It makes sense that Superman would take a tolerant view of immigrants and other minorities, given that he himself arrived on Earth as a refugee from the planet Krypton.[...]
Dave Chappelle hosted SNL last night and gave us the comic relief we needed. And also a few heartfelt thoughts about what a Trump presidency means for our imperiled nation. The most poignant part comes at the very end:
You know, before I go, I do want to say one thing, and this is not a joke.
The 2008 election appeared to mark a high point in American politics–the moment when the United States elected its first black president and overcame its racist past. The 2016 election turned all of that into a mirage.[...]
Just last month, the U.K. announced the so-called “Turing Law,” a policy U.K.’s justice minister Sam Gyimah describes as pardoning “people convicted of historical sexual offenses who would be innocent of any crime today.” The law is named for Alan Turing, the brilliant gay computer scientist whose work on A.I.[...]
There’s been nothing funny about this election–except for those mock debates on Saturday Night Live, performed so masterfully by Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon. Now imagine if only Jon Stewart had provided some comic relief during these long, bruising months. Maybe our nerves wouldn’t be so frayed.[...]
There are a few ways to get a glimpse of Vladimir Nabokov as a teacher, a role he occupied for almost twenty years at Wellesley and Cornell. We can take the “good reader” quiz he gave to his students. We can listen to his interviews on life and literature, though they won’t give us any sense of spontaneity.[...]
Grover, the more intellectually-aspirant of Sesame Street’s two blue monsters, is a self-appointed expert on anatomy (“the head is covered with this long stringy stuff”), hygiene, and Spanish, but the workings of the United States Electoral College eluded him, until Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy wandered into the frame.[...]
Briefly noted: Right now, on National Geographic’s YouTube channel, you can watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary Before the Flood. Here’s a quick summary:
Before the Flood, directed by Fisher Stevens, captures a three-year personal journey alongside Academy Award-winning actor and U.N.
How does censorship come about in advanced, ostensibly democratic societies? In some cases, through institutions colluding in ways that go unnoticed by the general public. As Noam Chomsky has argued for decades, state agencies often collude with the press to spread certain narratives and suppress others.[...]
The Russian feminist punk protest group Pussy Riot went to jail for tweaking the Russian Orthodox church. Now they’re going after another Putin puppet. It would be a missed opportunity (alliteratively-speaking at least) if Pussy Riot didn’t take down the pu$$y-grabbing candidate (his words, not ours). And they don’t disappoint.[...]