1.  

  2. Behind the scenes at small-town America’s beauty pageants

    A big-city photographer discovers an inspiring community of young women participating in provincial tradition

     


  3. Our democracy is a people’s democracy. And it can be as great as the people can be, but it’s also as fallible as people are.
    — 

    George Takei shares a pretty profound insight into America’s strength and dangerous flaw

    Instead of talking about Star Trek or his gay-rights activism, the actor chose to discuss his World War II experience on The Daily Show

     

  4.  

  5.  

  6.  

  7.  

  8. Stephen Colbert offers a shockingly raw takedown of America’s justice system

    America incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation

     

  9.  

  10. Today marks the 30-year anniversary of the release of Born in the U.S.A., one of the best-selling rock albums ever made. 

     

  11.  

  12. The lazy directing of modern American cringe comedy, explained

    Modern comedy is too often filmed in a kind of soap-opera style, like something shot for efficiency reasons, with characters mostly just talking to each other in close-up.

     

  13. Maya Angelou dies at 86

    Angelou shot to literary fame when she chronicled her tumultuous early life in the 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which remains a definitive and beloved American literature classic 45 years after its original publication. In the decades that followed, Angelou worked as an author, poet, playwright, screenwriter, actress, scholar, and even a cookbook writer.