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|You?ve Never Watched The Simpsons Before? That?s Unpossible!|
The moment I realized the true costs of a Simpsons-free life was the moment after my friend Josh proclaimed his excitement for this week?s FXX 522-episode Simpsons marathon and this autumn?s launch of the all-Simpsons-everything app.
The writer-director Ira Sachs makes movies that take place in the interstices of his characters? lives. In films like Forty Shades of Blue and Keep the Lights On, he prefers to chronicle not our grand moments of heartbreak and struggle, but the countless ordinary days in between. Sachs? new film, the quietly enchanting romantic drama Love Is Strange, does begin on a special occasion: the morning of the wedding day of George (Alfred Molina) and Ben (John Lithgow), a gay couple who have lived together for 39 years and are finally now able to legally solemnize their bond. But neither George nor Ben nor the filmmaker seem particularly concerned with the wedding itself. On their way to the ceremony, the two men bicker and fuss about traffic, seeming uncomfortable in their dressy suits; the wedding scene lasts just under a minute.
Meet Lily Hay Newman
?In grand Slate tradition, tell us a little bit about yourself.?
DoubleX Gabfest: The Daddy?s Little Princess Edition
Become a fan of DoubleX on Facebook. Leave us love letters and see what other listeners are saying about the Gabfest.
Dial M for Matricide
Get Dear Prudence delivered to your inbox each week; click here to sign up. Please send your questions for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Questions may be edited.)
What Do Talking Apes Really Tell Us?
Last week, people around the world mourned the death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams. According to the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, we were not the only primates mourning. A press release from the foundation announced that Koko the gorilla?the main subject of its research on ape language ability, capable in sign language and a celebrity in her own right??was quiet and looked very thoughtful? when she heard about Williams? death, and later became ?somber? as the news sank in. Williams, described in the press release as one of Koko?s ?closest friends,? spent an afternoon with the gorilla in 2001. The foundation released a video showing the two laughing and tickling one another. At one point, Koko lifts up Williams? shirt to touch his bare chest. In another scene, Koko steals Williams? glasses and wears them around her trailer.
Beware the Gilderoy Lockharts of the University
Sweltering weather aside, it?s already the first week of school at thousands of colleges and universities across the country. For many students, that means ?shopping? for classes?i.e., they?ve signed up for more than they can take, and plan to drop what they don?t like after the first meeting. A quick perusal of the #RealReasonStudentsDrop hashtag offers a plethora of grounds for early-semester dismissal, some of which are legitimate and heartbreaking, and some of which are ridiculous: finding out ?the World Religions course wasn?t ?why other religions are wrong? ?; discovering that the college uses plagiarism detection software; not realizing an online course would be ?this much work.? But there?s one red flag on a syllabus that should send any savvy student running for the registrar: If your professor requires you to buy his or her own books as course textbooks at full sticker price, get out now.
Ferguson?s Constitutional Crisis
Of all the narratives coming out of Ferguson, Missouri?the militarization of local cops, the racial disparities in the criminal justice system, the acceptable uses of force?the constitutional story that has most captured our attention is that of the police persistently violating the First Amendment rights of both the protesters and the press. When we talk about constitutional violations there, we do so primarily with respect to our freedom of speech and assembly.
Obama?s Next Move
With his speech on Wednesday condemning ISIS in newly stark, determined language, President Obama now needs to step up his military campaign in equally dramatic fashion.
Dude, on the Set of the Big Lebowski
Listen to Episode 75 of Slate?s The Gist: