Sunday, November 24, 2019

Q&A with Parasite's Bong Joon Ho and Indie Studio Head Tom Quinn

Variety – "‘Parasite’: How This Year’s Wildest, Buzziest, Most Unexpected Breakout Hit Came to Life"

"What do you think of the criticism leveled at Marvel movies by filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and others who argue it’s not cinema?

Quinn: I would rank watching “Black Panther” with my family at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn as one of the top experiences that I had that year. So I’m not sure I understand that argument.

Bong: I have so much respect for Scorsese and Coppola, and I grew up studying their films. So I fully understand the context of their comments and I respect their opinion. But on the other hand, if I look at the films individually, I enjoyed “Guardians of the Galaxy,” James Mangold’s “Logan” and “Winter Soldier” by the Russo Brothers. There are great cinematic moments in those films.


Bong: Ultimately, going to the theater is the best way to watch films. And it’s the only place where the audience can’t pause the film. The film will continue to play, and the audience has to watch it according to the rhythm the filmmaker created.


Bong, you’ve shifted between English-language films and films in Korean. Will that continue?

Bong: Actually, I am preparing two different projects. One is a Korean-language one, and the other one is an English-language one. Both projects are not big films. They’re the size of “Parasite” or “Mother.” The Korean film is located in Seoul and has unique elements of horror and action. It’s difficult to define the genre of my films. The English project is a drama film based on a true event that happened in 2016. Of course I won’t know until I finish the script, but it has to be set half in the U.K. and half in the U.S. What are you doing together next?

Quinn: Anything that has his name on it, we’re happy to be a part of. I’ll just give you a blank check."

Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite

The Making of Sunday Night Football

Variety – "Inside ‘Sunday Night Football’: How Primetime’s Most Watched TV Show Gets Made"

"“Ninety percent of what we’ve prepared does not make it to the television, just because the game takes over,” says Gaudelli. “The game has to be to overriding narrative of the show.”

The action on the field often leads to painful decisions in the truck. Gaudelli points to the previous week’s game in which the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Minnesota Vikings 28-24. With 40 seconds left in the game and the Cowboys down by four and about to receive a punt from the Vikings, Gaudelli and his crew were ready to pull the trigger right after the kick on a video package featuring Cowboys legend Roger Staubach’s famous game-winning 50-yard Hail Mary pass to receiver Drew Pearson in a 1975 playoff match-up against the Vikings. The timing for such a highlight could not have been more perfect. But then Gaudelli heard Michaels’ voice in his earpiece, saying, “Wow. He should not have called for a fair catch. He had plenty of room.” Cowboys kick returner Tavon Austin had indeed signaled for a fair catch with plenty of open field ahead of him inviting the opportunity for a return. Gaudelli made the decision to shelve the video and instead go to replay and analysis of the punt. The Staubach-Pearson clip never made it to air.

“You always have to side on the game and if Al, or Cris, or Michele make a big deal out of something, you probably need to be addressing it,” Gaudelli says. "

"Sunday Night Football Is the Best Show on TV"

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Return to Art Deco, Neo-Georgian and Neo-Gothic

New York Times – "The Return of Golden Age Design"

"After watching cutting-edge contemporary residential buildings by starchitects like Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry sprout across the city for years, many developers and designers are now looking in the rearview mirror for inspiration. Rather than trying to develop buildings with contorted forms or monastic minimalism, they are aiming to evoke the romantic glow of New York’s past with new buildings that recall Art Deco, neo-Georgian and neo-Gothic style.

The activity isn’t limited to the Upper East and Upper West Sides, which have long been bastions of prewar style, either. New residential towers that riff on the grandeur of the city’s storied past — but include all the conveniences and amenities that 21st century buyers of new developments expect — are now rising everywhere from Morningside Heights to the financial district.

William Sofield, the founder of Studio Sofield, sees the activity as part of a broader trend that is bringing renewed interest to artisanal, handcrafted goods of all sorts, from hand-stitched leather handbags to bespoke, workshop-made lighting and furniture.

“It became this huge obsession, across the board, of things having quality, and things being handmade,” he said. “All of a sudden, glass towers felt cold, icy, alien. People went back to these things that had material quality to them.”


Compared to glass skyscrapers, Mr. Stern mused that his masonry buildings appeal to buyers because they look decidedly different from office towers and are eminently livable.

“You have walls between the windows so that in your apartment you can hang a picture,” he said. “Or, should you be one of those ancient people who still has books, you can have a bookcase.”


“We are the radical architects,” he said. “We are the architects who draw by hand as we design buildings, who look to the past for formal inspiration and who use wonderful materials, wherever possible, like limestone or brick.” "

Arnold's House

"2001 still somehow sounds like the future"

The Ringer – "How Dre Forgot About Dre: The Story of ‘2001’"

"TheThe first sound you hear on 2001 is the THX Deep Note crescendoing and rumbling like an earthquake. It’s a fitting, on-the-nose introduction to one of the most cinematic rap albums of all time: Throughout 2001, Dre creates a highly curated noir L.A. soundscape, complete with skits, whirring helicopters, bar chatter, and whizzing bullets.


