Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Feminist dystopia / The new nuclear arms race / What we lost in MLK / Immigrants’ city of sadness / How to reduce plastic use

This week: Feminist dystopia / The new nuclear arms race / What we lost in MLK / Immigrants’ city of sadness / How to reduce plastic use

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. The Remarkable Rise of the Feminist Dystopia
By Sophie Gilbert | The Atlantic | October 2018
“A spate of women-authored speculative fiction imagines detailed worlds of widespread infertility, criminalized abortion, and flipped power dynamics.”

2. A New Nuclear Arms Race Has Begun
By Mikhail Gorbachev | The New York Times | October 2018
“President Trump says he plans to withdraw from a nonproliferation treaty that I signed with Ronald Reagan. It’s just the latest victim in the militarization of world affairs. ”
Also see, from The New York Times: George Schultz: We Must Preserve This Nuclear Treaty

3. City of Exiles
By Daniel Duane | The California Sunday Magazine | October 2018
“Every month, thousands of deportees from the United States and hundreds of asylum-seekers from around the world arrive in Tijuana. Many never leave.”

4. MLK: What We Lost
By Annette Gordon-Reed | The New York Review of Books | October 2018
“It might be hard for younger generations of Americans in 2018, fifty years after King’s assassination, to fathom just how controversial a figure he was during his career, and particularly around the time of his death.”

5. First Man, Gravity, 2001: A Space Odyssey: When Auteurs Go to Space
By Bilge Ebiri | Vulture | October 2018
“Something special happens when an auteur goes to space. They push their stylistic and thematic limits. The vast emptiness of the cosmos, combined with the sudden malleability of time, has a way of bringing out the more experimental side of a filmmaker.”

6. The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule
By Sam Dolnick | The New York Times Magazine | June 2014
“He always drove alone and had managed to avoid detection for nearly a decade. The D.E.A. agents listened to key cartel figures talk about Tata many times, and they had even caught a glimpse of him once. Now, for the first time in months, Tata was coming back to Detroit.”

7. How to reduce plastic, foil and other kitchen disposables
By Katherine Roth | Associated Press | August 2018
“Remember that in addition to reducing and reusing, recycling is an easy option for many items, including glass, plastic containers, bottles, cans, clean aluminum foil and batteries.”

8. A Great Writer at the 1968 Democratic Disaster
By David Denby | The New Yorker | August 2018
“It was the convention that, in effect, turned the country over to Richard Nixon and led to six more years of war in Vietnam.”

9. The Benefits of Nakedness
The Documentary | BBC World Service
“Some people just love to be naked in public. Dr. Keon West travels far and wide to speak to those who enjoy taking their clothes off to find out why they do it, and what the benefits — and disadvantages — might be.”

10. ‘Sharp Objects’ and Damaged Women
By Liza Batkin | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | August 2018
“Camille is treated, quite literally, as a text to decipher: her body is covered with words that she has cut into herself, and each episode in the series is named after a scar on her body (‘Milk,’ ‘Cherry’).”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Adam Driver on acting / 2017’s best books / Lessons from 2017 film disasters / A new vision for UTSA DTC / Putin’s real desire

This week: Adam Driver on acting / 2017’s best books / Lessons from 2017 film disasters / A new vision for UTSA DTC / Putin’s real desire

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Adam Driver: ‘Compared with the military, acting isn’t that difficult’
By Emma Brockes | The Guardian | December 2017
“The Star Wars actor on leaving the Marines, filming nude scenes with Lena Dunham and getting in touch with his dark side”

2. The year in journalism: The big players, best feuds, and more
By Peter Vernon | Columbia Journalism Review | December 2017
“A guide to what happened in the mediaverse in 2017”

3. Past Debates Echo in Split Between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates
By John Eligon | The New York Times | December 2017
“Malcolm X was more open to using violence as a form of self-defense than Dr. King, even though their beliefs were more nuanced and overlapping than the popular perception. Whereas Du Bois pushed for an expansion of civil rights, Washington was more compromising, urging black people to look within … in order to minimize the terror they faced.”

4. 100 Notable Books of 2017
The New York Times Book Review | November 2017
The year’s best fiction, poetry, and non-fiction works.
From the Guardian: Best books of 2017
From Lit Hub: The 64 Best Book Covers of 2017 and The Best Reviewed Books of 2017 — History & Politics

5. 2017: the sequel … seven lessons for Hollywood after summer’s disasters
By Mark Sweney | The Guardian | December 2017
“Traditional box-office wisdom has been overturned — but new audiences are starting to emerge”

6. Three Months In, New UTSA President Lays Out Vision For Downtown Campus
By Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio | December 2017
“The idea is to make the downtown a destination, while increasing enrollment on the downtown campus. UTSA’s current enrollment on the downtown campus is about 4,000 out of a total enrollment of about 30,000.”

7. What Putin Really Wants
By Julia Ioffe | The Atlantic | January/February 2018
“Russia’s strongman president has many Americans convinced of his manipulative genius. He’s really just a gambler who won big.”

8. The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook
By Josh Meyer | Politico | December 2017
“An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.”

9. American Sounds
By Heather Radke | The Paris Review | July 2017
“On the old, weird days of National Public Radio”

10. How to Be a Writer on Social Media
LitHub | July 2017
“[W]e asked the opinions of four authors whose social media prowess we admire: Roxane Gay, Celeste Ng, Adam Grant and Alexander Chee.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Understanding SOPA / The 5-Second Rule / Looking back at Election 2012 / MLK papers now online / Romney’s faith issue

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism.

