Summary of “The 100 best films of the 21st century”

Hugh Grant recently called this the best film in which he’s ever been involved – and he might well be right.
A beautiful, strange dream of a film, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s drama looks at first as if it’s set sometime in the dim and distant, a portrait of villagers exploited by feudal oppression.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw ranked The Incredibles as Pixar’s best ever film, the jewel in the crown.
A knockout blow for the lazy, patronising stereotype that Germans don’t have a sense of humour, Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann is one of the funniest films to hit cinemas in years.
Who is the double-crosser? Depending on your tastes, a candidate for sexiest film of the century.
Kelly Reichardt is a master of slow cinema, the maker of films about American outsiders, living without a safety net.
Probably most Wes Anderson-y of Wes Anderson’s films and certainly his finest, with a to-die-for cast and the best fur coat in the history of cinema.
“To ache?” Few films try to answer: this FabergĂ© egg of a film does.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others”

It’s a question that often plagues people after a painful break-up: What went wrong? As they work to figure out the answer, people typically create new relationship stories, analyzing the events leading up to the breakup and using them to build a cohesive narrative.
My colleague Carol Dweck and I research why some people are haunted by the ghosts of their romantic past, while others seem to move on from failed relationships with minimal difficulty.
In one study, Dweck and I asked people to reflect on a time when they were rejected in a romantic context, and then write about the question: What did you take away from this rejection? For some people, their answers made it clear that the rejection had come to define them-they assumed that their former partners had discovered something truly undesirable about them.
One person wrote: “Things were going well when all of a sudden he stopped talking to me. I have no idea why, but I think he saw that I was too clingy and this scared him away.” Another said: “I learned that I am too sensitive and that I push people away to avoid them pushing me away first. This characteristic is negative and makes people crazy and drives them away.”
A healthy behavior can become an unhealthy one when people take it too far and begin to question their own basic worth.
People reported becoming more guarded with new partners and “Putting up walls.” One study participant wrote: “I feel like I constantly withhold myself in possible future relationships in fear of being rejected again.” The belief that rejection revealed a flaw prompted people to worry that this defect would resurface in other relationships.
One person wrote, “Sometimes girls are not interested. It’s nothing to do with yourself, it’s just that they’re not interested.” Another noted how rejection wasn’t a reflection of worth: “I learned that two people can both be quality individuals, but that doesn’t mean they belong together.” Other people saw the rejection as a universal experience: “Everyone gets rejected. It’s just part of life.”
What makes people more likely to do one or the other? Past research by Dweck and others shows that people tend to hold one of two views about their own personal qualities: that they are fixed over the lifespan, or that they are malleable and can be developed at any point.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scandals & Death in the Afternoon: An Oral History of the American Soap Opera”

Romance! Love! Agony! Adultery! Angry aliens! The American soap opera has seen them all, and much more.
Ken Corday, executive producer, Days of Our Lives, and a second-generation soap man: Irna Phillips was the grand pharaoh of soap operas.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, soaps were increasingly welcomed into the daily lives of American women.
Sam Ford, co-editor, The Survival of Soap Opera: I had a high school teacher who came home from school one day, and her mother was talking to her aunt on the phone, saying, “You won’t believe what happened to Joe!” She listened to the conversation, and it was getting worse and worse, and she thought, “My God, which neighbor could she be talking about?” Of course, they were discussing soaps.
Sam Ford: Suddenly every other soap starts pushing their longtime characters far into the back burner, and they each have their super-couple.
Stephanie Sloane, editorial director, Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly: You’re still looking at ratings that some shows on the CW don’t get.
On April 14, 2011, to the dismay of soap fans, ABC announced the cancellation of both All My Children and One Life to Live.
Kay Alden: The potential exists for a return to the very origins of the soap opera format.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame”

