👓 The Woodard projection | Jon Udell

Read The Woodard projection by Jon UdellJon Udell (Jon Udell)

In a memorable episode of The West Wing, visitors from the Cartographers for Social Justice upend CJ’s and Josh’s worldviews.

Cartographer: “The Peters projection.”

CJ: “What the hell is that?”

Cartographer: “It’s where you’ve been living this whole time.”

I’m having the same reaction to Colin Woodard’s 2011 book American Nations. He sees North America as three federations of nations. The federation we call the United States comprises nations he calls Yankeedom, New Netherland, The Midlands, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, The Deep South, El Norte, The Far West, and The Left Coast.

Here’s his definition of a nation:

nation is a group of people who share — or believe they share — a common culture, ethnic origin, language, historical experience, artifacts, and symbols.”

I love the concept of this thesis! Ordering a copy of the book for myself.

I’ve lived in Greater Appalachia, The Deep South, Yankeedom, The Midlands, and the Left Coast and I’ve always unconsciously known many of these borders within culture. It’s often been difficult to describe the subtle cultural shifts and divides between many of these places to others. I can’t wait to read a book that delves into all of it depth.

👓 Entitled and Aloof | jonbeckett.blog

Read Entitled and Aloof by Jon BeckettJon Beckett (jonbeckett.blog)
While walking back from town earlier with groceries I turned a corner and came across a man in his mid-thirties walking his dog. The dog was attached to him via an extending lead. Both he and the d…

👓 The Day the Music Burned | New York Times Magazine

Read The Day the Music Burned (New York Times Magazine)
It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business — and almost nobody knew. This is the story of the 2008 Universal fire.

This brings back some memories of when I worked for several months for Iron Mountain at their Hollywood facility right next to Anawalt lumber. They had quite a large repository of music masters stored there as well as a custom nitrate film vault. At the time I remember thinking many of the same things mentioned here. I suspect that there’s an even bigger issue in film preservation, though this particular article makes it seem otherwise.

I’m surprised that the author doesn’t whip out any references to the burning of the Library at Alexandria, which may have been roughly on par in terms of cultural loss to society. It’s painfully sad that UMG covered up the devastating loss.

The artwork for the piece is really brilliant. Some great art direction here.

👓 There’s Nothing Wrong With Posing for Photos at Chernobyl | Taylor Lorenz | The Atlantic

Read There’s Nothing Wrong With Posing for Photos at Chernobyl by Taylor Lorenz (The Atlantic)
Influencer-style pictures are simply the way we document our lives now.

Strip away the headline and the social media influencer angle which is a canard.

There’s an interesting societal shift happening here in photography. For counterpoint, compare this with Pictures of Death: Postmortem Photography by Nancy West (The Atlantic).

👓 The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a wee bit scarier | Nieman Lab

Read The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a wee bit scarier (Nieman Lab)
Comparing 2010 and 2018 side by side makes it clear what a changed media universe we now live in.

🎧 Episode 002 – James Bond and Wonder Woman | Media and the End of the World Podcast

Listened to Episode 002 – James Bond and Wonder Woman by Adam Croom and Ralph Beliveau

On this episode, Adam and Ralph have their first guest, Dr. Lisa Funnell. Dr. Funnell’s research explores the performance and intersection of identities—specifically gender, race, sexuality, nationality, and ethnicity—in Hong Kong martial arts films, Hollywood blockbusters, and the James Bond franchise. We recognize we should have held out this discussion for episode 007, but we were too excited to contain ourselves.

Show Notes

📺 Can We All Get Along? | A Documentary about The Segregation of John Muir H.S.

Watched Can We All Get Along?: The Segregation of John Muir High School from Can We All Get Along?

A 50 minute documentary following filmmaker & Class of ’82 John Muir High Alumnus, Pablo Miralles (“Gringos at the Gate“) as he questions what has happened to his once diverse alma mater and whether or not to send his own son to the school today. In the film, Miralles explores the complex history of Pasadena’s schools and the 1970 court order that created the first Federal desegregation plan outside of the south. Weaving stories from alumni, administrators, and civic leaders of John Muir High School’s multi-cultural community, Miralles illustrates the challenges and failures of California, and the United States, to promote well-funded and diverse public education.

🎧 Longing for Wakanda | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Longing for Wakanda by Brooke Gladstone from On the Media | WNYC Studios

How the utopian kingdom at the center of Black Panther falls into a long history of black liberation struggles.

On Sunday night, Marvel’s Black Panther film won the Oscar for three of its six Academy Award nominations: Ludwig Göransson for Best Original Score, Ruth E. Carter for Best Costume Design and Hannah Beachler and Jay R. Hart for Best Production design — just a few of the artists who helped bring Wakanda, the Black Panther’s mythical homeland, to life.

