If there’s one thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe—known for dutifully imitating every genre from heist comedies to paranoid thrillers of the 1970s—has conspicuously lacked so far, it’s body horror. Despite a focus on transformations and newly-discovered superpowers that would seem to make the Cronenberg treatment a natural fit, the franchise has mostly steered clear of anything too disgusting. Of course, there’s only so much anyone can do while maintaining a PG-13 rating. But Venom, the upcoming film from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, isn’t quite an official Marvel Cinematic Universe product—it’s a spin-off from Spider Man: Homecoming, and part of Sony’s Marvel Universe instead of Marvel Studios’. As such, it’s allowed to aim for an R rating. So what does a Marvel film look like when it’s allowed to embrace body horror?
Doo de-doo doo, do de, doo de-doo doo-de-doo-de,
Doodle-doo doo, do-dee, doodle-doo doo-de-doo-de,
Doodle-doo doo, do-dee, doodle-doo doo-de-doo-de
A trailer for The Rain, a trailer for The Rain,
What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again!
On Netflix May fourth, it’s streaming to you,
A virus that kills with a horr-ible flu,
Watch the stormy clouds chase, human life from the place,
Watch everyone die, with a smiiiiiile on your face,
Binge-watch it again, and again, and again,
This trailer, trailer for The Rain.
Just watchin’ this trailer for The Rain,
I’m watchin’ this trailer for The Rain.
President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson Ronny Jackson, may not make it through the confirmation process after top Republicans and Democrats expressed concerns over Jackson’s oversight of the White House medical staff, the Washington Post reports. Details are scarce so far, but Senators had been sending smoke signals that there’s trouble ahead with the White House physician’s nomination before reportedly postponing the Jackson’s confirmation hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday.
Listen to Episode 977 of Slate’s The Gist:
Six-term Republican congressman Doug Lamborn is in serious danger of not even being on the ballot this November after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that his name should not appear on the ballot in June for the GOP primary in his Colorado Springs district. At issue, as the Denver Post reports, is the 1,000 signatures needed to get Lamborn on the ballot.
Last week, salad lovers everywhere found reason to fear their ruffage when a Centers for Disease Control report identified romaine lettuce as the source of a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 60 people from Connecticut to California. While no deaths have yet been reported, five people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Officials haven’t determined the exact path of the outbreak, which is why a recall hasn’t been issued yet, but officials believe that it started with produce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. By last Friday, the agency had expanded its warning from just chopped romaine to all types of romaine from the area, including whole heads and hearts and salad mixes. “If you cannot determine the source of your romaine lettuce, throw it away and don’t eat it,” the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
In 2008, in an advertisement for a three-day, $1,495 Trump University workshop, the future president was quoted as saying, “I’ve always made a FORTUNE in foreclosures, and you will too.”
Listen to Hang Up and Listen with Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin:
A van jumped the curb at a busy thoroughfare in Toronto Monday afternoon and sped down the sidewalk, hitting and killing 10* pedestrians and injuring 15 more before the driver was taken into custody. The incident took place around 1:30 p.m. in the North York section of Toronto and left behind what a first responder described as “pure carnage” after the driver, reportedly identified by police as 25 year-old Alek Minassian, sped down the sidewalk at 40 miles per hour, hitting pedestrians one by one.
Two weeks ago, the Illinois Senate voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. If it passes in the state House of Representatives, Illinois would become the 37th state to approve the ERA, just one short of the 38 needed to pass the constitutional amendment. Given that the deadline Congress established to push it through expired in 1982, and some states have since rescinded ratification, it’s unclear what would happen if it crossed the 38-state threshold. Regardless, it would be a mistake to see the ERA as a relic of a time that’s long since passed. In this era of #MeToo and nondisclosure agreements, it seems like a refreshingly modern document. Last week, the New York Times editorial board called for the ratification of the ERA as a fitting rebuke to the Trump presidency.
The alt-right in this country has been reeling since August, when the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville erupted in violence that ended with the death of one young counter-protester. Since then, nearly every week brings another obituary for the reactionary wave that carried Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos to national prominence. But the ideologically adjacent infrastructure of new voices on the cultural right is still thriving and growing. Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist and a glorified motivational speaker given to babbling about “dragons of chaos” and tangents about how wearing makeup is an invitation to being sexually pestered, is one of the year’s biggest publishing successes and currently on a cross-country lecture tour that will put him in venues that more typically host major rock acts. But the Peterson juggernaut may soon have megawatt competition. Over the weekend, Kanye West wrote a series of elliptical tweets on his current mindset.
The Times has published an overview of the effort to unseat Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, which, like every close Senate race this year, could end up tipping control of the upper chamber. A lot of it is what you’d expect—well-financed right-wing groups will attempt to portray Baldwin as a radical leftist whose leftist values are out of step with the blue-collar ways of Wisconsin’s humble cow people. But there’s also this, which will blow the ol’ hair back:
Bust out your Civil War bugles and start whistling Dixie, because it’s Confederate Memorial Day in Alabama.
French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week, meeting with Donald Trump—the man he has been trying to woo since the French election last year—and speaking to Congress. Macron, a former Socialist minister, struck out on his own when he ran for president, creating a centrist platform (En Marche!) and triumphing over Trump’s favorite, Marine Le Pen, and more establishment figures. In office, he has pursued an ideologically eclectic agenda, including reforms of the French state (e.g., its railways) that have enraged much of the left, as well as a determined effort to convince Trump to moderate on Iran and global warming. So far, he doesn’t have much to show for his efforts on the latter front.
With each passing day, the impending Trump-Kim summit takes another dip toward disaster.
As modern conversations about cultural representation expand and evolve, whitewashing continues to be a hot topic. The racist phenomenon, in which a white actor is cast to play a person of color, stretches from The Birth of a Nation through Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to last year’s megaflop Ghost in the Shell. On Monday, Broadway actress Sierra Boggess decided not to join that offensive legacy when she withdrew from a West Side Story concert performance in which she would play Maria.
Mallory Ortberg is online weekly to chat live with readers. Here’s an edited transcript of this week’s chat.
Given that it has featured such physics-defying stunts as a car smashing through the side of one skyscraper and jumping into another and several other cars being chased across the ice by a freaking submarine, the Fast and the Furious series has often been referred to as a live-action cartoon. So it only makes sense that DreamWorks and Netflix are taking the logical next step and turning it into an actual animated TV series. Scheduled to debut later this year, Fast & Furious will follow the adventures of teenage Tony Toretto—cousin of executive producer Vin Diesel’s Dom—after he’s recruited by the feds to “infiltrate an elite racing league serving as a front for a nefarious crime organization bent on world domination.” (If there’s one thing nefarious crime organizations bent on world domination love, it’s staging logistically complicated public competitions in order to keep a low profile.) No casting or further descriptions of the show’s characters have been released, but if there was ever a way to bring back Han, this is it.