Social groups are far more complicated than any individual story.
My own research has shown that fame has much less to do with intrinsic quality than we believe it does, and much more to do with the characteristics of the people among whom fame spreads.
In 2006, Matt Salganik, myself, and Duncan Watts reported the results of an online experiment of ours called Music Lab.1 We gathered roughly 14,000 Internet participants, and gave them a total of 48 songs by unknown artists to listen to, rate, and download. What we didn’t tell them was that they were randomly assigned to nine separate worlds: one world in which participants acted independently of each other, and eight parallel social worlds in which participants saw the current number of downloads of each song within their world-an indication of popularity.
Fame has much less to do with intrinsic quality than we believe it does, and much more to do with the characteristics of the people among whom fame spreads.
Our research has shown that a match-centric viewpoint completely fails to describe many model social networks.
Just as real forests must be ready to burn before a forest fire can erupt, the key condition for spreading in social networks is a global one: Many average, trusting people need to be able to experience and then want to share choices in their social networks, far away from the source.
For more complicated model networks, where our mathematical analyses come up short, Duncan Watts and myself have studied social contagion and influence through simulation.
In our paper, “Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation,”3 we again found that, for certain networks, individuals with many friends were actually less useful for spreading social contagion, and were less able to start social wildfires than those with a moderate number.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We should all be reading more Ursula Le Guin”

Questioning the spear’s phallic, murderous logic, instead Le Guin tells the story of the carrier bag, the sling, the shell, or the gourd.
The genre’s patron saint, Ursula Le Guin, died last year aged 88, but she left behind her a breathtaking legacy of fiercely intelligent books and short stories imbued with her own anarcho-feminist, anticolonial politics.
Le Guin’s carrier bag is, in addition to a story about early humans, a method for storytelling itself, meaning it’s also a method of history.
The only problem is that a carrier bag story isn’t, at first glance, very exciting.
As well as its meandering narrative, a carrier bag story also contains no heroes.
By letting ourselves “Become part of the killer story,” writes Le Guin, “We may get finished along with it.” All of which is to say: we have to abandon the old story.
The social theorist Donna Haraway, who has been deeply influenced by Le Guin’s writings, implores us to tell other stories about this weird shared reality: “It matters what stories tell stories,” she writes.
In a climate change story, nobody will win, but if we learn to tell it differently more of us can survive.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scary stories at summer camps: What happened to the classic campfire tradition?”

The tradition of gathering around the campfire to tell scary stories, I recently learned, seems to be increasingly rare at American summer camps.
“I think most camps are moving away from the scary story idea, much in the way that camps are moving away from pranks,” said Kurt R. Podeszwa, director of Camp for All, a Texas camp for children with challenging illnesses or special needs.
“Now we talk to our staff about not telling ghost stories or scary stories at bedtime,” said Lauren Rutkowski, the camp’s owner and director.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure it was counselors at my camp telling these stories on the racquetball courts so much as fellow campers.
There certainly were camps where counselors did the scaring themselves: According to historian Leslie Paris, who wrote a book about the history of summer camp, in the 1960s, folklorists started studying and recording the culture of summer camp, including the tradition of ghost stories.
McLaren was a camper at Minikani, the camp he now oversees, in the 1980s and remembers the heyday of scary stories.
It’s not uncommon for camps to have their own camp-specific stories and legends, the way Minikani has the Mud Lake Monster and Grandpappy and IHC has something named Cropsey.
Some camp directors just aren’t the scary story type.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Israeli TV Is Irresistible to American Producers”

Even as executives are attempting to Americanize Israeli stories, global streaming platforms are proving that Americans are open to watching foreign-language TV shows: Amazon has Srugim, which has been described as an Orthodox Jewish Friends, and the original incarnation of The Baker & the Beauty; the espionage-themed drama False Flag lives on Hulu; and Netflix is the American home of thrillers Fauda and When Heroes Fly, as well as Shtisel, a quirky dramedy about the life and loves of a dreamy yeshiva teacher.
The tension between modern life and traditional ways, between the bustling wider world and the inward-facing Orthodox community, and the pressures this places on the characters caught between their desires and their duties, make for an exquisitely involving drama.
Talking about the new wave of Israeli TV, Keshet’s Karni Ziv suggests that these shows are grabbing the imaginations of audiences not just in their own land but worldwide precisely because “These creators are writing and living in a conflict zone-a society that is torn between Orthodox people, secular, Palestinian, Jews, Jews from different countries, a lot of immigration. It’s a very segmented society.”
Ziv points out that the embattled state of Israel as a nation necessarily informs these shows, whether in the plots themselves or as the background to more everyday story lines.
A political thriller about an Israeli counterintelligence unit that tracks, captures, and sometimes tortures terrorists in the Palestinian West Bank, Fauda is also a reminder of the politically controversial nature of television made by a country that is an occupying force: although a critical and popular hit, the series has been met with some notable criticism in the Middle East and beyond.
The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement called on Netflix to cancel the show last year, describing it as a “Propaganda tool,” while Palestinian-American journalist Yasmeen Serhan wrote recently in the Atlantic that although the series doesn’t shy away from dramatizing the stark imbalance of power between Israelis and Palestinians, “[v]iewers who are hungry for a Palestinian perspective on the conflict would do well to urge Netflix to commission a Palestinian-created series.
When Be’Tipul/In Treatment’s Hagai Levi began working on Our Boys, the HBO drama about the political murders of Palestinian and Israeli teens in the summer of 2014, he knew he needed to bring in Palestinian writer-director Tawfik Abu Wael to supply the non-Israeli viewpoint.
The series grew out of an idea proposed by former HBO programming chief Mike Lombardo to Keshet chief Avi Nir.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Aging Shapes Narrative Identity”

