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Duke Leto Atreides (Jürgen Prochnow) with his hand on Paul Atreides’ (Kyle MacLaghlin) shoulder in “Dune.”
Duke Leto Atreides (Jürgen Prochnow) with his hand on Paul Atreides’ (Kyle MacLaghlin) shoulder in “Dune.”
Photo: Universal Pictures

The tweet shaming Joe Biden for embracing his son Hunter is a mini-portrait of toxic masculinity

Who John Cardillo is isn’t as important as what he tweeted yesterday. He posted a photo of former Vice President Joe Biden, the current Democratic presidential candidate, kissing and hugging his troubled son Hunter. In the photo, Hunter is looking at the camera, and his father is focused on giving his boy affection.

The Twitter post read: “Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?”

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Twitter

Cue Cat Stevens’ classic “Father & Son”

The message is both muddy and crystal clear. …

Stars of teen comedy ‘Pen15,’ Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle
Stars of teen comedy ‘Pen15,’ Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle
Photo: Hulu

It’s a painfully funny comedy about two thirtysomething women playing themselves as gawky teenage girls

Hi, my name is John. I don’t want to tell you what to watch. I don’t know you. I’m just an average guy trying to make sense of the world who is not a computer program that scans vast databases for specific keywords and search queries. Like, I don’t respond to “What should I watch?” IDK. You should watch whatever you want on whatever streaming platform you want. The best I can do is tell you what I’m watching.

And I’ve been watching Pen15 on Hulu. It’s a show about two 13-year-old girls played by two 33-year-olds, writer/actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle who co-created the show with Sam Zvibleman. I was never a 13-year-old girl. I think, perhaps, I would be a better person if I had been a 13-year-old girl. …

The star of the movie of the play ‘What The Constitution Means To Me,’ Heidi Shreck
The star of the movie of the play ‘What The Constitution Means To Me,’ Heidi Shreck
Photo: Amazon Prime

This is my main takeaway after watching ‘What The Constitution Means To Me’ on Amazon Prime

The concept of ‘speaking truth to power’ is as old as the Ancient Greeks, who had a complicated word for this kind of free speech: parrhesia. The word roughly translates to ‘speak freely,’ or ‘boldly,’ The word informed early democracy and theater in Athens where citizens were obligated to speak out and playwrights encouraged to ridicule kings and gods.

Two thousand years later, democracy survives, if barely. In America, a modern republic, some of the traditions of the ancients still survive. …

About

John DeVore

Editor, Humungus. I won two James Beard Awards once for an essay about Taco Bell. Let’s be friends.

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