An oral history of Saturday Night Live.Part of our guide to SNL for Slate.
Monday, January 30
Sunday, January 29
The autonomous car of the future is here:
I was briefly nervous when Urmson first took his hands off the wheel and a synthy woman’s voice announced coolly, “Autodrive.” But after a few minutes, the idea of a computer-driven car seemed much less terrifying than the panorama of indecision, BlackBerry-fumbling, rule-flouting, and other vagaries of the humans around us—including the weaving driver who struggles to film us as he passes.
A profile of the artist.
"Unfortunately, death is a fact of life. I don't think it's happened to me any more unfairly than to anyone else. It could always be worse. I've lost a lot of people, but I haven't lost everybody. I didn't lose my parents or my family. But it's been an incredible education, facing death, facing it the way that I've had to face it at this early age."
Saturday, January 28
How the U.S. government used a serial con who was caught running a mail-order steroid pharmacy in Mexico to prove that Google was knowingly placing ads for illegal drugs.
The explosion of publishing created a much more democratic and permanent network of public communication than had ever existed before. The mass proliferation of newspapers and magazines, and a new-found fascination with the boundaries of the private and the public, combined to produce the first age of sexual celebrity.
Friday, January 27
How investigators nabbed a key member of a group called “Lost Boy.”
A Houston man allegedly tries to hire several hit men to kill his wife. Each fails miserably. It becomes the talk of the town.
A fifteen year history of the music site Pitchfork detailing its prescient take on the relationship between culture and consumption.
As mainstream news loses its relevance, Allred becomes only more relevant to mainstream news. She’s provided thousands of hours of titillating material that has helped keep cable networks from grinding to a halt. The players come and go. Past clients like Amber Frey and Tiger Woods Mistress No. 1 Rachel Uchitel slip back into obscurity. Scott Peterson rots disregarded on death row in San Quentin, and Woods’s sexual escapades no longer mesmerize. But Allred retains her significance. There are always new victims to premiere and promote, new serial sexual harassers or psychopaths to square off against. In this spectacle of scandal, grisly murder, and celebrity wrongdoing, Allred has made herself the stage manager, the content provider, the indispensable performer.
Thursday, January 26
Clarence Thomas, then-chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, profiled by Juan Williams:
He agrees with Reagan's characterization of the civil-rights leaders as old men fomenting discontent to justify their own "rather good positions." "The issue is economics—not who likes you." Thomas has told me. "And when you have the economics, people do have a way of changing their attitudes toward you. I don't see how the civil-rights people today can claim Malcolm X as one of their own. Where does he say black people should go begging the Labor Department for jobs? He was hell on integrationists. Where does he say you should sacrifice your institutions to be next to white people?"
“We’re trying really hard to make things better,” said one former Apple executive. “But most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from.”
Previously: ”Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class”