“A child of the cinema, Sofia Coppola captures the ironies of the star’s life—the contrast between public persona and private life, and the distortion of the former by the latter.
The strange thing about movie stardom—a fact that Coppola dramatizes better than anyone ever has—is that it isn’t due to study or training. No theatre actor was ever plucked from the counter of a drugstore; the face that the camera loves is a wonder of nature.”—A Place for “Somewhere”
It’s so pretty in San Francisco right now. All the clouds coming in above the blue and pink lights of the 500 Club. There’s the tattoo parlor and the laundrette and close by the bar with the bike rack and Adobe Books where they once organized all the books by color.
It’s cold and blowing and someone in Los Angeles said San Francisco is a city that doesn’t want to admit it’s cold. Others talk about the lack of seasons, how time passes, the summer of love, the speed addicts, Altamont, the sexual revolution, the pro-sex feminists. Lots of people have said San Francisco will make you soft and nobody ever disagreed with that. It’s a gentrified city, the city of Vesuvio and City Lights, though North Beach has become touristy and overpriced. It’s a white city with a huge Chinatown, a one time banking capital, the tip of the dot-com needle. See Leland Stanford’s orange bricks, the Southwest architectural style, the Mavericks looming over Half Moon Bay. All the parks and pastels. Whatever happened here? Everything and nothing…
She was working too hard. She had to drop out of The Godfather Part III at the last minute; Sofia Coppola stepped in. But by then it was the turn of the ’90s, Nirvana was tuning up somewhere out in Washington, and quirkyindiewhateverism was about to have a moment in the spotlight, a moment for which Winona—luminous and vulnerable and well-read and skeptical in fundamental ways about all this attention—is sort of the perfect movie star. Hip musicians named songs after her—countrified sad-boy ballads, sarcastic feedback mash notes. Later on, she returned the favor by dating a bunch of hip musicians. Not as many, she says, as everybody thinks. But after she went out with Dave Pirner from Soul Asylum, she was linked to a vanload of indie frontdudes; a Winona rumor regarding the lead singer became one of the ways we knew a band had both arrived and sold out. Hence the quote, commonly attributed to Courtney Love: “You’re no one in the rock industry unless you’ve feuded with me or slept with Winona Ryder.”
“A globe our size, where migrations, displacements, and diasporas have become fairly common, and networked space-time has become a given for its globalized areas, is increasingly in need of transnational, translingual, transcultural mythologies. Diwata is one such transmission, in English, Spanish, and Tagalog. While most poems in the book take the form of story, it also has songs, couplets, pantoums that pick up the motifs of repetition and variation, creating a sinuous overlapping sonic rhythm.”—Lantern Review: Barbara Jane Reyes’ DIWATA
But if you squinted, what you saw was a sea of Elaines. Listen and you could almost hear the funky slap bass that played as segue music on “Seinfeld.” Could it be that the stars have somehow aligned to make Elaine Benes the summer’s downtown fashion muse?
Over the years, Elaine has stood out as a beacon of a faded era, in long floral skirts, blazers with padded shoulders and granny shoes with socks. Just about every inch of her skin was covered as if she were photosensitive. Unlike other 1990s series with a more easily imitable style (see “Melrose Place”), “Seinfeld” was decidedly anti-fashion. But now, if you happen upon an old episode, Elaine just looks cool — and of-the-moment.
“Jump’s work has elements of management consulting and a bit of design-firm draftsmanship, but its specialty is conceiving new businesses, and what it sells is really the art of innovation. The company is built on the premise that creative thinking is a kind of expertise. Like P.&G. and Mars, you can hire Jump to think on your behalf, for somewhere between $200,000 to $500,000 a month, depending on the complexity and ambiguity of the question you need answered. Or you can ask Jump to teach your corporation how to generate better ideas on its own; Jump imparts that expertise in one- and five-day how-to-brainstorm training sessions that can cost $200,000 for a one-day session for 25 employees. This was a pretty exotic business model when Jump opened in 1998, but it isn’t today.”—In Pursuit of the Perfect Brainstorm
What's the point in saying "No homo"? No one's going to think you're gay if you tell your friend you love them. I don't go to my little sister and say "I love you. No incest". If i'm at my Grandfather's grave, i don't go "I love you. No Necrophilia"
As I entered my mid- to late-20s, folks started asking when I’ll start a family (as if I don’t already have one). Once, a stranger at a party poked my belly and asked when I might start showing. Apparently it doesn’t occur to people that asking about my fertility might be a bit invasive, akin to asking a stranger about her weight or, say, his prostate. Apparently it doesn’t occur to them that I will not offer one of two palatable answers: I’ll have kids soon, or I’ll get around to it eventually.
