The Paradise Papers: Journalistic Coup of the Decade?

Photo by Niklas Bildhauer, via Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note:

Also in today’s news: Gal Gadot flexes behind the scenes of the Wonder Woman franchise, and your Jansport’s surprising history. Welcome to the Daily Blunt!

Analyzing the 13.4 million files known as The Paradise Papers — a major leak revealing efforts on behalf of the world’s richest people to conceal the scope of their true wealth — has become a full-time job for hundreds of journalists around the world. So far public response to their contents has been muted (if you hadn’t noticed, the news cycle has been a hectic lately). Which of the Papers’ revelations about illegal wealth distribution will prove too much for the rest of the world’s 7 billion non-wealthy citizens to stomach? Will we indeed end up seeing, as Guardian reporter Micah White anticipates, rioters in the streets? “While street protest is losing its effectiveness,” he observes, “There is a force that could terrify these elites: the spectre of a ruthless and globally inescapable class justice.”

Closer to home, Page Six is reporting that a real life hero may be pushing director Brett Ratner (who is facing multiple sexual harassment allegations) out of DC’s cinematic superhero franchise. Gal Gadot allegedly won’t return for a “Wonder Woman” sequel unless Ratner gets the chop, and her leverage is currently at its apex. Too bad she can’t also lend Diana’s Lasso of Truth to the special task force of prosecutors assembling to deal with the all these sexual abuse charges while we’re at it.

The Root wants to know: Why is society so intent on erasing black people from sci-fi and fantasy’s imaginary worlds? If we can conceive of dragons and starcraft and sentient weapons — sometimes all in the same story — why do we still get hung up on whether it’s “realistic” for a black actor to play certain characters? Especially since, as this author points out, these genres so heavily lean on the “otherness” of their protagonists: “Somehow, our experience, our struggle, our story, makes its way into every fantasy and sci-fi novel, television show and film, but we are nowhere to be found.”

Some things just make so much sense, it doesn’t ever occur to you that they had to be invented. Take, for instance, the humble school backpack, adapted from rain-repellent hiking gear in the late ’60s, and then proliferating through the ’70s. And that was just in the Pacific Northwest — it took even longer for East Coast students to catch on: “By 1984,¬†newspapers¬†were taking note of the trend spreading everywhere from kindergarten to universities.” Take nothing for granted, kiddos: our grandparents carried their books to school, rain or shine, in a brown paper bag or else maybe bound with a leather belt.