If you haven’t gotten a chance, you should head over to the Washington Post and read Richard Cohen’s column on Bond and the “problem with male sex appeal in today’s world”. Now, I don’t know what poor girl didn’t recognize Cohen’s obvious intelligence and worth as amale back in high school, but whoever it was he hasn’t forgotten about it.
Cohen makes the argument that Daniel Craig’s James Bond represents some sort of Alpha Male, six-pack laden God that Hollywood and society seems to embrace nowadays; where as good-ole schlubs like that Cary Grant fellow represent a before-time where–apparently–when Hollywood celebrated the average guy by putting him in movies like North By Northwest where he got to be the hero. I’m not exactly sure where to start first.
Let’s first consider the fact that Cary Grant was a ridiculously handsome movie star… and that the definition of “in shape” was vastly different during the hey-day of NXNW… or the fact that Cary Grant was supposed to be an everyman trapped in a situation where he had to be adventurous whereas Daniel Craig plays the world’s toughest, most deadly secret agent so, yeah it would probably be a good idea to get some muscles. In fact, for the purpose of this article, let’s not even get into the fact that Hollywood has a history of pitting incredibly beautiful women with just about any “loveable” loser they can find this week. The problem with Cohen’s assessment is that he’s looking at the past through some sort of nostalgia filter that doesn’t fall in line with reality. I mean, do you seriously believe that someone at any point could like at Cary Grant and go, “well if he can get Grace Kelly, so can I!”.
All that considered, the real issue with this comes near the end, where Cohen takes into account Craig’s workout regimen by stating, “Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held.” Here’s where it becomes apparent that someone is still holding grudges from a like time ago. This idea that anyone who enjoys working out is wasting their time when they could be reading a book instead is pretty dismissive and snobby. Even worst, it fits everyone’s favorite motif that the nice, nerdy guy with a heart of gold finishes last. You know because all those girls who should totally be turned on by the books you check out at the library or your knowledge of world affairs are too busy chasing down football players in the weight room. As someone who’s still considered the “nice, nerdy guy with the heart of gold” I have to say that this idea is mostly bullshit. Nobody owes me or anyone like me anything because we’re nice or smart or whatever, just like everyone else, I have to work to attract someone and my decision to not work out doesn’t make me smarter or vice-versa. But fear not Mr. Cohen, beautiful girls who like books and regular guys like us do exist. I promise bro.
Hey all you sneaker nerds out there who study Jordan numbers like it’s math homework and speak about 90s NBA sneakers like a war historian on the A&E channel. If you’ve got some time to kill you should really do yourself a favor and check out The Nike SB Museum, a complete collection of every Nike SB ever released in commemoration of their tenth anniversary. I’ve always been partial to the SBs; some of the best, most inventive and eye-catching sneakers out and after spending the past hour perusing the site, I realize I have a lot of shoes to catch up on getting. Oh consumerism, you win again! Check out the collection here.
Look, I get it. Times are tough, people aren’t working and everything is shit–fine, whatever. However, let me just say this: In your haste to look for a job to support that record company that you swear you’re gonna get off the ground, have you ever thought about how much it would suck to actually have to go to work?
Listen, we all have dreams–and tightly written screenplays–that we swear are gonna happen one day soon; but until then you’ll take that telemarketer job or use that math degree to crunch numbers in some corner cubicle for a mid-level company just to keep the lights on, and you know what? You’ll hate every second of it. You won’t complain openly so as not to jinx it for yourself because “in this economy you’re lucky just to have a job” but everyday it will eat at you little by little until you wake up one day as the guy in your office with all the Dilbert comics posted on your wall. I for one say nay to this sort of existence, and instead make the argument that you don’t really need your job–you just need to know how to live broke.
Look, all you really need in life is food and shelter–maybe the occasional moccasins too, I mean, we’re not animals–and there’s no better guarantee for both food and shelter than the food and shelter available at your parents/relatives/friend’s house. Oh what’s that? You’re too good to live with your parents again, I beg to differ. Instead of wasting 8 hours each day at a job just to spend the whole paycheck on surviving, why not just live at home for free and really focus on that blog of yours that you just know will get you the exposure you deserve. If Steve Jobs can start Apple from his parents house and Kanye West can lock himself in a room, doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers, then there’s no limit to what you can do too.
