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Links: October 2016

Barbara Crampton on Stuart Gordon, Chopping Mall, and the new wave of indie horror

For fans of 1980s B-horror, here’s a good AV Club interview with the delightful Barbara Crampton.

Anti-Christ in a custom van: The churchy cheap thrills of A Thief In The Night

It may seem impossible to not think of the end of the world in poetic terms, but never underestimate the premillennialists.

Why Punching Down Will Never Be Funny

Watters and Southern, and their respective networks, are too dedicated to maintaining the status quo to be remotely entertaining.

What both of these segments prove is that there’s nothing funny to be wrung from punching below your weight. Trans people, people of color, immigrants, ESL immigrants — whoever might be considered a minority — are the worst targets, because comedy inherently requires a shift of power. People who are targets merely for existing are already operating at an inherent loss; the real gold is in taking a shot at someone who thinks they’re invincible. At comedy’s core is risk, and there’s no risk in making fun of the already-mocked.

Member of ‘Central Park 5’ blasts Trump

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Trump still refuses to recognize the exoneration of the Central Park Five.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Swans?

On rape allegations and separating the art from the artist.

What responsibility do people have in choosing whether to listen to music made by somebody who has been accused of rape, but whose culpability can never be formalized?

The Forger

A gorgeous New York Times documentary on forger Adolfo Kaminsky, who saved hundreds of lives in WWII and other conflicts.

Terror Lynching in America

More truthful discourse and reflection on our history of racial injustice is essential for us to achieve racial equity.

The Way Ahead

Further progress requires recognising that America’s economy is an enormously complicated mechanism. As appealing as some more radical reforms can sound in the abstract—breaking up all the biggest banks or erecting prohibitively steep tariffs on imports—the economy is not an abstraction. It cannot simply be redesigned wholesale and put back together again without real consequences for real people.

The League of Extraordinarily Large Robots

This is about bringing the sci-fi robots of our childhood to life.

How Machines Learn to Be Racist

How the “garbage in, garbage out” principle applies to artificial intelligence.

Inside Donald Trump’s Total Meltdown

A generation of rising stars, such as Ryan and Rubio, may find their futures tainted by Trump–from their failure to enlist in his army, or perhaps from their failure to take up arms against him. Or both.

Bad Hombres, Nasty Women (ft. “Weird Al” Yankovic)

What a time to be alive.

Here’s What I Learned About Julian Assange While Working Alongside Him

There are few limits to how far Assange will go to try to control those around him. Those working at WikiLeaks – a radical transparency organisation based on the idea that all power must be accountable – were asked to sign a sweeping nondisclosure agreement covering all conversations, conduct, and material, with Assange having sole power over disclosure. The penalty for noncompliance was £12 million.

a man whose mission was often left on a backburner in his efforts to demonise his opponents.

The Case Against Black Mirror

It’s a show rooted in a specific, intensely cynical perspective, it tends to use surprise like a cudgel, and it seems to delight in combining those two things. “Aha!” Black Mirror is constantly saying. “I got you! Humanity is actually much worse than you thought!” And really, either you enjoy that experience, or you don’t.

the show’s primary crutch is too often that it uses thought-provoking and fascinating foundations in order to reach the simplest, most alarmist possible conclusion about a variety of technological innovations.

The things Black Mirror uncovers about the nature of people and technology are pessimistic visions of humankind, and they’re also remarkably absent of nuance.

Social media is bad! I got it! It is bad! But it’s also here, in our politics and our commerce and our daily lives, doing horrible things and decent things and neutral things all at once.

Donald Trump Modeled His Life on Cinematic Loser Charles Foster Kane

Trump either fails to see the moral emptiness at Kane’s core, or else he does, and it doesn’t strike him as exceptional.

Specifically, Citizen Kane was a vision of what fascism might resemble in America. Both men knew better than to expect Hitler or Mussolini on our shores. They knew that our demagogue would be glossier, more entertaining—more American; and the man they conjured, inspired by real-life plutocrats like William Randolph Hearst, happened to look an awful lot like Donald Trump.

Dr. Orange: The Secret Nemesis of Sick Vets

The government’s go-to expert on Agent Orange for the last several decades has a habit of downplaying its effects.

Inside the Trump Bunker, With Days to Go

Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.

Since Trump paid to build this audience with his own campaign funds, he alone will own it after Nov. 8 and can deploy it to whatever purpose he chooses. He can sell access to other campaigns or use it as the basis for a 2020 presidential run. It could become the audience for a Trump TV network. As Bannon puts it: “Trump is an entrepreneur.”

If the election results cause the party to fracture, Trump will be better positioned than the RNC to reach this mass of voters because he’ll own the list himself—and Priebus, after all he’s endured, will become just the latest to invest with Trump and wind up poorer for the experience.

Whores: Gold

If you like loud, irate, distorted guitar music, here is a thunderous new thing for your earholes.

Hybrid Moments [Instrumental]

I couldn’t get the vocals right on The Misfits’ “Hybrid Moments,” so this cover is an instrumental. Happy Halloween!