1. “Robin Thicke Admits Drug Abuse, Lying to Media in Wild ’Blurred Lines’ Deposition (Exclusive).” Interrogated for allegedly ripping off Marvin Gaye, the singer attempts a rock ’n’ roll defense: “I didn’t do a single interview last year without being high”
“Thicke says he was just ’lucky enough to be in the room’ when [Pharrell] Williams wrote the song. Afterward, he gave interviews to outlets like Billboard where he repeated the false origin story surrounding ’Blurred Lines’ because he says he ’thought it would help sell records.’ But he also states he hardly remembers his specific media comments because he ’had a drug and alcohol problem for the year’ and ’didn’t do a sober interview.’ In fact, when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show with his young son and talked about how weird it was to be in the midst of a legal battle with the family of a legendary soul singer who ’inspires almost half of my music,’ Thicke admits he was drunk and taking Norco—’which is like two Vicodin in one pill,’ he says.”
2. “Two Thumbs Up for Leonard Maltin.” The staff of RogerEbert.com talk about their own experiences with Maltin and his Guide. Below is Matt Zoller Setiz’s contribution.
“Not many people know this, but until about 1995, I was the Internet Movie Database. More accurately, in the dark years before the Internet became an easily accessible repository of all knowledge, I served the same function as the Internet Movie Database, via telephone, between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. on weekdays. That was the window during which happy-hour drinkers would phone the offices of Dallas Observer, where I was employed as a staff writer and film critic from 1991-95, to settle bets about movies. ’What’s the name of that movie…with the guy...who’s wearing…the [expletive] hat?’ one might slur into the phone, whereupon I’d elicit as many additional bits of information as I could (character names, actor names, black and white or color) then reach for Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide or some other thick paperback and find the answer. Most of the people on the other end of the line didn’t seem to know that there was such a thing as a film reference guide, so they were awed by my seemingly limitless knowledge of who played what in which film released in what year. On days when I had heavy deadlines or didn’t feel like adjudicating the disputes of tipplers, I’d let the calls go to voicemail, sit there in my chair, and just read Maltin’s book for pleasure. Thanks, Leonard, for making me seem smarter than I was.”
3. “Travels in Poland and Israel, Between Old Wars and New.” Annette Insdorf on how festivals unveil continuities of Jewish identity.
“As I travel through Poland and Israel, watching, discussing and writing about films, I find myself tracing the continuities, as well as the tensions, of Jewish identity. The only child of Polish Holocaust survivors, I am returning to Poland for the first time in 25 years, exploring what Judaism means there now. My mother, who accompanied me the last time, is no longer alive, but I feel her presence especially in Krakow, her beloved native city. Unlike 1989, when the first free elections were ending decades of Communist rule, I sense a growing philo-Semitism: Younger Poles are expressing awareness of all that their country has lost—not only during the Holocaust, but also in the 1968 expulsion of Jews.”
4. “Tony Auth R.I.P.” The Pulitzer-winning cartoonist dies at 72.
“He was a witty whistle-blower in what he depicted as a complicated and often corrupt culture. Though he leaned left, he mocked politicians of both parties for bickering instead of confronting serious troubles, such as terrorists planning their next attack. He lamented gun violence and the failings of public education in Philadelphia. He depicted Wall Street as a pirate ship at sea firing volleys at a burning Main Street on land. He made clear his opposition to a Boy Scouts of America policy barring gay scoutmasters by showing a reluctant troop leader saying to young scouts, ’The national leadership, alas, has decided you should be helpful, friendly, courteous, kind and bigoted.’ Commenting on the immigration debate, he drew two plants at the edge of an unspoiled forest plotting to prevent a marine mammal from making a Darwinian journey to live on land. Mr. Auth won the Pulitzer for editorial cartooning in 1976, five years after he joined The Inquirer. One of the cartoons the Pulitzer committee cited showed the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev standing in an American wheat field singing, ’O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,’ a jab at an unpopular agreement with the Soviet Union that raised the price of grain in the United States.”
5. “Rape Culture in the Alaskan Wilderness.” In the tight-knit communities of the far north, there are no roads, no police officers—and higher rates of sexual assault than anywhere else in the United States.
“The impact that Jane and her peers made at the conference seemed to launch a new era of transparency in Alaska about domestic and sexual violence; the media splash that followed drew a groundswell of support both for the 4-H youth and for recent state efforts to both document and prevent these crimes. But a few months later, when Erickson asked the kids if they thought their presentation had made a difference in Tanana, they all shrugged and made ’zero’ signs with their hands. Their stories had rocked the small community, too, but the fresh feeling ’didn’t really stick,’ Jane admits. ’It went back like the old way.’”
Video of the Day: Jonathan Glazer has made a Canon commercial:
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