Satire has long provided relief from the turbulent waters of politics (at least in countries where satire is legal). This is why The Onion has dominated print humor for almost three decades, and why Jon Stewart achieved so much success during those eight long years of President George W. Bush. On HBO’s Veep, Selina Meyer serves as an especially welcome ambassador of this brand of comedy, now that Stewart is in New Jersey rescuing dogs, and the American presidential election fills newsfeeds with satire-ready fodder on the daily.

It’s official—American Ballet Theatre’s artist in residence, Alexei Ratmansky, has entered the pantheon of great ballet choreographers. Proof is on display at the Metropolitan Opera House, where ABT is performing a Ratmansky-heavy spring season, rich with opportunities to sample his savory dance pieces. At this year’s spring gala performance on May 16, when the company proffered enticing excerpts representative of its overall season, three of the six ballets showcased were choreographed by Ratmansky.

A black comic paces the stage, microphone in hand, studying his audience. “You white folks up North been voting for a long time,” he begins. “But in the South, we just barely get a chance to vote. You see, down South, if you colored and want to vote, they make you take a test…on nuclear physics…in Russian. Then, if you pass the test, they say, ‘Hey, boy! You can’t vote! Because if you can read in Russian, you must be a Communist!’”

I’ve been a Bob Dylan fan since roughly 1972. I had inherited a copy of Blonde on Blonde from one or other of my older brothers, along with a record player, and I spun all four sides incessantly. I laughed (“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”), I cheered (“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”), I cried (“Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”), I sang along (every word). Three years later, Blood on the Tracks joined the rotation, followed by Desire in 1976. Those were great years to be a young Dylan fan.