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Is Madonna Eating Our Young? A Post-Halftime Discussion

Natasha: Okay, what did you think of Techno Roman Madonna and her 13th legion last night?

Julie: Well, to me, Madonna is like the Catholic Church or Penn State. I’ll defend anything she does, even when she's guilty. I’m loyal to the institution.

Natasha: What did you think of her football fruits?

Julie: I thought they were great.

Natasha: DON'T LIE!!

Julie: I thought she should have worn different shoes.

Natasha: This is like when the Catholic Church or Penn State blamed a sex abuse scandal on a couple bad apples!

Julie: The medley was tight, the concepts were good, it looked great and I'd say she sounded [...]


'Breaking Dawn': The Dress, The Vampire, the Fetus and the Headboard

Natasha: Did you love Breaking Dawn? Did you die during it? I DID.

Mary: I mean… CAN YOU EVEN? Because I maybe cannot. I went to a midnight showing on Court Street in Brooklyn with all of the Eighties babies. And we all DIED.

Natasha: !!!!!!!

Mary: We were STARING at each other like we weren't COMPLETE strangers.

Mary: Let's begin with the wedding as this movie does… QUE CELLO.

Natasha: This is the wedding every young girl pictures, right?

Mary: Yes. Outside. With all those plants I can't name.

Natasha: Let me just say, I SWOONED.

Mary: OH IDK what this swoonage refers to because ME TOO 360.

Natasha: [...]


The Night Occupy Los Angeles Tore Itself In Two

Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, the 300 people who have been occupying the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall for the past three weeks split themselves into two hostile camps.

Occupy LA’s decision-making body, the General Assembly, has been responsible for conducting the encampment’s business. As in most other cities, the participating members handle everything from ensuring the nightly meeting take place to doing financial research on Los Angeles-based bankers to cleaning up the trash. But on Wednesday, a large group of dissenters decided to occupy the General Assembly’s usual outdoor meeting space and assert themselves as the new regime. One man, standing at the center of the swirling [...]


Judging the Cats (and People) of the Santa Monica Cat Show

Cat shows are far more populist events than dog shows. Having a show dog can cost a fortune. Beyond paying large sums for the creature’s pure bloodline, there’s also training, kennel fees, handler salaries and all sorts of other costs. Less so with the kitties. You can get a purebred cat for well under a thousand dollars and because cats aren’t bred to do much more than live in total domesticity (lying about, sunning themselves, sprawling out inappropriately on piles of work papers, kneading air muffins) the rest comes rather cheaply. The owners of show cats mostly consider themselves to be hobbyists and regard an event like the Cat Fanciers' [...]


See You Tonight in LA, at Book Soup and the Parlour Room!

Tonight! Unless you're going to The Hairpin's drink session tonight in New York, then you must be in Los Angeles, because no one lives anywhere else, and so good news!

• 7:00p.m.: Matthew Gallaway reads at Book Soup, plus a Q&A with Natasha Vargas-Cooper, 8818 Sunset, West Hollywood.

• After, like, 8:30 or so: Drinks with friends at the Parlour Room, 6423 Yucca St., Hollywood. (It's only a "ten-minute drive"! That's an LA ten minutes.) (Poster by Tully Mills!)


Save the Date in L.A.: May 19th, a Reading and Drinks

Save the date, Los Angeles: There's a Matthew Gallaway reading on Thursday, May 19th, at 7p.m., at Book Soup, with a Q&A with Natasha Vargas-Cooper; this will be followed by drinks with everyone in the known universe at the Parlour Room.


Hear Julie Klausner And Her Family

You there! Go listen to "How Was Your Week?", a new podcast from Awl pal Julie Klausner. The first episode "features an interview with authoress/ provacateur[/Awl pal] Natasha Vargas-Cooper, a rundown of the Best Picture nominees from Julie's parents, an unfavorable review of The King's Speech, and the debut of a new title for something that we will use, one day: Oscar Madison Won't Let You Pack Your Bags." It's here, or here if you want it from iTunes.


F/M/K: William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly

Natasha: Oh, Julie, remember 1999, wobbling along the edge of a millennium, when the word ‘aught’ was nothing more than an arcane dictionary entry — we, the accountants of pop-culture, lamented about the future like two lugubrious characters from a Tony Kushner play? The cinematic runes spelled doom for us: American Beauty, The Matrix, and, god help us, The Green Mile. It seemed as though the fires of virility and danger of the mid-‘90s, you know, the kind that involved Chloe Sevingy’s nipples, were snuffed out under the mawkish gauze of the Ron Howards and Sam Mendevis. When it seemed that we would all have to endure another decade of [...]


F/M/K: Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty

Julie: Where do we start, Natasha?? How do we begin? There is no origin story for this triad, there is only legend as it has always existed: a solstice, a sword in a stone, a shadow on concrete getting longer, shifting its angle but always there, every day, from when you could first notice shapes that bodies made on the ground when they were lit by the sun.

Three kings, as it goes this time of year, are under consideration, and all three are mighty, formidable, ‘70s men of the revolution.

I’ll start with Jack Nicholson, and OF COURSE I would fuck him. Any era, any age, any weight, [...]


All Of The End Of The World

Thanks to everyone who participated in our end of the world exercise. Perhaps you missed one of two during the hectic holiday week. Good news: they're all here! Print and save for later… or for the actual end of the world. You'll have plenty of time for reading then.


