July 31, 2014
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Progress and Regress 5

Another round of the weekly feature giving you a brief review of the week’s stories that represent a step forward in social consciousness in pop culture, and the ones that represent a step back.

Regress: Remember Shakira’s racy video for “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” featuring Rihanna as her duetist and implied lover?  Well it turns out that the global superstar’s long-time boyfriend Gerard Piqué has something to do with that: he’s ‘banned’ Shakira from filming videos with men. “…I can’t do videos like I used to. It’s out of the question… the only person that he would ever let graze my thigh would be Rihanna,” she told Billboardclarifying that she’s happy with the arrangement in what feels kind of like a Bella/Edward situation.

Progress: Celebrated astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will be hosting a re-boot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series in a reboot called Cosmos: A Space Odyssey. The series, produced by Seth MacFarlane (for some reason), will “have the same massive cultural impact that the original series delivered,” hopes Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly.

Regress: Reports of the recent death of Autumn Radtke, known as the late CEO of Internet start-up First Meta, which gave way to infamous cyber-currency Bitcoin, have taken a problematic turn now as US media pick up a sensationalized and speculative version of her story that labels her death a suicide resulting from Bitcoin’s failure. The coverage is indicative of a media environment in which suicide is an inevitable and public spectacle, rather than a private and preventable tragedy.

Progress: A new trailer for the Will Smith-produced remake of movie-musical Annie gave viewers their first glimpse of Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis in the classic role. Italics for emphasis: no live-action children’s film with a black female lead has ever been a box office hit. If the hype is any indication, Annie stands to become the first. Writing for the Huffington Post, Olivia Cole argues that Annie will become the first widely visible coming-of-age film for girls of color.