The production on “The Watcher,” like the rest of 2001, is the culmination of years of experimenting: It’s fermented, stark G-funk filtered through the noir of L.A. Confidential, complete with crisp violin plucks, delicate piano, low horns, skulking bass, and pulsing drums. The trademark high synth is still there, but instead of dominating songs, like The Chronic’s “Let Me Ride,” it lingers in the background, an eerie callback to simpler times. Dre had hinted at his new sound on those earlier Eminem and Snoop tracks that same year, but no one was prepared for what 2001 held in store. Even now, 20 years later, it somehow sounds futuristic.


Throughout 2001’s 22 tracks, Dre and Mel-Man reinvented what hip-hop could sound like. Instead of old funk records, this time around Dre incorporated French songs from the 1960s, several TV and film scores, and a bevy of R&B licks without compromising 2001’s nocturnal core. The album is a statement in simplicity, orchestration, and scientifically precise execution. “Xxplosive,” one of 2001’s best beats, flips the first few bars of the classic Soul Mann & the Brothers instrumental “Bumpy’s Lament” from the Shaft soundtrack and pairs it with triangle-twinkles and drums so solid that Kanye stole them to help find his own sound early in his career. “The Next Episode” prominently takes David Axelrod and Dave McCallum’s “The Edge” and pairs it with trembling, reverberating drum hits and a massive, endorphin-generating build-up. “Big Ego’s” and “Still D.R.E.” incorporate producer Scott Storch’s bone-chilling keys and Mel-Man’s gurgling bass, while “Fuck You” and “Light Speed” ooze synths so restrained they feel on the verge of petering out.


As I’ve gotten older, 2001 has remained in my personal rap album pantheon. The beats continue to thrill me, and most of the rapping hasn’t aged. 2001 still somehow sounds like the future. But my obsession with the album’s lore has steadily faded. I interviewed Hittman when I was 20 because his disappearance post-2001 only added more to the myth of the album—and the myth of Dre himself. But when I met Hittman, I found him living happily off royalties with his family in Pasadena, California. And when I learned the reasons for his disappearance—personal tragedy, a disinterested Dre, bad business deals—the bubble popped. Hittman didn’t mysteriously disappear; he got burnt out and chose to move on. The reality was far from the myth, and much more human.

How do we choose the stories we tell about ourselves? Dre chose to bury the shame, anger, and insecurity of his deepest self within tall tales of authority, menace, and, later, questionable contrition. He got one of the greatest rap albums of all time, and a remarkable life, out of that truth bending. But there is always a cost. I asked Hittman, back in 2014, on 2001’s 15th anniversary, whether he had any regrets. He quickly told me no. “And while I may have squandered any remnants of a career, I never compromised my character in exchange for one,” he said, sitting outside at a frozen yogurt shop, watching his two young daughters play. “So I can live with that.” "

Retiring at 35

The Ringer – "Welcome to Retirement: Lindsey Vonn Confronts Life After Skiing"
By Katie Baker

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite

New York Times – "It’s Bong Joon Ho’s Dystopia. We Just Live in It."
By A.O. Scott

"In South Korea, where “Parasite” is already a blockbuster (having taken in more than $70 million at the box office), it has contributed to that country’s continuing debate about economic inequality. In the United States, where similar arguments are swirling, it has begun to turn Bong from an auteur with a passionate cult following into a top-tier international filmmaker. Fifty years old, with seven features to his name — most of them available on North American streaming platforms — he combines showmanship with social awareness in a way that re-energizes the faded but nonetheless durable democratic promise of movies."


"It’s part horror film, part satire and part tragedy, conveying a sharp lesson about class struggle in South Korea and just about everywhere else."


"“Parasite” is more noir than science fiction, farcical until it turns melodramatic."

New Yorker – "“Parasite” Explores What Lies Beneath"
By Anthony Lane

Early Oscar Hype

Boba Fett and The Mandalorian

The Ringer – "Who Is the Mandalorian? Let’s Start With Who He’s Not."

"In Clint Eastwood’s 1960s collaborations with Sergio Leone—the films that both made Eastwood’s star and created the Spaghetti Western genre—he played the Man With No Name, a grizzled bounty hunter who wasn’t so much a “hero” as he was a guy whose self-interest sometimes rubbed shoulders with decency. Throughout the 100-minute runtime of their second film, For a Few Dollars More, Eastwood’s face rests at a 60-40 ratio of “ruggedly handsome” and “intimidating.” Watch the final duel again: He swaggers in, chewing on his hand-rolled cigar, stare a mile long, instantly and totally in control of the situation. The bandit deigns to make a move for his pistol. Then time slows down, and Eastwood, as cold as you could never be, shakes his head no.

