Things I’m Verbing: Living legends, gritty reboots and how to rise above

The folk singer Dar Williams has a song that blew my mind as a Beatles-loving high schooler. “I Won’t Be Your Yoko Ono” surmises, much to my dutifully myth-swallowing teenage heart, that Yoko is not only a person but a gifted artist who had much less to do with “breaking up the Beatles” than an easy, misogynistic narrative would have us believe. I bring it up because of a lyric it turns out I’ve been mishearing:

When John called the wind an opera
Making love with every chakra
When he said her voice would carry
And when he whispered old Chuck Berry
Only then would Yoko set him free

I always thought it was oh, Chuck Berry, which I still think is kind of a beautiful possible moment. Chuck Berry turns 90 years old today, and we just found out he’s releasing a new album, the first in almost 40 years. The actual father of rock’n’roll is coming out with new music. The world can still be amazing and good.

  • Something else making a comeback, in a strange and fascinating turn: DC Comics is rebooting The Flintstones, and… it actually sounds kind of amazing?
  • Also in comics news, The Millions has a great piece on one of the comic strips I learned to read on — Berkeley Breathed’s biting, iconic, hilarious Bloom County. If you’re not sold on the title (“Citizen Ack: On Whimsy, Trump and ‘Bloom County’“), I don’t know how to help you.
  • The Harvard Business Review, of all places, has a humane (and negotiator-driven) look at life after Nov. 8: “How to Build an Exit Ramp for Trump Supporters.” This isn’t so much about excusing ugliness as creating a space for proud people who need a guarantee of safe passage once they’ve come to terms with their loss.
  • Case in point: that Washington Post story everyone was linking and which is absolutely up to the hype. “The White Flight of Derek Black” tells how the preeminent heir to the white nationalist movement came to doubt his upbringing, all thanks to an invitation to a weekly Shabbat dinner.
  • Finally, from the Atlantic, in a review of two new books about dating, technology and culture, someone finally explained why dating today can feel so much like fruitless and depleting work: It’s basically an unpaid internship.
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