VICEhttps://www.vice.com/en_caRSS feed for https://www.vice.comenFri, 14 Dec 2018 19:49:11 +0000<![CDATA[Canadian Anti-Islam Militia Changes Leadership, Starts New Training Program ]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/kzvyae/canadian-anti-islam-militia-changes-leadership-starts-new-training-programFri, 14 Dec 2018 19:49:11 +0000The anti-Islamic militia Three Percent (or III%), which formed in Canada almost three years ago, has new leadership and is looking to significantly increase their para-military style training.

Two weeks ago, a BC man named Kazimir (Kazz) Nowlin took over the reins of the far-right group from Robert (Beau) Welling, the only real leader the Canadian iteration of the group has known. The first order of business for the log driver from British Columbia: putting out a nationwide order for his followers to buy airsoft rifles—realistic weapons, which have been used by law enforcement for training, that use air to fire small BBs.

“All active III% members are required to buy one airsoft rifle and one airsoft sidearm for training purposes, this is a national order from the top and is being implemented countrywide to standardize training among our ranks,” read the order posted in the organization’s private Facebook group.

The reason for this directive, he explained in a further post, is so they can ramp up and nationalize their military-esque training; according to Nowlin’s post, with airsoft they can “legally and safely” train and “team fire, CQB, or any other simulated cover and conceal training.” This was something they just couldn’t do beforehand as, even the threepers realized, shooting live firearms at each other under the guise of training is typically not the best idea.

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A picture of threepers at a recent Ottawa rally. Photo via Facebook.

Nowlin, like his predecessor, is no stranger to using alarming language to rally up his troops. The conspiracy du jour for the III% is the UN agreement which the threepers, spurred by right wing media and surprisingly enough the Conservative Party, believe is going to force open borders on Canada. In a recent Facebook post, Nowlin expressed the fact the threepers may need to utilize their training sooner than later.

“Extreme violence, rape, murders, missing kids, poverty, grooming gangs and terrorism will soon become a more common problem in our country…” reads a recent Facebook post by him. “We will fall under the globalist (U.N.) authority at this point and lose all of our sovereignty.”

“Dark days are soon to be upon us. Brothers and sisters be at the ready, train harder than ever to protect your loved ones and country. Everyone else, good luck we tried to warn you.”

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Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter .

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kzvyaeMack LamoureuxJosh VisserChris BiltonNewsCanadaextremismmilitiaIIIcanadian newsanti islamthreepersthree percentCanadian Far Right Extremism
<![CDATA[This Photographer Uses Their Camera as a Key to the Private Lives of Others]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ev7zdm/this-photographer-uses-their-camera-as-a-key-to-the-private-lives-of-othersFri, 14 Dec 2018 15:33:23 +0000 Music for My Eyes is the second part of Grace Ahlbom's zine series, produced with with Dashwood Books in New York City. Traveling to London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Reykjavík, Tokyo, and Venice reaffirmed the role of photography as a means of access to people and places that Ahlbom otherwise might not have. Ahlbom finds subjects from around the world through mutual friends and Instagram. The fondness the subjects have for Ahlbom become apparent in the selection of images in both zines.

I spoke to them about the project below and what considerations they like to make when shooting people close to them.

VICE: What's the time period for these photos? Was there a particular moment when this project began?
Grace Ahlbom: The time period for the series is about two years, which is exciting because it’s still rather new to me. After graduating from Pratt Institute, all I wanted to do was figure out a way to travel and be able to see the world through my lens. I started shooting images from this series while on a trip to Reykjavík, Iceland, with my friend Julian Klincewicz. The first hour into our trip we realized that we were both Virgos, and after that, I knew we were going to be able to work great together. We are both meticulous in our own ways. Julian also gets the same adrenaline rush I do when we really want a photograph to work. We would get up early or drive out to our location to chase—literally, chase—the last moments of light. Our ability to push each other is essential in a travel companion.

What considerations do you make while documenting your friends?
Normally, in documentary youth photography, you don’t want people to look overly put together or staged. You want them to look like real people as opposed to actors. In my more recent work, I approach my subjects in a different way because I focus on the fictive aspect. While documenting my friends, I usually have them act something out or pretend they’re having a conversation with someone. Most times they'll tell me that they don't know how to act, but I don't believe you need to know how to act to perform something you already do naturally for the camera. Often, I'll ask them to reenact something I've seen them do before, so I know that I'm not asking them to do anything drastically out of character.

Why did you make it a series versus one cohesive book?
It’s funny to mention one cohesive book, because I recently asked David, the owner, to set an edition of each zine aside for us to expand on in the future. I am aiming for the zines to be read as a set that fit together seamlessly, although they were published at different times. Once I feel the set is complete I imagine potentially binding all of the signatures together and making one cohesive special edition book. The paper stocks and printing techniques of each zine are different, which is a quality I’m excited about for the final book. I like when publications are what I call a “hybrid zine”—playing with both fine art book and zine qualities. Essentially printing a publication professionally and then having it bound at Staples, or vice versa.

Can you break down one of your favorite images?
My favorite spread from the zine is the one with a portrait of my friend Joe Skilton in London Fields with his hair dyed exactly like David Bowie’s in movie The Man Who Fell to Earth juxtaposed with a found still life from a barbershop’s storefront I passed by in Venice, Italy. The window display looks like a surrealist totem to masculinity, something maybe Salvador Dali would have designed if he were a barber. These two images coming together as one start a conversation in my mind of idolization, fan culture, relics, shrines and their relationship to consumerism and boredom. Masculinity has such a culturally obsessive hold on our society, and in so many parts of the world.

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Check out more of Grace's work here. You can buy their book here.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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ev7zdmElizabeth RenstromAlex NorciaPhotographyPhotosFRIENDSzineportraituregrace ahlbom
<![CDATA[2018’s Boyfriend Noah Centineo Is a Forever Flirt ]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/43959w/2018s-boyfriend-noah-centineo-is-a-forever-flirtFri, 14 Dec 2018 15:18:43 +0000 I never thought I’d live a Tuesday night that would end in a phone call from 2018’s summer crush Noah Centineo, but there we were.

