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Soccer, photography and now cooking: Why Brooklyn Beckham can’t shake off criticism, whatever the venture | Culture

Brooklyn Beckham seems to consider himself a master of all trades. And the public in general (and some professionals particularly) like to remind him that he isn’t. The latest example is a cooking show, with an astronomical budget, in which the eldest son of David and Victoria Beckham displays, according to critics, a complete lack of talent for cooking and presenting.

In the microcosm of the rich and famous, the figure of the privileged kid seeking his own place in the world is eternal, and exacerbated by the relative wealth and fame of the parents. In the case of Brooklyn Beckham, that wealth and fame is considerable: born in London in 1999, son of David, the biggest soccer star in the world before the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, and Victoria, a former member of the Spice Girls, arguably the biggest girl band in history, as well as being a successful designer and entrepreneur. At his christening, Elton John and David Furnish served as Brooklyn’s godfathers, while Liz Hurley welcomed guests to the private chapel in his parents’ mansion.

His first attempt at a professional career was in soccer, a logical choice given his surname. In November 2014 it was announced, not without pomp, that the 15-year-old Brooklyn had signed a contract to play for Arsenal’s under-16 team. “Arsenal realize he can be a huge talent. They have seen that potential and protected their asset,” a club insider told the UK media at the time. “Also, David Beckham has an excellent relationship with [former Arsenal coach] Arséne Wenger, who has been impressed with his talent, his attitude and his drive to succeed.” The association did not last long: in February 2015 Arsenal announced that they would not be extending Brooklyn’s stay in the academy.

Brooklyn and David Beckham at London Fashion Week in 2019.
Brooklyn and David Beckham at London Fashion Week in 2019.Darren Gerrish (Darren Gerrish/WireImage)

There are two ways to read this. One, a setback: the son of England’s most-famous soccer player fails to make the grade. Two, a triumph: the son of England’s most-famous soccer player has decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps, and to forge his own path. At precisely that moment, he started instead to follow his mother’s. After the Spice Girls broke up, Victoria released a solo album to lukewarm reception and decided to opt for the world of fashion. Brooklyn Beckham’s soccer debut was swiftly followed by his debut as a model for the Reserved label in March 2015, when he had just turned 16. At the time his brother Romeo was the face of Burberry.

#ThisIsBrit

From fashion, Brooklyn moved into photography in January 2016, for a range of Burberry perfumes. This time, the public responded. #ThisIsBrit trended on social media to complain about what many viewed as nepotism. Among them was the photographer Chris Floyd, who told The Guardian: “David and Victoria Beckham represent sheer willpower and graft. Especially her, she’s climbed that mountain all by herself. They represent hard work and then their 16-year-old year son comes along and it’s sheer nepotism. He hasn’t done it from hard work, which is counter-intuitive to what his parents represent.”

It made little difference. The weight of the campaign led to the publishing of a book of Brooklyn’s photos in June 2017, just after he had turned 18. The book was titled what i see (in lower-case in its original version) with Brooklyn on the cover. The book consists of around 300 photos, with captions written by Brooklyn, which explain very little but perhaps say it all. “So hard to photograph, but incredible to see,” reads one, accompanying a picture of an elephant where the elephant is barely visible. “I like this photo: it’s out of focus but you can guess there’s a lot going on,” reads another. The book was accompanied by an exhibition at Christie’s with an extensive guest list of celebrities. The criticism was swift to follow, leading publishing house Penguin to issue a defence: “It’s a book by a kid for other kids.”

Liv Tyler at Brooklyn Beckham’s photography exhibition in London, June 2017.
Liv Tyler at Brooklyn Beckham’s photography exhibition in London, June 2017.Ricky Vigil M (GC Images)

“Nigiri for the price of plutonium”

Cookin’ with Brooklyn can be viewed on Brooklyn’s official Facebook page. The videos are around 10 minutes long and consist of Brooklyn visiting a famous chef at their restaurant (among them Nobu Matsuhisa, the Japanese chef par excellence to the rich and famous) and then reproducing what he has learned for one of his friends, his fiancé, or a celebrity such as Sebastián Yatra. The show has generated controversy due to its cost – $100,000 per episode – and the fact that not everything that appears has been prepared by Brooklyn himself.