It was the poncho, draped just so, that did it for actor Jeremy Bulloch. While shooting the The Empire Strikes Back, he noticed his character Boba Fett wore a cape just like it. Bulloch decided to model Fett’s mannerisms after Eastwood in Fistful, which is to say that the space bounty hunter, like the Man With No Name, is impossibly self-possessed. At least until that iconic Wilhelm scream Fett lets out as he falls—with his jetpack?—into the sarlacc pit. It was a pretty stupid death befitting a character George Lucas assumed would be minor in the long run, and not one generations of fans, filmmakers, and showrunners would find cool as hell. And this is despite him speaking only four lines of dialogue in his first on-screen appearance."

The Ringer – "How Boba Fett Became a ‘Star Wars’ Icon"

"heThe first concept artwork for Boba Fett began, like most rough sketches, in black and white. After George Lucas had established a pure villain in Darth Vader and his white-armored henchmen, he wanted to create a “Super-Stormtrooper” that could do Vader’s bidding and provide fans with another antagonist in the Empire. Eventually, wanting the character to have a bigger role in the story, Lucas rewrote him as a bounty hunter. “The Boba Fett character is really an early version of Darth Vader,” says Lucas in J.W. Rinzler’s book The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. “He is also very much like the man-with-no-name from the Sergio Leone Westerns.”

Beginning in 1977, concept artist Ralph McQuarrie outfitted what the design team called its “supercommando” in all white, morphing a Vaderlike helmet into a signature T-shaped visor. A year later, art director Joe Johnston took the reins on Boba Fett’s exterior technology. His early sketches showed off the wide array of gadgets the bounty hunter had at his disposal, including a rangefinder readout, shoulder guards, rocket-pack nozzles, high-velocity armor-piercing projectiles, luminous flares, laser weapons, a flamethrower attachment, utility pouches, rocket darts, and extendable kick blades. In more developed and detailed illustrations, Boba Fett sported aquamarine coloring along with a dented helmet, a woven hide belt, and a wrap-around cape stolen right out of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Monoculture Rise and Fall of Boxing

Washington Post – "Why boxing disappeared after the Rumble in the Jungle — and why football could, too"

"Like football today, boxing owed its enormous national popularity to broadcasting. Originally, in the bare-knuckled days, bouts would often be staged in barrooms while bookies placed odds among the raucous crowds. At the turn of the 20th century, however, boxing emerged as legitimate amusement. State regulatory boards, pushed by promoters, fans and the media, began to sanction the sport.

Radio capitalized on the huge crowds that swarmed arenas around the world to watch iconic champions — the first real sporting celebrities — battle it out. Radio coverage cleaned up boxing, pulling it out of the smoky bars and grimy arenas and making it presentable in every American home. The networks showcased boxing stars by creating dramatic and sensational narratives around such heroic athletes as Jim Braddock, Max Baer and Joe Louis. In the 1930s, Louis’s championship bouts were the only network programming that proved competitive in the national ratings with President Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats. Everyone tuned in.

By the 1930s, heavyweight championship fights paid out almost unimaginable riches to elite stars. And over the ensuing decades, as radio evolved into television and “Friday Night Fights” became appointment viewing, even the boxers themselves couldn’t believe the money involved. In 1971, right before Ali fought Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden, the crowd watched Ali chanting something while dancing around the ring. Everyone assumed he was taunting Frazier. In fact, he was quietly repeating to himself: “Two-and-a-half million dollars! Two-and-a-half million dollars! Can you believe it?”

But that popularity encouraged promoters to search for new revenue opportunities, and they found them outside the broadcast networks, on satellite and closed-circuit pay-per-view television. That is the significance of the Rumble in the Jungle: It did not appear on network television. The live broadcast occurred in the United States in closed-circuit-equipped movie theaters. This effort to capitalize on the sport’s popularity risked losing the interest of the casual viewer. As more top fights left free television, the networks settled for lesser attractions, and the quality of the matches eroded.

And then the violence of the sport took its toll on viewers. Boxing’s future on free television was most likely sealed by a series of events in 1982. First, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini seriously maimed South Korean Duk-Koo Kim live on CBS; Kim died a few days afterward. Less than two weeks later, while the public and politicians debated the horrifying savagery of that event, Larry Holmes pounded the face of Randall “Tex” Cobb into a bloody mess live on ABC. When the referee refused to stop the fight, a disgusted Howard Cosell turned on the sport that made him famous. Cosell’s anger presaged the frustration of his network bosses.

