Our Week in Politics & Culture: Summer Movies and Cynical Senators

The dog days of summer might not be here yet, but they’re close. How can we tell? Well, aside from the massive rainfall that just hit the East coast and heat waves across the country, movies are returning—mega-cast blockbuster and highly anticipated documentaries. Republican representatives are cynically posturing against the COVID-19 vaccine Democrats are also negotiating against themselves again—this time about voter ID. Okay, fine, those last two aren’t necessarily summer things, but we’re about as tired of ’em as the humidity. All that and more this week on BTRtoday.


This week on Art Uncovered, Kimberly spoke with Francesca Della Benatta, an Italian-born artist who currently lives and works in Mexico City. Throughout the conversation they speak about Francesca’s trajectory from working in the movie industry to becoming a full-time sculpture who works mostly in bronze.

Canada Day was this past weekend, but it was much less of a celebration than any Dominion Day in, perhaps, the last 100 years. Why? Because of the recent horrors unearthed from the discovery of over 1,000 children’s graves at the hands of the Federal Government and Catholic Church. This week on Book Talk, Kory shares some historical reporting, government reconciliation, memoir, and historical fiction by Indigenous writers that every Canadian, if not every human being, needs to read.

Donald Rumsfeld is dead and the hyper conservatism of Too Hot To Handle. More on this week’s Radio Dispatch.

This week on BreakThru Radio Weekly, J.McVay and Charles Hinshaw discuss No Sudden Movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh. It stars Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, and Noah Jupe – and it’s available now to stream on HBO Max. They also discuss Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), directed by Questlove and featuring footage shot during the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which went largely unseen for 50 years. It also features performances by Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, The 5th Dimension, the Staples Singers, and Sly and the Family Stone, among others. The documentary is distributed by Searchlight Pictures and playing now in select theaters. It’s also available on Hulu. Plus a live performance from Wes Tirey, recorded exclusively for BTRtoday.


On this week’s 1st Person, Omari describes how he and a friend started and ended a recording studio, what he learned from the process and how his approach might be different if he were going to do it again.

​On Video Dispatch, MJ Knefel explains the Summer Rising initiative in NYC as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic​. Although the support for children and families is to be applauded, MJ cautions against an academically rigorous summer when what children really need is a break and a chance to play.


Rep. Thomas Massie’s proposed bill to prohibit the U.S. military from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine is dumb for several reasons.

Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance’s newfound love for Trump is as pathetic as it is cynical.

Fighting against voter ID requirements is one of the Democrats’ few good political positions. Of course they’re willing to negotiate it away.

An early look at quarterback Kurt Warner’s all-American white Christian biopic is a little bizarre. Who would’ve guessed?

Other Politics & Culture News …

Zalia Avant-garde won the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee, making her the first African American winner in the competition’s history.

Pfizer announced it would begin exploring a booster shot for its COVID-19 vaccine. Health experts are split on whether it’s necessary.

For The Ringer, Musa Okwonga writes about Italy’s soccer resurgence under Roberto Mancini before their appearance in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday vs. England.

Ancient Rome has been whitewashed and fetishized by white supremacists, but as Jamie Mackay writes, antiquity was more diverse and polychromatic than racists will admit.