The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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February 20, 2013 7:52 am
"I ended up crashing the party with Bret, but that’s another story. My not receiving an invite to a party to celebrate a project I was part of is the point. One, Franco is a dick. Two, I would be fighting an uphill battle. Paul and his wife were not the only ones who thought of me as a party trick. Other than Braxton, Bret, and in time, the crew of The Canyons, everyone I met and worked with saw me as a joke."

HA! Franco is a dick! I knew it!

But further to the point, James Deen is more than a walking hard-on, it seems.   


December 5, 2012 1:01 pm

But, in a strange way, that party was the end of the twentieth century. It was the great end-of-twentieth-century party. I remember going back on the barge afterwards with Natasha Richardson, Kate Moss, and all these people, and this big cold wave came flooding over the boat. It was two o’clock in the morning, and we were all soaking. It was like Cinderella waking up from the ball.

And, of course, that view of Manhattan from the party—very shortly, the Twin Towers were down. New York had changed utterly. Utterly. I mean, we never would have had that party after 9/11. It just ended like that. It was really, really romantic.


Tina Brown reflecting on the Talk magazine launch party. This piece is full of so many gems, I cannot recommend it more highly. First of all, she’s fearless. Second, she is incredibly insightful both in terms of what people want to read and what makes people tick. Third, she has some true zingers. A must read for anyone with designs on the media biz.

(Source: New York Magazine)

February 12, 2012 9:35 am
"This could be the moment when the culture-war tide finally turns and the social wedge issues long deployed so effectively by the Republican right begin to come back and bite them…So with this new compromise, Obama has actually increased religious freedom, not restricted it. All of which makes one wonder exactly how genuine the current outrage is—or whether it is part and parcel of a political campaign against Obama rather than a defense of religious freedom…[The Catholic Bishops’] radical fundamentalism—so alien to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and to so many lay Catholics—has discredited the core priorities of Christianity, failed to persuade their own flock, and led to increasing politicization. And the obsession among Catholic and evangelical leaders with an issue like contraception stands in stark contrast to their indifference to, for example, the torture in which the last administration engaged, the growing social inequality fostered by unfettered capitalism, the Christian moral imperative of universal health care, and the unjust use of the death penalty. That’s why younger evangelicals are also alienated."

Andrew Sullivan, once again, getting out ahead of the story.  There is something happening in politics right now, Republicans are getting the band back together and breaking out the old hits—contraception, abortion, gay marriage.  But the question is whether it will work this time.  Sullivan misses, I think, the real story, however.  The real story is women.  Women and their reproductive rights have been flagrantly targeted by the so-called “moral majority” with increasing intensity.  And women are getting pissed.  And women are starting to make their preferences known.  The backlash at Komen, the outrage over the targeting of Planned Parenthood in state legislatures, the support for contraception policies…these are calling cards for women to get themselves to the polls.   If you want to inspire generations of women to get out to vote, start backing policies to send their rights reeling back to the era of Betty Draper.  Women have always been the key to national politics; Catholics don’t win elections.


January 24, 2012 9:10 am
"After blowing rails upon rails of cocaine and verbally undressing everyone in her path, Kirsten Dunst’s Regan has a stern warning to douchebag Trevor (James Marsden), as he jackhammers away at her in a strip club bathroom, in a line that pretty much sums up Bachelorette: “Don’t cum on my dress.”"

So begins Marlow Stern’s rambunctious piece on Sundance flick Bachelorette.  (via cheatsheet)

I do enjoy perusing the Sundance films pages for things to get excited about.  Bachelorette is most definitely one of them.  Hooray for more lady comedy.
January 16, 2012 7:50 am
"The great conservative bugaboo, Obamacare, is also far more moderate than its critics have claimed…Yes, it crosses the Rubicon of universal access to private health care. But since federal law mandates that hospitals accept all emergency-room cases requiring treatment anyway, we already obey that socialist principle—but in the most inefficient way possible. Making 44 million current free-riders pay into the system is not fiscally reckless; it is fiscally prudent. It is, dare I say it, conservative…What liberals have never understood about Obama is that he practices a show-don’t-tell, long-game form of domestic politics. What matters to him is what he can get done, not what he can immediately take credit for. And so I railed against him for the better part of two years for dragging his feet on gay issues. But what he was doing was getting his Republican defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to move before he did. The man who made the case for repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was, in the end, Adm. Mike Mullen."

Andrew Sullivan absolutely kills this.  He defends Obama’s first term as remarkably prolific, moderate and true to principle.  Hear, hear. 


January 15, 2012 3:14 pm
"Normally, showing 331 pictures all built on the same trivial premise – while admitting to having made another thousand – would destroy your market. With Hirst’s spot paintings, however, endless multiplicity is so much the point that each picture becomes a kind of necessary link in the whole, and, in some inchoate sense, a weirdly necessary picture – a valuable “masterpiece,” in the sense of an art work that you can’t do without, since it contributes an essential jolt of more-ness to the overall project. At the same time, however, Hirst is biting the market that feeds him. He’s daring collectors to pay big bucks for single pictures that lose all point if you treat them as independent aesthetic achievements, as those same collectors are bound to do."

Some interesting thoughts on Hirst’s latest project at the Gagosian galleries.  Incidentally, I liked Blake Gopnik’s take on the project.  You can’t read the spot paintings individually or even from gallery to gallery; they have to be considered together, atoms and elements of a global installation.  Spots on a canvas…spots on a globe.  I go back and forth on Hirst, but it is interesting to me that the NY Times review completely missed the point. 


December 13, 2011 10:09 am
"If men’s magazines do, on occasion, speak pejoratively of women, women’s magazines, by and large, speak pejoratively to women."

Agreed. (via cheatsheet)

Yup.  The lady mag paradox continues.

(via cheatsheet)

October 28, 2011 1:22 pm

Mesmerizing.  The Year of Magical Thinking was one of those books that caught me completely off guard.  I was going along reading it, kind of engrossed, but feeling like it was very surface-y, like someone was giving you a beautiful description of the brushstrokes on a canvas without giving a sense of the painting.  But then, at the end, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, it was devastating.  Something about this woman…the prose is so tense and tight, you don’t realize how much it reveals and draws you in.  Might have to read this next one.