I’m still not entirely sure, and I don’t have a quick, simple answer. There are a few reasons, however, that stand together to make a rambling explanation.
First, it’s a way to prolong the moment during a reading where the audience has a chance to interact, one-on-one, with the author. I figure that the self-effacing portion of a humorous inscription request helps disarm some of the concerns that might ambush someone considering whether or not to insult a stranger in writing.
Second, these guys write stories about imaginary people for a living. I can’t envision anyone outside of comedians and toll booth operators who could come up with a more biting, uncommon, or prescient zinger for a
Archive for February 21st, 2012
Even with the plethora of award presentations (SAG, WGA, DGA, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit, People’s Choice, et al) occurring before the Oscars (February 26) — and, unfortunately, diminishing much of the attendant surprise and drama — the Academy Awards are still the best show in town. Hey, they’re the Oscars. Not to disrespect the Golden Globes, but ask any actor, director or writer which prize they’d rather win — a Globe or an Oscar — and see what they tell you.
But as good as the Oscar presentation is, it’s not
When the 2012 election is finally concluded, the current popularity of Rick Santorum among Republican voters will probably be viewed as part of the continuum of enthusiasm for various right wing politicians who were unable to muster enough support to prevent Mitt Romney, who is beginning to seem like the some kind of plutocratic Energizer Bunny who just keeps going and going, from eventually winning the nomination.
Santorum is nonetheless a fascinating political, and cultural, phenomenon, and while still a long shot, the only Republican candidate other than Romney with a chance of representing the GOP in November against President Barack Obama. Santorum’s candidacy reflects the marriage of radical views on social issues with the anger and resentment towards an array of targets, that characterizes much of today’s Republican Party.
Santorum’s views on contraception, for example, are extreme, but also almost surreal. While it is not unusual to find politicians with conservative social views, Santorum’s position on this issue seems more calculated to demonstrate the extent to which he is out of the American mainstream than to actually have an impact on
Even two months ago, the notion that Rick Santorum could pose a serious challenge to the financial preeminence of Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican nomination (much less actually leading Romney in many polls) would have been dismissed as fanciful hugger-mugger.
And yet here we are and, well, here we are.
It’s yet another worrying sign of where what passes for today’s Republican orthodoxy has taken the party of the once-Big Tent. More than that (assuming Santorum actually snakes the nomination), it also portents just how nasty the election fight is liable to get when it comes to the igniting of religious brush fires in the electorate.
In fact, we got a preview of these electoral “God Games” last week after the Obama administration unveiled the requirement that free birth control be included as part of the Affordable Care
Pulitzer Prize winner David Rohde’s recent article on our efforts at UNC to turn our university into an engine of innovation argues that America’s research universities can make a profound difference in the battle to rebuild the country’s economy and its middle class. With over 250 billion in endowment, research universities are the crown jewels of our society. Rhode’s plea that these magnificent institutions do more to generate economic activity while attacking society’s biggest problems mirror arguments my co-author Holden Thorp and I make in our book. As Rhode reports, at UNC we are attempting to create a campus culture that focuses on solving important problems and in so doing generate economic activity and new
In the closing days of 1968, a little-known Australian newspaper proprietor flew to London with the intention of taking a gamble. By the fifth day of 1969 he had mortgaged his entire business to purchase The News of the World, then a bloated and barely-profitable behemoth of a paper. Forty years on and Keith Rupert Murdoch has flown into London again, with one last gamble on his mind.
In pushing ahead with the launch of the Sun on Sunday, Murdoch has sent out a message of defiance to his
This is the second installment of documentation released to me by the State Department, pursuant to a past FOIA request. For background see Part 1.
The documents are performance assessments of three contractors – Blackwater, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy – who in past years won task orders awarded under the U.S. State Department’s Worldwide Personal Protective Services contract, which organize, set up, deploy and operate contractor protective service details in many different
This is the final part of a four-part series. Read part three here.
