Articles and movies

I feel as though I’ve been slowly catching up on life in the last little while. But I’ve still been watching and reading things at different points. Some quick notes.

Articles

There’s been quite a few words put together in the last few weeks about the turn the Trump campaign has taken, in particular the argument that the election is ‘rigged’. This article at Vox by a US academic is a clear and simple explanation of what’s at stake if the rules of the game become suspect.

I haven’t yet read Democracy for Realists, but Matthew Yglesias over at Vox has a good summary. A point I found particularly interesting:

Simply put, for most people, attachments to parties and candidates are more profound and more fundamental than attachments to issue positions. People take cues from high-profile party leaders and bring their opinions in line with what figures they admire think …

Simply put, for most people, attachments to parties and candidates are more profound and more fundamental than attachments to issue positions. People take cues from high-profile party leaders and bring their opinions in line with what figures they admire think … 

And, stunningly, the impact that a set of shark attacks had on the incumbent vote:

Wilson was not, obviously, capable of controlling sharks’ migratory patterns or appetite for human flesh. Nor does it seem especially likely that Jersey Shore residents suddenly became confused about this fact. It’s just that the shark attacks were bad, they led to bad secondary effects, and those effects were especially salient in beach towns. People felt grumpy and panicked, so they voted against the incumbent. Bartels and Achen deploy a range of statistical tests to the election results in New Jersey, and time and again they find that “every indication in the New Jersey election returns is that the horrifying shark attacks during the summer of 1916 reduced Wilson’s vote in the beach communities by about ten percentage points.”

Not directly related to politics, but this piece in the Saturday Paper is a stunning account of the inhumanity of an organisation (a bank) to a suffering family (‘Exposing the inhumanity of banks to their customers‘). It’s the kind of thing that B Traven might have written about, except that in his pieces all the protagonists are always on the very bottom. I can’t tell whether it’s even more stunningly offensive that the amount of grace needed in this story was so small, and so much suffering caused in its denial.

Movies

Mascots is a Netflix original, about a group of mascots competing at an international mascot award ceremony. It’s light and fluffy, but for a light and fluffy piece it’s not bad. Worth watching if you don’t want to stretch your brain.

When Harry Met Sally … is a movie that has aged well. I’d never seen the full thing. It tells the story of two people, over time – and asks, what is it that makes a successful relationship?

One thing I really enjoyed was that the movie meets head-on the challenge of telling a love story that has long gaps in the middle, and stretches over years. It handles the challenge well, and you can tell it’s working because it isn’t noticeable.

And of course, it features that delicatessen scene.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s