For them, the value proposition of running afoul of Washington’s regulators in exchange for now-second-rate sports programming with declining ratings was no longer viable. They had other options. Soon the NBA started drawing in the casual sports fan, and within a decade basketball stars filled boxing’s void in the global sporting arena. "

Scorsese's 1980's

The Ringer – "Marty in the ’80s: The Hidden Genius of Scorsese’s Most Fascinating Decade"

Teddy Two Gloves

The Undefeated – "Bridgewater’s brief but brilliant starting run was a glimpse of what could have been"

"“In this town, people like underdogs,” said Saints Radio play-by-play man Zach Strief, who played offensive line for New Orleans for 12 seasons. “They like people that work hard. They like people who are like them. Teddy embodies all that. Certainly, the production helps, the fact that we’re winning helps, but I think the way that Teddy goes about his business does, too. He’s kind of quiet, he’s kind of soft-spoken, but he’s got kind of a confidence. He really embodies what the city is about: fighting your way out, being resilient.

“The things Teddy went through to get to this place, you could very easily build a metaphor of Katrina and what it was like rebuilding the city. At that time, people were talking about that this city may never come back. And yet it’s back, it’s better than it was before, it’s growing. It’s the same thing Teddy is going through right now.”"

Hot Ones

The Verge – "IN THE HOT SEAT: Behind Hot Ones’ ambitions to be the future of late-night TV"

This Month in Fictional History

Blade Runner (Wikipedia)
Via @mrjimifletcher.

Visiting All 30 NFL Stadiums

Pro Football Stadiums Scratch-Off Chart By PopChart

Professional Sports of the 2010s

Via @TheKendallBaker.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Jesus Is King

NY Times – "Kanye West, Heretic by Nature, Finds God"
By Jon Caramanica

"Since 2008, when he deconstructed his bluster on “808s & Heartbreak,” but particularly since the tectonic, industrial shift of “Yeezus” in 2013, West has made texture his palette far more than rhyme, subject matter or melody. His verses have gotten terser and snarlier (and he has spoken of not always writing them himself), and his best songs work primarily on visceral, nontextual levels.

The result is “Yeezus” for Jesus, packed with hard sonic jolts. West understands the weapons-grade power of a gospel choir, and deploys it from the album’s opener, “Every Hour” — quite simply, a ringing alarm clock shaking off the fatigue of the last couple of years."


OK Boomer

NY Times – "‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations"
By Taylor Lorenz

"“Ok boomer” has become Generation Z’s endlessly repeated retort to the problem of older people who just don’t get it, a rallying cry for millions of fed up kids. Teenagers use it to reply to cringey YouTube videos, Donald Trump tweets, and basically any person over 30 who says something condescending about young people — and the issues that matter to them."


"“The older generations grew up with a certain mind-set, and we have a different perspective,” Ms. O’Connor said. “A lot of them don’t believe in climate change or don’t believe people can get jobs with dyed hair, and a lot of them are stubborn in that view. Teenagers just respond, ‘Ok, boomer.’ It’s like, we’ll prove you wrong, we’re still going to be successful because the world is changing.”"

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Loss of a Sense of Time

BuzzFeed – "The 2010s Broke Our Sense Of Time"

"The touch and taste of the 2010s was nonlinear acceleration: always moving, always faster, but torn this way and that way, pushed forward, and pulled back under. As the decade closes with an impeachment inquiry, Trump drags and twists the entire country through six turns each day."


"And, within a few months in 2016, both the primary catalog for millions of lives (Instagram) and the primary channel for news and culture (Twitter) switched from chronological to algorithmic timelines. All this happened while the country realized Trump could become president, and then he did — an experience somehow both mystifying and like watching a wet paper bag break."


"There’s more than one kind of time. You have your minutes and seconds ticking away, grounded in the Earth’s rotation and orbit. Paradoxically, given the lament of melting time, we’ve never had such easy access to this kind of precision on the subject. Knowing the time is relatively new to the human experience; the first cheap, reliable watch wasn’t made until the late 1860s, nor were there international time zones until 1884. But if you leave London and land in Los Angeles today, your phone will adjust and display in perpetuity the correct time in big sans serif numerals, no matter what you seek on the screen.

Then there’s the other kind of time: the expected rhythms of our lives (punching in, punching out, news and weather on the eights), constantly in flux.

Take, for instance, television. We’re living through an incredible boom of great shows. Often described, with a weary irony, as the era of Peak TV, this wealth of programming followed tech and traditional premium broadcasters finally figuring out how to commercialize streaming platforms in the 2010s. As a result, you the viewer can move in any sort of direction, watching in bulk something that aired last year, or on Sunday, or one scene again and again, freed from the now-or-never quality that TV once had. For decades, TV either made or ran parallel to the rhythms of American life: morning shows, daytime soaps, the 6 o’clock news, the playoffs, Johnny Carson. In between, the broadcast networks aired 22 half-hour episodes, weekly from September to May, at a fixed time, winding away in sequential order at a mass scale.

“Television took place over time,” critic Emily Nussbaum writes in her recent essay collection, I Like to Watch. “It took time to make, it took time to watch, it happened over time. A director films a movie, then later, people watch it; a novelist writes, then readers read. But television takes weeks, seasons, years, even decades. A fan had to keep inviting her favorite show back in.” This relationship created an intense feedback loop between that fan and the show’s creators — “a sadomasochistic intimacy that both sides craved and resented,” as Nussbaum describes it — that only intensified with the immediacy of the internet.

