1. “Angelina Jolie Pitt: Diary of a Surgery.” For The New York Times, the actress pens an op-ed about her decision to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.
“I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt. I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren. I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours. The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful. That same day I went to see the surgeon, who had treated my mother. I last saw her the day my mother passed away, and she teared up when she saw me: ’You look just like her.’ I broke down. But we smiled at each other and agreed we were there to deal with any problem, so ’let’s get on with it.’”
2. “Don Draper’s Gonna Die!” Well, maybe not die exactly. But when the final season of Mad Men draws to a close, that cocky, depressive adman that Jon Hamm made—and that made Jon Hamm—is going to disappear. Which means two things: It’s time to sit down and savor that character’s closing notes, and then it’s time to get excited for everything Jon Hamm is going to do next.
“It was a few years ago, and Hamm and [Jennifer] Westfeldt were on their way out of Orso, a restaurant in New York. Hamm looked up, into the grinning face of James Gandolfini, who was just stepping out of a chauffeured car, arriving for dinner. ’I’m like, ’Oh, Jesus.’ He was just the nicest guy, always very sweet and friendly. But the first thing you think is you’re going to be murdered.’ Gandolfini offered to have his driver take them home—a tip of the hat from a Difficult Man Emeritus, now out of the game, to a younger member still in the thick of it. Sometime later, in Boston, Hamm ran into Bryan Cranston, himself only recently freed from the yoke of Breaking Bad. ’It’s hard, man,’ Cranston told him. ’It’s hard to let it go. It’ll hit you a couple of different ways at different times.’ So far, it seems to mostly be disorienting. Shooting for the second half of season seven ended way back last summer. ’The whole last season was like senior year in high school,’ Hamm says. ’’We’ll stay in touch!’ ’I’ll text you!’ ’We’ll see each other all the time!’ And it’s like, ’Will we really?’’”
3. ”’Yoga Pants Are Ruining Women’ and Other Style Advice from Fran Lebowitz.” Sartorial tirades from one of the most tailored and opinionated dressers in all of New York City.
“To me, the main difference between young people now and the people I was young with isn’t so much style, it’s the relationships they have with their parents. Their parents like them much more than ours liked us. Our parents weren’t our friends. They disapproved of us. All our parents cared about was how we behaved, not how we felt, not what we wanted. But now I see my friends on the phones with their, what, 30-year-old kids? And they’re talking about feelings. You would think this kind of relationship would make this adult children more relaxed, but instead they’re more concerned. Parent-child relationships have become so collegiate. And so when these grown children go into the world, they expect a certain amount of attention. And they’re very disappointed.”
4. ”The Jinx: Not My Documentary Renaissance.” Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling’s gotcha documentary series explores the porous boundary between bad art and bad journalism.
“The problem comes when one actually watches The Jinx. The series is so manipulative, so plodding, so pointlessly morbid, so self-congratulatory, so obviously geared to deliver one, single news-making/ratings-grabbing moment that it casts a pall over these essential questions. In the last episode we find the filmmakers grandstanding on camera that their ’number-one priority’ is to deliver ’justice’ after discovering a previously unseen letter that basically nails [Robert] Durst. Jarecki’s nervous exuberance for his pending gotcha confrontation with his subject is barely contained behind a mask of documentary sobriety. We haven’t seen such thinly veiled glee since the Catfish guys ’discovered’ the twist on camera in their ’search for the truth’. (Coincidentally, Jarecki and Smerling were two of that film’s producers.) That he peppers the final episode with pleas for justice by the interview subjects most affected by Durst’s continued, improbable freedom is self-congratulation to the extreme.”
5. “Nostalgia for the Future.” For The New Inquiry, Nadia Awad on how images of Palestine circulate globally as long as they don’t picture return.
“At the nexus of activism, occupation tourism, brand-making, and war journalism lies the current transnational visual production of Palestine. The Israeli security industry’s pathetic efforts to police virtual space have only amplified the global desire for those elusive ’facts on the ground.’ Google Earth completely omits parts of Palestine or prevents visualization from a particular proximity. The clinical, relentless deletion of Palestinian referents, including names of towns, pages commemorating particular events, and Vines of protests, compliments Israel’s recent habit of declaring war through Twitter. Aerial videos of Gaza’s destruction appear on the army’s YouTube channel while reservists live-tweeted massacres during the last siege on Gaza. Settlers even arrived on hilltops, carrying lawn chairs, popcorn, and binoculars, to relish the ‘theater’ of the Gaza’s latest war. The army’s total control over air, water, and land is paralleled by its virtual control over digital representations of Palestine.”
Video of the Day: Slow West gets an official trailer:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.