The Atlantic

No, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Doesn’t Need to Focus on Men’s Stories

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This morning, The Atlantic published a piece by Noah Berlatsky about the “irresponsible portrayal of men” on Orange Is the New BlackOrange, a groundbreaking show with a wonderful and admirably diverse cast, is set inside a women’s prison, and the characters definitely reflect that setting. It’s a show created by a woman (Jenji Kohan), based on a memoir written by a woman (Piper Kerman). It’s a show that aims to tell women’s stories — and it succeeds masterfully — but Berlatsky’s complaint, naturally, is that the show “barely, and inadequately” represents men.
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Will “Vera” Be the Literary World’s “Normcore”?

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A good way to get your work noticed in the era of the hashtag is to attach a sticky name to something in hopes of keeping the conversation going. You don’t necessarily have to have a strong idea attached to it, so as long as you have something people can causally drop in their conversation. One example would be “normcore,” a term made popular by Fiona Duncan at The Cut this past February. Meant to describe cool kids who dressed like “middle-aged, middle-American tourists,” the term has gotten so popular (New York Times-trend-piece popular), that people are using it to describe anything and everything that falls short of Comme des Garçons.
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What Critics Who Want Us to Ignore “Microaggressions” Don’t Understand

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“We may wish for a world in which people say only kind things about each other, but until we get there, we should not take umbrage at every negative note or adjective that is employed.” That’s the straw-man argument put forward by venerable sociologist Amitai Etzioni in a Tuesday op-ed for The Atlantic‘s website. Titled “Don’t Sweat the Microaggressions,” Etzioni’s piece follows a more evenhanded New York Times article (“Students See Many Slights as Racial ‘Microaggressions’“) and another skeptical take by linguist and sometime cultural commentator John McWhorter (“‘Microaggression’ Is the New Racism on Campus“). Etzioni and McWhorter, who’s quoted in the NYT writeup, share a common view towards the concept of microaggressions that could charitably be described as dismissive.
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‘Dead Poets Society’ Doesn’t Owe Academia Anything

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In case there was any doubt that we’re rapidly approaching Peak Internet Outrage, I refer you to The Atlantic, where the order of the day is issuing sharply worded rebukes to the crimes of 25-year-old Disney movies. In the 3500-plus-word (!) essay Dead Poets Society Is a Terrible Defense of the Humanities,” Pomona College English Department Chair Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, PhD Kevin J.H. Dettmar takes Peter Weir’s 1989 drama to task for inaccuracy, romanticism, and anti-intellectualism, and blames it for the current crisis in the humanities. He stops short of pinning climate change and the infant mortality rate on the picture; maybe that’s in the 5000-word version.
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