1. “Laverne Cox Talks to Time About the Transgender Movement.” The Orange Is the New Black star on politics, happiness and why genitalia isn’t destiny.
“There’s not just one trans story. There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what they need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence. ... That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.”
2. “How Seth Rogen proved Ann Hornaday’s point about Elliot Rodger.” The WaPo critic’s argument was swallowed by kneejerk anti-feminism and Hollywood egotism. But it merits considering.
“In fact, Rogen pretty much made Hornaday’s point for her, which is that men in the movie world (or the regular world, for that matter) don’t care to listen to feminist criticism, and treat the intensely gendered nature of mainstream entertainment as a neutral or natural fact with no significant consequences. Here’s a fact many people haven’t noticed: Hornaday never mentions Rogen by name, and never blames him or his movies for anything. She brings up his recent hit Neighbors as an example of the ’outsized frat-boy fantasies’ from which Rodger apparently felt excluded, and no doubt Rogen is Exhibit A when it comes to ’Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl.’ But in any fair-minded reading of her piece, those are instances of a troubling cultural pattern that supplies a context for Rodger’s crimes, not any sort of explanation.”
3. “There’s a Difference Between Misogyny and Severe Mental Illness.” Science of Us’s Jesse Singal explains it all.
“The problem is that when you look closely at the evidence available so far, Rodgers’s mental health really does appear to have been a much bigger factor than any cultural explanation. Yes, by the end of his life he had dabbled in online men’s rights and pickup artist forums online and adapted some of their language, but it appears that this happened after years of bottomless anger and frustration had already warped him into a dysfunctional person. These communities warranted only a single, fleeting mention in a manifesto that goes into painstakingly meticulous detail about Rodger’s grievances and aspirations. Rodger was frustrated and outraged as a result of what he saw as a neverending stream of rejection. The manifesto gives off the distinct impression that just about everything which happened to him fueled his hatred and anger—that daily life tortured him.”
4. “Life in the Valley of Death.” In Srebrenica, the remains of those killed in the genocide keep turning up, unsettling the reconciliation between Muslims and Serbs.
“For [Amor] Masovic, the massacre in Srebrenica presents a special professional challenge. Only about a thousand of those fleeing were killed outright. The other 7,000 were captured and taken to various killing fields for execution, their bodies dumped into mass graves. Shortly afterward, however, Serb commanders ordered the original graves dug up and the remains moved to a series of smaller mass graves along the Drina River basin—the so-called Valley of Death—that they hoped would never be found. ’This has made Srebrenica our greatest challenge,’ Masovic said. But there is something else, too. The slaughter occurred in the waning days of the war, when the signs were that the international community was about to force a political settlement in Bosnia. Consequently the killings were particularly senseless, one last orgy of bloodletting before the fighting stopped.”
5. “7 New Yorkers Remember the Early Days of the AIDS Epidemic.” New York magazine reached out to dozens of them—living both with and without HIV—to ask what moments they remember most vividly from those years.
“I owned a gay gym, The Body Center, on Sixth Avenue from 1978 to 1985. In early 1981, one of our young trainers, very good-looking with a beautiful body, got sick and went back to Pennsylvania to his family. Four months later, we got a call from his sister saying he was very sick and the doctors did not think he would last the week. We jumped into our car and raced to his bedside. I cannot tell you the horror I felt as I walked into his hospital room and saw this old man in bed with tubes in his arms and nose. He was skin and bones and could barely talk. To see this once-young, healthy boy deteriorate so fast was devastating. Unfortunately, it was a picture and a situation that would play out over and over for the next decade. The Normal Heart is our legacy to this generation. What you see on that screen is true and very painful to watch, but it’s also important to remember all the beautiful people that were taken from us in such a horrible fashion.”
Video of the Day: Humor on the set of Hannibal:
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