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Thu, 24 Sep 2020
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#CancelNetflix trends after 'Cuties' release, as media critics dismiss outrage at child sexualization as 'right-wing campaign' UPDATE: Netflix doubles down

cuties still image
© Netflix
Still from 'Cuties' Dir. Maïmouna Doucouré (2020).
The debut of 'Cuties' on Netflix has sparked renewed accusations that the streaming giant is sexualizing kids — but the New Yorker seems unbothered, sparking backlash after calling the anger over the movie a "right-wing campaign."

'Cuties,' which debuted on Netflix on Wednesday, previously inspired controversy over a poster featuring pre-pubescent girls posing provocatively. The synopsis accompanying the photo didn't help either, describing an 11-year-old who begins to "explore her femininity" as she tries to join a "twerking dance crew."

Netflix apologized for the "inappropriate artwork" used to promote the French film, but now footage from the movie itself has critics branding it "soft core child pornography" and deeming those behind it criminals.

Comment: The director is either lying or completely deluded. How can she not realize sexual depictions of pre-pubescent girls is not a means of decrying the objectification of women and, more importantly, children? This isn't the first time Netflix has courted controversy as a result of sexualizing children. The company likes to skate the line of what's acceptable (or help to push the Overton window) for the sake of lining their pockets. But in this case, they're so far beyond the line it's hard to believe they're even aware of it.

Netflix breaks silence on 'Cuties' after massive backlash over sexualization of children, defends movie as 'powerful story'
11 Sep, 2020 04:59

Netflix has addressed a wave of condemnation directed at its new release 'Cuties,' defending the film as a "powerful" social commentary while hitting back at irate critics who say the movie sexualizes young girls.

Released on the platform internationally earlier this week, the movie immediately stoked controversy, sending #CancelNetflix into the trends on Twitter as thousands denounced the film for wildly inappropriate depictions of children. After days of silence, Netflix attempted to speak to the criticism on Thursday, urging detractors to give the film a chance.

"Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children," the company said in a statement to Fox News. "It's an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up - and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie."

Though the film has been panned in the harshest terms by critics, it also found a number of defenders among movie connoisseurs in the media, such as the New Yorker's Richard Brody, who deemed the work "extraordinary" and chalked up the negative reaction to a "right-wing campaign."

Other supporters online argued that those up in arms over the movie were missing the point, saying the film explicitly attacks the sexualization of children, though many remained unconvinced.

...Some critics went well beyond the #CancelNetflix proposal, calling on Congress, the FBI and state attorneys general to investigate the platform and the film's creators for potential "violations of child exploitation and child pornography laws."

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University of Waterloo chemistry professor blames 'COVID fake emergency' for cancelling exams

university of waterloo
© Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News
The University of Waterloo had 36,333 full-time students last year.
A chemistry professor at the University of Waterloo has come under fire after he sent a syllabus to students which called the COVID-19 pandemic a "fake emergency."

In the syllabus for a Chemistry 430 class, which was posted to reddit by a student on Tuesday, Michael Palmer writes, "because of the COVID fake emergency, in class exams cannot be made mandatory, I have therefore decided to cancel them entirely."

The post was deleted from the uwaterloo reddit page later in the day.

Comment: At least the University hasn't disowned and cancelled him, as of yet. One wonders, though, if his days are numbered. You can't have University students getting even a brief glimpse of the truth. It interferes with the indoctrination programming.

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Under cover of Covid, the Government has launched an all-out assault on British civil liberties

covid police uk
Social gatherings of more than six people will be banned from Monday. Government pronouncements like this raise little more than an eyebrow these days, but they should raise a ruckus.

The need to limit social contacts is arguable - positive test numbers have risen and winter is coming. But if it is a winning argument, why isn't the case being made democratically? Why isn't Parliament voting on this major incursion into our lives? Why is there such an absence of democratic debate?

Britain seems a little too comfortable being ruled by diktat. It remains the case that a lockdown has never been in place in England with full and explicit parliamentary approval. The greatest loss of liberty in British history has been imposed largely by ministerial pen. In fact, there have been more than 350 minister-made laws relating to coronavirus across the UK. "Urgency" is often cited, but rarely evidenced, with policies announced days or weeks in advance of their "urgent" imposition. I fear parliamentary democracy is an overlooked casualty of this crisis.

