Long before Beyoncé, Janet carved out a space for the openly feminist, multidimensional pop star. She created a blueprint that hundreds of thousands of artists have followed, from Britney Spears to Ciara to Lady Gaga. Rhythm Nation 1814 was the album that revolutionized her career and the pop landscape. It demonstrated that black women needn’t be second to anyone. But it wasn’t individualistic. Its rallying call was about the collective we. We could be a part of the creative utopia—the rhythm nation—regardless of race, gender, class, sexuality or difference. It made you want to dance and change the world at the same time. Unrealistic, perhaps. But 25 years later, it’s still hard to listen and not want to join the movement.
Actor Barkhad Abdi only received $65,000 for his award-winning supporting role in the film Captain Phillips. After production, he returned to selling mobile phones in his brother’s shop at a Minneapolis mall. Source
If someone were to die at the age of 63 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a tragedy and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.” That’s bullshit. Robin Williams sought help his entire life. He saw a psychiatrist. He quit drinking. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 63. For some people, 63 is a fucking miracle. I know several people who didn’t make it past 23 and I’d do anything to have 40 more years with them.
“[T]he purpose of electoral politics [is] to present from our capitalist masters individuals whose ideas keep the flow of power moving upward; to normalize indoctrination; to, in effect, control the [politcal] market by maintaining the perceived pedigree of capitalist ideas and restricting competition through the marginalization and repression of ideas new or contradictory… [N]o viable alternatives have entered the public lexicon for nearly a century. By keeping ideas narrowly framed… the monopoly of power rests completely within a tiny spectrum of political and economic possibilities, all of which enable and perpetuate a statist, classist society. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, if you want to change government you have to attack the substance of it, not the shadow. Attacking the shadow, government alone, does nothing because… it does not matter who we elect — liberal or conservative — so long as the cement between private corporate power and government remains un-fractured. Until this basic obstacle is confronted, none of us will exist outside an illusion of choice.”