But the models have changed in multiple directions, she argues, from the style of production and the format of delivery, to the introduction of the pause button, which “helped turn television from a flow into text, to be frozen and meditated upon.”

Now, Nussbaum writes, “time itself has been bent.”"

Astrology in 2019

New Yorker – "Astrology in the Age of Uncertainty"

"A windowsill was lined with gifts from clients—an illustrated zodiac, a white orchid. Kelly sat cross-legged on a taupe ottoman, wearing cat eyeliner and large hoop earrings, greeting people and waving as they appeared in the online chat room. “That is one of my favorite things, as a Leo and as a person—building community,” she said. It was a little before eight-thirty, and some of the fifty-two participants—who had paid between $19.99 and $39.99 each—were typing hellos; one woman, in Europe, had set her alarm for 2:30 a.m., to log in. Once the class started, Kelly clicked through a slide deck about ancient Babylonia; William Lilly, the “English Merlin,” who was consulted by both sides during the English Civil War; and the signs of the zodiac. To explain the traits of Aries, she put up a picture of Mariah Carey (“She loves getting presents”). For Pisces, she had Rihanna and Steve Jobs. “My main favorite thing is to talk about the signs as celebrities,” she said. “Because these are modern-day mythological figures. In ancient Greece, if you said ‘Athena,’ everyone knew, Oh, that’s what Athena is like.”

Kelly’s schedule is typical for a millennial astrologer. She writes books (on zodiac-themed cocktails); does events (at the private club Soho House); offers individual chart readings (a hundred and seventy-five dollars an hour); hosts a podcast (“Stars Like Us”); makes memes (“for lolz”); manages a “virtual coven” called the Constellation Club, with membership levels that cost from five dollars to two hundred; and has worked as a consultant for the astrology app Sanctuary. She also writes an advice column for Cosmopolitan, and hosts an occasional Cosmo video series in which she guesses celebrities’ signs based on their answers to twelve questions. According to the editor-in-chief, Jessica Pels, who has expanded the magazine’s print coverage of astrology to nine pages in every issue, seventy-four per cent of Cosmo readers report that they are “obsessed” with astrology; seventy-two per cent check their horoscope every day.

Astrology is currently enjoying a broad cultural acceptance that hasn’t been seen since the nineteen-seventies. The shift began with the advent of the personal computer, accelerated with the Internet, and has reached new speeds through social media. According to a 2017 Pew Research Center poll, almost thirty per cent of Americans believe in astrology. But, as the scholar Nicholas Campion, the author of “Astrology and Popular Religion in the Modern West,” has argued, the number of people who know their sun sign, consult their horoscope, or read about the sign of their romantic partner is much higher. “New spirituality is the new norm,” the trend-forecasting company WGSN declared two years ago, when it announced a report on millennials and spirituality that tracked such trends as full-moon parties and alternative therapies. Last year, the Times, in a piece entitled “How Astrology Took Over the Internet,” heralded “astrology’s return as a compelling content business as much as a traditional spiritual practice.” The Atlantic proclaimed, “Astrology is a meme.” As a meme, its life cycle has been unusually long. “My account, it was meant to be a fun thing for me to do on the side while I was a production assistant,” Courtney Perkins, who runs the Instagram account Not All Geminis, which has more than five hundred thousand followers, said. “Then it blew up and now it’s like—I don’t know. I didn’t mean for this to be . . . life.”

In its penetration into our shared lexicon, astrology is a little like psychoanalysis once was. At mid-century, you might have heard talk of id, ego, or superego at a party; now it’s common to hear someone explain herself by way of sun, moon, and rising signs. It’s not just that you hear it. It’s who’s saying it: people who aren’t kooks or climate-change deniers, who see no contradiction between using astrology and believing in science. The change is fuelling a new generation of practitioners. Fifteen years ago, astrology conferences were the gray-streaked province of, as one astrologer told me, “white ladies in muumuus decorated with stars.” Kay Taylor, the education director of the Organization for Professional Astrology, said that those who came of age in the seventies were worried about the future of the profession. Now, she said, “all of a sudden there’s this new crop.” In the past year, the membership of the Association for Young Astrologers has doubled."


"The popularity of astrology is often explained as the result of the decline of organized religion and the rise of economic precariousness, and as one aspect of a larger turn to New Age modalities. Then, there’s the matter of political panic. In times of crisis, it is often said, people search for something to believe in. The first newspaper astrology column was commissioned in August, 1930, in the aftermath of the stock-market crash, for the British tabloid the Sunday Express. The occasion was Princess Margaret’s birth. “What the Stars Foretell for the New Princess” was so popular—and such a terrific distraction—that the paper made it a regular feature. After the financial collapse in 2008, Gordon, who runs a popular online astrology school, received calls from Wall Street bankers. “All of those structures that people had relied upon, 401(k)s and everything, started to fall apart,” she said. “That’s how a lot of people get into it. They’re, like, ‘What’s going on in my life? Nothing makes sense.’ ” Ten years later, more than retirement plans have fallen apart. “I think the 2016 election changed everything,” Colin Bedell, an astrologer whose online handle is Queer Cosmos, told me. “People were just, like, we need to come to some spiritual school of thought.” As Kelly put it, “In the Obama years, people liked astrology. In the Trump years, people need it.”"

