Lunch Break Reads: Ralph Steadman's "Animal Farm," Minneapolis is Rad, as is Dani Alves, the Making of "Mistaken for Strangers," and the Influence (and Return) of "24" / by Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

Somehow I was oblivious to the fact that Ralph Steadman—known best for his collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson—provided illustrations for a special edition of George Orwell's Animal Farm, released in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first American publication of the novel.

Yes, the artwork is just as amazing as you're imagining.

Thanks to io9 for the heads up. Full story at Brain Pickings.

As the country grapples with two prominent and sickening displays of racism and ignorance, NPR reports that Minneapolis has changed the name of "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous People's Day" in response to concerns that hailing Columbus as the "discoverer" of America completely ignores the rich history of America's indigenous people.

Minneapolis, I think you're pretty rad.

Barcelona player Dani Alves shows unbelievable class and calm in the face of a sadly all too common racist taunt in European soccer: throwing bananas at black footballers.

Dani Alves, I think you, too, are pretty rad.

Full story at Business Insider.

Yesterday, Salon put up the intriguing story of how one famous brother invited his struggling sibling on tour with his internationally celebrated band, how that didn't really work out quite how either of them planned, and how they still ended up with a pretty decent documentary covering not only their relationship, but providing an intimate, unpredictable look at a popular rock band. The famous brother? Matt Berninger, of the National. The film? It's called Mistaken For Strangers, and I am rather keen to see it.

Full story (and a fantastic interview with the two Berningers, Matt and Tom) at Salon.

The A.V. Club today put up a fine piece on the influence and then sudden disappearance of 24. Did you know 24 was the last broadcast network series to win an Emmy for "Outstanding Drama Series"? Like, for real.

And if you think reading about Jack Bauer and the War on Terror(ism) is going to be a waste of your time, check this:

Through essentially no fault of its own, 24 became a series not just about a man trying to stop terrorists, but also about the way America felt about the War On Terror. It was accidentally one of the most timely and relevant series of all time, debuting two months after massive terrorist attacks that inadvertently made its central premise (a man works to stop nefarious terrorist acts over the course of one exhausting day) seem less cartoonish and laughable than it had when creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran initially pitched the series.

The essay goes on to link 24 to the presidency of George W. Bush, demonstrate how the show—both fairly and unfairly—was thought to back up Bush's policies and even support the use of torture, and how, like W., the show faded from our collective imaginations soon after Obama took office. The piece also shows how 24 revolutionized television: having the courage to kill off major characters (and not just because actors wanted out of the show), normalizing the huge time jumps between seasons (which was unthinkable before 24), and more.

24 also familiarized audiences with the concept of single-season storytelling, then went one better over other shows that had played in that sandbox: Between seasons, the cast would be revamped, sometimes entirely. So long as Jack was present (and, eventually, Mary Lynn Rajskub’s Chloe), the show was free to completely ditch elements and characters at will, and it would prove astonishingly ruthless in doing so, giving it much of its appeal. There’s not so very long of a distance between that concept and the limited-run anthology miniseries like American Horror Story and True Detective that have become so popular now. 

It will be interesting to see, in light of its assumed political leanings and its affect on today's television, what kind of reception will 24: Live Another Day get this Cinco de Mayo. I wonder if anyone's come up with a 24/Cinco de Mayo drinking game yet.