Culture cancellation is common in the newly merged HBO, and Warner Bros. is not immune to it either | Alex Clark

T.here is a wonderful novel by Japanese writer Yōko Ogawa called Memorial Policewhich shows the island community living in a strange form of repression: every now and then something takes away something – it could be photos, rose petals, or hats – and not only objects disappear, but all references, memories and language associated with them.

I was reminded of this last week when reports circulated that the HBO Max streaming platform was removing titles from its catalog following its merger with Discovery +. If we were to be in a beautifully suggestive allegory of cultural authoritarianism, the tormented howl that greeted the disappearance of programs such as Vinyl, an American pickle and Witches would be silenced; as it is, it’s just business and some of them are even popping up elsewhere now.

No luck for the stars Bat girlincluding Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser, whose efforts were strongly rejected by Warner Bros. merged with Discovery + in April. Artists against bean counters will only have one winner.

By chance, I read about the Portuguese dictator António Salazar, who was severely incapacitated by illness for two years before his death in 1970. Instead of telling him he was no longer in charge, his inner circle held the fiction his government held. Would doing the same kill Warner Bros.?

An oppressed cat

Screenshot of Hector's House with puppets of a cat and a dog in aprons
Hector’s original home. Photo: undefined / BBC

I didn’t have a cat until I turned 50 and went to the countryside, and even then it was a coincidence. In a letter left by the previous owner of our house, we learn that a red-brown cat named Hector stopped by from time to time and liked to leave the dish. In short, Hector, a Norwegian forest cat, has been living with us for several years.

Black and white ZsaZsa joined her shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic – people of a certain age will recognize names from an ancient children’s TV program Hector’s Housein which the dog, cat and frog ran around the garden together. Being French and inspired by the films of Jacques Tati, it was quite strange; For example, Kiki’s frog is a meteorologist.

We recently acquired our own Kiki, a tabby kitten, now considered a male. Hector, now completely blind, doesn’t care; The ZsaZsa, never the most sticky, and now more annoying by cruciate ligament rupture, is in a state between outraged betrayal and uninhibited aggression.

Every morning I have to wrap my high blood pressure pills in ham for Hector, get ZsaZsa to drink a foul-tasting potion that will soothe her juvenile arthritis and prevent a healthy kitten from eating any of them. “I’m not a cat,” I mumble.

One afternoon, while playing with my dahlias, I looked up to see Kiki balancing precariously on the narrow window sill of the first floor, escaping to the forbidden floor where he found an open window. “A lot more of this and I’ll be joining you,” I said to him as I walked up the ladder.

Fever

Marcelo poses with the Champions League trophy on top of a fountain with confetti falling around it
Changes during the big football championships will mean that players will have less time to work on tattoos. Over Real Madrid captain Marcelo with the trophy in May 2022. Photo: Sergio Pérez / EPA

Looks like everyone in my world, from the cascade of out-of-office responses, is on vacation – except for freelancers collecting scraps. And, oddly enough, professional footballers. As the Qatar World Cup is introduced in the middle of the European season, their schedule starts earlier and the Champions League is dragged into the fall and new substitute rules mean more men will be on the pitch. The result: reduced golf tournament times, the introduction of new clothing collections and the application of elaborate tattoo sleeves. Pay attention, hard-pressed public sector workers: fighting is not just your fight.

Alex Clark is a columnist for The Observer and Guardian

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