Cancellations: March 17, 2020

Yesterday, on his blog, Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben issued a chiarificazione regarding his beliefs about “the so-called coronavirus epidemic.” As any good clarification does, it began with a testy condemnation of “distortions and falsifications,” before delving into some deeper thoughts about fear and pestilence, “which, despite their clarity, will no doubt also be misrepresented.” In short, Agamben’s argument is that governments are using the conditions of the pandemic to strip society down to its barest parts: moving schools and universities online, restricting public gatherings, replacing workers with machines wherever possible. This analysis seems basically true, except also apparently he thinks that the virus maybe isn’t really so bad, that it is “a normal flu, not much different from those that affect us every year.” Meanwhile, on Instagram, High School Musical and Spring Breakers star Vanessa Hudgens said: “I’m sorry, but like, it’s a virus, I get it, like, I respect it, but at the same time I’m like, even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible but like, inevitable?” Responding to criticism, she claimed that these remarks had been “taken out of context,” before issuing an apology on Twitter: “This has been a huge wake up call about the significance my words have, now more than ever.”

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