BFG Podcast #035: Censorship and a One-Star Matrix

Not just the week—the YEAR—in books, film and excellent tv

There’ll be much mistletoeing, And hearts will be glowing, And podcast hosts will be all-knowing. That’s right, America, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and editor in chief Neal Pollack’s got you covered. The world’s best writers on books, film and quality tv have weighed in with their best of 2021 lists.

In condensed episode #035 of the Book and Film Globe podcast, Neal starts the conversation with Sharyn Vane, who covered “The Year in Censorship” for the site. Sadly, there was an abundance of source material here, with a slew of books facing the wrath of the closed-minded—up a discouraging 60 percent in just a year.

Early in 2021, according to Vane, the estate of Dr. Seuss revealed early this year that “it would no longer publish six of the legendary children’s author’s early books because they contained ‘hurtful and wrong’ content.’ By Fall, challenges were mounted against Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Alex Gino’s Melissa (formerly George), Ashley Hope Pérez’s Out of Darkness, Jonathan Evison’s Lawn Boy, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer, and George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue.

Then BFG pod regular Stephen Garrett joins Neal to discuss a movie that seems to have gone entirely off the rails. Garrett reveals why he awarded The Matrix: Resurrections’ a paltry one-star review. He cites not just the unforgivable absence of Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus) Hugo Weaving (nefarious A.I. program Agent Smith) but also the alarming number of predictable cliches: “Among the film’s exhausting cinematic callbacks: our heroes will run up the walls while shooting guns, unloading bucketloads of ammo. Most of the villains will have bad aim, and [director Lana] Wachowski will use slo-mo with impunity.”

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