2023年9月14日 星期四

The Weird Silence About Brexit’s Disastrousness 關於英國脫歐災難 人民異常沉默

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2023/09/15 第450期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 The Weird Silence About Brexit's Disastrousness 關於英國脫歐災難 人民異常沉默
C'mon Barbie, Let's Go Argue About Politics 美國左右派論戰讓「芭比」也政治化
The Weird Silence About Brexit's Disastrousness 關於英國脫歐災難 人民異常沉默
文/Michelle Goldberg

關於英國脫歐災難 人民異常沉默

There's a growing understanding in Britain that the country's vote to quit the European Union, a decisive moment in the international rise of reactionary populism, was a grave error.


Just as critics predicted, Brexit has led to inflation, labor shortages, business closures and travel snafus. It has created supply chain problems that put the future of British car manufacturing in danger. Brexit has, in many cases, turned travel between Europe and the U.K. into a punishing ordeal, as I learned recently, spending hours in a chaotic passport control line when taking the train from Paris to London. British musicians are finding it hard to tour in Europe because of the costs and red tape associated with moving both people and equipment across borders, which Elton John called "crucifying."


According to the U.K.'s Office for Budget and Responsibility, leaving the EU has shaved 4% off Britain's gross domestic product. The damage to Britain's economy, the OBR's chair has said, is of the same "magnitude" as that from the COVID pandemic.


All this pain and hassle has created an anti-Brexit majority in Britain. According to a YouGov poll released this week, 57% of Britons say the country was wrong to vote to leave the EU, and a slight majority wants to rejoin it. Even Nigel Farage, the former leader of the far-right U.K. Independence Party sometimes known as "Mr. Brexit," told the BBC in May, "Brexit has failed."


This mess was, of course, both predictable and predicted. Seven years ago, Brexit was an early augur of the revolt against cosmopolitanism that swept Donald Trump into power.


Both enterprises — Britain's divorce from the EU and Trump's reign in the U.S. — turned out catastrophically. Both left their countries fatigued and depleted. But while America can't stop talking about Trump, many in the U.K. can scarcely stand to think about Brexit.


The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, one of the few Labour Party leaders eager to discuss the consequences of leaving the EU, described an "omertà," or vow of silence, around it. "It's the elephant in the room," he told me. "I'm frustrated that no one's talking about it."


"I don't think you're going to see other countries in the EU leaving the EU if for no other reason than because they've seen the impact on us," Khan said. But there's a larger lesson, one most Western countries seemingly have to continually relearn. Right-wing nationalist projects begin with loud, flamboyant swagger. They tend to end unspeakably.


C'mon Barbie, Let's Go Argue About Politics 美國左右派論戰讓「芭比」也政治化
文/Matt Flegenheimer, Marc Trac


Last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz and his wife, Ginger, arrived at a Washington reception for "Barbie" in matching pink, grinning in photos along the "pink carpet," mingling among guests sipping pink cocktails, admiring a life-size pink toy box.


They left with political ammunition.


"The Barbie I grew up with was a representation of limitless possibilities, embracing diverse careers and feminine empowerment," Ginger Gaetz wrote on Twitter. "The 2023 Barbie movie, unfortunately, neglects to address any notion of faith or family, and tries to normalize the idea that men and women can't collaborate positively (yuck)."


Another account scolded Matt Gaetz, the hard-right and perpetually stunt-seeking Florida congressman, for attending the film at all — citing the casting of a trans actor as a doctor Barbie.


"If you let the trans stop you from seeing Margo Robbie," he replied, leaving the "T" off the first name of the film's star, "the terrorists win."


The non-terroristic winners were many after the film's $162 million debut: Robbie and Greta Gerwig, the film's director, finding an eager audience for their pink-hued feminist opus; the Warner Bros. marketing team, whose ubiquitous campaigns plainly paid off; the film industry itself, riding "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" to its most culturally dominant weekend in years.


But few outcomes were as nominally inexplicable (and probably inevitable) as the film's instant utility to political actors and opportunists of all kinds. For a modern take on what was long a politically fraught emblem of toxic body image and reductive social norms, no choice was too small, no turn too ideology-affirming or apparently nefarious, for a bipartisan coalition of commentators and elected officials to see value in its dissection.


"I have, like, pages and pages of notes," Ben Shapiro, the popular conservative commentator, said in a lengthy video review, which began with him setting a doll aflame and did not grow more charitable.


"Here are 4 ways Barbie embraces California values," the office of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a thread hailing Barbie as a champion of climate activism, "hitting the roads in her electric vehicle," and of destigmatizing mental health care.


If there was a time in American culture when a giant summer film event was something of a unifier, that time is not 2023.


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