Finally, you reach the main event — the Vanity Fair party. Everyone from all the other parties has now converged on this most glamorous soiree, and they’ve all brought their spoils of victory. The collection of bullion makes you dizzy — did the guy who won Best Animated Short have to be in the urinal next to you? And who puts an Oscar on top of a urinal anyway? (I guess the same person who would spend five years making an animated short.) You know a lot of people in this room, and just four short hours ago you were looking forward to coming to this party more than to the birth of your first
You may like to vacation without guidebooks and Google maps, but don’t let the thrill of discovering a destination on your own keep you from checking out these 12 social travel apps.
Your next adventure will be all the more memorable, affordable and inspiring because of them.
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It’s not hard to see the face of poverty in America. You can see it on any street in just about any town — homeless people who sit on park benches, poor people who line up at the food pantry, or out of work people who wait for hours in the unemployment office. Even if we encounter poverty, we usually choose not to see it. Better to close our eyes than to think about the suffering of the poor.
Like many Americans, I would place myself in this closed-eye
Soweto is overcrowded, dirty and noisy. It has high unemployment, a rickety infrastructure and a tangle of narrow streets lined with shanties fashioned from corrugated iron sheets. It’s also one of the most fascinating, joyful, high-spirited places I’ve ever visited.
We’re sitting on a patio at Sakhumzi, a restaurant just down Vilakazi Street from the small home where Nelson Mandela lived with Winnie before his 1962 arrest and 27-year
Ready for some sun and surf? Jetsetter’s latest Mystery takes you to Waikiki, where we’ve paired a resort fit for a Hawaiian queen with our insider’s guide to the iconic Oahu strip.
Hawaii’s Kamehameha clan cherished Waikiki as their private tropical playground, and you can still roll like royalty on this two-mile strip of sand lined with resort hotels, scenic beaches, tropical parks and gourmet grinds. Click here to book Jetsetter’s Mystery Waikiki resort and read on for your (suggested) strategy for where to surf, sun and scarf in this island paradise.
The grande dame resorts that rose on Waikiki in the early 20th century witnessed the birth of modern surfing, led by watermen like the legendary Duke Kahanamoku, whose wave riding awed and inspired distinguished guests from around the globe.
Before you hit the waves these original Beach Boys pioneered, pay homage to Duke at his bronze statue welcoming all to Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach Park with open arms. Then turn around and shake a shaka (that surf-centric hand gesture wherein the thumb and pinkie are extended and the tree middle fingers curled in) at the suckers surveying the scene from their cubicles on the famous webcam that broadcasts worldwide.
With gentle waves and a shallow sandy bottom, the Waikiki surf within steps of your beachfront Mystery digs is perfect for dialing in your turns. But where to paddle out? Queens Surf Beach Park, south of the Kapahulu Groin
If going on vacation is about letting your hair down, then there are few combinations more ideal for that than the words “beach” and “party.” Beach parties aren’t uncommon around the world, from the infamous raves of Ibiza to beaches with a samba backbeat in Rio, but not every beach party can truly be called among the best.
The party beaches featured here offer everything the partygoer could wish for – gorgeous weather, fantastic beaches on which you can relax during the day, and a plentiful selection of nightclubs and dance floors where you can get your groove on every night.
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I had the great pleasure of visiting the Museum of Chinese in America in Chinatown in New York City. There is much to enjoy in the beautiful facility designed by Maya Lin (the co-chairman of its board) including the interesting, and remarkably diverse exhibitions and public programs. But as impressive an operation as it is, I was far more impressed by the way MOCA is funded.
Most culturally-specific arts organizations depend extensively on government and foundation
For an agency that claims to have “zero tolerance” for criminal behavior, TSA agents sure spend a lot of time declaring their guilt.
I was reminded of that unfortunate fact a few days ago after a screener reportedly faced accusations of stealing $5,000 from a passenger’s jacket as he was going through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The agent, Alexandra Schmid, hasn’t confessed yet even though officials have it all on videotape. But a closer look at the TSA’s rap sheet reveals that often, employees accused of crimes simply roll over and play dead when someone points a finger at them.
