Sunday, April 11, 2021

Bill Maher gives the Best Picture nominees at the Oscars two thumbs down for being serious instead of entertaining


I concluded Carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.6 million years despite economic slowdown from pandemic by telling my readers "Enough DOOM. Stay tuned for more on the Oscar nominees tomorrow, the Sunday entertainment feature." Once again, I'm featuring something my wife found, New Rule: The Debbies | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) in which Bill gets some cheap laughs at Hollywood's expense and demonstrates why he called his old show on ABC "Politically Incorrect."

Bill gives two thumbs down to the trend of virtue-signaling Oscar films.
Bill has a point about the movies the Hollywood creatives in the Motion Picture Academy nominate for awards. They are serious "coffee table" cinema that the entertainment industry wants to show off as serious art. I grew up around these people and they've always been like this, so that's not new. It's just that two trends have made it more apparent this year.

First, the elite and popular tastes have diverged more dramatically this century, so that the last Best Picture winner that was number one at the box office was "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" in 2004 and the last Best Picture winner that was number one at the box office was "Black Panther" in 2019. That they were both speculative fiction films demonstrates that "speculative fiction films have become well-made mainstream entertainment that are also outstanding examples of the movie-making craft, if not great art."

It turns out Hollywood has a business reason for this in addition to an artistic one, to say nothing of snobbery.
“The Oscars aren’t just about the most popular movie,” said Jonathan Kuntz, film historian and lecturer at the U.C.L.A. School of Theater, Film and Television. Instead of mass appeal, the best picture award recognizes intangible qualities such as originality, technical innovation, cultural significance and artistic value.
...
“The Academy Award has always been, since the early days, Hollywood’s way of helping itself in promoting films,” said Mr. Kuntz, explaining why lower-grossing art house films are often favored. “The value of an Oscar to a medium or small film can be great, whereas to a large film, it can be insignificant.”
...
“They want to reward new people and new ideas,” said Mr. Kuntz, which is why best picture rarely goes to reboots or sequels. The first “Star Wars” movie, “A New Hope” (1977), was nominated for best picture, but did not win. The “Star Wars” franchise has enjoyed enormous commercial success since then, but Mr. Kuntz doubted that academy voters would pick a “Star Wars” film for best picture.
...
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) is one of the few fantasy movies, and one of few sequels, to win best picture. “In 2001, when the first movie was nominated,” Mr. Kuntz said, “it was considered a major achievement.” He suspects that the reason it took three films for the academy to recognize the trilogy was because of its genre.
So there is a method to Hollywood's madness. I just hope it doesn't backfire.

Second, the pandemic has completely messed up Hollywood's box office and release schedule, so it's almost impossible to really gauge the popularity of movies and a lot of movies that would have been released in theaters ended up delayed, on streaming services, or both, like "Wonder Woman 1984." The following graph from Calculated Risk using Box Office Mojo data shows how the pandemic has caused the domestic box office to crater.



By the way, the uptick at the end of the 2021 series is from "Godzilla vs. Kong," which became the top grossing film so far this year after one week, even though it's also available for subscribers of HBO Max to stream.

On the other hand, the kind of films that the Motion Picture Academy likes to nominate got released anyway. That made Hollywood's taste for socially conscious Oscar nominees even more prominent this year than in previous years, when there were more popular movies to see in theaters. Just the same, even some of the Oscar nominees have found audiences on streaming, as the following graphic from Cord Cutter News shows.


Yes, "Nomadland," which Bill Maher dumped on, broke into the top ten streaming movies as measured by Nielsen. That's why I think it has a very good shot at winning Best Picture, whether Bill likes it or not. At least we know people, including the Motion Picture Academy members, are watching it.

Finally, Bill mocked the documentaries as the category for serious examination of issues to make people feel bad. As I pointed out in Politics, government, and injustice among the 2021 feature documentary Oscar nominees, while I found little uplifting about "Collective," I thought "Time," "Crip Camp," and "My Octopus Teacher" featured positive stories and "The Mole Agent" to be surprisingly fun. Maybe Bill should watch those for a better movie experience.