The honest answer tends to make people defensive, even though that isn’t my intention: I can’t have children. Earlier this year, at the age of 27, I voluntarily had my tubes tied.
“The end is nigh. That’s the message Google sent last week when it unveiled its new laptop, the Google Cr-48 notebook. The computer has all kinds of new features—Chrome OS, a simplified design, and free broadband. But perhaps the boldest change is Google’s decision to ditch the Caps Lock key. In its place is a Search button, denoted with the image of a magnifying glass. Users can still designate the search key as the Caps Lock—they just have to take the time to change a few settings. But the default is that if you want capital letters, you have to hold down Shift.”—The long-overdue movement to abandon Caps Lock
The night the war started, I was explaining to her why the X-Man Psylocke used to be British but now is Japanese. Kath didn’t really seem to be getting it, but I admit that Psylocke’s backstory is confusing. Even without understanding the details, she decided Psylocke was her favorite X-Man, because she liked her slutty outfit, and then my dad came downstairs and turned on the television, and the war was on.
It’s hard to describe how it felt, sitting there in the basement with Kath and watching a war begin on television. It felt unimportant but also momentous, like I was precisely aware of the fact that I would care about it someday, even if I didn’t care at that moment.
I didn’t care a lot about a lot of things in those days. I was thirteen, almost fourteen. Dear Abby was still the real Dear Abby. Now I am older. And while it’s hard to believe that we’ve been in the middle of a war for four entire years, if you think about it for more than a second or two, you realize it does feel like it’s been forever. So many things have changed since then.
There was a frightening survey conducted a few years ago that indicated that editors would rather lie to their authors about sales than admit that the authors’ books aren’t doing well. This lying was done not out of malice or sheer business evil, but rather out of a feeling that authors can’t handle the truth of raw numbers, that it would devastate them to know the truth about their sales.
Here’s a fact: For some authors, the first indication that their career is ending is…when it ends.
"But," some say, "this new service is problematic because authors don’t understand numbers/business/publishing." This, too, is true to a degree. Many authors don’t understand these things and many don’t care to. (And shame on them — yes, you’re an artist, but you’re also a businessperson and the person who should care most about your business is YOU.)
“My second book, The Realm of Possibility, is about twenty teens who all go to the same high school, and how their lives interconnect. Each part is written in its own style, and I’m hoping they all add up to a novel that conveys all the randomness and intersection that goes on in our lives – two things I’m incredibly fascinated by. The book is written in both poetry and linebroken prose – something I never dreamed I would write. But I was inspired by writers such as Virginia Euwer Wolff, Billy Merrell, Eireann Corrigan, and Marie Howe to try it. It is often said that reading is the greatest inspiration to writing, and this is definitely the case for me.”—David Levithan, “You Probably Think This Page Is About Me”
“Somewhere between gen X and Y, “marrying young” gained a negative connotation, and my generation has taken it as a badge. But I’m not convinced that the shift had anything to do with the actual young people who now live under it. What if we just internalized top-down warnings and intellectual admonishments to the point of manifesting them? Take these common arguments against it: Our parents married young and now they’re bitterly divorced; the economic situation is so bad that it would be stupid to even try to start a family; marriage trumps a career so I have to wait until I have the latter to even think about it. None of those explanations leave room for change or effort, and if we employ only the “hook up culture” narrative and combine it with the effect of newly-updated studies about the failure of traditional marriage, the result is a generation that doesn’t want it, and even when some do, is destined to fail at it. It’s both a wonderful excuse and a miscalculation of our character.”—Millenials Magazine: Consider the Engagement Ring
Some people criticize this era of oversharing. NY-based graphic designer Nicholas Felton embraces it and even turns it into an art form. In 2008, Felton experienced an average temperature of 54.7 degrees, consumed 2.7 alcoholic beverages a day, sent 15.9 emails a day, took 4 sick days and attended several birthday parties for friends with an average age of 31.
How do I know that? Because Felton tracks everything in his life. Sometimes he gets others to do the same. In 2009, he asked everyone with whom he had a meaningful encounter “to submit a record of this meeting through an online survey.”
“Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences”—Hanna Rosin, “The End of Men”
“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make. You can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years! And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce…
“And they say there’s no fate, but there is, it’s what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead, or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain wasting years for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right, but it never comes. Or it seems to, but it doesn’t really.
“So you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along, something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel cherished, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is is, I feel so angry! And the truth is, I feel so fucking sad! And the truth is, I’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long, I’ve been pretending I’m okay, just to get along!
“I don’t know why. Maybe because…no one wants to hear about my misery…because they have their own. Fuck everybody. Amen.”