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Friday, January 22, 2021

Jane O'Meara Sanders: Bernie Mitten Memes Are 'Really Cute'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 4:41 PM

Little did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) know what was to come... - BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES
  • Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
  • Little did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) know what was to come...
Joe Biden is the president, but Bernie Sanders is an icon.

Their ascensions occurred on January 20 in Washington, D.C., at the inaugural ceremony at which Biden was formally elevated to the U.S. presidency. Sanders, a political independent and Vermont's junior senator, showed up informally — wearing gear that's true to himself and his home state: wool mittens made by an Essex Junction school teacher and a Burton jacket. His mask was blue, and disposable.

A candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination last year,  Sanders sat alone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, socially distant, legs and arms crossed, and dressed for the weather (downright cold by D.C. standards). It was there that Brendan Smialowski, a photographer for Agence France-Presse, captured the shot seen 'round the world.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

I Watched a Vermont-Connected 'Satirical Bernie Sanders Comedy Movie' So You Don't Have To

Posted By on Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 8:04 PM

George Washington/Kevin Sorbo tells Bernie a thing or two. - COURTESY OF RIGHT AND FUNNY PRODUCTIONS
  • Courtesy of Right and Funny Productions
  • George Washington/Kevin Sorbo tells Bernie a thing or two.
I knew what I was getting into when I watched the new Bernie Sanders "satire" Free Lunch Express. Producer and Mendon resident Bradford Broyles, who contacted me about the film, is the president of Vermont-based Right and Funny Productions. The film's executive producer, Lenore Broughton, is one of Vermont's biggest Republican donors. "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" star Kevin Sorbo, who makes a cameo in the film, has gained quite a bit of notice lately for his right-of-center views.

In a recent Daily Beast interview, which is an excellent read, Marlow Stern quizzes Sorbo about his role in the Bernie film and the film's many inaccuracies when it comes to Sanders' bio, including its depiction of the young Bernie as entering into a blood pact with Josef Stalin.

So, yeah. This film has a point of view. But why should left-wingers and counterculture types have a monopoly on political satire? To explore how comedy looks from the other side, I watched Free Lunch Express and wrote a little real-time viewing diary.

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Friday, October 30, 2020

Dance Video "The Activation" Champions Voting and Social Justice

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 2:34 PM

Still from "The Activation" - COURTESY OF HANNA SATTERLEE
  • Courtesy of Hanna Satterlee
  • Still from "The Activation"
If you haven’t voted, this video’s for you. If you have, it’s still for you. “The Activation” combines dance, music, interviews and information to help viewers turn confusion into clarity, inertia into action.

Part music video and part rally for change, the five-minute work captures 22 Vermonters moving and dancing together on the Statehouse lawn and steps in Montpelier. In brief testimonials, they share their experiences and hopes for this election and beyond. In closing, the video invites viewers to consider supporting seven social justice organizations and then asks, “How will YOU activate?”

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Vermont Humanities Announces Virtual Fall Conference on Democracy

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 5:06 PM

From 'This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance' by the Center for Cartoon Studies - DRAWINGS BY DAN NOTT AND KEVIN CZAP
  • Drawings by Dan Nott and Kevin Czap
  • From 'This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Graphic Guide to Governance' by the Center for Cartoon Studies

This year’s Vermont Humanities fall conference — an annual series of public lectures normally held at the University of Vermont each November — will take place, you guessed it, online. The program, titled "Democracy 20/20," will consist of 15 free virtual talks and workshops, streamed weekly between August 19 and November 13 on the theme of civic engagement.

Beginning in October, the lineup may also include small in-person events as public health guidance allows.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Daniel Bernard Roumain Begins 24-Hour Protest Performance

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 4:53 PM

Daniel Bernard Roumain performing with members of the New Economistas on Church Street - MARGARET GRAYSON
  • Margaret Grayson
  • Daniel Bernard Roumain performing with members of the New Economistas on Church Street
As the clock above Burlington City Hall rang out at 2 p.m., a woman in purple velour pants was dancing a jig under a slight drizzle of rain. The dancer was Paula Higa, and she was accompanying violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, known by his initials DBR, as he entered the second hour of his 24-hour protest performance on Church Street.