Possible Resolutions For The Apocalypse Year

If I knew the world was coming to an end, I would fuck with impunity. I would crunch birth control pills between my teeth like they were pink Pez all day long. With the specter of annihilation on horizon, all would be carnage and I would need to start regularly shaving my legs.

I have a picture of every man I ever slept with. I’d pin each photo up on my living room wall, use a marker to rank each one based on looks, IQ and technique. I’d invite my friends over to drink and comment on the exhibition. I’d tell them all the secrets I was supposed to keep. [...]


F/M/K: Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase

Natashy, this is tough like Jehu. Tough like the rind off a New York Strip from Tad’s Steaks. Tough like a horde of Hell’s Angels with filthy, stew-ingredient-ridden Santa beards.

I have been wrestling, Michael Shannon-style, with this trio of icons — but specifically with the sticky wicket of Chevy vs. Steve. I’ll explain it all in a bit for those of you rolling your eyes/flipping your hairs back and forth. But let’s just say the 92nd Street Y debacle helped me seal my deal.

Oh, obviously you marry Bill Murray. That is a no-brainer. Yes, he was probably an absent husbo in the way he is an agentless, [...]


The Real Cost of Drinking and Driving (Besides, Like, Vehicular Manslaughter)

"Natasha Vargas-Cooper had two drinks at dinner. Her ride home cost her more than $5,000."


My Favorite Harry Potter Smut Summaries

Presented without comment.

Post-war Harry is surprised with a card delivered by a mystery man that reveals that not only is Draco Malfoy alive, he is rentable by the hour.

Sirius felt a twist of fear in his guts. "Do you want to stop?" he asked. "Just be friends again?" Could he go back to being "just friends" with Remus after knowing the taste of his mouth and the feel of his body pressed against him?

For the rest of the Ministry, the interdepartmental challenge was merely a failed attempt to restore trust between workers. But for Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger, it was the catalyst for an unexpected [...]


'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows': Two Nerds Geek Out

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: We need to talk about Harry Potter.


Natasha: Clearly, we as Americans agree that HP7 is a FINE FILM. But as wizard nerds, like as a lady who, um, would really like to have been cast as Tonks, I have to say I was a little bummed out.

Dan: Pull out your shimmering strands of memory, drop them into your Pensieve, and explain to me why.


Dan: Right, so this scene in the book is nothing but the purest malarkey.


F/M/K: Hugh Laurie, Rahm Emanuel, Anthony Bourdain

Natasha: Jewlz, this is a potent list of Silvery Fox Men you've thrown down.

I think I speak for all women and the 110th Congress when I ask: does it count as fisting if the dude only has four fingers? Even outside the parameters of this salt-n-pepper trifecta, Rahm ranks in single digits of my FUCK BUCKET LIST of all time. On looks alone he’s a hot piece of bone: hooded eyes, sharp cheek bones, and hands-on-hips Israeli paratrooper posture. It all just makes a girl like me (i.e. one who digs men of The Tribe) tingly. Though, my unyielding sexual attraction to Rahm mainly stems from his persona: [...]


Ladies Rank 'Sopranos' Actors

"Now the man’s lap who I would bounce on forever, until my hips shattered from the 7.9 Richter scale fuckquake we would have is Imperioli. GOOD GAWD! Have you seen him go from guido to East Village gypsy with his wiley mustache, Serpico leather jacket, and slender hips? He’s like a Voltron of fuck parts. And with Christofahh I feel like he’s crazy without being socio, like Tony. Imperioli, with the chest hair and the gonzo schonz, just drives me wild. Michael and I would have great theater people sex. All performative and smelly…. ARE YOU READING THIS MICHAEL IMPERIOLI, I WILL MAKE YOU SEE STARS THROUGH MY MIDDLE PARTS!!" [...]


At Sharron Angle's Victory Party, Which Ended in Defeat

By the time Sharon Angle conceded to returning Senator Harry Reid, well past midnight, her victory party at the Venetian's ballroom had thinned out to a couple hundred diehards: bleary staffers, despondent volunteers, long-time (Republican) party contributors. Noticeably absent were the tea partiers. At the beginning of the night and throughout the campaign, they were easy to spot: they are a dustier sort of Republican, outfitted in jeans, zany political shirts and always gripping signs with slogans like “Trust God Not Government.” After the Las Vegas Sun called the race in favor of Reid at 9:43 p.m., nearly all had disappeared. Except one.


Michelle Obama Comes and Goes

After John McCain closed out the Sharron Angle rally on Friday, her campaign coordinators played a bit of amateur propaganda. Pictures of foreclosed houses, stock photos of agonized couples looking at stacks of unpaid bills, a chart of unemployment rates, all flashing by quickly to a soaring soundtrack. At the crescendo of all this pictorial despair appeared the image of First Lady Michelle Obama. In it she is reclining on a beige chaise lounge in a sleeveless violet dress, one hand cupped along the side of her neck, revealing her diamond wedding ring that matches her teardrop diamond earrings, and above her is the big word Vogue, the issue [...]


Waiting for Michelle Obama at the "Largest Phonebank" In History

An hour into today's rally for Democratic candidates, and two-thirds of the gymnasium at Canyon Springs High School is full. Representatives Dina Titus and Shelley Berkley have each gotten up and announced that we are in attendance at not just a Michelle Obama appearance but also we are at the "largest phonebank in the history of the world!!!" They also suggested we take out our "cellulars to call someone so we can be the largest phonebank ever!!!"