TfH’s 1-line reviews

Solo: I’d rather have watched a whole movie about Chewie freeing his enslaved wookie comrades, gently touching foreheads with them, joking freed wookie jokes with them, dancing freed wookie dances at freed wookie parties eating freed wookie electric blue antennaed hor’s oeuvres.

Tully: Our country’s so crap about families that when a whipfirecrackingbadasssssss lady has a surprise third baby, she is in such desperate need of care that her personality cleaves, like a car floor string cheese divided and knotted over onto itself in something like a salty, half-melty, lint-riddled hug.

The Americans series finale: Marriage is hard, but nationalist violence is harder.

The Mars Room: WHY ARE THERE SO MANY STORIES OUT ABOUT PARENTS LOSING THEIR KIDS ABOLISH ICE AND WAREHOUSE THEM ALL WITHOUT RIGHTS OR DIGNITY IN A MAX SEC PRISON IN THE CALIFORNIA DESERT PLEASE THANKS

Ursula Le Guin’s Hainish novels and stories (which include The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed): The strand of US ideology encapsulated loosely now as “Trumpism” is terrible, which we’ve known since always but especially since the Vietnam War, and which advancing technology may only reinforce if we don’t put the anthropologists and artists in charge.

 

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Come-uppensating

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH William Saletan over a decade later admits that, oh yeah, “race” science is not science. I read his original Bell Curve post back then and was so alarmed that I stuck it in my dissertation as a footnote on the perils of oversciencing society. And have since refused to read a single fucking word by that man.

His mea culpa is decent, but it still trucks in the dubious tendency of science discourse to delegitimize other ways of learning and knowing. Continue reading

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Loving Screams

You guys. Your favorite dada-surf blitz, “Rock Lobster,” RESCUED JOHN LENNON’S GENIUS. See, B-52s recorded it partially as a Yoko Ono tribute (all those animal sounds!). Lennon heard it in a club. Inspired by its similarity to his wife’s music, Lennon collaborated with her to make Double Fantasy, after five years of rock block. Satisfying narrative urgency, Ono screamed her part in “Rock Lobster” with the B-52s ten years later.

“Listening to the B-52’s, John said he realized that my time had come,” [Ono] told Songfacts. “So he could record an album by making me an equal partner and we won’t get flak like we used to up to then.”

Loving screams save culture.

And I adore Molly Ringwald’s loving scream about the impact of The Breakfast Club and other John Hughes movies she collaborated in creating. Racist! Honest! Realistic! Empowering in their honesty and realism! Wholly endorsing sexual assault! Still totally racist!

How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose? What if we are in the unusual position of having helped create it? Erasing history is a dangerous road when it comes to art—change is essential, but so, too, is remembering the past, in all of its transgression and barbarism, so that we may properly gauge how far we have come, and also how far we still need to go.

How far we still need to go, Molly? Turns out it’s #EqualPayDay. And one wonders if she got paid as much as the dudes in that film. Or if Ono got paid as much as her husband to make Double Fantasy.

One doesn’t really wonder. One screams.

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The Joy of Cooking Facts

This lovely paean to Joy of Cooking  crushes both the bogus science critiquing the cookbook and the broader cultural problem of trying to get reliable science about food and health. Continue reading

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Keep Your Heads Up, Friends

1000-1500 kids are about to walk past my office building to the state capitol to demand that government value their lives at least as much as they value guns. I hope they can bring this fight to help kids in Flint have clean fucking water for the first time in years.

Some of the best articles I’ve read recently, all verging on the political:

Continue reading

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CHIP Reauthorization

Congress last-last-last-minute renewing CHIP for 6 years (instead of the CBO-recommended 10 years) feels like the ice cream cone your dad buys you after telling you how bad he feels that you made him beat you up.

Good governing, guys.

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