As DBR’s plucking of violin strings turned into dramatic, scratchy notes, Higa moved to dance behind him. Both violinist and dancer sank toward the ground as the song concluded.

DBR and local musicians and artists will perform continuously until 12 p.m. on Friday in protest of Trump administration policies on issues including immigration. More than 30 other groups or individuals had signed up to join DBR as of this afternoon.

The performance was organized and sponsored by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Burlington City Arts. DBR is in the middle of a residency with the Flynn Center, the University of Vermont’s Lane Series and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Writer Moustafa Bayoumi to Discuss New York's Arab Community Post 9/11

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 5:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Neville Elder
  • Moustafa Bayoumi
In the American classic The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois asked, “How does it feel to be a problem?” The book, written during the Jim Crow era, consisted of several essays on the black experience, including the rise of the black church, education in the South and racism.

More than a century later, Moustafa Bayoumi posits that Arabs and Muslim Americans are the “new problem” of American society since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Madaila Release New Single, "Where Do We Go From Here?"

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 2:36 PM

  • Brendan McInerney
  • Madaila
Tonight, President Trump will outline his vision for America in that most hallowed of hollow traditions, the State of the Union address. The supremely orange leader is expected to riff on all his greatest hits: immigration,  tax breaks, stripping children and the elderly of health insurance, and which countries presently are or are not shitholes. In essence, he'll address the question: Where do we go from here?

He's not the only one pondering that particular topic at the moment — or every effin' day for the past effin' year. In Burlington today, ahead of a trio of regional tour dates this week, Technicolor popsters Madaila released a new single that also ruminates on the uncertain state of our union — or perhaps, disunion: "Where Do We Go From Here?" (Spoiler alert: Madaila and Trump arrive at slightly different conclusions.)

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Art Against the (Trump) Machine

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 8:42 AM

Drying posters - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • Drying posters
Do you remember where you were a year ago, when the polls closed, the votes were tallied, and Donald J. Trump was elected 45th president of the United States? In commemoration of this momentous anniversary, community members gathered Thursday night in Burlington for an original and colorful protest: For a $5-10 donation, guests could create their very own poster art by throwing paint-filled balloons at images of Trump and members of his administration.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Feminism Can Speak To: Katha Pollitt and Janell Hobson

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:46 PM

Janell Hobson (left) and Katha Pollitt
  • Janell Hobson (left) and Katha Pollitt
On Wednesday, September 27, the Middlebury College Program in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies will host award-winning columnist, author and poet Katha Pollitt in conversation with author and professor Janell Hobson for the talk "What Can Feminism Speak To?"

Pollitt has written for the Nation since 1980, and many of her columns have been compiled into three volumes:
Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism, Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture  and Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time. Her most recent book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, was published by Picador in 2015 and is a vehement argument for dispelling cultural stigma around abortion.

Hobson teaches in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies department at the University of Albany, State University of New York. She is the author of
Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture and Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender, and a contributor to Ms. magazine.

Seven Days spoke with both Pollitt and Hobson by phone, asking some (big) questions prior to their Middlebury appearance.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trump's Proposed Budget Would Cost Vermont Arts Groups Millions

Posted By on Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM

  • Matt Morris
In February, Seven Days spoke with the heads of various local arts groups to gauge reaction to then-rumored federal budget cuts to the arts and public broadcasting. Responses from the likes of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts executive director John Killacky, Vermont Arts Council executive director Alex Aldrich and others could essentially be summed up thusly: "Sheeeeeit."

At the time, theorizing what dramatic federal budget cuts would mean locally was a speculative exercise. But, earlier this week, speculation took a step closer to becoming reality when President Donald Trump unveiled his first budget plan for the fiscal year 2018. Among the dozens of organizations and programs on the chopping block, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are all proposed to be eliminated or zeroed out.

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