A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, and escaping the roles we are forced to play—by the author of the infinitely inventive How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He’s merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden... [more inside]
In 1784, passengers on the ship Empress of China became the first Americans to land in China, and the first to eat Chinese food. Today there are over 40,000 Chinese restaurants across the United States. Now, in Chop Suey Andrew Coe provides some history of the American infatuation with Chinese food, telling its fascinating story for the first time. It's a tale that moves from curiosity to disgust and then desire. From China, Coe's story travels to the American West, where Chinese immigrants drawn by the 1848 Gold Rush struggled against racism and culinary prejudice but still established restaurants and farms and imported an array of Asian ingredients. He traces the Chinese migration to the East Coast, highlighting that crucial moment when New York "Bohemians" discovered Chinese cuisine--and for better or worse, chop suey. Along the way, Coe shows how the peasant food of an obscure part of China came to dominate Chinese-American restaurants; unravels the truth of chop suey's origins; reveals why American Jews fell in love with egg rolls and chow mein; shows how President Nixon's 1972 trip to China opened our palates to a new range of cuisine; and explains why we still can't get dishes like those served in Beijing or Shanghai. The book also explores how American tastes have been shaped by our relationship with the outside world, and how we've relentlessly changed foreign foods to adapt to them our own deep-down conservative culinary preferences. Andrew Coe's Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States is a fascinating tour of America's centuries-long appetite for Chinese food. Always illuminating, often exploding long-held culinary myths, this book opens a new window into defining what is American cuisine.
The powerful true story of Harvard-educated lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who goes to Alabama to defend the disenfranchised and wrongly condemned, including Walter McMillian, a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence. Bryan fights tirelessly for Walter with the system stacked against them. [more inside]
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage” (The Washington Post) by the celebrated author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns,... [more inside]
"White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, and dominant discourses. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar. In turn, whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways., as we have not had to build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides. leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice." [more inside]
BoJack Horseman: The Kidney Stays in the Picture Season 6, Ep 6
The assistants of Hollywoo go on strike. BoJack tries to help Doctor Champ. When Todd learns that his mother needs a kidney, Diane comes up with a plan. "Howdy, howdy! Welcome to Mike and Morgan's House of Organs! We handle all your matters, from keyboards to bladders."
In 1987 Luton, in Thatcher's Britain, confronted by National Front racists on the streets and a stressed, angry father at home, a British Asian teenager learns to live his own life, get a new perspective on his Pakistani immigrant family, and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Directed and co-written by Gurinder Chadha (known for Bend It Like Beckham), with music by legendary Indian composer and film score creator A.R. Rahman. Inspired by a true story. [more inside]
In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of African Americans--have made it impossible to ignore the issue of race. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair--and how do you make it right? How... [more inside]
Warrior: If You're Going to Bow, Bow Low Season 1, Ep 10
Ah Sahm rethinks his place in San Francisco; Big Bill waits for Lee; Zing and the Fung Hai debate positions with Mai Ling; Dylan Leary brings some friends to negotiate with Bryon Mercer, while Penny has a look at his books. [Season Finale] [more inside]
Warrior: They Don't Pay Us Enough to Think Season 1, Ep 8
The Hop Wei and Long Zii consider a novel way to end hostilities. Ah Toy and her real-estate business partner, Leonard Patterson, find a new obstacle to their latest land purchase. After promising jobs to Leary's Irish workers, Mercer toasts Crestwood at a fundraiser, while Penny struggles to hold her tongue. Mai Ling warns her brother against waging a battle he may not win. [more inside]
The classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism -- now fully revised and updated Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides....