“Hi, Sophie?” he asks as soon as I pick up. He’s smiling. It’s obvious, even over the phone.

The 22-year-old—whose endearing turn as Peter Kavinsky in Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before shot him to fame in August—quickly took the internet by storm. Fans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more fell willing prey to his charisma and mop of perfectly un-perfect hair.

Like today’s other young male heartthrobs—Harry Styles, Michael B. Jordan, the entire Riverdale crew—his effect has been something like Zac Efron’s c. 2006. Handsome, husky-voiced, wholesome, with a great smile—he was, right off the bat, loved, supported, invited onto every talk show and into every outlet’s quippy interview/puppy/party game video segment.

But he was 2018’s man. The internet has already been scouring for its 2019 golden boy. Centineo is less a presence on our daily social media scrolls, and his name is no longer one I hear uttered in everyday conversation. Some outlets have reiterated hearty doses of skepticism about his maturity, his skill, his absurdly-fast ascension to fame. Has he lost his moment in the sun? Is his momentum slowing? Is he simply well-rehearsed for interviews, regurgitating the same polished content in an effort to project a perfect package as he tries to maintain relevance in the industry?

I’m about to find out.

I was told we’d only have fifteen minutes to talk. He decides to stretch it to forty-two. I was told his agent would call me and connect me to him via an unlisted number. He calls me from a personal Floridian phone number instead. We even exchange texts a few weeks later.

His casual refusal to follows the standard ‘rules’ of his profession and of growing fame is the first thing I notice, and it endears me to him immediately. It makes his uniqueness even more obvious. Because Centineo isn’t your typical Hollywood golden boy. He climbs traffic signs during photoshoots. He cusses and writes poetry on the internet—occasionally at the same time. He expresses joy with his whole body and doesn’t seem to have a filter.

Pre-Kavinsky, he starred for five years on progressive family drama The Fosters, and made an appearance in Camila Cabelo’s Havana music video. Since Kavinsky—and subsequent role Jamey in Netflix’s Sierra Burgess is a Loser—Centineo is still landing role after role; amid other projects slated for release in 2019, he was just cast in Elizabeth Banks’s highly-anticipated Charlie’s Angels remake.

Centineo laughs frequently, listens actively, and clicks his teeth when he’s thinking. He explains the unease he’s realized comes hand-in-hand with notoriety; namely, that the public feels a degree of ownership over his life. “I don’t want to close myself off to people or opportunities,” he said. “But I also have to learn how to protect myself.”

Given the tumult of what was, quite literally, overnight fame (he gained over one million Instagram followers in a single dusk-to-dawn), he certainly has had to modify how he manages his personal life. He can no longer post on social media about where he is, because he’ll have to manage an influx of fans and paparazzi, visibility he says he is grateful for, though he worries about whomever he’s with—he doesn’t want the attention to make them feel uncomfortable.

He wonders now whether people he meets may have hidden agendas. He does his best to stay grounded even as he fears he’ll get caught up in distractions that come with life in the spotlight. And he is well aware of his privilege; these are what he calls “beautiful” problems.

“There’s certain publications or companies that want something from me but I just don’t feel comfortable giving that to them,” he elaborates. “And, like, I turn down the idea, and all of a sudden I’m a dick because I didn’t feel comfortable doing something. You know? It’s interesting.”

Centineo is remarkably easy to talk to. Part of it is his inherent—and warmly flirtatious—charm. The other is his inherent curiosity. He grills me for several minutes about my dental history.

“Wait, you’ve had 16 teeth pulled? For..for wh...Wh...why? Like, baby teeth too?”

I explain that I had several too many rows of incisor teeth. He’s murmuring affirmatively along with the story. “That’s wild,” he finally says. “Have you gotten tested for having superpowers? You probably should.”

The new life he leads has been an exciting transition for Centineo, even as he tries to maintain a balanced and grounded lifestyle. Born and raised in Miami before moving to LA as a teen, the rising star says the smell of fresh cut grass still reminds him of home. He meditates every day, lists sleep as his favourite activity, and enjoys eating vegan, though he doesn’t call himself one (“It’s 2018. [Vegans] have figured out their recipes.”)

He’s playing on the piano, softly. Under his words, a note, a ping, here, there, accenting an intimate way of speaking that is introspective and extroverted at once.

I ask him what single thing he’s most nostalgic for.

“Love,” he sighs, without a pause. What is his love? It’s safety, support, a challenge to be the best version of himself.

He spins me tales of times he’s fallen in love at first sight. Tells me about how dates he’s been on (he went bungee jumping with someone once, but connected more with a girl he met for a simple coffee date). Admits that he recently cried reading a script—an existential love drama—because he related to it so deeply.

“To me, when you’re crying, you’re aligned with some sort of truth,” he offers. “Some inner truth. That’s why you cry. You identify. It’s just ultimate honesty.”

On the subject of honesty, he is willing to admit that he’s a flirt.

“Yeah, no, I flirt with people,” he acquiesces.

He hesitates.

“I think I need to pull that back.”

But he wants to defend himself. “When I’m with someone I give them my time and I give them my energy,” he says, “because I like making someone feel loved! And making them laugh, and just, like, being there with them.”

When he’s really into somebody, he says, he’ll tell them straight up. He has a lady in his life at the moment (fans may be disappointed to hear that it is not his To All the Boys costar Lana Condor, nor is it his Sierra Burgess is a Loser costar Shannon Purser) and he makes sure to tell this girl constantly, he says, how huge a crush he has on her.

By now I’ve realized what makes this epitomical “cool guy” so unique. It’s an intense focus on his feelings and those of others; it’s his heart on his sleeve, in his outstretched hand; it’s the way he owns his emotional intelligence, wearing it with an almost unnerving ease and assurance.

But though he’s spiritual and thoughtful, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s got a young heart and an especially inspiring brand of youthful energy.

He tells me one of his skills is finding creative ways to sneak onto rooftops. And he enjoys bingeing on junk food from time to time, even while he likes to maintain a healthy diet.

