Greetings, my darlings! Are you having a fun summer? Now, on to the articles…
Aaron Giovannone, a comrade at Jacobin discussed the anti-Russian xenophobia of Chernobyl on the 6th:
“On its face, this is a message that should appeal to the Left. But in its substance, Chernobyl is limited to this moralistic, personalized critique of power. It’s a political vision stemming from the Russiagate investigation, which sees the flaws of the Trump administration as rooted not in the class forces that existed before it, and which will exist afterward, but in the sinister machinations of a few bad elites. It’s this worldview that leads Chernobyl to disastrous historical distortions — which conveniently serve to discredit not just the far right, but its historical socialist opponents.”
On the 8th, Angela Morrison of Film School Rejects, celebrated one of my celebrity boyfriends, Jake Gyllenhaal, whom I once married in a dream:
“With the films Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), and Nightcrawler (2014), Gyllenhaal began to turn toward portraying darker, more twisted characters. As Detective Loki in Prisoners, Gyllenhaal plays an isolated, obsessive man who nervously and compulsively blinks, and in scenes where he confronts dangerous criminals, his aggression toward them hints at a violent rage hiding beneath his nervous exterior.”
Also on the 8th, Adam Wears recounted times when pop culture inspired terrible crimes over at Cracked:
“We’re forever debating how much pop culture affects people’s brains, because about 80% of our personalities are based on Back To The Future Part II. It would be nice to know we aren’t alone, even though we definitely deserve to be. So here’s a point in favor of entertainment having more influence than one might think: Even criminals can’t help but work it into what they do.”
In yet another article from the 8th, Bryan O’Donnell of 25 Years Later, talked about the greatness of Deadwood‘s Calamity Jane:
“For countless reasons, HBO’s Deadwood is one of the best dramas ever made. It has the perfect blend of action, complexity, and heartbreaking moments. Creator David Milch’s brilliant and unique dialogue make Deadwood a show that sounds and feels like no other.
But really what makes Deadwood special is its characters and the relationships of those characters. It’s difficult to find a non-memorable character on this show—even minor characters who could very easily fade into the background are given chances to shine (e.g., Richardson).
However, among all the greats in Deadwood—Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), Trixie (Paula Malcomson), Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), I could go on—for me the top of the class is Jane Canary, otherwise known as Calamity Jane.”
The 8th was a good day for pop culture, because on that day, Kelley L. Carter also gave us a terrific interview with Tracy Morgan for The Undefeated:
“2019 has been Morgan’s comeback year.
Yes, he’s been working steadily since a triumphant return 14 months after his accident to host Saturday Night Live, the show that made him famous.
But 2019 is where the payoff begins.”
Ruth Graham talked about the end of Christian bookstores on the 11th on Slate:
“No one is mourning the opportunity to buy ‘Jesus junk’ in person. But Christian bookstores did more than sell garbage and suppress ‘dangerous’ books. They also served as discovery centers for books slightly outside their readers’ comfort zones.”
Finally, on the 11th, Dave Schilling remembered both Rip Torn, and Artie, his character from The Larry Sanders Show, on Vulture:
“That Rip Torn could bring a character to life who was both a complete sycophant but also intensely likable was a testament to his genius as an actor. Artie’s smile — the same overwhelmingly broad smile Torn would deploy throughout his storied career — was certainly insincere. At least it was when attached to a line in which Artie had to assure Larry that, in fact, his ass wasn’t that big. Artie’s dedication to the show, and to its eponymous host, was so complete and unwavering that he wouldn’t even let a cancer diagnosis get in the way. Rarely is that more clear than in how Artie relates to Janeane Garofalo’s character, Paula.”