The public is enduring a shock-and-awe campaign of contradictory ministerial commands endowed with the weight of legal sanctions. We have been told to go back to the office, eat out to help out and send our children to school - but now, this arbitrary limit on gatherings of more than six people looms over our social and private lives.

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

Contrived spectacles of "protecting and caring for the people"

President Bush

President Bush giving a speech to first responders in the aftermath of 9/11.
The 1970s marked an important turning point in the history of Western democracies. Having led their populations to the obscene carnage of World War II in reaction to Nazi aggression, the elites of North America and their non-communist European subjects understood — above all, for pragmatic reasons linked to the need to rebuild markets and industries — that it was in their interest to provide ordinary citizens of their societies with social and democratic rights and privileges seldom, if ever, seen in the history of humankind.

The effort was, for the most part, an enormous success. And therein lay precisely the problem: the masses who had grown up during the three decades following the war did not understand that the economic and governmental elites had no intention of allowing the regimes of supervised democracy of those years to evolve, over time, into true receptacles of the popular will.

The masses' inability to comprehend the implicit limits on their political agency was not a new problem. What was new were the restrictions on elite manoeuvrability imposed by the reality of the Cold War in this historical moment.

How could the elites resort to overwhelming violence, as they had traditionally done, to crush youthful rebellions in areas under their control when heavy-handedness of this type was precisely what they were criticizing day after day in their anti-communist propaganda?

Comment: See also:


From terrorists to viruses: Dystopian progress

world trade center covid
For anyone old enough to have been alive and aware of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and of so-called COVID-19 in 2020, memory may serve to remind one of an eerie parallel between the two operations.

However, if memory has been expunged by the work of one's forgettery or deleted by the corporate media's flushing it down the memory hole, or if knowledge is lacking, or maybe fear or cognitive dissonance is blocking awareness, I would like to point out some similarities that might perk one up to consider some parallels and connections between these two operations.

The fundamental tie that binds them is that both events aroused the human fear of death. Underlying all fears is the fear of death. A fear that has both biological and cultural roots. On the biological level, we all react to death threats in a fight or flight manner.

Culturally, there are multiple ways that fear can be allayed or exacerbated, purposely or not. Usually, culture serves to ease the fear of death, which can traumatize people, through its symbols and myths.

Bizarro Earth

Lockdown rules turning Brits against each other

mask fine UK
© Toby Melville/Reuters
A worker wearing a protective face mask cleans a health sign at Waterloo station in London.
Mask-wearing and lockdown rules are now causing deeper social fractures than Brexit, according to a UK-wide study which suggests that the solidarity of the early weeks of the pandemic has given way to distrust.

Polling of 10,000 people found that half of mask-wearers in Britain (58%) have severely negative attitudes towards those who do not wear a mask, and the majority (68%) of people who did not break lockdown rules have strong negative views about lockdown rule-breakers.

Significant minorities of people who stuck to rules said they "hate" or "resent" people who do not. Twelve per cent of mask-wearers said they hated those who did not wear face coverings, and 14% of lockdown adherents hate rule breakers, the survey found.

Comment: The government has relentlessly depicted those questioning the lockdown as a threat to life, and so much of the responsibility for sowing division lies with them. However, the tide is turning, because as people are faced with losing their livelihoods and their freedoms, many more are beginning to question the official, nonsensical, albeit deadly, narrative:

Eye 1

Canada's CBC owes the people of Palestine an apology

CBC the Current radio show logo
© CBC/Facebook
Logo for the CBC show 'The Current'
2000+ people have written to the CBC to condemn its deletion of the word Palestine and its subsequent apology for uttering the word Palestine.

Despite this public outcry, the Canadian publicly funded broadcaster continues to protest that the word Palestine falls outside its language standards.

The deletion and apology

On August 18, in an interview on the CBC's The Current, the guest anchor, Duncan McCue introduced his guest, Joe Sacco, referencing Sacco's work in Bosnia, Iraq and Palestine. Joe Sacco, is a graphic novelist, and the creator of a work called Palestine, and was being interviewed regarding colonization and resource extraction.


Stock Down

Newsflash: Flu is killing more people than Covid - has been for months

A report from the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that since at least June 19th, more people in the UK have been dying of influenza than Covid19.

This, of course, is despite the fact that "Covid19 deaths" are incredibly vaguely defined.

Under UK law a person only has to test positive for the Sars-Cov-2 virus at any point in the 28 days prior to their death for "Covid19" to be on their death certificate, a policy which totally ignores the fact the majority of Sars-Cov-2 infections are completely symptomless (and has already resulted in huge over-counts).

