Outside Reading — This Island Earth Doesn’t Shine for Me Anymore

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie: The oral history by Adam Carston

The big-screen iteration of Mystery Science Theater 3000 hardly seems to have enough significance to merit a lengthy oral history on the occasion of its anniversary, but I’m exceedingly glad writer Adam Cartson and The A.V. Club proceeded with it anyway. I have a special nostalgic affection for watching chintzy robots and an outer space castaway mock the 1955 film This Island Earth because, thanks to the pre-internet ticket-buying skills of my friend and radio show colleague, I was in attendance at the 1994 ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama live performance where they tried out a bunch of the gags. I well remember the Bootsy Collins reference that Universal execs forced them to jettison, as well as chipper harmonizing on a reworked version of a Gary Lewis and the Playboys hit upon the appearance of the sci-fi flick’s titled card, quintessential MST3K tomfoolery that was similarly stripped away before the riffing was preserved for posterity.

Paul and Audrey by Paul Rogers

This comic appeared in The New Yorker a couple months back. My usual delay in consuming issues means I just came upon it. The storytelling is simple, graceful, and lovely. As a bonus, the comic also introduced me to a fine jazz number.

Fear of Raising a Daughter by Jessica Valenti

Usually I try to find an image to accompany every article I link to, but every possibility in this instance made me feel queasy. For her own Substack, Jessica Valenti writes with customary power and clarity about the constancy of unwanted attention endured by girls in our society, the sexualization of them by predatory men happening at an alarmingly early age. A few years back, prompted by some similar pieces, I asked some of the college students I worked with what their experiences were like growing up, and I was honestly shocked by how young they were when the nasty male attention started and how commonplace it was. This article is reminder that the widespread problem needs to be addressed and the situation corrected so that girls can have the basic right to move through their lives without needing to be constantly on guard.

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