1. Concerns about Romney’s faith quieter but not gone
By Rachel Zoll | Associated Press | Jan. 16
“The second time around, the shock has worn off. The prospect of a Mormon president appears to be less alien to South Carolina Republicans who are giving Mitt Romney a second look after his failed White House bid in 2008.”

2. Peruvian food put back on the map in Britain
By Sam Jones | The Guardian | Jan. 16
“Restaurants will offer a taste of Lima — with the help of a ‘sacred quartet’ of chillies”

3. 200,000 Martin Luther King Papers Go Online
Open Culture | Jan. 16
“The documents give you a good glimpse of Dr. King’s role as a scholar, father, pastor and catalyst for change.”

4. 10 Important Life Lessons You Learn From Living Abroad
By Whitney Cox | BootsNAll | Jan 16
“It’s a world of implicit triumphs and it’ll-be-funny-later humiliations. Unpack your bags and look forward to these life lessons”

5. Analysis: Wannabe stars, failed hopefuls and the GOP drama that wasn’t
By Steve Krakauer | CNN | Jan. 16
“How did we get here? Where’s the drama, the intrigue, the subplots worthy of intense media salivation? Let’s take a look back”

6. Split by Race and Wealth, but Discovering Similarities as They Study Steinbeck
By Winnie Hu | The New York Times | Jan. 16
“Westfield and Plainfield are linked by a railroad line, but little else connects their residents.”

7. What Is SOPA?
By Brian Barrett | Gizmodo | Jan. 17
“SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress…”

8. This much I know: Tim Robbins
By Emma John | The Observer | September 2010
“The actor and musician, 51, on hatred, ice hockey, and winning an Oscar”

9. The 5-Second Rule
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | February 2011
“You know the five-second rule for dropped food? Is it really safe if you pick it up in time?”

10. The Krakow Ghetto
Witness :: BBC News | March 2011
“The city of Krakow in Poland was home to a large Jewish community before World War II. But with the arrival of the Nazis many of its Jews were deported, or fled. Then in 1941 a Jewish ghetto was built.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

MLK’s image still evolves / The Greatest turns 70 / A ‘Titanic’ tragedy at sea? / Matching fingerprints / ‘Acting’ gay

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism.

1. If You’re Mad for ‘Downton,’ Publishers Have Reading List
By Julie Bosman | The New York Times | Jan. 11
“Publishers are convinced that viewers who obsessively tune in to follow the war-torn travails of an aristocratic family and its meddling but loyal servants are also literary types, likely to devour books on subjects the series touches.”

2. Ali still the Greatest as he celebrates 70th
By Tim Dahlberg | Associated Press | Jan. 15
“The voice that used to bellow that he was ‘The Greatest’ is largely muted now, save for those times in the mornings when he is able to whisper his thoughts.”

3. Cruise tragedy conjures memories of doomed Titanic
By Tamara Lush | Associated Press | Jan. 15
“Are such comparisons to a 100-year-old tragedy fair?”

4. GOP’s Latino problem gets worse
By Thomas Schaller | Salon | Jan. 11
“Romney’s Spanish-language TV ads can’t overcome the party’s poor reputation among Hispanics”

5. Q&A: Turkey’s military and the alleged coup plots
By Bridget Kendall | BBC News | Jan. 6
“The former head of the Turkish armed forces, Gen Ilker Basbug, has become the biggest casualty yet of a huge crackdown on alleged conspirators against the government which has brought hundreds of military and security officers to trial.”

6. Pakistan’s Slow-Motion Coup
By C. Christine Fair | Foreign Policy | Jan. 5
“Islamabad’s generals are out to destroy Pakistani democracy. Obama should try to stop them.”

7. Towering legend, flawed man? King’s image evolving
By Brett Zongker and Samantha Gross | Associated Press | Jan. 15
“On the National Mall in Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. is a towering, heroic figure carved in stone. On the Broadway stage, he’s a living, breathing man who chain smokes, sips liquor and occasionally curses. As Americans honor King’s memory 44 years after he was assassinated, the image of the slain civil rights leader is evolving.”

8. Match Making
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | May 2010
“Is a voice print as distinctive as a fingerprint, or have I just been watching too much ’24’?”

9. When Do Gay Kids Start ‘Acting Gay’?
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | September 2011
“Sometimes when they’re toddlers”

10. Weathermen radicals in the USA
Witness :: BBC News | March 2011
“In March 1970, three white middle-class revolutionaries from the Weatherman movement accidentally killed themselves at their New York safehouse.”

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TUNES

Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Wiser Time — High Time Mind
2. Floyd Lee Band — Mean Blues
3. Eric Guitar Davis — Put Me Down
4. Pat Green — Wrapped
5. Rick Fowler — Back On My Good Foot
6. HoneyBoy Dupree — These Blues Is Killin’ Me
7. Jet — Are You Gonna Be My Girl
8. Electrofied — Put Your Hands In The Air
9. Delbert McClinton — Every Time I Roll The Dice
10. Rico Enriquez — Crossroadblues
11. Voodoo Snakes — Fire
12. Ernie Payne — Nothing Wrong With Texas
13. Los Lonely Boys — Polk Salad Annie
14. Los Lonely Boys — Evil Ways
*Outro song by Chris Duarte — Let’s Have A Party