A persistent site for utopian longing, Wakanda has once more captured the public imagination: endowed with unlimited access to the most precious natural resource in the world, unsullied by the ravages of colonialism, Wakanda has reignited conversations about what black liberation can and should look like. According to Johns Hopkins University history professor Nathan Connolly, this latest chapter is part of a much longer tradition of imagining and reimagining black utopias. Connolly speaks with Brooke about how Wakanda arises from a 500-year history — from Maroon communities to Haiti to the actual Black Panther movement — a journey that takes us from "dreams to art to life, and back again."

This segment originally aired on February 23rd, 2018.

👓 This simple tipping trick could save you over $400 a year | CNBC

Read One tipping trick could save you over $400 a year by Zack Guzman (CNBC)
Changing this one thing about the way you pay can save you money without being unfair to servers.

Clickbait for cheap people. I’m surprised he didn’t suggest not tipping at all in the states where employers provide minimum wage to cover missed tips…

👓 Pet Sematary Ruined a Generation’s Ability to Spell Cemetery | Slate

Read Pet Sematary Ruined a Generation’s Ability to Spell Cemetery (Slate Magazine)
It started with Stephen King’s book. With the new movie, the curse is poised to go international.
Replied to Deviance and Hallmark Christmas Movies by Tressie McMillan CottomTressie McMillan Cottom (tressiemc)
The title is click-bait. If you follow me on That Social Media site you know two things about me: I love Dolly Parton and I am mad for Hallmark Christmas movies. As the former goes without saying, …

I’ve got the same Hallmark  Channel Christmas movie affliction. I’ve created a list of common Hallmark Movie “things” that I often use as a drinking game, but as you highlight, I really ought to have it as a larger Bingo card. I’ll have to start working on it soon though as I expect this year’s “Countdown to Christmas” will start sometime just after Labor Day.

I do wish you had the time to write the Hallmark Christmas movie book–it would make a fascinating read. I’ll bite at the question about why the “dead parent” is your favorite, but I’d be more interested in your take on the premier of this past years’ Memories of Christmas which breaks some of the traditional molds. Like all the rest of their originals, I’m sure(?) they’ll rerun it in subsequent years.

It turns out I know two of the writers of the Memories of Christmas production. At least one of them mentioned a Hallmark Movie “playbook” though she didn’t indicate if it was one internally created by the network or if it was her own as I suspect that she’s got the same affliction some of us other “fans” do.

👓 Conservative Bible Project aims to rewrite scripture to counter perceived liberal bias | NY Daily News

Read Conservative Bible Project aims to rewrite scripture to counter perceived liberal bias (NY Daily News)
The Conservative Bible Project's authors argue that contemporary scholars have inserted liberal views and ahistorical passages into the Bible, turning Jesus into little more than a well-meaning social worker.

Another thousand years from now portions of the “christian” bible will have strayed so far from the original that they will be completely unrecognizable. You can choose to reinterpret them into a new modern setting, but it still doesn’t change the words that were originally inscribed.

🎧 The Daily: Reckoning With the Real Michael Jackson | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Reckoning With the Real Michael Jackson from New York Times

The pop star’s legacy has been shadowed by sexual abuse accusations for decades. Wesley Morris grapples with why the world has, for so long, looked the other way.

I was just watching footage of a Michael Jackson interview in a documentary about Studio 54 recently and it was relatively striking to see him prior to all the body modification. It was also striking to see him in the midst of one of the few places on the planet at the time that was generally accepting of homosexuality and alternative culture even though many who were there were still on the DL.

🎧 The Daily: What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race from New York Times

Wesley Morris joins us to talk about “Green Book,” the latest Oscar winner to focus on a white character’s moral journey in an interracial friendship.

I love Wesley Morris’s analysis here. Racial reconciliation fantasy is a great name for a rampant problem we’ve got in America. While it’s nice to try to sweep the problem under the rug, we really need to bring it out front and center and have a more honest discussion about it.

This may be one of the best podcast episodes I’ve heard in two months. I highly recommend it.

🎧 The Daily: The American Women Who Joined ISIS | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The American Women Who Joined ISIS from New York Times

They traveled to Syria, swore loyalty to the Islamic State and married its fighters. Now, as the extremist group’s “caliphate” crumbles, they’re asking to come home.

What a painful culture shock it must have been for women to go from America to ISIS held territory.

I can only think that given the terrorism that they experienced and their mindsets as depicted here that they ought to be treated more like brainwashed ex-cult members than enemy combatants. Of course this also means that they should certainly be getting the appropriate mental health care after the fact as well.

I have to wonder whether they would have gone if they’d even spent a little bit of time thinking about the long term consequences.