Monday, June 30, 2014

Everybody's Linking for the Week

In Entertainment...

Lila Kedrova
Film Experience: In another installment of my favorite recurring blog series (Supporting Actress Smackdown!), Nathaniel really outdoes himself both tackling the 1964 Best Supporting Actress race (Gladys Cooper, Edith Evans, and the delicious cherry of Agnes Moorehead) and in putting together easily his best panel ever.  In addition to Nat and Stinkylulu (the original home of the Smackdown), we have Nick Davis, Joe Reid, and in a special treat, an actual actress herself, the brilliant Melanie Lynskey (who, interestingly enough, worked with Michael Cacoyannis in his The Cherry Orchard in 1999, 35 years after he directed Lila Kedrova to the Oscar she won in this Smackdown).

Hitfix: Kris Tapley goes through some of the early year contenders for Oscar, as we've officially hit the halfway point through the year of potential nominees.  While some of them seem silly (Jenny Slate for Obvious Child?  Maybe at the Spirit Awards...maybe), there's certainly a few nominations to be had between The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Godzilla, Transformers, Maleficent, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, so to paraphrase George R.R. Martin, Oscar is coming.

Blouin Art Info: This is a bit late, but it's never too late to link to Russell Tovey in only a shirt (NEVER).  Eddie Peake and Russell Tovey collaborated in mid-June on a fascinating way to unveil his latest series of mathematically-inspired spray paint paintings, with Tovey reading a monologue in front of Peake's new works.

IndieWire: A slight detour in what we normally link, but I thought it was worth noting that Donna Tartt's massively successful novel The Goldfinch won the Carnegie Medal.  I'm always fascinated by subsets of celebrity, and how certain authors become, while not household names, household names in literary circles, which Tartt surely has become in the past year.  Where do you think she goes next?  Have any of my readers finished The Goldfinch yet-could it be a film?  That's usually the next step with hit novels, though some people (like Jonathan Franzen) have so far resisted such things.

In Politics...

Sandra Fluke
Vox: Ezra Klein tackles one of the main points to take away from today's historic Supreme Court decision: how incredibly important it is to vote.  Klein references quite frequently how 2000, an election most people thought of as being decidedly unimportant, as being the turning point for the Supreme Court, but really there were a number of other elections before the death of William Rehnquist and the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor totally changed the future face of the Courts.  Had John Kerry gotten another 120,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 (just 2-points) or if Democrats had managed to amass another 192,000 votes in the six closest Senate races of 2002 and 2004 that they lost (Alaska, Florida, Kentucky, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Missouri, in combination with less than a 2-point overall average swing), they would have had the votes to get a Democratic Supreme Court for a generation.  All of this is to say that we have no way of knowing what this upcoming Congress will decide, but there definitely will be votes that we didn't anticipate two years from now, so I suggest you have your voice heard and vote.

Politico: In the aftermath to the Hobby Lobby verdict, both sides have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, particularly the Democrats.  The DSCC and the DCCC both sent out major fundraising pleas in the wake of the announcement, and Sandra Fluke, who came to prominence in 2012 in the midst of the birth control debate and is running for the State Senate in California, was amongst many politicians sending out letters asking for funding to try and fight back against the Supreme Court.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: In possibly the juiciest political scandal of the year, the Department of Justice just started to investigate former State Sen. Phil Puckett (D-VA), who resigned his seat on June 9th.  Allegations and rumors have spread that Puckett was offered a job on the state tobacco commission and support for his daughter's judicial appointment in return for resigning.  His resignation is crucial in Virginia, as it shifted the 20-20 Senate from the Democrats (ties are broken by the Lieutenant Governor, who is a Democrat) to the Republicans, putting in serious jeopardy recently elected Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plans to expand Medicaid.  Though Virginia has no major statewide races in November, it still could be a rally cry in the tenth district, which is a tight race the Democrats are hoping to pick up, if the Republicans are implicated in trying to compel Puckett to resign.

Dejan Lovren
Just One More...

BuzzFeed: I had to do it, I simply had to-if you're following the World Cup, you're either amazed at the way that athletics more than anything else on the planet can unify us as a human race, striving toward excellence in a way that no other thing can seem to do.  Or you're just drooling.  Seriously-how are soccer players so hot?  And which country has the hottest poster boy-check the link and debate in the comments (for the record, based on these specific guys, Russia is way too low, Portugal is too high, and I really need to learn a lot more about Croatia and I know who I want to teach me).

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