Mikel López Iturriaga, editor of this newspaper’s food supplement, summed up Cookin’ with Brooklyn: “If it is true that each episode cost $100,000, it doesn’t show. This huge amount is not visible in the production, the script, the sets, the guests, in the post-production, or in anything. Perhaps Brooklyn has shelled out for so much fresh fish at plutonium prices to make a half-decent nigiri that the budget skyrocketed.”

The show has also received criticism from viewers for some of the recipes employed on what is aspiring to be a sophisticated gastronomical turn: steak, sausage and mash, fried rice. One commentator wrote under a video of Brooklyn cooking a pizza for his fiancé, Nicola Peltz: “What’s it going to be this time? A boiled egg? A can of soup?”

Brooklyn Beckham promoting his cookery show on US television, October 2021.
Brooklyn Beckham promoting his cookery show on US television, October 2021.NBC (NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Cookin’ with Brooklyn has also suffered from going up against Cooking with Paris, which has a similar format but is carried off completely differently. The heiress to the Hilton empire, Paris Hilton, is ready to make jokes at her own expense and does not pretend to be an expert. The spectator feels as though they are in on the parody.

“A show where someone hasn’t got the faintest idea how to cook can be interesting,” says Iturriaga. “Viewers who also don’t have any idea how to cook can identify with a host of this kind, and get closer to a world that can be quite hostile. The idea [of Cookin’ with Brooklyn] isn’t bad: learn first with a chef, then try and cook the same thing himself with friends. The result is another matter. Brooklyn proves to have no sense of humor, no complicity, no spontaneity, no flow… nothing that will allow him to compete in an industry where thousands of people make more interesting cooking videos at a fraction of the price.”

The comments Brooklyn shares with viewers do little to lift the whole: “I love steak, I eat it all the time. Sometimes once a week, sometimes two or three times,” is one of the less revealing. If he is genuinely enthusiastic about what he is picking up, it fails to come through in the final product. It is also difficult to quantify the success of the show. With approximately one million viewers per episode on a platform that is unpopular with its target age group, it can’t be considered a failure, but it falls short of being a triumph. By comparison, the divisive videos posted by Chefclub often reach seven or eight million viewers and the most-watched almost 24 million. Less prominent people in the industry such as Ají Causa, who specializes in Peruvian cuisine and does not have famous rappers as guests, do not struggle to reach three million viewers.

Despite it all, Brooklyn Beckham cannot be criticized for taking advantage of the opportunities that come his way, any more than Paris Hilton. In a world where access to the public is easier than ever and where popularity is rated (and income gleaned) by the audience generated, Brooklyn is merely following the prevailing wind. The only things that jar are seeing someone else take a hit as a result, and the waste of resources. “In an ideal world, the $100,000 that Brooklyn’s videos apparently cost, or the money Netflix has poured into Cooking with Paris, would be used to make cookery shows with a bit more substance,” says Iturriaga. “But on the other hand, I don’t think a show as inconsequential as Brooklyn’s is taking space off anyone else, and even less so given the small audience it is drawing in relation to its budget.”

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When the Navajos fooled John Ford | Culture

At the end of his career, John Ford wanted to use Cheyenne Autumn to apologize to Native Americans for the way he had treated them in his films. Shot in 1964, it was his last western. “There are two sides to every story, but for once I wanted to show their point of view. I’ve killed more Indians than Custer, Beecher and Chivington put together,” the master explained to Peter Bogdanovich in the interview book John Ford. “Let’s face it, we’ve treated them very badly — it’s a blot on our shield. We’ve cheated and robbed, killed, murdered, massacred and everything else, but they kill one white man and, God, out come the troops.”

