Linked list: Sunday, June 14, 2020

The reality show “Cops” was canceled a short time ago. Should scripted police dramas follow? On the Today, Explained podcast www.listennotes.com/podcasts/…

I know that depiction of police on TV is problematic, but I loved “Hill Street Blues” and “NYPD Blue.”


On Cory Doctorow’s Pluralistic: LA schools returned grenade launchers but kept their assault rifles. And a voting machine company won’t give election officials a login to inspect the integrity of their own voting machines. pluralistic.net/2020/06/1…


Mo Rocca investigates sitcom deaths and disappearances, including Richie’s older brother Chuck on “Happy Days,” the two Darrens on “Bewitched,” etc. With Henry Winkler and Sandy Duncan. www.mobituaries.com/the-podca…


Mo Rocca: For a year, JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader was one of the most famous and successful entertainers in the US. He’s virtually forgotten today. The Kennedy assassination ended his career in a single moment, and he never got over it. A surprisingly poignant story. www.mobituaries.com/the-podca…


Bottlenecks? Concerns about a possible shortage of glass vials to contain and distribute the coronavirus vaccine. If and when we get a vaccine. www.reuters.com/article/u…


In a time of quarantine, car sex isn’t just for kids anymore. melmagazine.com/en-us/sto…

But what about love in an elevator?


Trump Hates Losers, So Why Is He Refighting the Civil War—on the Losing Side? www.newyorker.com/news/lett…


Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police www.nytimes.com/2020/06/1…


Spike Lee refuses to say Donald Trump’s name on ‘Da 5 Bloods’ press tour, refers to him only as ‘Agent Orange’ www.yahoo.com/entertain…


A serious conversation about UFOs podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0…

UFOs are one of those topics that it’s hard to take seriously because they’re covered in kitsch and conspiracy. But there are those who take them seriously, which means approaching the question with humility. The history, frequency, and consistency of these events point toward something that merits study. But the explanations we force onto them — from religious visitations to aliens — confuse us further. We’re working backward from beliefs we already have, not forward from phenomena we don’t understand.

Ezra Klein talks with Diana Walsh Pasulka, professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and author of “American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology.” In her book, Pasulka describes how she “embeds in the world of UFO research and tries to understand it using the tools of religious scholarship.”

“There’s something here that’s very strange,” Pasulka says. But she doesn’t know what it is

Klein talks about how society ridicules UFOs and fringe beliefs as a means of shutting down discussion about them. Ridicule can be more effective than outright censorship.


Unbundle the Police www.theatlantic.com/ideas/arc…

We require too much of police – solving crimes, controlling traffic, providing psychiatric intervention, controlling the homeless. And many towns depend on traffic citations as a form of revenue (which basically means these towns are funded by armed robbery but sure whatever). Too much of that work is contradictory; it’s unreasonable to expect the same person to take down an armed shooter and calm down a domestic disturbance or provide help to a homeless person.

The solution: Unbundle those jobs and give then to different people.

This solution doesn’t address police corruption. Many police departments seem to see themselves, not as public servants, but as occupying armies subjugating unruly natives.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner