Category: Popular Culture

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Evening News Script

Good evening, I’m [insert name]. Welcome to the Evening News. Our top story tonight: [something to fear; followed by expert analysis explaining why viewers should be fearful]. In other news: [something to fear]. In a related story: [something else to possibly fear in the near future]. Commercial break: [insert advertisement for a pharmaceutical product; followed...

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Speechless

Imagine giving a PowerPoint presentation to a large roomful of strangers. Imagine that you don’t know the subject of your presentation until you arrive onstage. Now, imagine that the slides in your presentation are random nonsense images that range from inscrutable to scandalous. What do you say? This is the premise of the sensationally entertaining...

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Overview, with Rick Overton

God bless the Internet. Thanks to digital immortality, all the things we call “content” never fully disappear. It’s possible now to discover new programs that are in fact quite old — or on indeterminate hiatus. Our current favorite podcast extant is “Overview, with Rick Overton,” an hour-long conversation between the legendary improviser-comic-actor-writer Rick Overton and one...

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I’ll Be Me

“I’ll Be Me,” a documentary about music legend Glen Campbell’s decent into Alzheimer’s is a deeply affecting, often painful portrait of an artist slowly going away. Director James Keach successfully tiptoes the line between education and exploitation, between truthfulness and vulgar voyeurism. The film has many of the hallmarks of a stylishly produced “Reality” show — confessional...

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The Physics of Light

Almost everyone knows who Albert Einstein was. Almost no one can articulate his General Theory of Special Relativity. Ditto Issac Newton and how he mathematically proved planetary gravity. The pop science series “The Physics of Light” explains these universal concepts with superb animations, trippy CGI and clever graphics, all delivered in a storytelling, non-academic style. The...

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Anything’s Possible

Anything’s possible. And that’s what’s so great about being alive at this particularly time in human history, when we’ve advanced so far beyond our ancestors that their antiquated ways of thinking seem mildly pathetic and our fresh, new ways of thinking are bravely innovative. Evolution has brought us far from our monkey origins. Now we...

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Greatness

There are many paths to greatness. This is one man’s. + Be the son of an already-rich real estate magnate. + Enjoy every advantage commensurate with privilege and nepotism. + Buy your way into the Atlantic City gambling business, where your “customers” are known as losers. + Extract hundreds of millions of dollars in personal...

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Immigration, Income, and Making America Great (Again)

Contrary to what Donald J. Trump and his followers claim to believe, immigration is not what’s keeping America from being great (again). If folks who live in Iowa and New Hampshire who are convinced that our national safety rests on the construction of a giant wall between Mexico and what used to be Mexico –...

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Zombies Are Blameless, and So Are We

If you voluntarily buy burritos from Chipotle or pay for TV programs owned by Discovery, companies whose CEOs earn 1,000 times more than the average employee they oversee, then you probably don’t have any problem with wealth and income inequality. You’re certainly not going to have a problem with all the other corporations, like, for...

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Poem: Dodger Stadium Suite

1. The challenge for an old white man poet at the ball game is a triplicate predicament: He must not swoon over the greenness of the grass. He must not view every little lovely detail as a metaphor waiting to be transcribed for posterity. He must not recite rambling stories with no discernible point except...