Cheyenne Autumn recounts a historical episode in which a group of Cheyennes flee to their ancestral lands from the squalid reservation where they are confined and end up being massacred, after being tricked time and again by U.S. authorities. The problem is that Ford shot in Monument Valley, the setting for his great Westerns, which belongs to a Navajo reservation. Members of this tribe acted massively in the film, in which Mexican actors also play Native Americans. It is something that would be impossible to explain to the public today, but Ford had no choice if he wanted to shoot the film.

Of course, the Navajos who were playing Cheyennes took their revenge on the white men. Since no one but them understood Navajo on the set — a language so difficult that it was used as a secret code during World War II — instead of reading the script they decided to say whatever they wanted. They made all sorts of comments about the small size of the white officers’ penises and other nonsense during the film’s most tragic scenes. At least, that’s what an old Hollywood legend says, but John Ford made the doctrine clear at the end of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “This is the West: when the legend becomes a fact, print the legend.”

Osage Indians
A historical photograph of a group of Osage natives.ilbusca (Getty Images)

Author Tony Hillerman wrote a series of noir novels set on the same Navajo reservation where Ford filmed Cheyenne Autumn, and his books serve as the basis for the terrific series Dark Winds (the two seasons can currently be seen on AMC+). In one of them, Sacred Clowns, he describes a drive-in movie theater in Gallup where Navajos used to see the film again and again. Jim Chee, one of the policemen who stars in the show, recounts that at the screening “they would honk their car horns and laugh their heads off” at what were, in theory, the most dramatic moments. And he recalls what he felt when he attended a session with a Cheyenne who didn’t understand Navajo: “In the exact same scene, he was watching the destruction of his culture. We were watching as our people laughed at the whites.”

None of this could have happened to Martin Scorsese, another director at the height of his creative powers, who tried his hand at westerns at age 81 with Killers of the Flower Moon (available on Apple TV). The Osage tribe plays an essential role in the film, which has garnered 10 Oscar nominations. Set in the 1920s, the film tells the story of how dozens of Osage were murdered with impunity to steal the property rights to their oil wells. Scorsese not only relied on numerous Native advisors to lend credibility to the film, but he also worked directly with tribal representatives. Of the 63 Native American actors in the film, 49 are Osage.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in 'Killers of the Flower Moon.'
Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ Melinda Sue Gordon

Both Ford and Scorsese wanted to remember a forgotten history, buried by a vision of the past in which the roles are totally reversed — the invaders became the invaded, and vice versa. In fact, David Grann, the New Yorker journalist on whose book, Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese’s film is based, notes that it was precisely the will to remember something that should never have been forgotten that led him to investigate the crimes against the Osage for years. “One day in the summer of 2012, fresh from New York, where I live and work as a journalist, I visited Pawhuska for the first time hoping to find information about the murders that had occurred almost a century ago. Like most Americans, when I was in school I never read any books about these crimes; it was as if they had been erased from history. So, I started researching when I stumbled upon a reference to those events. From then on, I was consumed with the urge to solve the unanswered questions, to tie up the loose ends that the FBI investigation didn’t.”

The star of the film, Lily Gladstone, has a good chance of becoming the first Native American actress to win an Oscar. For the movie, she took lessons in Osage culture, which included the stories that ground the group’s traditions as well as the language. “There are elements in this film that just scream Osage,” Jim Gray, one of the tribal members who helped make the film, told The Harvard Gazette. “Even though 99 percent of the audience will be non-Osage and are not going to know as much about this story as we do, Osage people sitting in the audience are going to get a lot of the observances that Scorsese incorporated into the film that could only have come from collaboration with the tribe.”

Decolonizing — museums, mentalities, the vision of the past — also represents the different way in which two masters of cinema, Ford and Scorsese, faced the same problem 60 years apart: telling the story of the United States from the perspective of those who were exterminated.

