Year in Review: What the Hell Happened in 2018?
Hello. I'm Sally singer the creative digital director for Boca as your draws close. In the vote dot com offices on the site. We can discussing the narratives of two thousand eighteen that will continue to guile in the devil in two thousand nineteen those of us who work on vote dot com or by necessity focused on the day by day probably actually the hour by hour. And so it's not always easy to take a step back and think big picture, but the stories we cover online and on social media with ever increasing urgency, but take a step back. We must if we were ever to make significant strides forward in the areas of gender, equality, the environment, and our culture, more generally. So in this episode of the podcast Allesandro Cadena who oversees the coverage of culture and politics for the site and writers Michelle Ruis and Bridget read are going to let you in on our thinking, well, they're thinking actually and on the progress in promise of me to the new green deal and the rise. And rise of quality television, which for Bridget is synonymous with reality TV, but more about that later for now. Hello allesandra. Hi, sally. Glad you're here. Thank you so much. I'm here today with culture, contributors, Bridget read and Michelle Ruiz's. Thank you guys. So much for comment and joining me here. Hello. Hi, thanks for having us. So the edict that we've really been given is to think about twenty eight teen the end of the year sort of what we've seen in thought a lot about. And what's been happening though? Obviously, not everything that's happening because well, our scope of coverage is rather broad as both of you know, our time available here is not. So we talked a little bit before about the most important issues of the year. And the first one that really leaped out at us. I know is actually the biggest existential threat facing humanity Novick deal, which is climate change. And Bridget you've been thinking a lot about this in your coverage for us online specific. About the green new deal. I would love it. If you could walk us in the listeners through that through the climate town hall that you yes. Went to watched. What watched it was in DC streamed? So this is an issue that's picking up a lot of steam right now as Congress's ending its session for the year. And we covered the new deal via our pre midterms videos. Yes, we did way before other people. On the bandwagon, quote, fashion magazine, and the green deal is not a new idea, but it's become this rallying cry around which progressives are deciding how best to usual use legislation to tackle climate change. So this year, I mean last year really with hurricane Maria Puerto Rico and this year with extreme weather events like fires in California. And the IPC report that came out people, I think are just becoming more and more aware of climate change and talking about it more, which has been the biggest obstacle. I think is getting people to talk about it and confront it. So green new deal is at its most basic level in the style of FDR's new deal post world or during world or two which was to mobilize pretty much every aspect of the American economy. And at the time it was in industrial Konomi to fight not only to do. To make what was necessary for war boss of gift people jobs and help after the great pressure. So for climate change that would be giving people jobs that are green jobs and helping to d- Newt to neutralize are. Now, totally dependent economy from carbon. So that we are totally renewable. Some people are saying twenty fifty that's a pretty conservative year, the green new deal people now in congress who are mostly representatives are saying twenty thirty five and that is mo- sort of been spearheaded by Alexandria, Cossio Cortez who won her primary in a big of set as we know. And she right now is sort of on step one of a green new deal, which is to create this select committee on green new deal, everything in congress before you can do it you have to decide to do. And so basically she's trying to rally votes. So that they pass a Bill which would say. That in the next two years. Congress will have a mandate to figure out what agree new deal will be for the United States for twenty twenty. So that means what are green jobs. How many will be created? What will they be doing? While the building, you know, solar power grids will be is it infrastructure. And then of course, there's this issue of just transition which is about how to help people who are the most vulnerable in the economy already. So for example, like in France where seeing with these zone, shall I drown protests? You can't just sort of give these green mandates if they're raising taxes or if there if people are being perceived to be hurt by them. They will not work. So they have to they have to get people behind them. So basically, that's what they're going to be trying to do for the next two years, if they can get this slick Midi created so that securing a deal, and I think it's really exciting. And it's. Going to be