1. “Gary Oldman Interview.” Read Playboy’s candid conversation with one of Hollywood’s best actors about acting, political corectness and his defense of Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin.
“I just think political correctness is crap. That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a fucking joke. Get over it. I heard about a science teacher who was teaching that God made the earth and God made everything and that if you believe anything else you’re stupid. A Buddhist kid in the class got very upset about this, so the parents went in and are suing the school! The school is changing its curriculum! I thought, All right, go to the school and complain about it and then that’s the end of it. But they’re going to sue! No one can take a joke anymore. I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say ’the N word’ and ’the F word,’ though there are two F words now.”
2. “Frances Bean Cobain to Lana Del Rey: ’The Death of Young Musicians Isn’t Something to Romanticize.’” “I’ll never know my father because he died young & it becomes a desirable feat because ppl like u think it’s ’cool.’”
“Last week, The Guardian profiled Lana Del Rey in conjunction with the release of her new album, Ultraviolence. In the piece, Del Rey was quoted as saying that she saw glamor in an early death. ’I wish I was dead already,’ she said. When the interviewer expressed concern, she responded, ’I do! I don’t want to have to keep doing this. But I am.’ In an effort to distance herself from the quote, Del Rey spoke out on her Twitter, slamming the ’sinister’ Guardian for asking leading questions. (The author of the article, Tim Jonze, later posted audio from the interview in his defense; Del Rey’s Tweets were later deleted). Yesterday, Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, joined the conversation. Frances was one-and-a-half years old in 1994 when her father killed himself at the age of 27. As Fasterlouder points out, Bean addressed Del Rey in a series of tweets. UPDATE: And Lana has now responded.”
3. “They Came. They Saw.” This is a great article from 2004 by John Bloom for Texas Monthly about the making of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
“Like a guy who wins the lottery with the first ticket he ever buys, then wonders a year later where his money has gone, the extended Chainsaw family seems battered and a little amazed by it all. Yet for more than two decades now, the status of the film has been constantly on the rise. Few horror films survive the teen generation that first sees them, yet the myths and legends surrounding Chainsaw have continuously expanded. Many people believed, and still believe, that the movie is entirely true, in part because of its effective cinema verité documentary style. In this respect, Hooper anticipated The Blair Witch Project by 26 years, and he did it without the advantage of cheap video. Far from being an artless ’shaky cam’ documentary, Chainsaw is Hitchcockian in its complex editing: In a film less than ninety minutes long, there are a total of 868 edits, some of them as short as four frames, or one sixth of a second. No wonder it shocked the world. Forry Ackerman, a writer and film historian who has watched every horror film made since 1922, said even his jaded eyes believed the actors were real people. ’It’s a watershed work,’ he told Brad Shellady in the video documentary Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait. ’It brought a new dimension of reality to horror films.’”
4. “George Saunders’s Humor.” The New Yorker publishes an excerpt of an interview with George Saunders from Mike Sacks’s Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers.
“It’s hard to be sufficiently involved in satirizing something you don’t like. That’s just sneering. Satire is, I think, a sort of bait-and-switch. You decide to satirize something, so you gaze at it hard enough and long enough to be able to say something true and funny and maybe angry or critical—but you first had to gaze at it for a long time. I mean, gazing is a form of love, right?”
5. “Feeling More Antsy and Irritable Lately? Blame Your Smartphone.” How pocket supercomputers warp our perception of time.
“Kevin Kelly, of Wired fame, warns us about the coming ’unpopulation bomb.’ Anthro-archeologist Timothy Taylor frets about Armageddon ’not as a prelude to an imaginary divine Day of Judgment, but as a particular, maladaptive mindset that seems to be flourishing despite unparalleled access to scientific knowledge.’ Indeed, more than a few writers worry we may be headed toward a new Anti-Enlightenment age, in which ideology trumps science. (I wonder where they get that idea?) And in an essay that, as a parent, I found particularly thoughtful, MIT’s Sherry Turkle explores why we need solitude, and how our shiny gadgets undermine our capacity to be comfortable with it.”
Video of the Day: Watch the Liars’ faces melt in their “Pro Anti Anti” video:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.