That's it for today's entertainment feature. I'll be back tomorrow for Yuri's Night. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.6 million years despite economic slowdown from pandemic

The reason I told my readers to "stay tuned for a climate update tomorrow" was that my wife checked the weather at NOAA and saw the following headline Despite pandemic shutdowns, carbon dioxide and methane surged in 2020. CBS News summarized and commented on that in Greenhouse gas levels surged in 2020, NOAA says.

A new report from the NOAA finds that despite global shutdowns, greenhouse gas levels in 2020 surged. In fact, levels of carbon dioxide are at the highest they've been in 3.6 million years. CBS News meteorologist and climate specialist Jeff Berardelli joins CBSN to explain.
Jeff Berardelli and anchor Lana Zak concentrated more on the rate of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and temperatures, the consequences of the higher temperatures, and what humans can do to keep temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels than they did on the effects of the pandemic-driven recession or the implications of the subtitle of the report, "Carbon dioxide levels are now higher than at anytime in the past 3.6 million years." Follow over the jump for the first half of the NOAA press release with my commentary on those two subjects.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Noah and Colbert on vaccinations vs. a possible fourth wave of COVID update the pandemic for Flashback Friday

I told my readers "Stay tuned for a look back at the most popular posts about the pandemic for tomorrow's Flashback Friday," repeating myself about "the retrospective I'm planning for Flashback Friday tomorrow about the pandemic" in yesterday's Weekend Update on Sidney Powell being sued by Dominion updates 'SNL' on the 2020 election and its aftermath for Throwback Thursday. I'll write about those popular posts from the tenth year of the blog over the jump, but first I'm sharing The Daily Show with Trevor Noah's A Race to the Finish: The Coronavirus Vaccine vs. The Fourth Wave.

After a weekend of Easter gatherings and spring break trips, the U.S. gears up for a fourth coronavirus wave.
Michigan is still making the news, ten days after I posted The U.S. passes 30 million reported COVID-19 cases as cases spike in Michigan, a pandemic update. That's because the local outbreak has been getting worse with MLive reporting Michigan reports 7,819 new coronavirus cases, 73 deaths Thursday, April 8. According to the interactive graphic at the article, that's nearly as many cases as the seven-day rolling average of 6,825 last November 16th. Michigan could easily pass the peak of 7,270 from November 21, 2020. Also, the interactive graphics at NBC News show that the U.S. has passed 31 million confirmed cases. Yikes!

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert joined in by opening last night's episode with the musical question Is A Fourth Wave Coming?



Get the shot or surf on your couch!

I agree with that message. My wife and I are scheduled to get our second shot one week from today. We've had enough of staying from home.

Speaking of vaccinations, the same day The Daily Show uploaded the first video, Noah asked Vaccine Passports: What Are They, And Why Does Fox News Hate Them?

Take a look into the world of vaccine passports: what they are, why Republicans and Fox News are having a meltdown about them, and the potential equity problems associated with them.
Leave it to the comedians to educate their audience about why the reality-based community might have issues with using smartphones as vaccine "passports" because they exclude low-income people.

Speaking of comedy educating about the unequal social effects of the pandemic, The Daily Show's Desi Lydic explained How the Pandemic Drives More Women to Leave the Workforce.

Desi Lydic investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting working women.
The interview segments perfectly illustrate the problem. My reaction as a empty-nester working at home is say I'm laughing because it hurts too much to cry.

I conclude today's selection of clips with The Daily Show’s Bracket of Bulls**t: Pandemic Edition WINNER.

What was the most annoying thing that happened during the pandemic? Michael Kosta and Roy Wood Jr. reveal the winner of The Daily Show’s Bracket of Bulls**t: Pandemic Edition!
Pull up your mask!

Follow over the jump for the most read entries about the pandemic from the tenth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Weekend Update on Sidney Powell being sued by Dominion updates 'SNL' on the 2020 election and its aftermath for Throwback Thursday

Happy Throwback Thursday! Yesterday, I told my readers "stay tuned for a Throwback Thursday retrospective [about] the top posts from the tenth year of the blog featuring Saturday Night Live on the 2020 election and its aftermath. The late night talk show hosts didn't have all the fun."

