, and includes a number of awe-inspiring features, including an interview between Markle and Michelle Obama herself.

Michelle Obama has done her time with Vogue. Image via E! News

In the interview, Markle asked Obama a variety of questions, ranging from inquiries about what motherhood means to her, what advice she would give her daughters, what inspired her to start her girls' empowerment foundation, what she would tell her 15-year-old self, and more. While Obama's answers are eloquent and full of compassion, the interview is still somewhat disappointing in that it revolves mostly around classically feminine issues—motherhood, Mother's day, daughters, advice, kindness—when it could've gone much deeper.

Markle can be forgiven for focusing on motherhood, as she just gave birth to her first child. Plus, the issue itself is incredibly inspiring, featuring a variety of extraordinary women—many being women of color—on the cover. It's an amazing achievement, one that magazine editors across the globe should be scrambling to replicate.

Still, Markle and Obama's interview could've been so much more. These women are a lot more than wives and mothers: They're some of the world's most powerful and intelligent people.

To her credit, Markle offered a self-aware disclaimer in the introduction. "Had I known Michelle would be so generous in making this a comprehensive interview, my questions would have been lengthier, more probing, more engaging," she wrote.

Admittedly, criticizing women for talking about motherhood does the same kind of disservice to feminism as criticizing women for wearing pink. Obama and Markle had the right to focus on motherhood and women's issues, not on politics or more rigorous or personal ideas. Additionally, the two women clearly have a tremendous amount of mutual admiration for each other, and that fact alone makes the interview worth reading.

For her part, Obama seemed to want to push the conversation beyond the boundaries of gender. "My parents, particularly my father, taught my brother and me at an early age to treat boys and girls exactly the same," she responded when Markle asked if she would give different advice to sons than daughters.

In spite of its limited topical scope, the interview between Obama and Markle is important representation, and the British Vogue issue—from its cover design to its emphasis on diverse voices—is a wonderful achievement by Markle. Hopefully, we'll see more content like this issue from here on out. Soon enough, we'll be reading conversations between other female world leaders, such as Beyoncé and the next female U.S. president, that traverse more substantial territories. Perhaps, in the near future, women's voices won't be relegated to fashion magazines, and we'll see covers like this issue's on newsstands across the country. Markle's issue is a huge step in the right direction, but when can we see her guest-edit Time Magazine or take over the BBC?

On the whole, Markle's issue, which features a variety of incredible people, including Chimamanda Adichie, Greta Thunberg, and Laverne Cox, is a simply extraordinary achievement for humankind.

Now, it's time for women's media to move past gendered, women-only spaces and into positions of even greater power.

The fact that Obama and Markle spoke at all is still a gift and a blessing. Regardless of its content, the conversation reveals two extremely intelligent, sensitive, and inspiring women who have already given so much to the world—and who have only just begun.


The Obamas Announce New Netflix TV Shows Focusing on Disability Rights, Factory Workers, and Frederick Douglass

Their company, "Higher Ground Productions," just announced the names of the first eight series that it will be releasing.

The Obama family has shifted its focus from one of the most powerful venues in the real world—the White House—to one of the most powerful websites on the Internet: Netflix.

In 2018, the former president and first lady struck a multi-year deal with the platform that will allow them to reach 148 million subscribers, which is only a slight downgrade from the 327.2 million Americans that the president used to be responsible for.

This week, the family announced the first eight shows that will be produced for Netflix through their production company, Higher Ground Productions. Though they plan on avoiding any strictly political content related to the 2020 elections, the former president has emphasized that the films and shows that he and his wife choose to greenlight will still have purpose. "Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights and much more, we believe each of these productions won't just entertain but will educate, connect and inspire us all," he wrote in a statement.

Here are the shows that we know about so far:

  • "American Factory": This documentary, which won Best U.S. Documentary at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of a factory opened in Ohio by a Chinese billionaire in 2014. Higher Ground Productions stated that the film tells the story of "early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America." Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, it is slated to be the Obama production company's first release, though the release date is still TBA.
  • "Crip Camp": This documentary tells the story of the beginnings of the disability rights movement, focusing on the experiences of several teens in the 1970s at a camp for kids with disabilities located just down the road from Woodstock, New York. It's told from the perspective of Jim LeBrecht, who attended the camp as a child and directed and produced the film alongside Nicole Newham and Sarah Boulder.
  • "Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents": This half-hour special for toddlers will focus on the origins of different foods from around the world. In traditional Michelle Obama fashion, it will promote healthy eating by taking "young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food."
  • "Bloom": This post-WWII drama tells the story of "barriers faced by women and by people of color in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress." Taking place in New York in the 1950s, it will be produced by Calli Khouri, writer of Thelma and Louise.
  • "Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom": This documentary will be an adaption of the Pulitzer-prize winning biography by David W. Blight, which tells the story of Frederick Douglass's ascension from slavery to literacy to seminal Civil Rights speaker.
  • "Overlooked": This scripted anthology series, based on a New York Times initiative, will focus on the stories of "remarkable" people whose deaths were not originally reported by the newspaper, often due to racial bias.
  • "The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy": This series will adapt a book of the same name by Michael Lewis, which focuses on the transition of power from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. The book is an indictment of the lack of knowledge and carelessness with which the Trump administration has managed the United States. "The morning after Trump was elected president, the people who ran the US Department of Energy - an agency that deals with some of the most powerful risks facing humanity - waited to welcome the incoming administration's transition team. Nobody appeared. Across the US government, the same thing happened: nothing," reads its description. Though the Obamas seem to want to avoid political statements, any adaption of this book certainly seems poised to be a damning indictment of the current administration.

Though each project is different, they all swivel around the same fundamental purpose: creating unity by offering windows into different worldviews and fostering discussion the way only well-told stories can. "We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling," said the former president. "That's why we couldn't be more excited about these projects."

Michelle Obama echoed her husband's sentiments, stating that "Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix's unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership." She added, "We love this slate because it spans so many different interests and experiences, yet it's all woven together with stories that are relevant to our daily lives. We think there's something here for everyone—moms and dads, curious kids, and anyone simply looking for an engaging, uplifting watch at the end of a busy day. We can't wait to see these projects come to life—and the conversations they'll generate."

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

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BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN | A Walk Down Memory Lane

AUGUST 3RD-5TH | What's Coming to Theaters This Weekend

The hot summer days have blurred into August and the hotter films just keep coming.

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…

The Darkest Minds

Teenagers suddenly develop a slew of weird abilities, but the government is not feeling it, so they decide to send them away to detention camps. Sounds totally normal given the state of our union. Ruby, however, manages to escape from this camp and joins a group of other runaways. Together, they are going to try and fight the adults and take back the future that is theirs.

Purchase Tickets for The Darkest Minds

PG-13 | Running Time 1hr 44m | 20th Century Fox | Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Starring:Bradley Whitford, Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg, and more!

The Spy Who Dumped Me

We all have interesting stories about our exes, but not all of them turn out to be spies. That is the case for one of these women, who along with her best friend gets dragged into an international conspiracy that takes them on the run throughout Europe. They might end up dead but hopefully, they are having a good time while doing it.

Purchase Tickets for The Spy Who Dumped Me

R | Running Time 1hr 57m | Lionsgate | Director: Susanna Fogel

Starring:Mila Kunis, Sam Heughan, Kate McKinnon, and more!

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