I saw Carl Sagan speak when I was 9 or 10, which was a year or two before he died.
He was the speaker at my dad’s PhD ceremony. I didn’t know much about him, but it was the first academic-y speech I ever sat through with interest. The memory of what he said has faded now, but it was, of course, full of wonder at our universe.
What I do remember is sitting in a beautiful blue auditorium, thinking about the stars.
I fell for him then, and my dad gave me a copy of Contact to read — a book that started my love affair with novels about willful women.
Still love him now.
I like the idea of Splitsider — I don’t think we talk about jokes enough and yes, explaining the joke makes it not funny, but if we ever want to get beyond teeth-achingly boring sexist and racist “comedy” then we need to explore what makes things funny. And also, the comedy industry is really interesting! I want to know more about it.
But hoo boy this list of top comedy writers is so, so white. The only person of color on it is Mindy Kaling, who as I said in my Tomorrow Mag piece is doing the same thing withThe Mindy Projectas every sort-of-smart comedy bro post-Office is doing.
More importantly, this list is just really useless. Woody Allen? Larry David? Ben Stiller? This is like if someone put out a list of 50 rap powerhouses and included Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil’ Wayne. Like, is the point to start a fan war in the comments?
It’s like putting out a list of 50 fashion designers and their next collections and including Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, and Miuccia Prada. To say, what, that here are 50 people working in this industry? If you care about any of these people you probably already know what they’re up to.
Here’s a list I would like to see: 10 Really Freaking Funny People Who Should Be Working More Often. No quotas, but if you can’t come up with women and people of color and women of color who are funny chances are you are really sheltered and/or a racist and/or a sexist. And all of those problems are totally fixable!
Quite often, Politico’s campaign coverage is so singularly useless and fact-free that one almost hopes whatever defense contractor or industry front group that has stepped forward to sponsor Mike Allen for that day received a refund. In one standard-yet-egregious example, a July interview that ran on Politico Live (Politico’s “Online Morning Show”) with clownish former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich led to three separate news articles, each based around a one-minute video featuring a separate meaningless bit of pseudo-news: that Gingrich thought Sarah Palin should speak at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa (something with no chance of happening), that Condoleezza Rice would make a good running mate for Mitt Romney (something with no chance of happening), and a suggestion that Romney “loosen up” (something with no chance of happening).
this thing by Alex Pareene about POLITICO is just so gorgeous.
Tags: Posted: 6 months ago
Whether or not you can relate to any of Anacostia’s storylines, Anderson’s main point, about how white most TV networks are, still stands. Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project debuted this fall on Fox to much fanfare, even though it’s pretty much like every vaguely cerebral comedy on television right now. She’s the exception that proves the rule: A woman of color writing her own ticket is an anomaly. Looking at the five major television networks —ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, and the CW—it’s difficult to name more than a handful of shows with more than one main character of color. It’s a reminder of the much-lauded Bechdel test, which is used to evaluate sexism in film. In order to pass the test, named for feminist cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the film must have 1. two female characters, 2. who have a conversation with each other, and 3. talk about something other than men. Replace “female characters” with “characters of color” and “men” with “white people” and it’s even harder to come up with television series or films that would pass.
My Tomorrow mag piece on black web series is online! Please read it.