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Politics of Viola Davis’s Oscar comment about “the only profession that celebrates what it means to live life”



Yesterday, I praised Viola Davis’ Oscar speech for being memorable without being overtly political—for simply talking about her work in a touching and well-written way. Twitter quickly let me know that I missed something. On social media and on conservative news sites, Davis’ speech actually sparked outrage.

Explaining that she believed her mission was to “unearth… the stories of people who dreamed great things but never made those dreams come true, people who fell in love and lost,” Davis said:

I became an artist – and thank God I did – because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live life.

This statement became one of the points of discussion of the right Internet after the Oscars ceremony. “Art is beautiful; art enriches; art can connect us to each other,” writes Ben Shapiro. V daily wire. “But the sheer arrogance of declaring that artists are “the only profession that celebrates what it means to live life” is simply amazing. How about doctors? What about stay-at-home mothers who help shape lives rather than pursue their own career interests? How about undertakers? How about if almost everyone in a free market economy gives themselves to others to improve life?

Variations of this sentiment have ricocheted online, with Davis sometimes being misquoted as saying that only “actors” celebrate what it means to live life, or worse, are the only ones who “know” what it means to live life. .

Do people have the right to be offended? Did they say that artists are better than everyone else? If you read her words literally, in the context of her speech, and give her the slightest benefit of doubt, it’s hard to see the backlash against Davis as anything but a symptom of our overblown culture wars.

Everyone “celebrates what it means to live life” in their own way, but for whom can this be the main function of their profession? Artists, definitely. The clergy, perhaps. Doctors Keep life, not to glorify them, and it does not humiliate them if they talk about it. Stay home parents help others, and Davis might even agree that it is more noble, important and necessary than “glorifying” the meaning of life.

Her point was simply that artists have a unique role to play in telling stories about the human experience and that she is glad to be a part of it.

Of course, she could have edited herself to be less controversial, though perhaps less interesting., statements. If she had simply said, “I became an artist—and thank God I did—because we are celebrating what it means to live life,” the complaints might have been more difficult. The word “one” emphasizes the special feature of the artists, but it is also a whistle for anyone who has a strong resentment of Hollywood elitism and condescension. And there has rarely been a better time to express such outrage than now.

On the right, reflective aversion to the entertainment industry has taken on a new dimension under Donald Trump. during Fox and friends after Oscarthe confusion that la la country Wrongly declared “Best Picture” Steve Doucey called “Hollywood got the election wrong, and last night Hollywood got the Oscar wrong.” Guest Tucker Carlson agreed, but added that Moonlight “should have won” because that’s what the moralizing, politically correct establishment wanted. Yes, the Oscars were both a disaster out of touch with reality and a cunningly rigged game.

Donald Trump interpreted the Academy’s failure in his own way: “I think they were so focused on politics that at the end they couldn’t come together,” he said. beardas if the accountant of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope did so because he cursed too hard at Kimmel, who tweeted the president “are you okay?”

Liberals may moan when Trump attributes a logistical error to his critics. But of course, both sides today see a lot of politics in entertainment: see below. all takes do like Dusi and compare the end of the Oscars to election night.

To many viewers on Sunday, Davis’s speech was remarkable in that she almost went beyond the partisan strife and just spoke passionately about acting. But one word – “only” – was enough to make it a culture war litmus test. Maybe she wanted to argue about the place of art in society, or maybe she just portrayed her profession as she really sees it. In any case, it was a defiant move in an age where artists are increasingly being held to the same standards as candidates for office: they are expected to choose their words not for truth, but for politics.

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NASA refuses to say goodbye to its old Voyager spacecraft



A spaceship cannot live among the stars forever.

But NASA isn’t quite ready to say goodbye to its 1970s Voyager 2, the second-longest spacecraft to explore beyond the solar system’s outermost planets. It slowly dies as it races through interstellar space at over 34,000 miles per hour.

The Voyager engineering team has already disabled heaters and other energy vampires that are not critical to flight. However, the situation has become more dire. With spacecraft power supply depleted, NASA was on the verge of shutting down one of the five onboard science instruments. This would mark the beginning of the end for long-term scientific mission(will open in a new tab).

At the very last moment, the engineers came up with new plan(will open in a new tab) to squeeze more life out of Voyager 2. At a distance of 12 billion miles, they pinpointed a hidden fount of energy in one of its parts that could prevent them from shutting down a key tool for another three years.

“The scientific data that Voyagers return becomes more valuable the farther they get from the Sun, so we are definitely interested in keeping as many scientific instruments as possible for as long as possible,” said Linda Spilker, project scientist Voyager in NASA Jet Propulsion. laboratories in a statement(will open in a new tab).


How NASA’s nuclear rocket engine could unleash the solar system

In this 1976 file photo, a replica of the Voyager spacecraft extends its platform with some scientific instruments attached to it.
Image Credit & Copyright: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Both Voyager 2 and its twin Voyager 1 are almost 45 years old, much older than their satellites. original lifespan(will open in a new tab). They were intended to study Jupiter and Saturn, their satellites and the rings of Saturn. For a two-planet mission, they were only built for five years.

After initial success, engineers doubled mission objectives(will open in a new tab) include two more planets: Uranus and Neptune. Together they explored four planets, 48 ​​moons and many planetary magnetic fields and rings.

The Voyager spacecraft is currently exploring the limits of the Sun’s influence. These are the first probes to travel outside the so-called “heliosphere,” the Sun’s protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields. Gemini is helping scientists answer questions about their role in protecting the Earth from radiation found in the interstellar medium. Scientists define interstellar space(will open in a new tab) as a place outside the constant flow of solar matter affecting its surroundings.

In this diagram, NASA pinpoints the location of the two Voyager spacecraft in interstellar space.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech illustration.

