I met Tom in English class during my sophomore year of high school, and we became acquaintances and occasional friends. Mostly, I had a crush on him. After high school, I moved out of the Bay Area and to the East Coast, where I received sporadic updates on high school friends from my good friend Julia. She mentioned something about Tom drawing for the New Yorker, a piece of information I filed away until I saw this cartoon posted on Facebook. I recognized the signature, got his email from Julia, and had a nice email chat with him about cartooning, the pursuit of creativity and our generation’s inflated [...]
Joe Mande always seems one step ahead.
Whether it’s his Twitter stunts, multimedia shows, or stories about attending a live taping of The Mike Huckabee Show really high, the LA-based comedian and writer has a knack for getting out in front of trends.
It makes sense then that Mande’s latest project is a comedy mixtape he’s releasing in place of a traditional album, complete with DJ drops and comedy skits. The mixtape, which drops today, is called Bitchface and it's being released on former Das Racist frontman Heem’s record label, Greedhead.
I recently caught up with Mande to talk about the mixtape, writing for Parks [...]
Any woman who’s ever fought with a guy after the kind of movie where Katherine Heigl finds love may be shocked by the findings of a new study. A report published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that watching a romantic film with your spouse and discussing it afterwards lowers your likelihood of divorce as much as going through couples therapy does. Researchers analyzed 174 newlywed couples who either went through therapy or merely watched and discussed romantic movies, and after three years, both groups had equal divorce rates. Here’s a transcript from one couple, who watched the romantic movie “Her,” about a mustached man named [...]
I'm a doctor.
People sometimes ask how I managed to complete a doctoral degree in literature, despite knowing that I wouldn’t be pursuing an academic career or using it for anything.
My response usually goes something like this (it doesn’t, but let’s pretend it does):
I picture myself, an 89-year-old woman, sitting in a wheelchair and staring out over a field of wheat. I reflect back on my life, what I have achieved, what happened, who I loved, who I had been, and who I had become. I think back on that glorious period of life when I thought I’d become a scholar, a thinker, and a teacher. [...]
It’s a story as old as time itself: man dislikes his job, decides to pursue a career in comedy, sends a bunch of unsolicited work into The Onion, and eventually becomes editor of the world’s most popular satirical news site. Well, maybe it’s not that conventional, but it is the general career outline of newly-appointed Onion editor Cole Bolton. A former associate economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and research associate at Harvard Business School, Bolton’s comedy experience was practically nonexistent before he joined The Onion as a contributing writer in 2006. But despite never once being a member of a college improv troupe, Bolton’s passion and [...]
Heather Doney and Rachel Coleman are co-founders of Homeschooling’s Invisible Children, a site that documents abuse under the cover of homeschooling. Recently, they launched a new organization, the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, which raises awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, provides public policy guidance through research, and advocates for responsible home education practices.
How did you two meet?
Rachel Coleman: Heather and I both do academic research on homeschooling, and we were both in a Facebook group that dealt with spiritual abuse and some other negative aspects of conservative Christian homeschooling culture.
Heather Doney: Both of us were eldest daughters of families raised in [...]
The Academy Awards are a meaningless popularity contest decided by out-of-touch old white men in suits with the help of an occasional white lady. But if your movie wins one, an Oscar can help make a significant difference in how posterity treats it and, more immediately, in how much money it makes. 12 Years a Slave, which raked in a very respectful $140,000,000 worldwide before it won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, is beginning to enjoy its Oscar bump–or perhaps, bumps:
It was the night of my sister Kelly's 30th birthday party, and I was anxious. We’d encouraged guests to come in costume to fit the 1920s theme, and before anyone showed up, I helped my sister into the incredible flapper dress she’d found, beige with sheer paneling and sequins in all the right places. She set her black bob-cut wig and sparkling headband in place, swiped a bold rose color across her lips. I wanted Kelly to love the way she looked, because it was her party, but secretly all I could think about was if I’d look better: he was coming.
We'd been having sexless sleepovers for a [...]
Arguably one of the most beloved living comedians, Bill Murray is four decades deep into a prolific career in the comedy industry. In the '70s, he bounced from comedy institution to comedy institution (Second City, National Lampoon, SNL) before becoming a major movie star in the '80s (Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters), and settling into a quieter phase of his career as a revered comedy veteran in the late '90s, popping up in smaller parts in an eclectic array of movies and genres (Zombieland, Lost in Translation, Moonrise Kingdom). Throughout it all, Murray has maintained a healthy contempt for the phoniness of the showbiz world around him and has always [...]
January 2014 stats: Total earnings: $3,300.91 Completed pieces (all types): 150 Essays published: 3 Novellas rejected: 1
I've been a full-time freelance writer for just over a year. I track everything. I post my freelance income to my Tumblr every week, and am always taking notes on who's hiring and who's paying.