“Sweet Tarts are dank,” he says. “10/10.”

Note, though: he doesn’t want anyone sending him Sweet Tarts.

“I heard that happened to Justin Bieber,” he explains. “Not that I’m anywhere near as cool as he is. But apparently he said, ‘Oh, I love this candy,’ and people sent it to him, and then he got sick and tired of it. Like a song that you play over and over again.”

He’s built a reputation on coming-of-age romantic comedies. But he wants to branch out, he says—to writing and directing and producing, but also to more tactile arts, like the visual arts space.

“I act, but I’m not necessarily an actor,” he explains. “Acting is just the first thing people see when they look at me. So I’d like to do more things.”

He hopes to use his platform for what he calls “many” social issues close to his heart; he says he has a confidential project in the works within the nonprofit sector and hopes to figure out a way to fix what he calls a North American culture that “needs shifting.”

He also has a lot to say about young men and their responsibilities to themselves and to women as they grow up and become active participants in today’s social climate.

“[Men] weren’t just born misogynists! We were taught these ethics and morals,” he says. “And it is a gender thing, because clearly one gender has been intimately oppressed for far longer than the other. It’s about time that we step the fuck up and have reverence and respect for one another.”

Centineo is reminded he has another call to make in a few minutes. But he recalls that I have a friend with a birthday the next day, and asks me to tell her he says happy birthday.

I tell him teasingly that I understand why he makes women swoon.

“Oh, Gawwwd,” he drawls goodnaturedly. “Stop it!”

But I want to know why women swoon over Kavinsky.

“Mmmm,” Centineo hums. “He’s young, he’s athletic, he’s sensitive and emotionally available. And he cares. He’s going through something with his family, and he cares about what Lara Jean is going through. And I think he’s just a really good guy.”

We trade pleasantries and he murmurs a farewell: “Thanks, love.”

I sit there for a minute, thinking about how in a way, I’d just had a conversation with Peter Kavinsky. I’d gabbed on the phone to Jamey, getting to know him as Sierra Burgess had.

But where Kavinsky and Jamey are fictional, and becoming less-prominent names on our daily social media scrolls, Noah Centineo is here, and he’s the real deal, and - despite 2018 coming to an end - he’s not going anywhere. And for fans, producers, and all the girls he’s loved before, that makes all the difference.

Follow Sophie on Twitter.

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43959wSophie van BastelaerSarah BermantvNETFLIXentertainmentnoah centineo2018's boyfriendPeter Kavinsky
<![CDATA[The Premier League's Weirdest Player Is the Christmas Hero We All Need]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/xwjmkj/the-premier-leagues-weirdest-player-is-the-christmas-hero-we-all-needFri, 14 Dec 2018 15:09:41 +0000Run and tell your dad: there is nothing new to say about Christmas. And that, in many ways, is the joy of it – the abiding sense of the big turkey party as a break in play, a time when we can all set aside the toil of innovation and the vanity of radical thought to collapse back into the cosy ruts of our own worst and most tedious impulses. So let the sad dads and the Instagram vegans jeer if they want to. It's Christmas; that’s their role, man. Don’t chide the Twitter Communists for their ability to peer through the complex veneer and see that, yes, actually Christmas is just a kind of fake retail Moon Landing perpetrated on the British people by Michael Bublé, Jeff Bezos and a talking donkey.

Everyone finds their own way to enjoy Christmas, a tiny porthole of light in an ocean of dilapidated midwinter sadness. Certainly you can see why the Pagans invented it, begging the sun to return by pretending that the 25th of December was "its birthday", a ludicrous ruse that at least provided some solace (and presumably, a few laughs) until it was light enough out that you didn’t need to burn one of your kids just to avoid pissing all over your shoes.

How better to toast this ancient season than to raise a glass to the Premier League's last godless pagan, a player so Medieval he's almost German, a player so old-fashioned he was described as "old-fashioned" by Neil Warnock last week? Come on down, Callum Paterson, a man so far out of time and place that his mere presence in the Premier League feels like a Christmas miracle, the story of a working men’s club Santa Claus who somehow taught his plastic reindeer to fly.

Felipe Anderson. Ryan Fraser. Mattéo Guendouzi. Potential cult heroes can be found everywhere in what still feels, somehow, like a nascent Premier League campaign. So why have we alighted on one who looks like an especially jovial Yorkshire policeman who eats kids? Or at least a big bowl of pork scratchings for breakfast, every single day, without cutlery, like a dog? Because Callum Paterson is a cult hero in the truest and most traditional sense of the word, a right-back converted into a striker who better resembles a streaker, a joyous interloper stowing away in the bowels of the world’s most avidly consumed elite division.

Callum Paterson has scored more league goals this season than Gabriel Jesus, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez combined, yet still he flies so far beneath the radar that he was able to attend Cardiff's Christmas party dressed as a leather daddy policeman without anyone getting outraged about it. He is the polar opposite to the flash kid who turns up to Under-13s training in Beats headphones and a brand new pair of Preds, and for that alone he deserves to be adored, albeit only after the 9PM watershed.

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Callum Paterson at the Cardiff Christmas party. Screenshot via Instagram / @joshymurph

Perhaps best of all is the sense that Paterson is building his own legend in a manner bordering on the unconscious. If he's the Premier League's weirdest player, that's because he appears to be a man wholly bereft of pretence and artifice, bullocking his way through English football's multi-million-pound defences with a plan thrown together off the cuff and a moustache that looks like it doesn't owe its existence to craft beer or Peaky Blinders. There is a real buzz in turning up at his Wikipedia page and seeing his position listed as "utility player"; this weird beast dragged from the swamps of the Scottish leagues as a defender but shunted further and further forwards because, as his manager explained, he simply "can't defend" – rare is the maverick force of nature who, even in a Warnock team, demands to be freed from the chains of defensive culpability.