It’s how he has come to interpret the time he spent writing his book, and it’s part of how all of us build our broader narrative identity-the story of who we are and where we’re going.
McAdams has thought deeply about how we build that identity and how it changes with age.
It’s a story you’ve got about how you came to be, who you are, and where your life’s going.
Narrative identity is just as much about how you imagine the future, even though it hasn’t happened yet, as it is about how you reconstruct the past.
It’s not narrative identity per se-it’s the kind of narrative identity.
There are many models for that in American society, rags to riches stories, the American dream, stories of religious atonement, stories of upward mobility, liberation.
We all grow up in a certain culture and we learn how to tell stories, and what’s a convincing story.
I think they told stories about their lives, but did they have narrative identities-were they encouraged to think about how they came to be, who they are, and where their lives are going? That’s a pretty sophisticated thing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Susan Sontag on Her Advice to Writers”

Susan Sontag spent a lifetime contemplating the role of writing in both the inner world of the writer and outer universe of readers, which we call culture – from her prolific essays and talks on the task of literature to her devastatingly beautiful letter to Borges to her decades of reflections on writing recorded in her diaries.
Every writer of fiction wants to tell many stories, but we know that we can’t tell all the stories – certainly not simultaneously.
We know we must pick one story, well, one central story; we have to be selective.
Writing nearly a decade before the golden age of ebooks and some years before the epidemic of crowdsourced-everything had infected nearly every corner of creative culture, Sontag once again reveals her extraordinary prescience about the intersection of technology, society, and the arts.
Returning to the writer’s crucial task of selecting what story to tell from among all the stories that could be told, Sontag points to literature’s essential allure – the comfort of appeasing our anxiety about life’s infinite possibility, about all the roads not taken and all the immensities not imagined that could have led to a better destination than our present one.
Writing in 2004, she saw television as the dominant form of the latter, but it’s striking to consider how true her observations hold today if we substitute “The internet” for every mention of “Television.” One can only wonder what Sontag would make of our newsfeed-fetishism and our compulsive tendency to mistake the latest and most urgent for the most important.
To tell a story is to say: this is the important story.
Complement it with Sontag on love, art, how polarities imprison us, why lists appeal to us, and the joy of rereading beloved books, then revisit this evolving archive of celebrated writers’ advice on writing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Too many people think satirical news is real”

In July, the website Snopes published a piece fact-checking a story posted on The Babylon Bee, a popular satirical news site with a conservative bent.
Conservative columnist David French criticized Snopes for debunking what was, in his view, “Obvious satire. Obvious.” A few days later, Fox News ran a segment featuring The Bee’s incredulous CEO. But does everyone recognize satire as readily as French seems to?
On his popular satirical news show “The Colbert Report,” comedian Stephen Colbert assumed the character of a conservative cable news pundit.
The Onion, a popular satirical news website, is misunderstood so often that there’s a large online community dedicated to ridiculing those who have been fooled.
Now more than ever, Americans are worried about their ability to distinguish between what’s true and what isn’t and think made-up news is a significant problem facing the country.
Many satirical websites mimic the tone and appearance of news sites.
Every two weeks, we identified 10 of the most shared fake political stories on social media, which included satirical stories.
Facebook tested this feature itself a few years ago, and Google News has started to label some satirical content.

The orginal article.