Wednesday News: Net Neutrality, Nnedi Okorafor, Hawaii Five-O, and Parthenon of banned books
Today’s the Day: Let’s Save Net Neutrality – Note: click past the initial notice on the EFF page – it’s part of their messaging about net neutrality. Also, they have a great avenue to send an email to the FCC. If you need to brush up on the some of the basics, this WIRED article isn’t too much of a slog.
To make it easy for Team Internet to do just that, we’ve created a special site called DearFCC.org where we’ll help you write your own comment to the agency. We’ll offer some suggestions to get you started, but you can say whatever you like. What’s most important is that the FCC hears from you.
Some large ISPs say they support net neutrality, but that they just want the FCC to go enforce it under a different legal provision, or have Congress pass a specific net neutrality law. But this is just a trick—they already know that if the FCC goes back to classifying broadband as an information service, its net neutrality rules will fail (just like they did last time). They also know that Congress isn’t likely to pass a real net neutrality statute anytime soon, if ever, given the millions that telecom giants have invested in making sure they get to write any regulation of their industry. – EFF
Nnedi Okorafor says HBO has optioned Who Fears Death – The reason I chose this article is that it led with Okorafor’s name, instead of George R.R. Martin, who is serving as executive producer. I get that Martin is a huge name and draw, but some venues buried her name, and Vice actually REMOVED Okorafor’s name from the cover image for the book. Gee, I wonder why they did that?! (although I’m kind of surprised it was Vice). Anyway this is celebration-worthy news!
The 2010 novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic future Africa riven by genocidal tribal conflict between the light-skinned Nuru and dark-skinned Okeke. The protagonist Onyesonwu (whose name is Igbo for the book’s title, “who fears death”) was born of an interracial rape. As she grows older she realizes she has magical powers — and even more importantly, that someone else with powerful magic is trying to kill her. Who Fears Death won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. – EW
Five-O’s diversity issue is not that simple – There has been a lot written about CBS’s appalling failure to pay two of their stars, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, a salary commensurate with the other two leads in Hawaii Five-O — both of whom are white. As actor Michael Tow noted, Kim and Park’s characters are not stereotypes, nor are they subordinate to Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan in importance to the series and its plot lines. Showrunner Peter Lenkov made the situation worse, making Park and Kim appear ungrateful for turning down “unprecedented raises.” While many have commented on the sad state of actor equity in Hollywood when it comes to racial, gender, and cultural diversity, this piece from Wendie Burbridge provides even more perspective on the losses the show— and its viewers—will suffer. As she points out, for example, once you take away the characters Chin and Kono, many of the characters and stories they supported become endangered. And as a consequence,
The show now will no longer have any Asian actors within the main cast. Nor will there be a female in the main cast. The only other females are supporting cast members– Dr. Noelani Cunha and Grace Williams, played by Hawai?i actresses Kimee Balmilero, and Teilor Grubbs, respectively. With the exit of Masi Oka, and his character Dr. Max Bergman– the only Asian actors are among the recurring cast members. Mainly, Dennis Chun, who plays Sgt. Duke Lukela; Will Yun Lee, who plays Sang Min; Shawn Thomsen, who plays Officer Pua Kai; and Balmilero.
Thankfully there is a good Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander presence on the show, as Taylor Wily, who plays Kamekona; Shawn Mokuahi Garnett, who plays Flippa; Kekoa Kekumano, who plays Nahele Huikala; Kala Alexander, who plays Kawika; and Al Harrington, who plays Mamo Kahele; along with Chun and Grubbs, definitely help to round out the Polynesian cast members.
But they are all supporting cast members. The main cast no longer has any Asians, and there are no Native Hawaiians and/or Pacific Islanders in the mix. While many would find this not a huge issue, remember that the show is set in Hawai?i where 58% of our population identify as Asian and 23% identify as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. I’m not at all suggesting that O’Loughlin and Caan don’t work as characters in the show, as 39% of our population identify as White. Jorge Garcia also fits as about 7% identify as Hispanic or Latino. And McBride, as well as recurring actors Michelle Hurd, Chosen Jacobs, and Paige Hurd, who play Renee, Will, and Samantha Grover respectively, work as about 3% identify as Black or African American. They all help to add to the diversity of the cast. But the larger population of our islands, is Asian. – Honolulu Star Advertiser
Artist Uses 100,000 Banned Books To Build A Full-Size Parthenon At Historic Nazi Book Burning Site – This project has been in the works for a while now, and it is finally an awe-inducing reality. In case you haven’t yet seen the completed structure, this post has some great photos. All of the book covers face out, as well, so you can examine them up close if you walk around the installation. Notably, Mein Kampf is not featured in the display, given that it would contradict the fundamental premise of the project.
The Parthenon of Books in Kassel, Germany is part of the Documenta 14 art festival. With the help of students from Kassel University, Minujín identified over 170 titles that were or are banned in different countries around the world, and constructed the full-size replica of the iconic temple from those books, plastic sheeting, and steel. – Bored Panda