The Angle

The Angle: Goodbye, Queen Edition

Slate’s newsletter on Aretha Franklin, the N-word tape, and John Brennan’s clearance.

Flowers and tributes are placed on the Star for Aretha Franklin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, August 16, 2018, after the music icon, legendary singer and 'Queen of Soul' loved by millions whose history-making career spanned six decades, died, her longtime publicist announced. - Franklin, who influenced generations of female singers with unforgettable hits including 'Respect' (1967), 'Natural Woman' (1968) and 'I Say a Little Prayer' (1968), passed away August 16, 2018 at home age 76 in Detroit from advanced pancreatic cancer. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

R.I.P.: Aretha Franklin was the best, and most influential, singer the 20th century had to offer, Jack Hamilton writes. Her cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” was a work of great artistry and social meaning, Carl Wilson adds, and Dan Kois wants you to take time to listen to her tremendous Beatles covers.

Bad idea: John Brennan will be fine without his security clearance, Fred Kaplan writes. But it was clearly stripped from him for political reasons, and that feels chillingly authoritarian.

“Nothing”: Is the answer to the question “What will happen if the N-word tape is real?” as Osita Nwanevu writes. And the fact that some people still believe otherwise shows that the pundit class hasn’t caught up to Trumpism.

Smiling through it: Why women find themselves in the “bullshit workforce,” and why it matters, by Lydia Kiesling.

For fun: Couple talk is always insane.

Corn on the cob?!