1. “Riding Wave of Discontent, G.O.P. Takes Senate.” Republicans win Senate control with at least seven new seats.
“Resurgent Republicans took control of the Senate on Tuesday night, expanded their hold on the House, and defended some of the most closely contested governors’ races, in a repudiation of President Obama that will reorder the political map in his final years in office. Propelled by economic dissatisfaction and anger toward the president, Republicans grabbed Democratic Senate seats in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota to gain their first Senate majority since 2006. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a shrewd Republican tactician, cruised to re-election and stood poised to achieve a goal he has pursued for years—Senate majority leader.”
2. “Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview.” The horror master looks back on his four-decade career.
“I don’t get it. But there are a lot of things that I don’t get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t. The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, ’Oh, I know this guy. I’ve seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.’ And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me, that’s the way I am.”
3. “Mr. Known Unknown: Godard and His Discontents.” Michael Atkinson in defense of Goodbye to Language.
“The smarter voices have tried to nod in the master’s direction, but end up with vague or shrugging declarations, praising the film while admitting that they don’t actually get it. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott, no slouch generally, windily maintains that Godard ’seems to divide the world into skeptics and worshipers, with not much middle ground,’ hardly bothering to make a case as to what a middle ground would look like, or why the ’skeptics’ (as if Godard is a conspiracy theorist) are simply moviegoers that do not or will not consider anything out of the structural mainstream. Godard’s one of those artists, Scott says, who ’tend to confound easy distinctions between genius and trickery, and to marshal armies of exegetes in what may be the futile enterprise of figuring out what they mean. If you try, especially on a first viewing, to crack its code or plumb its depths, you are likely to pass a frustrated hour and 10 minutes.’ If Scott thinks Godard’s films may in fact be meaningless, shouldn’t he say that, and shouldn’t he also consider that code-cracked ’meaning’ is exactly the traditional literature-class quantity that Godard has been working against for over half a century?”
4. “Will White Feminists Finally Dump Lena Dunham?” While there is a deeply misogynistic animus behind the conservative reactions to Dunham’s confessions, some feminists are frustrated with those who stand by the star no matter what.
“The allegations of sexual abuse against Dunham seem to have stretched white feminism’s attachment to Dunham to its limits, but not beyond them. As activists, particularly women of color, question Dunham’s institutional ties to the feminist movement, the well-worn racial fault lines that have long characterized U.S. feminism are coming to the fore once again. While white feminists continue to defend Dunham, seemingly out of reflex at this point, non-white feminists are tired of Dunham getting a free pass for behavior that people of color would be excoriated over.”
5. “The weird legal reason many of your favorite shows aren’t on DVD.” Todd VanDerWerff explains how it’s all about music licensing.
“In the case of WKRP, especially, the music often wasn’t available on a separate track from the dialogue on the program’s soundtrack. (Most modern programs include the music and dialogue on separate tracks, allowing for either to be replaced with ease. WKRP was filmed on videotape, which has very little flexibility in this regard.) In situations like this, if a clearance couldn’t be found, Shout had to go through and digitally remove the problematic music, scene by scene, cue by cue. It was painstaking work, even with modern technology.”
Video of the Day: The video for José González’s “Every Age”:
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