The Angle

The Angle: Another Canon Edition 

Slate’s daily newsletter on antimarathons, weird coincidences, and the 50 greatest films by black directors. 

Start of the Brooklyn Marathon in 1909, featuring a bunch of chumps. 

Library of Congress

Declaring “It’s time to fight the canons that be,” Aisha Harris and Dan Kois assembled a super-team of critics, filmmakers, and scholars to pick the 50 best films by black directors. You can browse them by tag or title, watch a video supercut, or argue for your neglected favorites on Twitter.  

Third-party presidential candidate Gary Johnson needs to put the Libertarian Party in his rearview, argues Seth Stevenson, who went to the party’s convention over Memorial Day Weekend and saw some … things. “After spending 48 hours amid loony Libertarians,” Stevenson writes, “it’s pretty clear to me that the only way for the party’s ticket to succeed in a big way—to get on the debate stage with the major-party candidates in the fall, and to reach double digits in November—is for the ticket to leave the party behind.”


Are voters really as furious at “the establishment” this year as the media has presumed? Jamelle Bouie looks at the polls and finds contradictory evidence. “If anything, at least, we should avoid attributing this unusual election to a general anger,” Bouie writes. “Voters aren’t uniformly frustrated or frustrated in the same ways, and whatever anger and frustration they have doesn’t translate to broad support for either of the candidates who seek to harness it.”

You should be an airline pilot! Mark Vanhoenacker is ready to recruit. “The pilot’s career path isn’t always straightforward or easy these days, and the work is certainly challenging,” Vanhoenacker writes. “But the job still amazes me in all the ways I hoped it might as a kid, and there are plenty of more practical advantages that aren’t appreciated outside the profession. Today, after 15 years of flying, I’m one of the few people I know who would happily keep working if I won the lottery.”


Dan Engber would never run a marathon. “Consider all the other things we could accomplish in those hours spent in training,” he begs us, finding also “a vast, disturbing literature that has now accumulated on the ill effects of running marathons.” This year Engber will be doing an antimarathon, along with a bunch of other Slatesters, spending the time we might otherwise put into marathon training in learning a skill or craft. Care to join?

For fun: Joseph Mazur wrote a book about coincidences, and people started sending him flukes that happened to them. Here are four of his favorite examples

What are the odds?