I found this list, 25 Underappreciated Family Movies of the Past 20 Years, (published in 2016, so it reaches back to the late 90s).
So far we've sampled five of them, and I would agree so far that this list is absolutely solid. Each one has been sufficiently charming for adults and also appealed to the 6-12 year old demographic with ease.
There are a lot of great family movies in the world, but somehow the same 20-30 get recirculated on the vast majority of recommended lists. It's like the way that Clear Channel decided that the 80s would be remembered in society by a frozen list of 10-20 songs per genre, with only some correlation to what was actually most popular in those years. These movies at the link are decidedly ones that will not appear on anyone else's greatest hits list.
My fitbit blaze finally died. I kind of enjoyed the quantified life kind of data, and I also liked how it resembled an 80s vision of the The Future. I'm thinking about getting a new fitness tracker.
I don't think I want a smartwatch, though. Is there any reason I would want a smartwatch?
How does the Covid tunnel end? Could the earliest vaccine recipients lose their protection before a critical mass of people have been vaccinated? Would we just switch to eternally rolling vaccinations? I suppose all vaccinations are eternally rolling; it's just the length of the window that varies. I guess my actual question is: when do we start worrying about the first vaccination recipients losing their protection and could we get trapped in a cycle where we struggle to get everyone covered simultaneously?
When is it appropriate to send kids back to summer camps and indoor exercise? Is it just a matter of protecting the adults around them, or do we actually wait for a kid vaccination?
At what point do masks come off? At what point do we assign group work in class without worrying about people being close to each other? Is it a bright line, announced by the CDC triumphantly, or is it a local consideration that flickers back and forth between safe and unsafe, based on the presence of positive cases?
I gave a test face-to-face just now, and while proctoring, I was working on a recommendation for a student who I'd had last spring and this past fall. When I thought about the interrupted class last spring, it was stunning how well I knew them by March, compared to the students in front of me. It feels weirdly intimate in recollection, now that I'm accustomed to the distance of zoom or masked students. I think I know my current students individually, but nowhere near the way I did a year ago.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Kevin Drum links to this bonkers article about the massive campaign spearheaded by Mike Podhorzer, a senior advisor to the AFL-CIO, to save democracy from Trump. Basically lots of lefty organizations wanted to do something, and he started weekly zoom calls in April with all the most well-connected heads of lefty organizations, so that they could strategize and put massively organized, far-reaching plans into action.
The meetings became the galactic center for a constellation of operatives across the left who shared overlapping goals but didn't usually work in concert. The group had no name, no leaders and no hierarchy, but it kept the disparate actors in sync. "Pod played a critical behind-the-scenes role in keeping different pieces of the movement infrastructure in communication and aligned," says Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party. "You have the litigation space, the organizing space, the political people just focused on the W, and their strategies aren't always aligned. He allowed this ecosystem to work together."
There was voting infrastructure work, GOTV and registration work and mail-in voting infrastructure and public education on a state-by-state level, a huge disinformation defense, reaching out and working tirelessly on Zuckerberg and Dorsey and other social media CEOs, plans to how to counteract the expected claims that the election was stolen if Trump lost, working with the US chamber of commerce to get major businesses on board...it's gargantuan. It keeps going on and on.
Drum's summary is here, which is better than mine, until the end when he has a Drummishly-rosy spin:
Now, the normal takeaway from Ball's piece is shock and dismay that it took a fight of this magnitude to overcome Trump's anti-democracy jihad. But I take something different away: If you put everything together, it turns out that literally no one except for the most cultish of Trump's followers supported his democracy-bashing efforts. Everyone opposed them
This is why I continue to think that democracy in the United States is way stronger than people are giving it credit for. It took a devastating punch from a uniquely demagogic president supported by hundreds of Republican politicians and the massed media efforts of Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media machine. Despite this, everyone outside of Trump's cult opposed him and the effort failed miserably. That's not bad.
No. It took herculean efforts by incredibly well-connected, influential ethical people in order to ensure that Trump didn't create a civil war. And Trump is the least competent and diligent would-be dictator that we'd ever be so lucky to fight.
I guess there's another impeachment trial. We all know how this is going to go.
CharleyCarp writes: My feed has plenty of criticism of the Springsteen Jeep ad, mostly for the failure to acknowledge (a) Nazis; on the one hand, and, on other hand (b) people of color; (c) non-Christians; and (d) Indigenous people. What I wonder is who Jeep was trying to reach, and what it was trying to tell them. What did it tell you?
Heebie's take: Watching it now, it definitely is grating. I think the most charitable interpretation is that the target audience is the rural voter who loathes Trump, but also is quite upset that their family has been torn apart, and wishes their redneck identity hadn't become synonymous with white supremacy. So in other words, the unicorn that is 1% of society but appears in roughly 50% of all Hollywood shows in some form. Let's pander to this hologram some more.
The uncharitable interpretation is that the goal is to drive home the point that important Americans are white farmers and sorry, you're probably not.
Mossy Choosy writes: Soft power.
Heebie's take: I'm not sure if this is about the current coup attempt, or about the fitful ways that the US is resuming its place as chief exporter of pop culture. The recovery from Trump feels erratic and nonlinear. One moment the world resumes relations as of 2016 without missing a beat, and the next moment we're still reeling from the shock that the past four years all actually happened.
(One thing is sure, which is that MC probably didn't intend for me to take it in such a US-centered direction. OR, he did.)