I'll get to those popular posts from the blogging year just ended over the jump, but first I'm sharing Weekend Update: Sidney Powell on Being Sued by Dominion from the last SNL of March as the most recent clip from the show about the 2020 election and its aftermath.

Sidney Powell stops by Weekend Update to discuss being sued for defamation by Dominion for making false voter fraud claims during the 2020 Election.
The good news for Powell and bad news for Dominion (and democracy) is that her defense might actually work. I saw a similar defense work for Courtney Love in 2014, when I quoted KPBS.
Context matters in defamation law. And if reasonable minds conclude Love's tweet was never meant to be taken seriously, charges should be dismissed.
...
"Her history of saying incredibly loopy things means that perhaps no one should take her seriously," [University of San Diego Law School Professor Junichi] Semitsu said.
I agree that no reasonable person should have taken Powell's claims seriously. The problem is that there were so many unreasonable people who did.

Follow over the jump for the most popular posts featuring SNL commenting about the 2020 election and its aftermath.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Colbert and Fallon on McConnell and Trump reacting to corporations against Georgia's new voting restrictions

Neither the late night talk show hosts nor I are finished with corporations denouncing Georgia's restrictive voting laws and conservatives reacting angrily to the corporations. Stephen Colbert featured that conflict in McConnell's Hypocrisy On Corporate Speech Falls Flat As Big Brands Punish Georgia.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, once a staunch defender of the right of corporations to express themselves, is leading the GOP charge against companies like Coca-Cola and MLB who have protested Georgia's new voting restrictions.
Mitch McConnell wants to do what to the corporations' wallets? Well, it's only their wallets. Otherwise, I don't think his wife Elaine Chao would approve. In the meantime, I think the corporations should keep their wallets shut for McConnell.

Colbert wasn't the only comedian to follow Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel in mocking conservatives for disapproving of corporations participating in the free market of ideas. Jimmy Fallon made Trump Wants His Supporters to Boycott Coca Cola the featured topic of his monologue.

Jimmy addresses Donald Trump asking his supporters to boycott Coca-Cola after they took a stand against Georgia's voter suppression laws.
As I wrote yesterday, making fun of Trump being a hypocrite is like laughing at water being wet. The same is true of mocking McConnell. Just the same, the irony and hypocrisy are breathtaking.

I will keep following the spat between the Republican Party and their hopefully former corporate donors, probably from a serious news perspective next. In the meantime, stay tuned for a Throwback Thursday retrospective at the top posts from the tenth year of the blog featuring Saturday Night Live on the 2020 election and its aftermath. The late night talk show hosts didn't have all the fun.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Trevor Noah on corporations reacting to Georgia's restrictive voting laws

After three days of fun with holidays, it's time for me to ease back into examining serious topics, like elections. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah uploaded the perfect video this morning for coating a serious subject with comedy, Georgia Restricts Voting & Corporations Snap Back.

Georgia lawmakers pass sweeping voting restrictions, under threat of boycotts corporations are finally speaking out, and Trump trashes MLB, Coca-Cola, and more.
I can explain the reactions of Coca-Cola, Delta, and Major League Baseball in one sentence: Being inclusive, including supporting voting rights, has become good for business. In return, conservatives are finally realizing that corporations are no longer their allies on social issues after decades of tacit support for them after decades of open support and cooperation on economic issues, and conservatives, particularly those in the Republican Party, are freaking out. Jimmy Kimmel concentrated on that part of the reaction in Trump Complains About Cancel Culture, Wants EVERYONE Canceled.