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

2024 Paris Summer Olympics Logo

Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (Final Trailer)

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Teaser)

Binge Mode: ‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’

The Return (Remix) of Watchmen

New York Times – "‘Watchmen’ Is Coming. (Actually, It Never Left.): A new adaptation of the graphic novel “Watchmen” is coming to HBO. The original changed superhero tales — and pop culture at large — forever."

New York Times – "Who Will Watch ‘Watchmen’?: Damon Lindelof, creator of the HBO comic adaptation, and Regina King, its star, discuss why the show is a Rorschach test of its own."

Watchmen (TV)

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Greek and Roman Myths in Succession

Vulture – "Succession Loves Ancient Greek and Roman Myths, But What Does It All Mean?"

The 60th Anniversary of The Guggenheim

New York Times – "With the Guggenheim, Frank Lloyd Wright Built a Soaring and Intimate Sanctuary for Art"

"Frank Lloyd Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is still a shock on Fifth Avenue. The architecture declines to fade into the background or get old, never mind the building turns 60 this month.

Happy birthday to one of modern architecture’s transcendent achievements! Its spiral ramp has defeated generations of curators trying to figure out how to install exhibitions on it. The building has gone through ham-fisted additions, hostile restorations, lousy paint jobs and too many bad imitations to count.

But it endures everything, a testament to what the critic Ada Louise Huxtable once called its “unified space and structure.”

Neither Wright nor the man who commissioned him to design the building, Solomon R. Guggenheim, saw it finished. Guggenheim had died a decade earlier, Wright shortly before the building opened. He was 91.


Then Guggenheim died. His nephew took over the project, and for years construction stalled because of rising costs and material shortages after the war. In addition, Wright’s design violated all sorts of New York building codes, so the Guggenheim couldn’t get a permit until Wright reached out for some help. Robert Moses, the city’s all-powerful planning czar, while he had no love for modern art or Wright’s architecture, was related to Wright by marriage. Magically, the museum got its permits."

Fly Fishing

New York Times – "Fly Fishing Is the New Bird-Watching"

"For those who can afford the leisure time and some rudimentary equipment, it offers a reason to be outdoors, a closer connection to nature, an avenue for environmentalism, built-in community, opportunity for creative expression, and a lifetime’s worth of niche expertise. Fly anglers who are not vegetarian nor vegan, nor otherwise bound by the code of “catch and release,” see it as an extension of the farm-to-table movement. Plus, it’s very Instagrammable, even as it encourages people to put down their phones.


You don’t think about work, or emails, or the city.


Last year, one in four anglers surveyed were in the 18 to 34 age range.


Hallie Brennan, a 31-year-old freelance photographer in Santa Fe who took up the hobby four years ago, said, “Fly fishing makes natural conservationists out of people. The planet could always use more of those.” The sport’s meditative qualities help connect her to nature, she said. “It’s a beautiful sport and I feel beautiful when I fish. And it helped me understand and respect the ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains — I once hated flies and bugs. Now I love them!”"

Expedition Amelia

Esquire – "Robert Ballard Found the Titanic. Will He Find Amelia Earhart Next?"

"In the NatGeo special, the recent expedition is intertwined with fascinating historical footage of Earhart, a feminist and pioneer ahead of her time. When the 39-year-old took off from Miami in her twin engine Lockheed Electra on June 1, 1937, her goal was to become the first woman to fly around the world. But on June 2, as she took off from New Guinea, making her way through cloudy skies, she sent a radio transmission reporting she was low on fuel. Then she disappeared. The Navy launched an extensive search, but on July 19 after scouring 250,000 miles of ocean, the search was called off with no evidence of Earhart or her plane. The official explanation was that she crashed into the water.


Over the years, there have been several theories about what happened. She was captured by the Japanese and died in their custody. She made it back to the U.S. and lived undercover as a New Jersey housewife. But the hypotheses with the most evidence suggest she got somewhat close to her intended target of Howland Island. On August 9, after 52 hours in transit, the E/V Nautilus research ship approached the narrow ring of land where the evidence suggests Earhart spent her final days.


Ballard’s done this before. The 77-year-old deep-sea explorer has earned a reputation for finding the unfindable. In 1985, he discovered the Titanic. In 1989, he found the German Battleship Bismark. And in 2002, he identified the missing patrol boat PT-109 commanded by John F. Kennedy before he became president. “This is tougher,” Ballard tells me of the Earhart mission. “Am I confident? Sure. Give me enough time, I'll get it. It does exist. It's not the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. There is a plane down there.”


