Required reading

  • Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)” makes a big comeback thanks to a scene from the Netflix series’ fourth season stranger things. But there’s more to it, according to NPR music critic Stephen Thompson:

What the resurgence of “Running Up That Hill” demonstrates, beyond the timelessness and craftsmanship of the song itself, is the sheer power of familiarity. For those of us who were kids in 1985, his return evokes childhood nostalgia. But it’s not like the song has been entirely relegated to the distant past: it played a starring role in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and Meg Myers’ trusty 2019 cover. has been a lingering presence in its own right. The return of the original doesn’t feel like a discovery, but rather an encore.

The return of “Running Up That Hill” says a lot about how the songs help shape our common cultural language, even if we are compartmentalized in a thousand other ways. Barriers to entry are low with songs, which only require access to a device to play them on; we don’t need to subscribe to Netflix, like we do with stranger thingsand we don’t have to pay to sit in a movie theater like we do with, say, Top Gun: Maverick.

The songs live on the wind in a way that other forms of entertainment simply cannot.

There are many competing claims as to where the dish originated, how the name of the dish should be spelled, whether or not it includes meat, and even whether or not sour cream should be included on the soup. .

In recent years, its status as a Ukrainian or Russian dish has been fiercely debated on social media, leading to an escalation of what some have dubbed the “borscht wars.”

In 2020, Ukraine applied for the culture of cooking the dish to be added to the Unesco list of endangered cultural heritage and the decision to add it to the list was to be taken in 2023.

But the decision-making process was accelerated due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the “negative impact” on the tradition of the dish, Unesco said in a press release.

  • Actor Brad Pitt claims he has prosopagnosia (also known as “face blindness”), a rare neurological disorder that makes it difficult to recognize faces. Apparently, it’s a real condition that can cause serious distress. Dani Blum writes for the New York Times:

Prosopagnosia varies in severity; some people with the condition may have trouble recognizing a familiar face, such as a friend or family member, while others may not even be able to identify their own thoughts. Some people may be unable to tell faces from objects.

There is also evidence to suggest that people with prosopagnosia may become chronically anxious or depressed due to the isolation and fear that comes with the condition. Navigating basic social interactions with prosopagnosia can become difficult, and some people avoid contact with family members and other loved ones for fear of not being able to recognize or approach them properly.

  • Along the same lines, researchers at the University of Tokyo have found that the ability to recognize our own voice is a “critical factor in our sense of control over our speech”. The study reads as follows:

If people think they hear someone else’s voice when they speak, they don’t really feel like they caused the sound. This could be a clue to understanding the experience of people who live with auditory hallucinations and could help improve online communication and virtual reality experiences.

  • Guerrilla Girls call the “fluids” in dresses serving on the United States Supreme Court:
  • In a compelling essay published in Aeon, authors Kate Kirkpatrick and Sonia Kruks analyze the “OK Boomer” phenomenon through the writings of Simone de Beauvoir on the othering of the elderly. Here is a short excerpt but you should read the whole thing:

In profit-oriented market societies, as Beauvoir argues, human worth is often measured in abstract, economic terms, and cost-benefit values ​​– which judge people primarily by their usefulness – predominate. Such values ​​co-exist with and reinforce each other’s bad faith attitudes towards older people, a trend particularly marked in attitudes towards ‘baby boomers’. They are accused of being a privileged generation which, having made their nest during the period of post-war economic growth, now unfairly devours resources to the detriment of the young. They are simplistically blamed for a variety of ailments that have complex, structural causes, and have even been called “a generation of sociopaths.” The question of intergenerational justice is important. However, it is also important that baby boomers are far too different from each other to be considered a monolithic social category, sociologically speaking. We must not be satisfied with false generalizations to explain the effects of more complex large-scale socio-economic changes.

  • You may hate British classism and the bloody history of imperialism, but it’s hard to deny that the British Parliament is still entertaining (this is before Boris Johnson’s official resignation):
  • This week’s WTF moment: A group of educators in Texas propose to refer to slavery as “involuntary displacement” in the second-grade curriculum. Fortunately, some members of the Texas State Board of Education are pushing back against the proposal, as Brian Lopez reports. for the Texas Grandstand:

The suggested change surfaced late in its June 15 meeting that lasted over 12 hours. Board member Aicha Davis, a Democrat who represents Dallas and Fort Worth, raised concerns with the board, saying the wording is not a “fair representation” of the slave trade. The board, after reading the language in the suggested program, sent the working draft back for review.

“For K-2, carefully consider the language used to describe the events, particularly the term ‘involuntary resettlement,'” the state counsel wrote in its advice to the task force.

“I can’t say what their intention was, but it won’t be acceptable,” Davis told the Texas Tribune on Thursday. In 2015, Texas attracted attention when it was discovered a social studies textbook approved for use in the state called the African slaves who were brought to the United States, the “workers”.

  • While we talk about race: Marta Kauffman, creator of the hit 1990s TV sitcom Friends, pledged $4 million to Brandeis University to repent for the show’s lack of diversity. Kauffman gave the scoop to Greg Braxton of the Los Angeles time:

“I’ve learned a lot over the past 20 years,” Kauffman said in a Zoom interview. “Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It’s painful to look at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I don’t know better 25 years ago. “

The Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Professorship in African and African American Studies at the private research university will support a distinguished scholar specializing in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora. The donation will also help the department recruit more scholars and expert teachers, set long-term academic and research priorities, and provide new opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary research.

  • And finally, this week’s meme:

Required reading is published every Thursday afternoon and includes a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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