The Angle

The Angle: Crowdsurfing at the Grammys Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on record wins for rap, that time Ted Danson wore blackface, and why Trump Tower should be declared a landmark.

The “Best Foreshadowing” award: Most of rap and R&B’s biggest names didn’t attend Sunday’s Grammy Awards. Their absence proved interesting when Childish Gambino was awarded both Record of the Year and Song of the Year, a first for rap artists in either category—but he wasn’t there to accept the golden gramophones. Carl Wilson’s review of the show is very clear: It finally exceeded expectations, but only because the Recording Academy had set the bar as low as it could. You can also check out the rest of our Grammys coverage.

The discourse: Remember when Ted Danson wore blackface to roast Whoopi Goldberg? Ruth Graham revisits the 1993 controversy to demonstrate how the cultural conversation has evolved in the decades since; compared with today’s nuanced analyses of the history of blackface, many of the contemporary op-eds reacting to the roast “now look almost infantile in their shallowness.”

Trump Tower, monument: Donald Trump is our president. Because of that fact alone, the building he established and lived in for decades—yep, that one—deserves to be enshrined as a historic landmark. Henry Grabar makes the case that, while this designation may sound gross, it follows due precedent, and besides, there’d be no better way to help explain the current moment to future generations.

Bay Area “middle class”: Gymnastics, Trader Joe’s, a bounce house party, and Target gift cards: Here’s how much a family making $393,000 a year in San Jose, California, spends per week on two kids, ages 10 and 7.

For fun: Searching for owls in Central Park.

Zigzagging, walking in circles, turning around every few feet to point my toes at a tree,
Abby