LA was early to rise this morning after an earthquake hit, Jimmy breaks down his Easter, the White House made special eggs for Easter featuring President Joe Biden’s dogs, we got well wishes from President Obama and even the Easter Dummy himself Donald Trump, Donald Jr. shared a sweet anecdote from the Trump family memory book and a perfect metaphor for growing up Trump, “Gonzaga” is playing the #1 seed Baylor in the NCAA men’s basketball championship, the MLB has decided to not have the All-Star Game in Atlanta and Trump is trying to cancel them too, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is the talk of the town in Washington after the reported investigation by the Justice Department into sex trafficking, and since Godzilla vs Kong was tops at the box office this weekend Jimmy’s kids Jane & Billy watched the trailer and gave their commentary on it.
Yes, Trump and son are hypocrites, but laughing at that is like laughing at water being wet. What I'd rather point out is that my readers and I shouldn't be surprised at the split between the business community and the Republican Party; it's been building for a decade. Follow over the jump for my recycled observations from nine years ago when I began to notice.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Celebrate First Contact Day on 4/5, a Star Trek Day that mirrors Star Wars Day on 5/4



Happy First Contact Day!
First Contact Day on April 5th commemorates a fictional date in the future when an alien species visits Earth and makes contact with Earthlings for the first time.

While the fictional date of 2063 is less than half a generation away, mere humans contemplate the possibilities the further we explore space. Not only do the modern explorers keep our interests piqued, but the science fiction genre continues to pour out stories that thrill and excite us.
Actually half a lifetime; a human generation is usually considered to be 20-30 years, so the fictional date is two generations away. But I digress; back to First Contact Day's description from National Day Calendar.
While celebrating the first contact could mean many things, this celebration focuses on one kind – the Vulcan/humankind meeting. That’s right. It’s a “final frontier” kind of celebration.
...
In 1996, Star Trek: First Contact was released in theaters across the nation. Starfleet and crew travel through time and encounter historical figure Dr. Zefram Cochrane. His spacecraft, the Phoenix, launches and becomes the first in human history to reach warp drive. Moments after the launch, Vulcans appear at the base near Boseman, Montana.

The date is April 5, 2063, and throughout 300 years of future history, First Contact Day honors the achievements of Dr. Cochrane and the historic first interactions between humans and Vulcans. Present-day sci-fi fans celebrate the event as well.
I find it ironically fitting that First Contact Day, which passes as Star Trek Day, is on 4/5, while Star Wars Day is on 5/4, making them numerical inverses of each other. I doubt that's deliberate; the "Star Trek" wiki Memory Alpha states "Star Trek: First Contact co-writer Ronald D. Moore chose the date for first contact in honor of his son, Jonathan, whose birthday is April 5th." Moore wrote the script in 1996, years before May the Fourth crossed the Atlantic to become Star Wars Day in 1999. Just the same, I enjoy the coincidence of the two dates mirroring each other. I hope my readers do, too.

I also hope my readers enjoy the following video combining most of the activities National Day Calendar lists for today:
  • Attend a first contact re-enactment party
  • Watch the film Star Trek: First Contact
  • Visit Bozeman, Montana
  • Share your first contact stories
  • Participate in online celebrations
  • Play the song “A Magic Carpet Ride”
  • Practice your Vulcan greeting



Live long and prosper!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Drink to Easter 2021!

Happy Easter! As I wrote yesterday, "Stay tuned for Easter. Since it's an odd-numbered year, expect drink recipes." I begin with BEST EASTER COCKTAILS IN 2020 | HOW TO MAKE EASTER COCKTAILS | BLUE AND PINK BUNNY RECIPE by Party Shakers LA just because it has the preview image I want for this post. Yes, I do that.

Happy EASTER!!!
Party Shakers Easter Cocktails!
We know Easter won’t be the same this year, but we hope these cocktails will make it feel a little bit more fun while at home. We created a Baby Blue and a baby pink cocktail inspired by the peeps marshmallow candies. The taste of these cocktails are similar to candy. We blended them into a slushy consistency.

Blue Bunny
1 oz of white rum
1/2 oz of blue curaƧao
1 oz of heavy whipping cream
Agave syrup

Directions: Grab Your blender add ice, add the rum, Blue Curacao, heavy whipping cream and agave into the blender. Now BLEND! Grab your glass, put agave syrup around the rim and then coat it with some sprinkles or small colorful candies. Pour your blended part into your glass, garnish with a peep candy and Enjoy!

