Posts Tagged: Jay Caspian Kang

Violence and Making Sense

Three years ago, I set out to write a novel about Cho Seung-Hui, the shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre. Since Columbine, I have held an unhealthy interest in the way the media, and by extension, the greater moralizing population, processes mass killings. Cho was a Korean-American from the South who had entered college with dreams, however mangled and bizarre, of becoming a writer. That same sentence could have been written about me. As the evidence of Cho’s derangement began to surface in the videos, short stories and plays he left behind, it became clear that Cho had been trying to tell a righteous story, where the “rich kids” and [...]


A Move-by-Move Divanalysis of Jacob Lusk's 'American Idol' Performance

This happened last night, on TV. Let's just get into it.

1:39: Pinch your pointer finger against your thumb, bend out your elbows and shake those hips.

Also known as the "gettin' loose" move. Used by pretty much every female singer who ever sang a Motown song. Perfected by Aretha, who uses it in the following clip, at 0:16.


Four Takes On "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"

I’m thinking today about Hedwig and "The Origin of Love" and the time when the earth was still flat and clouds were made of fire and mountains stretched up to the sky, sometimes higher. When folks roamed the earth, like big rolling kegs, with two sets of arms and two sets of legs and two faces peering out of one giant head, who sang the songs?

Last night on "Idol," Mary J. Blige came and visited Jacob Lusk in the studio and when they embraced, I had a vision of the two-headed, four-legged singing genius, who, by the cruelty of Zeus, was split into two separate pieces, each [...]


On Gambling

"I could tell you that during a 36-hour period in July of 2006, I lost $18,000 in Las Vegas. Or I could tell you I once picked through every corner of my car, including the grating underneath the spare tire, for five dollars of spare change so that I could make the minimum bet at a blackjack table (a bet I lost). And my interest in divulging these details would not be to instruct or to edify, or even to elicit empathy from fellow addicts. My interest would be to rip open my suffering heart and show you its beautiful beating, and in this way, I might think of [...]


Awl Pals All Up In New York Times Magazine

In this weekend's New York Times Magazine, Awl pal Jay Caspian Kang profiles a 21-year-old online poker millionaire. Also in this weekend's New York Time Magazine, Awl pal Heather Havrilesky reflects: "Conversations between middle-aged people and teenagers tend to be a little awkward, probably because we have so much in common." What we're saying is you should read this week's New York Times Magazine. They've got some good writers in there.


Who is the Greatest Diva of the Last 25 Years? We Offer Scientific Proof!

By way of eulogy to the dying animal that is the Diva, my crack team of consultants, statisticians and graphic designers have assembled DIVA-OFF 2010, a highly scientific (we used computers!) evaluation of the greatest divas of the past twenty-five years. A list of divas was evaluated on eleven levels of diva-ness, and, because each diva characteristic is not created equal, we scaled the values in the hopes of creating an aggregate diva number that will serve as a reference point for future generations.

Here is why we needed to do this. On April 14, 1998, at the Beacon Theater in New York City, VH1 put on a [...]