American Gods: The Ways of the Dead Books Included Season 2, Ep 5
While Shadow tours Cairo and gets a lesson on its history, Laura and Sweeney meet with Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte and make a deal. Wednesday takes The Djinn and Salim to meet with Alviss, the King of Dwarves. [Books included] [more inside]
American Gods: The Ways of the Dead Show Only Season 2, Ep 5
While Shadow tours Cairo and gets a lesson on its history, Laura and Sweeney meet with Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte and make a deal. Wednesday takes The Djinn and Salim to meet with Alviss, the King of Dwarves. [Show only] [more inside]
The veteran Wall Street Journal science reporter Marilyn Chase’s fascinating account of an outbreak of bubonic plague in late Victorian San Francisco is a real-life thriller that resonates in today’s headlines. The Barbary Plague transports us to the Gold Rush boomtown in 1900, at the end of the city’s Gilded Age. With a deep understanding of the effects on public health of politics, race, and geography, Chase shows how one city triumphed over perhaps the most frightening and deadly of all scourges. [more inside]
ShortsTV presents a theatrical release of the five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary, Short Subject [more inside]
ShortsTV presents a theatrical release of the five Oscar nominees for Best Short Film, Live Action [more inside]
Where is Cleo? Taken by child welfare workers in the 1970’s and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC news investigative reporter Connie Walker joins the search to find out what really happened to Cleo. [more inside]
The highest homicide and hates crime rate in the country. A mayor charged with extortion. A police chief who faced trial for obstruction of justice. Nine tragic deaths of Indigenous high schoolers. Why does it all happen here? [more inside]
A bunch of teenagers go missing from a town in Long Island. For months, the police treat them as runaways, ignoring the kids' parents, who keep trying to tell them otherwise. They keep trying to tell them that something much worse might have happened. [more inside]
Dark satire in which the token black man on the executive board of an advertising firm is accidentally put in charge. Renaming the business "Truth and Soul, Inc.", he replaces the tight regime of monied white ad men with his militant brothers. Soon afterwards, however, the power that comes with its position takes its toll on Putney... [more inside]
Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates. [more inside]
Comedian Hari Kondabolu confronts his cartoon nemesis, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian convenience store owner from The Simpsons (1989). [more inside]
Atlanta: Money Bag Shawty Season 2, Ep 3
Earn is out here making that money. Too bad he still look broke as hell. This whole city runs on stunting, you feel me? [Official synopsis] / Along with earning social media attention, Paper Boi's newest single goes Gold, so Earn decides to take Van out for a night on the town to celebrate. Meanwhile, Alfred and Darius visit Clark County in the studio to record guest verses. [Clipped from Wikipedia summary] [more inside]
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: March 7, 2018 Season 3, Ep 2
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Nuclear Waste Season 4, Ep 22
It's a little late, but here's LWT from 8/21:
- Steve Bannon loses his (official) position as Chief Strategist in Trump's White House, but the White Nationalist In Chief remains, and made more horrible remarks about the protests in Charlottesville. Two business councils advising the White House disbanded following the news as CEOs abandoned the President.
- And Now: Local News Answers The Question: "Should You Stare At The Sun?"
- Main story: Nuclear waste, and the United States' long-standing problems in properly disposing of it. YouTube (18m)
- And Now: Some Of The Actual Responses From Potential Jurors Excused From The Martin Shkreli Trial (see inside for a list)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: North Korea Season 4, Ep 21
- Violence in Charlottesville, where a Neo-Nazi drove a car into a group of counter protesters, killing one and injuring several others, after which Donald Trump refuses to admit that Nazis are bad. Oliver: "David Duke and the Nazis really seem to like Donald Trump, which is weird because Nazis are a lot like cats. If they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them."
- AND NOW: HIGHLIGHTS FROM ROBOCUP 2017, first without, and then vastly improved by Univision Deportes Commentator Luis Omar Tapia.
- Main Story: North Korea, the most dangerous rogue nation in the world, and its leader Kim Jong Un, whom Donald Trump seems to be personally insulted by, resulting in a dangerous exchange a couple of weeks ago between the two thin-skinned madmen. Last Week Tonight put together a helpful package of information on the country, revealing such facts that the accordion is the country's national instrument, and that video of US television programming, most notably NCIS, is smuggled into North Korea on USB drives. At the end LWT presents a special number by "Weird Al" Yankovich asking North Korea not to nuke us. YouTube (27m) - Metafilter
When it comes to America’s racial sins, past and present, a lot of us see people in one region of the country as guiltier than the rest. John Biewen speaks with some white Southern friends (Allan Gurganus, Shannon Sullivan, and Timothy Tyson) about that tendency. (This is part six of the “Seeing Whiteness” series, with recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika showing up at the end to help keep John honest.)
Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. [more inside]
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang Rewatch Season 7, Ep 15
Pretty much everything you need to know about the episode right here: "Bashir, the drink-doctorer, Nog, the safecracker, Dax, the cocktail waitress, Odo, the bag-man, Kira, the decoy, Sisko, the high-roller, Yates, the victim, and, of course, Vic. (O'Brien, the falsely-accused patsy, is not present as he is being strip-searched)" [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Segregation Season 3, Ep 28
Week of 10/30:
- Regrettably, more on the 2016 Election, putting aside a story on Pirate Party making progress in Iceland, among others, to make room for it. OH WELL:
- The FBI finds a few Clinton emails in an investigation into oh god I can't believe I'm typing this Anthony Weiner, yes HIM again, Carlos Danger himself. Worth watching just for the footage of Biden reacting to the words "Anthony Weiner."
