1. “Why Adam Sandler Might Be the Most Important Comedian of His Generation.” Bilge Ebiri states his case.
“This non-commitment might be annoying to some (okay, many…fine, most) critics, but it could be the key to Sandler’s appeal. Maybe it’s what makes him more like the average American. The exaggerated mannerisms, the made-up words, the screeching accents and baroque idiocy of these early films…It’s not acting, it’s play-pretend. It’s what we do when we sing in the shower. And the tempestuous blasts of anger in these early films—they’re the cinematic equivalent of an ALL CAPS mock temper tantrum on Twitter. None of it’s real, and Sandler repeatedly reminds us of it through his disengaged presence.”
2. “This Isn’t Just About Star Wars.” The 5 Dumbest Arguments Against Gender Diversity.
“Although gender roles ingrained in us from childhood (ones which stem directly out of the attitudes and behaviors seen in mainstream media) would have people believe men and women hail from different planets, we’re all human, and anyone who can write a compelling, believable man should have no trouble writing equally compelling and believable women—good character should be defined by more than their gender. If a movie was presented with the opposite bias as the Star Wars casting, with only two main male roles and the rest of the speaking characters women, with no on-screen acknowledgement of the disparity, there’d be never-ending discussions about what sort of world was being presented and questions about what happened to the men in the movie’s universe, but the reverse seems acceptable—the ’default,’ like we said.”
3. “Louis C.K. Against the Common Core.” The comic is not a fan of standardized testing.
“But the issue identified by Louis C.K., and by other less well-known but equally furious parents, is not that the material children are expected to learn is too hard. It isn’t unreasonable to expect kids to have learned to multiply and divide numbers up to a hundred by the time they leave third grade—and in all likelihood, Louis C.K.’s child will have done so by June, if she hasn’t already, and be the better for it. The greater problem lies with the ways in which the achievement of those standards is measured. An emphasis on a certain kind of testing has become a blight upon the city’s classrooms. ’The teachers are great,’ C.K. tweeted. ’But it’s changed in recent years. It’s all about these tests. It feels like a dark time.’”
4. “Lorde’s Views on Journalism Aren’t Just Wrong, They’re Dangerous.” Rebutting the singer’s controversial views on music journalism.
“I think Lorde’s smart enough to realize—if she took the time to think about this a bit more—that criticism doesn’t necessarily equal ’disrespect,’ and that she’s essentially proposing that the press act as de facto publicists, where publications have immutable ’stances’ on artists, cheerleading for the ones they like and shitting on the ones they don’t. In which case, shit, you might as well just have publicists send out press releases straight to fans and be done with it.”
5. “Better Off Alone.” Pitchfork interviews Lykke Li.
“This is the type of hyper-romantic perspective that would make the average person flail, to get lost in a swirl of fantasy and disappointment. But for Li, these dreamer instincts seem to breed a specific sort of rigor. She sounds captivated by her own heartbreak—which, in normal conversation, makes her sound like a stoned college freshman. But it’s a perspective that’s provided a reliable compass for her career and her music, which crystallizes into focus on I Never Learn. Whereas an artist like Adele might sing a truly downtrodden ballad from the viewpoint of someone going through hell before lifting herself up, Li sounds as though she’s settled into sadness as a sheer state of being. ’I’ll always be in some type of turmoil,’ she says, almost sounding excited by the prospect. ’So what I’ve tried to do is just surrender to that.’”
Video of the Day: Check out Mads Mikkelsen in the trailer for Kristian Levring’s The Salvation:
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.