1. “Nigerian Schoolgirl Describes Kidnapping by Terrorists” Schoolgirl who escaped from the Boko Haram describes her ordeal to the AP.
“Their plight—and the failure of the Nigerian military to find them—has drawn international attention to an escalating Islamic extremist insurrection that has killed more than 1,500 so far this year. Boko Haram, the name means ’Western education is sinful,’ has in a video seen Monday claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping and threatened to sell the girls. The British and U.S. governments have issued statements of concern over the fate of the missing students, and protests have erupted in major Nigerian cities and in New York. The 16-year-old was among about 50 students who escaped on that fateful day, and she spoke for the first time in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. The AP also interviewed about 30 others, including Nigerian government and Borno state officials, school officials, six relatives of the missing girls, civil society leaders and politicians in northeast Nigeria and soldiers in the war zone. Many spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing that giving their names would also reveal the girls’ identities and subject them to possible stigmatization in this conservative society.”
2. “Will fear of TV cancellations become a thing of the past?” We may have already passed the tipping point.
“What’s happening isn’t that networks have taken leave of their senses or have run out of options and are just throwing stuff on the air they know will get a certain number (though some degree of both may be true). What’s happening is that TV shows increasingly are seen less as immediate performers and more as long-term assets. The rise of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime in the world of TV has proven to be comparable to the rise of DVD in the world of film. It’s pumping ridiculous amounts of money, even for catalog items, into the fragile network economy. Network TV may no longer occupy the center of the broadcast universe, but it doesn’t need to. A good show, a show that people will want to binge-watch, can pop up anywhere, and the potential upside for it, even if it tanks in its first run, is enormous.”
3. “Have I Ever Left?” 100 years after Dubliners, James Joyce’s Dublin—and mine.
“The house at 15 Usher’s Island, also mentioned in Ulysses as the home of Stephen Dedalus’ two aunts, was bought by a literary entrepreneur a few years back and converted into a kind of Joycean events venue operating under the pleasingly weird name James Joyce House of the Dead—a name which leads me to imagine some sort of formally experimental Hammer horror film, starring Vincent Pryce as a sinister Irish necromancer who speaks in convoluted Homeric allusions. The house is available for private functions, including wakes. The idea of a Joyce-themed wake seems slightly mad, but in a way that reflects a peculiar reality of Dublin, which is that the whole place seems in some fundamental sense Joyce-themed. This can be maddening at times, as though the author, after his death in 1941 in Zurich, far from the city where he was born, had somehow slyly arrogated to himself the position of municipal god, and designated the whole place a monument to his works.”
4. “Stéphane Delorme Interview.” The editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinéma on Spielberg, politics, and the vitality of cinema.
“In the past, Cahiers always had an editorial line. Now everyone is scared to use the term ’editorial line’ because we’re in such a period of consensus, everyone wants to agree with everyone else. I’d like to preserve the idea of a ’line’ because I think a magazine needs one. Nonetheless, I’d rather use the term ’spirit’ because what I’m looking for in contributors is a state of mind, how they see things—not just cinema, but how you behave in relation to a film. Do you look down at it or watch head on? Can you start with a blank slate every time a film begins? Do you have sensitivity? That’s a word that’s never used, but a critic must be sensitive. There are lots of intelligent critics who have theories about films and can take a film apart but are not sensitive to the image, for instance. There’s a real lack of consideration for aesthetics nowadays.”
5. “Being Black and Nerdy.” How everything from desegregation to Super Mario RPG made me an advocate for putting your personal politics into video games.
“This static image of black masculinity has been at the center of a long negotiation for me, with social penalties for either conforming to or subverting the stereotype. As I’ve come to recognize, black folks shouldn’t have to do either: we shouldn’t be conditioned from childhood to appraise black men, deducting points for sagging pants, loud music or hoodies. We shouldn’t call upon anyone to justify our existence. Using video games to isolate myself from blackness had only made me haughty and distrusting of the black men who ’bought into’ the thug image. In restrospect, I should’ve been interrogating the image itself and how it’s used to appraise, classify and justify the dehumanization of black men.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for the Batman prequel Gotham:
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