Things I’m Verbing: Gravity, governors and oh wow, the GOP

This would have been such a different list if I had gotten it out on Friday like I intended. But then I would have missed the chance to write about the straight-up nuclear bombshell that was the death of a major and polarizing Supreme Court justice immediately before a GOP presidential debate. Instead of streaming it online, I chose to watch the Roberto Mendoza episodes of The West Wing while checking in on Twitter. Edward James Olmos is still magnificent, and we should be so lucky to get a jurist like Mendoza next. Meanwhile, in South Carolina…

There were a lot of good takes and funny tweets, and everyone has their collection, I’m sure. For those of us certain that the hot takes are only going to get hotter as the year drags on, here are some links that have nothing to do with Scalia, the debate or even the polar vortex currently confining me to my 1BR in Brooklyn.

  • There’s still room for thoughts about “Formation,” right? It’s only been a week, and Beyoncé’s video is, of course, rich fodder for The Discourse. Jesmyn Ward wrote a stirring celebration of the bama identity for NPR, while Maris Jones for Black Girl Dangerous took the singer to task for her use of Hurricane Katrina imagery.
  • It’s also been a week since the Super Bowl, which means you ought to read Gabriel Thompson’s first-person investigation into the workers who staff these events. One beer costs more than they make per hour, and that’s just the start of it.
  • You may have heard that scientists finally confirmed a 100-year-old theory about gravity by Einstein. This is an actual big deal! Try watching the New York Times video explaining it all and not getting a lump in your throat. The New Yorker‘s long behind-the-scenes narrative is next on my reading list.
  • Okay, there are still some politics things I want to share. In October, the Nation wrote about how the GOP’s “current crackup” is the inevitable end result of Nixon’s Southern strategy. Somehow Ohio Gov. John Kasich is emerging as the “most sensible” of the Republican lineup, but plenty of Ohioans (myself among them) have a very different perspective. Here’s an Atlantic profile from last spring. If you’re sorry Scott Walker is out of the mix, this may be the guy the for you.
  • An uplifting note to end on: I just read James Fallows’ long summary of crisscrossing the United States in a small airplane to study how cities and towns of all sizes are pulling themselves together outside the hysteria of The Discourse. A good read on a lot of levels.

Okay, I keep lying about being done. But this ties everything together so nicely, and I just can’t resist:

Things I’m Verbing: Meta-theater, mate-finding and Marvel (obviously!)

I know there was some sportsball on either side of the Beyoncé concert this weekend, but only one thing happened on Sunday that deeply, deeply mattered to me.

However, I am probably going to spill an awful lot of ink about Captain America: Civil War over the next several months, so let’s talk about women, women, women, women and… okay, #CivilWar.

(First, though, no joke, holy cats, Bey, “Formation” is a hell of a thing.)

  • Talking about sex frankly with your kids: It’s just smart parenting, writes Alanna Schubach in the Washington Post. And we’re not just talking moms and daughters — her amazing-sounding grandmother was a big part of this too.
  • Meanwhile, at Marie Claire, I was really interested in “Can Women Fix Dating?” Maria Ricapito makes a compelling case for how the male gaze inherently makes most dating apps frustrating or dangerous on some level for women.
  • Okay, have you been following this story from the Seattle theater world about Erin Pike? She’s been performing a one-woman show using dialogue and stage directions from the nation’s most frequently performed plays, and apparently it makes a hell of a statement. However, the publisher of those plays is not at all happy about that, and sent her a C+D an hour before curtain. It keeps getting more something else from there. Good meta-theater too, at least.
  • Johanna Hedva writes about chronic illness in “Sick Woman Theory” for Mask, and what disability and intersectionality mean for her personal activism.
  • I, uh. Can’t stay away from Marvel. The Daily Dot asked all the presidential campaigns if they were #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan. Only Bernie Sanders replied. I’m darned pleased with his answer, but I’m also not entirely surprised.