Not everyone has been happy about this. Before they hosted Fulham in October, former Cardiff forward Nathan Blake declared in a newspaper column that City's other strikers – Kenneth Zohore, Danny Ward, Gary Madine and the £11 million Bobby Reid – should be existentially distressed that Paterson was playing ahead of them. "If I were them, I would be embarrassed and insulted that a full-back-cum-midfielder, who can play No. 9 in an emergency, was playing ahead of me," said Blake. "One thing Callum Paterson is not is a centre-forward himself. No, no, no, no. And no again. And I say that as someone who played the role myself, understands what is required there."

As it happens, Paterson did start that game at centre-forward, scoring the crucial third in a 4-2 win against opponents Cardiff hadn't beaten for almost four years. The stage, rightfully, is his.

What he does with that stage now seems up to him. In the next 18 days, Cardiff travel to Watford, Crystal Palace and Leicester, and host Manchester United and Spurs at Colin Wanker’s Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd. For all his apparent lack of refine, Paterson feels precision-engineered for this kind of slog, the bear-pit brutality of English football’s Christmas traipse, when the games come at you like a greasy spoon gut-buster brunch and all the players are so tired they seem pissed. A lot of kids get their first experience of top-level football at Christmas, when families are lulled out to stadiums almost as rite and en masse, knowing that atmospheres should be safely sedated by meat and cheese, and perhaps tickets to Selhurst Park were always lurking in Santa’s sack anyway. It's not hard to fall in love with the idea of some wide-eyed boys and girls from Grangetown or Canton making their first pilgrimage to City and discovering a formative hero in the berserker shape of Paterson. It is perhaps even easier to love the idea of a young Palace fan skipping off to discover what this football lark is all about and being scarred for life on Boxing Day as Paterson wiggles and gyrates just yards away like a moustachioed Queensferry Elvis.

For all the undeniable, violent sleaze of his goal celebrations, ultimately Paterson is a warming and reassuring presence in a top tier that could do with a little less self-seriousness, more players who seem like they could be relied upon to pick you up from the airport, helm a stag do or take you out for a few pints and a surprisingly well handled chat about your latest breakup. Pray to Santa that no heartache visits Callum Paterson this festive season, as he hums along to Chris Rea on the motorway home to his adoring family for the most heroic Christmas of his life, an anachronistic cult figure in a mad, bad world of increasingly furious and dystopian cultish concerns.

@hydallcodeen / @Dan_Draws

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

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xwjmkjHydall CodeenJamie CliftonDan EvansFootballpremier leagueCardiff CityRow Zcallum paterson
<![CDATA[What's Gone On This Week: 15 Activists Have Been Punished for Peaceful Protest]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/gy7kkq/whats-gone-on-this-week-15-activists-have-been-punished-for-peaceful-protestFri, 14 Dec 2018 15:09:27 +0000 Welcome to "Pub Notes", a column where NEO – AKA @WELCOME_ZIDANE – spoon-feeds you opinions about the three biggest UK stories of the week, so you don't miss any heated debates down the pub or around the coffee table at 4AM tomorrow.

THE CURSÈD MACE

PANTO-SEASON IS IN FULL FLOW, BUT WHY GO SEE NEIL MORRISSEY PLAY "BUTTONS" IN CINDERELLA WHEN YOU CAN WITNESS INSTANTLY BETTER COMEDIC ENTITIES IN PARLIAMENT FUCKING UP EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH LIKE A REVERSE MIDAS. I'M STARTING TO THINK EVEN HAVING MR PUNCHINELLO AS PRIME MINISTER WOULD BE LESS CHAOTIC.

BREXIT FURORE PEAKED THIS WEEK AS LLOYD RUSSELL-MOYLE, WHO RECENTLY BECAME THE FIRST MP TO ANNOUNCE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS THAT HE IS HIV+ IN THE HOPE OF MAKING LIFE BETTER AND EASIER FOR THE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS LIVING WITH THE VIRUS, WALKED FORWARD IN PARLIAMENT AND HELD ALOFT THE CEREMONIAL MACE IN PROTEST OF THE GOVERNMENT FORMALLY DELAYING THE BREXIT VOTE. HE WAS PROMPTLY LABELLED A "DISGRACE" BY OUTRAGED CONSERVATIVE MPS TO CRIES OF "EXPEL HIM". NOT HARD TO WORK OUT WHO THE GRASSES WERE AT SCHOOL IS IT.

TO THE UNTRAINED EYE THE FIVE-FOOT GOLDEN SCEPTRE MIGHT LOOK LIKE SOMETHING SOME FORMULA 1 CUNT WOULD HOLD ALOFT AFTER WINNING A GRAND PRIX IN ABU DHABI, BUT FOR 500 YEARS IT HAS REPRESENTED THE MONARCH’S AUTHORITY IN PARLIAMENT. WITHOUT IT, PARLIAMENT CANNOT MEET OR PASS LAWS, AND IT’S LITERALLY ILLEGAL TO CARRY OUT A DEBATE WITHOUT IT. THE BRIGHTON KEMPTOWN MP SAID THAT WHILE HE WAS AWARE THAT GRABBING THE MACE MAY SEEM STRANGE, HE CONCEDED HE WORKS "IN A VERY ODD PLACE, WHICH RESTS HEAVILY ON SYMBOL AND RITUAL."

IT COULDN’T BE A BRITISH DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM IF IT WASN’T UNDERPINNED BY SOME OLD CUNT COVERED IN DIAMONDS WHO ISN’T SUBJECTED TO "EARTHLY AUTHORITY BY THE GRACE OF GOD" GRANTING US THEIR PERMISSION IN THE FORM OF IMPERIAL INSIGNIA TO LIVE OUT OUR PATHETIC LAW-ABIDING LIVES. OF COURSE, MPS RUNNING UP MILLIONS-OF-POUNDS ON THE BEER TAB IN ANY OF THE EIGHT BARS INSIDE PARLIAMENT AS PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY RIFLE THROUGH BINS IN ORDER TO EAT IS CONSIDERED NORMAL AND RATIONAL. BUT A CEREMONIAL MACE THAT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT GOLDEN VIBRATOR DESIGNED BY VIVIENNE WESTWOOD IS CONSIDERED SACROSANCT.

