R.I.P.: Aretha Franklin was the best, and most influential, singer the 20th century had to offer, Jack Hamilton writes. Her cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” was a work of great artistry and social meaning, Carl Wilson adds, and Dan Kois wants you to take time to listen to her tremendous Beatles covers.
Bad idea: John Brennan will be fine without his security clearance, Fred Kaplan writes. But it was clearly stripped from him for political reasons, and that feels chillingly authoritarian.
“Nothing”: Is the answer to the question “What will happen if the N-word tape is real?” as Osita Nwanevu writes. And the fact that some people still believe otherwise shows that the pundit class hasn’t caught up to Trumpism.
Smiling through it: Why women find themselves in the “bullshit workforce,” and why it matters, by Lydia Kiesling.
For fun: Couple talk is always insane.
Corn on the cob?!