Late Night Open Thread: RIP, Easy Rider

Sunday Book Talk Open Thread: Toni Morrison, Who Left A Legacy

The Washington Post collected memories of Morrison from “eight black female writers & thinkers” — including a best-selling author named Michelle Obama:

… For me and for so many others, Toni Morrison was that first crack in the levee — the one who freed the truth about black lives, sending it rushing out into the world. She showed us the beauty in being our full selves, the necessity of embracing our complications and contradictions. And she didn’t just give us permission to share our own stories; she underlined our responsibility to do so. She showed how incomplete the world’s narrative was without ours in it.

It’s a thread running through “Beloved” and “Sula” and “The Bluest Eye” and all of her work — that black stories, particularly the stories of black women and black girls, are worthy of examination and celebration. Again and again, she was unapologetic about that fact, deliberate in proving that our stories are rich and deep and largely unexplored. We belong, she showed us, not just in paperback books but in textbooks, not just in a publishing house but in the White House. And on their own, our stories are more than enough to inspire a Nobel laureate…

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RIP Toni Morrison

We’ve lost a giant.

Thread here for any remembrances, or just literary fandom.

I’ll start: the writing speaks for itself. Others speak of her unparalleled commitment to other writers, of color, of course, but also to anyone driven to the vital act of committing words to paper:

I just retweeted that one.  Then there’s this:

And with that, over to you.

Images: Toni Morrison lecture at West Point Military Academy in March, 2013. photo credited to West Point.

Toni Morrison signature.

Rest in Peace David C. MacDonald: Scotian Has Died

For those who didn’t or weren’t able to donate to David’s/Scotian’s GoFundMe and didn’t get the update by email earlier today, David passed away last night. I got a text a little while ago from whom I’m assuming is his wife also informing me as I was in direct contact with him over the past week. John will be reaching out to her this afternoon and he, I, or both of us will have some updates for you later today.

Please keep David’s widow in your thoughts.

Open thread!

PopCult Nostalgia Open Thread: Ave Atque Vale, MAD Magazine

(Signe Wilkinson via

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for MAD Magazine, which my dad started reading when it was still a comic book. (He never forgave my mother for throwing those precious issues away during the divorce.) And I cherish the 1973 ComicCon program I got Sergio Aragonés (and others) to autograph. But it’s been at least 30 years since I bought a copy of the magazine, so…

… “Age hits everybody: It hits magazines, it hits the movies, it hits technology,” legendary Mad cartoonist Sergio Aragonés told The Washington Post on Thursday. “It’s been a logical development.”

Mad magazine hit a peak of more than 2 million subscribers in the early ’70s, when it memorably satirized shifting social mores and cultural attitudes. Emblematic of that era — when Mad flexed the most pop-culture muscle as a powerhouse of topical irreverence — was a Watergate-era sendup of President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew in a “big con” spoof of the hit Oscar-winning movie “The Sting.”

But commercial pressures had changed since the ’90s. To try to survive in more recent years, as circulation dwindled precipitously, the magazine owned by Warner Bros.’ DC division shifted to a quarterly publishing schedule and moved its offices from New York to the Los Angeles area. Now, the Mad brand will mostly endure by simply recirculating its classic vintage material, living on through the appeal of what it once was…
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