The Women Who Knew Too Much

As Niela Orr looks at Black women characters in horror films like “Us,” “Ghost,” “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” and “Scream,” she uncovers a throughline: “Black women have been humiliated and punished, in horror cinema as in life, for our incisiveness, for wondering aloud, for trying to get some answers.”

Author: Niela Orr
Source: The Baffler
Published: Jul 2, 2019
Length: 15 minutes (3,905 words)

Close Encounters of the Digital Kind

“The idea seems to be that we all live in the great database in the sky, occasionally summoning aliens with our minds.” Emily Harnett explores Silicon Valley’s appropriation of UFO culture.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Mar 8, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,666 words)

Consolation Prizes

“People don’t necessarily revolt when things are bad, but they might when things aren’t getting better, or are getting demonstrably worse.”

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 7, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,745 words)

Astrology Year Zero

“For the hardcore enthusiast, with the software and the charts, astrology seemed at most an intricate hobby, convertible to modest profit at only the highest level, like translating Scandinavian languages or freelance writing.”

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,922 words)

The Whitest News You Know

If there’s one clear moral to adduce from the horrifically prostrate coverage of the Trump movement’s white-nationalist profile in the mainstream press, it’s that the white-dominated media simply doesn’t care about changing in any meaningful way.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 10, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,500 words)

The Rise of the Mindful Museum

When you meditate at the art museum, you appreciate neither the meditation or the art: discuss.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 3, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,022 words)

American Ghostwriter

An adventure as the Man Behind the Curtain for memoirs of the uber-rich.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Dec 1, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,500 words)

Party Monsters

The era Peak Television has segued directly into the Nadir of Criticism, and it’s not good for anyone.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Nov 28, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,536 words)

Tell Me It’s Going to Be OK

“Believers in capitalist liberal democracies may cluck at the over-the-top Maoist inquisitions devoted to revolutionary self-criticism, but our society encourages us to practice the same extravagant self-loathing, only privately.”

Source: The Baffler
Published: Sep 10, 2018
Length: 10 minutes (2,679 words)

The Trouble with Uplift

Adolph Reed considers how pop culture narratives of Black “inspiration and uplift” featuring a singular (usually male) hero reflect the real-world leadership of Black gatekeepers and talking heads granted legitimacy by “elite opinion-shaping institutions and individuals.” Both, Reed claims, stifle the possibility of political change.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 28 minutes (7,161 words)