Dear Mr. Coates,
1.) Hi! First of all, I’m a big fan. Have been for years. You probably wouldn’t remember this, but we’ve actually met before, shortly after you published “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic. You gave a talk at the University of Chicago, and we briefly chatted a bit afterwards. Well, you chatted, I mostly stammered. ’Twas a good night. I loved The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, although I still haven’t seen the HBO film. Don’t worry, it’s on the backlog and I’ll get to it eventually. Law school and all that. …
My childhood bedroom is, in the way that all childhood bedrooms are, uniquely unspectacular. There’s the perpetually unmade bed, surrounded by pictures and ticket stubs finely coated in dusty nostalgia. There’s the framed poster of the only NBA Big Three I’ll ever acknowledge, and the watercolor painting of Captain America wearing nothing but a helmet and a strategically-placed mighty shield (which still might be the best thirty bucks I’ve ever spent in my life). There are game cartridges, action figures, and books; gods above, there are the books.
And then there are the trophies.
Ted Cruz did not have a good week.
In the midst of a disaster gripping his home state (a situation you can help alleviate by donating here or here or here or here or here, or hell, by just streaming the good homie Anna Akana’s new album), the junior senator from the Lone Star State was captured on a plane bound for Cancun. Criticisms of Cruz taking an international vacation while his constituents were quite literally freezing to death write themselves, to say nothing of that whole “wall” business. …
The news that The CW ordered a pilot for a live-action Powerpuff Girls remake/reboot is a little heartbreaking — more for the content of the pitch than the pitch itself. When I think about the original cartoon, from the characters to the colors to the writing, the first word that comes to mind is “joy.” It could certainly be sad or even a little scary sometimes, but more than anything, there was a sense of unadulterated fun threaded throughout the entire show. …
Today is the final full day of Donald J. Trump’s presidency.
That’s a strange sentence to have to write. Six years ago, I was reasonably sure that such a thing would never begin. A year ago, I was reasonably sure that the end would come in 2025. And as recently as two weeks ago, I was not reasonably sure that an almost-uniformly craven Republican Party could not find a way to make sure that it never ended.
Attempted coups are funny that way.
“There’s a simplicity to war. Attacking is the only secret. Dare, and the world yields. How quickly they forget that all it takes to change the course of history is the will of a single man.” — Captain John Price, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The year is 2009.
Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Zoom, and Tiktok don’t exist yet. Netflix has not started producing original content or inspired a series of copycat streaming services in its wake. The Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA Champions, but their captain is a Kobe Bryant at the height of his powers, not…
As a child of the 9/11 era, there are a lot of headlines I thought I might eventually see. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, I thought I might see that a plane had hit the Sears Tower in my hometown of Chicago. After Barack Obama was elected president, I thought I might see that a white supremacist had assassinated him. The only thing that surprises me about a mass shooting is not the act of violence, but a particularly high death toll.
I was not prepared for this.
On a day in which the leadership of the federal…
INT. MICKEY’S APARTMENT — NIGHT*
Through an umpteenth story window, we see MICKEY DESRUISSEAUX, a twenty-something law student feverishly typing away at his laptop by desk-lamplight. He is dressed in basketball shorts and a comically oversized hoodie, which does nothing to disguise the fact that his quarantine beard is, quite frankly, out of control.
As MICKEY works on something that has, in all likelihood, nothing to do with the law or the practice thereof, we hear the cacophonous sounds of soon-to-be-former PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’s recorded voice coming through the laptop’s speakers. TRUMP is midway through a run-on sentence that…
I’m about to, of course, and write a lot in the process. So I suppose that I can’t not want to write about Soul that badly.
But there’s a part of me that just wants to let a good movie be a good movie without strapping it to an operating table and picking it apart for #hottakes. I’m acutely aware that I’ve done this in the past and will probably do it again in the near future — I’ve been sitting on a Joker essay for over a year now that I’ll be dropping soon. Still, there’s just something about…
Since the pandemic began, there’s been a lot of talk about who is or isn’t essential to society.
Grocery retailers. Maintenance and cleaning crews. Lab techs. Teachers. Postal workers. And while there’s a lot to be said for how hailing these people as heroes is a convenient way to redirect attention from how they’re systematically undervalued financially, I think a lot of it stemmed from a genuine desire to uplift the less glamorous jobs that keep things from breaking down, even as certain people remain determined to undermine them.
Black dude. Chicagoan. Shithole-American. Politics junkie. Nerd. A monster of many words trying to be a man of all of them.