"Hey, it took four expeditions to find the Titanic. It took me two expeditions to find the Bismarck. These are not easy. I mean, do you really expect to have it just fall in your lap?” Ballard says. “It's a big ocean, but it'll be found. It's just when does the technology make it easy? Soon." Earlier this year, Ballard and his team were awarded nearly $100 million by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to explore an estimated 3 billion acres of U.S. ocean territory. It’s a 10-year mission to explore the largely unknown underwater land the country owns. After being awarded the grant, Ballard talked to Chris Weber, Senior Vice President of National Geographic Studios, to tell her this mission would take him right by Nikumaroro. Weber and Ballard, who’ve known each other for four decades, knew that this was it—their chance to do a proper search of the island. "

Robert Pattinson as Batman

New York Times – "What Can Robert Pattinson Do to Keep You Guessing?"

Q: "Is it fair to say you’re drawn to eccentric characters?

A: I’ve always thought that the only reason you’d want to play a good guy all the time is because you’re desperately ashamed of what you’re doing in real life, whereas if you’re a pretty normal person, the most fun part of doing movies is that you can explore the more grotesque or naughty sides of your psyche in a somewhat safe environment. And it’s always more fun if you’re shocking the people in the room. If you end up being boring, that’s the lowest of the low.

Q: You were saying earlier that we should be skeptical of any actor who wants to play the hero, and yet here you are playing Batman.

A: Batman’s not a hero, though. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero — there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong. I think it’s because one of my eyes is smaller than the other one.

Q: What is it about Batman that excites you?

A: I love the director, Matt Reeves, and it’s a dope character. His morality is a little bit off. He’s not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character. "

Variety – "‘The Batman’: Paul Dano to Play The Riddler"

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Primetime Purple

Vikings Announce #PrimetimePurple Jerseys for Thursday Night Game

"The Vikings have worn the combination of purple jerseys and pants five times in team history, although the first time — Oct. 11, 1964 — wasn’t intentional.

The squad has traditionally featured purple jerseys in home games and worn white jerseys on the road. Occasionally, the Vikings wear purple jerseys in road games, particularly early in the season when the home team opted for a white jersey to counteract high temperatures and most recently in Week 4 when Chicago wore white throwback jerseys in homage to the Bears 1936 season.

In 1964, however, the Vikings elected to wear white jerseys and purple pants for some home games. A miscommunication created a problem when the Lions and Vikings both arrived at Metropolitan Stadium wearing white jerseys.

The Vikings truck driver drove to Midway Stadium in St. Paul, where the Vikings practiced, to fetch their purple jerseys, but he didn’t make it back to Bloomington before kickoff. The Vikings changed into purple jerseys during the second quarter right on the sideline."

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Alex Honnold's Daily Diet

GQ – "The Real-Life Diet of a Badass Rock Climber... Who's Vegetarian and Lives in a Van" (2015)

Muesli with flax meal, banana, hemp milk.

On-the-wall snacks
Avocado sandwich (fresh avocado on bread)

Macaroni and cheese with spinach, red peppers and yellow squash, topped with pumpkin seeds

Kawhi Leonard's On the Road Diet

Peyton Manning Breaking Down Russell Wilson Game Tape

ESPN+ Detail

Kobe Breaking Down Kawhi Leonard Game Tape

Marathon for Speed

New York Times – "For Speed, Chicago’s Marathon Is Second to None"

"The New York City Marathon has marketed itself as the world’s marathon, bringing in tens of thousands of international runners to the city’s biggest block party. The Boston Marathon has positioned itself as the most prestigious marathon in the world, a Super Bowl for amateur runners where meeting the race’s stringent qualifying standard provides a lifetime of bragging rights to runners of all ages. And the Chicago Marathon has become known as the racetrack — where runners go looking for their best performance."


Primal Created and Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars)

Onward Trailer

Onward Teaser Trailer

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Coors Light – The Official Beer of Chill

Pitchfork's 200 Best Albums of the 2010's

Pitchfork – "The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s"

The Lisa Frank Hotel Room

Popsugar – "You Can Stay in This Lisa Frank Hotel Room, Where the '90s Nostalgia Runneth Over"
People – "You Can Relive Your ‘90s Childhood in This Insane Lisa Frank-Themed Hotel Room" – "This Lisa Frank-designed hotel is the perfect slumber party destination"
Curbed LA – "Rent the multicolored Lisa Frank room of your dreams for $199 a night"
Adweek – "90s Style Icon Lisa Frank Brings Nostalgia to Travel With Rentable Dream Room"
Refinery29 – "This Lisa Frank Hotel Room Is Here To Make All Your Tween Dreams A Reality"
New York Post – "Lisa Frank hotel room surrounds guests in psychedelic rainbows"
Fast Company – "This Lisa Frank hotel room is a time capsule for ’90s cool kids"
US Magazine – "This Lisa Frank Hotel Suite Features ’90s Snacks, Cabinets Filled With Stuffed Animals and More Colorful Surprises"
Thrillist – "This Lisa Frank-Themed Apartment Is a '90s Kid's Rainbow-Filled Dream & You Can Stay in It"
House Beautiful – "Lisa Frank Just Designed an Entire Hotel Room And It's a Neon Dream"
BuzzFeed – "The Lisa Frank Flat Will Make Every '90s Girl's Dreams Come True And You Can Actually Stay There"
Elite Daily – "'s Lisa Frank Flat Is The Colorful Retreat Of Your '90s Dreams"

