Does Mitt Romney have sex appeal? Does he need it to win?
Does Mitt Romney have sex appeal? Does he need it to win?
For a series that's been dark and brooding from the start, the last two episodes of Mad Men have been particularly grim and morbid with Joan's decision to prostitute herself for the Jaguar account and Lane's fatal departure from the firm --- from life itself. Both choices were motivated by money and commercial success (or the lack thereof). Both were related to cars (Lane first tried to kill himself in the new Jaguar his wife bought him --- but failed). And both deeply disturb Don, making him reconsider his definition of happiness. Is happiness having it all, materially? Or is it something else? Lane and Joan make tragic decisions in the pursuit of having it all. Will our hero, Don, fall into the same trap?
So Time really wanted to sell some magazines. Can you imagine an image more provocative than a three-year-old child with his mouth around the nipple of his young, fit, attractive 26-year-old mother --- or at least an image that's that provocative without also being straight up pornographic?
I’m worried about Sally Draper, the pubescent daughter of brooding Mad Man Don.
Ten years ago, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot came out, an album that The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber is calling "the best rock record of the new millennium" in this piece, which burns a little too hotly in its adoration of the alternative-rock band. No doubt about it, the album was a milestone for Wilco, which formed in 1994 from the remaining members of the band Uncle Tupelo. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the band's bestselling album to date, was not only a commercial success, reaching 13 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, but the critics loved it. Rolling Stone, for instance, ranked it number three on its list of top albums for the 2000s --- high praise for a record that was initially rejected by Wilco's original recording label, Reprise Records.
Over at Elle magazine, reader "Caught in a Love Spell" asks advice columnist E. Jean about whether she should leave her fiancé to be with a man that she is having a passionate affair with.
Where is Camille Paglia when we need her?
I was sitting on the subway in New York last week, reading my book, pretty much in my own world, and trying to ignore the bodies that were pressed up on me from all sides, when I noticed a pale little red-headed boy, probably around eight or nine years old, sitting across from me, looking scared, and crouched up close to his mother, who had her arm around him. Neither of them were talking. Near him were two other kids, maybe age 11 or 12, who were being noisy. I didn't really give the scene much thought.
On Tuesday night, I went to a screening of "Damsels in Distress," a new movie written and directed by the conservative filmmaker Whit Stillman (the creative mind behind “Metropolitan," "Barcelona," and "The Last Days of Disco"). "Damsels," which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, is set for a limited release in New York City and Los Angeles on Good Friday, April 6 (you can watch the trailer here).
In the pop culture today, anti-bullying has become synonymous with Lady Gaga --- and it’s no surprise. The freakish-looking pop star who, when interviewed, acts like a complete wallflower, was the victim of bullying in her childhood. Now that she’s a millionaire with an incredible base of devotees --- she has nearly 20 million Twitter followers and 50 million Facebook fans --- she and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, have launched the Born This Way Foundation, which will, in conjunction with the MacArthur Foundation, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the California Endowment to Empower Youth, educate kids in the ways of anti-bullying. The purpose of the foundation, formally unveiled Wednesday at Harvard University, is to build "a braver, kinder world that celebrates individuality and empowers young people,” according to its website.
When I set out to see “The Artist,” newly anointed as the best picture of the year, a month or two ago at New York City's famed Paris Theatre near Central Park South, I was of two minds about the film. First, I was skeptical. A silent movie described by various media outlets as a "love letter to Hollywood" screamed snobbish pretension --- the kind of flick that critics love, but that would bore most people to tears (in fact, someone sitting near me in the theater fell asleep during the film and started snoring). The fact that the movie was playing only in two niche theaters in New York City, one of them in Chelsea, confirmed that this was a film intended more for artsy-fartsy types than for a general audience.
Animal House — also known as Dartmouth College — is making national news again, this time for a controversial op-ed written by a current student, senior Andrew Lohse, on the experience of being hazed in his fraternity. The op-ed brings up some important questions about being a young person today.
Tensions between the classes are at an all-time high, or so declares this article from Time magazine. The piece is based on a recent Pew study in which 66 percent of respondents said that they "believe there is 'strong conflict' between rich and poor — a huge jump from 47% who felt that way in 2009." It's a similar story in The New York Times. There, we’re told that these class tensions are due to “underlying shifts in the distribution of wealth in American society.” To The Times, "Traditionally, class has been less a part of the American political debate than it has been in Europe. Still, the concept has long existed for ordinary Americans."
The Financial Times recently ran a fascinating report about the inner-workings of the successful online dating website Match.com. Like many social networking websites, Match.com is powered by a sophisticated algorithm — or mathematical function — that uses a number of variables to bring people together in the virtual world. In this case, Match.com is bringing single people together for the sake of meeting online and then, if all goes well, dating in the real world.
On a sweltering spring day in Iraq, days after American forces rolled into Baghdad, Harvard-educated historian Tamara Chalabi wandered through an abandoned house searching for a sign of its former occupants. Tamara, the daughter of Iraq’s infamous Ahmad Chalabi, found it outside, where “a life-size stone statue of a deer stood,” she writes. “I knew that my grandfather Hadi had loved that deer as much as his father before him. Someone had beheaded it.”
Over the last few days, there have been about seven million news stories per day about the royal wedding. Blog posts about the wedding have gone viral, with at least 102.9 million to date this month. Two billion people are set to tune in to what promises to be the wedding of the decade. And American media outlets are all over it, with CNN sending eight times more reporters to London this week than it did to Japan when the terror and tragedy of an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear catastrophe brought that country to its knees.
Where is William F. Buckley Jr. when you need him?
In 1997, on what I imagine to have been a beautiful June day full of hope and wonder, writer Mary Schmich penned a column for the Chicago Tribune offering some whimsical advice to the college graduates of that year. The column was titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.” The following year, Baz Luhrman put that column to music in “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),” a slightly melancholy and carefree song which has garnered millions of YouTube listens.
Betty Buckley, the one-time dame of the Broadway stage — the “voice of Broadway,” as New York Magazine has called her — sang and cried to an enamored audience on October 16, 2010, at the Town Hall Theater. Buckley’s solo concert was the centerpiece of this year’s three-show Cabaret Festival on Broadway, which was produced by Town Hall and is celebrating its sixth birthday this year.