Pink Bunny
1 oz of vodka
1 splash of strawberry puree
1 oz of heavy whipping cream
Agave syrup

Directions: Grab Your blender add ice, add the vodka, strawberry puree, heavy whipping cream and agave into the blender. Now BLEND! Grab your glass, put agave syrup around the rim and then coat it with some sprinkles or small colorful candies. Pour your blended part into your glass, garnish with a peep candy and Enjoy!
That was fun, but she makes me miss Skyy John the Tipsy Bartender, so here are two of his videos, beginning with Easter Egg Cocktail.

This creamy and vibrant martini is perfect to celebrate the spring festivities!
That's a recipe I could have shared in More Tipsy Bartender drinks for Easter 2019, but decided to be a good environmentalist by conserving my resources. It came in handy today!

Since today's drinks have included chicks, bunnies, and eggs, it's time to include one more Easter staple, chocolate. Skyy has that covered in Chocolate Easter Bunny with booze!



Happy Easter!

Skyy waited until Easter Sunday of last year to upload that. I got so impatient, I wrote "I was wondering when you were going to get around to posting Easter drink recipes" as the first comment. He hasn't posted an Easter drink since. Watch, now that I've written this, he'll upload a recipe today. If so, I'll use it in 2023. The Easter theme next year will be drum corps.

By the way, if the recipes look familiar, I embedded a different drink recipe served in chocolate Easter bunnies back in 2017. Also, Skyy made the Easter egg cocktail years ago. The proof is in the screenshot.


I'm not the only one who recycles! He has since taken that video down, just like all the other videos in the first post I wrote about Easter drinks back in 2015. Time to add this pin in place of the missing video.

That's it for today. Once again, happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Oscar nominated scores and songs for National Film Score Day


Happy National Film Score Day! On April 3rd, National Film Score Day recognizes the musical masterpieces called 'Film Scores' and, more specifically, the very talented composers who create them. So does the Motion Picture Academy along with other bodies that run awards programs. As part of my series on this year's Oscar nominees, so am I.

As the graphic from the Motion Picture Academy above shows, the nominees for Best Original Score are "Da 5 Bloods," "Mank," "Minari," "News of the World," and "Soul." Since I'm focusing on nominated films about politics and government in this series, I'm glad the alphabetized roster of nominees listed "Da 5 Bloods" first. Listen to What This Mission's About | Da 5 Bloods (Original Motion Picture Score).

“What This Mission's About” from Da 5 Bloods (Original Motion Picture Score). Music by Terence Blanchard.
...
ABOUT DA 5 BLOODS:
From Academy Award® Winner Spike Lee comes a New Joint: the story of four African-American Vets — Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) — who return to Vietnam. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, our heroes, joined by Paul's concerned son (Jonathan Majors), battle forces of Man and Nature — while confronted by the lasting ravages of The Immorality of The Vietnam War.

ABOUT TERENCE BLANCHARD:
Oscar nominee, six-time Grammy-winner and 2018 USA Fellow trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present. From his expansive work composing the scores for Spike Lee films ranging from the documentary When the Levees Broke, about Blanchard’s hometown of New Orleans during the devastation from Hurricane Katrina to the epic Malcolm X; and the latest Lee film, Da 5 Bloods, Blanchard has interwoven melodies that created strong backdrops to human stories. Blanchard received an Oscar nomination for his original score for BlacKkKlansman. He was also BAFTA nominated for his original music for the film. He won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for writing “Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil)” a track from BlacKkKlansman.
Now, that's a powerful opening piece for this post! Also, I'm thrilled to see Terence Blanchard, the composer for "BlacKkKlansman" and hear his music. I wish him luck, although I think he'll lose to "Soul" the way he did two years ago to "Black Panther." Too bad, as this is the only nomination for "Da 5 Bloods."

Next, Welcome to Victorville from "Mank."



