Greetings, Slate Plus-ers,
When the Slate Plus team asked me to write this Feb. 13 newsletter, I promised to cram it full of hilarious Fifty Shades of Grey jokes. Well, I have bad news for my editors (but good news for my mother): That promise will, sadly, go unfulfilled. For reasons that still escape me, when I got to the box office window last night I inexplicably said, “One for American Sniper, please.” Making matters even more difficult is the fact that, truth be told, I probably couldn’t even tell you what BDSM stands for without the help of Google. (I kid, I kid; even I know that one. It’s an acronym for Butterfly kisses, Deep emotional connection, Snuggling, and Making passionate-yet-gentle love while in a committed and fulfilling relationship with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. See, I’m not a prude!)
Anyway, with my grand plans for a Fifty Shades-themed newsletter shattered, I’m instead left to play it straight as your tour guide through what happened on Slate this week. It’s probably for the best.
The big story of the week, of course, was Jon Stewart’s announcement that he is calling it quits later this year. We had just a few thoughts on the news. My favorite in-house takes were actually two that I don’t completely agree with: Chris Wade on why we don’t need The Daily Show anymore and Jamelle Bouie on why Stewart was actually bad for liberals. (Personally, I tend to come down closer to where Will Leitch, writing for Bloomberg Politics, ultimately landed.) There was also John Swansburg’s—he of the Mona Lisa headshot—great examination of the link between Stewart’s rise and Brian Williams’ fall.
As much as I loved reading about All Things Stewart this week, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in the direction of some of the other great fare we ran. In no particular order:
- Amanda Hess’s thoughtful investigation into the question of how drunk is too drunk for consent on college campuses;
- Eric Holthaus’ expert analysis of a new report that paints a dire picture of just how bad California’s droughts will become by 2050;
- Joshua Keating’s look at how ISIS is sounding unexpectedly defensive about burning a Jordanian pilot;
- Will Oremus’ advice for young journalists;
- Fred Kaplan explaining why even a GOP-controlled Congress will give Obama the authority to wage war;
- And Cristian Farias on why Chief Justice John Roberts’ naiveté matters.
Oh, and there was also of plenty of great coverage of Fifty Shades by my colleagues who actually did see the movie. There was Hanna Rosin making the case that Anastasia was the best thing about the movie, and Amanda Hess on how the film is almost a kind of fan-fiction for the book, which itself was fan-fic for Twilight. (Now that’s a series I could write a themed newsletter about!)
And on that parenthetical note, I’ll call it quits. See you next time in the Red Room. I’ll bring the Ben Wa balls, whatever those are.