Legendary performer and alcohol aficionado Peter O'Toole, "an Irish bookmaker’s son with a hell-raising streak whose performance in the 1962 epic film 'Lawrence of Arabia' earned him overnight fame and established him as one of his generation’s most charismatic actors," died this weekend. Knowing all that I do about the subjectivity of taste and the vast differences of opinion and appreciation for forms and styles of art I am disinclined to make grand, sweeping statements about the cinema, but I do want to mention that Lawrence of Arabia is one of the ten greatest films of all time and if you have never seen it you cannot consider yourself in any sense of the word educated when it comes to the subject of film, and it would be pointless to even argue this assertion because you would be both comically and tragically wrong. You should also try to get your hands on My Favorite Year if that one passed you by. And The Ruling Class. Maybe Beckett, which is streaming on Netflix right now. But for sure Lawrence and My Favorite Year. O'Toole was 81.
In Time Warner's effort to "rebrand" NY1 to make it look just like other Time Warner local properties (WHY? We don't care about other properties!), they've redone the music and bumpers and titles and stuff. Fine. But there's a casualty of this change, as there always is.
— Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) December 16, 2013
That's right. Along the way, NY1 killed Hot Jogger Guy, who used to appear in the pre-weather montage thingey, whoever he is. RIP Hot Jogger Guy. We'll always have this screenshot of you.
Do you remember what happened this week?
I’m not necessarily in the Beysus congregation but I sure as debt don’t knock it, either. When our beloved 'net is doubled over in self-fondling and editorial side stares during the slime-time of year called My Ranking Of Niche Garbage Ranks Higher Than Yrs, it’s gorgeous to see a Member of Modern Camelot release quality you can count on that spreads happiness and excitement throughout my visible spectrum. Tear up all your lists! Joy to the world, the Bey is come.
Golden Globe Nominations
Knives out! Award season is upon us, let the parade of faces begin! Good faces, everyone. Yes. Nice one, Julia. Good smirk, Greta. The shiniest part of the Globes, however, is definitely its name. Golden. Globes. You can really wrap your mouth around that one! Like a Werther’s OG. These ceremonies should be fire-filled, brimstone, and grim, is a thought I had. But I’m practicing pointed meditation and trying not to drown in all the pixel potshots to come. So, I’m focusing on one thought when I hear the word “globe” and this one thought is more like a fantasy of mine, which is better than any award of any kind, and here is how it goes, you golden spheres: First, and safely, the entire Earth is stripped of all adornment. Every man-made structure—whoosh!—gone, wiped away. Trees, too! A giant razor dragged across the gnarled surface, leaving only hills, valleys, mountains, and canyons. Pure contour. There it sits: a rugged, rocky, knuckle ball pitched through black. Then I mount a special motorcycle with impeccable balance and impenetrable tires that can travel thousands of miles per hour. And I bullet across the surface of the Earth in whiplash latitudes. When I’m satisfied and rumbled with my moto-cut, I grow. I grow to near-equal size of the planet. And I am in space. And I am hugging the barren Earth like a bear. I am wrapping my entire body around it, my hug strong and deep. I am naked and similar to many gods.
The Instagram team watches intently from FB HQ as their new v5.0 with Instagram Direct messages hits the app stores pic.twitter.com/4GXaqGK1TQ
— Josh Constine (@JoshConstine) December 13, 2013
Give me a fun time. Make a fun room with my favorite things. Pass me a lil’ picto-chat-room friendly-flirt love note. The secret societies are the only ones that get me salivating. Now my lust gets drunk and wicked. What is he building in there? What’s behind you? After all the wonder, Noble Anxiety Goblin comes knocking on the door, holding a large poster, motioning me to look at it, even after I’ve really looked at it, spurring an isolation and wormy pain. It reads: “do you ever get the feeling that there’s something going on that we don’t know about?” READ MORE
★★★ Scarves were ubiquitous in the hard, bright morning—scarves with matching hats, scarves in loose elaborate double loops, a scarf wrapped outside the coat to cinch the whole outfit shut at the neck. Earmuffs followed giant headphones. The bodega was being rearranged, the flowers safely inside but still looking cold-weary. Getting a cab in the chill after eight at night was a competition; by the 11 o'clock hour, there was nothing even to compete for. Every cab was dark and snugly occupied, or lit to show the figures already climbing in. The crosstown walk to the subway was bracketed by glowing skies: moonlight coming down through thin clouds off to the left; the lights of Midtown rising to meet the clouds to the right.