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Conflicted History: ‘Oppenheimer’ And Its Impact On Los Alamos And New Mexico Downwinders

‘Oppenheimer’ And Its Impact On Los Alamos And New Mexico Downwinders

The Voice Of EU | In the highly anticipated blockbuster movie, “Oppenheimer,” the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man behind the first atomic bomb, is portrayed as a riveting tale of triumph and tragedy.

As the film takes center stage, it also brings to light the often-overlooked impacts on a community living downwind from the top-secret Manhattan Project testing site in southern New Mexico.

A Forgotten Legacy

While the film industry and critics praise “Oppenheimer,” a sense of frustration prevails among the residents of New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin, who continue to grapple with the consequences of the Manhattan Project. Tina Cordova, a cancer survivor and founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, expresses their feelings, stating, “They invaded our lives and our lands and then they left,” referring to the scientists and military personnel who conducted secret experiments over 200 miles away from their community.

The Consortium, alongside organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists, has been striving to raise awareness about the impact of the Manhattan Project on New Mexico’s population. Advocates emphasize the necessity of acknowledging the human cost of the Trinity Test, the first atomic blast, and other nuclear weapons activities that have affected countless lives in the state.

The Ongoing Struggle for Recognition

As film enthusiasts celebrate the drama and brilliance of “Oppenheimer,” New Mexico downwinders feel overlooked by both the U.S. government and movie producers. The federal government’s compensation program for radiation exposure still does not include these affected individuals. The government’s selection of the remote and flat Trinity Test Site, without warning residents in the surrounding areas, further added to the controversy.

Living off the land, the rural population in the Tularosa Basin had no idea that the fine ash settling on their homes and fields was a result of the world’s first atomic explosion.

The government initially attempted to cover up the incident, attributing the bright light and rumble to an explosion at a munitions dump. It was only after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Japan weeks later that New Mexico residents realized the magnitude of what they had witnessed.

Tracing the Fallout

According to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, large amounts of radiation were released into the atmosphere during the Trinity Test, with fallout descending over a vast area. Some of the fallout reached as far as the Atlantic Ocean, but the greatest concentration settled approximately 30 miles from the test site.

Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

J. Robert Oppenheimer

The consequences of this catastrophic event have affected generations of New Mexicans, who still await recognition and justice for the harm caused by nuclear weapons.

A Tale of Contrasts: Los Alamos and the Legacy of Oppenheimer

As the film’s spotlight shines on the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a contrasting narrative unfolds in Los Alamos, more than 200 miles north of the Tularosa Basin. Los Alamos stands as a symbol of Oppenheimer’s legacy, housing one of the nation’s premier national laboratories and boasting the highest percentage of people with doctorate degrees in the U.S.

Oppenheimer’s influence is evident throughout Los Alamos, with a street bearing his name and an IPA named in his honor at a local brewery. The city embraces its scientific legacy, showcasing his handwritten notes and ID card in a museum exhibit. Los Alamos National Laboratory employees played a significant role in the film, contributing as extras and engaging in enlightening discussions during breaks.

The “Oppenheimer” Movie

Director Christopher Nolan’s perspective on the Trinity Test and its profound impact is evident in his approach to “Oppenheimer.” He has described the event as an extraordinary moment in human history and expressed his desire to immerse the audience in the pivotal moment when the button was pushed. Nolan’s dedication to bringing historical accuracy and emotional depth to the screen is evident as he draws inspiration from Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

For Nolan, Oppenheimer’s story is a potent blend of dreams and nightmares, capturing the complexity and consequences of the Manhattan Project. As the film reaches global audiences, it also offers a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the downwinders in New Mexico, whose lives were forever altered by the legacy of nuclear weapons testing.

