Things I’m Verbing: FOIAs on hold, fascism on the radio and fangirling the Rockford Peaches

Over the weekend, I fulfilled maybe my dearest movie-related wish: getting to see A League of Their Own on a big screen, in a room full of other people, mostly women, for whom it was also an immensely formative experience as a young kid. I was 7 when it came out, and I think only I saw it on VHS, but because of that movie, I desperately wanted to play baseball, to swing dance, to be on a close-knit team of amazing people who mean the world to me. I’d never seen anything like it before.

I was just the right age for a whole slew of kids movies about sports: The Mighty Ducks, Ladybugs, The Sandlot (which also holds up incredibly well), Rookie of the Year, some of them better than others (let us not speak of Air Bud or Angels in the Outfield), very few of them about girls. I didn’t wind up becoming an athlete, but I don’t think I ever got over the rich female characters and their equally rich relationships. I promise you, A League of Their Own is better than you remember, if you’ve seen it, and better than you can imagine, if you have yet to see it.

  • Speaking of the endlessly admirable Geena Davis, she’s been running a foundation that researches and promotes women and depictions of women in film and TV, in front of and behind the camera. Bloomberg spoke with her last year about her work, how much we have left to accomplish and what simple things scriptwriters can do to achieve accurate gender representation in the most fundamental, unconscious ways.
  • It’s South by Southwest all day, every day for a little bit now, and I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty intrigued by City of Gold, a documentary about the only food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. Jonathan Gold and his love affair with Los Angeles look fascinating enough in pictures; he won me over with a 2012 interview in the Believer about how to smell bullshit in the food world.
  • Less delightful — in fact, the opposite of that — you must watch Rachel Maddow’s gut-churning compilation of Donald Trump’s escalating language at his rallies. Today being Super Tuesday II, or Mega Tuesday, or whatever we’re calling it, it’s never too late to see the true face of what we’re dealing with as a nation.
  • There’s always precedent. Esquire published a brief but vivid look at the legacy of Father Coughlin, a one-time progressive in the 1930s whose radio program soon became a hugely popular mouthpiece of racism, antisemitism and straight-up fascism.
  • I’m just as in love with #Bam4Ham, in which the cast of Hamilton spent the day singing and freestyling at the White House, as anyone else. However, we can’t also forget that Barack Obama, like any idealistic president, isn’t flaw-free. ProPublica and the Washington Post have documented their investigation into “the most transparent administration ever” and its troubling record on the Freedom of Information Act.
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