Cancel culture is rife at newly merged HBO and Warner Bros isn’t immune either | Alex Clark

There is a wonderful novel by Japanese writer Yōko Ogawa named The Memory Policewhich depicts an island community living under a strange form of repression: every now and then something is taken from them – it could be photos, or rose petals, or hats – and not only do the objects disappear, but all the references, memories and language that associated with it.

I remembered last week, when reports circulated that the streaming platform HBO Max had removed titles from its catalog following a merger with Discovery+. Were we in a beautifully evocative allegory of cultural authoritarianism, the haunted howl that greeted the disappearance of shows like Vinyl, an American pickle and the witches would have been silenced themselves; as it is, these are just business and some are even popping up elsewhere now.

No luck for the stars of batgirl, including Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser, whose efforts were resolutely thwarted by Warner Bros, themselves merged with Discovery+ in April. The performers against the bean counters will have only one winner.

Coincidentally, I read about the Portuguese dictator António Salazar, who had been seriously incapacitated for work for two years before his death in 1970. Instead of telling him he was no longer in control, his inner circle maintained the fiction that maintained his rule. Would it have killed Warner Bros to do the same?

Feline Suppressed

Screenshot of Hector's House, showing cat and dog dolls wearing aprons
Hector’s original home. Photo: undefined/BBC

I didn’t have a cat until I was over 50 and moved to the countryside and even then it was by accident. A letter left by the previous owner of our house told us that a reddish brown cat named Hector came by every now and then and liked a dish that had been left behind. Long story short, Hector, a female Norwegian Forest cat, has been living with us for several years now.

Not long before the pandemic hit, she was joined by the black and white ZsaZsa – who of a certain age will recognize names from the antique children’s TV show Hector’s house, in which a dog, a cat and a frog wandered through a garden together. Being French and inspired by Jacques Tati’s films, it was quite strange; For example, Kiki the frog is a meteorologist.

We recently purchased our very own Kiki, a tabby kitten, who is currently believed to be a male. Hector, now completely blind, is unaffected; Never the most clubbing and currently made more irascible by a ruptured cruciate ligament, ZsaZsa is somewhere between outraged betrayal and unbridled aggression.

Every morning for Hector I have to wrap blood pressure pills in ham, coax ZsaZsa into drinking a foul-tasting concoction to relieve her juvenile arthritis and prevent the completely healthy kitten from eating either one. “I’m not a cat person,” I mumble.

I was fidgeting with my dahlias one afternoon, when I looked up to see Kiki balancing on a narrow first-floor window sill, escaping to the forbidden upper floor where he found an open window. “A lot more of this and I’ll join you,” I told him as I went up the stairs.

fever pitch

Marcelo poses with the Champions League trophy atop a fountain of confetti falling all around him
Due to changes in the timing of the major football championships, players have less time to work on their tattoos. Above Real Madrid captain Marcelo with the trophy in May 2022. Photo: Sergio Perez/EPA

Everyone in my world, it seems from a cascade of out-of-office answers, is on vacation — except the freelancers picking up leftovers. And, oddly enough, professional footballers. With Qatar’s World Cup being injected in the middle of the European season, their schedule will start earlier, with the Champions League in the fall and new rules for substitutes meaning more men on the pitch. Result: shorter time for golf tournaments, the launch of new clothing lines and the painting of extensive tattoo sleeves. Beware, heavily pressured public sector workers: the struggle is not yours alone.

Alex Clark is a columnist for The Observer and the Guardian

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