Engineers have found an additional supply of energy in a part designed to protect scientific instruments from changes in their voltage. Electrical fluctuations can potentially damage appliances, so the regulator runs a backup circuit to access the reserved power of its generators. Voyager 2’s instruments will now use the energy instead of putting it aside.

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Both Voyager probes are powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators that convert heat from decaying plutonium(will open in a new tab) into electricity. This process produces less energy every year.

As for Voyager 1, it already uses one less scientific instrument than its brother because one of its instruments failed early in the mission. This means NASA won’t have to decide whether to turn off another one until next year. If this new power strategy works for Voyager 2, the team will consider doing the same for Voyager 1.

Although Voyager 2 now flies without a safety net, engineers are confident that its electricity is relatively stable, which poses little risk to onboard instruments.

“The alternative offers a big reward for keeping the science instruments on longer,” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager. in a statement(will open in a new tab). “We’ve been watching the spacecraft for several weeks now and this new approach seems to be working.”

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1 killed in Oklahoma college shooting, suspect arrested



Police say one person has died and a suspect is in custody following a shooting at a junior college in Oklahoma.

MIDDLEWEST TOWN, Oklahoma. — On Monday, police said one person has died and a suspect is in custody following a shooting at a junior college in Oklahoma.

Midwest City Police Chief Sid Porter said the shooting on the Rose State College campus appeared to be “related to household chores.”

The school issued an alert telling students and staff to take cover on the spot before police announced that the suspect was in custody.

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Spain exhumes fascist leader Primo de Rivera, confronting far-right past



The remains of the fascist leader whose movement supported General Franco’s dictatorship were dug up and reburied on Monday, rekindling debate in Spain over its troubled past and angering far-right activists.

The Spanish government ordered the exhumation of the body of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange fascist movement, from his resting place in a huge mausoleum on a mountainside 40 miles from the capital Madrid. He was then reburied in the city cemetery as part of a private family ceremony.

The move, taken by a small group of sympathizers who chanted and gave fascist salutes, is part of an effort to prevent the glorification of the country’s totalitarian past that occurs when the far right seeks political breakthroughs across Europe.

This follows the exhumation of General Franco’s remains at the same location, formerly known as the Valley of the Fallen, in 2019, after he was originally buried there after his death in 1975. The site was built in part using forced labor as a commemoration of the fascist victory in the civil war, and for many, the site represents the horrors of the war and Franco’s subsequent dictatorship.

Mausoleum in Madrid, Spain, known as the Valley of the Fallen. Manu Fernandez / AP file

As with Franco’s re-internment, Monday’s move sparks hatred for Spain’s current far-right movement, which sees Primo de Rivera and Franco as nationalist heroes. Santiago Abascal, leader of the populist Vox party, accused the Spanish government of displacing a patriot who “gave his life for Spain”.

Party vice president Jorge Bujade tweeted: “If they don’t respect the dead, does anyone think they respect the living, the workers, the farmers, those who have a calling to serve Spain?”

Vox called for “win backSpain and offered to build a wall around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Africa.

Vox became the country’s third largest political party after the 2019 national elections, with 3.6 million votes and 52 deputies in the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house of parliament. Opinion polls show that the party remains the third most popular party, with about 15% of national support.

Under a new democratic memory law passed last year, the site officially reverted to its original name, Cuelgamuros Valley. The Spanish socialist government plans to turn the site into a tribute to the 500,000 people who died during the civil war that lasted from 1936 to 1939.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said when the law was passed in October that he would “pay the Spanish democracy’s debt to its past.”

The mausoleum, with its 500-foot spire and cross, was built in part by the labor of Republican prisoners on Franco’s orders.

Presidential minister Felix Bolanos told reporters in Barcelona on Friday: “No person or ideology that is reminiscent of a dictatorship should be honored or extolled there.”

“This is another step in changing the meaning of the valley.”

This will be the fifth time that the body of José Antonia de Rivera has been exhumed since he was shot by left-wing Republican executions in 1936, such is the intensity of the feeling for his final resting place.

Initially, his body was buried in two different mass graves in the city of Alicante on the southeast coast. Two years later, he was transported 311 miles to San Lorenzo de El Escorial near Madrid, where the Spanish royal family is traditionally buried. His body was moved to the Valley of the Fallen in 1959.

Primo de Rivera’s family said in a statement to local media that they will now move the remains to a cemetery in Madrid and have them reburied in a private ceremony.

He was the son of Miguel Primo de Rivera, who ruled Spain as dictator from 1923 to 1930.

Nazi Germany sent a delegation of Hitler Youth activists lay a wreath at his grave in 1943.

Long-standing plans are being made to allow people to access the crypts in the Mausoleum of Cuelgamuros, which are believed to contain the unidentified remains of 34,000 people, including many victims of the Franco regime.

Families fought for years for the right to identify the bodies of loved ones who died during the war and were presumably buried in the crypt.

Spain is one of many European countries that have faced their 20th-century history, including many countries gripped by historical debates about the extent of Nazi collaboration during the Holocaust.

Julius Ruiz, an expert on Spanish history at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, said Primo de Rivera’s legacy has been used by supporters and detractors alike to support contemporary political goals as regional elections are just around the corner in Spain.

“He didn’t play any role at all in the Civil War, he was in a Republican prison, and in fact, during the months he was alive, he advocated reconciliation, he talked about how people should unite, how the war was a tragedy” Ruiz told NBC. News.

“But, of course, the problem here is that whatever the actions of the man himself, he was used by Franco – and José Antonio did not particularly like him – as a symbol for the legitimization of his regime on the basis of a single party that was created. in 1937.”

Ruiz added that, with a few more figures from the Francoist regime yet to be dug up, this may not be the last moot point in Spain’s shaping of its “democratic memory.”

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