Outside Reading — The Right Thing edition

(Image via The New York Times)

Megan Rapinoe Cannot Make This Any Clearer by Barry Petchesky

This piece was written and published before Megan Rapinoe scored two goals to lift the U.S. women’s national team past their French rivals in the World Cup quarterfinals, cementing her status as a hero of her sport. With a blessed directness common at Deadspin, Barry Petchesky gets into the mini-feud between the skilled forward representing the nation admirably on the biggest sports stage of the moment and the petulant slug who smugly signs off on policies that diminish protections for her and those she cares for then brutishly demands fealty anyway. Unlike other stories on the same topic, Petchesky goes past the personality clash to examine — citing Rapinoe’s clear understanding of this situation — why the second-place-finisher occupying the White House is so fixated on athletes.


The Enduring Urgency of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” at Thirty by Richard Brody

do the right thing

The more prolific and esoteric of the two film critics toiling under the New Yorker banner, Richard Brody is usually relegated to capsule reviews in print, proving to be a highly adept communicator in the form. (Whenever I write a movie preview for Tone Madison, it’s Brody’s bar I’m leaping to clear.) Online, he can stretch out a little more, and the thirtieth anniversary of Do the Right Thing, accompanied by a revival house booking in New York City, provides the perfect prompt. Brody offers a fresh assessment of the movie that still stands as Spike Lee’s finest, efficiently touching on all the components that ensure its cinematic legacy, regardless of the swirling social context around it, then and now. But then, the social context is important, too. Three decades later, the film’s depiction of the killing of an unarmed black man by police officers has, alarmingly, become even more pertinent. That’s part of Brody’s article. I’ve taken my own cracks at writing about Do the Right Thing over the years. I wish I’d done it as well as this.


The Meaning Changed, But DiGiorno’s Slogan Stays the Same by Jaya Saxena

not delivery

This essay, published at Eater, is absolutely inspired. Beginning from the oddity that the DiGiorno frozen pizza brand has clung to the same slogan for an unusually long time, Jaya Saxena traces the way the message of that registered phrase has completely transformed over time. With inventiveness and insight, Saxena then illustrates how that transformation reflects a broader shift in the cultural relationship with delivered meals. Saxena wrote the following on Twitter: “A lot of people have already had to sit through my rant about how weird it is that DiGiorno’s slogan is the same but means something totally different than it did in the 90s, but now I work at a food website so you ALL have to sit through it.” And, my sweet Rowdy Roddy, isn’t that what topically hyper-focused news and opinion websites are for? Make no mistake, these are the days of miracle and wonder, and the marketplace of ideas is bustling like never before.


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