Wandering Eye: 'Go Set a Watchman' reviews pour in, activists criticize Chicago art exhibit, and more

When the country around you seems to be waking up to the realities of police brutality against black people, amid citywide protests and marches and community organizing, you might also start to notice other acts of resistance and protest budding up in art, music, theater, and other outlets: Artists are concretizing this resistance in our culture. Unfortunately, we have to be wary of artists who use this widespread violence (and the people whose names and faces are attached to it) as fodder for their own careers and self-promotion. One such artist, arguably, is Ti Rock Moore, a white woman whose show in a Chicago art gallery seems purely exploitative of black people's pain. There are neon installations and text-based paintings derivative of Glenn Ligon, as well as a life-size model of what is presumably supposed to represent Michael Brown, lying face-down, lifeless, in the gallery. Johnetta Elzie, an activist who co-runs with Deray McKesson and Samuel Sinyangwe a website that maps police violence, uploaded livestream videos to her Twitter account from the exhibition. Elzie and the other two activists she went to the gallery with get into a pretty tense conversation with the gallerist, who is black, about the price of the work (many pieces are a few thousand dollars). He explains the process of running a gallery, that the artist spent her money to make this work and he spent money to show her work, so they need to pay themselves back. But it still boils down to the fact that it's plain wrong to profit off black people's struggle and pain, particularly because a white person made the art. As Kirsten West Savali at The Root wrote, "a working definition of white privilege is white artists' belief that they can claim artistic ownership of black death, while disowning their white guilt and being applauded for their 'courageousness.'" (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

Move over old-timey news sites like Gawker, The Washonton Post hereby brings you the latest, most scintillating young-people-news sites on the interwebs—and with a heapin' helpin' of credulity. Here, for your (not) gawking pleasure, we have Ozy.com, Fusion, and Mic—among other VC-funded upstart startups. Among WaPo's Ozy headline examples: "Ditch the geezer judges" and "How Nixon shaped porn in America." Ozy's slogan: "Welcome to the New News." About President Nixon? Here's the big reveal though (and this is pretty meta, coming to you from this particular column): "Articles are relatively short, rarely exceeding 500 words. Much of the reporting is secondhand, derived from the work of other media organizations. Such an aggregation strategy maximizes the output of the young journalists the sites employ and minimizes overhead. But it also means that a good deal of the 'new' news actually rests on the legwork of 'old' news reporters." Yeah like that matters. Click on, fellow young people. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

The reviews for "Go Set a Watchman," Harper Lee's long-awaited sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird," are pouring in and most of them are pretty bad. Deadspin tells you "Hey, You Don't Have To Read" it, and NPR says it's so bad we have to reconsider Lee's earlier masterpiece. The New York Times was a little kinder in its assessment, but what's now making waves is the fact they were first to do so. As Newsweek reports, The Times released their review last Friday as an "exclusive," and in doing so, it appeared they violated an embargo. Usually, media outlets will all hold their reviews until the date set by the publisher. But the Times says they did nothing wrong because they had a copy leaked to them. "Our policy is that we do not honor embargoes if we obtain a book independent of publishers' official channels," Danielle Rhoades Ha, communications director at the Times, tells Newsweek. Even so, the publisher, Harper, is none too pleased. "'Am I angry at The New York Times? I'm not angry, but I'm not happy,' said Tina Andreadis, a senior vice president and director of publicity at Harper. 'I think it does a disservice to consumers who are out there wanting to buy the book. They read a review and they want to buy the book.'" (Brandon Weigel)

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