★★★★ Litter levitated and swirled chest-high, or went tumbling end over end. The thin wires and tiny bulbs of holiday lights, wrapping a tree on Broadway, were conspicuous in the sun. The deepest puddles had not finished freezing over. Light shone through the wall of a sidewalk film-catering tent, through someone's plastic takeout food bowl, and through the leaves of a tree in the middle distance that had still not let go. Late in the afternoon, a lilac glow appeared out the window, calling for further attention. From the icy roof, the downtown sky was purple veiled with orange, the Freedom Tower dark and dotted with lights against it.
We Have To Take Our Shoes Off To Fly But Woman Is Shocked That She Can't Carry A Tiny Gun Onto A Plane
"I think we could summarize it with the hashtags," is the takeaway from this news story that proves we are well within the stupid season of holiday stories and the new year can't come soon enough. But it's Friday, so there's that.
October: Don't sign up for a membership or start running in your neighborhood. Instead, buy sports bra and yoga pants.
Mid-October: Don't sign up for a membership or start running in your neighborhood. Instead, ask your new employer's HR department about the gym in the building.
Late October: Don’t sign up for a membership or start running in your neighborhood. Instead, "research" the gym by peering in the door window on your way out of the building every day.
I first heard of Wampire in Under the Radar magazine, which is where I go to find out what the kids are listening to these days. This is a lot less Halloweeny than I expected! [Via]
A reader writes: "what is the long game here????" He refers to this letter, in the New York Review of Books, from Janet Malcolm, to Francine Prose, regarding Rebecca West's views on Charlotte Brontë. (You got that? ARE YOU SURE.) Malcolm criticizes Rebecca West's views on Brontë, but finishes: "Prose’s condescending words about Nora Ephron’s brilliant elliptical essays are similarly puzzling."
How did this come to pass? To what end was this written? Was this an impulsive blog comment of a letter? I too would be moved to defend Nora Ephron, but perhaps not to the extent of dashing off a letter. Or was this a tip of an iceberg of some seething hate or feud? Or are they right now at some tea shop laughing uproariously?
Saturday Night Live is searching for a new black female cast member. The show's producers held a showcase audition at LA's Groundlings Theater last Sunday during SNL's week off, with all black female performers auditioning. Bresha Webb, Nicole Byer, Amber Ruffin, Simone Shepherd, Tiffany Haddish, LaKendra Tookes, Damirra Brunson, Azie Dungey, Beth Payne, Misty Monroe, and Gabrielle Dennis all tried out. Webb posted a photo of the group of auditioners on Instagram last week. "They used our space but ran everything internally," said a rep from Groundlings. SNL brought in its own list of performers to try out; this was not a showcase of Groundlings performers.
Brunson was who SNL cast member Jay Pharoah singled out when commenting on the show's diversity issue, saying, "She’s really talented. She’s amazing. She needs to be on SNL. I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going to do last year." Lorne Michaels told the press last month, "It's not like it's not a priority for us. It will happen. I'm sure it will happen." READ MORE
So when you are home the week after next for the holidays are you planning to discuss the recent contretemps on smarm with your family? How you do think everyone around the Christmas table feels about Upworthy's multiple algorithms that repackage content in an attempt to get it trafficked on Facebook? Do you expect a lot of debate about what Twitter is doing with its block function in the wake of the IPO? Of course not. That would be insane. There are maybe a couple thousand people who care about any of that stuff and you know most of them. They are the people you work with. They are in your affinity groups. They are the friends you share funny GIFs and go to emoji art exhibits with. Unless they are also people who work in an Internet-related industry and thus have egotistical reasons for wanting to pretend that any of this stuff actually has meaning or significance, there is no way that the members of your family know or care about Bustle.com or misandry or bronies or anything else that you count on to fill up the space in your head that would be otherwise used to face the fact that you are going to die. This is all the detritus you heap value on to camouflage emptiness, and your family doesn't have any idea what any of it means because they have chosen to keep themselves unaware of their inevitable demise through more popular and accepted forms of death-denial such as sports or reality television or partisan politics. Or, if they're super-boring, the state of the novel. It is all garbage that we are focusing on to help distract ourselves from the horrors of existence or to fool ourselves into feeling that the things we are doing as occupations have some sort of impact or worth on lives beyond our own. Actually, it is less than garbage, which at least has physical presence and some level of value, no matter how minor—what you deal with daily is essentially air, blown about from person to person before disappearing forever and leaving no trace. That being said, this piece on How The Internet May Change Next Year is certainly worth the few of your empty minutes it will take to read.