We’re in a new age, how do you tell a kid the story about the American dream or about climbing the corporate ladder when people actually get paid a shitload of money for their bullshit tweets or for doing this. Now more than ever, we are in the age where everyone can be whatever the fuck they choose to be as long as they can pimp it out to somebody. This is the new age we’re in, so you can sit around and sulk about your office job or sulk that you don’t have an office job if you want, but it’ll probably do you better to just find something to be good at and make someone pay you for it–based on what I’ve been seeing it seems to be easier than it sounds, now if you’ll excuse me , I have more snarky posts to make on my pinterest in the hopes of getting “discovered”.
As we celebrate Veteran’s Day today, for those of who are off work, take notice of a couple of these films about war:
The definitive war movie from Francis Ford Coppola. The story of Martin Sheen’s growing disillusionment in the hunt for a renegade Special Forces Colonel (Marlon Brando). Whether you find it a work of art or just overrated, overlong nonsense, it would be pretty hard not to admit that it’s worth watching at least once. There are plenty of “War Is Hell” Vietnam movies but none do it as well as Coppola; it’s eloquent and rife with philosophical quandary–plus it has Robert Duvall talking about surfing and napalm!
The Deer Hunter
Another great Vietnam movie, Michael Cimino tells the tale of a trio of Russian-American steel workers and their service in the war. Let’s be honest, this is the Russian Roulette movie, the film with that epic scene where Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken get into a game of death with the Viet Cong. Some of the most intense scenes in a movie about war–which says a lot–and helps amp up an already gripping tale of friendship and survival.
Born On The Fourth Of July/Platoon
The Oliver Stone double-header! Stone has always been an… uh.. interesting, to say the least, director. His movies–most of them at least–are never bad but are always short of being thought as the great pieces of cinema they so often try to be. One thing both of these movies does well is capture the story of disillusionment and the corruption of young innocence thanks to war. With Platoon you have Charlie Sheen’s doe-eyed innocence coming into contact with the plight of soldiers fighting for their survival and with July you get Tom Cruise going full-out traumatized by his experiences in the Vietnam War and having his legs blown off. Both movies, despite their flaws, work within the confines if the story they are trying to tell.
While I sit here, listening to Weeknd songs and wishing I could go on a syrup-filled bender instead of searching for shit on the internet to write about, I find that I have something I must get off my chest. Most of these lookbooks that seem to come out everyday suck. Maybe it wasn’t for the fact that tumblr exists I would be more interested in them, but the fact remains that none of theme step out of the box or stand out enough to separate themselves from these street style shots menswear bros get their photographer friends to do for them in order to get their likes and reblogs up. Also I could be wrong but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve taken photos in every wooded area on this damn planet, and maybe this is just from the overload of these things but man are they all starting to look the same (oh check out the paisley or safari pattern on the pocket of that pocket tee, I haven’t seen that in almost two minutes). Seriously bros, something must be done to make these tings interesting again, I mean I get it it’s about selling clothes at the end of the day but dammit make the shit fun, I have too short of an attention span for the bullshit.
I could have easily picked the 1999 dark comedy Election, Alexander Payne’s fantastic film about dirty politics and awful people all set in a high school (it’s certainly the better movie), but instead I chose to go with this mostly ignored and underrated little gem from Chris Rock.
First of all my choice to pick Head Of State, about the first black president to run for office, has nothing to do with the fact that we are currently in the midst of an Obama reelection–it really isn’t. Instead, it’s to bring attention to a movie that deserves a little more of it. Head Of State is a mess of a movie; at times it hits all the right notes and at other times it’s eye-roll inducing and sloppily put together, but when it hits it hits hard. The social commentary, the parody of political campaign life, Robin Givens being crazy, any scene with the late great Bernie Mac plus random musical segments by the late Nate Dogg, this movie is right up my damn alley. Ultimately that’s what saves it from being another awful Chris Rock film like Down To Earth or Death At A Funeral.
