This weekend, Veronica Mars fans were delighted by the release of the long-awaited film sequel, which was partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign to the tune of $5.7 million last year. But now that the excitement of a new Veronica Mars adventure has worn off, critics can start evaluating the content of the film — and NPR's Linda Holmes has a particularly thoughtful critique of the movie's troubling philosophy on relationships. (Spoilers for the Veronica Mars movie to follow.)
The Veronica Mars movie offers a textbook example of what Holmes dubs "The Bad Caterpillar Theory": The idea that a "mean, jealous, possessive, violent, angry, emotionally unavailable," guy will evolve into a noble, trustworthy, good-hearted man if the female protagonist simply waits long enough. In this case, Veronica's boyfriend of nearly a decade is pushed aside in favor of Logan Echolls, a bad boy with a heart of gold:
By the time the movie starts, Logan has emerged as the Butterfly to a degree that's almost comical. He no longer has any flaws whatsoever; he shows up in Navy whites that weirdly look like they're too big for him, but the message is clear: he's all grown up. There's effectively no edge left to the character at all, and although the movie co-opts the language of addiction and recovery to have Veronica talk about the relationship as an addiction, there's no indication that any of it is actually bad for her or that she's even legitimately conflicted about it. He's transparently innocent of the crime she's trying to get him off the hook for, he's in the Navy ... he's basically been transformed into a cartoon prince.
At last, her patience, her faith, her unwillingness to give up has paid off. The Butterfly has arrived.
So of course she has to dump her nice, generous, supportive, unexciting boyfriend. Of course she does. [NPR]
President Obama is heading to Arlington National Cemetery on Monday to mark Memorial Day.
Obama said the annual holiday honoring America's war dead was especially meaningful this year because it is "the first Memorial Day since our war ended in Afghanistan." The U.S. still has about 9,800 troops expected to remain in Afghanistan until next year, though.
Observances began a day early on Sunday, when thousands of motorcycle riders participated in the annual Rolling Thunder rally in Washington, D.C., to draw attention to prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. Harold Maass
A bomb squad Sunday destroyed a pressure cooker found near Washington's Capitol building. The car's owner, Israel Shimeles of Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle after revocation.
Authorities said the vehicle was "suspicious" when they found the unattended car smelled of gasoline, and an investigation revealed the pressure cooker. After the pressure cooker was destroyed, authorities said that "nothing hazardous" was found in the vehicle.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, 69, was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter. Olmert, who was forced to resign in 2009, was convicted in March in a retrial in the Jerusalem District Court.
The eight-month sentence is in addition to a six-year prison sentence Olmert received last year for a separate real estate bribery conviction. Olmert's new sentence also includes a $25,000 fine.
In 2012, Olmert was acquitted on charges including "accepting cash-stuffed envelopes" from Morris Talansky, a U.S. businessman, according to The Associated Press. Talansky apparently gave Olmert about $600,000 while Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem. But later, Olmert's former office manager, Shula Zaken, served as a state's witness, offering recorded conversations between her and Olmert about illicit money deals, which led to a retrial.
Malaysian authorities have discovered more than 139 graves they believe contain the bodies of Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants.
Police found the graves in abandoned human trafficking camps on the country's border with Thailand. Authorities haven't announced how many bodies were recovered, but each grave likely contained between one and four bodies. The find was part of an investigation that began on May 11.
"I am deeply concerned with graves found on Malaysian soil purportedly connected to people smuggling," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted. "We will find those responsible."
Since May 10, more than 3,600 migrants have landed in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, and thousands more may be trapped at sea. Meghan DeMaria
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Sunday faulted Iraqi troops for allowing the Islamic State to conquer Ramadi, saying the homegrown forces lacked the "will to fight."
"What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter said in an appearance on CNN. "They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves."
Last weekend, ISIS captured Ramadi as Iraqi troops fled and left behind weapons provided by the U.S. Days later, ISIS overran the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra as well. Jon Terbush
Cleveland police over the weekend arrested 71 people who participated in largely peaceful protests following the acquittal of a police officer in the 2012 killing of two unarmed black people.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said protesters became more "aggressive" throughout the day, adding that officers only intervened when they "became violent and…refused to disperse."
On Saturday a judge acquitted officer Michael Brelo over a 2012 incident in which police, after mistaking the sound of a car backfiring for gunshots, fired 137 rounds into a vehicle, killing both occupants. Brelo climbed onto the car's hood and fired 15 times through the windshield, though the judge ruled prosecutors did not prove those shots killed the couple. Jon Terbush
John Nash, the famed Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who inspired the film A Beautiful Mind, died Saturday in a taxi crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. The 86-year-old Nash and his wife, Alicia, were both killed when the driver of their taxi lost control and slammed into a guardrail. Police said they believe neither Nash nor his wife, who were ejected from the vehicle, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. Known for his work in game theory, Nash won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1994. Jon Terbush