Six reasons ‘I, Tonya’ was worth the fuss

1. Drag fans might be picking at wounds from “What the #*!@ Did I Do?”

Yes, there are limits to what can be done in a single season of a television show, a point made by Eliza Dushku, who was repeatedly attacked by Lori Petty for trying to contribute to a discussion about mutilation and trauma in a scene in the third season. The scene in question featured an executioner trying to execute Jessica Jones, also played by Dushku, but accidentally killing a victim instead. It became one of the hottest topics of conversation on social media, and was even on Good Morning America. Eventually Petty decided she wasn’t down with the trolls (sorry, her father and Dushku’s father), and perhaps unsurprisingly retracted the account of what happened. I’m not sure, though, that the show has done a very good job of handling this at all. It’s a dramatic, potentially unsettling scene that, in the hands of television, can feel unnecessarily dark and unappealing, as it feels like Petty and Dushku are just waiting for the screen to break. Plus the movie version of both shows is coming out very soon (mystery solved), so they have something else to worry about. Of course, everything can always be improved with a sequel, like that thing Lifetime is doing with Christine Wiley.

2. Perpetual crush Margot Robbie talks about her trouble recognizing herself in “I, Tonya”

It’s hard to tell which is more compelling: Margot Robbie’s tearful confession that she still questions how she looked to movie producer Craig Gillespie, who was shepherding the script; or the way the Insecure star looks like a nervous wreck or a clearly freakin’ nervous wreck when hosting SNL this week. It’s like that movie where Alan Thicke was watching Annette Funicello in The Wedding Planner, and immediately knew that the two were intended for each other, despite the rather unappealing young girl in his living room. (For the record, I really really really like her music.)

3. Virginia Gardner retells a history of reproductive justice from the vantage point of race

I have a lot of disagreements with Ruth Bader Ginsburg about constitutional issues like abortion and affirmative action, but it’s no surprise that when she’s talking about female constitutional law, she does a great job. This short video interview with the former constitutional law professor at Harvard University is a well-researched introduction to her work and a reminder of what reproductive freedom activists have stood for for decades. While it addresses issues like hospital dilation and evacuation, birth control, and Roe v. Wade, it’s also a conversation about identity. According to Gardner, abortion rights are won or lost on the basis of race, class, and gender, not “something that’s really formalized in a legal document.”

4. Jack Kemp and the ability to “win”

Kemp is one of the few great conservatives who effectively captured the hearts and minds of so many American conservatives, especially young voters. This open letter includes his thoughts on how to appeal to young people in the primaries — and it is not with inflammatory remarks or siding with “the Left.” It sounds like a good first step, which in the case of this field seems critical.

5. The city of Portland looks at the violence and safety of its Facebook walls

After terrorist attacks in Europe, a city in Oregon felt compelled to discuss the security of its own digital publications and speak out about the online abuse for which an entire online culture feeds off. Their effort actually raises questions about how cities and organizations develop strategy for fighting against threats of this nature.

6. Jeannie Kinkel, the grumpy woman behind the Salon theGritty (a space on Craigslist for older people) offers advice on aging and maintaining energy

Joining the podcast, which won a Diversity of Voices award, is the grumpy old woman behind Salon theGritty. Kinkel is a frequent columnist on aging, she is a regular speaker at conferences on nutrition and health, and her column appeared in Time Magazine in 2013. In brief, we’re talking about how food, age, and work can help us live well, and how one can actually eat well — and live well — late in life.

Leave a Comment