a huge issue for candidates in twenty twenty for presidential candidates. Right. Whereas before it climate was sort of like the third rail. People didn't wanna talk about it because it was either to depressing or they didn't really have an answer that didn't wanna piss off oil lobby or whatever like Trump, and you just don't believe that. It's real right? You say you don't believe in Israel decide to block it out. Yeah. Well, in fossil fuel, you know, emissions from the United States, especially has have actually been going up in the last three years, which is crazy. And really scary a nice that is because people don't wanna you know, it's almost like people wanted it to be over. It was something from the seventies. Or, you know, Al Gore, blah, blah, blah. And now we actually have what I am excited by what I'm excited about by the green new deal is that it is a policy collection that we can, you know, make a household name and get people on board with and then hammer out the details. But this idea that the government should be mobilizing. Every reason. Source that it can to transition us away from this debris dependence. We have should be the idea. So just to have a lightning rod issue is is exciting. Branding branding xactly. Yeah. All right. I mean, I think actually it sounds silly. But one of the biggest problems that the the sort of climate. Lobby. I guess you'd call it has there isn't really like a face of it. Like there, isn't it was Al Gore for so long to cap Rayo, anybody I'm easy count way. Lovely. Oh, he's I would say water wildlife animals, which are important. Yeah. Get him in there. Get in congress. We've been talking about. As a new Leo because she actually was so speaking of the town hall that you asked me about so that was a Bernie Sanders climate town hall that was on Monday. So that was December third, and she chilling Woodley was actually a host with him because she is on the board of our revolution. Which I don't I didn't know a lot of people know, she was arrested at standing rock, but you know, we had celebrities arrested at the cabinet protests this year, right? It's not that. You know it. That's not that new maybe. But I think it's just exciting to see people talking about it. And the town hall was kind of remarkable in that it put on the same level that every year when there's a presidential election or or midterms we talk about health care, we talk about racial Justice. We talk about you know, are sort of foreign policy all these things that sort of we know are important, and we don't give climate change the. The attention that we need. So to have a town hall around it for the first time. I mean, in my memory, I think in all these sort of broadcasted, whatever it wasn't on CNN or anything like that, which I think would be the next step rage because it was just through these various activist groups that were helping in through Sarah Sanders, but. Huge. And I mean, I do think that there's been a lot of movement on the state level. At least like that. I mean, I just saw this NAT GO documentary from Paris to Pittsburgh, which is sort of anchored in my Bloomberg sort of put it on in York. And I think hosted it, but sort of anchored by Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accords. And how he said, you know, I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburg not Paris. And immediately the mayor of Pittsburgh Bill Peduto like shoots out of his seat. He's actually in the film and ferry funny. And he's like, Pittsburgh 'cause they're actually like incredibly clean city now and they've done a really good job at changing their roles as a sort of former steel and coal, and we called it at shirt town road to change your shirt halfway through the day. 'cause just there's so much soot in the air that you're just like have to change your shirt, and there's a lot in California's doing a lot California. I think we actually forget is an oil state to like the. Third largest oil. Is getting kind of exposed. Yeah for but they're doing a lot of great work. Yeah. Totally on the on the smaller local level too. Yeah. But the company level, I mean, I guess there are ways to chip away at the problem for lack of government action. But it's really cool to see that there is mobilizing around it. And like, I remember it not being asked as prominently in the debate. So I always after those owes an afterthought so dec- kind of like climbing its way into the mainstream debate is huge. Yeah. And the I mean this elect committee if it passes will not you will not be allowed to be on it as a Representative in house if you take money from fossil fuel companies, which we're all sort of make it really at the goal. I think I mean, obviously that's the goal one. Last thing about the climate town hall that I just think everyone should know about is that one of the guests was this mayor from Georgetown, Texas, which is one of the only two cities or towns in the United States. That's currently. One hundred percent renewable energy, and he's a conservative mayor. And and he