I’VE SAID IT BEFORE BUT I’LL SAY IT AGAIN: IF YOU WANT ANY SEMBLANCE OF CHANGE, TAKE PARLIAMENT OUT OF CENTRAL LONDON AND PLOP IT IN AN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE OUTSIDE A SHIT HOLE TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF BRITAIN.

THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT ROLL-OUT IS A FUCKING DISGRACE

AS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, MANY PEOPLE IN THE FIRST WORLD COUNTRY OF GREAT BRITAIN ARE SO POOR THEY’RE LITERALLY FORCED TO SCAVENGE FOR FOOD.

THE HUMAN FALLOUT OF THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT ROLL-OUT HAS BEEN CONDEMNED IN A NEW REPORT BY DEBT CHARITY "CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY". THE TORTUOUS SIGN UP PROCESS FOLLOWED BY THE INTERMINABLE WAIT WITHOUT MONEY IS LEAVING PEOPLE IN DESPERATE SITUATIONS.

WHILE THE IDEA OF HAVING A SINGLE BENEFIT PAYMENT, RATHER THAN SIX SEPARATE ONES, SEEMS LOGICAL IN THEORY, THE CHARITY POINTS OUT ISSUES WHICH TRIP UP THE MOST VULNERABLE APPLICANTS. THESE INCLUDE THE APPLICATION NEEDING TO BE FILLED IN ONLINE – WITH NO PAPER-BASED EQUIVALENT AND NO SAVE OPTION – MEANING YOU HAVE TO DO IT IN ONE SITTING. ONE WOMAN WHOSE CLAIM WAS GREATLY DELAYED BECAUSE OF PROBLEMS COMPLETING HER APPLICATION DID NOT HAVE ANY SUPPORT BECAUSE THE SET NUMBER OF WEEKS THE "SUPPORT WORKER HAD BEEN ALLOCATED TO HELP HER HAD BEEN EXCEEDED", THE CHARITY EXPLAINED. THEN, ONCE HER EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE CLAIM WAS CLOSED, THERE WAS THE OFFICIAL FIVE-WEEK WAIT FOR THE FIRST UC PAYMENT. "SHE CONTINUED WITHOUT INCOME FOR, IT SEEMED TO HER, AN UNENDING AMOUNT OF TIME… SHE HAD BEEN GOING THROUGH BINS AT NIGHT TO FIND FOOD". IT’S NO SURPRISE THE USAGE OF FOOD BANKS NEARLY DOUBLES IN AREAS WHERE UNIVERSAL CREDIT HAS REPLACED THE PREVIOUS SYSTEM.

THESE HUGE WAIT TIMES FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT MEAN, IN SOME PLACES, “OVER 50 PERCENT” OF CLAIMANTS ARE IN RENT ARREARS. WITH OUR CIVIL SERVICE SEEMINGLY UNABLE TO COMPREHEND THAT NOT EVERYONE’S DAD IS A HEDGE-FUND MANAGER FROM SURREY, APPLICANTS ARE OFTEN BEING ADVISED TO BORROW FROM “FRIENDS, FAMILY OR A COMMERCIAL LENDER TO COVER THE GAP”. ONE PERSON TOLD THE CHARITY THE COUNCIL THREATENED TO START EVICTION PROCEEDINGS IF THEY DIDN’T PAY RENT WHILE AWAITING UC PAYMENTS TO BEGIN.

IF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT LANDING KIDNEY SHOTS LIKE A PRIME GEORGE FOREMAN WASN’T ENOUGH TO CONTEND WITH, YOU HAVE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOOTING FUCK OUT OF YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN. I THINK THE CIVIL SERVICES' MARIE ANTOINETTE HOMAGE OF SPENDING £1,125 ON CAKE TO CELEBRATE THIS CRUEL SYSTEM JUST ABOUT HIGHLIGHTS HOW INSENSITIVE THE BODIES THAT ARE MEANT TO OFFER US A DUTY OF CARE HAVE BECOME.

PEACEFUL PROTEST CAN NOW GET YOU PRISON TIME IN THE UK APPARENTLY

LAST YEAR, 15 ACTIVISTS CUT A HOLE IN A PERIMETER FENCE AT STANSTED AIRPORT AND BLOCKED THE TAKEOFF OF A DEPORTATION FLIGHT THAT HAD BEEN CHARTERED BY THE HOME OFFICE.

THIS WEEK, THE GROUP WERE FOUND GUILTY UNDER “THE 1990 AVIATION AND MARITIME SECURITY ACT", A LAW PASSED IN RESPONSE TO THE 1988 LOCKERBIE BOMBING. THE CONVICTION HAS BEEN CALLED A "CRUSHING BLOW FOR HUMAN RIGHTS" BY AMNESTY. EVEN IF YOU ARE A BOOTLICKING CUNT, THE THOUGHT OF A LAW BORNE OUT OF A TERRORIST ACT BEING USED TO CONVICT NON-VIOLENT PROTESTS SHOULD BE DEEPLY WORRISOME.

WHAT MAKES THIS CONVICTION EVEN MORE ORWELLIAN IS THAT THESE ACTIVISTS WERE INITIALLY ACCUSED OF AGGRAVATED TRESPASS, THE TYPICAL CHARGE, BUT THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE THEN UPGRADED THIS TO "INTENTIONAL DISRUPTION OF SERVICES AT AN AERODROME" BY MEANS OF "A DEVICE, SUBSTANCE OR WEAPON". WHICH SOUNDS LIKE POSH CUNT SPEAK FOR, "YOU’RE GETTING FUCKED OVER, PAL."

THE CPS MAINTAINED THE GROUP PLACED "THEMSELVES, THE FLIGHT CREW, AIRPORT PERSONNEL AND POLICE AT SERIOUS RISK OF INJURY OR EVEN DEATH". THEIR "DEVICES" IN THIS INSTANCE WEREN’T EXPLOSIVES, BUT “BOLT CUTTERS, CHAINS, EXPANDING FOAM, SCAFFOLDING POLES AND LOCK BOX DEVICES”, WHICH WOULD MAKE EVERY WHITE-VAN-MAN IN BRITAIN A POTENTIAL TED KACZYNSKI.

