1. “LGBT Clubs in American History: Cultural Centers, Safe Spaces & Targets.” Barry Walters, writing for Billboard, on the horror and sadness of the Pulse shooting and how places of worship for LGBT people have been defiled in the past by hatemongers.
“Since Stonewall and well before, gay clubs have been our schools, our places of worship. Nightclubs are where we’ve long learned to unlearn hate, and learn to become and love our real selves. They’re our safe spaces; places where music and dancing and the joy of our collective togetherness unlocks our fears and extinguishes our lingering self-loathing. This is why the first important public post-Stonewall gay disco in Manhattan was named Sanctuary; why one of the biggest and longest-running queer dancefloors of London is called Heaven; and why the most beloved current LGBT club in San Francisco is known as Oasis. For many who’ve never known the security of a truly secure and happy home or school or work life, these places are the homes and churches where we celebrate and extinguish despair with our families of choice.”
2. “Only When I’m Dancing Can I Feel This Free.” Alfred Soto, writing for MTV, on queer liberation, dreams, and self-discovery on the dance floor.
“The politics of dancing is the politics of feeling good; the politics of dancing is also the politics of willing yourself to feel good. Pop is replete with miniature psychodramas in which memory and desire, subject and object, play out on the dance floor. The teen in The Crystals’ ‘Then He Kissed Me’ gets a happy ending. So does Sylvester in 1978’s ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).’ For others, the scenarios were more fraught. In Donna Summer’s ‘Love’s Unkind,’ released in 1977, the clomping girl-group beat forces Summer to the sideline, ‘standing on the outside of the inside where I wanna be.’ Shannon’s forlorn ‘Let the Music Play’ literalizes the trauma: Freestyle’s urtext depicts a couple for whom sharing dance-floor space presents a congeries of competing lusts, where the right signals go to the wrong people, the wrong ones go to the wrong people, and in the meantime the androgynously sung refrain repeats ‘Let the music play’ as if in prayer.”
3. “The Second Amendment Hoax.” Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick on how the NRA and conservatives have perverted the meaning of the right to bear arms.
“What does all this have to do with freedom? Well the document that promises and protects our freedom has been interpreted to say that we are all condemned to live out our days in terror, hostage to powerful interests who urge us to become ever more free by purchasing and stockpiling ever more lethal weapons of war. Perhaps nobody so perfectly captured this twisted definition of freedom as former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, who in the wake of yet another round of futile debates about gun rights last fall said this: ‘I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.’ Indeed.”
4. “The Muhammad Ali Documentary That Gets to the Existential Heart of Boxing.” The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody on William Greaves’s The Fight.
“There are no supertitles in The Fight to identify the participants in the film; some people who turn up are named in the course of the events, but the rest of them test viewers’ knowledge and discernment. There are no graphics, no talking-head interviews, no montage scenes to speed the action ahead (except for one ingenious sequence, done with a minimalistic clarity, to show the labors involved in preparing the Garden for the bout), and only a little added music. It’s an existential documentary that thrusts viewers into the world of the fight, in which Greaves reports on the action as well as on the reporting of that action.”
5. “The UK Leaving the EU Would Change the European Music Industry.” Pitchfork enlisted experts across the music industry to help break down the potential impact of a decision that will affect trade, free movement, and international support networks.
“If Britain leaves the EU, we could find ourselves excluded from having free movement across much of Europe’s mainland. That could have two expensive, complex implications for touring bands: individual visas to enter each EU country, and the introduction of the carnet, a document detailing every single piece of equipment on deck, to prevent the import or export of products without paying VAT. It costs between £1000—£2000 (approximately $1400—$2900), and lasts just 12 months.”
Video of the Day: A tribute by Candice Drouet to the values of LGBTQ movies:
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