Yay for official summer, and yay for neo-pagan gatherings at Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice!
Now… this week… Imma call its theme: culture wars. These don’t all necessarily fit under that lofty title, but they’re all supercool flashpoints of progress that got an extra jolt this week.
At least we sorta felt the jolt, in the brief respites between zaps of poor Miss Utah’s viral shaming, the eye-brow raising deaths of Mr. Soprano & Mr. Hastings, and news of North West (I’m thinkin’ of giving SF a shout-out & changing my name to North Bay). Best of Twitter:
1. Unpaid Internship Culture is getting a shake-up! Us members of the millennial generation living in Western Civilization (at least those with a penchant for jobs in the arts, entertainment, or non-profit sectors, God bless us) have probably all had our run-ins with unpaid internships that don’t even presume to teach us anything or offer employment down the line. And we’ve either accepted them as a given in the dues-paying hierarchy and so much for eating, or rejected them because we literally couldn’t afford to NOT GET PAID TO WORK HARD, DAMMIT. I’m not even gonna call my internships out in this blog because “what if those companies think about employing me sometime in the abstract future??!” Well, for these two guys who worked on “Black Swan,” this grovelling for a chance to work hard for no pay or prospects, in retrospect, seemed a little… how you say, illegal. And they won their case! (<– that’s a link in case you’d like to win yours)
2. For those of us following along at home, it’s always nice to get some kinda sorta good news on the taking-climate-change-seriously-before-it’s-too-late front. And we’re getting some out of both New York City & Washington, DC this week. As my climate hero, David Roberts over at Grist, writes: there are three general responses to the epic drama of global warming that’s unfolding:
Mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. We’ll prevent what we can, adjust to what we can’t prevent, and suffer through what we can’t adjust to. All that remains is to determine the proportions.
Bloomberg’s plan in NYC is in the land of adaptation (much easier to convince people on both sides of the aisle to throw money at erecting floodwalls & making buildings more resistant to future Hurricanes Sandy ‘cuz storms be comin’ than it is to get agreement on whether or not climate change is real, sure sure). Obama’s plan, on the other hand, is hopefully in the land of mitigation. Prevention is good. John Kerry, his new Secretary of State, wrote this fabulous piece, and while Obama was in Berlin this week he teased that he’s droppin’ a true blue package of climate initiatives in July. So far he’s been a lot of talk… but seriously, talk is better than no talk. Just ask the poor snowfamilies.
3. A truly remarkable apology came out of the Gays-Are-Bad camp this week, in what Andrew Sullivan calls “an unconditional surrender in the culture wars.” Boom. One of those Christian right groups that was all about straightening gays out with “reparative therapy,” has folded. And not just ‘cuz that kind of torture has gone out of fashion; Exodus International seems to have actually had a come-to-Jesus: as the organizations’s president said — ACTUALLY SAID! — “please know that I am deeply sorry. […] For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”
Have a brilliant weekend, you guys, and “like” The Smarty at the Party on Facebook — where we can all post pix of BBQs & summer shindigs where we shmoozed our tushies off!
Quote of the week:
- College And Internship … And How College Grads Are Doing (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- The unpaid internship racket (tv.msnbc.com)
- SHOCKING: Orlando Based Exodus International, Nation’s Largest Ex-Gay Ministry, Issues Apology and Shuts Down (thedailycity.com)