Remember when Alec Baldwin quit public life? While others were dissecting the tone and psyche behind his alleged farewell, I got hung up in the piece’s intro, where he talked about phoning a gay-rights group in Hawaii and learning about their torment at growing up in "traditional Hawaiian families"—"Macho fathers. Religious mothers." Others wouldn't have stumbled there, but I was born and raised in Hawaii, and this is the kind of stuff that I notice.
Not to single out Alec, because nearly everyone makes this mistake, but a Hawaiian is a native Hawaiian, a descendant of the Polynesian people who first inhabited the Pacific island chain; generalizing all [...]
I was tardy for Adria’s 24th birthday celebration at The Golden Unicorn, an endearingly tacky dim-sum restaurant in Chinatown. To celebrate her somewhat belated transition towards a no-training-wheels adulthood (successful acquisition of an affordable apartment and a job away from coffee machines and people who want their bagels scooped out), she had decided to throw a large party.
My public excuse for my tardiness was “getting lost,” but privately the truth was linked to my inability to leave my apartment in time. One of Adria’s birthday presents was the shaving of my beard, leaving a gross moustache reminiscent of Nintendo’s Mario Bros or 70s gay porn. This DIY present [...]
Do we still deserve to call ourselves a society?
The last Harry Potter movie is a pretty beautiful thing, just in terms of flickering pictures on the cave wall and tableaux. It's very good! As a non-Harry Potter book-reader, it wasn't even that confusing, despite its having to wrap up 10,000 plots, though I did realize halfway through that I literally had no idea why the guy with the scary face was trying to kill our hero, and vice versa. Why were they so mad at each other again? No clue! Also I was slightly frustrated that the minor characters weren't allowed to speak very much, if it all. You put Helena Bonham Carter in all that hair and [...]
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: I ain't going to lie to you. I went in wanting to hate. I was queasy thinking about what Fincher/Sorkin had to say about the Digital Generation and I was resistant to suffering through Jesse's flat-affect-acting.
Sasha Frere-Jones: I enjoyed the narrative locomotive, but the movie might as well have been about a struggle over the Enzongium contract in Quadrant K9. I would have liked that more, actually. This is first and foremost a movie about Sorkinese, a language that finds a comfy home in litigation. "The West Wing" was Walking and Talkingâ„¢-The Social Network is Sitting and Talking and Occasionally Dartingâ„¢.
Choire Sicha: I have a question. At where did you see the new film by Quentin Tarantino?
Seth Colter Walls: Battery Park City, which was very clean. And very weird.
Choire Sicha: Oh yes! Oddest theater ever. I saw "Soul Plane" there. Crowded?
Seth Colter Walls: Yeah, it appeared to be sold-out or nearly so. The theater may have been unprepared. At one point after the previous crowd finished exiting, the people waiting for our showtime just sort of made a mad dash for the theater!
Choire Sicha: This is where I would insert an offensive joke about Europe and World War II.