was just this kind of like guy who entered politics hilariously because he wanted to use only one hundred percent period appropriate brick for his driveway of side of his historic home. And they would not let him so that's why entered politics. So he's like a libertarian, and he just came to this, you know, completely leftist panel right after an indigenous rights activists who wrapped and said, I do I did this with my town because it's it's practical it saved money. And I mean, there's a whole other conversation about how basically the town owns owns the utilities, which is I mean sort of shocking in America. But it's a it's a determined Texas. So this is not something that we have to think of only as like, Pittsburgh, or as the on in New York or California. So it's. It's cool. It's exciting that these things are happening. And it's nice to have something that feels forward-looking and future oriented instead of just the scary stuff. Because that's what keeps people from making it a part of their lives. Just like when you say what's important to me. And you say them ISM where you say black lives matter, you say, you know, healthcare all all of these things are vitally important, and they are all affected by climate change. So we should all be saying what is important to me, you know, saving what we can the planet and doing sustainable, and and all that stuff. So you denies if it wasn't a partisan issue just to want on earth to live upon. I don't know how it became lay. No Daniel like a God other crazy liberals like don't wanna be like don't want to recede into the ocean. Right. Do any of us. You know? I mean, and there there's a sort of fiction, right? That like these coal jobs are going to come back and hold ops aren't gonna come back and they haven't been coming back. And by the way, like this is a growth industry. This clean energy is America. That's. It's a real. You know solar is a real growth section of this economy at this moment, you know, like wind turbines all these things like they have their pluses and minuses, but you know, there's a whole place like in Des Moines, I think all these farms are run on solar and agriculture's, obviously got its problems too. But yet to your point I think, it's not I think people hopefully will wise up. I hope it doesn't take a catastrophic event. Like that sort of seems to be what happens, right? Like it has to be your town catches on fire. And then you realize or floods we've seen a lot of obviously, you're seeing a lot of them. So. Yeah. Yeah. Tornadoes in the midwest. I mean, it's it's it's everywhere. But yeah, I think think have if green if a green new deal becomes a household name or term lake Medicare for all or even paid parental leave or treatment, you know, gender policies that have have kind of. Caught fire in the last gun caught by. Caught by less, you here's that should be. I mean that in itself would be a huge coup than by mental movement. Just to have something that everybody has to be asked about in the debates, you know, which actually brings me that's sets up the segue rather nicely to talk about the other giant. Thank you. It's other giants story this year, which Michelle you've written a ton about which is sort of metoo in the repercussions that it's had throughout literally every industry and just last night. Michelle, you put up a piece in response to the Hollywood reporter's big Hollywood roundtable, and they talked to all these actresses, and they talked all these actors and all the actresses are talking about you know, what mean to in times up as men and all the actors are talking about everything else because they weren't asked about it. Yeah. This is an interesting. He no moment at the end of the year just to see that. I guess what it signal to me was like this year. Feels like it has been three years because so much has happened on a lot of it was very kind of heavy, and so it feels like it's been forever ago that the Golden Globes happened, and everyone was wearing black and that this was just this sort of exposes began to come down. But it was a little disconcerting last night. Because it was like, nah. Not not even a year, or I guess it's just been one year since probably that first Weinstein story and were already convening, you know, six of the most famous men in Hollywood, and we're not even asking them about this huge issue that is pressing in their industry who were some of them that was kind of odd to me the report it was my her Shlah Ali my boyfriend him shower. Viggo Vigo Mortenson Chad bozeman, I can't name all of them not the guide. They're all really great actors. And I think Michelle made a very good point in her piece that they're kind of done a disservice by no one in the us. They could have brought it up of their own accord. But like, you gotta ask them, right? Timothy Chaumet conviction. He would have been like he would like show. So you know, I donated my Woody Allen which did. Right. I think it's kind of like ask him seems tragic bozeman you would think is doing something he's socially