“Faced with a thickening glut of television, critics produce fewer negative reviews. With limitless A- and B+ programs available to overpraise, why trash a B-, let alone an F? This results in the expectation, on the part of the critics themselves, that the shows they write about must be aesthetically interesting or, at the very least, culturally urgent. Such endemic self-flattery leads, inevitably, to a weakening of their critical language.” — The Baffler
To begin with, the Academy announced the plan for a new category before there was even any agreement on what the criteria for it would be. (Why? They were afraid someone would leak to the press.) That decision “allowed everybody to piss on it from a great height,” as one source said; another lamented, “I knew we were gonna get nailed.” Rebecca Keegan reports.
“Nothing collapses the distance between the reader and the historical past quite like a diary. Written in the moment, as events unfold, it captures the details of daily life that inevitably get lost in later accounts by historians and even survivors. What did people eat and how much? … What was the mood of the ghetto from one day to the next? What were the daily hardships and the occasional reprieves? These insights are rarely found in any other source. In addition, some writers had literary ambitions beyond just documenting their days …, grappling with the biggest questions of what it means to be human in a cruel world.”
“Frank’s diary was not the work of a naïf, but rather of a writer already planning future publication.” (She made plenty of revisions, and they were obviously thought through.) “The problem is that the entire appeal of Anne Frank to the wider world — as opposed to those who knew and loved her — lies in her lack of a future.”
“Sesame Street has more than 5 billion views on YouTube … but ChuChu has more than 19 billion. Sesame Street‘s main feed has 4 million subscribers; the original ChuChu TV channel has 19 million — placing it among the top 25 most watched YouTube channels in the world.” Alexis Madrigal travels to ChuChu headquarters in Chennai to find out how they do it — and talks to a scholar of children’s media about the pluses and pitfalls of their style of video.