It's hard to believe the footage that makes up "Summer of Soul (. . . or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised") sat untouched for a half-century. But it did. Better late than never. It's a remarkable find and finally getting the due it deserves. Definitely worth seeing.
The music alone makes it worth the price of admission: Nina Simone, the Staple Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, David Ruffin, the Fifth Dimension, Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Hugh Masekela, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Stevie Wonder, et al.
The interviews with attendees of the Harlem Cultural Festival concerts (most of whom obviously were children in 1969) are very good and give a sense of what it was like to be there. My favorite part was the reaction of surviving artists watching the footage for the first time.
Marilyn McCoo's expression as she and Billy Davis, Jr. watch themselves performing "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" is priceless. Props to whoever got them to sit for an interview, and props to them for doing it.
On the other hand, I could've done without Lin-Manuel Miranda to talk about Ray Barretto. His dad (I'm pretty sure it's his dad) is there, too. Which makes more sense, since Miranda père is of that generation. They interview Sheila E. as well, who also is more pertinent.
The so-called Black Woodstock took place only a hundred miles from actual Woodstock, but they feel universes apart. But both are authentic testaments to America in 1969. I know Sly and the Family Stone played both. I'm can't recall anyone else who did.

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More from @varadmehta

6 Jul
Note how he never says it is right to teach CRT, only that is wrong not to. This reasoning exemplifies the basic incoherence of his argument.
The fundamental incoherence of French's argument, however, is truly revealed in this passage: "A wiser response to problematic elements of what is being labeled critical race theory would be twofold: propose better curriculums and enforce existing civil rights laws."
First, there is no logical reason that an alternative curriculum to CRT would be "better." Or that one is necessary. Removing CRT from the existing curriculum would, from the perspective of its opponents, would alone make it better. Which would satisfy French's first proposal.
Read 12 tweets
5 Jul
I almost sort of didn't hate "The Force Awakens" this time. But instead of being annoyed at what a derivative ripoff of "Star Wars" it is, I was annoyed by the dumb story choices and all the ways you can now see in hindsight the ball would be dropped in the sequels.
Just to give an example of the ball dropping: in TFA, Rey is summoned by Anakin and Luke's lightsaber. Then at the end of "Rise of Skywalker" comes that infamous punchline, "Rey Skywalker." Now, the lightsaber chose Rey. "It calls to you," Maz Kanata says in TFA.
Rey, therefore, has earned the right to call herself "Skywalker." The Force has chosen her to inherit the Skywalker legacy. Yet Abrams is such a poor storyteller that it never occurs to him to connect the two things. And that's why the sequel trilogy is so bad.
Read 15 tweets
4 Jul
"Just 50% of Americans approve of his job performance overall, a comparatively weak score nearing his six-month mark in office."

Another live-caller poll, another middling job approval number for Joe Biden.…
"His 50%-42% job approval rating is the fourth-lowest out of the last 14 presidents at about five months in office in polls by ABC and the Post and Gallup previously . . . It's an unusually low rating in a time of strong economic growth."…
Biden has consistently strong ratings on handling the pandemic, around 2 to 1 approval. But as in other polls, he's double digits underwater on crime and immigration. So what happens to his overall approval next year when COVID isn't nearly as important?… Image
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
Was awakened more than once this morning to very loud tapping and rapping sounds coming from outside my window. TAP TAP TAP RAPRAPRAPRAP TAP TAP RAPRAP TAP RAPRAPRAP. Went to investigate. Not one, but two woodpeckers were hammering away at the wooden molding under the roof.
I'm not sure what possessed them start attacking the house now. My best guess is that they are trying to carpenter bee larvae. But why now? The carpenter bees have been trying to make nests under the roof forever. Did the woodpeckers just notice or something?
I mean, this was LOUD. Which made it obnoxious. Especially at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday. I like woodpeckers, but not quite as much now.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
🚨🚨🚨 “Inspector Morse” is on TV.
Was flipping through the cable guide and stumbled across it on one of the PBS channels. It’s the one where the Japanese student is murdered upstairs while Morse is having dinner at an Oxford college.
Didn’t think they still showed it on TV, just on BritBox.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jul
"The gaps are too big and the trend too consistent to ignore the obvious conclusion that over the past two decades Democrats have moved left far more than Republicans have moved right."

This conclusion and the data supporting it are unobjectionable, but that won't stop anyone.
"Moving to the left may help galvanize the progressive base—which is good!—but if it's not done with empathy and tact it risks outrunning the vast middle part of the country, which progressive activists seem completely uninterested in talking to."…
"And for God's sake, please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that wokeness and cancel culture are all just figments of the conservative imagination."

Drum's going to get mail. So much mail.…
Read 5 tweets

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