conscious guy. And he and he talked in the piece about what Black Panther has meant to him. And how it is sort of meet him see Hollywood less cynically and make him think that good things can be Greenland and inclusive projects can happen. But I think it was just interesting in the sense that eight highlights a larger thing about men perhaps not being involved in this movement. Or, you know, I guess it's kind of analogous in a way to like the green new deal, if we're going to draw this parallel and segue in that you have the sort of brandit, and you have to be asked about it. Like, you have to ask about it in debates, and you have to hold people to task about it for it to become a kind of household topic of conversation. I think that's true for asking candidates about the green new deal Miki making it into a thing that is commonly talked about and kind of goes for talking about it and making sure. But it's clear that men should have a role in this movement. And that when they're in the seats of power, they have to have a role in changing things we can't as women be the ones who are abused in her AST. And also the change makers a bit much to ask and also expected to constantly be sort of beating that drum. When maybe you do wanna talk about your role, or maybe you do wanna talk about the other projects that you wanna do, you know, right? Should be equally that labor should be sort of shared across the industry. Yeah. And it was like an yet everyone who had ever worked with Woody Allen. Every woman who would ever worked with Willie Allen was asked about it. And yet group of men get together at are not asked about women the issue that is pressing in their industry that as it relates to women. Right. And it's all time me too. As like, a sort of add on sort of marketing point is used so often in the most trite sort of ways like whether I mean, we get PR pitches constantly that are. You know, this XYZ movie song, whatever is, you know, me two meets whatever and so Muteesa cts lip law. Right. Right. And so to have it be kind of invoked that way instead of how it seems like it should I mean, a sort of big capsule year and peace with some of the most famous actors who had their industry completely rocked. A not seems like the appropriate time. Right. Yeah. Yet, a famous sort of much more superficial. Yeah. It was somewhat worrisome. I mean, it made me think about kind of like the up down or the victories. And and the things that are still challenging which are many. But you know, on the upside, I'm like, okay, we'll Harvey Weinstein's criminally charged Bill Cosby's in jail. People have a space has been created for people to tell stories, but you know, there are there's still these kind of massive things that don't change in a year. So, you know, one year is not going to equalize, the pay gap. One year is not going to kind of root out harassment and abusive behavior and all the equity so in a way, it's kind of like, I think you have to look at the strides that have been made and also acknowledge knowledgeably limitations acknowledged that. It's still a relatively new movement up against decades of shit can say, yeah. Yeah. Especially in this country. Yeah. Yeah. I struggle to figure out how to talk about the games. But I think right. Maybe may be step one was like the airing out of all the rich it being believed. I think then there's Cavanaugh Cavanaugh always, you know, kind of a psychic blow to this. You know? And I guess yeah. I struggled to to think about it too. Because it's like, you know, it's not a scorecard. So it's not like one Weinstein down one cabin up. Right. One of those is more important. Right. And I think if of course, the cavenaugh repercussions and the timeframe of it, you know, the reverberations of this person can go on for decades and decades. So I think that was a really rough psychic blow to the year in me to to slay. You know that? Yes, space have been created to talk. Yes. More people are being believed. But I think some people kind of looked at and I think this is misguided. I don't. That him being confirmed or not was a referendum or a test on whether or not metoo is real or has power or legs. But I just think it was kind of a it was a low moment, and it was a psychic blow to see all of these elements right there on display and such a big way. And then to see him go forth and be confirmed. Anyway, just like Clarence Thomas was twenty some odd years ago. So that was that was rough. It was very rough that was very hard. But maybe seeing how deep the Rocco's is kind of the Tilleke of that. We're trying to. Yeah. Look for silver linings, which are. Invade up. But yeah, I think to copy you and try to connect thinking about what's next for the environmental movement, and what's next for the women's movement or or metoo? I think facing the fact that you know, what do we mean when we say something like America was never great or sort of like looking at these institutions and thinking about how Clarence Thomas and Anita hill happened. And here we are again. Like, what