The Oppenheimer Festival and Beyond

Los Alamos is determined to use the Oppenheimer Festival as an opportunity to educate visitors about the true stories behind the film’s events. The county’s “Project Oppenheimer” initiative, launched in early 2023, encompasses forums, documentaries, art installations, and exhibits that delve into the scientific contributions of the laboratory and the social implications of the Manhattan Project.

A special area during the festival will facilitate discussions about the movie, fostering a deeper understanding of the community’s history. The county aims to continue revisiting and discussing the legacy of the Manhattan Project, ensuring that the impact of this pivotal moment in history is never forgotten.

As “Oppenheimer” takes audiences on an emotional journey, it serves as a reminder that every historical event carries with it complex and multifaceted implications. The movie may celebrate the scientific achievements of the past, but it also illuminates the urgent need to recognize and address the human cost that persists to this day.


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The Complex World of Cyber Warfare & Digital Battlefield

The Cyber Warfare And Digital Era

By Raza Qadri

In digital age, the world has witnessed an unprecedented rise in cyber warfare – a new frontier where nations and threat actors engage in battles beyond traditional borders. The evolution of technology has brought with it the emergence of cyber weapons and tactics, leading to a complex web of cyber espionage, attacks on critical infrastructure, and nation-state cyber operations.

As technologists, it is imperative to comprehend this rapidly evolving landscape and the challenges it poses to our global security. Here, we will explore Cyber Warfare in detail.

. Understanding Cyber Warfare

. Cyber Weapons and Tactics

. Nation-State Cyber Operations

. Spying in the Digital Age with Cyber Espionage

. Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructure Including Power Grids, Water Systems, and More

. Cybersecurity Measures: Safeguarding Nations against Digital Threats

. Attribution Challenges: Unmasking the Culprits Behind Cyber Offensives

. Offensive Vs. Defensive Cyber Capabilities

. The Evolution of Cyber Warfare with Past, Present, and Future Trends

. The Global Impact of Cyber Warfare — Diplomatic, Economic, and Societal Ramifications


Understanding Cyber Warfare

Cyber warfare encompasses the use of digital tools and technologies to conduct offensive and defensive operations in the virtual realm. It involves exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and data to achieve military or strategic objectives.

Key components of cyber warfare include hacking, malware deployment, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and cyber espionage. The cyber battlefield extends beyond government agencies to encompass private corporations, institutions, and individuals.

Cyber Weapons and Tactics

In the arsenal of cyber warfare, sophisticated tools are employed to infiltrate and compromise target systems. Malware, such as viruses, worms, and ransomware, is utilized to disrupt operations and steal sensitive information. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are employed for long-term espionage, allowing attackers to remain undetected within a system for extended periods.

Additionally, social engineering techniques, such as phishing and spear-phishing, are commonly used to deceive users and gain unauthorized access.

Nation-State Cyber Operations

Nation-states have recognized the potential of cyber warfare to advance their strategic interests, leading to the proliferation of state-sponsored cyber operations. Countries invest heavily in developing cyber capabilities and often maintain specialized cyber units responsible for executing offensive operations.

Such operations can range from stealing intellectual property and sensitive information to launching disruptive attacks against adversary nations. However, attributing cyber attacks to specific countries remains a complex challenge.

Spying in the Digital Age with Cyber Espionage

One of the primary objectives of cyber warfare is espionage, where state and non-state actors seek to gather classified information and gain a competitive edge. Advanced cyber tools and techniques enable clandestine access to government, military, and corporate networks. Cyber spies operate stealthily, exfiltrating valuable data without leaving a trace. This form of espionage poses significant threats to national security and can lead to severe economic consequences.

Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructure Including Power Grids, Water Systems, and More

Critical infrastructure, including power grids, transportation systems, and healthcare facilities, has become prime targets for cyber attacks. Disrupting these systems can cause chaos and destabilize a nation.

Attackers exploit vulnerabilities in Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to gain control over infrastructure components. Securing critical infrastructure against cyber threats is crucial to safeguarding society’s basic functioning.

