The Republican speakers at the Democratic convention, explained

On Monday night, the Democratic National Convention will feature something that might seem a little bit odd at a partisan gathering: Republicans.

Former Ohio governor and longtime member of Congress John Kasich will lead the charge, followed by Susan Molinari, who is a former GOP member of Congress from Staten Island, and Meg Whitman, the former eBay and Hewlett-Packard CEO who is now chief executive at the mobile streaming service Quibi.

Cross-party speeches are actually a staple of convention rhetoric, but this round is already attracting criticism from the left — in part on the merits, but more broadly …

The 2020 Democratic National Convention’s speaker lineup and how to watch

The Democratic National Convention is going fully virtual this year.

Rather than days of full programming, the convention will be condensed into two hours of televised speeches spread out from Monday, August 17, to Thursday, August 20. Former Vice President Joe Biden is set to accept his party’s nomination on Thursday night from his home in Delaware, rather than the original planned location of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fears about the Covid-19 outbreak and the potential to spread the virus even with a severely reduced crowd caused the Democratic National Committee to scrap its in-person Milwaukee convention.

Starting at 9 Eastern each …

Hannah Gadsby on comedy, free speech, and living with autism

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby became a global star with her Netflix special Nanette. It’s a remarkable piece of work, and it does what great art is supposed to do: give you a sense, however fleeting, of what it is like to live inside another human’s experience. Gadsby’s new special, Douglas, takes that a step further: It explores her autism diagnosis and gives you a sense of what it is like to experience the world through another person’s mind.

The first half of my episode with Gadsby is about her experience moving through the world as a neurodiverse person. …

This is the future Joe Biden wants

When I asked Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, what the former vice president’s plan for his first 100 days in office was, her answer was blunt.

“Wouldn’t everybody like to know?”

Sanders was being coy — in fact, she had just finished walking me through Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, an umbrella term that the campaign has been using for policies meant to aid the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

But the answer is yes: Everybody would like to know what Joe Biden would do were he to take office. And the formal …

A guide to Lovecraft Country’s many pop culture tropes and references

Lovecraft Country, HBO’s new horror series built on pulp fiction and Jim Crow Americana, teems with creepy moments — but even more with literary and pop culture references.

A pastiche of the many horror, supernatural fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, and superhero tropes that filled midcentury American life, Lovecraft Country places Black characters at the forefront of those stories and watches how they shift as a result. In Lovecraft Country, it’s the cosmic terror that’s banal; racism in daily life is the true existential dread.

Even the show’s title is a reference — to H.P. Lovecraft, the man whose work …