Monthly Archives: August 2013


Although wonderfully choreographed and performed, the “Bojangles of Harlem” number in Swing Time is considered culturally insensitive if not outright racist these days, and you’d probably never see it on prime time TV.

I’m hard pressed to see much difference between this and whatever Miley Cyrus was trying to do at the VMAs on Sunday. Actually, there’s a tremendous difference — the talent of the performer and the execution of the number.

Does it really just come down to shoe polish?

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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Pop Life, Social Commentary


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Go west, young woman…

The most populous and prosperous city in Regina Peyton Cody’s native state of Georgia was Atlanta, which was also sensibly its capital. She had to adjust to the dissonance of Olympia or Salem having that honor over Seattle or Portland. It ran counter to what she perceived as the natural order of existence — the biggest and most powerful is the best: a simple rule she’d mastered early in her life. And that’s what was important to understand about Gina Merrick, as she was now known: She always followed the rules. So, after graduating from Lovett in 1997, she’d left Atlanta for Seattle, advancing several ambitious but still conservative rungs up the metropolitan ladder, and enrolled at the University of Washington, a school that ranked higher than her older brother Tom’s alma mater, UGA (when he was there in the early ’90s, she’d refer to it as “Ugh!” in that way younger sisters had).

Tom graduated from “Ugh!” in 1994 and leaped straight to New York, the largest city in the country. He’d floundered there without any real agenda, which was regrettable but nonetheless worked to Gina’s advantage. The Northwest was easier to sell to her parents now. It boasted fresh air and actual trees, all in stark contrast to that urine-tinted garden of hobos and gang members planted in the middle of Manhattan.

Tom had also moved to New York with a girl of questionable background named “Jasmine.” (People of questionable backgrounds always named their children after nature… for instance, some form of shrubbery  — “Rose” or “Violet ” — or even the elements — “Rain” or “Storm” — because they had nothing else.) Gina was not so reckless as to entertain a relationship with someone socially unacceptable; however, she allowed her parents to believe it was possible (there was power in unpredictability), so a city that restricted its diversity to its foliage had a natural appeal to the Codys over New York and even Atlanta.

So Regina Cody headed west.

–from The Wrong Questions

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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in The Wrong Questions


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Can we talk about how stupid this is?

In college, my friend Zach once described a bad movie as being filmed by “senile cameraman” with a “plot plagiarized from cancelled TV sitcom.” Unfortunately, this accurately describes far too many movies released today.

The Daily Beast, in honor of National Orgasm Day, presented the “best orgasm scenes in movies,” including dramatically relevant ones from When Harry Met Sally and Pleasantville, actually amusing ones from A Fish Called Wanda and Sleeper, a suitably French one from Amélie, something disturbing as hell from Black Swan, and perhaps the worst thing ever from The Ugly Truth.

The gag — unintentional public orgasm — is stale and tired, but it also has the benefit of lousy performances from everyone involved (including the extras). Oh, and no one blinked over the fact that the “joke” is a child bringing Katherine Heigl to orgasm in a restaurant.

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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Pop Life


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