Monday, January 29, 2018, 8:00am

5TtRT: Gerrymandering, Trump-Russia, bad sex, & podcasts

Avengers: Infinity War - Marvel Promotional Art

It’s kind of fashionable lately to hate on superhero movies in general and Marvel movies in particular. We started rewatching the MCU movies this weekend to prep for Black Panther and Infinity War and honestly, I don’t know what people are complaining about. These movies are solid. Even the ones that were sort of meh are still pretty good movies.

Not only that, but the MCU movies are doing something kind of amazing: telling one huge story, and doing it well enough and engagingly enough that 10 years later we’re still rabidly awaiting the next chapter. That’s mind-blowing. Is there another movie thing that even comes close?

There’s Star Wars, but comparatively, the Star Wars universe has been haphazardly shepherded through its movie story arcs, and really, people are mostly caught up in the glow of the first three movies. The prequels were objectively trash and the sequels, while entertaining, have been a bit hit-or-miss.

Whereas the Marvel movies have been carefully plotted straight through until now, telling one huge, long, sprawling story, each chapter building on the last, like a really good TV series.

They’re gonna be teaching with these movies in the future, if they aren’t already. This is some impressive storytelling.

5 Things to Read Today (1/29/18)

  1. FiveThirtyEight: Hating Gerrymandering Is Easy. Fixing It Is Harder. – FiveThirtyEight digs into gerrymandering and takes a look at how – or even if – it can be fixed. You can also go play with their nifty interactive “Atlas Of Redistricting.”
  2. Lawfare: On Trump’s Conflict with the Russia Investigation, His Question for McCabe, and the Defense of Norms – “Trump could also put the burden on Mueller (or Rosenstein) by initiating an all-out attack on Mueller punctuated by his own refusal to participate.”
  3. Wired: The Cynical Misdirection Behind #ReleaseTheMemo – Interestingly enough, there’s some fresh news regarding Nunes’ memo this morning. Apparently the memo alleges that the DoJ relied on the Steele Dossier to get FISA warrants for Carter Page, the wide-eyed nutjob that served as one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors during his campaign. This is still probably all BS, but it does show that the DoJ was mighty interested in Page as a Russian agent. So there’s that.
  4. The Week: The female price of male pleasure – “The world is disturbingly comfortable with the fact that women sometimes leave a sexual encounter in tears.”
  5. Wired: Podcast Listeners Really Are the Holy Grail Advertisers Hoped They’d Be – Apple’s new Podcast Analytics show that advertising in podcasts is working really well. That’s good news because it means more awesome podcasts. Or at least, that the awesome podcasts you’re currently listening to probably won’t whither and die anytime soon.

Daily Cute: Speke’s Gazelle

This is a Speke's Gazelle and it makes a calling noise from its inflatable nose the louder the noise is the more inflated their nose is.

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