King Kanye: Critic Carl Wilson dives into Kanye West’s new “gospel” album, which dropped Friday, finding the 27-minute record sonically enticing but lyrically “weak.” “Jesus Is King makes me wonder both what West has to offer praise music and what it has to offer him,” Wilson ponders.
Trump’s “Mission Accomplished” moment: The killing this weekend of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a big deal, but not as big of a deal as President Donald Trump made it out to be in his 50-minute press conference Sunday, writes Fred Kaplan. Trump’s self-congratulatory triumphalism cheapens and politicizes the feat.
“Me Too” witnesses: The #MeToo movement has seen an explosion of survivors sharing their stories on social media. Those stories belong in the courtroom too, says Yixuan Zhang. “Me Too” evidence can help level the playing field for a solitary victim by proving a perpetrator’s methods or intent, as it did in Bill Cosby’s case. More should be done to make sure this type of evidence is admissible.
Coal miner’s filmmaker: Iconic indie filmmaker John Sayles painted a vivid, warm, and frankly leftist portrait of West Virginia coal country with 1987’s Matewan. The pro-union film comes to the Criterion Collection this week, so Dan Kois took the opportunity to talk with Sayles about casting Chris Cooper and Will Oldham, how the movie came together, and the current landscape of organized labor in America.
It’s Schadenfreude Christmas!