1. “The Boy Who Ran.” The Life and Death of Avonte Oquendo.
“The doctor told the mother not to worry, that the baby was only a little developmentally delayed. Some kids just do it on their own time, he said. So she brought him home and waited. Vanessa Fontaine had the background, as a nurse and an experienced mother, to understand that something was different about Avonte. He was one year old and still not making eye contact. He’d started talking, saying ’Mommy’ and ’Daddy,’ but then just as suddenly he’d stopped saying anything at all. There were other symptoms, too. ’He’d watch TV, but he wouldn’t play with toys,’ she remembers. ’He didn’t like any toy that I would buy him, no toy at all.’”
2. “Spike Lee’s Open Letter to the New York Times.” A Letter To New York Times Film Critic Mr. A.O. Scott responding to his article in the Sunday Arts & Leisure Section, “WHOSE BROOKLYN IS IT, ANYWAY?”
“Mr. Scott, what you fail to understand is that I can live on The Moon and what I said is still TRUE. No matter where I choose to live that has nothing to do with it. I will always carry Brooklyn in my Blood, Heart and Soul. Did anyone call Jay-Z a Hypocrite when he helped with bringing The Nets from New Jersey to The Barclays Center in Brooklyn at the Corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue? Hey Buddy, Jay-Z had been long, long gone from The Marcy Projects and Brooklyn a long, long, long time ago and more Power to my BK ALL DAY Brother. Should Jay-Z no longer mention Brooklyn in his Songs because he no longer resides there? You already know the answer to that one, Sir.”
3. “Michael Snow.” J. Hoberman catches Snow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Fashioned two years after Wavelength, the Polaroid self-portrait Authorization, 1969, is as perfect in its modest way as Snow’s perversely static motion picture: The artist made a rectangle of adhesive tape on a mirror and photographed himself within that frame, then pasted the photo in one corner of the taped rectangle and repeated the process until the photographs effaced his reflection. The subject of the work is the procedure via which Snow arrived at finished object; the author’s ’signature’ is inscribed as his gradually disappearing image. Snow has his predilections—a prurient fondness for female nudes and elegantly deranged grids—but his pieces are autobiographical in a highly specific way, typically concerned with the conditions of the work’s own making..”
4. “The Great Divide.” Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rise of the bad fan.
“There were a few more last-minute skirmishes, since Lear was determined to set a precedent for network non-coöperation: in an industry that liked to sand down the pointy, he wanted to provoke viewers. He refused to eliminate what the censor called ’explicit sex’ (innuendo that would seem prudish these days), and he threatened to quit rather than run the milder second episode, about Richard Nixon, as the show’s début. CBS caved. In the pilot that ran, it’s Archie and Edith’s wedding anniversary. They return from church early, catching Michael and a miniskirted Gloria on their way to the bedroom. There’s a loud belch—Lear’s shows pioneered TV toilet humor—and Archie and Michael fight about atheism and Black Power. ’I didn’t have no million people out there marching and protesting to get me my job,’ Archie sneers. ’No, his uncle got it for him,’ Edith replies. Some jokes stick, others fizzle, but it’s Archie’s volcanic charisma that lingers—at moments, it’s easy to imagine him hitting Edith, though the sitcom rhythms reassure us that he won’t.”
5. “Frankie Knuckles, ’Godfather of House Music,’ Dead at 59.” Remembering the life and legacy of the man who birthed every aspect of electronic music culture.
“Nobody can agree on who invented the blues or birthed rock & roll, but there is no question that house music came from Frankie Knuckles, who died Monday afternoon of as-yet-undisclosed causes at age 59. One of the Eighties and Nineties’ most prolific house music producers and remixers, Knuckles is, hands down, one of the dozen most important DJs of all time. At his Chicago clubs the Warehouse (1977-82) and Power Plant (1983-85), Knuckles’ marathon sets, typically featuring his own extended edits of a wide selection of tracks from disco to post-punk, R&B to synth-heavy Eurodisco, laid the groundwork for electronic dance music culture—all of it.”
Video of the Day: Stephen Colbert responds to #CancelColbert Controversy:
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