Category Archives: Essays

Trump the Merovingian

By Sara Lipton

President Trump’s recently completed overseas tour has left pundits struggling to explain his surprising affinity for the pre-modern Saudi Arabian monarchy. This hardly seems the attitude of a populist, a Christian conservative, or an ethnic nationalist, to mention just three of the labels that have been applied to him. Rather, the president’s preferences suggest that we should look further back than the 20th century to understand his political style and impulses. Continue reading

The Star Wars Prequels are the Most Politically Relevant Thing in the Trump Era

By Sam Jaffe Goldstein

In December 2015, with primary season about to begin, all eyes were on Donald Trump’s rise. That same month, Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters worldwide, the first of four new Star Wars-related films in a span of three years. A month after Trump’s win, Rogue One was released, which debuted the prophetic line, “rebellions are built on hope.” The end of Trump’s first year will welcome the release of The Last Jedi, and the end of the second by the 2018 release of the yet-untitled Han Solo film. Future historians will be able to trace a timeline between these new Star Wars movies and the state of the Trump administration. Continue reading

Orphan Black Season Five, “Clutch of Greed”: Letting Go, Holding On

By Everett Hamner

This is the second in a series of episode-by-episode reflections on Orphan Black season 5 (see the preview article here and episode 1 response here). These pieces do not recap plots but do include spoilers; they assume readers have already been viewers. I will also use this chance to thank BBC America for advance access, but also to note that upon each essay’s submission, I have not watched beyond the relevant episode (surprises await all of us!). Finally, as before, please don’t hesitate to extend the conversation in the comments or via Twitter. Continue reading

Proof

By Jan Edwards Hemming

It is my first Pride, and I’m nervous. I pull my hair back and wear a paisley-patterned sundress, the closest thing to rainbow that I own. I hope it will hide sweat; it is late June, and I’ve learned that summer in New York City feels just as much like hell as it does in my Louisiana hometown. I still don’t understand parades where beads aren’t thrown, but in the midday sun I clap and cheer and tear up watching all these people who feel comfortable in their skin. I am jealous of them. Continue reading

Orphan Black Season Five, “The Few Who Dare”: Penetration, Selection, Sacrifice, Monsters

By Everett Hamner

As promised in my earlier LARB article, this is the first in a series of episode-by-episode reflections on Orphan Black season five. These will not recap plots, nor will they rely on theoretical jargon or track how many times Alison calls people “fudgy fudgers.” There will be regular spoilers, and there will often be references to moments in earlier seasons. With that said, enjoy — and please don’t hesitate to extend the conversation. Continue reading