Welcome to Victorville · Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Not bad, although I think Reznor and Ross have a better chance of winning along with Jon Batiste for "Soul." As for "Mank," despite its ten nominations, it might come away with only one Oscar for production design — that is if it beats "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

Moving on to Garden of Eden from "Minari."



Garden of Eden · Emile Mosseri
Minari (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

That's really pretty and I can hear why it deserved to be nominated. Win? No, but the movie has six nominations with its strongest odds of winning for Best Supporting Actress if Glenn Close or Maria Bakalova doesn't win.

The penultimate track for this section is End Titles (from the Motion Picture "News Of The World").



End Titles (from the Motion Picture "News Of The World") · James Newton Howard

Nothing like the soundtrack from a Western, which "News Of The World" is, to provide conventionally moving movie music. The same is true of its cinematography, which I think is its strongest category.

Finally, my pick to win, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Great Beyond (From "Soul"/Audio Only).

Disney and Pixar’s Soul introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.
I already posted the video of Reznor, Ross, and Batiste accepting the Golden Globe in Closer looks at CPAC, Andrew Cuomo, and the Golden Globes from Colbert, Meyers, Kimmel, and Corden, so I'm sharing Jon Batiste, Celeste - It's All Right (From "Soul"/Duet Version/Official Lyric Video) as an encore of sorts, not only for winning the Golden Globes for Best Song and Best Animated Movie, but also for winning the equivalent categories at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.

Check out Jon Batiste and Celeste’s version of "It's All Right" from SOUL, the brand new movie from Disney Pixar now streaming on Disney+.
That didn't qualify for Best Original Song because it's a cover. Speaking of Best Original Song, follow over the jump for the nominated songs I haven't already featured in previous posts.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Rachel Maddow and Ken Burns on Confederate monuments being removed for Flashback Friday

For Flashback Friday, I am looking back at John Oliver and Vox explain why most Confederate monuments exist in the first place, a serious and silly blast from the past, the fourth most read entry during the past blogging year and the second most read actually posted between March 21, 2020 and March 20, 2021. I will describe how it got its page views over the jump, but first I'm updating the subject matter, beginning with The Rachel Maddow Show segment Confederate Monument Removals A Mark Of Progress Long In Coming on MSNBC.

Rachel Maddow looks at how the removal of Confederate monuments is being viewed by members of the communities that have lived in their shadows for generations. Aired on 6/24/2020.
Maddow's report serves as a good snapshot of how fast events moved since I tweeted I haven't seen this many statues fall since the end of the Cold War only two weeks earlier. For a more thorough examination of the causes, watch CNN's Ken Burns: Confederate statues celebrate a false narrative.

Legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns says the United States is “in the middle of an enormous reckoning” and called for the removal of statues of Confederate soldiers and the renaming of military bases during a discussion with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
I agree with Ken Burns; the United States is “in the middle of an enormous reckoning” about our racial history, which includes not only our treatment of African-Americans, but also Native Americans as I documented in TV news reports on Indigenous Peoples Day plus comedy for Canadian Thanksgiving. I also agree with what he said the day before Ken Burns: Our monuments are representations of myth, not fact in The Washington Post.

Our most venerated monuments represent a mythology. While we may hope the statue represents our highest aspirations of what America can and should be. It also can be a reminder of where and how far we fall short.
I agree with Burns; our public monuments are about our shared mythology more than our shared history. Consequently, I think all history is worth remembering, but not all is worth celebrating.

I'm going to conclude this segment by quoting a different passage from What motivates Americans to act than I usually do; "someone is going to have to mess with the circuses of 'bread and circuses' to arouse Americans." While I think the police killing of George Floyd was a necessary condition to spark last summer's protests, I don't think it was sufficient. I think the suspension of sports, which I explicitly mentioned as one of the circuses in Hipcrime Vocab on the Super Bowl, along with people being cooped up because of the pandemic, was the necessary precondition. It only took nine years for "who knows...that might actually happen" to come true.

Follow over the jump for how John Oliver and Vox explain why most Confederate monuments exist in the first place, a serious and silly blast from the past earned its page views.