“The Chi” examines the human cost of gun violence


LENA WAITHE did not squander her moment. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers,” she told the audience in Los Angeles, as she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing in September. Ms Waithe, a lesbian, went on to thank her “LGBTQIA family” (standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual): “The world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it”.

Ms Waithe received the award for her writing on “Master of None”, a Netflix series. In “Thanksgiving”, the award-winning episode, the female protagonist—also played by Ms Waithe—struggles to come out to her mother. A few years ago, such a subject would have been considered niche, perhaps material for a sub-plot. Along with Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), Ms Waithe, who is 33, is part of a generation of young writers, directors and producers who are toppling traditional ideas about what a lead character should look like and…Continue reading

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Redeeming Mary Magdalene

EVERY generation of artists has brought its own sensibilities and experiences to the depiction of canonical Christian stories. Giotto, an Italian painter, set Bible scenes in medieval Tuscany. Rembrandt gave his a hint of mercantile 17th-century Amsterdam. “Mary Magdalene” is similarly a retelling of some of the faith’s main events …

The mysterious reggaeton bangers of Mexico’s election

FOR evidence that modern democracy has lost its pep, look back to the age of cheery campaign jingles. The art form dominated elections from America to the Philippines after the second world war. Australian political parties used them well into the 1980s. It is tempting to believe that melodious campaigns …

The maddest March: at last, a 16-seed upsets a number one

THE line separating the improbable from the impossible is hard to pin down. The annual single-elimination tournament to crown the champion of North America’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in men’s basketball is known as “March Madness”, thanks to the steady diet of upsets it produces. Every year, a few …