Hey there Slate Plus friends!
I’m Aisha Harris, and I write for Brow Beat, Slate’s culture blog. In my nearly three years here (I started as a culture intern at the beginning of 2012), I’ve had the chance to write about topics as varied as Denzel’s unsatisfying career rut, why Peter Pan is usually played by a woman, whether or not children have the mental capacity to “act,” and the veracity of being able to fuel your car on moonshine. I’ve even managed to unwittingly provoke the ire of Fox News over something as universally beloved as a penguin. To say the least, I’ve had a blast.
I’ve also really enjoyed reading my colleagues’ work on Slate this week. Katy Waldman took one for the team and read Tom Hanks’ unremarkable New Yorker short story so the rest of us didn’t have to. Via video, Chris Wade captured so perfectly Bono’s 34-year habit of posing like Jesus. Bryan Lowder’s deep, thoughtful essay on the homophobia expressed by the characters in Whiplash and what that says about us as an audience made me reconsider the crowd-pleasing awards contender in an entirely new way.
There’s also a great photo essay that captured what it was like for some same-sex couples in the ’80s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. And if you’re addicted to NPR’s Serial podcast like I am, perhaps you find yourself even more intrigued by reporter Sarah Koenig’s opinion on the murder mystery than the actual mystery itself.
On the non-artsy side of the spectrum, gays (like blondes) apparently like to have “more fun.” I learned that the 13th grade is not just another word for “super senior”—it’s a real academic tactic worth at least considering, even if you don’t fully support it. The word chicken may or may not have come before the word egg.
And finally, just in time for Halloween, a few of the folks involved with one of my favorite scary movies, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, gave us a rundown on how the 30-year-old classic came to be. Wes Craven discusses his take on the film’s ending—a treat for any horror fan.
P.S. If you’re in New York, Slate is hosting our very first movie party tonight, and we’d love to see you there! It’ll be an evening of horror movie clips, trivia, discussion, and drinks with Slate staff and friends, hosted by our very own movie critic and Culture Gabfest co-host Dana Stevens! And Slate Plus members get free tickets. More details here.