Our Week in Politics & Culture: Bill and Ted, Reductive Painting, & RNC Reax

This week was kind of unrelenting, no? It feels like that a lot lately. The president is raving mad, and so is everyone that loves him and broadcasts his words on television. It’s hard not to take your eyes off the circus, but we had plenty of other content, too—including more artist interviews, a harrowing story of discrimination, in-flux state polling, and reviews of a cult classic movie’s latest sequel.


On Art Uncovered, Kimberly talks with Nicholas Szymanski, a reductive painter living and working in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Patricia Morrisroe joins Kory on Book Talk to discuss The Woman in the Moonlight, a stirring historical novel about 19th century Vienna and the tragedy and dynamic passion that inspired Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

On Radio Dispatch, John and Molly wrap up the Republican National Convention and the white supremacist shooting in Kenosha, Wisc.

This week’s BreakThru Radio Weekly features some excellent adventures, as J. McVay, Jacquelline Soller, and Charles Hinshaw discuss the new movie Bill & Ted Face the Music, as well as the first two movies in the series from around 30 years ago. This episode also features a live performance from BRNDA, recorded exclusively for BTRtoday.


After moving into a predominantly white neighborhood almost 30 years ago, Jean and her family experienced discrimination and harassment due to the color of their skin. On this week’s 1st Person, Jean shares how she persevered and why she still lives in the neighborhood today.

While violence from Donald Trump’s supporters has been common throughout his presidency, on Video Dispatch John Knefel comments on the increase in violent incidents over recent months and the likelihood that more violence from the right can be expected.


After letting the president attack him for weeks and trying to paint civil unrest as “Biden’s America,” it’s high past time for the former VP to get tough with Trump.

Trump’s attacks on Biden are outrageous because he’s desperate and unhinged. And in case you needed any reminder of that, the president’s interview on Fox News did the trick.

Trump’s still got a decent chance of winning the election, and a better chance of holding the lead on Election Night, which could lead him to claim victory early. But the media doesn’t have to cover it that way. News organizations need to start providing context for delayed mail-in election results now.

You thought Trump was dumb? Well, he is. And that kind of stupid can rub off on people. Just ask Attorney General Bill Barr. He’s no dummy, but he’s doing his best to seem that way when asked about the president encouraging people to vote twice.

Even with all the COVID-19 blunders, outright racism, and vigilante empowerment, Biden hasn’t managed to maintain most of the polling leads he held in swing states a month ago. Trump is drawing closer in state polling as the election looms.

Other Politics & Culture News …

Sludge’s Donald Shaw reported earlier this week that tens of thousands of PPP loans issued by the Trump administration “could be subject to fraud, waste, or abuse” after a House Democrats investigation.

As schools begin opening across the country, Alex Zimmerman and Christina Viega report for The City that a new safety deal between the mayor and teachers unions will delay New York City’s school openings until Sept. 21.

Seven police officers in Rochester, N.Y. have been suspended in connection to the killing of Daniel Prude, an unarmed Black man who died of injuries sustained from police back in March. Body camera footage of the incident surfaced earlier this week and has sparked protests in Rochester and beyond.

Last week, a video of a Lauren Victor being yelled at by a group of protestors for not raising her fist in solidarity went viral. Yesterday, The Washington Post published her opinion and perspective on the incident, including why she didn’t raise her fist.