Larry Elder speaking at FreedomFest at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, July 13, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

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When people hear the term voter suppression, they are likely to think of efforts led by Republicans in Georgia and other states to impose strict voter ID requirements on all who wish to take part in the political process. But in California, recent actions by Secretary of State Shirley Weber have given new meaning to voter suppression. To put it more precisely, Weber may have severely limited the choices that voters have by excluding candidate Larry Elder from the ballot in the recall election scheduled for September14.

As detailed in a report by Katy Grimes in California Globe on July 20, Weber has attempted to kick Elder off the ballot on the grounds that redactions on the tax returns released by Elder went beyond what a candidate may legally redact. Elder has sued to remain on the ballot. UPDATE: As reported by California Globe, on Wednesday evening, Judge Laurie M. Earl ruled in Elder’s favor. “I don’t find Mr. Elder was required to file a tax return at all,” she wrote, and ordered the Secretary of State to qualify Larry Elder as a candidate and put his name on the ballot.

Once one of the most powerful men in the history of entertainment, Harvey Weinstein’s penal ordeal hit a new low on Tuesday as the convicted rapist underwent extradition from New York State to California, where he faces charges of having sexually assaulted five women between 2004 and 2013. Oddly, even in this age of cancel culture, there appears to be no backlash in the offing against the celebration, enjoyment, and iconic status of the films that Weinstein produced before his ignominious fall.

In fact, Pulp Fiction remains such a popular and iconic film that there is even buzz about the possibility of Quentin Tarantino working on a prequel. A piece by Joe Gillis on the Screenrant.com website explores how Tarantino might go about telling the story of the two “Vega brothers,” namely John Travolta’s Vince Vega from Pulp Fiction and Michael Madsen’s Vic Vega from Reservoir Dogs.

For many sci-fi and horror fans, one piece of big news this month has been the announcement that Noah Hawley, known for his work on the Fargo TV series, has signed on to be the showrunner behind the adaptation of another iconic, legendary film for the medium of TV. Hawley has reportedly written scripts for early episodes of an Alien series that will air on FX some time in 2022. According to reports in Esquire, the Guardian, and other sources, Hawley plans to emphasize a specific theme of the 1979 film and make it the thrust of the new series, namely the tension between blue-collar protagonists and the corporate masters whose interest in harnessing the Xenomorph species for aggressive military and cynical profit-based ends led to calamity in the Alien movies and thwarted characters’ efforts to destroy the dangerous aliens when they had a chance.

By Michael Washburn

Michael Washburn is a Brooklyn-based writer and journalist. He is the author of the short story collections Scenes from the Catastrophe (2016), The Uprooted and Other Stories (2018), When We're Grownups (2019), and Stranger, Stranger (2020). Michael's story "Confessions of a Spook" won Causeway Lit's 2018 fiction contest.