Best Of The Web
“The loss of innocence is a theme that writers can take entire novels to document. Ava DuVernay manages the same feat in fewer than eight minutes. That’s all the time it takes in When They See Us for five kids to tussle with parents over Yankees loyalty, cajole girlfriends into accompanying them to Kennedy Fried Chicken, and tell sisters about their audacious plans to make first trumpet in the school band. One minute, Kevin Richardson (played by Asante Blackk) is gently placing a blanket over his mother who’s asleep on the couch, the room around him glowing a warm, protective orange. The next, he’s in the stark blue cold of Central Park, a tiny figure in a red padded coat, running away from a cop who drags Kevin to the ground and knocks him unconscious with a vicious blow to the head.
When They See Us, whose four episodes arrive on Netflix this Friday, was originally titled The Central Park Five, a nomenclature that stuck to the five Harlem teenagers arrested in 1989 for the rape and attempted murder of a 28-year-old female jogger. Catchy and dehumanizing, the phrase enabled the boys to become scapegoats not just for a single crime, but also for a whole city’s feverish paranoia. These are the kinds of societal fault lines and historic outrages that true-crime miniseries typically love to probe. When They See Us is different. DuVernay, who directed and co-wrote all four episodes, isn’t particularly interested in reinvestigating this case, or even in delving into the circumstances that led up to it. Her motivation, rather, is to delineate five individuals whose identities were erased and rewritten before they’d even had the chance to finish eighth grade. This is a work that wants viewers to see these people, and the fullness of their humanity, above everything else.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"President Trump’s Iran policy over the weekend was both erratic and masterful. Doves and isolationists, panicked by what they see as the administration’s inexorable drift toward war, rejoiced when Mr. Trump announced that a military strike had..."
"This is the photo that encapsulates the cruelty of the Trump era: a father and daughter lying dead on the banks of the Rio Grande river, her tiny arm draped around his neck, drowned after an attempt to cross onto American soil and seek asylum..."
"Several months ago, a Palestine Liberation Organization body published an official document on the conflict. In its 37 pages, the organization put forth its views, with some readers seeing this as a clear endorsement of the two-state solution..."
"The first season of Big Little Lies was a clever trap. The show took what would have otherwise been an easily satirized narrative about affluent women and complicated it with their trauma; The Week's Lili Loofbourow succinctly called it "a kind..."
"There’s a story we like to tell about American capitalism. Ours is a country that prizes merit, rewards risk and stands apart in its commitment to the collective success of open markets and the free flow of capital. We are a nation of strivers..."
""IN THESE DAYS of anti-tech ire, it’s a popular cocktail hour topic: How much is Facebook making off my data? Last year, I spent a month trying to find out, hawking my personal data on blockchain-based marketplaces. I came away with $0.003. On..."
""At the end of May, TIAA, the financial services and investing giant, rolled out new gender-identity awareness guidelines for its client-facing consultants. The guidance included: “Never assume someone’s gender identity” and “Be aware that a..."
"An old saying goes that people become more conservative as they age. George Will’s new book, “The Conservative Sensibility,” shows that the opposite can be true. This book is not so much a brief for conservatism as it is a learned and lengthy..."
"Imagine if the dishes stopped getting done. Imagine if no one did the laundry, and it piled up, stained and mildewing in hampers and in piles on the floor. Imagine if no one fed the baby, or changed her, and imagine if no one made dinner..."
"In Japanese culture, kintsugi is the labor-intensive method of repairing broken pottery by reattaching pieces using a lacquer mixed with gold. The reconstructed item, glistening with golden “seams,” is in many ways more beautiful than it was..."
"The U.S. is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of measles since 1992. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases since January. Scientific research overwhelmingly support..."
"Among those participating was Jason Greenblatt, Washington’s Mideast mediator and one of the architects of the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop taking place here. Aryeh Lightsone, a top aid to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, gave a brief..."