Within the context of our current climate of negativity and strife, professor Steven Pinker dared to buck the trend and talk about positivity. And not just touchy-feely goodness, but hard, cold facts including diagrams and charts that illustrate that we ought to recognize just how good we have it. Though not perfect, Enlightenment Now (2018) sheds light on how we’re better fed, experience longer lives, are able to live better lives, and plan for the future. It is a tome dedicated to the human soul; it represents a spirit that we can achieve our dreams if we are reality-oriented and focused on the goodness of our own minds. Pinker brings together the ideas of how there are fewer birth deaths for child and mother, wars globally are at their lowest point in history, violent crimes have receded, and billions of people over the past thirty or so years have risen out of abject poverty. Enlightenment is a testament to the power of the human mind to solve problems, create new ways to anticipate future problems, and permit human flourishing. Now, get your happiness indices and statistics on economic inequality measures for “Why Are You Ranking: Best Ideas in ‘Enlightenment Now’ Listed from Inhumane to Rational."
Most Generation X’er and some members of the Millennial Generation, can point to a show that showcases edginess, surrealism, and flat-out funny material through the medium of television. Chappelle’s Show was that program that brought together Black, red, yellow, white, and brown and said it was okay to laugh at our foibles, not our virtues. Now with a series of substantial comedy specials with Netflix under his belt, Mr. DC (also Washington, D.C.’s own) has risen from the still fiery hot ashes of his former show. Chappelle, Neal Brennan, and company sought to create something that they knew would be canceled. They joked about it almost incessantly. From the “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong” sketches, one might glean that similar circumstances occurred while on the set of the show. Still, the show blossomed into a wonderful array of jokes and sometimes uncomfortable asides about racial identity and sexual harassment. Soon, it imploded under its own weight. Dave Chappelle epitomized the nature of a cool guy that could commit comedic acts with both intensity and aplomb. Though his sudden departure sent shockwaves that led to a feature in TIME magazine from Africa, a trip to Inside the Actors Studio, and an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the series presents overall as thought-provoking and gut-wrenching, original content. Along with some of the hottest names in R&B and Hip Hop, the show was a staple for at least two generations of people. So, get your crack pipes, reparations, and remember fellows to sit down when you pee for, Why Are You Ranking: Best Chappelle's Show seasons listed from Gay KKK to Purple heels.