‘We often turn to denial to cope’

In a low dishonest political season I thought the callous protecting my heart had hardened enough; then came the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial. Friends notable for their equipoise lost their shit a week ago when a jury ruled that Heard had defamed Depp in a 2018 op-ed and one of Depp’s lawyers had done theContinue reading “‘We often turn to denial to cope’”

‘Promising Young Woman’ shows a Monte Cristo of #MeToo

Malice becomes Carey Mulligan; it makes her light on her feet. In Promising Young Woman, she plays Cassie, a coffee shop barista who fakes getting wasted on weekends, waits for guys to attempt to rape her, and, after threatening them, writes their names in a notebook whose entries keep expanding. She’s up to the challengesContinue reading “‘Promising Young Woman’ shows a Monte Cristo of #MeToo”

‘We were never meant to survive’

A Black lesbian poet who made no secret of her political activities, Audre Lorde held no attraction for Harold Bloom, I can safely write; and it’s true that some of her verse consisted of sloganeering. But she also wrote a few things I treasure, none more so than “A Litany for Survival,” whose relevance noContinue reading “‘We were never meant to survive’”

Abortion and rightist lunacy

I wondered what had gotten Erick Erickson upset again earlier this week besides the rise of atheism among convenience store employees. When he and the Plankton with a Hairpiece, the senior senator from Florida, agree on a rhetorical point, I figure I better investigate. Testifying before a subcommittee, a Democratic legislator in the Virginia HouseContinue reading “Abortion and rightist lunacy”

A political party dedicated to hating women

Last week’s truce has ended. Now the GOP can return to hating women and hating women who have sex. First, the GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee attack the lowest hanging fruit: Julie Swetnick. The statement, which was circulated to the hundreds of journalists on the Judiciary Committee’s press list, was from Dennis Ketterer,Continue reading “A political party dedicated to hating women”

‘This is why women don’t come forward’

Strange stirrings in the Senate about the Brett Kavanaugh. Although the odds are he still joins serial harasser Clarence Thomas with the other Supremes, a new accusation of sexual misconduct would suspend hearings if we lived in a two-party system where one party was less obsessed with nominating justices who want to (a) return abortionContinue reading “‘This is why women don’t come forward’”

Starving the punditry class

“If we listen to those who wail that taking someone’s punditry gig and book contract is the same as if you “kill a guy,” Ana Maria Cox writes, “I suspect we’re in for a whole rash of reincarnation.” Franken will leave the Senate quite alive, and with little threat (at this moment) of legal damage.Continue reading “Starving the punditry class”

‘mother!’ revels in a new kind of psyops

Claustrophobia has rarely been depicted with the precision that Darren Aronofsky demonstrates in mother!. This horror comedy about the depredations to which an unnamed young wife (Jennifer Lawrence) is subjected by her poet husband (Javier Bardem) is terrible and boring in its first hour, after which it turns terrible but interesting. The violence — psychologicalContinue reading “‘mother!’ revels in a new kind of psyops”

Missouri legislators to women: stay home

Should you have the luck to land a job in Missouri and you’re a woman, you best hope your landlord doesn’t ask for medical records. Its senate has legislation that allows bosses and landlords to “discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions.” More: Known as SB 5, the bill was firstContinue reading “Missouri legislators to women: stay home”

The problem with “pro-life” as a position

After Friday’s nationwide March for Life, Alan Levonovitz, assistant professor of religion at James Madison University, asks obvious questions: Why, as I look out on the sea of signs at today’s the March for Life, do I see nothing about maternity leave, much less paternity leave? Why aren’t expansive parental leave policies front and centerContinue reading “The problem with “pro-life” as a position”