New Blog

26Jun09

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Man—what a night, huh? Can you believe Mickey Rourke showed up wearing an iridescent homburg, four wallet chains, and the grille from a Ford Focus? And then, of course, there was that surprising upset! That conceived-on-

nicolascagepeyote dance number! And that woman in the unflattering dress! 

 

What was she thinking?

 

Okay, you caught us. All we know for sure about this year’s show is Jerry Lewis is a lock for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and at least one winner will reference Obama in a way that makes us kinda hate hope.

 

One other thing: Some of you lucky folks weren’t near the podium. Winning an Oscar used to be a lifetime pass to the Credibility Lounge, a showbiz knighthood reserved only for your Brandos, your Poitiers, your Richard Dreyfii. But somewhere along the line, we started to feel like that little golden man neither confirmed nor guaranteed anything about the people who won it.

 

So, right now you’re colonically irrigating in tall cotton. You’re short-listed for the lead in Steven Soderbergh’s thirteen-hour bio-pic of the Zig-Zag man. Angelina’s thinking about breaking up your marriage. When you see Sean Penn, he remembers that your name is Josh. But the speeding Prius that is your career can drift into the fast lane to Movie Hell quicker than you can say “Catwoman? I’m in.” If history has taught us one thing, it’s that the Best Actors and Actresses do not always make the Best Choices when it’s time to follow up the big win.

 

One day you’re Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby; the next, you’re Hilary Swank in The Reaping, fighting, like, magic locusts or something. And you don’t even have to win to bring the Oscar curse down upon your beach house. The saddest and most inexplicable words we heard the announcer say during the Golden Globes? “Please welcome the star of Hotel for Dogs—Don Cheadle!” (We kid, Don—the saddest, most inexplicable words were actually “Kevin Connolly, for Entourage.” Even E looked confused and ashamed at that moment. He knew it was Turtle’s year.)

 

Granted, you can squander your Oscarosity and still earn a decent, even obscene living. Look at Nicolas Cage. He craps money into pants made of money, even though he’s appeared in so many lousy movies since he won for Leaving Las Vegas that we’re convinced the real Nic Cage actually died at the end of that movie and was replaced by an android programmed to say things like “This copy of the Monroe Doctrine will tell us where the gold is!”

 

But trust us—there are nights when Cage lies awake in his nest of uncut diamonds wondering where it all went wrong. And maybe you think you’re too smart to end up asking yourself the same question while tossing and turning on similarly impractical bedding. Maybe you’re Sean Penn and you’re coming here to punch us in the face for disrespecting your fellow craftsmen.

 

But trust us: The thing about a comeback—even an Oscar-sanctified one—is that it ends the minute that Academy pit band strikes up the first few bars of the “Thank Your ‘Team’ at CAA and Get the Hell o  the Stage Overture.” Once you’re back, it’s like you never left—and frankly, we, the fickle ticket-buying public, started getting sick of you and your it’s-been-a-long-road-back-from-rehab/jail/Skinemax routine before you stepped inside the press tent.

 

Oh, and one other thing: Much like the rules of fashion, none of these rules apply to Mickey Rourke. Mickey, if you’re reading this, I’ve got a part for you in a script I’m developing. It’s about an airline. An airline for cats. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s already agreed to play the beleaguered cabin-crew steward who’s all out of tuna, and get this—he’s gonna pay me.

 

In January 2010, the fur [dramatic pause] is gonna fly,

Me (sorry gq)

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Hey, is there anywhere to get a decent cup of coffee around here?

Oh, come on. Don’t look so sad. When we’re in the mood for a twenty-four-ounce cup of pumpkin-pie-flavored Cool Whip, a Feist CD covered in mocha fingerprints, a possibly exaggerated memoir by a former child soldier, and some customer “service” that denies our essential humanity, we still head straight to our corner Starbucks. Or the one across from that one. Or the one that will have opened farther down the block by the time we finish typing this sentence.

Here’s the thing, though: We’re never, ever in that mood.