Cybersecurity Measures Safeguarding Nations against Digital Threats

As the cyber threat landscape intensifies, nations must strengthen their cybersecurity measures. Robust defense mechanisms, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption, are employed to protect networks and data from unauthorized access.

Additionally, regular security assessments, incident response plans, and cybersecurity awareness training play pivotal roles in mitigating cyber risks.

Unmasking the Culprits Behind Cyber Offensives

Identifying the perpetrators behind cyber attacks is fraught with challenges. Attackers often use sophisticated techniques to conceal their origins, employing proxy servers and compromised infrastructure. The absence of clear attribution can lead to misjudgment and further escalation of conflicts. Overcoming these challenges requires international cooperation, technical expertise, and intelligence sharing.

Offensive Vs. Defensive Cyber Capabilities

Nations must strike a delicate balance between developing offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. While offensive operations offer advantages in intelligence gathering and deterring adversaries, they can lead to retaliation and escalate tensions.

“Defensive capabilities are vital to protect national assets, infrastructure, and citizens from cyber threats. The reach of these threats is evolving at the same rate as the capabilities of not just computing, but science and even art.”

— John Elf

Striving for equilibrium is essential to avoid the perilous repercussions of unchecked cyber warfare.

The Evolution of Cyber Warfare with Past, Present, and Future Trends

Cyber warfare evolution, a critical facet of modern conflict, has seen profound evolution shaped by technological advancements and geopolitical shifts. Its origins trace back to the late 20th century with events like the Morris Worm incident in 1988, marking one of the first large-scale cyber attacks. As the internet gained prominence, cyber espionage and criminal activities burgeoned. By the late 1990s, nation-states recognized the strategic potential of cyber operations, exemplified by the Stuxnet worm in 2010, targeting Iran’s nuclear program. Presently, state-sponsored cyber operations are ubiquitous, with the SolarWinds hack of 2020 highlighting their sophistication. Ransomware attacks, typified by the Colonial Pipeline incident in 2021, pose substantial economic threats. The proliferation of advanced persistent threats (APTs) further complicates the cyber landscape, with groups like APT29 and APT28 linked to high-profile breaches.

Looking forward, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize cyber warfare. AI-powered attacks can adapt swiftly, evade detection, and exploit vulnerabilities with unprecedented precision. The rise of AI-driven defense mechanisms will be crucial in countering cyber threats. Quantum computing presents both promise and peril, with its computational power potentially revolutionizing cryptography, while simultaneously posing a threat to current encryption methods. Preparing for a quantum-secure cyber environment will be imperative. The evolution of cyber warfare reflects a trajectory of increasing complexity and sophistication. With geopolitical tensions and technological advancements driving this evolution, governments, organizations, and cybersecurity experts must remain vigilant. Understanding the past, present, and future trends of cyber warfare equips us to adapt to this ever-changing landscape. Embracing robust cybersecurity measures, fostering international cooperation, and investing in cutting-edge technologies will be paramount in securing our digital future.

The Global Impact of Cyber Warfare — Diplomatic, Economic, and Societal Ramifications

The ramifications of cyber warfare extend beyond the digital realm, influencing diplomatic relations, economies, and societal well-being. Nation-states engage in cyber espionage to gain geopolitical advantages, resulting in strained international relations.

Economies face significant losses due to cyber attacks on businesses and critical infrastructure. Furthermore, cyber warfare poses risks to individuals’ privacy, freedom of speech, and online safety.

Finally, we can conclude that cyber warfare has emerged as a powerful tool in the hands of state and non-state actors, with the potential to reshape global dynamics. As technologists, understanding the intricacies of cyber warfare is crucial to developing effective defenses and advocating responsible use of technology.

By collaboratively addressing the challenges posed by cyber warfare, we can safeguard the digital future and foster a secure and resilient world.


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By Raza Qadri | Business, science & technology contributor ‘THE VOICE OF EU’

— For more information: Info@VoiceOfEU.com

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