There’s plenty of it that’s egregious–usually I automatically hate any movie that has a scene where old white people dance to rap and use slang–which is what keeps me from calling it a successful movie. What I will say is that it’s a competent film that takes its mess and finds the diamonds strewn about, plus how do you hate a movie where Tracy Morgan plays a character titled “meat man”.
In, what I’m sure, comes as a shock to nobody paying attention: dating people from the internet is the future. (Hell, it’s the present.) The days of stranger danger and creepy perverts on AOL chat are… well, still there, minus AOL chat, but largely dismissed as social media has grown into an unstoppable monster deluding people into thinking they’re special. With this–and every type of dating site you can imagine–comes the skyrocketing of online hook ups. Now, we could look at this as glass half-empty and go into a hyperbolic fit about how this is the ultimate death knell for courtship and the “old fashioned way” that got your parents together but honestly, I’m already looking at damn near everything in my life as half-empty, let’s do this shit half-full.
Here’s the good news kids: you’re way more interesting online than you ever are in real life–trust me, it’s true. The internet has a way of making even the lowliest of nerds who spend all day complaining on message boards about gaffes on last night’s “Parks & Rec” and writing “Breaking Bad” fanfic in their parent’s basement seem like the suavest of gentlemen with the right work. Vonnegut said it best, “We are who we pretend to be, so be very careful who you pretend to be”; in other words, when you pick that online persona you’ve been crafting so intricately for months in advance like it’s a character in one of those shitty scripts you aim to get made one day, make sure you choose wisely. On the flipside, if you choose to stay true to your roots, well, hang on because you may be shocked to find out there actually exists people who might like the nerd that you are (although, you should probably still keep that shit mostly tight-lipped the first couple dates ).
The worst thing about these social networks is that they’ve pretty much killed conversation–seriously I barely remember how to meet people in person first anymore–but on the one hand it’s also allowed for a new way to find out things about people and use that shit to your advantage. (Oh you liked The Dark Knight too? We should totally get together and discuss the political and social thematics strewn about the movie.) I mean it’s easy as shit for anyone to have game on the internet son, it’s great.
I’m here to help you guys. I’m probably one of the biggest nerds around–I’ll annoy the shit out of you with my encyclopedic knowledge of Simpsons references, (seasons 1-8 only, classic era forever!) and I’ve probably spent more time on this blackhole of information searching samples used in Kanye albums than you’ve spent doing anything ever. With that being said, of the last 5 girls I’ve dated, 4 came from Twitter-Caking (copyright pending). That’s just the name of the game now, people interact more on there and other social avenues than in real life; it’s not hard to comprehend really… you’re basically just inviting yourself to a conversation someone is having with their own self. So stop running from the inevitable and embrace it, get that persona together and make sure that’s really them on those profile pictures–cause these fools think they’re slick.
(yes I know it’s not a sandy pic, but it’s what I found)
Thoughts and prayers to those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, who it turns out wasn’t just frontin in order to impress Hurricane Danny Zuko but was actually a pretty devastating mess of a storm that caused all kinds of destruction. I ended up stuck in Florida with my parents and unable to return to DC for a couple days due to the storm, as a result I spent time watching coverage of the storm. Other than taking in just how much damage took place and how desolate and grim New York looked, I took away two things from the coverage:
1. These reporters aren’t getting paid enough to broadcast live from the midst of the storm. These news stations haze worse than a college fraternity.
2. Once I saw surfers out there riding waves as the storm was starting to pick up power, I realized just how big of a pussy I am.
I’ve been obsessed with surfing since I was a kid, and yet 23 years of age and I still haven’t done it yet. nothing like a devastating storm to remind you of how much you take life for granted and how many things in your life you “never got around to doing.” I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t surfed at all yet, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time though–and not in a bucket list, let-me-try-it way either, but in a full-fledged I want to do this on the regular way. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll make it happen–seeing as how I’m too broke to travel right now (the fact that it’s close to winter doesn’t help) but I will make it happen somehow someway. Whatever I gotta do to prove to myself that I am NOT, in fact, a pussy.