THE PROTESTORS WERE HIGHLIGHTING A HARSH AND PUNITIVE SYSTEM WHICH MANY PEOPLE ARE INCREASINGLY ILL AT EASE WITH. EVEN VIRGIN ATLANTIC SAID THEY WOULD NO LONGER HELP DEPORTATION, AND WITH NEARLY HALF OF IMMIGRATION DECISIONS MADE OVERTURNED ON APPEAL, THE BEST RESPONSE WOULD PROBABLY HAVE BEEN TO DO AWAY WITH SUCH A CRUEL POLICY.

THANKS TO THE ACTIVISTS' BLOCKADE THAT DAY, MANY PEOPLE ON THAT FLIGHT – SOME OF THEM VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING RECOGNISED UNDER THE "MODERN SLAVERY ACT" – ARE STILL IN THE UK WITH THEIR FAMILIES, AND TWO PEOPLE HAVE SINCE BEEN PROVED TO HAVE BEEN RIGHTLY SAVED FROM WRONGFUL DEPORTATION. WHEN I LOOK OVER TO OUR COUSINS PROTESTING IN FRANCE, I CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL IF MACRON’S GOVERNMENT TRIED THIS SHIT, YOU COULD SET YOUR WATCH TO HIS HEAD DEPARTING HIS BODY ON THE PLACE DE LA CONCORDE WITHIN THE HOUR.

WHILE, TO MOST OF US, PROTESTING EQUATES TO HELPING CROWDFUND A “FUNNY” BALLOON ONCE A YEAR, NON-VIOLENT PROTESTERS WHO ARE ACTUALLY SAVING LIVES COULD BE SENT TO PRISON FOR THEIR REAL “CRIME” OF EXPLICITLY CHALLENGING THE PRACTICES OF THE GOVERNMENT. PATHETIC.

@WELCOME_ZIDANE

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

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gy7kkqNEO Emma GarlandBrexituniversal creditpeaceful protestPUB NOTESthe macelloyd russell-moylestansted15
<![CDATA[The Decline of American Peyote]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/xwj7yq/the-decline-of-american-peyote-v25n4Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:09:15 +0000 This story appears in VICE Magazine's Burnout and Escapism Issue. Click HERE to subscribe.

Peyote has been a part of Dawn Davis’s life for as long as she can remember. The small, mescaline-producing cactus is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, but Davis’s first encounter with the plant was on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in southeastern Idaho, where her family would store peyote “buttons” in jars tucked away in the kitchen cabinets. The scientific name of the peyote cactus is Lophophora williamsii, but Davis and her family simply call it “medicine.”

Davis is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, and she was first brought to a “peyote meeting” as an infant. When she was older she learned these meetings were religious ceremonies of the Native American Church (NAC), a syncretic religion that blends elements of Christianity and American Indian ritual, including the use of peyote as a sacrament. Over the years, Davis noticed the peyote used in the ceremonies wasn’t nearly as abundant as when she was a child. When peyote buttons reach maturity, they can be several inches in diameter, but at many of the ceremonies Davis attended, it wasn’t unusual for the buttons to be the size of a penny.

Although she didn’t know it at the time, what Davis observed was the beginning of a deep conservation crisis. Over the last few decades, the peyote supply in the US has rapidly declined because of habitat destruction, illegal poaching, and unsustainable harvesting practices. As she began to look into the issue, Davis realized that she had to take action to preserve this disappearing natural resource that is a core element of the largest indigenous religion in the United States.

After receiving her family’s blessing, Davis applied to study peyote conservation as part of her master’s degree at the University of Arizona. Today, she is continuing this research as a doctoral candidate at the University of Idaho and is one of only a handful of scholars researching the crisis. In October I met Davis at Horizons, an annual conference on psychedelics in New York City, to speak with her about how she has spent the past decade working with Texas landowners, government officials, NAC members, and peyoteros (peyote harvesters) to better understand the issue. What she found is a sacred plant on the verge of extinction and a general lack of knowledge about the extent of the problem—but most importantly, she found a way forward.

Continue reading on Motherboard.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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xwj7yqDaniel OberhausAnkita RaoMotherboardVICE MagazinePeyoteThe Burnout and Escapism Issuev25n4Texas peyote gardensDawn DavispeyoterosNative American Church
<![CDATA[Meet the Metal Band Whose Breakup Went Viral]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/nepk8k/meet-the-metal-band-whose-breakup-went-viralFri, 14 Dec 2018 15:01:58 +0000Toronto doom metal band, Witchrot was thrust into the internet's spotlight when bassist Peter Turik told the world the band was breaking up because his longtime girlfriend was cheating on him with the guitarist. And, that their drummer had died. We met up with the band's remaining members to find out what it's like to go viral.

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<![CDATA[Mitt Romney Might Become Trump's Next Great Nemesis]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/7xym3q/mitt-romney-might-become-trumps-next-great-nemesisFri, 14 Dec 2018 13:17:10 +0000With the Democrats soon to be in control of the House of Representatives, the inside-the-beltway punditry has largely posited that a Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives will naturally become Donald Trump’s latest bête noire. To be sure, an empowered Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler leading, respectively, the House Intelligence and Justice committees isn't welcome news for the president, but a Democratic House is a threat that the White House should have seen coming long ago.

As veterans of political combat know, the biggest threat isn’t the one you see from miles away; it’s the one you didn’t anticipate, oftentimes because it comes from one of your supposed allies. And in January, Trump’s biggest antagonist in DC may very well emerge from within his own party.

But who is this statesman who will muster the courage to say “enough is enough” and attempt to put an end to the house fire burning at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? What conservative has the gravitas and authority to speak for Republicans who have been gritting their teeth every time that Trump waxes effusively about Vladimir Putin or Mohammed bin Salman?