do we do with feeling like there is this deep deep? It's rotted court. You know, you know, all these systems that we've come to rely on we're comfortable with and I think that losing comfort is really important for people to sort of feel for the first time. And I think a lot of people did with with Cavanaugh, even if they were not from that world, or they weren't you know, like, I like men in my orbit. I think were really some of them were shocked. By how? Not only how high up something like this could go. But then also how many women it resonated with? And I think that's valuable in there. Now, what's next we have to keep you know, Cavanaugh was confirmed because he means a lot to lot of people in terms of interests, right? If we can identify who's in who's interests are they and how do we kind of expose those players and kind of yet just gut that out. I think which is the same thing when we talk about fossil fuel is who who has a stake. I think that is important we didn't win. But maybe we learned like who's gonna want Cavanaugh an office and Ray willing to like who were those senators who area all much like, you know, it's a jealously. Yes. Like went in and made that made that yes vote. And and are we going to stand for that? I think maybe that is yes, let's pick off every single member of the Senate Judiciary committee. And that's I think a very valid in targeted goal to have coming out of that. And I think. You're right because I know some people who went through the whole year of me to and it wasn't until Cavanaugh that they then told their family in a conversation, perhaps there were differing that will you know, I shouldn't say anything for thirty years because I didn't say anything for thirty years either. And I think that was is much as it was a low and a difficult moment. I think it was sort of you hope that like if it felt like a few steps back that did thrust us forward and some other ways, and you have to wonder you know, what that coming right before the midterms? How did that impact? I mean, maybe all those people who voted for Alexandria, Cossio Cortez. We're gonna vote for her anyway. But I wonder how much that event galvanized people and like ignited fires in them to see that happening, and knowing that you know, what let's take this anger and passion and go do something productive with it. Yeah. I mean, I do think there's a lot of energy that they're definitely wasn't before. When everybody was just sort of complacent because they may be at a president that they thought how? A thought in his head or had a plan or would just take care of things or maybe they just trusted the people in charge, and the more that we come to understand whether it's through climate issues or metoo issues or just gross abuses of power that maybe we need to actually like pay attention to these people are doing I think the better, right? That is the one good thing here is that people are paying attention. They are angry. They want change. Hopefully, we can make it in time that we can all benefit from it or that your children. I do not have a good segue for this next thing, which is. Absolute glut of prestige television, I could make a really inappropriate joke here about like, I'm not going to sure. I know it was going to be something about like, a sooner. Well, okay, people are outraged. But also people are obsessed with television us a lot to talk about things like politics and social issues that is actually handmade larger. There has there's never been quite as heavy of sort of desire to escape as we have right now. I know that I go home. And I'm like the last thing I want to do is look at Twitter because God forbid, the president has tweeted something or like some terrible things happened. I find for a lot of people reality television has been escape. I happen to know that one Bridget reads to my right happened to spend some quality time at the cast Vander pump rules, which we unfo- dot com called. I believe the perfect reality. The most can you defend that statement? Oh, of course. I can I watch it for the record. Well, I wanna say that we vote dot com. We called out Sandra accustomed Cortez. The future of the Democratic Party before she won curl. If we're calling them. You heard it here the purse show, America's perfect reality show. Listen up America done. Dom dot com. We're also very excited about Lindsey Lowe hands rally, which is related because it's also about the staff is also restaurant. No, it is empty servants excise meals, and yet Vanderbilt is the ultimate escape, they, you know, are the obsolete opposite of true celebrity being fame for, you know, your profession, I guess if your profession is acting they're famous for being waiters. And even though the show is changing, they're still crazy people the do crazy things and don't hide it. And do it on camera. And it's wonderful. I do think I like reality TV because reality TV, resists the what does this mean? How do we analyze it kind of thing that I feel like we've just made ourselves deranged by about TV, the