It’s time again for news and views that you can peruse! It’s another edition of the Weekly Reader! Have a blog post that you’re desperate to share? Found a story that you think no one can live without? Got something that you just need to share with the world? Drop a link–or three–in the comments!
American Children Faced Great Dangers in the 1930s, None Greater Than “Little Orphan Annie” (from the Smithsonian Magazine): “This imaginative power is precisely why some parents and reformers saw the radio in much the same way Ralphie’s mother saw the leg lamp: as a seductive villain, sneaking into their homes to harm the minds and corrupt the morals of their children. They saw the intense excitement Annie and other shows inspired in children and quickly concluded that such excitement was dangerous and unhealthy. One father, in a letter to The New York Times in 1933, described the effects on his child of the “all-too-hair-raising adventures” broadcast during radio’s “Children’s Hours.” “My son has never known fear,” he wrote. “He now imagines footsteps in the dark, kidnappers lurking in every corner and ghosts appearing and disappearing everywhere and emitting their blood-curdling noises, all in true radio fashion.””
Doctor Who’s latest season is the show at its most revolutionary—and its most traditional (from the AV Club): “No, the monsters aren’t a strength of this season. But then, the show never pretends it cares about channeling viewers’ nightmares in the way Steven Moffat did with killer angel statues or carnivorous shadows. Rather, Chibnall’s interest in science fiction lies more in world-building and, as Newman himself once described the genre’s appeal, using the future to safely say something nasty about the present. That’s most on display in “Kerblam!”, which uses the far-future equivalent of Amazon to critique automation and post-human corporate speak. Like most of this season’s best efforts, the menace lies entirely in the evil we as humans create.”
To Get Mental Health Help For a Child, Desperate Parents Relinquish Custody (from NPR): “The family had private insurance through Jim’s job, and Daniel also had Medicaid coverage because he was adopted. But neither insurance would pay for that treatment. Exhausted and desperate, the Hoys decided to relinquish custody to the state. If they sent Daniel back into the foster care system, the child welfare agency would be obligated to pay for the services he needed.
“To this day, it’s the most gut-wrenching thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Jim says. He went to the hospital and told Daniel, then 12, that they were legally abandoning him, so child welfare could take over. “I was crying terribly. But it was the only way we figured we could keep the family safe.””
I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. (from the Huffington Post): “For 10 years, I worked as a cable tech in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Those 10 years, the apartments, the McMansions, the customers, the bugs and snakes, the telephone poles, the traffic, the cold and heat and rain, have blurred together in my mind. Even then, I wouldn’t remember a job from the day before unless there was something remarkable about it. Remarkable is subjective and changes with every day spent witnessing what people who work in offices will never see — their co-workers at home during the weekday, the American id in its underpants, wondering if it remembered to delete the browsing history.
Mostly all I remember is needing to pee.”
To MAGA Refugees and Fox News Orphans (from John Pavlovitz): “Her story was heartbreaking and it was tragic—but it wasn’t at all unusual. The room that night (just like this country) was filled with people like her: Fox News orphans, MAGA family refugees, and Trump-Train widows. I hear their stories dozens of times a day.
They are grown children, turned away by parents.
Siblings driven apart in loud tantrums or in quiet disconnection.
Extended family members relegated to superficial small talk at holiday gatherings.
Spouses feeling a new alienation in one another’s presence.
Neighbors avoiding eye contact across hedges.
Church friends exchanging uncomfortable silences.
They are people forced into isolation, or choosing it out of self-preservation.”
Maybe Trump Is Good for Something (from Splice): “There’s the possibility that Trump will be impeached and convicted before the 2020 election. While Robert Mueller hasn’t found the smoking gun yet, all the evidence so far points to at least some form of treason. Perhaps 2019 will be the year America will finally see the president dragged from the Oval Office while screaming “Fake news!” and Mike Pence will take over as president. This might make the 2020 election a bit more difficult because the Democratic Party will have to work overtime to defeat an opponent who actually knows how politics work.”
‘We’ Did Not Miss the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism. You Did. (from Esquire Magazine): “To take the simplest argument first, “we,” of course, did no such thing, unless “we” is a very limited—and very white—plural pronoun. The violence on the right certainly made itself obvious in Oklahoma City, and at the Atlanta Olympics, and at various gay bars and women’s health clinics, and in Barrett Slepian’s kitchen, and in the hills of North Carolina, where Eric Rudolph stayed on the lam for five years and in which he had stashed 250 pounds of explosives for future escapades.”
Star Wars is Really a Cautionary Tale About Devoting All Technological Advancements to Death (from Tor): “In the Star Wars Universe, technology designed for war is highly valuable, and usually of higher quality than the ad hoc, poorly devised, and in some cases actively derided tech available for other purposes. Nowhere is this more clear than with everyone’s favorite duo of the series: C-3PO and R2-D2. Threepio is a marvel when you consider all that he can do, but his expertise is geared toward communication and diplomacy as a protocol droid. The fact that Threepio makes it possible to land virtually anywhere in the galaxy and communicate (as he does with the Ewoks when the Rebels get caught on Endor’s moon) should be a cause for constant praise. Instead, Threepio is treated like an annoying hindrance no matter where he tries to make himself useful. But Artoo—along with other various astromechs from the R3s all the way up to the more current BB models—is beloved by everyone. He’s the handiest tin can on this side of the multiverse. Unsurprisingly, astromechs are created largely for the purpose of enacting repairs on various ships and copiloting starfighters. Starfighters. You know. Tiny war ships.”
And that’s it for this week. Stop by again next time for even more articles of import that you may find fascinating. Until then, happy reading!