What we do like is coffee. If coffee were smack, we’d be Pete Doherty and we’d refuse to give it up, even if it cost us our career and our supermodel girlfriend. And we’ll tank up anywhere: the neighborhood joint with the womyn-friendly breast-feeding policy and the couches composed entirely of rusty springs; the swill dispenser down the hall; an AA meeting. Anywhere, that is, but Starbucks.

In this we’re not alone. America is a caffeine nation, perpetually jacked up on gallons of magma-hot fuck-yeah juice, and logically you guys should still be making more money than Halliburton and Hannah Montana combined. Instead your market share is crumbling, and so is your cultural primacy. Snooty people have moved on to snootier coffee—shade-grown, fair-trade, artisanal, brought down the mountain by mules that have good dental coverage. Everybody else went back to Dunkin’ Donuts. You’re still part of the fabric of American life—think of Mary-Kate Olsen’s ever present Venti cup, proof despite massive evidence to the contrary that she’s Just Like Us—but so is soul-crushing corporate suckitude. Your new ads spotlight a straight-down-the-middle brew called Pike Place Roast. We’re glad you’re getting back into the coffee business—seriously, is there anything you haven’t put in a latte yet? Courvoisier? DayQuil? unicorn tears?—but we’ve tried this stuff, and it should come with an Egg McMuffin on the side. It’s a rich, complex blend of desperation and mediocrity.

starbucks

The real problem is that there used to be something about you, Starbucks, and now there isn’t. You were a quintessentially ’90s company. You were from Seattle, the same rainy cradle of anticorporate corporateness that gave us Microsoft and major-label grunge. Young dreamers camped out in your stores all day like the cast of Friends, filling napkins with business plans for e-commerce Web sites. (“It’s like Pets.com for Wiccans!”) We were all going to get crazy rich and wear ironic sexy grandpa T-shirts to offices where we’d play Frisbee golf instead of working. A $4 latte wasn’t an extravagance; it was a little rehearsal for the cushy life that was about to be ours. Even your stupid fake-Italian language made us feel sophisticated. The 7-Eleven crowd could have their week-old bubblin’ crude; we’d be over here, talking like Marcello Mastroianni, because we knew better. Even back then, you seemed a little evil-empire-ish. But man, your chairs were comfy. So we drank your overpriced espresso-shakes. We drank them up!

You know the rest. Cobain died. We got Dubya, war, a recession, and our workplace doesn’t have a Centipede machine. We’re living in an era of diminished expectations, and if things aren’t going so well for you, maybe it isn’t because people resent your McDonald’s-esque omnipresence, those cups adorned with quotes from deep thinkers like Josh Groban and David Copperfield, or the fact that you roast your beans under the space shuttle. Maybe it’s because your neither-luxurious-nor-particularly-affordable idea of affordable luxury now seems like a nonfat, half-caf, quadruple-grande bad joke. With extra foam.

In other words, you’ve brought this on yourself. If we learned one thing from The Wire, it’s that you can only control all the corner real estate in town and pay disenfranchised young people to sling an addictive product for so long before you lose your grip on the game. But we’re not mad at you, Starbucks. Give us a call sometime. We’ll grab a coffee. It’s on us—we just shorted your stock.

Yours with shaky hands,

Jared

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[source]


Pitch auto-correction and a simple beat can make anything chart-worthy; even a freestyle about guacamole and expired milk.

kevin pereira :: http://kevinpereira.com
joe lynch :: http://joelynch.net/
luis hurtado :: http://luishurtado.com

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obamacool

That’s my president

Back story — In 1980, when Obama was a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he was approached by an aspiring photographer named Lisa Jack, who asked him if he would be willing to pose for some black and white photographs that she could use in her portfolio.

More from [Time]

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The Great Escape, originally uploaded by ukaaa.

He finally did it!


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Then unexpectedly, a sinister thought entered his mind. Why should the other man alone experience all the pleasures of seeing everything while he himself never got to see anything? It didn’t seem fair. At first thought the man felt ashamed. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window — that thought, and only that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running in. In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped, along with that the sound of breathing.

Now there was only silence-deathly silence. The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate since he had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Epilogue… .

You can interpret the story in any way you like. But one moral stands out: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy.

Author Unknown

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