specially, but also like music like the thank you next article that went viral this. Week that was sort of taking it apart politically. And it seemed like start was not Ari. Arta peace. Yes. Exactly. And reality TV like you really can't write it solely resists the take. Right. There. Really is not right. Yes, peaceful. Yes. It can be hard to explain. I know I have been watching that show in my apartment before. And my partner will come through. And be like, why are you watching these old women yell at each other housewives? Yes. Housewives, but it's sort of true Vander pump to their slightly young women, but they'll just be shrieking. And you're like, this should be this should be the opposite of relaxing. But in fact, it's like just a mind vacation. Here's another thing that I will I will say in defense of TV as opposed to prestige television is it is cheap. And so that is one of the reasons that I I will defend my watching of it, even if it doesn't necessarily have the best socio political implication, cheap to make to make that it is not I brought up to you earlier. Maybe today or yesterday that this Netflix deal for Rennes where Netflix is gonna pay one hundred million dollars to Warner media or whoever to play friends a show from thirty. Thirty years ago and just each. Well, sorry, don't at me when we people gills. I mean how much money all these shows? You know, we pour into television at the moment the friends jail money into the green new deal. Thank you. Oh about that. How about they should all all the friends now should star in a PSA about the greedy. Neil. It's all them with love to your some of them are busy. But I'm sure some of them are not I just think prestige TV or TV in general, I think is kind of over. I dunno don't assessed Alzheimer do I feel oppressed by the amount. We are supposed to walk. I do actually I think there's it's very hard because you sort of fall behind I have to write about this stuff. So I feel like all have, you know, a list of things, and I start to watch the little drummer girl, which is fabulous. But then I'm also watching my brilliant friend, and now I'm behind in that, but it's also fabulous. And then, you know. No succession was succession was the only thing that. I actually I feel like I watched when I was supposed to watch. I really enjoyed it. And it was so smart Atlanta. I would sort of catch up with when I could I think that's such a good show. There's definitely as supposed to watch window where it hits. And then everybody is seemingly watching it. Texting about it and tweeting about it. And if you're not watching it, then you're a loser. And then miss it. And you totally miss it. And I think about I mean, this is a random thing think about, but it was like that Andy Sandberg Emmys opener ones that he did in recent years where he was like what into an underground bunker to try to catch up with all the shows that he wasn't watching all the prestige TV that he's supposed to watch that. He's not hadn't watched. That's me. You're really feel. Yeah. And I'm kind of given up in some as we're like, there are just a few things that I watch. But it was thinking today that because wrote something about the marvellous MRs Mazel, and I think one of the appeals of the show and the same with this is us, which is kind of not prestige. Don't worry. Don't worry. I won't try to start it as prestige, but I think like in this era, and and you always wanted to escape into reality TV, right? Like that that's been a thing. Now, you know, we wanted to watch the real the real world just to chill out like twenty years ago. But particularly when the news is so terrorizing oppressive. You really don't wanna watch. Like, I don't watch the Handmaid's tale because I don't want to be right. It's to relevant on the new. I don't wanna watch things that are dark or twisty because I feel like I get that dose of right bad energy. So I watched this as us or like, I think I think one of the things about the marvel MRs Musil that it's like bright and sunny and kinda frothy, and it has a different kind of sensibility than all of the like the world is rotting that we're getting elsewhere, which clearly we've disgusted are getting elsewhere. So I think our takeaways here or what stay up to mystic. Oh about all the things. Optimistic that makes you happy friends calf all the people green new deal. Not ask men Asmat about me to whenever and wherever possible challenge people in power, including the gods from friends. No, no, no underrated. Classic. Yes. Exact succession watched the funny succession, which is ships Greek. Oh, she is good to see that both of which are coming back. Hopefully, nineteen the whole the whole point of like they're fifty things that I would love to see that. I have never seen and actually we cover most of them on dot com. So come find us on vogue dot com in the culture section. We will have the heavy in the light for you. Hopefully, more light things to come in twenty nineteen. And thank you guys so much for coming in. Thank you for listening.