It’s Mitt Romney, of course. Technically, he’ll be the junior senator from Utah starting January 3, but the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee is the de facto leader of the pre-Trump GOP. Not since Hillary Clinton was elected in 2000 from her adopted state of New York has a junior senator come to Washington with so much clout and influence.

Between Robert Mueller's investigation and the Democrats taking back the House, the Washington media hasn’t given the intramural politics of the Republican Senate and the impact of Mitt Romney much airplay. But Romney’s arrival in Washington might mark the beginning of a political dynamic more problematic for Trump than the Democrats’ regaining control of the House.

The contentious relationship between Romney and Trump is well documented. Although the two have publicly made nice at several junctures for raw political expediency—Romney was rumored at one point to be in the running for Trump’s secretary of State—there is a degree of underlying personal and political animus that will be impossible to keep bottled up now that Romney will have a front-row seat to Trump's eschewing so many traditional GOP policies and norms.

For Romney, the measured, calculated, religious, and refrained management consultant, there is no greater a polar opposite in business or politics, nor in matters of faith and family life than Donald Trump. These differences were put on full public display in the heat of the 2016 Republican Primaries when Romney, who at the time was the spiritual leader of the ultimately unsuccessful “Never Trump” movement, called out the future president, slamming him as “a phony” and “a fraud” who is “playing the American public for suckers.”

“Think of Donald Trump's personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics,” Romney said in a speech in March of 2016. "We have long referred to him as The Donald. He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn't because he had attributes we admired.”



Romney evidently sees Trump as a pathogen that has infected his party, and with each and every Tweet or impulsive directive, he is steering the country into more dangerous waters. And Romney may feel that he is the guy who can right the ship—and he wouldn’t mind getting the credit for doing so. Keep in mind that Romney is probably not in the Senate just to be a great senator for the people of Utah; he clearly continues to harbor higher aspirations.

And unlike nearly every Republican in the Senate—and unlike Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, the Trump antagonist who retired to avoid facing reelection—Romney just got elected in a deep-red state that is decidedly un-Trumpy. Although he won the state’s six electoral college votes, Trump managed to lock in only 46 percent of the vote, with a virtually unknown third-party candidate picking up a solid fifth of the ballots. Trump’s coattails in Utah are virtually nonexistent, so Romney has plenty of freedom to push back against Trump without having to face a firing squad back home. When he ran for president in 2012, Romney won Utah with 73 percent of the vote, and in his latest race for the Senate, he scored a nearly equally decisive victory, with 63 percent. And even if Trumpist voters in Utah are unhappy with him, Romney won’t have to face reelection for six years, 100 lifetimes from now in modern US politics.

Whereas nearly all other Republicans in the Senate fear the political pound of flesh that Trump’s base may extract if they don't follow the president off of whatever cliff he's teetering on, Romney has no such concerns. Here are three early signs that Mitt Romney is lacing up to go mano a mano with the President:

  1. The battle to approve the new attorney general. Expect to see Romney dig in and demand that his support for the new AG be conditional on that nominee to vow to uphold the rule of law and protect Mueller and his investigation.
  2. Shielding the Mueller Investigation from White House Meddling. So far, this idea has been a non-starter for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but expect to see Romney voice his support for legislation protecting the investigation from President Trump.
  3. The Wall. Romney, who often touted his fiscal chops on the campaign trail in 2012, might take a very public stand against Trump’s quixotic quest to invest $5 billion in a physical wall no one in Washington besides Trump himself seriously thinks we need. His stance against Trump’s pet project could provide cover for a handful of other fiscal conservatives in the Senate to join him in shooting down the idea.

Romney is uniquely positioned to take a stand. He likely knows that historians will not be kind to Donald Trump, nor to his enablers, and that although the cost of excising Trump from the White House may render some short-term setbacks for the GOP in 2020, Mitt Romney may very well end up cast in the role of this generation’s Lowell Weicker, the senator from Connecticut who became the first Republican to call for the Richard Nixon’s resignation. History may very well see Romney as the man who brought the GOP back to sanity after the Trump fever finally broke.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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<![CDATA[A Subversive Instagram Vending Machine Just Hit Los Angeles]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/kzvkjm/a-subversive-instagram-vending-machine-just-hit-los-angelesFri, 14 Dec 2018 13:16:47 +0000If you’ve found yourself roaming popular tourist destinations in LA this past week, you may have come across a vending machine urging you to swipe your credit card to buy a candy-shaped box of “like & likes,” “witty captions,” or “DM sliders.” Pay $10 and you can buy 1,000 fake Instagram followers for your profile. Or you can purchase a “hashtag 8 ball” that tells you whether to post the caption you’re thinking of or not. The trippy traveling display, currently at the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA, is a marketing promotion for a new documentary released on iTunes this week, Social Animals , which follows the highs and lows of three teenagers aspiring for Instagram fame over two years. The well-received film premiered at SXSW in March, and follows a rising daredevil street photographer from Queens named Humza Deas; aspiring fashion mogul Kaylyn Slevin; and a Ohio student Emma Crocket, who represents those of us just trying to exist in today’s social media minefield.

Over the past two days, the movie’s marketing team, Conscious Minds, has placed two vending machines in popular LA tourist locations like Venice Beach, Melrose, and the downtown Walt Disney Concert Area for a few hours at a time, prompting onlookers to take pictures with it. According to Social Animals producer Blake Heal, they’ve purchased over 100 of its products, which are sometimes pure jokes and other times actual Instagram currency packaged in a silly way. For the latter, the buyer DMs a code to the Social Animals Instagram page and the marketing team sources them followers and likes from websites like buzzoid and igramfollower.

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There have been other projects that move criticism of internet phenomenons into the real world; a recent experiment by the Columbia Journalism Review took fake headlines from the internet and placed them on fake newspapers on newsstands in New York. If pedestrians opened one, they’d find a pamphlet inside explaining how consumers can spot and avoid fake news the next time around. But that example also highlights the trouble with these kind of experiments—how effective are they, if it’s likely someone could feel annoyed the fake newspaper was on the shelf in the first place or find the pamphlet condescending? Similarly, it’s hard to imagine that someone obsessed enough with Instagram to buy 1,000 fake followers would suddenly see a new, positive perspective when they realize the machine is making fun of them. And there’s always the possibility that some could buy products to sincerely boost their profile, especially through the anonymity of their website.

