Against my better judgement, the lights in my apartment are connected to a wireless network controlled via an app. There are physical buttons, but they are located near the plugs, at ground level and often behind obstructions. When I leave, turning off the light requires digging my phone out of my pocket, typing in the unlock code, opening the app, waiting for it to detect the network, then tapping a button to turn off the light. I do all of this while standing an inch or so away from the old wall switch, the use of which would achieve the same result in a fraction of the time. As a result of this modernity, every time I leave the apartment, I feel the uncontrollable urge to make sure I’m listening to the title theme from French director Jacques Tati’s 1958 masterpiece Mon Oncle. I am, at that moment, Monsieur Hulot. Continue reading…
Posted June 13, 2014
Actor and activist Ruby Dee has died. Dee appeared in many roles in film, television and on stage. She appeared in St. Louis Blues (1958), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Guiding Light (1967), Peyton Place (1968-9), Buck and the Preacher (1972), Do The Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991), American Gangster (2007). Josie Pickens remembers Dee at Ebony. At The New Yorker, Hilton Als is “Thinking of Ruby Dee.” The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The New York Times have obituaries. Women In Theater have an extensive interview with Dee about her career, activism and life. And here Dee talks about her experience at the 1963 March On Washington, which she emceed with her husband, Ossie Davis.