Take Coumar Persad and Davon Webb, accused of swiping $40,000 from a piece of luggage in January
When Angelina Jolie asked me to join her in presenting the avant-premire of her film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, I began, of course, by asking to view it. But once I had, I did not hesitate for a second.
Because, really, what a story!
Here is a great Hollywood actress.
Here is one of the most popular and famous stars of cinema in the entire world.
Here is a great name, and no one could doubt that the day she decided to go behind the camera, she would have an unlimited choice of subjects, of financing, of scenarios, and, of course, of actors beating the path to her door for the privilege of participating in the adventure.
But one day Angelina Jolie, indeed, goes behind the camera — and what happens?
She shoots a film d’auteur, with unknown Bosnian actors, in a language, Bosnian, that seems improbable both in America and in Europe — and the film is set in this blind spot of 20th century history, in this moment of utter sorrow, one of indignity and shame, too, for the nations that let it happen: the Bosnian war.
The result is a film that, first of all, rings unbelievably true. I know the places she
By Kamren Curiel
Brooklyn-based Puerto’lombiano (his words) Geko Jones, has become synonymous with NYC’s monthly electro-tinged folkloric Latin music party Que Bajo?!, where he makes dance floors sweat by providing refreshingly new rhythms with partner-in-crime Uproot Andy. When he’s not making over the nightlife scene, he’s spinning at the city’s largest free performing arts festival Summer Stage with dominicana novelist/playwright/former model/amazing talented artist Rita Indiana. I caught up with the 31-year-old Puerto Rico/NYC-raised DJ, who draws from his African roots and proves you don’t have to play hip-hop, salsa or reggaeton at a Latin party, to ask him five questions. Check it out:
How do your roots inspire the music you create? I didn’t grow up with my biological father so I wasn’t as exposed to Colombian music as I would have
Governor Brewer wants it both ways on the border. On one hand her administration has an office devoted to increasing commerce and tourism with Mexico, on the other she pushes legislation which would fund $1.4 million of tax payer money to create a militia to tour the southwest border, ultimately hurting commerce and tourism from our southern neighbor. She can’t have it both ways.
In a speech from 2009
I was two years old in 1988 when I left Guadalajara, Mexico with my mother to join my father in the United States. I don’t remember the long car ride or when the world I was barely learning about drifted away. My mother also left her own world behind — but her amazing courage led her to decide that my health, safety, and future was more important than her own.
I grew up in Los Angeles, CA and was teacher’s pet by the first week of
Today the Western world is divided between two visions of our economic future. One vision is of austerity and the other is of growth. One is of hope and possibility, the other of despair and cynicism. The battle between these two visions has divided the United States and the entire Western
We’ve put a solid eight weeks into this season of “The Bachelor.” Since we were denied any classic shenanigans typically showcased in the ever-popular hometown dates, the least ABC could do is give us more Harrison basking in the romantic glow of the candlelit hotel foyer that has been transformed into a makeshift de-briefing room for his postmortem session with Ben.
Is it too much to ask for a shotgun-toting dad or a grandmother who gets a little too handsy after pre-dinner cocktails? These families were almost normal. Where’s the fun in that? Fortunately, there were a few moments when our Bachelorettes listlessly waved their freak flag. At this point in the game, I’ll take anything that remotely resembles an action sequence.
Teens are like toddlers on hormones who want and need to separate from you. Parenting them under any circumstances can be tough, but co-parenting teens who move between two households presents particular challenges. The following are a few common issues that face co-parents, and some language you might use when communicating with your ex, whether the separation or divorce occurs later in your child’s life or your kids are young and you’re setting up a plan until they turn 18.
Previously on “Smash”: “You’re a waitress.” “What about the adoption?” “You got it! You’re Marilyn!”
Presented without commentary, the most absurd, comical, self-serious and/or humorless moments from episode three, “Enter Mr. DiMaggio.”
1. Derek and Ivy’s sexy time.
2. “I’d really like to get together sometime and work on her.”