May 26, 2023

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The Edge

Motherhood, Technology, and Natalia Almada’s “Users”

Natalia Almada’s documentary essay film “Users” (2021) questions a mother’s deep ambivalence about technology. But the film’s aesthetics makes clear that she has already chosen technology.

Almada’s film shuttles between the intimacy of family life and the vast technological infrastructure that sustains modern society. 

She bathes her child, lulls her baby to sleep in a vibrating smart crib, documents her son’s first steps. But the film also moves from the underwater network of fiberoptic cables to aerial views of water transported across an arid landscape.

Jennifer Jolly writes, while the film revels in the unresolved, its own technological agility suggests that technology is here to stay.

Read Jolly’s analysis on The Edge.

The Republican Debt Ceiling Proposal Saves the Economy on the Backs of Latinas

Elected officials love to espouse the virtues of family caregiving and the value of motherhood. Unfortunately, too many policies fail to help families and do not ensure that they thrive.

It is even more glaring that so many policies fail to support mothers.

We can see how this lack of support plays out over the political jockeying around the debt ceiling. The Republican-proposed spending cuts will impact mothers, children, and families disproportionately. It negatively impacts those families headed by a woman.

Noreen Sugrue says Latinas will be hardest hit.

Read Sugrue’s column on The Edge.

How Media Bias Twists Public Perception of the Writers’ Strike

Outside of the corporate offices and backlots of Netflix, Disney, NBC, Universal, and Warner Brothers, masses of protestors stand with signs that range from serious to hilarious, all with the same message: writers need to be fairly paid for their work.

Corporate media continues to twist public perception of the strike as members of the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) enter their fourth week of acting against the strenuous conditions imposed upon them by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

The strike is in response to the stagnant wages and the dismantling of stable pay structures within the industry, among many other issues.

Read the full report on The Edge.

Guilty of Sexual Abuse (But Not Rape?)

The Carroll trial story is about more than individuals even if the story is structured about them, told by them and for them. But our culture individualizes the political, and focuses on personalities, and silences collective narratives.

Neither liberalism nor neo-liberalism is a sufficient political strategy against sexual violence. A radical indictment of misogyny and all its structures and practices must be put in the bold to change.

According to Zillah Eisenstein, what that exactly looks like is a work in progress and the Carroll verdict has made perfectly clear how far we have traveled and how far we have yet to go.

Read Eisenstein’s commentary on The Edge.

The Drifting Smoke of the Burned-Over District

In the decades before the Civil War, South Butler featured a Congregational Church that drew major figures in the socially progressive movements of the day — abolition, women’s rights, temperance. South Butler’s Congregational Church distinguished itself by calling to its pulpit the first African American ordained in a mainstream Protestant church, Samuel Ringgold Ward, and the first woman so ordained, Antoinette Brown (later Antoinette Blackwell).

The current panic over “white replacement theory,” and critical race theory; the panic over transgender people; the widespread and clearly racist attack on voting rights; and all the issues that drive ideological divides ever deeper are now visible in the very Burned-Over District that once was so hospitable to progressive social causes like abolition and women’s rights, writes David DeVries.

Read DeVries’ historical commentary on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Eleven-year-old boy shot by police after mother asked him to call 911 about domestic disturbance | The Independent

2. Lessons From 1879, When the Government Almost Shut Down but Didn’t | The Atlantic

3. ‘It’s Not Moral’: A Wave Of Criminal Justice Reforms Is Leaving Out Those Already Convicted | HuffPost

4. US debt ceiling: Congress inches closer to deal before holiday weekend | BBC

5. Incarcerated people use TikTok videos to expose Alabama’s prison conditions | The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.