To its credit, Social Animals, has generally been positively received as a compassionate non-judgmental look at the struggles and triumphs of its three leads. Director Jonathan Ignatius takes the film beyond the way teens use Instagram to also incorporate why their hobbies and backgrounds have lead them to care deeply about the topics they’re known for online. One gets the sense that rising photographer Deas would still be passionate about his photos if Instagram never existed, and, likewise, that Slevin would still have an eye for entrepreneurship. This light touch means the tone comes across as less finger-wagging than it could when it does start exposing the dark side of Instagram, like the cruel comments popular influencers recieve and the anxiety of feeling like an outcast online.

It’s no surprise the Instagram vending machine went a lot further with its commentary than the nuanced film it’s designed to promote. The marketers behind movie campaigns are notorious for playing into elaborate gimmicks, like when Deadpool 2 created a fake Tinder account, holiday cards, and an ad campaign that placed their characters in posters for other movies. Or when The Dark Knight Rises sent fans in 300 global cities on a hunt to take a picture of Batman graffiti that could gain them access to the movie’s third trailer. But Social Animals’ Instagram vending machines are still noteworthy, for their meta commentary on the subject it’s advertising, using the incentives of our current culture to sneakily direct money toward dismantling it. The machine proves the necessity of its film, and also the inescapability of social media’s influence on every way we communicate, including in person.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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<![CDATA[In 'Mary Queen of Scots,' Even Queens Are Screwed Over by Men Around Them]]>https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/vbaq84/mary-queen-of-scots-review-queens-screwed-over-by-menThu, 13 Dec 2018 21:26:43 +0000 Mary Queen of Scots brings one of the more bonkers periods of British history to the big screen—a chapter that was invariably flattened at some point by American public school into a sea of Elizabeths, Harrys, and Jameses.

Mary Stuart, known also as Mary I of Scotland, was born the only legitimate heir of Scottish King James V, and she became queen at six days old due to his untimely death. A series of political plots and arranged marriages resulted in her plausible claim to the French throne and, eventually, the English throne. Though Elizabeth I became Queen of England, both felt their claim was legitimate. Elizabeth’s support fell along Protestant lines, while Mary’s followers were Catholic adherents.

The film, starring Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth, focuses on the queens’ feuding, as well as Mary’s desire to unify Scotland and England under her rule. Both queens also spend considerable time plotting the conception of a suitable heir to extend their lineage in their absence. Most of the screen time is spent dramatizing the catch-22s of female rulership—namely, producing such an heir without ceding power to men. But, to produce a child, each queen requires a husband—a dangerous decision in an era when husbands ruthlessly subjugate their wives. It’s made all the more dicey because each woman’s court is dominated by men, many of whom thirst for the power to rule as king.

Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth
Photo via Focus Features

Like many period pieces, everything about the film oozes a kind of grandiosity. It’s visually decadent, with sweeping vistas of the Scottish highlands and lingering shots of castles that make humans look ant-sized in comparison. Elizabeth and Mary are each dressed resplendently, placed at the forefront of each shot whether standing in a room of all-male advisors or riding on horseback into battle.

These cinematic techniques lend the film, and the film’s two dueling monarchs, an air of elevated importance. Robbie and Ronan capitalize on this in every possible way, delivering performances befitting their royal titles. Robbie is captivating as a woman aware of her power and willing to sacrifice her most personal dreams in order to maintain it. Ronan shines as a symbol of brazen confidence and fertility, a rash foil to to her more mature counterpart.

Where this film distinguishes itself from other period pieces is in its dedication to humanizing female rulers. Viewers are treated to the geopolitical strategies that rule Mary and Elizabeth's decision making, as well as the bleak interior lives they lead in order to execute these grand plans. It’s not the kind of territory most period pieces have tread, mostly because period pieces don’t normally center on the lives of women who are actually in power.

Honestly, it’s not pleasant. These leaders, like many of their male counterparts, are forced to make difficult, horrendous decisions. And because they’re both women in an era that was, frankly, awful for women, they each become victims of terrible circumstance as well as terrible men. This toxicity steals power from the film’s most powerful scenes, where Elizabeth and Mary are actually directly pitted against each other. So much of the film’s emotional arc is told in the sparing moments they interact. It’s like watching a protracted chess game, told in messages from consorts and smash cuts from Mary’s camp to Elizabeth’s castle. They highlight the precocious tit-for-tat of rulership, and help us find similarities in what appear to be stark differences.

Some of these moments are quite literal. A scene where Mary is splayed on a blood soaked sheet post-childbirth cuts directly to a scene where Elizabeth sits with a sea of red paper flowers she has made between her legs. The moment they finally meet in person is electric. You almost just want a supercut of Robbie and Ronan going toe to toe, as opposed to the interchangeable bearded men we watch repeatedly conspire against them.

About halfway through, it becomes apparent what a self-flagellating enterprise the whole saga is. Mary’s closest allies are brutally murdered. She’s married against her will, raped, and repeatedly branded a whore by a zealous Protestant religious leader. On the other end, Elizabeth becomes ill with smallpox, a violent disease that leaves her infertile—”barren” as Mary eventually calls her. This is devastating to a woman who desperately wants a child, but it is also a nail in the coffin of succession.

At some point, Mary Queen of Scots becomes an exercise in examining the ways even the world’s most powerful women must capitulate to the horrible men around them. It’s far from being the sort of “female empowerment” film that you might assume based off of the trailers. It feels a little more like being flogged with misogyny.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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vbaq84Nicole ClarkAlex ZaragozaCultureFilmmoviebritainentertainmenthistoryMargot RobbieSaoirse RonanMary Queen of Scotsperiod dramaQueen Elizabeth I