In January, for example, I got one new client and two new sub-client relationships that pay through an existing client. I got each of these new jobs the old-fashioned way: by having a current client recommend me. These are the jobs that aren't advertised. This brings my number of current client relationships up to six.
Welcome to the Madewell Museum of Human Curiosities. I am your tour guide, Jornts. If you are descendant from human, please step through this scanner to cleanse your sub-level hybrid body of its hazardous germs. If you are an alien, here is a complimentary Leopold Scone, made from the blood of a Leopold serpent and the essence of DW-40. Slurp it up with your fifty tongues. We won’t watch.
Today on our tour we will be looking at selections from the Madewell store, a pre-Alien Revolution establishment that sold clothing to young human women, and whose name appears as the 428th lie in the book of Lies Humans Told, as [...]
You're the program director for a sailing school, but the position is only full-time during the summer months. When did you first start to work coordinating summer sailing programs?
I grew up learning to sail in a junior program on Cape Cod. It is very common for the students in this program to move into junior instructor positions when they become old enough—and skilled enough—to work. I did this, and eventually became a senior instructor during the summers between college and finally the seasonal program director just after college.
In 2008, a position (still seasonal) opened at a neighboring sailing program, which I applied for and was offered. After three [...]
When I first discovered the existence of Beyoncé’s surprise self-titled album this past December, I dissolved into a fit of grateful, relief-filled screams usually reserved for for grad school admissions letters. That is to say, I reacted like most people did. And when I saw the words, "Feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche,” I screamed again. (Never mind that her name is actually spelled "Adichie.”) By now, you’re likely familiar with the snippet of Adichie's Ted Talk, "We Should all be Feminists,” that 'Yonce sampled:
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: 'You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim [...]
In only a couple of years, Jessica Williams has become a vital member of one the most influential comedy shows on television. She joined The Daily Show in 2012 at the age of 22, making her the show's youngest correspondent ever. Since then, she's become an integral part of the Daily Show team, often reporting as the show's "Senior Youth Correspondent." I got the chance to talk to her about leaving college to join the show and the scariest part of her job.
You were so young when you started at The Daily Show. Did you have any background in political comedy or satire?
I didn’t have a lot [...]
This article originally appeared on February 22, 2013.
Mallory: Has Crash suffered enough? Sure, it won homecoming queen at the Oscars, but then no one would let Crash sit with them at lunch for the next eight years. Ta-Nehisi Coates named it the worst movie of the decade; Natasha Vargas-Cooper referred to it as a "white guilt manipulation-a-thon." Even Slate wouldn't throw it a contrarian bone. It's The Most Popular Girl That Nobody Liked.
This article originally appeared on February 22, 2012.
Unbelievably, the French, or some of them anyway, appear to have forgiven us for Freedom Fries. Clear evidence of this arrived late last year in the form of the beautiful movie The Artist that (nearly) everybody loves, plus it's going to win all the Oscars, including Best Picture.
So what makes a movie "foreign"? Is it the financing, the director, the location, the performers? This turns out to be a murky subject, so far as the Academy Awards are concerned. The Artist isn't even eligible for consideration for the award for Best Foreign Film, because even though it's a French [...]
This thing was bashed out on October 11, 2013 between 11:20 and 11:35 AM.
Something about Melissa Leo rubs me the wrong way, and unlike those times you pretend you don't know why or can't quite put your finger on it or whatever I will say exactly what the something is that is responsible for the wrong-rubbing: her "self-commissioned For Your Consideration ad campaign [for the 2011 Best Supporting Actress Oscar]." Remember that, when she paid for her own ads asking people to vote for her for an Oscar?
This article originally appeared on February 2, 2013.
This might sound a little nuts at first, but hear me out: the Academy needs to add another Acting category. I know, I know: the ceremony is already too long, and actors already get too much attention, and there are entire subsections of film workers not being honored at all.* And certainly I believe that the Academy should recognize the best of everything from trailers to end credits; as “a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures,” it should recognize dedicated professionals in all the different fields that make up movies. Why not [...]
The following article originally appeared on February 20, 2013.
Brian: George C. Scott, loveable old grump that he was, famously called the Oscars "a two-hour meat parade," as well as "offensive, barbarous and innately corrupt." It's hard to argue with any of that, but it makes me nostalgic for the days when the Academy could get it over with in a mere hundred and twenty minutes.
Brad: The Oscars officially died for me in 2002, when Ron Howard somehow won Best Director for A Beautiful Mind over Robert Altman and David Lynch, who were nominated for Gosford Park and Mulholland Drive.
Brian: I think it lost a lot of credibility [...]