A thorough and thoroughly conventional, look at the first astronaut to set foot on the moon.
"How We Built the Ghettos": At The Daily Beast, Jamelle Bouie explains the origins behind our long history with racist housing policies.
"Yesterday, apropos of Paul Ryan’s remarks on 'inner-city poverty' and a culture that 'doesn’t value work,' I wrote about the policy that went into building our inner-cities and depriving whole communities of wealth and opportunity. Likewise, at MSNBC, Ned Resnikoff wrote an excellent piece on the wide income and wealth disparities between blacks and whites. 'In 1984,' he writes, 'the white-to-black wealth ratio was 12-to–1…But over the next 14 years the wealth gap began to grow once again, until it had skyrocketed up to 19-to–1 in 2009.'"
"Your Book Sucks: Are Authors Being Bullied with One-Star Amazon Reviews?": Such is the question at the heart of Hayley Campbell's editorial at New Statesman.
"I frequently fall down internet rabbit holes – I google medical symptoms late at night, I look up animals who have won awards (I have not won awards), I try to find out the exact length of intestinal worms pulled from dogs’ bellies on old episodes of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not that I vaguely remember watching in the ‘90s (results so far inconclusive). I also habitually read the one-star Amazon reviews of books I love. Why? I have no idea. Try it. It’s like sitting mutely at a dinner party with aliens."
"Jim Jarmusch on Only Lovers Left Alive, Vampires, and the Shakespeare Conspiracy": Bilge Ebiri at Vulture interviews the eccentric filmmaker. Related: "Jim Jarmusch: 'Women are my leaders'" by David Ehrlich at The Guardian.
"Jesus Christ, Jim Jarmusch is 61 years old. The man who helped define the independent downtown New York film scene in the 1980s through the films Stranger Than Paradise,Down by Law, and Mystery Train can now get senior citizen discounts at Ben & Jerry’s. Maybe it’s telling that his latest, Only Lovers Left Alive, is about vampires. Not unlike his undead characters Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), the strangely ageless Jarmusch (he still has that happy shock of white hair) has seen fads and movements pass by over the years. All along, though, he’s been whittling away at his own very idiosyncratic films, with their characteristic blend of melancholy and deadpan wit. Only Lovers Left Alive may be a vampire movie, but it’s more a love story than horror flick, more a meditation on poetry, music, and worldly experience than a story about fangs and blood. The director sat down with Vulture recently to discuss the personal nature of the new film, his evolving approach to directing, and his certainty that William Shakespeare didn’t write any of Shakespeare’s plays."
"How Scarlett Johansson Helped Me Challenge Disfigurement Stigma": Adam Pearson stars in Under the Skin, stealing the few scenes he's in. This interview with him by Elizabeth Day at The Guardian is insightful.
"Adam Pearson is used to people noticing him. A few weeks ago, he was in a DVD shop near his home in Croydon, south London, and a gaggle of teenage girls starting talking loudly about him and taking photos of his face on their smartphones. "They were saying 'Oh, look at that man'," says Pearson. 'And all I wanted to do was buy The Hobbit on Blu-Ray.'"
"Even after nine decades as an actor, Norman Lloyd loves to perform — even if it's for an audience of one. During a recent interview, Lloyd was brandishing the cleaver used in "Man From the South," the landmark 1960 episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" starring Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre that Lloyd directed. The ironically macabre tale revolves around a young gambler who makes a gruesome bet with an elderly man to win the man's convertible. If the gambler's lighter lights 10 times straight he will win the car, but if it doesn't the man will cut the gambler's pinkie finger off with a cleaver."
A formal analysis of The Godfather at The Niles Files.
Standup comedy from Tom Lehrer. Read this piece about the comic at BuzzFeed by Ben Smith and Anita Badejo.
A video essay about Mortal Engines, as part of Scout Tafoya's ongoing video essay series on maligned masterpieces.
This is the most purely entertaining season of Stranger Things to date.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...