Meanwhile boring old influenza is lumbered with having to actually contribute to the death before being added to the death certificate. And nevertheless, for three straight months, the UK has recorded more flu deaths than Covid deaths.

See this graph:
covid flu
"Ah", some of your may be saying, "this is just evidence that the lockdown, social distancing and masks have worked."

But that is obviously not the case. Clearly, if these measures did anything to halt viral transmission, the flu deaths would have gone down as well. They have not. They are right in line with the five-year average.

Despite social distancing and wearing masks and hand sanitizer on every corner...the spread of the flu virus has not halted one bit in its usual annual progress through society.

Ergo - the "emergency measures" have little to no impact on viral transmission.


Worst mayor: After 105 days of riots, Portland's Wheeler orders police to stop using tear gas

wheeler portland riot

Police in Portland have been trying to control and suppress rioting for over 100 days. Now Mayor Ted Wheeler has told police to stop using tear gas.
Police in Portland have been trying to control and suppress rioting for over 100 days. Now Mayor Ted Wheeler has told police to stop using tear gas.

Wheeler instructed his officers to give up this method of keeping peace even after rioters tried to set his apartment building on fire, forcing him to move house in order to protect the other residents and families in the building.

Wheeler said "It's time for everyone to reduce the violence in our community. We all want change. We all have the opportunity and the obligation to create change. We all want to focus on the fundamental issue at hand. Justice for black people and all people and colour.

"That's why as police commissioner, effective immediately, and until further notice I'm directing the Portland Police Bureau to end the use of CS gas for crowd control."

Instead, he asks that a more less-lethal method of crowd control be implemented to prevent the rioters from committing arson, murder, and violent acts. This despite the fact that riots have plagued Portland for over 100 days.

The Portland Police Bureau had only been permitted to use the gas in life saving emergencies.

Wheeler told rioters that "if they're launching the tear gas against you, they're launching the tear gas against me."

Comment: Oregon voters are fed up and feel police aren't using enough force.
According to the survey, 66% of participants said they didn't approve of the Portland protests and most believed they've been harmful to Black Portlanders, race relations and police reform efforts. Just 28% believe they are helpful to Black Portlanders and slightly less deemed them beneficial on the other fronts.

More than half of the surveyed voters said they believed the protests were mostly violent, 42% felt Portland police weren't using enough force "when dealing with protesters" and the majority felt the word "riot" rather than "protest" best encapsulated how they would describe the demonstrations.

The poll found that about 60% of Oregon voters disapprove of how Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has responded to protests. But it found similar numbers disapprove of the response to protests by President Donald Trump and by Gov. Kate Brown - who have taken diametrically opposed stands on the role of federal officers, the merits of dialing back police's role in public safety and the role of Trump supporters and white supremacists in spurring violence.

But Wheeler at 30% received the lowest approval percentage of the three and Trump, at 39%, the highest.

Red Pill

Sweden's success: Low positive test rate 'vindicates coronavirus strategy'

Sweden registered its lowest rate of positive coronavirus tests yet even as its testing regime has been expanded to record levels, in what some experts regard as a vindication of its comparatively unintrusive Covid-19 strategy.

Over the past week the country carried out more than 120,000 tests, of which only 1.3 per cent identified the disease. At the height of the pandemic the proportion was 19 per cent.

Johan Carlson, an epidemiologist and the director of the Swedish public health agency, said that Swedes seemed to be benefiting from widespread immunity because of the decision not to impose a full lockdown during the first wave.

Comment: Summit News reports:
"Sweden has gone from being the country with the most infections in Europe to the safest one," Sweden's senior epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell commented to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

"What we see now is that the sustainable policy might be slower in getting results, but it will get results eventually," Tegnell clarified.

"And then we also hope that the result will be more stable," he added.


Last week, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control confirmed Sweden's drop in infection rate, with only 12 cases per million, compared to 18 in neighbouring Denmark and 14 in nearby Norway.

At the peak of the Sweden's outbreak, it was seeing 108 new infections per million people, as it pursued a "herd immunity" strategy.

The figures also show that out of 2500 randomly selected and tested people in Sweden, none tested positive, compared to 0.9 percent positive in April, and 0.3 percent in May.

"We interpret this as meaning there is not currently a widespread infection among people who do not have symptoms," said Karin Tegmark, deputy head of the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
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