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The internet’s most beloved fanfiction site is undergoing a reckoning

The Archive of Our Own — the beloved, Hugo-winning fanfiction platform shorthanded affectionately as AO3 — was famously created by fans, for fans. It’s run by a fandom nonprofit, coded and moderated by volunteers, and reliant on its huge community of users to help it carry out its mission of preserving and protecting fans’ work. Because the history of fandom includes a long lineage of fanfic authors fighting for the right to write and publish…

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The Kansas City Chiefs’ “Arrowhead Chop” chant isn’t a tribute to people like me. It’s racist.

Editor’s note, February 5, 2021: This article was originally published before the 2020 Super Bowl. It has been updated to reflect this year’s game. A self-described lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan once asked me the meaning of the words that are sung as the crowd performs the “Arrowhead Chop” at Chiefs games, the beloved fan chant made up of a series of literal “oh oh oh”s. “They don’t mean anything,” I told him, disgusted and…

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The Justice Department has dropped Michael Flynn’s case

The Justice Department has dropped its case against former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, erasing his guilty plea in the Mueller probe and ending a years-long saga over his sentencing. In a court filing Thursday, the Department of Justice said that “based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances … continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.” The filing was signed by Timothy Shea, who’s currently…

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WandaVision’s disappointing finale and the problem with demanding “justice” in fiction

Wanda Maximoff has done a very bad thing. As the finale of WandaVision, the Marvel TV series that bears her name and airs on Disney+, wraps up its story, the superpowered witch has begun to realize the extent of the hex she cast over the town of Westview, New Jersey. The citizens of the town, wholly innocent and unsuspecting, have awakened from a dreamlike state that lasted several days and caused them to reenact old…

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Astroworld and the trickiness of tragedy blame games

Eight people have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of a crowd crush at Astroworld in Houston on November 5, a concert festival headlined and founded by rapper Travis Scott, and more than 300 people were injured at the event. At least 50,000 people were in attendance, and according to a report from Rolling Stone, 528 police officers and 755 private security officers were present for the event. The deaths and injuries were the result…

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