This month, Dan Kois, Emily Bazelon, and Meghan O’Rourke discuss Maria Semple’s best-selling comic novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Our critics discuss the novel’s unique epistolary/documentary structure; hash out whether its satire of upper-crust parents is biting or toothless; and debate whether a comic novel has the same requirements of plot coherence and consistency as a non-comic one. Also, everyone wishes there was more stuff about architecture. Listen along!
I just lost my favorite gig. Not going on TV with Stephen Colbert—he is taking his fabulous writers and producers with him to CBS, so there may still be room in the suitcase for a little Supreme Court commentary, too. (I can hope.) I’m talking about prepping other guests for dealing with Colbert’s character. “Just tell him why he’s wrong,” I always told people who asked me how to handle his genius weirdness.
Here’s how a longtime colleague of Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Fla., talks about him in the local press: “I kid him: ‘The most dangerous place in Polk County is to get between you and a TV camera,’” said Gary Hester, now a local police chief. “He just laughs. But he’s worked the media very well.”
The Supreme Court wisely decided Monday not to hear the appeal of a New Mexico photography studio that didn’t want to take pictures at a gay wedding for religious reasons. Good call. The owners of the studio lost in state court because New Mexico—like some states but far from all—has a law protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. By taking a pass, the Supreme Court seems to be saying: This is a state-by-state issue at the moment, and there was no need for us to interfere with the balance New Mexico has opted to strike between religious rights and the rights of gay people.
Lawyer up and don’t talk. That’s the lesson of the latest disquieting developments related to the sexual assault allegations against Jameis Winston, star quarterback at Florida State University. A fellow student accused Winston of raping her, when she was too drunk to consent, back in December 2012. It took 11 months for the police to pass the case to Tallahassee prosecutors. A month after that, the state attorney decided not to charge Winston, saying there wasn’t enough evidence. Winston went on to win the national championship for FSU and pick up a Heisman Trophy.