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A 'Key & Peele' Skit Says What We're All Thinking About The Oscars And 'Selma' — Biscuits And Gravy

Someone NEEDS to call a press conference saying this stuff. For real.

A 'Key & Peele' Skit Says What We're All Thinking About The Oscars And 'Selma' — Biscuits And Gravy
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Can't watch the video right this minute? FINE. Check out the panel below.

But I think it's even better when you can watch their delivery. (The video's only a couple of minutes long.)

And listen. There's a really thoughtful (if long) read by Grantland's Mark Harris. The fact that artistic license was taken in this movie has spurred conversation that centers on Lyndon B. Johnson, rather than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He talks about how that contributed to the movie falling out of competition for the Oscars:


"And so, to venerate Johnson and themselves, they have defamed this film and advanced a counter-myth about LBJ that is, in many cases, shamefully disingenuous. Rebuttals are beginning to appear — last week, The New Yorker published a detailed one by Amy Davidson called "Why 'Selma' Is More Than Fair to L.B.J." But the damage has been done. While Selma managed a Best Picture nomination, its Oscar chances, whatever they had been, are diminished (never let it be said that Johnson's men don't know how to get what they want). And although, over time, movies as good as Selma always survive this kind of piling-on, the asterisk that attaches itself to them can be long-lived as well. A spurious, discrediting taint — "Isn't that the movie that lied about LBJ?" — may cling to Selma for years in references, hyperlinks, and stories about whatever next year's victim of this process turns out to be, while the prevarications of its accusers, if recent history is any indication, may be shrugged off as part of the Oscar news cycle.

Is that a fair reason for a great movie to be disqualified? I know which way I lean on that answer. How about you?

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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