Happy New Year everyone!
Roger Ebert tells you exactly why no one is going to the movies anymore.
Fuck this stupid homophobic calendar. If you’re going to be hate-filled, jesus, please don’t be hack and unfunny too.
Please read this essay from Jonathan Franzen about his relationship of sexy technology, his fear of what likeability is doing to us all, and his love of birdwatching. It’s hands-down one of my favorite things I’ve read all year.
And, since our technology is really just an extension of ourselves, we don’t have to have contempt for its manipulability in the way we might with actual people. It’s all one big endless loop. We like the mirror and the mirror likes us. To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.
Here’s a suit that let’s you know what it feels like to be 75 years old.
My former employer TV.com did a great video memorializing all the TV shows we’ve lost in 2011.
Months and months ago, Kumail and I were in Manchester, England for one night of our England/Scotland trip. We went to a pub for food and fun, and then just sat on a couch, cozy and warm, people watching. It was one of the few nights we spent in a non-walkable, non-sightseeing town during our trip, but it was one of my favorite nights of the whole thing. At some point we noticed three hipsters clustered around a jukebox, each distinct in their hipness, as they played some of the most amazing music I’d ever heard. Some songs I knew, most I didn’t. Without Shazaam, we were forced to scramble to write down snatches of lyrics of our favorite two songs in hopes of downloading them later.
One was The Lightning Seeds- Lucky You. The other one was lost in our heads or whatever scrap of paper we wrote it on.
Tonight, as I’m home recovering, Kumail is at a coffee shop down the street, working, and guess what song just came on? THE LOST MANCHESTER SONG.
So the itch has been scratched, the mystery solved. Please enjoy Empire of the Sun with Walking on a Dream.
Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me.
Broken Social Scene with Anthems for a 17 Year Old Girl. This song used to feature heavily in my life’s rotation.
A sample chapter from Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series! Ignore Martin’s pic at the top and go devour!
There’s a new piece from me up at xoJane about faking contentment in relationships.
A nice collection of the years best comedy writing, from SplitSider. I love Ebert’s 1-star reviews too!
Check out Tyler Ross’ photos of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail- he’s there each and every week, capturing all the action!
What makes a body obscene? Another amazing post at Sociological Images, the site I’d be if I wasn’t so obsessed with pop culture and video games.
Magic Johnson is working to get the hip-hop community to speak out against homophobia:
As a hip-hop fan, you realize that homophobia is still an issue everywhere, but especially in the black community. When people are scared to talk about it, that’s how the disease spreads. So what have you been doing to get that risk reduced?
A lot of people my age reject organized religion, and will talk about it freely. They say a variety of things after stating their beliefs- “I’m atheist”, “I am more of a science girl”, “I’m too smart for religion”, “Religion only screwed me up”, “I’m spiritual, not religious”- etc and so on. For some, religion clings, and they’re wrestling with where prayers and ritual fit into their day-to-day schedule, love lives, work, and whatever TV shows are on their DVRs. What starts as a comfort in childhood becomes an antiquated hindrance for a lot of adults, and though it seems like a crisis that is fairly common for people in their late 20s and early 30s, it’s definitely a modern crisis. My parents didn’t question their religion as they were starting a family in the 70s. They stayed Methodist, and they raised my sister and I Methodist as well.
There’s no ignoring that organized religion exists in the world of the small people that you will create and raise, so here’s my question- how are these parents of the 21st century going to raise their children to think about religion?
When I was a kid, Saturday morning TV meant Saved by the Bell, whatever Saved by the Bell ripoff they’d created (California Dreams, City Guys, Saved by the Bell: The New Class), and The Guys Next Door.
The Guys Next Door = The Monkees (songs and following the band around their day to day “lives”) + sketch comedy + boy bandedness – some of the talent.
My sister and I loved this show, and she picked Chris Wolf as her crush, whereas I hovered between Damon Sharpe and Chris Wolf. They would do songs about shopping malls, love, and in between, get into fights with robots and hang out in their house. I actually can’t remember how clever the show was, overall, but I do remember this one song that was pretty funny:
The highlight of our love of Guys Next Door was when the guys went on a meet n’greet tour of America’s Kmarts (yup, high class 1991 style), and our parents took Molly and I to our local store to meet the Guys Next Door. I know!
There was a huge line, and while we waited in it, we readjusted our hair and makeup and daydreamed about one of the Guys saying “You’re perfect for me, let’s run away together.” We had about two hours to plan our opening lines. The reality was that instead, we giggled and acted stupid, shook their hands, got autographs on sweaty pieces of paper, and ran away. They were kind enough, but probably quite bored of pre-teens by then, as they were all in their 20s, and back then pre-teens looked like children and not adults.
The show was canceled soon after (the tour probably happened in an effort to boost the ratings) and they faded from my memory, but I still have Damon Sharpe’s autograph. He’s a pretty successful music producer now, I just started following him on Twitter. I may request a reunion tour.
I loved this story in LA Times about how Muslims celebrate Christmas. Go get some happiness.
A desperate search for pot on one’s wedding night might not bode well. And so, Sinead O’Connor’s marriage is done after 16 days.
A Soderbergh action movie that stars a female MMAer? Sign me up for Haywire!
New writing gig! I’ll be writing about sex, relationships, and translating weird psychology stuff for GuySpeed starting… soon!
The history of the New Years Eve kiss!
Best movie posters of 2011, from GeekChicLA!
I will admit to being a New Kids on the Block lover. My parents got us tickets to see Tiffany, and by the time her tour rolled into town, her opening act, the New Kids, was bigger than her. I bought as many albums as I could in the two years I was into them, including their Christmas album, Merry Merry Christmas. This was the highlight of that album.
“Oh little Train, my little elf”
“Kick the ballistic Santa Claus”
“You left a fire burning and I burnt my butt” (said in a horrid British accent)
“It’s snowing outside but we’re ho ho hoing”
Bonus: Here they are performing it live on Arsenio, but please ponder this: WHERE THE FUCK IS JON?
A metallic ball falls from space and lands in Namibia…. why are we all still sitting here?!
This is a fantastic essay about anal sex, pain, and expectations at Jezebel. Please read it if you’re a male or a female.
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about cookie design at the Atlantic.
Brand new Indoor Kids, up a few days early because of the holidays, welcoming Matt Mira to be Matt Mira.
Please enjoy GWAR reviewing the movie War Horse.
Kumail and I were on a podcast out of Carrboro, NC called Small Town Funny. Go listen and enjoy!
I love love love these pics of writers and artists with cats- see all of them here, (thanks to I Can Has Cheezeburger for the heads up) but here are my favorites: