Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

July 21 2016 4:30 PM

Leslie Jones Is Back on Twitter and Ready to Live-Tweet Game of Thrones

In a week when she should’ve been celebrating her first starring role in a big-budget comedy film, Leslie Jones instead had a public breakdown following a barrage of vile tweets from racist Twitter trolls. Among those trolls was Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, a man known for harassing others relentlessly on social media, with little to no consequence, until now. Twitter dragged its feet and took an embarrassingly long time to address Jones’ public pleas to take action—and in turn she understandably declared that she was quitting Twitter out of hurt and frustration. Less than a day later, Twitter finally suspended Yiannopoulos permanently.

July 21 2016 4:01 PM

Pearl Jam and Soundgarden Announce First Ever Temple of the Dog Tour for the Album’s 25th Anniversary

In 1991, rock supergroup Temple of the Dog released a single, self-titled album. Now, on the 25th anniversary of Temple of the Dog, the band is planning a reissue of that album as well as their first ever tour together. The tour will stop in Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, where the band first formed.

Temple of the Dog is made up of Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready, plus Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron, who has been a drummer for both bands. Cornell said in a statement:

We wanted to do the one thing we never got to do, play shows and see what it feels like to be the band that we walked away from 25 years ago. This is something no one has ever seen. We wanted to stop and recognize that we did this and pay homage.

Though this will be their first tour as a group, Temple of the Dog has reunited a few times over the past few years, including at a benefit concert in 2014:

July 21 2016 2:10 PM

SNL’s Michael Che Went Looking for Something Rarer Than Pokémon at the RNC: Minorities

Michael Che of Saturday Night Live is covering the Republican National Convention this week, and he may also have just launched the best Pokémon Go parody yet, Trumpémon Go. Che pointed out the upsetting—but by no means surprising—lack of diversity at the convention by going on the hunt for something even more elusive than a Vaporeon: minorities at the RNC.

Phone in hand and Ash Ketchum–esque snapback on his head, Che made his way through the convention center to, as Donald Trump might say, “round up some brown people,” tossing virtual Pokéballs at such rare finds as “Old Black Dude” and “Asian Man.” And while he did spot a few, his point was made: There just aren’t many people of color in attendance. Wonder why that might be.

What did other attendees think of the game? One woman said she thought she saw “some, I guess, Hawaiians” earlier, while another man just walked away. The worst, though, was a white attendee mistaking Che for his SNL colleague Jay Pharoah. Yikes.

July 21 2016 1:05 PM

How the Televisual Disaster That Is the RNC Reveals the Limits of Trump’s Showmanship

This Republican National Convention was supposed to be different. And not because of the fantasy of Never Trumpers that the convention would somehow be contested, a dream that finally died on Monday on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena. The RNC was supposed to be different because it was in the hands of the great showman Donald Trump, who would use his vaunted reality TV know-how to give the RNC a glitzy makeover. Trump was going to make conventions great again.

Instead, through three nights, the RNC has faltered both as well-executed live television and as a Trump-burnishing spectacular. For the first two nights, the schedule was mismanaged, so that lesser speakers, speaking before an empty arena, were at the podium during the 10 p.m. hour, when the convention is broadcast on the major networks, not just the cable ones. On Tuesday night, Chris Christie gave the most rousing speech about imprisoning one’s political enemies in recent American history, but the “lock her up” chant was heard only by cable watchers, while the Lucifer-fearing Ben Carson and soap star/avocado farmer Kimberlin Brown were given the plumb spots after Trump’s children. If Tim Tebow’s announcement last week clarifying that he wasn’t speaking at the convention didn’t suggest the behind-the-scenes disarray, Scott Baio needlessly announced in his speech that he had only been invited the week before. The very presence of New Yawker Andy Wist at the podium suggested far more people than Serena Williams had turned down Trump’s offer to speak at the convention; the number of speakers who have barely said Trump’s name suggests that many who accepted that offer did so half-heartedly. And this is to say nothing of the convention’s two most momentous events thus far, both of which took attention away from Trump—Melania’s cribbed speech, an idiotic blunder that subsumed the first two days of the convention thanks to Trump’s team’s mishandling of it, and Ted Cruz’s nonendorsement of Trump, a nonendorsement the Trump team was informed would happen two days ago.

July 21 2016 12:10 PM

Kate McKinnon Appeared as Ruth Bader Ginsburg on MSNBC and Dished Out Some Prime “Ginsburns” About Trump

Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently caught flak for her unprecedented criticism of Donald Trump, calling him a “faker” and joking that she was considering a move to New Zealand in the event of a Trump presidency—remarks that she later conceded were “ill-advised.” Kate McKinnon was less conciliatory when she dressed up as the Supreme Court justice for a special RNC segment of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. McKinnon, playing up Ginsburg’s tiny stature and seemingly boundless energy, dished out a few “Ginsburns” against Trump and his allies, making Colin Jost crack up a few times in the process.

McKinnon responded to Trump’s accusation that R.B.G. is losing her grip: “If my mind is shot, Donald Trump’s mind is shot, stabbed, strangled, put in a vat of wet cement, and dumped in the Gowanus Canal.” She also took shots at Mike Pence and Chris Christie—and made a particularly daring joke about Merrick Garland. They don’t call her Notorious for nothing.

July 21 2016 11:19 AM

Unsurprisingly, Michelle Obama Was Extremely Charming at Carpool Karaoke

James Corden took a spin around the White House grounds Wednesday night for a very special rendition of Carpool Karaoke. Riding shotgun? The First Lady herself. Michelle Obama gave Corden a tour of the grounds, admitting that she doesn’t often get to sit in the front seat and discussing her post–White House plans: “Seven-and-a-half years, that’s enough luxuriating. I can make my own grilled cheese sandwich. I can make a mean grilled cheese sandwich.”

The First Lady held her own on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” a favorite of her husband’s presidential campaign, before launching into “Single Ladies,” complete with the requisite hand-waving, air-punching dance moves. But the highlight of the drive came during the singalong of “This Is for My Girls,” the anthem made by Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland, and many others for Mrs. Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative. Sure enough, who should magically appear in the backseat as Corden and Obama belted the tune? A member of Obama’s girl-power squad, Missy Elliott, just in time to spit her verse from the song.

Missy didn’t have a ton of time—she had her own White House tour to get to, after all—but she did stick around for “Get Ur Freak On.” Never mind those “facts and figures” historical tours. Singing hits with the First Lady has got to be the best way to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Corden certainly seemed to think so.

July 21 2016 8:32 AM

Now That Taylor Swift Is Definitely Less Innocent Than She Pretends to Be, What’s Next?

This article originally appeared in Vulture.

Both innocence and fame are classically American obsessions, but they can make for strange, even contradictory bedfellows. Desiring to be famous is a clear sign of ambition; but ambition is opposed to humility, and humility is intrinsic to innocence. Becoming famous requires reflection, strategic insight, some measure of shrewdness regarding the more shadowy sectors of the human spirit; yet innocence, radiant with goodness and goodwill, casts no shadows and gives rise to no reflections. Innocence, then, is nothing more or less than the price of fame—not all of us can admit this, but at some level we all understand it. Not all Americans become famous. As with much else in this country, you can pay the price but never get the goods. But seeing as all Americans desire fame, then it’s fairly certain, in any case, that none of us are innocent.

July 21 2016 8:02 AM

Make Genius, Creamy, Scoopable Frozen Yogurt in Three Ingredients (and 20 Minutes) Flat

This post originally appeared on Food52.

Remember when frozen yogurt was just a sweet, low-fat ice cream substitute that we all resented? (The carob chips probably weren’t helping.)

To be fair, we didn’t know what we wanted our frozen yogurt to be—yet. In digging deeper into our national relationship with froyo, one of the earliest mentions I found was from 1978, when The Country Gentleman advised, “In desserts, the tartness (lactic acid) [of yogurt] can be overcome with honey or fruit.”

July 21 2016 12:51 AM

Veep’s Peter MacNicol Has His Emmy Nomination Revoked Over Eligibility Issue

Six days after being nominated for an Emmy for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his role as Jeff Kane on HBO’s Veep, Peter MacNicol has been ruled ineligible for the award and had his nomination rescinded, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Academy of Televison Arts and Sciences will announce the actor who received the next highest number of votes in the category as the replacement nominee soon.

MacNicol was disqualified for appearing in too many of the show’s episodes; the rules require that a guest actor nominee be in less than half of a season. At the time his name was submitted for the Emmy, Veep was still in production, and HBO anticipated that he’d appear in four of the season’s 10 episodes. Subsequently, however, he was included in 10 seconds of footage in the show’s ninth episode, a documentary supposedly assembled by the daughter of series lead Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ President Selina Meyer. Those 10 seconds meant he was in 50 percent of season’s episodes and disqualified him. The academy released a statement explaining the situation and added, “This decision is in no way a diminishment of Mr. MacNicol’s stellar performance on this season of Veep.” MacNicol joins Dennis Miller and Henry Winkler as actors who were found ineligible for Emmies after they had been nominated.

MacNicol played the uncle of Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), the universally loathed aide who ran for Congress this season; MacNicol’s character was a New Hampshire kingmaker who pulled the strings behind his nephew’s campaign. Despite being family, he enthusiastically participated in the series’ long tradition of insulting Jonah, calling him everything from a “walking trisomy” to a “sentient enema.” MacNicol won an Emmy in 2001 for his role in Ally McBeal.*

*Correction, July 21, 2016: This post originally misspelled Ally McBeal.

July 20 2016 11:42 PM

These Surprise Speakers Could Still Salvage the Republican National Convention

The speakers at the Republican National Convention started weird and are getting weirder. Professional golfers, multi-level marketing executives, a casino owner wearing sunglasses indoors, and a defeated rival who didn’t even endorse him: It’s such a dog’s breakfast that Slate has had to explain who these people are on a daily basis. Have some sympathy for Donald Trump, though: He tried his best to put together a more coherent lineup. Republicans turned him down, Tim Tebow backed out, and Father Coughlin is dead.

But it’s not too late for Trump to turn this around—all he needs is a last-night surprise. We’ve picked six speakers whose eloquence and competence would raise the bar and convince the nation that Trump is, if not exactly serious, at least not as flamboyantly incompetent as the convention so far has made him seem. Any one of these would improve the convention; all six would make history.

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