Posts in Culture
What's the Future of Roe v. Wade?

With Justice Kennedy retiring, and the subsequent appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, the liberties awarded by Roe v. Wade are in danger. 

written by: forrest bloom

In 1973, the Roe v. Wade Court ruled 7–2 that a right to  privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state's interests in regulating abortions: protecting women's health and protecting the potentiality of human life. This brought rise to many questions related to the legality of abortion. Should abortion be legal? To what extent? Who has the right to make that decision? The issue has certainly divided politicians along party lines, with Republicans typically opposing Roe and Democrats typically supporting Roe

Justice Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27, and President Trump recently appointed Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement. The problem is that Justice Kennedy has been the pivotal swing vote of the Supreme Court—or as Michelle Wolf calls them—"The Supremes." He balanced the predictable conservatives with the consistent liberals. He was key in the deciding of many issues, including gay marriage and protecting juveniles and those with intellectual disabilities from the death penalty. He brought a happy medium to an otherwise conservative leaning court. 

What Should I Know About Justice Brett Kavanaugh?

Our new Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, is more predictably conservative than Kennedy. Since 2006, he has been a judge in the very powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was vetted by conservative group The Federalist Society and will shape our Supreme Court for years to come. His appointment to the Supreme Court makes the future of abortion rights questionable, and many are specifically concerned about his dissent in Garza v Hargan—a case about a 17 year old girl who came here illegally wanting to have an abortion in the USA.  While the Court sided with the girl, Kavanaugh dissented under the premise that allowing the girl to have an abortion is “based on a constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong." His dissent included typical anti-abortion rhetoric “abortion on demand" as well. 

The Bigger Picture, An Aging Supreme Court

Although Kavanaugh is a slightly right-leaning Justice, none of his decisions have been too concerning. The real issue is Trump, who promised during his campaign that he would try to overturn Roe v. Wade. This is a much more realistic threat with the current shape of our Supreme Court. We can only hope that Justice Kavanaugh continues his trend of relative moderation. Even more concerning is the fact that two of the liberal Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, are 85 and 80 years old, respectively. In contrast, the oldest conservative Justice, Clarence Thomas, is 70. Trump's presidential legacy will be remembered as one that shaped our justice system for decades to come. Kavanaugh is simply a playing piece in the long term game of public policy. 

Moonbase 8

Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker, and John C Reilly will be staring in a new A24 series called Moonbase 8.

written by: Casper

The trio will be playing mediocre astronauts who live on NASA’s moon simulator, but have aspirations to be selected for the next lunar expedition. If the premise alone hasn’t sold you, it’s worth mentioning that the show will be directed by comedic powerhouse Johnathan Krisel. As a director on each actor’s hit show, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule, and Portlandia, Krisel has shown his ability to highlight the comedic genius of Armisen, Heidecker, and Reilly.

IMG_2700.jpg

With executive producer credits for all three actors, it will be interesting see what direction the show goes in. All things considered, this Moonbase 8 will be quirky to say the least, and the overall potential seems limitless.

IMG_2698.jpg
Heavyweight Apparel of NYC

With ideals of empowering America’s marginalized Black community, Paul Bennings' entry is the creation of Heavyweight Apparel of NYC

By Elisha Bennet

A Powerful Ethos

Invoking the powerful status of heavyweight such as Muhammad Ali, Heavyweight Apparel of NYC exalts women for the strength, cultural impact, and sexuality they possess. An impetus stemming from issues regarding contemporary feminism and intersectionality, Heavyweight Apparel of NYC is built to empower women of color and address the issues that they face. Paul directs his models in puissant fashion to exemplify the message of Heavyweight Apparel. Never bashful to exemplify the human form, Paul sees the elation of the body as an extension of the power and confidence that is associated with the traditional heavyweight.

He founded Heavyweight Apparel of NYC in a one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn with the vision of a brand carrying into a media outlet that represents an Afrocentric worldview that has become disparaged and generalized.

"It's an apparel brand, and that's what it is in its base, but really what I want this to be is a media brand." 

Living in a world where people of color are executed in unabated fashion, Brooklyn is being gentrified, and mass incarceration plagues the community, Paul set out to replace "the global system of racism with a system of justice." Underrepresented and discouraged with a choice of stereotypical representations or Hip-Hop-centric publicans such as XXL, Heavyweight Apparel of NYC takes aim to spread Paul's idiosyncratic worldview through his own apparel line that addresses feminism, racial inequalities, and self-expression.  

It's our narrative and we get to tell it.

Inspiration

Shaped by traveling and defined by New York City, Paul has been instilled with “a deeper perspective along with an appreciation for the culture, my people, and humanity” which parlays into a confidence that characterizes Heavyweight Apparel. Paul spent eight years in the United States Air Force stationed across Southern California, Korea, Italy, and Las Vegas. Seeking more, he spent a stint in the Peace Corp serving Kenya.

"I wanted to do some more traveling, I wasn't ready to settle down. I wanted to see the world. ... I went to Kenya and had the time of my life."

An inclusive worldview attributed to his travels, and Paul finds himself endowed with inspiration to share his worldview.

“I’m able to compare lifestyles and see other ways of living. I’m able to bring those experiences to the brand [Heavyweight Apparel] and show something else."

Realizing a Vision

Paul returned to America and entered art school for graphic design. This provided him the opportunity to draw from ideological influences such as Dr. Cornel West, James Baldwin, and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Message-centric and reminiscent of 90's New York City street bills, Heavyweight Apparel is striking. A stylistic amalgam of George Lois Esquire’s magazine covers tempered with Helmut Newton’s and Nobuyoshoi Araki’s imposing portrait photos through a lens of Roc-A-Wear era hip hop. The sum is a street-wear strain that is unmistakably New York City in its tone while invoking the impressions that the world laid onto Paul.

A stylistic amalgam of George Lois Esquire’s magazine covers tempered with Helmut Newton’s and Nobuyoshoi Araki’s imposing portrait photos through a lens of Roc-A-Wear era hip hop.

Paul is now growing his burgeoning brand. Solidified in Heavyweight Apparel of NYC brand, he is putting his sum into realizing his vision.

"It Invokes struggle, triumph, perseverance, resilience, strength, and sex appeal."

 Paul created his brand to give back to his community at large, share his worldview, and prize those around him who don't receive the admiration they deserve. He finds his own part in this battle by seeking out people of color to work with, especially women, to accomplish “my [Paul's] own activism and sense of justice." He pays above the standard rate with what he sees as fair, insisting that it is these efforts that create and shape his brand with the authenticity needed to spread the message of empowerment. 

"I don’t give a fuck. And I’m too old to be scared about trying or failing or looking silly. Everyone else is getting their slice of the pie and I see people going after their dreams, why not go after mine? And besides, I feel like I have a better story to tell than other emerging brands. Other emerging brands take the same pictures; they’re all wearing the same shit, with the same poses but these brands don’t really have a voice. They just have a picture with a “add to cart” button – and that’s it. I think what makes this brand endearing, it’s something that people can relate to – the story of the underdog, the story of redemption, the story of moving forward even in the face of inexplicable odds – that’s my definition of a “Heavyweight!” Now all I have to do is take those elements and add a little bit of 'sexy' to it, and now I have something special and authentic."

 

Check out more of Heavyweight Apparel’s updates. Follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.