Brooklyn Nets Gray Court

 – "Brooklyn Nets Unveil New Court"

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Trailer

October 23, 2019
"Chef David Chang is taking his insatiable curiosity about food, culture and identity on the road, with A-list stars along for the ride. In Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, David travels around the world with Seth Rogen, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Waithe and Kate McKinnon as they dive into different cultures, eat new food and share new experiences."

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Detroit Pistons Teal

The Athletic – "A wacky oral history about the origin of the Pistons’ teal jersey, horse logo and Hooper"

"Tom O’Grady, NBA creative director in the 1990s: The Charlotte Hornets started it all. They were the leaders. Alexander Julian, the fashion designer, who was kind of an outsider in that category and in that business in 1988, came up with that concept, but that predated me — I wasn’t even there yet. But that was the one that really set the world on fire when it came to teal, and everybody else was an imitator. The Marlins, the Sharks and the Jaguars. The Grizzlies were turquoise, so the Grizzlies were not teal if you look at their color carefully. It’s a different shade altogether."


"O’Grady: I think the NBA made a big mistake. I think when Nike came on board, they started overthinking all this stuff and forgot that they’re in sports entertainment and worry too much about the precision of a backstory and a hype video and, you know, how they’re going to sell the merchandise and how they’re going to reduce the manual manufacturing costs. So, I think Nike screwed up about a 15-year era for NBA uniforms. I think everything is so bland and predictable and nothing that, you know, energized the eyes. Basketball, more than anything, is the most sports-entertainment brand on the planet. I mean, I felt like they were going into this intramural style for a sport that does not need that. That’s not who they are."

Why the Sonics Left Seattle

The Ringer – "The ’90s Made the Sonics Iconic—and Planted the Seeds for Heartbreak"

NFL Wide Receivers from #80s to #10s

The Ringer – "The Era of NFL Wide Receivers Wearing Jersey Numbers in the 80s Is Officially Dead"

"As the NFL approached modernity, though, jersey-number standardization became the norm. In 1973, the NFL installed uniform restrictions that have more or less remained unchanged to the present day. Per those 1973 rules, receivers were only allowed to wear numbers between 80 and 89. However, teams were allowed to break the rules during training camp, when rosters expanded beyond the 53-man regular-season limit, making it hard to fit every player into the proper slots.

That was the situation for Keyshawn Johnson when the Jets drafted him first overall in 1996. No. 19 had no special meaning for Keyshawn, who wore no. 3 during his college career at USC. (While the NCAA rule book “strongly recommends” certain uniform numbers for position groups, the only hard-and-fast rule is that offenses must go into every play with five linemen wearing numbers between 50 and 79.) When Johnson was drafted, the Jets had already issued every number from 80 to 89, though, so he was assigned no. 19. (Hey, 1996 Jets equipment staff: Maybe prioritize getting your no. 1 pick the number he wants? Sheesh.)

In a strange twist, Johnson loved the number, deciding to keep it even after numbers in the 80s opened up. An old ESPN article explained that neither the NFL nor the Jets could fully remember why Johnson was allowed to keep wearing no. 19 into the regular season—just that Johnson was “very persistent” about it. Johnson was a perfect trendsetter, a brash superstar with dynamic skills and a legion of haters. His number was yet another representation of his iconoclastic ways. Other players wanted in, but the league remained steadfast in forcing every other receiver to wear numbers in the 80s for almost a decade.

Until 2004, that is, when the league made its first change to its uniform numbering policies in 20 years by opening up nos. 10 through 19 to wide receivers. There was good justification for the change: The passing game had grown significantly in importance over the course of three decades, and the majority of teams were rostering at least five receivers. Factor in the presence of three tight ends (also required to wear numbers in the 80s) on many rosters and the fact that some franchises had retired the jersey numbers of a handful of receivers, and teams were simply running out of space. Left unsaid was the other reason: Players wanted to be like Keyshawn.

It soon became a prerequisite for any young incoming star receiver to wear a number in the teens. In 2004, the first year after the rule change, the top three wide receivers taken in the draft (Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams, and Reggie Williams) all chose to wear no. 11 to begin their NFL careers. In the 15 drafts since, only four times has the highest-drafted receiver chosen to wear a number in the 80s (Calvin Johnson, Thomas, Cooper, and Davis)."