For Real

Realism Lauded

"What separates Martin’s books from the pack is that his made-up world of Westeros feels more 'real' than other made-up worlds like Tolkien’s Middle Earth or Brooks’s Shannara. There’s very little magic in the series, and when something supernatural happens, everyone is freaked out and confused. The characters have sex (mostly sex that would be illegal today), get tortured, betray one another, and die incredibly easily and often for very little reason—just like real people involved in a medieval war would have. One of the first plot points is a child getting thrown off a ledge and crippled after he witnesses some nasty-ass incest; one major character gets killed on [...]


Why 'The Little Mermaid' Is The Greatest Movie of Our Time

The latest trend in celebrity hairstyling is mermaid hair. Look at Rihanna: weave long, flowing and tinted deep red. Blake Lively wore a similar style when she appeared at the Time 100 Gala. And the appropriately named Scarlett Johansson was the latest to adopt the look. The inspiration is one mermaid, in particular—golden-voiced, purple-brassiered and, most notably, red-haired Ariel. Some seem surprised by this turn of hair-vents, but I, for one, am not so shocked. You see, ever since The Little Mermaid came out, I’ve been firmly of the opinion that it is not only a masterpiece but, quite possibly, the most satisfying movie I’ve ever [...]


No Matter What, America Hearts Paris

Now that the party's over for the monsieurs of France's Parliament, as hushed-up pedophilia, routine sexual assault and general misogyny are suddenly no longer federally protected perks of the job, a vital question emerges: Will the exposure of all this Gallic turpitude make the merest difference to American society’s perpetually raging, and mostly unrequited, crush on Paris? All signs point to non.

Exhibit A: So far, the box office figures for Woody Allen’s shamelessly adoring paean to the City of Lights, Midnight in Paris, look set to make the movie Allen’s most successful yet, and critics are talking about a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Who cares [...]


Some Advice For Young Grads

It's college graduation season, and with the blooming of the cherry trees comes that cherished annual journalistic tradition: telling new graduates they're screwed in a way that no one else in the history of the world has ever been screwed. When it's actual recent graduates doing this fretting, I can understand, since being forcibly thrown into a job search is always a scary situation. But for their elders to be doing this worrying—elders who presumably have found some success as they got on in life—it strikes me as petty, self-serving fearmongering. So from someone back in academia after a decade at an office job, here's some real talk.

Your first [...]