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“Three days before I met up with actor/writer/producer/director Justine Bateman (best known as Mallory on the ‘80s sitcom “Family Ties”) to talk about her new book, “Fame: The Hijacking of Reality,” for my Poptarts podcast, Taylor Swift came out on Instagram as supporting Democrats in the upcoming election and urged her 112 million followers to register to vote. Notably tight-lipped about her political leanings up until that point, Swift was being celebrated in the press as the impetus behind a staggering 65,000 new voter registrations in the 24-hour period since her post went live. So naturally, her name came up as Bateman and I discussed the pressure young famous women feel to be everything to everyone, and how that pressure has now become more politicized than ever before.
“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”
“I don’t know that there’s a responsibility for it,” she replied. “I mean, you’re responsible to be a hard worker and to do the best job you can. But I don’t think any singer or athlete or anybody has the responsibility to do it. If they want to, as a citizen, I’m completely all for it. And if people say, you know, ‘Shut up, ya dumb f**kin’ actress. Stop talking politics,’ which is what you see often online, I would just say, well now wait a minute. There’s not just one participant here.””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."