True Colours


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#metoo from India. Painter & sculptor Jatin Das.

More public testimonies followed. Garusha Katoch, who was 20 years old when she started her internship at the Jatin Das Centre of Art in 2013, posted a detailed account of how Das had hugged and attempted to kiss her on her third day at work. “I can’t describe what I felt like, I really have no words for it even now,” Katoch told me. “The thing that bothers me with the Jatin Das story is that none of this is a secret, it is not even like there was a whisper network attached to him, it was freaking normal talk. Everybody knew,” Shree Paradkar, an Indo-Canadian journalist who had interviewed Das in the mid-1990s, told me when we spoke over the phone. Her account was first published on the digital news website The Wire.

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Nikita Saxena — The Caravan

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Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek that ever lived


From The Otameal.

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The Oatmeal

India is witnessing social collapse


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In the times we are in, we have to redefine “emergency.” It is not about freedom of expression. It is about institutions collapsing and political power capturing everything. I actually had an opportunity to observe the state’s media monitoring intimately from a young age, because my father worked in the Indian Information Service (a cadre of government officers). In fact, during the Emergency, Gandhi gave him the task of keeping an eye on how much space the media gave to opposition figures, in particular JP (Jayaprakash Narayan, a popular opposition leader). And there was pressure (on the media) in subsequent administrations, too. In the concluding years of the Manmohan Singh government (2012 to 2014), his ministers would hand out advisories. Now there is pressure, plus threats to channel management, and action on those threats. When the government stoops to such levels, what do you do?

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Chitrangada Choudhury — CJR

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Stan Lee Breaks His Silence: Those I Trusted Betrayed Me


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Lee’s legacy has long been solidified. In his time as the president and chairman of Marvel Comics in the early to mid-1960s, he co-created superheroes including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Iron Man, the X-Men and the Avengers, characters which now dominate pop culture and headline multi-billion-dollar film franchises. The Marvel Cinematic Universe alone has grossed nearly $18 billion globally while turning Lee’s creations—and Lee himself—into household names. The comics’ legend, who pocketed $10 million in Marvel’s $4 billion sale to Disney in 2010 and cameos in almost every Marvel blockbuster, is estimated to be worth between $50 million and $70 million. He is an icon, as revered among comic-book geeks as the fictional crusaders he helped invent. He was also a regular, reliably charismatic fixture of the convention circuit until the aforementioned bout of pneumonia that sidelined him earlier this year.

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Mark Ebner — The Daily Beast

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How Oscar Wilde’s life imitates his art


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Wilde made his own life into a tragic, exquisite, grotesquely gorgeous work of art. That was his legacy to the 21st century. Nowadays Wilde’s queerness is being embraced with open arms. In 2017, he was among 50,000 gay men posthumously pardoned by the Ministry of Justice for sexual acts that are no longer illegal. Everywhere you turn these days, there seems to be another shrine to Oscar going up somewhere, whether it’s the Oscar Wilde Barand Oscar Wilde Temple in New York, or the Irish hotels set to open in London and Edinburgh. Wilde’s works, once considered to have a corrupting influence, are now taught in schools around the globe. He has become gay history’s Christ figure. The relics of his martyrdom have become attractions, sites of pilgrimage.

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Michele Mendelssohn — OUPblog

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Don’t Be a Patsy: An Open Letter to Jordan B. Peterson


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I have read the book and I liked it. Here is a not a so good letter.

I want to explain why I took my video down, beyond its more obvious flaws: pretension, sloppy thinking, witlessness. I came across a couple of YouTube videos of Peterson on Fox and Friends, Fox News’ morning show. They are very difficult to watch. They flatter him, fawn over his credentials, and he smiles and looks as comfortable as Jordan Peterson ever looks. But what he fails to realise is that they have him on because they know if they push the right buttons he will say exactly what they want him to say. To use parlance Peterson won’t like, they ‘trigger’ him. All you have to do is show Peterson a left-wing ideologue, preferably a college professor, and watch him go. ‘The post-modernists this’, ‘the Marxists that’. It happens every time. But that’s not real the problem. We’re all susceptible to a bit of flattery; we all have triggers. It’s that for years Fox News has broken one of Peterson’s 12 rules, and to my mind, his cardinal rule, and he doesn’t call them on it. He plays along.

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Neil Griffiths — Review 31

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The Shattering Double Vision of V. S. Naipaul


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One of the great writers I truly admired. R.I.P.

Nominally, Naipaul is writing about Anand Biswas. Actually, he is writing about himself—Vidia in Oxford (“in a library grown suddenly dark”), and then in London (“in securer times of different stresses”). He is writing about the young man in South London, for whom memories of Trinidad are both painful and joyful, and about how the writing of his epic is at once the baring and the healing of a wound (“when the memories had lost the power to hurt”). How coolly and classically Naipaul refers to his own great achievement: “they would fall into place and give back the rest.” Now he is gone, but his book continues to give back the rest to us, again and again.

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James Wood – The New Yorker

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