- And Now: The Stream-Of-Consciousness Musings of WCBS-2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main story: School segregation, and its surprising continued prevalence, not in the South, but in New York state. YouTube (18m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Voting On Tuesday (It turns out to have started because, in the 1800s, people were expected to be spending Monday travelling to the polling place to vote.) YouTube (4m)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Far Beyond the Stars Rewatch Season 6, Ep 13
And now for something really different: for the first time anywhere, an adaptation of a long-lost work by the tragic and underappreciated African-American SF author and Afrofuturist pioneer Benny Russell, a story considered so controversial at the time of its writing that it was completely suppressed by its publisher: "Deep Space Nine"! [more inside]
O.J.: Made in America: Part 2: Lack of Community Involvement Season 1, Ep 2
There was never one Los Angeles, California. There were always two. [more inside]
O.J.: Made in America: Part 1: U.S.C. Culture Season 1, Ep 1
To many observers, the story of the crime of the century is a story that began the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered outside her Brentwood condominium. But as the first episode of "O.J.: Made in America" lays bare, to truly grasp the significance of what happened not just that night, but the epic chronicle to follow, one has to travel back to points in time long before that. [more inside]
If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you'd probably notice right off the bat. First, it's crowded - like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting... it's not great. Not many windows. Third, it's white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet's 27 employees are white. In this episode, we look at diversity (or lack thereof) at Gimlet. And we try to figure out what diversity should mean for the company going forward.
Yik Yak is an app that allows users to communicate anonymously with anyone within a 10-mile radius. Last year, Reply All did a story about how it brought out a particularly vicious strain of racism at Colgate University. In the second half, Reply All goes beyond Colgate and talks to Jamil Smith to try to understand Colgate in the context of recent campus protests.
This week.... Iran may be about to make a deal over their nuclear program. Greece may default on loans and possibly exit from the Euro currency. South Carolina finally lowers the Confederate battle flag flying over their state capitol. Last Week Tonight offers, to any team with an offensive mascot costume, to replace it with one of their previously-made mascot costumes. And Now: Whoopi Goldberg Defends Ten Surprising Things. Main story: On lavish sports stations built using public money. (YouTube 19m) John Oliver makes an impassioned sports speech to convince cities to make teams pay for their own stadiums. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Online Harassment of Women Season 2, Ep 18
This week: Shootings in South Carolina. Russians plan "Patroit Park," a theme park for national military fans. The US $10 bill is being redesigned to include a woman's face. And Now: C-Span Callers Suggest Women For The $10 Bill. Main story: On the harassment of women on the internet. YouTube (17m) Last Week Tonight remakes an old AOL ad.
Murder, She Wrote: Indian Giver Rewatch Season 4, Ep 10
When a mysterious man in native attire rides his horse into Cabot Cove's Founders Day celebration and throws a spear at the mayor's podium, there's a lot of talk in the town. But when George Longbow then comes to the urgent town hall meeting and claims to own the town as the 11th direct descendant of the Algonquin chief Manitoka and heir to a historic land grant, the locals get riled and threats are made. The next day, the body of a local contractor is found with the antique Algonquin lance driven through his chest, everyone looks at George as the most likely suspect, but something doesn't sit right with Jessica Fletcher.
Stories of people, cities, and commonwealths touching their noses and proclaiming "not it!" Including the story of how one city used a rocking chair to take retribution against a late night TV show host, and an island that takes people it doesn't want to deal with and ships them away.
A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world.
African American police detective Virgil Tibbs is passing through the racist, southern town of Sparta, MIssissippi when he is asked to investigate the murder of a prominent white businessman. [more inside]
In the Texas border town of Frontera, Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) digs up the past when he finds an old skull in the desert. As he traces the murder of Sheriff Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson) 40 years earlier, Deeds' investigation points toward his late father, the much-loved Deputy Buddy Deeds. Ignoring warnings not to delve any deeper, Sam rekindles a romance with his high school sweetheart while bringing up old tensions in the town and exposing secrets long put to rest. [more inside]
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture. [more inside]
Podcast: NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast: Selma and the Use of Dramatic License in Historical Dramas
This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See's Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon are joined by NPR Code Switch's Gene Demby to discuss the Civil Rights Era film Selma. They'll discuss the direction by Ava DuVernay, the Oprah of it all, and how well it brings Martin Luther King, Jr. to life. Then they'll discuss other historical dramas and the advantages and limitations of dramatic license. All that plus What's Making Us Happy this week.
Yik Yak is a an app that allows users to communicate anonymously with anyone within a 10-mile radius. At Colgate University in upstate New York, the anonymity brought out a particularly vicious strain of racism that shook the school.
Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. [more inside]
Silicon Valley: Signaling Risk Season 1, Ep 5
The pursuit of a new logo takes precedence. [more inside]