Julie Klausner: You and I are, it's safe to say, closet Camille Paglia appreciators.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Safe.
Julie: Closeted because she occasionally says crazy craziness, like when she wanted to rub herself all over Sarah Palin.
Natasha: Her political stuff is bonko but I intensely adore her cultural criticism.
Julie: When she got "politikul," twas a folly. Yet, I think Paglia is a better writer than her fellow agitators like say your Katie Roiphe.
Natasha: Don't bait me with my love of Katie Roiphe.
Julie: She's also funny, she can spin an adjective and she's persuasive.
Natasha: I love Paglia because she's she's bawdy [...]
The main ingredients of American counterculture formation all guest-starred in last night's "Mad Men" episode: abortion, Berkeley, Vietnam and, most ominously: young people. The â€˜youthquake' is not just an explosive population boom, it's when, supposedly, teenagers and college students seized control of culture from adults. At the very least, they seized control of the consumer goods market. Beginning around the 1920s, a common theme in advertising was to offer a return to youth and vitality (and relevance in the towering industrial age) through consumer goods. Oatmeal, face creams, sodas all made mention of youth in their slogans. But that was selling youth to the aging. In the 60s, the [...]
With this introduction, we begin a brief series on the recent life of the American musical. No, for real! The hideous, hilarious, wonderful, big-business of musical theater. This series is guest-edited by our own Natasha Vargas-Cooper.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Julie! Are musicals, as a genre, dead?
Julie Klausner: You startled me! What are you doing in my home? Wearing my favorite shirt-dress!
Natasha: Nobody expects the musical inquisition.
What do young women really talk about when they talk about The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? We asked experts Mary HK Choi and Natasha Vargas-Cooper to fill us in. Warning: contains spoilers, multiple pop culture references and graphic sexual language! Their analysis may also cause sudden-onset epilepsy in people under 18 or over 33.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: What are your loins telling you about Twilight Part 3. Sparklequest?
Mary HK Choi: WELLZ. I LOVED it!
Natasha: It was exactly what I desired.
Mary: Plus? The dialogue was better this time.
Mary: Last time, I had to re-up my understandingness and suspension of disbelief every 6 seconds [...]
Paul Newman and James Dean were the two leading contenders for the part of Cal Trask, the dark-spirited lead in East of Eden. The screen test for the role was a face off between Dean and Newman. The two stood shoulder to shoulder, and then they were asked to glower at the camera. Dean was haunted, wry and burning with intensity, whereas Newman was flirty, caddish; he seemed to rely too much on his good looks. Lee Strasberg once supposedly told Newman that he could have been Brando-if he wasn't so damned pretty. It may or may not have been his looks, but there was something about Newman that prevented [...]
Most news coming out of the American labor movement can be categorized as "depressing." The news of Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern's impending resignation is no exception. It means that Stern's aggressive, and often sloppy, campaign to rehabilitate labor of its unhealthy tendencies-turf wars, stagnation, bankrolling of weak Democrats-was a failure. Throughout his 15-year tenure, Stern has gotten it from all sides. Within the left, the attack most often levied against Stern was that he has been a ruthless union boss, bent on consolidating his own power. In this version of events, Stern squelched union democracy by cobbling together local union chapters, deposing local leadership, turning rank [...]
Blanca, a 50-something nursing assistant, was sitting across from me at the nurses' station at the Intensive Care Unit inside of a Tenet Healthcare Corporation-owned hospital in downtown Los Angeles. It was midnight, and this was 2004. Blanca's patients were gurgling, asleep or comatose. I was there talking to Blanca on behalf of workers at Kaiser, who were bargaining away benefits because Tenet, the for-profit, non-union hospital chain was driving down wages in the county. The argument was that every one would be better off, Blanca and Kaiser workers, if they were all in one union.
During advanced pneumonia the lungs fill with fluid so there's a wet gurgling [...]