The nameless heroine of George Brant’s Grounded has a schedule many working mothers will recognise. She wakes up, takes her daughter to daycare, goes to her job, comes home, eats dinner with her husband, watches TV and falls asleep. Here’s the twist: the woman is a fighter pilot, and her job entails dropping missiles on military-age males, thousands of miles away. Every day, she sits in a chair at a Nevada airforce base and remotely controls a drone aircraft.
Brant’s monologue, which was seen in Edinburgh in 2013 and off-Broadway in 2014, is back, with a rather more famous figure filling out the flight suit: the Hollywood star Anne Hathaway, who pursued the role after reading a review of an earlier production. She approached Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public theater, and he teamed her with Julie Taymor (of Lion King fame and Spider-Man infamy). This production, unnervingly gorgeous and overwrought, considers the costs of fighting a foreign war from home.
The idea of a ship class, a series of vessels constructed to essentially the same design, is a hallmark of the industrial age of naval warfare. Prior to the emergence of the industrial age, individual ships represented the craftsmanship of different yards, and the relationship between design and construction allowed specific builders a great deal of latitude. As the industrial revolution overtook naval architecture, it became easier to create a specific template for the construction of a series of ships that would have effectively the same capabilities, regardless of which shipyard they emerged from or what time they entered service.
Here are Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner talking about how much of a slut Black Widow is:
And here is my five year old daughter in her Black Widow costume, from last Halloween:
And so yes, Mr. Evans and Mr. Renner; I acknowledge that your apology was necessary. It would surely be helpful if Marvel, and the actors associated with Marvel, recognized the possibility that young women might enjoy their product as much as young men. It would also be nice if the people associated with Marvel would come to grasp that there are many interesting things to say about female superheroes beyond their ability to sexually service male superheroes. Let’s hope that some kid in a Captain American costume doesn’t see this and think it’s appropriate to refer to a girl in a Black Widow costume as a slut.
The reformulation of the TPP conversation as a national security issue is puzzling, but isn’t necessarily new. David Petraeus made the same case for the TPP last year, arguing that American credibility depended on offering our friends and allies the security and predictability of a multi-lateral trade agreement. Patrick Cronin makes a similar case, although his argument (like that of Petraeus) is a conceptual mess, conjuring terrors of Australia and Japan realigning around Beijing, and implying that changing the way that Vietnam handles American intellectual property regulation will somehow have an effect on Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. Michelle Flournoy and Ely Ratner made roughly the same argument in the Wall Street Journal.
“MiG-19 DPRK 1983″ by 元諜報員 – 元諜報員. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
At the National Interest, I ruminate a bit about how a conflict might start on the Korean Peninsula, and how it might play out:
The general peace on the peninsula has more or less held since the 1950s. Still, while North Korea’s power has declined substantially relative to that of South Korea, the idea that Pyongyang might come to the conclusion that war could solve its problems still worries U.S. and South Korean planners.
If North Korea faced a situation in which it determined that war was the only solution, how might it seek to crush the ROK, and deter the United States and Japan?
All you out there in academialand, I have a question. Does your institution reimburse for childcare costs associated with “normal” extra-curricular activities? I’m thinking of the need to hire a babysitter for a candidate dinner, or reception, or staff retreat, or other events that are part of the regular course of events during the semester? Please let me know in comments, or by e-mail (contact info in far right sidebar).
Competition within a given system is still competition, and the United States should worry about increases in Chinese military capabilities. Similarly, states invested in the South and East China Sea disputes should view the growth of Chinese power and assertiveness with wariness. But we should also take care not to overstate the degree to which China is challenging the global international order. We have plenty of examples from the 20th century of what revisionist states really look like.
TNDevilFin13, a name which leaves open the grim possibility that “David” might not only be a Duke fan, but also hail from Tennessee, should feel free to contact me (e-mail address on the far right sidebar) with regard to prize information.