WORD LISTS

This Week In Culture: June 20–26, 2020

June 24, 2020
Sports! Are they coming back? With leagues looking to resume play, a number of sports stories served up some timely vocabulary for this week's list of news-related words.
assumption
With so many other sports on hold, women's softball was in a good position to get a lot of attention for a seven-game series in Florida between the USSSA Pride and the Scrap Yard Fast Pitch. But when the Fast Pitch general manager tweeted an image of the team standing for the national anthem, tagging President Trump, the entire team quit in protest.
Stewart, who was set to play in her first Olympics this summer before the Tokyo Games were postponed until 2021, said racism in softball “has been an issue for me as long as I can remember,” from assumptions that she plays outfield or is unusually fast to racist slurs on social media.
New York Times (June 24, 2020)
bereft
British actor Sir Ian Holm died at 88. From Alien to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit more recently, he appeared in dozens of classic movies and countless stage performances, most famously of Shakespeare and Pinter plays. He was known for his tremendous range, able to play the kindness and wisdom of Bilbo Baggins as well as the sociopathic menace of Richard III.
When it was announced on Friday, for instance, that Sir Ian Holm had died, at the age of eighty-eight, those of us who had always admired him were left not merely saddened but bereft.
New Yorker (June 21, 2020)
botch
A Spanish art collector hired a furniture restorer to repair a painting, The Immaculate Conception, by Bartolomé Murillo. The result was a disaster; Mary's face was completely destroyed and repainted in a comically awful fashion. The before/after images went viral, and this catastrophe joined the so-called "Monkey Christ" and a statue of Saint George as cautionary examples. Many in Spain are calling for laws restricting who can do such restoration work before more treasures are destroyed.
A private art collector in Spain has been left stunned by the botched restoration of a painting by Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
BBC (June 23, 2020)
desist
Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco joins the growing list of musicians who have publicly called on the Trump campaign to stop using their songs at rallies and other events. Queen, the estates of Tom Petty and Prince, and other artists have all issued statements saying that they do not want their music associated with the Trump presidency, and some have taken legal action.
The family of the late singer Tom Petty also demanded that Trump stop using Petty's music at reelection campaigns, stating that they have sent a cease and desist notice to the president on Saturday.
USA Today (June 24, 2020)
grievance
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement that would begin the 2020 season in late July and run for 60 games. Many details remain to be worked out, and this announcement comes after a number of teams had to close their spring training facilities after players and staff tested positive for Covid-19. Grievance is Old French, from grever, meaning "to harm."
The union's ability to file a grievance against the league, which could result in a substantial cash windfall, also became a matter of importance later in the talks.
CBS Sports (June 24, 2020)
hubris
Tennis star Novak Djokovic, currently ranked number one in the world, tested positive for Covid-19 after a tennis series that he organized. Footage from the tournament shows him, other players, and fans ignoring social distancing, not wearing masks, and generally behaving as if the pandemic did not exist. Besides Djokovic, his wife and several other players have also tested positive. Hubris is Greek; in myths, when mortals showed excessive pride they were punished by the Gods.
It would appear that Novak Djokovic's hubris may have finally caught up with him and he is rapidly losing whatever support and good will he still had with me.
Sports Illustrated (June 23, 2020)
paradigm
The new version of Apple's iOS will allow for heavy customization of the home screen, a feature common for years on Android devices. Besides different sizes of icons, widgets can now be arranged on it, an apps and widgets can all be stacked and organized in a number of ways. What's a better excuse for staying stay home than reorganizing your home screen for the 47th time? Paradigm is Greek, meaning "pattern" or "example."
Apple waited until literally the 14th version of iOS to change the paradigm for the home screen, so it must think these options are worthwhile.
The Verge (June 24, 2020)
plethora
While many networks and streaming services are suffering delays in programming due to production shutdowns, Netflix has lots of new offerings in July. Because the platform drops whole seasons all at once, they produce shows on a different schedule and have them done earlier than their competitors. They also have more content in post-production, including editing and special effects, which can be done remotely.
By simple math, Netflix will have close to two new original titles for every single day of July and a plethora of new licensed content on top.
The Verge (June 24, 2020)
prelude
Spain is beginning to reopen after a three-month state of emergency. Live performances will be permitted, with restrictions on audience numbers and density. To celebrate the beginning of their season, Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu held a concert by the UceLi Quartet, but every seat in the house was occupied by a houseplant. The plants were donated to health care workers after the performance.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu filled its 2,292 seats with plants for a performance by the UceLi Quartet, which it called a prelude to its 2020-2021 season.
NPR (June 22, 2020)
Zeitgeist
The Hamilton movie, recorded in 2016 with the original cast including creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, will air on Disney Plus July 3. Because the show was so hard to get into, and because all live performances are suspended indefinitely, the film will offer millions of fans the chance to see the whole production on stage in Broadway's Richard Rogers theater.
Sure, if you were Beyoncé, Oprah, the Obamas, or just willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for nosebleed seats, you could be among those lucky enough to catch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s zeitgeist-defining musical about Alexander Hamilton with its original cast.
Variety (June 24, 2020)

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